I’ve been working on a cottage that needed a bed that made you want to crawl in and snuggle down. It needed that cozy and warm look of a thick coverlet and extra blankets tucked at the bottom if more were necessary. Ok, you have to shrink down first to fit but miniaturists have very active imaginations!
It turned out pretty good and fit the spot.
It was easier that I thought, so I thought I would roll back the blankets and share some tips if dressing a bed or working with fabric draping is in your future.
I will admit that most of my success was the fabrics themselves but this gives you some ideas to keep in mind when picking fabric or thinking about bedding.
I simply cut 3 pieces of foam and loosely sewing them together for a mattress. It could be more or less foam depending on the foam thickness and your bed. Some people use a ceiling tile cut to size as a mattress for the ease of pinning the fabric draping. For me the foam was handy and not so messy to cut.
I covered the foam form with white cloth and sewing it shut. It doesn’t have to be fancy– generally no one is inspecting underneath the covers in a dollhouse bed.
I have had this odd fabric (a polyester blend of some sort but has a very soft drape to it) for a long time. Generally, cottons, silks, and other natural fabric are the best for mini work but there are exceptions. A couple stripes of this fabric became the bed skirt (and no gathering needed!). I glued the stripes to the mattress. I folded the raw edges of the ends to the back at the foot and head of the bed.
I used the fabric fusion glue. It is a clear gel like substance. I am not sure I like it but it worked. It left spots but it could have been me, it was white on white and I didn’t spread the glue out well.
This fabric just looked right! I draped one piece on the bed and decided to double it so it could be turned down and inviting to climb in for the night.
I loosely folded under the sides to the back of the 2 pieces and sewed them together. I had only used ironing and steaming at this point. The base is tucked in so no messing with that side. The top is stitched down after the turned down part is in place. This may seem odd but I think it allowed a better draping this way than sewing the two pieces entirely together, turning it right side out and then trying to get it to lay naturally. It gets bulky and boxy. This way the top and bottom pieces can move and set in position without being bound until it is laying on the bed the way you envisioned (or hoped) and then connected together.
Now that I have size and positioning figured out, I put the piece in a plastic bag with fabric stiffen liquid. Dampen the piece until completely covered. Remove it and drape it on the bed. I used pins as needed but not too many (the pin holes will show when pins are removed later) to get the natural draped look of the coverlet. Now is the hardest part for me. To walk away and let it dry! I kept wanting to adjust something but just have to give it time to dry. So I worked on a matching pillow to keep my hands away from the drying fabrics. Added a little touch of lace to the end to finish it off. It looks comfort.
The fabric will be stiff as a board as the saying goes when it is completely dry. Here is the photo to prove it!
I used more of the stiffening liquid for the blanket and throw at the base of the bed. I did add a 2nd layer of white batiste to the cut up doily for a more solid look to it. It needed to be delicate but still warm as a cover.
Now the bed is complete and moved into the cottage. No matter the weather, this bed has the look of a perfect place for a good night’s rest.