Designer Children's Clothing at New York, NY, Craft Fairs
How many of us love acquiring an autographed Playbill after a good night at the theater, or an autographed book after listening to an author read? That same sense of personal fulfillment also is gained when we buy directly from the designers of beautifully constructed clothing and accessory lines. Meeting creative people is always a joy!
With that in mind, I'd like you to meet six women who design children's clothing and accessories. All exhibited at the Spring 2005 Lincoln Center Craft Fair where these photos were taken. They are:
BodyScapesKids by Henrietta Drewes - FreshAsPaint by Jane Miller - Winning Woolies by Lauri McLauglin - Jane Smith Handcrafted Handbags by Lenore Cummings - Sheilamae Quilts by Sheila Molitz - Celebration Ceramics by Rita Robbins
Waterproof rain jackets
Shorts and pants
Overalls and sun suits
Sun and rain hats
Activity aprons and bibs
Quilted blanket sets
Designer Henrietta Drewes has been creating infant and children's clothing, all handmade in New York, since the early 1970s. Her company, BodyScapesKids, produces:
Of her line, I am most drawn to the rain jackets! You can buy, for example, mother/daughter rain jackets with matching cotton linings. (Children's: $65-$75. Adult's: $210.) In addition to customized jackets, you also can buy sets of clothing, all using coordinated fabrics.
The unique, cloth dolls shown here are by Mary Rock of Metuchen, New Jersey, which can be ordered in fabrics that match BodyScapeKids clothing. (Like, how cute is that?)
And attention, American Girl fans! Ask Ms. Drewes about creating custom, matched wardrobes for your daughter and her best little friend.
Designed in New York
Jane Miller, designer and owner of FreshAsPaint, first hand-dyes all her 100% cotton fabrics to produce rich colors. Then, not content to let color alone impact her designs, she paints pictures and/or trim on every piece of the resulting clothing.
In the photos here, for example, you see a hand-painted watermelon neckline, as well as roosters. Other popular paintings include bees, hearts, flowers, ladybugs, ships, frogs, and bunnies.
To see her clothing in "action," happy customers model their purchases at Families.
Ms. Miller's line is sewn in small New Jersey and Pennsylvania shops, and is shipped across the nation. It is grouped into Infant, Toddler, and Youth sizes, plus across-the-age-range Sibling Sets.
Known nation-wide, her collection (which sells for between $30 and $40 per outfit) was recently featured in the August 2005 issue of Good Housekeeping and the July/August 2005 edition of Country Women.
Designed in New Jersey
All my photos of Winning Woolies show imaginative designs and excellent craftsmanship, making choosing among them difficult.
I finally selected the hat photo to illustrate how many ways color, crocheted trim, and decorative items are combined. Likewise, on the sweaters below, you see crocheted buttons in the form of hearts and flowers.
Sweater prices, currently topping off in the mid-$70s, are exceptionally reasonable for handmade, soft, high-quality, cotton knit.
Designer Laurie McLauglin founded Winning Woolies in 1984. For ten years, she sold wholesale exclusively to Barneys, Saks, and Bergdorf Goodman (to name a few). Today, you can buy her work at her store, Twigs, and at major New York craft fairs.
82 Stokes Way
High Falls, NY 12440
Twigs - Winning Woolies
The Water Street Market
Route 299 West
New Paltz, NY
(by Mohonk Mountain)
Lenore Cummings, of Jane Smith Handcrafted Handbags, is a children's clothing designer who also creates handbags and women's jackets. All of her products are crafted from vintage chenille.
Each ultra-soft piece blends retro-1940s and modern styling with flair! Her handbags seem delicate, but are deceptively durable and washing-machine friendly.
Ms. Cummings (who's maiden name was Jane Smith, in case you were wondering), sells direct (wholesale or retail), and at select craft fairs.
Bags, $65-75. Kid's items, $45-$55. Reversible infant sets, $95.
Jane Smith Handcrafted Handbags
Lenore Cummings, Designer
Designed in Cambridge, MA
Sheila Molitz began as a quilt designer, enjoying the tactile feeling of quilted, patchwork, and nubby textures. From there, she branched out, using patchwork (and patchwork-printed) fabrics to make children's clothing, baby sets, and stuffed animals for her line, Sheilamae.
The spring Lincoln Center Craft Fair was her first public showing and, while she offered a beautiful variety, she specializes in fulfilling custom, "heirloom" orders with customer-requested colors and themes.
The Sheilamae line is expanding, however. Many new outfits, including patchwork, quilted jackets, and "cool weather" overalls, some with patchwork bibs, will be featured at upcoming Lincoln Center Craft Fairs.
Sheila Molitz, Designer
Designed in New York
Although not a children's clothing designer, you might be interested in the ceramics designed by Rita Robbins, who shared the Sheilamae booth.
Ms. Robbins' collection of funky-colored jars (I love the pink one with a sea-green lid) is available directly through email or at craft fairs.
Rita Robbins, Designer
Designed in New York
Many (if not all) of these designers plan on regularly showing at Lincoln Center Craft Fairs, so make a point of finding them there. Check their websites or contact them directly for specific show dates and locations. All also sell wholesale, so if you have a store that needs to be stocked with unique children's clothing, toys, and accessories, contact the designers directly.
In 2005, craft fairs at the Lincoln Center are sponsored by the American Concern for Art and Craftsmanship (www.CraftsAtLincoln.org).
Article and photos by Karen Little. First published on 7/29/2005. All rights reserved by www.LittleViews.com.