Hello, my name is Claudia Hillesheim, maiden name Braun, and I am located in Germany.
I have over 15 years of experience in needlework , embroidery and heirloom sewing for dolls.
I create and design unique and well made OOAK dresses for dolls.
And therefore they are really
Made in Germany :-)
Ever since I was a little girl I played with dolls and my mother and auntie made beautiful dresses for them.
I was the happiest little creature on this planet when my dolls were the best dressed girls in town.
Following the tradition of the women in our family I learned sewing, knitting, crochet, cross stitch and every sort of needlework you can imagine.
After the birth of my daughter in 1997, sewing doll dresses became my passion. Show me your doll and I want to dress her.
All the dresses shown on my website are my designs and handmade by me.
Bodices are lined and edges are finished where needed.
All dress hems are hand sewn!
I use the best quality fabrics and embroidery threads as well. This guarantees the long life of your new doll dress.
All my unique dresses have one thing in common:
They are all made with love and Sew Cute and Tiny
Inside the dress
My mother was a strict teacher. When I didn’t do well, she ripped off all my knitting and crochet work which I had to do for school. And she taught me that everybody would turn an embroidered table cloth to check if it is handmade. Therefore it has to be nice at the back too. Going thru a lot of frustrations in my childhood, today I am thankful that she taught me to be precise and this is the foundation of my work today.
Maybe my character as a scientist gives me the ability to read instructions exactly and thus I was able to teach myself smocking (and quilting as well). I bought some books and I sucked in every tutorial I could find. In Germany smocking is not very common, I didn’t find anyone I could ask for help nor a german book. Finally I managed to hand pleat my first fabric and did some graphical patterns. And soon I understood:
Handwork doesn’t forgive any mistakes.
Sewing for small dolls means thinking
small – smaller – the smallest – T I N Y.
During my learning process I expanded my skills: using light weight fabrics, doing loops for small buttons, sewing tiny collars, using the right scale of lace and trims, to avoid bulk by using special techniques, finding the right tools etc.
A tremendous help was my wonderful friend Rosemarie Ionker, a well known doll dressing designer, who I met in 2005. She gave me some very helpful hints and told me some tricks about sewing. Since then she became my mother, soul sister, friend, best teacher and last but not least my inspiration. Thank you Rosemarie for being all this to me!
Knowing all this doesn’t mean you are a doll dressing designer. There is something you can’t learn, something you have to find inside yourself:
Imagination and a feeling for colours
The most wonderful part of making a doll dress is the designing process: Taking a bath in fabrics and embroidery yarn, finding the best matching buttons and embellishments and thinking about patterns and outfits which compliments the specific character of your doll.
And this is my goal:
Sew Cute and Tiny