Benito Mussolini

Cristina F. Manelli, seamstress

Cristina F. Manelli, seamstress

Cristina F. Manelli, an Italian immigrant who designed and sewed clothes for clients, family and friends and later created a line of costume jewelry, died Wednesday of renal failure at St. Elizabeth Rehabilitation Center in Southwest Baltimore.

The longtime Catonsville resident was 96.

The daughter of a farmer and a homemaker, Cristina Flagelli was born and raised in Teramo, Italy, where she was trained as a seamstress and embroiderer.

There, she met her future husband, Luigi "Gino" Manelli, an artist who had been born in Philadelphia to Italian immigrants. His family had returned to Teramo, in the Abruzzo region, where they owned and operated a general store...