Of course, when her brother spotted us fabric shopping in the stash, and caught a glimpse of the pattern, there was no way he was going to be left out (even though he’s about to turn 10). And so I prepared to sew two bears.
One of the perks of this pattern is how readily it can be suited to either of my kids, but switching out the fabrics. Personally, I’m a big fan of the geometric prints my son went with – a very sophisticated bear.
The pattern is a pretty easy sew. There aren’t any complicated curves to make a more 3 dimensional toy. Simply fronts and backs for the body, arms, legs and ears. All the pieces are block interfaced before cutting. This also helps to stabilise the fabric, and stop it stretching out of shape around curves when stuffing.
Face details are added in felt before sewing up the bear. I added the glasses post stuffing as the pattern as-provided had the corners extending past the seam allowance. The only hand stitching was sewing on those glasses, and sewing up the stuffing hole
My daughter’s bear is on to it’s third pair of glasses. The thin frames aren’t very sturdy in felt. After tearing two pairs, I ended up making a pair out of woven fabric. Check out a quick tutorial on my blog to see how it’s done.
As always I was shocked at just how my polyfill is required to stuff a small toy. It’s like magic. No matter how much I stuff in there, there’s always room for a bit more.
I have found that when making stuffies like these, having a few extra tools in the sewing room works wonders. Our main iron is a steam iron, so doesn’t really get hot enough for fixing freezer paper in place, so I have a cheap target one that I pull out for such an occasion. I used a loop turner for turning out the arms and legs. My washaway marker was good for tracing around the pattern pieces, and labelling them (so we had ears that matched, and didn’t try to sew an arm to a leg). Polyfill was poked into corners with a blunt ended chopstick, and palette knife (icing spreader). The tweezers were great for pulling the body pieces into alignment around the arms. And a pair of pinking shears (not pictured) saved a lot of time trimming and notching seam allowances.
These teddies look quite at home sitting out in the garden. But also have been a great excuse to get my kids to happily make their beds – ready for photos.
I’m so glad I finally gave these a go. I think I’ll need to add the pattern to my list of presents to sew, they’re great for all ages – baby to tweens.