About Us

Message from Fran Banas 

I am now opening my new web site "Vintage Gatherings" after recently selling my previous business Cloth Doll Supply. I spent eight years running Cloth Doll Supply and it became too much for me to run with the health issues I have.  Vintage Gatherings is on a smaller scale and has a variety of items along with my collection of "Patterns From The Past".  My sister Rosalie and I have worked painstakingly for months on the web site. I'm so fortunate that she is willing to be such a major part of Vintage Gatherings as she does all of the administration/editing work from her home in Florida.

Both Rosalie, Jackie and I hope you will enjoy looking through this site.

About Me: Fran Banas:

I have been an avid quilter for over 30 years.  Cloth doll making had become my passion about 12 years ago when I found a vintage rag doll at an Antique Shop. Seeing her made my heart just about stop and of course I had to make my own!  I had been collecting vintage doll patterns for a long time and finally started using them. Over time I began learning more from fellow doll making friends about their shared techniques and ideas. Through the internet I've met wonderful doll makers from all over the world. My passion and desire for making cloth dolls sky rocketed and was a major part of every day in my life.  I sold many dolls on Ebay but mostly to antique shops & gift Stores on commission.

When I was introduced to Primitive/Folk Art Dolls I fell in love with dolls made by  Nocole Sayre.  Her style of Dolls were of the Mid 1800s and her patterns made my heart skip a beat!  I made only a few dolls from her patterns.  All have been given away. I used sawdust to stuff them which gave them that wonderful feeling of a doll from the Pioneer Days!

There was this one pattern "Miss Sophie Hopeful" that I knew I just had to make. I made Miss Sophie for my sister-in-law. She too, was named Sophie!  She had been diagnosed with breast cancer. It was a real labor of love on my part and I put my heart & soul in making this doll for her.  Sophie loved her doll. I even put a picture of the pattern to show her the name of the doll!  Sophie was "hopeful" and today she is a cancer survivor.  One day I was asked to put a doll in a Quilt /Doll Exhibit at the Eastern States Exposition in Massachusetts. I borrowed Miss Sophie Hopeful and entered her. From there I was asked if she could be presented in the Storrowton Village Museum for the Holidays.  I was honored to have her displayed amongst so much  American History!

  Going to exhibit.   Sophie 1    

    Sophie 2             sophie 3

 Placed and sitting proudly.                                          Close up.

Due to arthritis in my hands and fingers I haven't made any dolls in years.  I have many "body parts" hanging around that I hope to put together sometime and have some finished dolls to show.

For now life is a little simpler and I have a little more time to myself to enjoy life's blessings on a daily basis!  I take such joy of having and selling my "Patterns from the Past" and other vintage items.  It is a heartfelt feeling hearing hundreds of stories about a childhood doll that they once had and now can make it for their grandchildren.

If you are new to doll making, please look into Yahoo Groups for doll making lists to become members of.  There are many to choose from. I joined various doll making lists and read posts from doll makers. I cannot begin to thank all those wonderful members for their support and friendship.

Sincerely, Fran Banas

American Girl Doll Clothes: A little about me, Jackie Hall!
I learned to sew from my Mom at the age of eleven. At the age of 13, I won several simplicity fashion shows for my sewing abilities.
Since then I had made several prom dresses and christening gowns. I made all my clothes for work and my Goddaughter's wardrobe.
For the past ten years, I have been spending my time making doll clothes for the 18" doll. I have sold on Ebay, Craig's list, unlimited craft fairs, plus a large amount of private clients.

Sincerely, Jackie

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