Crafts, IN THE SPOTLIGHT
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Make Your Own Teddy Bear

Is there anything as nice as giving your kid, or your favourite niece or nephew, a handmade teddy? I used a free pattern from a website called Craftbits.com – TeddyBearPattern. To suit the materials I had available at home, I adapted the instructions a little – as always, you’ll find them below.

Materials:

  • Free pattern from Craft Bits: TeddyBearPattern
  • 90 x 60 cm felt or other soft material (35 x  24 inches)
  • Matching thread to sew teddy’s body
  • Darker thread to sew teddy’s eyes, nose and smile
  • Synthetic toy stuffing
  • A circular 3cm (1.18 inch) diameter plastic disc. This should be cut out of sturdy, but thin plastic (for example, a lid from an old Tupperware container)
  • Needle
  • Pins
  • Scissors
  • Permanent marker

Instructions:

1. Print the pattern; then cut the pattern pieces out and pin them on the cloth. Draw around them with a permanent marker. Cut out the required number of pieces, leaving a 4mm border around each one.

2. Start with the head. Take the two head side pieces and pin them together. Now sew from the tip of the nose down to the neck.

handmade-teddybear3

3. Pin the gusset (the middle part of the head) onto one side of the head. Sew from the tip of the nose to the back of the neck. Now pin the gusset onto the other side and sew from nose to back of neck again.

handmade-teddybear4

4. Turn the head inside out and stuff it, pushing the stuffing right into the nose and moulding the head onto shape as you work.

6. Sew the ears along the curved edge. Leave the flat edge open. Flip the ears inside out, then tuck the flat seam in sew closed with ladder stitch. When done, push the needle through along the bottom of the flat edge using a gathering stitch, pull to gather ears. Position the ears with pins and then sew them on using ladder stitch.

handmade-teddybear5

5. Take the circular disc you have cut out from a Tupperwear container lid, or similar.

  • Carefully, with the tip of some nail scissors or a thick needle, pierce a hole in the middle of it. Thread a needle and tie a strong double not at the end.
  • Push the needle and thread through the hole in the plastic.
  • Now position the disk inside the teddy’s neck so that it is helping to hold the head stuffing in, and keeping the neck in shape.
  • Push the needle and thread through teddy’s neck at one of the neck seams. Then push the needle back into the neck as close to the exit point as possible.
  • Push the needle through the hole in the plastic disk.
  • Repeat this at the two remaining neck seams until the disk is sewn into place.

handmade-teddybear-neck-disk7

7. Use pins to find a good place for teddy’s eyes. Then draw them on with permanent marker. Do the same for nose and mouth. Now sew over the black markings using a dark thread.

handmade-teddybear6

8. Now move onto the body. Sew the darts on the body pieces first, then pin them together. Sew around the border, but leave a gap. This should be big enough to match the diameter of the bear’s neck – this is where the neck will join the body. Also use this gap to turn the body piece inside out and stuff the body firmly.

handmade-teddybear8

9. Sew the head onto the body. Tuck the neck and body borders in, then pin the head into place. Stitch ladder stitch around the neck to sew the head on.

10. Move onto the legs and footpads.

  • Sew the long seams of the legs but leave the flat “bottom of feet” sean open. Turn the legs inside out and stuff.
  • Sew on the footpads: Start by positioning on so the wider side corresponds with the bear’s toes.
  • Pin it into place using ladder stitch and start sewing the pad into place by tucking the seams in.
  • When almost all the way around, use the last opportunity to stuff the leg more if needed, before closing the seam.

12.  Sew the arms, leaving a gap in each one to turn them inside out and stuff them. Close them with ladder stich.

handmade-teddybear15

13. Pin the limbs into place. Then sew them on.

  • Start by pushing the needle into the limb, and then back out through the body, right at the edge of where the limb is attached.
  • Do a few stitches of ladder stich to start securing the limb into place on the outside.
  • Repeat the process until the limbs are securely in place.

And voila! your teddy bear is done. I think your little one will really love this one.

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