Best handmade frocks and overalls (2000)

LaDonna's House of Design

Local seamstress Marcel Antoinette has been sewing for 25 years, but started her handmade children's line eight years ago when she had a daughter. One thing led to another: She'd dress the little one in clothes she'd made, people would ask, and soon she was in business. Antoinette works and sells the clothes -- simple, well-sewn garments of patchworked African print fabrics in bright and sometimes metallic colors (some imported from Senegal and the Ivory Coast) -- out of a Park Hill storefront, and she has a Web site in the works, but she doesn't want to expand too quickly for the sake of quality, the kind that's helped her bag awards for best children's clothes at the Capitol Hill People's Fair for two years running. "The majority of it is poor old me," she says (on a quick break from cutting new pieces), and that's the way her customers like it. And so do we.

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