Tuesday, January 27, 2015


Annabell watches as I try a pattern

Yes, I can be obsessive. I’m affirmed through my projects and quickly addicted. Right now it’s about dressing teddy bears, which isn’t of general interest, I’m sure. I say that, but I appear to have readership anyway. Plus – we’re midway our winter hibernation. Nothing is happening, which we acknowledge as a good thing.

So, I’ve been researching online for bear clothes to make, which is just crazy since I already know that my plethora of 18-inch doll clothes patterns will work (with some alteration) for the Build-a-Bears. Or, the one or two Cabbage Patch patterns in my collection (but at the farm) would probably be better. Oh, you can find some clothes for bears, but Rosabell and Annabell (Build-A-Bear cousins, you know) are really contemporary in their interests. “We don’t want jackets, vests, and hats that make us look like home décor,” they call. “No froo-froo stuff for us, please.” They want to wear t-shirts, skirts and jeans, and plenty of comfy stretch knits in bright colors instead of sedate pastels and floral prints.

There are bears -- and then there are bears. Traditional bears remind us of English cottages, rose gardens, and tea parties. We all know about Paddington Bear and Winnie the Pooh, both of whom had adventures. Remember Corduroy? Corduroy is my favorite. But Rosabell and Annabell are the kind of bears whose eyes sparkle with mischief and get down when you’re not looking to hide your sewing scissors, your thimble, or your seam ripper. When I check on Annabell she’s managed to slip back into her place, her change of position barely perceptible.

I gotta tell you, though – there’s not much out there if you want to dress the contemporary teddy bear. If I’ve seen one online pattern I’ve seen two thousand, but they aren’t for active bears. Yet, I pick up my laptop and go through it all again. I joined Craftsy, checked out Ravelry, and Pinterest begins to make sense.  Pretty much, though, you’re on your own to figure out how to make your Build-a-Bear some clothes. Maybe it’s because bears are basically sort of square in shape. Maybe it’s because bears don’t need to wear clothes.

Yes, I know. Some people would just quickly trace around the bear or copy the shirt she has on, but I don’t do that well. I like corners that come together and make a nice finish.
Nellie -- tired after a hunt

It took a long time for the light bulb to come on. I had read that someone made bear clothes by decreasing a baby pattern by 20 percent. Two days later it sank in: “Use the copier. Enlarge the American Girl patterns.” And that’s what I did. But the outcome of that is a report for another time.

Now I really need to set the laptop down and make the prototype t-shirt . . . KW

1 comment:

Chris said...

Those sneaky bears!! Mine are all topsy turvy in the living room. I think they had a party with Daniel and haven't recovered yet. :-)

Looking forward to seeing the results of your sewing.