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Flower Bear

Flower Bear is a slightly updated version of Sunflower Bear, who took a ribbon at the Kansas State Fair after serving as a get-well bouquet for my hospitalized mother-in-law. It’s just the right size to hand-sew if you’re so inclined, but not so small that it’s a challenge to turn or that imperfections are unforgiving.

must resist temptation for a Goldilocks reference

Apart from the flower ruff, it’s a very conventional bear. You can make it without the ruff or contrast head color, in upholstery velvet or other short-pile (or no-pile) woven fabric. Most fabric stores will sell you an eighth of a yard of fabric (a 4.5” strip) which is more than enough to make a Flower Bear or five.

Flower Bear Instructions and Pattern (pdf)

The instructions are still a little sparse; as I get pictures taken of various steps and techniques, I’ll flesh them out. As of the first draft, it does assume you’ve got a more complete reference, or have made bears before.

If it seems intimidating, don’t let it be. Teddy bears are among the easiest of stuffed animals to sew because the majority of sewing is flat. Just two same-shaped pieces that you’re sewing around the edges of, no trying to match up weird curves.

Sewing head gussets and insetting footpads is a little more of a challenge, but not too much. Upholstery velvet is a very stable fabric. The seams involve no easing (that is, the seams are exactly the same length even when they’re not the same shape), and there are plenty of marks to keep you on track. Give it a try?

You should be able to find bear-making books pretty easily in any library or used bookstore. If you really have to buy one new (and want to throw me a little Amazon referral joy), I recommend Jennifer Laing’s Constructing Teddy And His Friends, largely because I once took a pattern-drafting class from Jennifer.


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