Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Denim Teddy Bear - a clothes upcycle



Continuing my clothes upcycling challenge for 2015, I wanted to try something new.
I found this pattern and instructions for a teddy bear so thought I'd give that a go.  I haven't really made many soft toys before and I found this one a challenge.  It was larger than I'd expected (about 40cm (16") tall)- the photos on the pattern had nothing to compare the size too and I'd just assumed it was smaller since the author said she'd made 2 'little' bears! Oops!

Anyway - I printed and cut out the pattern pieces, hoping to get it all out of a denim skirt 


and the co-ordinating fabric from the scraps left over from this project

However, I had to grab another pair of denim shorts to cut all the denim pieces I needed. 

I also had to unpick the pockets from the skirt to get that extra fabric. This resulted in a small hole that needed a quick patch, which has ended up on the back of one of his arms - but it all adds to the character of the bear I think!

I chose to use a triple stitch setting on my machine for all the bear's seams for extra strength. I know how roughly kids can treat their bears and didn't want any stuffing coming out!


This stitch is really strong (but not great if you need to unpick any mistakes, of which I may have made a few....)

The pattern is a free download of several pages. The instructions are quite sparse. 
The author does note that the project is not for beginners. 
I thought that I'm not a beginner sewer so I'd be OK, but I am a beginner making soft toys, so I did find it challenging to piece the bear together - putting the odd piece on the wrong way round and then having to unpick and re-stitch! The instructions don't make it clear which parts match up sometimes and you need to have knowledge of soft toy pattern pieces and shapes to understand it. 

Having said that - all the pieces fit together beautifully, when I got them the right way round, and I'm super happy with the resulting bear.

There were squeals of delight from my girls when they came home from school and saw the bear and they both said they want to buy it from the school stall in October. The rate they're going, they want to buy the whole stall!

Anyway - my youngest was happy to pose for pictures with the bear, so here are some more.




If you liked this project - there are heaps more upcycles here on my blog - from my Upcycle Tutorials to over 600 clothes upcycling projects from hundreds of different blogs in my ongoing linky party and my big project from last year - an ebook of Eco-friendly shopping bag tutorials and patterns.

Please keep coming back as each week I'll be adding more clothes upcycles!
For now, Happy Upcycling!


24 comments:

  1. that is so cute, i always check out your blog

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  2. What a great upcycle project. Love how it turned out. Thank you for sharing.
    Roopini
    Let's Make It Lovely

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  3. What a great make, you've made me think re making items for school stalls...:)

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    1. Thanks Vicky. I'm trying to make the things for the school carnival fun for the kids - I just hope they like them as much as my girls do!

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  4. The contrasting pink fabric goes so well with the denim, Jill. I'm sure your bear will be snapped up very quickly. A great upycle.

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    1. Thanks so much Pam. I do hope you're right and it sells quickly before my girls get to it! :)

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  5. Wow, that's a great upcycle, Jill. I would want to buy it too :-)

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  6. I love this adorable upcycle!!! The teddy bear is so fun and big!
    Have a lovely day!
    Hugs and love from Portugal,
    Ana Love Craft
    www.lovecraft2012.blogspot.com

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  7. Love, love and love your project!!!! This Teddy Bear is soooo cute!!! Thank you for the link to the pattern and the tutorial. I'll pin your Teddy Bear !!!!

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    1. Thanks so much Marisa! I've had such a great response for this teddy bear, I think I shall be making more for our school stall!

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  8. This looks incredible! Super cute. Pinned and tweeted. Thank you for taking the time to party with us. We hope to see you tonight at 7 pm. It wouldn't be a party without you! Lou Lou Girls

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  9. What a great upcycled project! I love find things like this because I would never think to make something like this. Great tutorial! Pinning and sharing! Thanks for sharing this at Totally Terrific Tuesday. I can't wait to see what you have for this week!

    Sharon
    herorganizedchaos.com

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  10. Oh Jill! I love it! I love your upcycled clothing projects. You always amaze me with your creativity. Whenever I see an old pair of denim shorts, that's all I see. An old pair of denim shorts. You've given me so much inspiration. Thanks so much for linking up to Thriving on Thursdays. It's great to have you here. I'm featuring this one at tomorrow's party. Please come again.

    Anne xx

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    1. Thank you Anne - and for the feature! I shall pop over to see what other things were featured this week and to link another project up too!

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  11. My daughter will love this tutorial. Found you on domesblissity. Following on g+. :)

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  12. so cuddly and adorable and snuggly! love the bear but as a beginner toy sewer, I think I will look for an easier pattern! What a great idea on that stitch though - I will try that on my next denim upcycle for extra strength!

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    1. Thank you! Yes, it was a challenging pattern thought, so I wouldn't recommend it for a beginner!

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