Who listens to your problems without ever complaining? Who can always be relied upon to make you feel better when you're feeling under the weather? Who gives the best hugs, whenever you need them? Your teddy bear of course!! Whether its a brand new Minnie Mouse (for your 27th birthday…) or a chewed up oldie, teddy bears rule when it comes to comforting an exhausted heart. I have been collecting ideas and patterns for making a bear from scratch for a while, but was a little intimidated by tackling such a nostalgic and well known character. That was until my friend was taken quite ill, and the question arose 'what do you send someone who is already surrounded by flowers and cards?' So I made her a little buddy to keep her company, someone to squeeze and maybe make her feel a bit better. Resulting in this little guy!
On a scavenger hunt around the local rag market, I stumbled across some awesome off cuts of fluffy business! I picked up a creamy short haired number with tiny flecks of grey in it to give it texture and depth, while my mother spotted a fuzzy brown, perfect bear making materials! We stocked up on wadding, felt in browns and creams and various other treasures for a rainy day.
The pattern I used was from one of my most favourite craft magazines 'Molly Makes'. This magazine covers everything, from up cycling old clothes into beautiful one off pieces for your wardrobe, to decorating lamp shades with patch work, to top tips on where to shop vintage. In this particular issue (issue number 20 ) designer Yvette Spencer lends the cutest pattern for a small sized teddy.
The pattern is fairly basic and allows huge room for artistic flair. I decided to simplify this even further, and rather than using joints and pins I just stuffed my bears limbs with wadding and stitched him together piece by piece.
When following the instructions of this pattern its always handy to remember to use tiny close together stitches, perhaps a small, neat back stitch, to ensure your wadding doesn't poke through and to minimise visible stitching. Also, depending on your bear's do, you may need to use a quick unpick to pull out the hair from the joined pieces. (And do remember to fluff up your bear once its all fastened together!)
I used two small beads for his eyes and a satin, or embroidery stitch for his nose.
Upon inspection, once he was complete, I found his head to be a little small for his body, so I think next time I will attempt to go bigger! I struggled a little positioning the ears, almost went into mouse territory, but I think the over all look is kind of cute nether the less!
My second bear, using the fluffy brown fur, with a head upgrade >
I am pleased to say my friend fell in love with him immediately. And that I was pleasantly surprised how easy, (or not too difficult, should I say), the little dude was to make. Now, wheres Minnie? Its time for a nap.
Have you used this pattern, or one similar? Do you have any helpful tips or bear necessities, when it comes to doll making?