Being quite an avid Pinterester, I came across a pin for a “memory bear” from www.momfinds.com. This is a bear made from clothes of significant sentimental value, like baby clothes. There is company in America that does this called The Patchwork Bear and they have apparently made some for prominent celebrity children. Exploring their website I decided I LOVE the idea of doing this but didn’t like their bear design and then seeing their prices I decided that this will have to be a DIY project.
Now, a good number of years ago my Nana showed me some bears that she and my uncle made and taught me how to do them myself. They even had moving joints. I would have loved have made these but making the joints required a set of woodwork skills I do not yet posses so I set about finding a different bear pattern. Thanks to google I found this http://www.howjoyful.com/2010/05/howjoyful-bear-tutorial-and-pattern/. Now the author was very specific that this is not a beginner pattern so taking her at her word I reviewed the pattern first.
Thinking about what materials I could use to make the bear, significant memories I want to capture, I thought about using my sons onsies, obviously, and started mentally planning which ones I wanted to use. I then started wondering if it would work with the fabric of my wedding dress being satin and all. Then I came to the conclusion that I would hate to cut this up without knowing I could actually master the pattern. The next thought was: If I am reluctant to cut up my wedding dress, which although a significant keepsake, I did not have as much of an attachment to as some of my son’s baby clothes!
So the following day I decided that a sample bear had to be made. I had a pair of jeans that had developed a rip in an inappropriate place for public outings, so this was the bulk fabric for the sample bear. In the vein of being a “memory bear” and recycling my jeans, I thought I could make it for my Mom who lives in South Africa and I was missing her (and the rest of my family there) quite a bit; I decided to add one of the onsies my mom had bought my son into the design. Losing one onsie wouldn’t be too bad if it didn’t work. I also decided to put my (very expensive and rarely used) embroidery machine to use and add some unique personalisation to the bear by embroidering “Ouma” (Afrikaans for Nana) on the bear’s foot.
I then set about making the bear and true to the author’s word, it is NOT a beginner’s pattern but luckily I have a wide enough skill set and experience that I managed the pattern. Although not perfect, I loved the result and here’s a picture:
After sharing this with my family, I got the response from my mum-in-law where’s hers. So, now I will be making another one before the original one I planned from my son’s baby clothes. I will be doing this a separate post with a few pointers I picked up from the first one.
Thanks for reading 🙂