3 Apr 2012

Oliver-la's New Pants

One of Bijou's nearest and dearests is a fuzzy bear named Oliver. Well his real name is Oliver but for as long as mon petit poppet could talk he was called Ovila. As she grew and her language skills blossomed he became affectionately known as Oliver-la and it has stuck.

Well Oliver-la is rather a gender neutral chap and although he gads about answering to his masculine name he isn't averse to dress ups in all manner of frilly garb...particularly florals. And can this fellow play a convincing girl bear? My word...he'd rival Dustin Hoffman's Tootsie I dare say!

On a particularly loony day I came down the hall and into the lounge room after depositing another tonne of folded washing into it's cupboard homes to find my "eager beaver" ferreting madly through my very neatly folded vintage sheet fat quarters in search of the perfect fabric to make Oliver-la some new pants. I'll be honest. I tried the "wrap the sheet around said bear and fasten with a peg" trick. Not happening!! The "rolled up like sausage roll number zhooshed up with a stray piece of gingham ribbon" ensemble? No...the girl wanted proper pants! Zheesh !!!

Not having the mental capacity on such a day to deal with pattern pieces, an effervescent toddler and Mr. Roly Poly (oh yes....the little man has a new moniker now that he can roll all over the place!) I decided to wing it. And here's how we did it. Take one Oliver-la and lay him down onto the open end of a vintage pillowcase. Make sure his feet hang over the bottom as the hem of the pillowcase is going to be the hem of his pants. Trés sneaky I know. Cut around Oliver-la's legs leaving enough room for his fluff (the pants in the pictures ended up a wee bit snug so for the other ones we allowed a much bigger seam allowance)

With right sides together we pinned the side seams and the inside leg seams and sewed them together on old Jan....very slowly....with poppet removing each pin one....at....a....time. Deep breathing to make a Himalayan yogi master proud!

The curved seams were snipped to allow a bit of ease of movement for the fuzzy fellow.

A rough centimetre hem was folded over on the wast band and sewn. I say rough because I was at this time balancing a bony bottomed toddler on my lap, pressing the presser foot with one foot and bouncing Monsieur Remoulade's rocker with the other. Why oh why did I decide to do this....and what made me think I could manage taking bloody photos at the same time! Delusion I tell you!!

This hem was then folded over to allow the only untangled piece of elastic I could get my mits on (Mon dieu! Must make time to discuss Mumma's craft space and the associated boundaries with my girl!) and sewn three quarters of the way around allowing an opening to thread the elastic through.

Wrestle Oliver-la and lie him still in order to measure around his tummy with the elastic overlapping by a few centimetres.

Feed the elastic through the opening using effervescent toddler to hold the other end and thus avoiding that end of elastic inside the casing saga which at this stage would have most definitely resulted in tears.

Sew the elastic together many a time as effervescent toddler (now morphing into rather uninterested and bored toddler!) enjoys being in charge of the back stitch button.

Sew up the opening and breathe a giant sigh of relief that we are almost done.

Dress that dapper bear and have him parade about in his new finery lip syncing Right Said Fred's "I'm Too Sexy ".

Make a strong cup of decaf coffee....oh the injustice of it all! And wait patiently at the mail box for my Mother of the year nomination.

What's that my love? Oliver-la needs a shirt now! Insert maniacal laugh here!!


  1. Super cute but i just have to state the obvious! If Oliver-La was passing convincingly as a girl before the pants, once he put those snug pants on he definitely would be squeaking with a higher pitch!

  2. Bravo! I think you did a marvellous job making Oliver-la some trousers. Good luck with the tee making :)

  3. What a post! I had a good giggle. Every bear needs a pair of skinny pants, its quite the fashion you know. That said, I suddenly like Big Ted's style: t-shirt, but no pants. :)

  4. Mother of the year award on its way:)
    Love them and the too tight, sewn into and shove his fur in pants.
    My she has grown, Miss you guys
    x K

  5. I love Oliver-la... Ms M has a similar teddy but her does not have a cute name like that...but she does have a huge cat toy called Ga-ga....yes like lady gaga but not named after her....that's how both my kids called cats!!! And steph you certainly deserve mother of the year with that effort!!!fancy sewing, juggling toddler,photo snapping and rocking the bouncer....woozers!!! You should be called saint mother steph!!! I bet Oliver-la loves his pants xx


Your words brighten my day! Thank-you so much for joining me on my adventure. x