I just wanted to get a quick post out there about this subject because I walked into my sewing room the other day deciding to finally get organized, and the first order of the day was to tackle my mountain of mending.

In amidst my pile of mending were some Build-A-Bear dresses that I had promised myself that I would adjust to fit the dolls properly. Needless to say, life often gets so busy that some things just tend to get shoved to the bottom of the pile.

But, lo and behold, this weekend I was blessed with a tiny corner of time. So now here I am, and I want to let you in on a little sewing secret that I happened to stumble upon.

We love Build-A-Bear. The only thing that we don’t actually do there is build a bear.

But we just love endlessly perusing all the little clothes and shoes they have that go with them. Now everyone knows that Build-A-Bear shoes are much larger than the 18 inch doll shoes, so that’s a major bummer from the start, but the dresses are a semi-perfect fit. They are just a tad too wide in the bust.

Of course that is what I want to talk about today because we had acquired a fairly good stash of these little dresses. We like them because often you can get them for a steal of a deal. That makes them a cheaper option for those who don’t want to pay for the more expensive brands. Sadly, ours were not seeing much play. Even in the doll world it seems, it is not appropriate to wear a dress that just won’t stay put no matter how much you fuss with it.

I had my mission. I took my pile of dresses and my doll as a guide, and I got to work.

However, I soon came up against a dilemma. I am not an expert seamstress by far, so I really didn’t want to start cutting up all of those cute little ruffles and frills. I could just imagine what kind of a mess I would find myself in, and I would probably end up having to toss the whole lot in the garbage by the end.

So I fudged it. That’s often what I tend to do. If I come face to face with a problem, I fiddle with it until it fits/works/sticks. LOL

Here is what I did.

I put the first dress on the doll.


Okay, so clearly that doesn’t fit. It could do in a pinch, but I wasn’t completely sold. So what to do? I didn’t want to spend a whole lot of time and energy cutting and resizing. Instead, I looked to the back of the dress to see what I could finagle. That’s a thing. I finagle a lot. I’m not about perfection. I just want something that works well enough.

I took off the dress and I laid it flat. Then I realized that all I had to do was remove the Velcro and move it over! It’s that easy! I quickly put the dress back on the doll and measured to get the right fit. Then I picked off the Velcro with a stitch pick and folded the extra fabric over.

Be sure when you fold the fabric over, that you pin the Velcro to both layers. That way when you sew the Velcro back on, it holds the extra fabric in place. You can see where I folded the dress over here:


Next I just sewed the Velcro back on. I also sewed along the top of the extra fabric to keep it from flapping around.


You can see that when I put the dress back on the doll, the Velcro seam is no longer at the centre of the doll’s back. It is now off to the side. But hey, that’s okay because the dress fits! It’s also a very temporary fix. Nothing has been cut, so if you wanted to, you could change your mind down the road and just unstitch it and sew the Velcro back where it was originally. Also, it’s a doll, and they just don’t care. Furthermore, I found that the kid doesn’t care either. Besides, it doesn’t look too bad and it is at the back anyway.


And the front looks ten times better!!

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It fits! And it fits all of the dolls too. Much better don’t you think? I figure that it was worth it considering the ten minutes that it took to do. Now all of the Build-A-Bear dresses will get full on attention and play!

Here’s another done the same way.

Before: (not exactly flattering right?)



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Again all I did was remove the Velcro, fold over the fabric and sew the Velcro back on. Easy as pie and although the seam in the back isn’t centred, who can tell? It’s the front where the party is at! LOL

Besides, my daughter was duly impressed, and that’s all that mattered to me.

Here is another after pic. I didn’t get a chance to take a before pic of this one, but I think you get the point.

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And if your dress doesn’t have Velcro, then do what I did for this one.

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I just turned it inside out, pinched it together in the back, flattened the excess material, lined it up and sewed all the layers together along the top. Again, if I wanted to I could just take the seam out, and it will be good as new.

This worked for me on this dress because all of the tulle hides the excess. It just falls kind of like a puffy tail in the back, and it looks like it is part of the dress. If you don’t have tulle, it would probably just be easier to cut it and create a new seam down the back. I didn’t want to cut it mainly because I didn’t want to accidentally ruin the tulle.

Gee, I wish that my own clothing was so easily altered!

Anyway, I hope this helps someone out there! Enjoy!





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