Saturday, April 21, 2012

Khaki/Couch Cushion Teddy Bear

You may remember that a few months ago I came up with some picture books that I made for Marley's first birthday. Well, Abigail went ahead and turned one last month...which necessitated another crafty birthday present. I was fairly brain dead about it...I'm not going to lie. It took me FOREVER to come up with what I wanted to do for her. Seriously...forever. I've been thinking about it since November. So sad.

Well I finally had a spark of genius about a week before her birthday and decided I was going to make her a teddy bear. I found this cute little example over on Pinterest and totally went for it. How did it go? Well...spoiler went like this:

I think I did okay. 

Here's a non-Instagrammy photo of the final product.

Now if you've checked the link for the original idea, you'll note that mine looks more or less nothing like it. Haha...that's how my projects go. They never turn out like the original plan. Because I'm a tweaker...and I have to mess with everything. Recipes? Ha! Let's totally add three or four new ingredients and substitute for stuff we don't have. Sewing? Yup. Flying by the seat of my pants...

I still think it turned out okay. The best part? I made it out of khaki pants and couch cushions. I'm a genius. You can all go ahead and think so now.

These are the original items I "planned" to use for the project.

Notice the size of those pants. Ya...nice try. Turns out using the pattern from the original example produces a totally pint sized version. When you print out the pattern, it looks like this:

That wasn't going to work for me. Seriously. Choking hazard.

So I used my computer prowess (read: smashed a few keys here and there and swore violently at the screen) to blow up the pattern to 300% of it's original size. Not sure what 300% looks like? Well...I happen to have a photo...

Oh...ya...the original site is in Chinese. So...unless you're Michelle, Google Translator will be your friend.

Once I blew up the pattern, it was obvious that a pair of Darian's old size 5 khakis wasn't going to cut the mustard. It was time for some big boy pants. Collin was nice enough to donate a pair of his to the cause. (This is how my family justifies getting their names on the presents. They sacrifice.)

I'm all about the assembly line approach, plus I like to scrimp and save every possible piece of fabric, so I drew out most of the pieces of the pattern on a single pant leg. (Yes. I used pen. Don't judge. My pattern pencil was being a jerk.)

I wanted to add a little color, so I used the red fabric from my old couch cushions. (For those curious and confused, yes this is still the same pattern I have now. I had to get a second set after the cats were declawed since they had prior decided to use my couch for sharpening practice.) I cut out enough to do his ears and belly.

I then sewed the pieces together for each appendage together on my machine, leaving openings for stuffing. I sewed the legs twice because I'm occasionally (what's a nice way of calling myself a space cadet?) and I sewed his feet on wrong. Yes...there was swearing. (I know you were wondering.)

I stuffed the pieces with just some plain old fiber fill. I made a huge mess in the process and totally went gung ho on the ears. If you do this, don't overstuff the ears. It makes them a nightmare to attach. There. Don't say I didn't warn you.

After this, it was all hand sewing. I took this little guy to work with me and sewed his parts on in between patients. I got the project done in time, but I got way behind on paperwork for a few days. was totally worth it.

This was my very first project using embroidery. It's not perfect, but I think his nose and mouth turned out pretty well. The eyes? Well...mixed bag. I used some large sewing eyelets and then sewed around them with black embroidery thread. Looks super cute and works great for these photos. However, in the hands (or mouth as the case may be) of a toddler, those little buggars come unraveled pretty easily. Just save yourself a lot of trouble and find some large black buttons or make them out of felt. Don't do embroidery thread. I'm pretty sure Abigail's now looks like it has some sort of raging eye infection.

I was going to be done here...but I liked the idea of the stomach patch. So I sent a couple of photos to Patti for her opinion.

Without the patch...still super cute if I do say so myself.
She voted patch. So I attached that with embroidery thread. Again...slight foul. See...Abigail has this thing for "tags". She likes to put them in her mouth and suck on them. a one year old, a belly patch looks suspiciously like a tag. So she pulls on the edges. I wasn't smart enough to sew the whole thing down first. I'm a genius like that. he is in all his glory. I think I did okay...


  1. :)

    I may have some Chinese skills, but I am totally lacking in the craft-osity department. (I was going to go with craftiness, but that seems to have a different connotation than I am looking for. After teaching English for ten years, I hold it as my right to make up words when needed!) I am totally jealous of all of your projects- especially those super cute tile coasters you posted awhile ago.

    Keep making awesome stuff, Google Translating whenever necessary.

    1. I hereby give you complete permission to make up all the words you need. They always make sense to me. ;)


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