Saturday, December 12, 2009

Three Sleeping Bears!

OK only 1 but there was no way I was making 3 of these! I don't care if there were 3 french hens. I'm not french anyway.

Have you ever made a teddy bear?
Yeah, me neither :)

Making one was enough but, it's exciting! You should try at least once!
(By the way, fur is very forgiving)

On this third day of Christmas I made (with my daughter) a teddy bear!

This is the pattern we settled on.

I'm not fond of the top image on the main page but the pattern looked easy to deal with and well proportioned. After the fact I think the arms are a little long but not to bad. I would recommend using a slightly shorter fur fabric for this. (Ally chose long fur :) )

My daughter did most of the sewing on this project so it is definitely beginner friendly with a few tips to help.
Leave a hole to turn every piece of the bear (2 openings on the body, 1 in the back and one for the neck, only the back opening is marked. Oops). Brush/push the fur away from the edge when cutting and sewing otherwise the fur gets sewn into the seam or cut off completely on one side. Very frustrating. Oh and pin your fabric particularly on the turns, fur stretches. Again, oops.

I printed the pattern on cardstock, it worked, but cut out the pattern entirely and so you can use your good scissors to cut around the pattern and not screw them up.

Stuffing is easy. Attach the head to the body before stuffing but otherwise the body parts are stuffed separately. Then hand sew the openings closed and attach them to the main body.

When you hand sew openings closed and body parts together use a heavy thread if you have one. I saw someone comment that they used dental floss.
When I attached the arms and legs to the body I sewed completely through the body and leg/arm to the outside looped around and went back through leg/arm, body, and the opposite leg/arm, and back again a couple times. The fur hid the stitching completely! I don't think this is the correct way (something to do with pins and washers etc. to much for me and my daughters little gift.) but it worked.
One last thing on the hand sewing. I didn't turn in any edges. Nothing showed and it went together with less stress.

Sewing the nose was the worst part! I'm starting to think that I should just take a little triangle of black fabric and stitch it on instead. To many seams to cover, to much fur, to much pain. Yuck.

Let's move on from the yuck and show you my nearly finished bear.
Poor thing is still missing it's eyes :D I'm thinking once he gets those it will stop looking so much like a puppy... hmm... if not, oh well! My girls like puppies too!
I love a good laugh but seriously this was an amazing experience to see a stuffed animal come from my sewing machine and my daughters hands! Definitely a cool experience, even with all the mistakes, there were many missed seams and pointed corners that now look perfect. Amazing.

And to top it off we made a little 9 patch midwest modern blankie for the teddy bear to cuddle.
Easy to do with any leftover quilt squares!

...and tada!
Happy bears under the tree and happy little people on Christmas morning!


  1. So cool that you did it together!

  2. Turned out GREAT - but WAY too much work for me!!!


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