I guess I don’t have a good story to introduce this project, so I’ll get right into it. The theme for this round of the Year of Creative Crafting Challenge was “Feeling Pretty: make something that is pretty, dainty, maybe a bit “girly.” Think delicate lace, soft florals, pastel colors, lovely dresses, or anything else that “feels pretty.” I think there is lots of inspiration to be found in the aesthetics of the new town series!”
As you’ve probably heard, Toys R Us is going out of business. It had been announced that my local store was going out of business prior to the full company liquidation, so there have been sales for the last month or so. The Calico Critters section was pretty well emptied. But there was one last Doughnut Store on the shelf. And I didn’t own it yet. And the bears are my favorite family. And I kind of wanted a bear to represent myself in the village. So I bought the set, even though I really don’t need any more bakery-centric things in Crabapple Crossings.
And though Ms. Bear’s outfit is cute, I wanted to make something different. So I guess I took several of my own suggestions and made a pretty floral dress with lace accents.
I used my go-to patterns to make this dress from this website in Japanese. I used the fancy dress pattern.
The dress is all hand stitched. I used some pink and purple fabric in a tiny floral I had in my stash. Whenever I am at a fabric store, I buy bits of small-scale fabrics. I have definitely amassed quite a collection. And this fabric was perfect for this pretty-themed challenge.
I wanted the dress to have a more girly look, so I drafted a peter-pan collar. The pieces were really tiny. Each side of the collar is two pieces stitched together and then turned inside-out so the edges are finished. You can see I had a bit of trouble with the one side – it doesn’t lay very flat. Also, where the two sides of the collar meet, there was a rather ugly, unfinished look. So at the store, I found a package of teeny tiny metal bead caps that looked like little flowers. I sewed this to the center of the collar, which hid the ugly part and makes it look like the dress features an attractive brooch.
For some reason, this dress ended up being a bit on the short side. Ms. Bear up there is an adult-sized critter, and her dress just seemed a bit child-like when completed. Luckily, I had a small roll of little lace on-hand, so I stitched it to the hem, adding another quarter inch to the length of the skirt and giving it a more mature look – and also adding to the feminine aesthetics. It was a happy solution.
Another thing I like about this dress is that I finally have a way to close the dress while making sure all the edges are finished and leaving space for the tail! I hemmed and finished the edges of the dress, then sewed the bottom of the skirt closed, up to the tail. Then, I added a small piece of grosgrain ribbon (edges folded down and finished) and attached it to one side of the dress bodice. This added a nice amount of overlap to attach one side of a snap. The other side goes onto the inside of the dress.
This worked incredibly well and I will use it for all the clothes I make in the future.
I think Ms. Bear looks very pretty in her new dress!