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Sunday, April 24, 2016

Dollhouse Miniature- Dressing the Bed

This week we are finishing up our little bed project. I asked you all if you wanted to see me dress this bed and the overwhelming response was a huge YES!! So this week we dress our bed.

So the first and probably the most important part of this part of the project actually didn't take place on camera, it was the shopping for the fabric. So I am going to start the blog with that very important step.

I went to the fabric store with a couple of things in mind but I was fairly open to getting what I could find. The things I knew I wanted were:
  1. a fabric that was lightweight so I could get it to drape correctly.
  2. I knew I wanted a muted color scheme, preferably in a brown, green, type of color.
  3. I wanted the design to be subtle and not frilly. I was actually hoping for either a stripe or a plaid.
  4. Whatever the design it had to be in scale

One thing I probably should say right here is that I have been sewing for over half a century, (yikes when did that happen??) My mom and grandmas taught me to sew by hand long before I started school. And my mom taught me to use her sewing machine when I was about 8 years old. So for me a fabric store is someplace I am very at home.

Other than those points I really didn't care what the fabric was. So I started my hunt as I always do in the remnant bins. I love the deals that can be found there but sadly nothing that would work for this project was on hand.

My next stop was the aisle with the “special purchase” fabrics. I love this area because I never know what I will find. And believe me when I say I have found some real treasures in this area sometimes. And this is where I struck gold so to speak. The piece of fabric I got was actually the second one I found, the first was almost right but the design was just a hair too large for my taste.

So how does this fabric fit into my requirements I listed above? Well, although it was labeled as a taffeta, it is very thin and lightweight. The only problem with that part is being a taffeta it is a bit stiffer than I was hoping for. The color is exactly what I was mentally picturing as I created the bed. It is a stripe, which is what I was hoping for, And as for scale, this stripe is soooo tiny. I absolutely love this fabric and I have a feeling it will use all of it over the next couple of years. I can picture it on a mini couch too.

So the only real drawback to the fabric for this project was that I knew going in it would be stiff. How stiff I wasn't sure of until I got home and played with it a bit. Since I have been sewing for so long I do have few tricks up my sleeve when it comes to handling fabric.

So the first thing I tried to decrease the stiffness of the fabric was to simply get it wet and dry it. Many times this step will do the trick because the manufacturers put a finish on some fabric to make them appear more polished in the store. Once you remove this finish you can see what you are working with. With our fabric today this did help a lot.

Another challenge with any woven fabric is that the edges will fray if you don't seal them in some way. I really was hoping to not have to add a hem because that would have made the cover a bit more difficult to work with. I was lucky in that Fray Check was able to seal the edge and not leave too much of an obvious line. This product is always the first thing I try. If it hadn't worked I would have probably just sewn a narrow hem on my sewing machine.

Since I didn't need a hem I was able to cut my fabric to the exact size I wanted it to be. If you have to add a hem to your fabric you need to cut your fabric big enough to allow for this.

Since the bed it made of foam I was able to pin the cover onto the bed. I always try to make just a spritz of water work to make the fabric lay down. With many fabrics it will work. Our taffeta was just a bit too stiff still for that to work.

You have several options when water alone doesn't hold the fabric. Hair spray and spray starch are both good choices and I did use them often. This time I just had a feeling the taffeta was a bit too unruly for either of them to work so I went the the other option and used glue. Since I already had my hot glue gun ready for attaching the headboard to the bed that was what I used. The big advantage to hot glue is not drying time, once it cools you are good to go. The drawback to any glue is it makes it harder to change the bedding later. Also you need to be very careful not to get glue where it will show or allow it to soak through the fabric.

So there is the how and the why of our bed.

Now as I promised here is a link to the bed I dressed in a previous video. This one is much more frilly with lots of pillows.

Be sure to send me pictures if you make a bed, I love to see what you make from my tutorials.

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