An Interesting Experiment

I don’t remember if I’ve ever mentioned in my posts that I used to collect teddy bears. Primarily Boyds Bears, but also a couple of other brands mixed in as well. I think I finally reached the saturation point and I lost interest. I’ve sold off some of them on Ebay, but I still have a lot. A couple of years ago I was out thrift store shopping with a friend when I came cross a really cute one. I didn’t need it but it was less than $4 for one of the larger ones, so I figured why not. It has been sitting in the rocking chair in my living room ever since. That has to be at least 3, maybe 4 years ago.

A couple of nights ago I was walking through the living room and I looked at that bear. All of a sudden this idea popped into my head: would the adorable coat on the bear fit an 18 inch doll??? I finished what I was doing, grabbed the bear and one of my dolls and tried it out. The results???


It fit!! And I think it looks great. Here are some shots with the hood up too:
boyds-2    boyds-3

As you can imagine, this got me to thinking about some other ones I had in my collection, so I went fishing through the storage bins. Several were cute, but couldn’t be used because they were either attached to the bear or had accessories sewn on. No biggie. I still came up with two that I wanted to try.

First off, this cute little coat:

This one didn’t work so well. First the obvious, the sleeves are too short. If it were a dress instead of a coat, it probably would be okay, but it’s definitely coat material. The other problem was up around the neck, it was cut really weird and when I buttoned it up, poor Louisa was practically choking to death. Back on the bear! I think the difference between this coat and the other one is that the sleeves on the first one were actually way too long for the bear.

The next item fit a bit better though:


Isn’t this adorable? The only drawback is that I had to put it on over her head, no closure at all, so her poor hair! It might take me a couple of days to get her hair back to normal, what was I thinking?!?! If I were to use it on a doll again, it would be on one with smooth, short hair like Kit or Cassandra. No curls!

2 our of 3 isn’t a bad result! It’s kind of nice to know that I have a couple of extra pieces of clothing around if I need them. Plus I frequently see Boyds Bears in thrift stores, now I’ll be paying more attention to what they are wearing! I know quite a few of my readers are thrift store fans, so for reference, these items came off a 14 inch tall Boyds Bear. If you find anything in your travels, I’d love to see it!!


21 thoughts on “An Interesting Experiment

    • Ours seldom have porcelain dolls for some reason. Not sure if it’s lack of donations or they set them aside for some other purpose since they are fragile. ???

  1. I love the acorn sweater! After sweltering sticky heat all week, it’s 49 degrees this morning and perfect weather for an acorn sweater.

    • I hear you! I bought a new coat online and could barely try it on for fear of sweating. SO glad to see the cooler temps at last, this is normal.

  2. I was a huge Boyd’s bear fan too!!! Did you ever go to that flagship store where you adopted the baby bear? It was in Gettysburg area. My daughter still has her “Jacoby.” Remember what a kook the guy was on QVC. I miss all of it!

    • Yes Tammy, several times. We used to go to Washington DC fairly often and we usually came home that way just for that reason. I was so sad to hear that Boyds Bear Country closed, it was such a fun place. And how could anyone forget crazy Gary, I think he used to deliberately do goofy stuff just to embarrass poor Mary Beth!!!

  3. That is so neat! I’ll have to be on the lookout for bears at resale shops now 😀 I never collected Boyds, but I do have a BUNCH of Bearingtons. Originally I wanted to use the Bearingtons with the dolls on my blog. But the bears just aren’t as expressive and easy to pose so it didn’t work out,

  4. I love the fur on the coat, it looks super cute! I think that the sweater is very pretty, but I always worry about reds and color transfer to my dolls.

    • I’ll be honest, that is something I’ve never had an issue with and my dolls have worn everything! And red is my favorite color, so I have a lot of it. Keep in mind though, my dolls are a bunch of fashionistas and rarely stay in the same outfit for long. I think it’s more of an issue if you leave it on a doll for an extended period of time, particularly if you live in a damp or humid climate.

      That said though, there are a couple of things you can do to help prevent that. First off, test the piece by lightly moistening it and then rubbing your fingers over the wet area. If the dye comes off onto your hands, avoid it altogether. If you are concerned with color transfer due to extended wear, before putting an item on your doll, wash it in a solution of vinegar and salt. You can find exact measurements online for different amounts of water, just look up “setting dye with vinegar”. The combination of the two items helps set the dye so it won’t be as likely to come off. My mother frequently did that with pieces of fabric and I don’t ever recall us ever having major problems with dye fading, etc.

  5. So glad I found this. Making doll clothes for Xmas for gr’dgtr. Patterns way too costly and saw no issue winging it til her mother wouldn’t give up the doll. I found one cheap pattern in thrift store. so adapting that. But did find Boyd Beard scout outfit in yardsale for 50 cents. Thrilled now that I know I can you it as a guide. heading in the other room to start knocking off some shirts for the pants I did yesterday. Thanks!!!!

    • I don’t know that I would be that confident without trying something on the doll first. I hope it works. The bears can vary in size a bit.

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