Birthday Bears

There was a birthday at our house this summer, and it involved a teddy bear sleepover party.

I wanted to make something fun for all my kids, something that wasn’t too young for the biggest one or too old for the youngest. But I’ve had all four kids at home all summer so time has been limited.

I started with these cute tiny bears. I used the free pattern for Warren the Charity Bear by Shiny Happy World. It is a super easy pattern, and very squeezable.

Birthday bears by The Finished Garment.
These are just right for little hands.

I thought the original pattern looked a bit big, so I scaled the PDF down to 50 per cent. It’s just the right size to be snuggled by my littlest. Instead of buttons for eyes, I just embroidered the whole face and because of the small size, I embroidered the hearts as well.

It’s a bit tough to see, but each bear has slightly different coloured eyes, just like my kids.

Birthday bears by The Finished Garment.
I hand embroidered the faces.

I used some white minky fabric that was left over from an Easter bunny costume (never blogged) for the bears. It’s super soft and cuddly.

The bears were cute, but they took no time at all. So I decided to make them each a sleeping bags. There are couple of cute patterns around, but I ended up using The Three Bears’ Sleeping Bag by Flossie Teacakes.

The Three Bears' Sleeping Bag, sewn by The Finished Garment.
This print is Licorice Cats by Anne Kelle.

It’s an adorable pattern. I made the Daddy Bear size. It’s just right for a typical 12-inch baby doll, but mostly gets used for stuffed animals at out house.

The Three Bears' Sleeping Bag, sewn by The Finished Garment.
This print is Sunset from the Fly Away collection by Amy Schindler, and the binding is Kona cerise.

I used quilting cotton and batting left over from previous projects, but I matched the fabric in each sleeping bag to clothing that I’d made for each kid, so that they would know which one was theirs. With four sleeping bags, there was a lot of switching thread.

The Three Bears' Sleeping Bag, sewn by The Finished Garment.
Here I used Ladybugs by Anne Kelle and Kona in medium grey for the binding.

The pattern was good, but the fabric requirements were a bit off. If you want to make a large sleeping bag, you’ll need 1/3 yard for the sleeping bag lining, and 1/3 yard (possibly a mixture of assorted prints) for the outer fabric, as well as 1/3 yard for the batting.

I made three changes. I quilted the entire sleeping bag, I used double-layer bias tape for the binding, and I machine-stitched the binding in place. I think this last part will make them a bit tougher.

The Three Bears' Sleeping Bag, sewn by The Finished Garment.
The print here is Whales in bright by Anne Kelle, and Kona cottons for the pillow and binding.

I’ve seen some very cute versions with quilt blocks for the main front section, but I had to make four, so I stuck to simple single-fabric panels and straight-line quilting.

Unfortunately, I don’t have any action shots of these, but I can definitely say they see a lot of playtime. On any given day, I might find a single bear, a pair of dolls or an entire menagerie of sea creatures inside. And best of all, they are machine washable.

Birthday bears by The Finished Garment.
My first tiny bear. These took no time at all.

I love making toys for the kids. It is so much fun. I have to keep myself away from adorable doll and stuffed animal patterns. They are just way too tempting.

This project was part of the Sewcialist Scraptember Sew Along and the Stashbusting Sew Along Kid Challenge.

Summary

Pattern Review 1: The Three Bears’ Sleeping Bag by Flossie Teacakes.

Fabric: Assorted quilting cotton and batting scraps left over from other projects.

Cost: Fabric: 0$. Pattern 10$.

Sizes: Daddy Bear.

Sewing Level: Beginner.

Modifications: Quilted both layers, used double-layer binding and machine stitched the binding in place.

Results: Cute!

 

Pattern Review 2: Warren the Charity Bear by Shiny Happy World.

Fabric: Minky scraps left over from another project.

Cost: Free!

Sewing Level: Beginner.

Modifications: Scaled the pattern down to 50 per cent.

Results: Cute and super easy!

The Three Bears' Sleeping Bag, sewn by The Finished Garment.
Hey, what are you still doing up?