Sew A Softie Month - Bearington Bear Tutorial
By Steph, Jul 22 2017 06:17PM
July is 'Sew A Softie' month, and Lucy and I are very proud to be taking part!
Sew A Softie month encourages parents and kids to sit down with needle and thread to create brilliant softies and plushies together. No matter what your current skill level, you can find a new tutorial every day of July to inspire you and get stitching!
After much discussion with Lucy, we decided to share our tutorial for the super simple and infinitely customisable 'Bearington Bear' softie!
Bearington Bear can be either hand stitched or machine stitched. In this tutorial we will be machine stitching our Bear.
To download the Bearington Bear pattern, click here to visit our Free Pattern Library and click on the 'bear pattern' button.
To begin making your bear, first select a fabric for the body. The great thing about this pattern is that it is super versitile - you can make it in any fabric you like! Patterned, plain, cotton, minky...what ever your heart desires! Lucy selected a blue velvet for the main body of her bear. You will also need some felt for the muzzle and inner ear. Lucy opted to add a felt belly on hers too.
We're going to start off with the arms. Fold your BODY fabric in half (right sides facing) and trace around the 'arm' template twice, leaving some room between each one.
With a thick fabric like the velvet we are using, a felt pen is good for tracing the pattern. For something thinner, like cotton, i recommend a chalk pencil or fabric pen which disappears with the application of heat.
Carefully stitch along your tracing lines, remembering to keep the top of the arms open.
Trim the seams carefully - to make sure there are no lumps and bumps when you turn it right side out, you should always 'clip' the curved seams. You can do this either by cutting small triangles out of the seams, or by using some pinking shears. Be very careful not to cut through your stitches!
Once you have clipped your curves, turn both arms right side out and put aside.
Our next step is to make the ears. Cut the ear shapes out of the felt you have selected, and put it right side down on the body fabric. Stitch carefully around the edges and clip the curves before turning right side out.
Ok, time for the body! Fold your BODY fabric in half (right sides together) and trace the body pattern onto the fabric. Then carefully cut it out. You should now have two bear bodies! Choose one of them to be the front, and put the back aside.
If you are planning sew your facial features and an embellishments on, i highly recommend doing it at this point, as its a lot easier than doing it once its stuffed. If you're planning on gluing or painting them on you need to wait until the bear is stuffed.
We are going to be stitching on the muzzle and the felt belly and we will be painting on the eyes and mouth later.
The next step is very important, especially for little stitchers - HAVE A SNACK.
Kids have a much lower attention span than grown ups, so its good for them to step back and have a little break. And a biscuit is always welcome after lots of sewing for kids and grown ups alike!
Ok, now you've had a snack break and you're refreshed again, its time to finish up your bear!
We need to stitch it all together now! Get your arms and your ears that you have already made and carefully pin them in place on the front bear piece.
Pin your bear back to your bear front piece and then stitch around the outside. Don't forget to leave an opening so you can turn it right side out and stuff it! Don't forget to clip your curved seams too. Then you can carefully turn your bear right side out.
Now its time for stuffing! You can buy bags of toy stuffing from most haberdasheries and craft stores or online. You can even use the filling from a cushion to stuff your bear! To help push the stuffing into all the corners i use a chopstick. Be careful though - if you push it in too hard you can split through your stitches!
To close up the opening, you can use a whip stitch or a ladder stitch. A ladder stitch it great as when its finished its invisible! Lucy has opted for a whip stitch on hers - its a little easier for little stitchers to grasp.
If you've opted to paint or glue on your bear's facial features and embellishments, now is time best time to do it. We're using fabric paint to add the eyes, mouth, nose, and a few hearts to our bear's belly! Theres a huge range of fabric paints out there with different effects and colour ranges. For projects with Lucy, i tend to use the Tulip squeezy fabric paints as they are nice and easy to kids to draw with! You can get them in 3D, glitter, glow in the dark, etc.
After a couple of hours drying time....
TA H DAH! One finished bear friend! Easy, versatile, and can be made in an afternoon.
And why stop there? Why not make a whole cohort of friendly bears in different fabrics. You could even make them some outfits!
We'd love to see any Bearington Bears that you make! Share your pictures on our facebook page, or on Instagram with the hashtag #simbearington.
To find out more about Sew A Softie month and to take a look at the other tutorials available from other super talented makers, head to www.sewasoftie.com now!
Love your tutorial!! It's super friendly... I also loved the important step of taking a snack break. Important for big and little sewists!! Thank you and Lucy for being a pat of Sew a Softie and for your amazing tutorial!!!!