I thought I needed a slightly easier pattern to try, after Bertram Bigfoot, and Choly Knight‘s Loch Ness Monster looked like it would be ideal. The body and head have two sides and a bottom gusset, while the four flippers are sewn into the gusset seam. This means the only hand sewing is to just ladder stitch the turning gap at the end.
I chose some black and white glow-in-the-dark fabric for the eyes, so I used the eyelash eye pattern pieces, and left out any inner eye features. I hand stitched them in place, as I was finding it challenging to machine sew the eyes onto the plush fabric without it sliding about everywhere.
In the end, I using a small amount of fusible interfacing for the body dots, then machine stitched around them afterwards.
The neck dart was a challenge to get right – one side’s dart is a little longer than the other, but that just gives Nessie a uniquely quirky look.
Until I can get the fabric to glow properly, here’s a mockup of how the eyes will eventually look…. I hope!
After a mini shopping spree at Hobbycraft, I found myself with some dotty cuddle fat quarters. I thought they would make a lovely soft squishy bear, using the “Happy” pattern from Emma Bear’s.
I was originally going to use the pink and yellow for this bear, but the yellow looked a little harsh so I plumped for cream instead. It gives the bear a raspberry ripple look, and that was the fastest I’ve ever named a bear!
So far I have his head stitched (although he still needs ears), and his legs finished. The paw pads are faux suede just to add a different texture to the sleek dotty fabric.
You’d think that with a blog called Dragon’s Flame Designs, I would have sewn several dragons already. But while I’ve sewn lots of bears, I’ve never tackled a dragon…. until now! I’m reliably informed that K likes dragons, so Yoki Dragon looked like the perfect early Christmas present for him.
I thought the original size might be a little fiddly to sew, so I scaled the pattern to 150% before printing. I’m using some red clothing fleece rather than minky, as I think it’ll stand up to rougher play.
So far I have the head sewn, and you can just about see the dragon shape starting to emerge.
I can’t resist entering competitions, so when I spotted that Choly Knight had a Halloween Plush Contest, I had the perfect idea…. a fake fur Yeti!
Unfortunately, the fabric shop didn’t have any white fur in stock. However, they did have some amazingly sleek reddy brown fake fur tipped with a silvery white shade – perfect for a Bigfoot instead.
After all, the only difference between a Bigfoot and a Yeti is the colour of their fur, right?
Instead of adding an applique face, I trimmed the fur to make it look two-tone. That also made the applique features easier to sew in place. I didn’t risk using any fusible web to hold the eyes, teeth and mouth in place, so I tacked them down by hand first, before zigzagging around them on the machine.
You may notice that Bertram’s teeth are a creamy brown shade rather than white…. that’s just because he forgot to take his toothpaste with him!
I did also try trimming the fur for his paw prints, but that wasn’t quite so successful – I think that would’ve worked better if I’d trimmed that after I’d attached them, as once they were sewn in place, a lot of the detail around his toes was lost.
Despite that, Bertram was a really successful make – he only took me a few hours to make, and that included spending what felt like ages on the cutting out!
Fabric: half a metre of fake fur from Fashion Fabrics
Pattern: Bigfoot plush by Choly Knight
I loved the look of the bear’s paws in the Emma’s Bears Jumbo pattern, but unfortunately, Happy didn’t come with those “pulled toe” instructions. Jumbo lives up to his name, using an entire metre of fabric, and potentially multiple bags of stuffing!
I was going to machine sew the seams for strength, but the weight and bulk of the fake fur was pulling it away from the needle as I stitched, so the majority of the seams ended up being hand sewn. For added strength, I used 4 strands of thread twisted together, and backstitched the seams.
I did use slightly smaller eyes than the pattern suggested, as I only had 11mm eyes to hand at the time, but I don’t think that’ll be too noticeable once his ears are added, and he’s fully stuffed. There’s a couple of seams that I need to finish and I want to redo his neck seam to make his neck slightly shorter…. but there’s no major rush, as at the moment I’ve run out of stuffing anyway!
A month or so ago, I was browsing for sewing inspiration when I came across this glow in the dark fabric. I wasn’t too sure how well it would actually glow, but I thought it would look great paired with some blue “minky” to make a bat.
Using the bat pattern from BeeZee Art again, I marked out the pieces on the fabric using a white pen, as I felt that would be easier than using chalk. This is the first time I’ve tried sewing a bat from this pattern with “minky”, and although it has a tendency to slip and slide while I’m sewing, I think this bat is much better than my first attempt, which used regular fleece.
There are a couple of elements that could have been sewn slightly more accurately – my bat does look like he’s got one foot standing on the other, but that just gives him character. And to make him really special, those stars actually glow in the dark!
It’s amazing how different a bear looks once it has ears! Instead of looking like some strange furry alien, you suddenly realise it’s actually a cute and cuddly bear.
The long purple fur made the nose and mouth embroidery a little more challenging than I’d anticipated, but it did help to hide any mistakes.
I trimmed Happy bear’s paw pads on the arms, just to make them look a little tidier, although I left the foot paw pads long, just for a bit of variety. This is the first bear that I’ve added eye whites to (that was just a small piece of white felt positioned underneath the eye before I added the safety backing), but I think it gives him some extra character.
Happy Bear (who will be getting a new name soon), was made from an Emma’s Bears pattern, using fake fur from my local fabric shop.
I was struggling to find any free “real” teddy bear patterns – there are lots of free patterns out there, but none that look like a true collector’s style teddy bear, so I decided to buy a pattern from Emma’s Bears. I picked Happy Bear, as I liked the idea of being able to make a two-tone bear.
I already had the rusty red and purple fake fur left over from previous projects, and knowing how the fake fur tends to slide around while machine sewing, I decided to be reckless and hand sew all the seams!
My hand sewing skills are somewhat limited – they tend to be a source of humour in the family, as I seem to have inherited my Great Gran’s skills…. the stitches don’t tend to be overly neat, and I always use a contrasting colour so they’re more visible against the fabric.
I used two strands of sewing thread to hopefully give enough strength, and backstitched every seam. I will admit I used a contrasting coloured thread, simply so I could see the stitches if I needed to unpick any! But with the stitches being on the inside, nobody would be any the wiser for which colour thread I actually used.
“Happy” is jointed to allow him to pose better, but I think he will look even cuter once he has ears, nose and a mouth.
After a couple of recent attempts at making bears from other people’s patterns, I decided it was time I tried making a pattern of my own. I wanted to use furry fabric, as that gives the muzzle a better shape, and can also help conceal any lumps in the seams, but fake fur can be expensive and I didn’t want to spend too much on something that might not even work.
Luckily, Abakhan had a sale which included some brown fake fur for just £3.99 a metre, so that made the perfect fabric choice.
The fur is shorter than the purple I used before, and is also trimmed at certain points, so it isn’t all the same length. The small size of this bear doesn’t really show off this multi-length fur to its best, as it does look like I’d just trimmed it myself and made a pretty bad job of it….
But considering this is a first draft of a self-made pattern, I’m pleased with how it came out. I think I would lengthen the arms on the next one, and possibly shorten the body, as he does seem quite thin and lanky.
The inner ears are made from scraps of minky left over from the previous bears, and so far I’m undecided if I should embroider a nose, or if he looks ok with a brown furry nose.
The round muzzle is a particular favourite feature, as most of the patterns I’ve seen have a pointy muzzle with the head gusset reaching all the way to the nose. This bear doesn’t actually have a head gusset at all!
Meet Ping the Panda! Although he doesn’t really look like a panda, because I used the same fabric throughout. Ping the Panda’s pattern came from a back copy of Sew Magazine. It was designed for mohair fabric, so like the long neck bear, Ping does look a little different to the picture in the pattern.
Ping’s neck doesn’t seem to be elongated which is a bonus, although his paws look like they aren’t quite attached at the right angle. I think his arms are positioned a little too far back, which makes them splay out at the front, rather than being held straight down by his side.
Taking out my never ending quest for perfectionism, Ping is perfectly cuddly and would make a great bed time buddy for someone.