From The Editor –
I had planned on having some snow days to do some much
needed (and wanted) sewing. Looks as though it will have
to wait, but my list is ready! In the meantime, I hope this
issue will be the best Valentine you receive, and I can
assure you it will not add any inches to your waist!
We are delighted to welcome back our guest this month,
Anne Marie Phelps from Peanut Butter & Jelly Kids. Anne
Marie has a marvelous shop which is a must see if you are
in the Mobile, AL area. From Christening Gowns to First
Communion dresses, and from Portrait to Azalea Trail
dresses, she does it all. Such a talented seamstress, Anne
Marie creates the most elaborate of heirloom dresses, but
all designed in such good taste.
We are thrilled to have such a renowned antique doll expert
as Louise Hedrick with us as we journey through the world
of dolls of both yesterday and today during the next year.
Her wealth of information is unsurpassed and we are
grateful for her sharing.
Our doll series continues with Annabelle and Ping back to
make you aware of Heart Health month. So grab your box
of chocolates – the one you bought for yourself! – and
enjoy this edition of Bear In Mind.
If you are a first time reader of our newsletter, you can see
all previous editions by going to our website
www.bearthreadsltd.com, select the newsletter tab at the
top of the page and enjoy.
National Wear Red Day
February 6, 2015
We all know that February is American Heart
Month, a time for increased heart and health
awareness and a time to increase your
knowledge about the different heart related
diseases and their prevention. National Wear Red
Day was initiated in 2002 by the American Heart
Association in order to raise awareness
specifically of women’s’ heart disease.
Cardiovascular disease is the number one killer
of women. National Wear Red Day seeks to
empower women to become aware of more
healthy eating habits, exercise, quitting smoking,
and better cholesterol and weight maintenance.
On this day churches, clubs and health
organizations hold seminars and public outreach
events to educate people about prevention and
screening of heart disease.
Bear in Mind
An electronic newsletter from Bear Threads Ltd. Volume 7 – Issue 2 February 2015
Peanut Butter-n-Jelly Kids
“Your Source for Creating Heirlooms”
Beautiful fabrics and laces are all you need
to make all babies royalty. I fell in love
with these fine textiles over 30 years ago!
Smocking tiny stitches on pleats and
sewing laces together to make intricate
designs, and teaching others to replicate
fabulous creations. Many have come to
me asking for the pattern to make that
“dress” or “outfit” and I reply, you use a
basic pattern for all, it is the fabric you
design that you cut your basic pattern
from. Once you learn the basic techniques
for the different applications,
masterpieces can be created. You do need
time because all the heirlooms are works
I love to go to work! I get share my
knowledge and skills of all fine sewing
techniques, beautiful silks, cottons, voiles,
and batistes to all that come in! The best
time is when I can sit down with a
grandmother or a mother and design that
one of a kind family heirloom! We will
draw it out on paper, calculate the
yardages and finally write out the step by
step instructions. Then as the weeks go by,
we will see that precious child adorned in
beauty and love!
Here are some of my favorites!
See You Stitching, Anna Marie Phelps
“Heirlooms for the Portraits that is timeless”
Romper Pattern by “Chery Williams”
Fabric: Aqualine Blue Swiss Dimity Check
Peanut Butter -n- Jelly Kids
By Sarah Howard Stone
The only pattern alteration is that the sleeves
were left out and the arm eyes were finished
with a bias strip.
Dress is made with a combination of Swiss
Embroidered Eyelets, French Laces.
Seaform Swiss batiste has 1/8th tucks strips to
add a focal in the center of the yoke and fancy
band in the dress.
I love the three colors, white, ecru, and
My newest published smocking plate smocked on an
English Net Collar over a beautiful Bearissima Swiss
batiste yoke dress. The Collar is smocked with silk
threads from Madeira and tiny glass beads from Mill Hill.
Pattern by Children’s Corner, The back was dropped and the beautiful Netted laces gathered
and attached around the neckline. The Fancy band in the skirt is alternating rows of matching
netted lace insertion and double face satin ribbons. The 2 1-inch tucks balance the look. Also
gives a 4” possible length if needed in the future! The fabrics are silk organza and the lining a
Swiss batiste. The instructions for the braided sash and dropped back bodice can be found on
the Children Corner Website.
It is so hard to find appropriate dresses for our older girls and still keep them dressed Beautiful
for those special occasions! The girls that wore this loved it!
Exploring Antique Dolls
It is with pleasure that I will be presenting you
with a peek into my world of antique dolls in the
coming year. In exploring this period of world
history, it is noted that the focus and expertise in
the production of bisque and porcelain dolls was
focused on Germany and France during the 19th
century. In the coming months we will look at the
popular categories of both china (glazed
porcelain) and bisque dolls of both countries: the
lady fashion, both German and French, the French
bebes, the German children and babies, and the
popular all bisque from both countries.
Sewers the world over delight in costuming these
dolls and providing lavish wardrobes as their
counterparts did more than 100 years ago when
the dolls were created. Today, the French
fashions are the most popular. They have their
choice of the rare antiques or the beautiful
reproductions of these same dolls that are
produced by the highly talented reproduction
artists. To give you a brief look into this world, I
am attaching pictures of two of my antiques from
the well known company of Germany, Kammer
and Reinhardt, marked K*R 101, popularly known
as ‘Marie”, the first of their character children,
produced in 1909 (#100 was a baby). She is 14”
with a bisque head on a jointed composition
body. The second picture shows a doll by the
French Bru Company, the very popular and sought
after Bru Jeune. She is marked on her shoulder
plate “Bru Jne” on one side and “8” on the other.
She is 21” tall, bisque head, shoulder plate and
lower arms, with a jointed kid body. She was
made circa 1885. Both of the dolls have been
costumed by me in heirloom sewn attire.
About the Author
Louise Hedrick is a renowned antique
doll expert, author, teacher and
costume designer, specializing in
French fashion, bebes and all-bisque
dolls. She is very active in doll
organizations, including the
International Guild of Miniature
Artisans (IGMA), the United
Federation of Dolls Clubs (UFDC) and
travels extensively throughout the
United States teaching both the
historical and technical aspects of doll
costuming. She is also a Doll Artisan
Guild (DAG) Guest Instructor, teaching
seminars on creating authentic
antique doll costumes.
Louise contributed all the patterns for
Barbara Hilliker’s 2002 book, Bleuette,
the Doll and Her Wardrobe, and in
2005 was the co-author of Bleutte
Clothing Patterns, 1905-1916. Her
latest book is A French Fashion Doll’s
Wardrobe, Patterns 1864-1874. She
also shares her knowledge and
expertise in the articles she writes for
publications such as Doll News and
Sewing for Dolls – Tip #2
Since seams for 18″ dolls are usually
1/4″, it’s handy to use a 1/4″ presser
foot. Usually used in machine piecing
for quilting, the 1/” presser foot will help
to maintain a consistent seam
Annabelle and Ping ‘Go Red’
Women’s Heart Health
Ping has settled into her ‘home for a year’ living with
Annabelle and has made lots of new friends. She loves
American school and has discovered there are more social
clubs and activities for her than she had at home. Of course
winters in Connecticut are quite different than in
Singapore, but being so busy she does not have time to
shiver – well not much!
Annabelle and Ping are both in a community service club
at school. The membership rules stipulate that they
volunteer with a local charity or health organization. They
chose the American Heart Association which annually
hosts a ladies luncheon to bring awareness to young girls
and women regarding heart healthy lifestyles. Being two
young girls who love a party, Annabelle and Ping thought
this was just the best opportunity they could imagine. And
it was the perfect occasion to combine St. Valentine’s Day
decorations with their Heart Health Awareness promotions.