Gillian Ruffa

Children’s clothes

“Every once in a while, being required to learn a certain skill can lead to a life long dedication.  That happened to me when I was eleven years old, living in England, and took my first course in sewing.  Because I seemed to have a natural aptitude for it, I took other needlework courses during my high school years, and have had a passion for sewing and a love for textiles ever since.”

“When my first daughter was born in 1995, I was eager to be a stay-at-home mom and continue earning an income.  Sewing provided me with this opportunity, and with a stash of really fun cotton fabrics, I started making and selling my first Gillsies, little sun hats and sundresses. As my family grew, so did my line of children’s clothing.  By applying the  fashion design and pattern drafting skills I learned in college while still in England, I began designing my own patterns and creating the accompanying sizing options. I love classic designs made of colorful, high-quality cotton prints and florals.

Customers tell me that they appreciate being able to buy clothing for children that is comfortable, durable, appealing and affordable.  I only use pre-washed cotton fabric, so all of these garments can be tossed into a cool-water wash and dried on a low setting.

Looking back, I am very happy that I was required to take that first sewing class.”

“As a continuation of my love for color and texture, I began to research and experiment working with silk fabric and dyes.  In November 2009 I introduced my line of hand-dyed silk and silk blend scarves. I have developed a variety of ways to fold and manipulate the fabric to produce wonderful patterns in the resulting scarves.

The dyes are all non-toxic and permanent, therefore the scarves are washable in cool water and can be hung to dry.

As a way to create even more texturally exciting pieces, my latest endeavor is to add soft wool fibers and yarns to the silk scarves by a method called nuno-felting. This technique actually bonds the wool fibers to the silk base fabric, creating a soft flowing and beautiful scarf.”


Bags and Accessories

“I have introduced a line of bags and accessories, designed and sewn by me.  I use fabrics intended for upholstery and home decor to make the pieces, thus creating sturdy, colorful, and functional bags.”

Contact Gillian

Mon 10–6
Tues 10–6
Wed 10–6
Thurs 10–6
Fri 10–6
Sat 10–6
Sun 12–5
118 E Main St
Charlottesville, VA 22902
Phone: (434) 972–9500
C’ville Arts offers a tremendous range of crafts and art, including decorative & functional objects for your home & garden, wearable art such as jewelry and scarves, organic balms, photography, paintings, sculpture, and more. As a cooperative, we work together to operate the store, helping keep our art affordable. Visitors are able to meet and chat with the artists who are on duty each day. C’ville Arts has become a popular place to find unique gifts for all occasions and locally made mementos for visitors to our area.
The Gallery is honored to be a part of the Virginia Artisans Trail Network, specifically the Monticello Artisans Trail.  “Choose from the many creative excursions and activities available as you plan your trip to Virginia!  The Artisan Trail Network will help you navigate a unique adventure.  We invite you to explore the byways and back roads, visiting craft artisan studios, agri-artisan gardens & farms, wineries & breweries, galleries & craft related venues, local businesses & eclectic shops and historical & cultural points of interest.”  The Gallery was recently featured in a video produced for the Virginia Artisans Trail Network.