Friday 13 March 2015

How I made a Care Bear toddler dress

     Growing up in the 1980s it’s fair to say that I developed a love of Care Bears that has probably never truly left me, which is why I was excited to find this vintage Care Bear fabric on eBay.
Everyone likes Care Bears

     There was just enough to make a matching pair of dresses for two adorable little toddlers that I know, but I had to be super thrifty with how I cut all the pieces out. I also wanted to try and match up the front and back fabric so that the pattern would look continuous despite the side seams so careful planning was crucial.
     To make the pattern I adjusted the ‘Ahoy’ top pattern, simply making the skirt longer so that it was closer to a dress than a top. I also bought some plain white cotton to line the dress as I knew that it would make the Care Bear fabric stand out more with a stronger white background.
     It was constructed much like the green dress I’d made before so that it was fully lined, concealing all the raw edges:

  • Once all the fabric was cut I attached the front fabric with the front lining along the top edge (right side to right side), and then the same again with the back pieces of fabric. 
  • Then I attached the front and back pieces together by sewing the side seams – lining to lining and facing fabric to facing fabric. 
  • Now the tricky bit – I turned the dress in on itself and sewed the bottom hem together (ride side to right side) leaving a gap to pull all the dress back through once sewing was completed, before top stitching to close the gap and give a neat finish. 
  • Next I top stitched along the entire neckline and around the shoulder straps.
  • Finally I hand stitched on buttons and made buttonholes, which can be time consuming when your sewing machine doesn’t have a buttonhole stitching function!

     I was really happy with the result, I feel I’ve definitely got the knack for this type of garment and it’s a design that can be scaled up as the children grow so it’s a good one to master. 
Care Bear toddler dress
The back (and a little Care Bear friend)

Care Bear toddler dress
Front of the dress

     I did spend a little extra on the top stitching on this project as my friend that I gifted one of the dresses to is super creative and exceptionally skilled at sewing - she even studied fashion design at college and university - so I knew that she’d spot my amateur errors right away! However, even if she did spot any mistakes she’s not mentioned it, probably because we’ve been Care Bear buddies for as long as either of us can remember, and no amount of dodgy hems could change that.

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