Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Sewing Seeds: How to make a tee-shirt dress for a Build-a-Bear


What could be more exciting for sisters than to match each other in their tee-shirt dresses

To match their Build-a-Bears!

My girls love-love-love their Build-a-Bears. And their clothes. And their shoes. And their purses. And their ice skates. And their…well, you get the point.

They have a sensor for Build-a-Bear. If we are within a ten mile radius of the mall, the question is inevitable. “Can we go to Build-a-Bear?”

Sew So, to protect my pocket-book and to hear those squeals of delight from my girls, I make, every now and then, matching Build-a-Bear dresses.


This time they would be super-easy because they are tee-shirt dresses. I have made my own tee-shirts in the past, but, in the interest of time, I purchased a four-pack of newborn size onesies from Wal-Mart for about $7.50. For the skirt, I used the leftover fabric from the girls’ tee-shirt dresses. (Remember the dresses were too long and I had to cut several inches off the bottom?)

First, the bears tried on their onesies. I safety-pinned the spot where the skirt should attach. Each bear is stuffed a little differently, so they each tried one on.

The sticker is a name tag to keep the bears straight.

I chose to cut off the onesie (with an extra 5/8 inch for the seam) because it hung down a little long on the bear and I didn’t want the snap crotch to hang out from under the dress.

Don't throw those onesie bottoms away! There's another project coming next week.

For the bigger bears, I needed the finished skirt to be 4 inches long. So, I cut two skirt pieces 5 ½ inches long and about 15 inches wide. You can adjust the width of the piece depending on the fullness desired for the skirt.

A rolled hem
Just like the tee-shirt dresses, stitch in the side seams and over-edge for a more finished inside look. Because the skirt piece is so small, you may want to put in the simple rolled hem before the gathering stitches at the waist.

I put the gathering stitches in a little closer together for a bear dress because the skirt is so small and I don’t need a regular size seam.

Pin the skirt to the onesie and pull up the gathering stitches. Baste, and then turn the dress right-side-out to check for an even distribution of the gathers. If you are satisfied, stitch and over-edge the seam. (When attaching the skirt to the onesie, be careful of a right-side-up print for the skirt. Be sure that it will be right-side-up when the dress is right-side-out.)

Press up the seam allowance at the waist. A seam that lies flat at the waist won’t create extra bulk for the bears, and you know how figure-conscious bears can be!

Finally, drawing out their designs first, the girls used fabric paints to decorate the onesies. Fabric paints generally don’t wash well, but I figured the bears wouldn’t be spilling juice or spaghetti sauce on themselves and their dresses wouldn’t need to be washed often. J

Holly and Laura in deep concentration.

And how could the outfit be complete without a Lilla Rose flexi clip

Noelle's bear Chocolate

Total time: about 40 minutes per dress
Total cost: about $2.25 per dress (new onesie, leftover fabric and thread, fabric paint)


Happy sewing!








Have you made dresses for bears or dolls? Any suggestions for variations?



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8 comments:

  1. ooh what a fantastic sewing project for my daughter. Going to give this a try. I am always on the look out for simple but fun sewing projects. Thanks for following and I am following back:)

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    1. It is a fun project, and a great way to use scrap. Thanks for commenting!

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  2. How cute is THAT? That is awesome because the clothes at BAB are so expensive. Love it! Hopping from Life in Bloom. :)
    Mindy @ New Equus - A New Creation
    www.newequus.wordpress.com

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    1. Expensive multiplied by three daughters! And did I mention my three sons who also enjoy bears? Thanks, Mindy!

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  3. Our kids just got their first bears for their birthdays - I hope to make then some more clothes!

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    1. Our girls love how personal the clothing can be. Have fun sewing, and thanks for stopping by!

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  4. These are adorable! We have build a bears and I would love to make homemade clothes for them! I would love for you to link this up at my Homemaking Party :).

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Marcie! I'll check it out. Have fun sewing those dresses - the variations are endless!

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