Last week, Harry asked me to help him design a bear he could make as a gift for his baby nephew.  He was keen to make it all by himself, with just some help to make a pattern.  I drew him a freehand simple bear shape and we found some fabrics from my stash that he could use, and he did pretty much everything else himself.  Apart from the moment he almost ran my fingers over with the sewing machine (‘you just hold it straight mum, whilst I do the revving of the pedal’), it was a triumph.  Here’s Harry’s finished bear, which is currently being loved gummily by his new owner:

I was so impressed by what Harry made that I decided to make one too, and also to PDF the template so you can have a go.  As we’ve demonstrated, this is a fun project whether you’re 11 or *ahem* slightly older, and can be hand-sewn or machine finished.  You can add clothes and decorative stitches or keep your bear simple, and every single bear you make will have a different expression, which is the very lovely thing about bears; they all have a unique personality.

For this you’ll need:

  • A printed pattern from the PDF.  Our bear is A3-sized; a standard A4/US letter paper print will give you a pocket-sized bear
  • Fabric for the bear base; felts and non-fraying fabrics work well, especially for smaller fingers and inexperienced sewers
  • Accent-coloured felt for the stomach, inner ears and nose
  • Fabric offcuts for any clothing you want to add, like scarves or trousers.  Harry used an old sock for his scarf; I used a small piece of Breton fabric for my trousers.
  • Toy stuffing to fill the bear
  • Optional: fabric paint or crayon for the cheek colour
  • Black embroidery thread for the eyes and facial features

I’ll upload the PDF pattern and step-wise instructions over the weekend, but I’m listing the materials now so you have time to gather them together in the meantime.  This can be a quick sew or a slow-sew depending on how much time you have and how much detail you want to add!

p.s. Everyone loves a bear…

Have a wonderful weekend, wherever you are and whatever you’re doing!