Tuesday, 18 December 2012

A Christmas bear


Today I realised that I wouldn't have enough fabric left to complete my mother and father's wall-hanging. Not the best realisation to have on 18th December, but luckily Oakshott kindly agreed to speed some supplies to me and I'm hoping I'll be able to continue with my sewing marathon at some point tomorrow. Once I'd finished hyperventilating, I realised that made today an unexpected free day when I could try to get some of the jobs done which have been piling up while I've been hand-sewing (seemingly at a snail's pace).


At the end of November my husband put our names in a hat and we all picked one out. We decided that each of us would hand-make one gift for whoever's name we drew and who we were making for would remain a secret until the gift was unwrapped on Christmas Eve. Unfortunately my little boy is the worst secret-keeper I've ever met and he couldn't stop grinning when he picked a name out of the hat and eventually said: I'm just going to burst if I can't tell him I've got him! (as there's only one other 'him' in the family, my husband is now very much looking forward to seeing what he's been made without quite the same element of surprise he'd been hoping for).


I drew my daughter's name and it's been playing on my mind that it's nearly Christmas and I still haven't made anything for her. So today I ran up a dress for her bear. In the summer her bear seems to wear this dress and in the winter it's normally woollens (this change in uniform is done without ceremony or comment, but clearly my daughter is keeping tabs on Bear's likely body temperature), however, I thought she may like something more formal to wear on Christmas day.

My daughter has never played with dolls, but I noticed recently as I scrolled through my photos en masse in Picasa that without my really being aware of the bear ever being carried around or brought along, the bear appears near my daughter in nearly every indoor photo I've ever taken of her. She is just there - she is not a creature who has been given a large personality that demands attention - in fact she is very much like my daughter (and her cat, who also seems to mostly appear near my daughter): quiet, unassuming and just very sweet.


I had been going to make a Liberty print dress in a vein similar to that of the yellow sundress I made last year, but at the last minute I decided that the dress should be more stylish and modern looking.
 

So Bear wears a dress made from a small part of an Art Gallery Fabrics stack of solids that I was given when I met with Pat Bravo earlier in the year. They were lovely to sew with: crisp, supple and with barely any fray - perfect for small pieces. The top half of the dress is fully lined to dispense with any need for binding at the neck and arms. It's been a while since I lined a dress bodice so I referred to Amanda's excellent tutorial intended for garments worn by humans, but just as useful for bear attire. The pattern is my own. In the last week or so I've been feeling increasingly eager to get back to some (full size) dressmaking, not least because I haven't been able to find in the shops either the dress or the skirt that I'd like to be wearing. This miniature has only made the yearning stronger. But there is a wall hanging to be finished first and then a great many other things to be done first.

How are your own Christmas plans coming along?

Florence x


10 comments:

  1. This whole post is very sweet! What a lovely dress for bear - I'm so impressed that you lined it properly. I've made one small gift and bought everything else this year. I'd much rather give handmade presents but at the beginning of December it just looked too daunting and not at all fun, so I let myself off. It's a huge relief not to be desperately trying to finish things, although it does mean I've spent a lot more money than usual. I've got dressmaking on the brain as well - have just been tracing out a Tova pattern that's a hybrid of small and medium sizes... x

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  2. It's a sweet dress. My children each have a stuffed animal that they tend to carry through their days with them (well, while at home at least).

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  3. Such a shame that the Oakshott has (temporarily) run out but it must have been so satisfying to have completed such an adorable bear dress in just one day. My Christmas present projects have, as always, been left to the too late minute so I am now quilting like mad a lap-blanket for my in-laws. Nearly a fifth of the way through (not that I'm counting!)....must keep on stitching! Wishing you speedy stitching on the wall hanging tomorrow - can't wait to see how it's looking :) x

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  4. It always makes me smile to see your daughter's bear, so exactly like my daughter's bear. After I spoiled him with a teddy bear's sleeping bag for her birthday I'm afraid he will not be getting a handmade suit for Christmas ;) Your dress is lovely though - so stylish. Right - back to addressing the Christmas Cards...

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  5. This is so sweet! I love that little dress! And your son sounds like such a sweetheart. :)

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  6. The bear looks so smart. I'm sure you will see her wearing the dress for 'best' for years to come.

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  7. Beautiful dress! I had hoped that my daughter would have a favourite cuddly toy I could make things for but, alas, it hasn't happened.

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  8. Bear looks very smart in her new dress. I'm sure she will continue to be special to your daughter, in that quite unassuming way, for many many years.

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  9. I love your idea of handmade secret santa presents and your son reminds me so much of my youngest! My 20yr old daughter has a Pooh bear that I made from a kit before she was born. It is now just an amorphous brown blob of repairs and leaking 'fluff and stuff' but she still loves him!

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  10. I think both your daughter and Bear will both love the dress!

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I now tend to reply within the comments section, so please do check back if you've asked a question or wish to chat.

Florence x