DIY: Bear softie.

Thursday, February 21, 2013


When I first started sewing a few years ago, one thing that frustrated me was that I didn't feel I could be  very creative with it. There seemed to be so much measuring and marking and cutting perfect lines and following rigid patterns. But once I got the basics down, I found that there's actually lots of opportunity to think outside the box or sew outside the lines, so to speak.

So here's an example... this little friend. He's assymetrical, his face is lopsided, and his left leg is stitched together pretty haphazardly. And he wasn't even made using a pattern! But Liam got sooo excited about him as soon as he got his hands on him, and that made this mama pretty happy. All that to say, this is a project that can't fail. As wonky as your softie gets, as long as it's still huggable, it's ok!

While I didn't use a pattern, I'll show you the steps so you can easily make your own. As an aside, I will say I had about an hour to come up with this and actually make him (and photograph it along the way). If and when I do another bear, I promise to fatten him up a bit. This one got a little skinny for my taste.

I started by sketching out my ideas. The one on the left was cute with its own suspenders and shorts, but way too complex for my time frame. The one on the right was simple enough. I then sketched it out on a larger sheet of interfacing to make a very loose pattern. I chose to use striped linen and went ahead and cut out both body pieces (without the ears) all at one time with my rotary cutter.

Once I had the body pieces cut out, I cut a white felt oval for the muzzle and stitched it on with the sewing machine. I also attached safety eyes (purchased on Etsy) that bolt into the fabric so that little people can't pull them out and choke on them.

Next I worked on the ears, starting with a very loose pattern made from interfacing (from the original drawing). I cut two pieces for each ear, stitched them together with one side open, then turned them.

I then pinned the ears to the top of the head and worked on the nose and mouth with my sewing machine. I basically used my machine to outline the nose and mouth then went back and forth over it several times to fill it in. I also stitched on a belly of white felt.

Finally, I pinned the two body pieces right sides together (with the ears tucked inside) and stitched all the way around. I did leave a 3-inch space on one leg to be able to turn the bear and stuff it with filling. I then stuffed him, stitched the hole closed, and added a bow tie from my shop
So as you can see, he's far from perfect. But I'm pretty sure my little guy could care less. He's got yummy ears to gnaw on, a bow tie to grab, and a neck to hug. 

17 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  2. very cute!! and your baby is so adorable :)

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  3. These are like the cutest pictures ever :D

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  4. Liam is so cute and smiley in these pictures, so I would say the bear is a success!

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  5. This is just too adorable. Your so clever to just come up with these patterns :)

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  6. there's so much cute in this post i can't handle it! liam & the lovie are SO cute.

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  7. What an adorable and memorable toy! It's absolutely perfect.

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  8. Thanks! My daughter is so creative and sticking to patterns is difficult for her. I think this tutorial will show her so much about creating her own pattern and planning it out while still being able to be completely creative. I really need to buy a rotary cutter for her. We have the mat (from my mother, who does beautiful sewing) but haven't remembered to buy the cutter. She is 13, so lots of sewing years ahead for her!

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  9. That is such a cute little bear! (And baby boy!!!) I agree with you on the frustration of all the required measuring, cutting, and pattern following. Sometimes it stresses me out to the point of not enjoying my sewing. It's always nice to take a little break and realize what is the end goal - something that makes the recipient happy. And I've decided that no one needs perfection from my sewing. Haha!

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  10. I love this and I seriously can't believe you found the time to do all these DIY projects with everything else going on. However, I expect you to help me make one for my child...in about 3 years :)

    Ash

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  11. He is so adorable - does he have a name yet? :) I have actually been thinking of doing a sofite tutorial on my blog and now you have given me confidence to at least give it a go! I bet that bear will be on Liam treasures forever!! Adorable :)

    http://glitter-bug-blog.blogspot.com.au

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  12. Look at mine bear (or rabbit). I used your tutorial ;-)

    http://hermioninaknits.blogspot.com/2013/02/mr-imperfect-pan-niedoskonay.html

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  13. Such a cute bear and Liam is just adorable!!

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  14. This is such a cute post. I love the bear n i love Liam.
    will definitely try it once.

    Aditi
    So-Saree
    www.sosaree.blogspot.in

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  15. This teddy has such a sweet expression! Thanks for sharing :0)

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