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  • Writer's pictureCraft Cotton Co

Patchwork Memory Bear

Project by Helen Bowes

We all have that something special from someone special we want to be able to treasure forever. It might be your child’s first baby outfits, first Christmas outfits, the clothes of a relative who has passed away, whatever it may be. Now, you can create something to treasure and hug as I guide you through how to make a memory bear.

You will need

· Pattern - download here

· Items of clothing / materials

· Light weight interfacing (to be used if the clothes have any stretch to them)

· Cutting mat and cutter / scissors

· Ruler, mark making device

· Clips / Pins

· Sewing machine and thread – if using metallic thread, you will need to use metallic needle in your sewing machine

· Toy Stuffing

· Buttons

· Embroidery thread


Step 1: Cut out pattern pieces

You will need to cut out the following pattern pieces:

· Front body – cut one, cut one reversed

· Back body – cut one, cut one reversed

· Outer arm – cut one, cut one reversed

· Inner arm – cut one, cut one reversed

· Paw pad – cut two

· Leg – cut two, cut two reversed

· Food pad – cut two

· Ear – cut four

· Head side – cut one, cut one reversed

· Head gusset – cut one

Step 2: Make the body

Cut out your two front pieces and lie them on top of each other right sides facing. Sew from point A to point B with a 3/8th inch seam allowance.

Next cut out your back pieces and lie them together, right sides facing. Keeping to a 3/8th inch seam allowance, sew from point A to point D and then from point E to B. Don’t sew between points D and E; you need this gap to be able to turn the body the right way round prior to stuffing. When sewing make sure you back stitch at the start and end of your sewing line so it does not come undone.

Lie your front and back pieces on top of each other with right sides facing, matching up points A and B on both pieces. Pin all the way round the pieces and sew with a 3/8th inch seam allowance.

Turn the right way round through the opening you have left and press the raw edges of this opening flat. Stuff the body using toy stuffing. At this point, you could put a little note or an item of important into the bear so it is there for as long as the bear is. Once stuffed, use slip stitch or ladder stitch to close the opening.

Step 3: Make the arms

Cut out your outer arm, inner arm and paw pads from your material. Place the paw pad onto the inner arm right sides facing so marks H line up. The paw pad material should be over the top of the inner arm material.

Sew along a line joining up the H marks using a 3/8th inch seam. Press the seam flat. Next place this joined piece on top of the outer arm fabric with right sides facing. Pin together and remove any excess fabric. Sew around the arm with a 3/8th inch seam allowance, leaving a hole at the top of the arm. Turn the arm the right way round through the hole, press the edges of the opening inwards and stuff. Once you’ve filled the arm with stuffing, slip stitch or ladder stitch the hole together.

Step 4: Make the legs

Cut out the leg pieces as directed above.

Line up points I, J and K on a normal and reversed leg piece and pin together with right sides facing.

Next take the foot pad and place this so marks J and K line up with points J and K on the leg pieces. Pin all the way round from the foot pad side and then repeat pinning from the leg side. It will end up looking like a very spikey hedgehog but this number of pins means that the foot pad won’t move as you sew.

Sew the seams of the legs first with a 3/8th inch seam leaving a 3cm gap at the top of the leg. Once these are sewn, sew round the foot pad.

Turn the leg the right way round and stuff. Sew the opening closed using a ladder or slip stitch. Repeat the whole process to make the second leg.

Step 5: Make the head

Cut out pieces as directed. With the two pieces that will form the front of each ear you need to make a pleat. To do this mark out the triangle and fold the piece in half right sides together, so points Y meet up. The aim is to sew from point X to point Y in a straight line. When you open the ear piece, you will have a pleat on the right side of the fabric.

To complete the ears, lay the back of the ear fabric on top of the front pieces with right sides together. Sew around the curve from points M to N leaving the bottom edge open. Turn the ears the right way round and stuff with a little toy stuffing. Hand stitch closed and then do a running stitch along the length of the bottom of the ear. Now pull gently along this stitch to draw the bottom two corners (points M and N) together.

Lie the two head side pieces down, one on top of the other right sides together. Pin from point L to P. Next fit the head gusset piece, wrong side facing up. Do this by matching up an O on each side of the gusset with an O on each of the two head pieces. Pin along one side all the way from point O to point L. Where the gusset goes past the gap between M and N on the head side piece, bring M and N together so they meet and pin. Then pin down the other side. Leave O to P open as you will turn the head the right way round and stuff through this hole. Sew along all the margins with a 3/8th inch seam.

With the head turned the right way round you can stitch the ears onto the head. Press open the openings left at point Z. Hand stitch the ear into this gap with seams concealed inside the bear. Once happy, stuff the head. Close the hole by hand stitching.

The final stage is to add the button nose and eyes. The nose button is placed at point L. The eye buttons position half way between the ear and the nose along the seam line between side and gusset pieces. To complete the face, use embroidery thread to create a line from the nose downwards and a smile.

Step 6: Assemble the bear

Start by stitching the head onto the body. To attach the arms and legs use buttons as your join. Work out where you want the join to be and then stitch on a button using embroidery thread.

After your first couple of stitches attaching the button, put your needle all the way through the arm or leg and then sew onto the body and back up through the limb and button. Keep repeating this until the limb is secure. Do all limbs in the same manner. Final stage is to add some ribbon as a bow and your memory bear is complete.

Made by Helen Bowes for The Craft Cotton Company 2021

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