The Bears

These Bears live in a little house, which is filled with books, antiques, and all the little things scholarly bears enjoy collecting. Officially it was Ted’s house and the others kind of just moved in with him, but by now most just see it as the bear house.

Fuzzy Wuzzy – A small little bear; all he wants in the world is to be tall and handsome. Instead he is little and fuzzy. He lives with Ted, but he does not care for books or studying. He does love musicals and the theater and wouldn’t mind starring in one someday. Eventually he ends up in the land of the Little People and he (sort of) saves them all from the dragons, after which the Korean Princess Bear falls in love with him and finds him the handsomest, bravest man ever.

Kuro – Most of the time he lives with the Little People, but, being a cousin of Fuzzy Wuzzy, he sometimes lives with the bears. Unlike his cousin, he actually enjoys reading – as long as the story is high adventure with lots of fighting. He loves to imagine himself as a brave adventurer but ends up merely getting others to do all the work.

Ted – Hailing from South Korea, Ted loves reading difficult books, learning languages, studying natural science, and world travel. In fact, he really is the epitome of the perfect Victorian gentleman. He is a bachelor and really appreciates the quiet life of living alone (or rather, he did enjoy the quiet life of living alone until several other bears moved in with him). For work, he tutors anyone in any of the languages he is fluent in. He owns a massive library and loves tending his little garden.

The Korean Princess Bear – Miss Princess is very quiet and shy. She used to live with the Little People and helped rule over them as one of their Princesses. But when Fuzzy Wuzzy came along, she fell in love with him and now lives with him. She prefers to stay inside or stroll in their little garden and avoids the town. Sometimes she goes out and visits the Little People, though usually Fuzzy Wuzzy is with her.

Beatrice – She is a world traveler and is almost always gone traveling. Every once in a while she travels with Ted, and they originally met while touring China. When she is in town, she spends her time editing and publishing her travel journals, and visiting with the people of the town. As soon as she publishes her latest memoirs, she is off again visiting some new and delightful land.

Edwardian Undergarments Supplies

Supplies Needed:

  • ½ yd white lightweight cotton
  • ¼ yd white flannel
  • 1 package single fold bias tape
  • 15” 3mm wax covered cord
  • 1 yd 1mm cotton cord
  • 10 – 4mm eyelets
  • 9 buttons 10mm, 7mm, or 5mm wide
  • 1 yd – ¼” wide lace

Most of the supplies used in this pattern are easy to find, but a couple are not as much, so I will talk over what I used so you can use either what I used or find something similar.

First is the lightweight cotton. As you can see, most of the girls have their undergarments made from a simple bleached muslin – easy to find at any fabric store. Nellie, however, has hers made from cotton voile, a much lighter weight fabric.

Left is muslin, Right is voile

If you decide to use voile, you cannot use it for the corset. The corset needs a slightly heavier weight fabric than voile. Muslin will work for the corset especially since it is lined with 100% cotton flannel.

Cotton flannel should be easy to find as well as the single fold bias tape. As you can see in this picture, I used a variety of colors of bias tape around the edges. Various creams and tans, white, and pale pink.

You can use whatever color you like. I think I prefer the white on white, and it feels the most accurate. This example is cream with cream edging, but I don’t know if some of that is just due to discoloration from aging.

http://manchesterartgallery.org/collections/search/collection/?id=1958.108

I also found a girl’s corset from this time that was made in blue fabric, sadly I can’t find the picture anymore. Really, you could make the corset in whatever colors you want, though I would try to keep them light so that it doesn’t show under any dresses.

The wax covered cord might be a little more difficult to find. The wax cord is used to add support to the corset and is much easier to use than boning. Originally, I used some I had in my stash (pictured above) but later I bought this and it worked well.

1mm cotton cord is quite small and I was unable to find it at Hobby Lobby or Joanns, so many of the dolls have lacing that is kind of thick. So long as your cord will fit through your eyelets you should be fine.

For the eyelets I was unable to find anything smaller than 4mm at Hobby Lobby. I think something slightly smaller, like 3mm, would look a bit better, especially on the smaller dolls. But, sadly, I have been unable to find any. I have heard that you might be able to find eyelets that would be smaller in the scrap-booking section, so maybe look there, I didn’t remember that when I was looking.

When you do buy your eyelets, make sure they come with some little extra pieces so you can pound them in.

I was very happy to be able to find some teeny tiny buttons at Hobby Lobby, which work perfectly for doll clothing. In the past when I have looked at Joanns I was unable to find buttons that small, so I don’t know if they have them or not. But having your buttons to scale with your doll really make the overall effect much more realistic looking.

For the lace, you can use whatever 1/4″ wide lace you want. Have fun picking the lace out and I hope you enjoy making these undergarments. 🙂

 

The History behind the Edwardian Undergarments Pattern

Corset – For little girls this wasn’t the restricting garment of their mothers. Instead it was a corded (not boned) garment designed merely to encourage a girl to sit and stand with good posture and train them to be ladies.  It laces in the back for a perfect fit (not too tight but not too loose) but buttons in the front so that the young lady can dress herself. Most corsets that I have seen also have buttons or tabs for attaching to the drawers or to petticoats or garters; this doll version does not have them, mostly because a little doll won’t be moving about near as much as a little girl does.

Chemise – The chemise was a simple garment worn next to the skin and under the corset. This way sweat and dirt wouldn’t affect the corset and instead would only soil the chemise, which was easily laundered. Being that the Edwardians loved as much lace and frill as possible, this “simple” garment was frequently quite decked out. My version only has a bit of lace on the hem because I intended it to have Samantha’s Lacey Whites worn over it as a corset cover and petticoat. If you wish, it would be a simple alteration to add some lace around the neck and sleeves.

Samantha’s Lacey Whites made from the pattern here.

Drawers – By the Edwardian era drawers had gotten short so that they didn’t show underneath dresses, but they still featured a bit of frill. Because of all the layers of clothing still worn, especially the corset, drawers were generally still split crotch. This made it much easier to use the lavatory, especially if one’s drawers were buttoned to one’s corset. This dolly version is not buttoned to anything but I still figured it would be easier for the dolls if they didn’t have to fiddle with buttons whenever they needed to use the facilities. 😉

Here are the links to some more examples:

https://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47e1-1eef-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99

http://collections.musee-mccord.qc.ca/scripts/viewobject.php?Lang=1&section=false&accessnumber=M2006.110.1&imageID=316076&pageMulti=2

http://manchesterartgallery.org/collections/search/collection/?id=1958.108

http://omgthatdress.tumblr.com/post/39966311855/girls-corset-1890-the-victoria-albert-museum

Edwardian Undergarments Sewing Pattern

(For more detail on the pattern see here, here, and here.)

As I explained in an earlier post here, All my Parkington girls needed proper Edwardian underwear, so I set about making them. This led to me developing a sewing pattern so that others can make proper undergarments for their dolls. This pattern includes instructions to make a chemise, drawers, and a corset-waist. You can purchase the different sizes here: 14″, 16″, 18″

The pattern is rated at intermediate, but most of the individual steps are easy, so if you follow the directions carefully it shouldn’t be too hard. Of course if you run into any problems please don’t hesitate to contact me at TheresaEStruebel@gmail.com  and I will be willing to help you out.

Coming in 3 sizes; 14″, 16″, and 18″; this pattern should provide whatever size you need, fitting Heart for Hearts dolls, Wellie Wishers dolls, Ginger Brook Hollow Dolls, A Girl for all Time dolls, and American Girl Dolls.

If your doll is similarly sized to one of these dolls it might fit, though you may need to tweak the pattern a little, i.e. moving the closures. Here is a table with the measurements of my dolls so you can compare.

Wellie Wishers doll Hearts for Hearts doll
Bust 7” 6 ¾”
Waist 6 ½” 6”
Hip 8” 7 ¼”
Back neck to Waist 3 ½” 2 ¾”
Shoulder to Wrist 4 ¼” 4”
Arm 3” 2 ½”
Wrist 2 ½” 1 ¾”
Shoulder to Floor 11 ½” 11”
Neck 4” 4”
Inseam 5 ¾” 6”
Waist to Floor 7 ¾” 7 ¾”
Head circumference 10 ½” 10”
A Girl for all Time doll Ginger Brook Hollow doll
Bust 8” 7 ½”
Waist 7 ½” 6 ¾”
Hip 9” 8 ½”
Back neck to Waist 3 ½” 4”
Shoulder to Wrist 6” 5 ½”
Arm 3 ½” 3”
Wrist 2 ¾” 2 ½”
Shoulder to Floor 13” 13”
Neck 4 ¾” 4”
Inseam 7” 6 ½”
Waist to Floor 9” 9”
Head circumference 11 ¼” 10”
American Girl Doll
Bust 12”
Waist 11 ½”
Hip 12 ½”
Back neck to Waist 4 ½”
Shoulder to Wrist 5 ¾”
Arm 4 ¼”
Wrist 3 ¾”
Shoulder to Floor 14 ¾”
Neck 6”
Inseam 7”
Waist to Floor 10”
Head circumference 12 ½”

Fuzzy Wuzzy and the Dragons

One dull afternoon, Ted, Todd, and Fuzzy Wuzzy were sitting around reading books. At least, Ted and Todd – being intellectual – were reading; Fuzzy Wuzzy was not. He prefers to daydream about being tall and handsome and daring.

“Why do no exciting things happen around here?” Fuzzy Wuzzy complained to no one in particular. “I don’t even have the chance to be brave and daring.”

Ted, being the oldest and wisest of the bears, responded, “If one really wants adventure, one’s best bet is to go looking for it rather than sitting on my couch complaining about the lack of it.” He then immediately resumed reading his rather weighty book on philosophy.

“Well, that is a shame, because I don’t really like the outdoors much, or the dirt or mountains, or any of the stuff that goes along with adventures. I think I would prefer to just lay in here and imagine adventures,” replied Fuzzy Wuzzy.

Just then, in burst their little friend Kuro, who immediately started jabbering about something exciting going on in the little people world.

“Slow down, slow down,” pleaded Fuzzy Wuzzy. “What’s going on?”

“It’s dragons! They’ve attacked the Little People and captured some of the princesses! Please help! We need some Big People to help fight the dragons!” explained Kuro.

“Oh” Considered Fuzzy Wuzzy, “I wouldn’t mind saving a princess. I’ll go with you.”

Of course he wasn’t considering the fact that he would need to go outside and actually fight the dragons first.

So, Fuzzy Wuzzy and Kuro made their way to the Little People Village and they all started talking about the plan to defeat the dragons.

“Fuzzy Wuzzy here is a strong, brave fighter, unlike me, and can definitely defeat the dragons,” Kuro announced.

“Good,” the Little People said. “We have a few brave warriors, but none of them are big enough or strong enough to wield the great sword, Andúril. Fuzzy Wuzzy obviously can wield it.”

So the two Bitty Bears carried the sword in and presented it to a dubious Fuzzy Wuzzy.

Then, all the brave warriors set off to fight the dragons. The others cheered them on and waved goodbye.

Soon the brave Little People reached the cliff bordering the Dragon’s land.

“If you don’t give us our princesses back, we will fight you!” shouted the Little People.

The ferocious dragons simply looked down their noses at the little fighters and explained that they would not return the ladies until the Little People gave them their land back.

Fuzzy Wuzzy didn’t say a word throughout the negotiations; he was stricken silent by fear of the great beasts.

“You don’t even use that land!” exclaimed the warriors. “If you don’t use it, someone else should be able to, so we will fight you!”

And without another word they charged down the canyon toward the cliff.

Fuzzy Wuzzy was too scared to move, so he sat and watched the proceedings, feeling sicker and sicker….

It was quite a struggle to scale the great cliffs, but slowly and steadily, the little people worked their way up the cliff towards the patiently waiting dragons.

After being sick, Fuzzy Wuzzy finally broke out of his paralysis and made a decision.

“This is way beyond me. I am not built for this kind of life! I’m outta here.”

And with that, he turned on his heel and started walking back the way he came.

Meanwhile, the brave fighters began the battle, using numbers and their unusual abilities to try to defeat the dragons.

As much as the Little People wanted their vengeance, the dragons wanted peace. They are very strong, powerful creatures. They could even take out entire cities if they were so inclined. These dragons were not vindictive and preferred the quiet life to fighting, so they did not use fire, and tried their best to not actually injure the Little People.

The Little People took advantage of the situation, and even though a few were knocked down, the rest of them used all manner of techniques to try to take the dragons down. Some would distract the ferocious beasts while others snuck around to fight them from behind.

“Please! we really don’t want to fight. We would rather talk and work something out…” explained Great Red.

“Talking is for lame people! We are great warriors! We fight out our problems!” exclaimed the Little People.

Thus, the furious fighting continued.

As soon as Fuzzy Wuzzy started to walk back to the village, he got lost.

Really, really lost.

So lost that sitting around didn’t help him get un-lost.

Neither did trying to walk back the way he came. That just got him more lost.

So Fuzzy Wuzzy stopped to rest on a rock in the sun. While sitting, he remembered some wise words he’d heard once about adventuring: “When lost in the wilderness, first find water, and then climb to the highest point.”

Up ahead, he saw a gorge with running water, so he crossed it and made his way uphill.

Then, he climbed up a huge fallen tree to the top of the mountain.

At the top, he heard some feminine voices singing. Following the voices, he stumbled upon a cave, and in the cave, were the lost princesses!

“Hello!” shouted Fuzzy Wuzzy. “Are you the lost princesses?”

“Of course we are,” replied Princess Peach. “Are you here to save us?”

“Yep,” said Fuzzy Wuzzy, holding out his sword to help the princesses climb down.

“You know the way back, right?” they asked.

“Of course,” lied Fuzzy Wuzzy. “Otherwise how would I have gotten here?”

So he started to lead them down the mountain, but of course, got them lost.

Once he was certain they were lost, he confessed to the princesses, who, knowing the land very well, soon found the cliff where the fight was taking place.

“What in the world do you think you all are doing?” shouted Princess Peach. Immediately, the fighting stopped.

“We were trying to save you!” the little warriors shouted.

“We were hoping you could all reach a peaceable agreement. That was why we let ourselves be kidnapped in the first place,” explained Princess Peach. “We don’t really need that land, so why can’t it be the dragons’ land? We can make do with what we have. In fact, we have no right to go about taking what isn’t ours.”

Everyone was silent for a while, thinking it through.

“Technically, we don’t need all the land either,” replied the dragons. “Maybe we should split the land in half.”

Everyone agreed to that. Fuzzy Wuzzy was proclaimed a very wise hero (even though most of what he did was by accident). And then, they all lived happily ever after. (….at least, till the next adventure.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Felicity Gets Dressed

Good Morning! My name is Felicity and I live in 1774 and I am going to get dressed this morning!

First, I open my drawer and get out my socks.

These stockings are very simple – perfect for running around, because they are easy to repair.

Then, I have to tie garters around my stockings to hold them up. Puddley stockings are not proper.

A perfect bow, first try!

Next, is my stay. This is my least favorite article of clothing – it’s so restricting – but I must wear it, according to my mother.

I need my mother’s help to tie it. At least it isn’t to tight; just right so that I keep my posture, but while wearing it, it’s still hard to ride horses.

Next I need my petticoat.

I like this one because it is bright blue, such a pretty color.

All tied up and pretty.

All my dresses are on the top shelf and according to my mother I should get help to get them down, but I can safely climb on the drawer and get them down.

See, no problem!

Today I’ve decided to wear just a jacket instead of a dress – that way, it’s less layers.

Also, I can lace it myself, since it laces up the front.

All done!

Well, not quite. I still need my shoes.

And, I need to tie my hair back. No point in brushing it when it’s just going to get windblown while riding horses, I think. Mother would probably tell me to brush it anyways.

Every proper lady must also always wear a cap.

And she should really clean up after herself.

Finally, I am all dressed and ready for a day of riding horses, hopefully. More likely I will have to sit and sew and practice my penmanship and be a “lady”.

 

The Parkingtons

Mr. Parkington accidentally received a letter from Mr. Larson about the Island and decided to move his family there. The Parkingtons were quickly able to establish themselves on the Island and are the richest family there. Mr. Parkington frequently acts as the town mayor and Cornelia runs the town Library. At the moment I am missing Mr. Parkington in doll form, although, I hope to have him soon.

Based off of the American Girl Character Samantha Parkington

Mrs. Cornelia Parkington – In her time she would have been considered quite the forward thinker, championing woman’s and children’s rights. Back in New York she was a leader for a woman’s right to vote, but here on the Island everyone has an equal say in matters of importance, so she has instead devoted herself to helping the children. Thus, she runs the town library, freeing children by giving them the power to learn whatever they want and helping them develop whatever skills they might need. While she can be quite serious minded, she also has quite a playful side and wouldn’t hesitate to sit on the floor and play crazy imaginative games with her children, read aloud adventure stories, and build forts, all while still being a lady in every sense of the word.

Samantha Parkington – Samantha is technically Gardener and Cornelia’s niece, however, her parents died when she was young and for a time was raised by her grandmother. When her grandmother remarried, she was sent to live with Gard and Cornelia, and when they adopted Nellie, Bridget, and Jenny, they adopted Samantha as well. Samantha thoroughly enjoys all her sisters and her new baby brother (Cornelia and Gardner’s first child) and love to play with them all and is quite the leader of them. In fact she is quite the leader wherever she goes, leading and planning projects rather than doing much of the work. (she just isn’t talented at anything else) Her best friends are her sister, Nellie, and Addy Walker. They both love to hear her big ideas and help carry them out, while also being the voices of reason since they are so practical. She is generally friendly, though, because of her leader personality she has made a few enemies (only short term). And her composure and bearing is that of a high born child, she lacks humility and disregards failure. To her there is no failing, just trying something a different way.

 

Nellie Parkington – Her parents were immigrants from Ireland and they had a hard time in America. For a time Nellie and her sisters were able to live in the country where they first met Samantha, but then hard times came again and they went back to the city to work in a factory. Sadly, her parents died in the city and the sisters were sent to an orphanage. Eventually Samantha found them and convinced her aunt and uncle to adopt them. Ever since then, Nellie, Bridget, and Jenny have had an easy life living in high-class society. However, because of her past, Nellie is much more practical than Samantha and tends to have a knack for just about any practical activity, like sewing, baking, building, cleaning, cooking, etc. Nellie also loves helping other people out and recently started welcoming people to the town when they arrive at the docks, and helping them get on their feet in a new and sometimes strange place.

Bridget Parkington – Bridget has a very sweet, angelic soul. She is friends with everyone and can always say kind things about anyone. She loves very girly things and really is not interested in running or climbing trees, preferring to hold her baby brother, William, or take him on walks around town. Of course she doesn’t like to be separated from her sisters and is often found playing or reading or sewing with them. In fact, all four of them can be quite inseparable.

Jenny Parkington – Jenny is much more lively than her two sisters, much more like Samantha in that way. In fact she looks up to Samantha and practically worships her. She loves climbing trees and playing with boys as much as she enjoys playing with dolls or listening to a good book. However, her favorite activity is visiting all the animals on the Larson farm, helping out with them and playing with Peder.

William Parkington – He is the first natural child of Cornelia and Gardener Parkington. Since he is still a baby, nobody quite knows his personality. He is a very loved and well looked after baby, what with four older sisters who all absolutely adore him.