Baby Clothes Memory Bear Pattern and Tutorial April 6, 2016 – Posted in: baby, pattern, sewing, softies, stuffed animals, toys, tutorial, upcycled
I really can’t take credit for this idea. A friend asked me to make a stuffed bear from the outfit her baby wore home from the hospital. She got the idea from Pinterest and it was a bad link so I can’t source it.
So, I had to come up with my own bear pattern. I used as few pieces as possible, but some extra stitching gives it more shape and allows it to sit. It was based off of THIS one, but I changed it quite a bit.
I made one from one of our old onesies first, since I was terrified to cut into that precious baby outfit. I was glad that I practiced first, but I was happy with how both of them turned out! Here is hers:
And, because I felt like it, I took pictures of the process to make a tutorial to share! (They are a little dark, but it was winter.)
You will need:
~clothing item to upcycle (or fabric)
~lightweight, iron-on interfacing
~bear pattern (available HERE)
***I have had a few people ask about sizing. The finished bear measures about 8″ high. These bears were made with a newborn outfit and a 9 month onesie.
***Also, I have been getting some feedback on this pattern so I feel compelled to warn you that the resulting bear using this pattern usually looks more like the bear made with the purple onesie. It is a chubbier bear vs. a long bear. I honestly like the chubby bear better! There are many factors that can alter the shape of your bear, including the type of fabric used, how tight you pull the neck in, how you print the pattern, and how it is stuffed. You can even squeeze it and smoosh it until takes on a different shape, too. This is a free pattern and I did my best. I took the pictures as I was making the pink bear so that is what is used for the tutorial pics showing the construction.
Now, knit fabric likes to stretch. That is what makes it so comfy and easier to put on a squirmy baby. For this project, though, you want it to be non-stretchy. Interface the back of each piece with a lightweight, iron-on interfacing. It makes it much easier to work with and the final product stuffs better.
Note- I tweaked the pattern as I went, so yours will look a little different in shape than mine do here. Just follow the pattern if you don’t want a pointy tail poking out or an oddly shaped head.
Now, you want to embroider the eyes on. You could use button eyes or other cute things, but I went with black embroidery floss and satin stitched the eyes. It is not a choking hazard this way, but this entire project is at your own risk/supervise your child. I am not responsible in any way. Legal disclaimer. All of those kids toy manufacturing regulations scare me.
Sew the front and back pieces together. You can clip the corners and curves, but I just went around the whole thing with pinking shears because it was easier.
Stitch it closed by hand with a ladder stitch. Just google it if you don’t know how. This isn’t my best work, but it is usually invisible.
~Wrap some heavy thread around the neck tightly to pull it in and knot it well. Tuck the loose thread ends into the bear. *****THIS STEP MAKES A REALLY BIG DIFFERENCE IN THE SHAPE OF THE BEAR!!!!!*****
~Embroider a nose on the bear. It works better to do it at the end because you can shape it a little bit. I stitched a triangle and then satin stitched over that until I got the look I wanted.
~Add a bow… if you want. This one I added one on the ear- it is sewn down really well, so I don’t think she will ever be able to pull that off. The other bear has a ribbon bow around the neck instead. I like that, too.