As a child grows up, many parents will want to keep their smallest garments as a memento of their earliest years. One idea for preserving them is to use the fabric to make Corinne Bradd’s vintage style teddy bear, which can be proudly displayed and passed on to future generations. Just remember to reverse the template for each piece in order to cut one pair.
- Cotton baby clothes
- Six large buttons
- Toy stuffing
- Sewing thread
- Embroidery thread
- Long needle
- 26cm x 40cm
- Front body: cut one pair with one reversed
- Back body: cut one pair with one reversed
- Side head: cut one pair with one reversed
- Head gusset: cut one
- Outer arm: cut one pair with one reversed
- Inner arm: cut one pair with one reversed
- Paw pad: cut one pair with one reversed
- Leg: cut four with two reversed
- Foot pad: cut one pair
- Ear: cut four
- Use a 5mm seam allowance throughout.
1 Download and print the templates at sewmag.co.uk/templates. Wash, unpick and press your baby clothes, then arrange the pieces you want to use. Trace each template onto the wrong side of the fabric and cut out with a 5mm seam allowance.
2 Pair up the front body pieces and sew together down the front seam. Repeat for the body back pieces, leaving a 6cm gap in the centre of the back seam for turning out. Pin the raw edges of the back to the front and stitch all around. Turn out through the gap, stuff, fold in the raw edges of the gap, then slip stitch closed.
3 Pin the paw pads right sides together to the inner arms and stitch. Open out and press before pinning to the outer arms. Sew all round, leaving a 4cm gap in the back of each arm. Clip the curves, turn out and stuff. Fold in the raw edges of the gap and slip stitch closed.
4 Pair up the legs, right sides together, and stitch up from the toe front to the top of the leg. Pin and tack the oval sole to the bottom of the foot before stitching around the rest of the leg, leaving a 4cm gap in the back. Sew the sole to the leg and remove the tacking stitches. Clip the curves, turn out and stuff. Fold in the raw edges of the gap and slip stitch closed.
5 Match up the ears, right sides together, and sew around the curved part. Turn out and pleat the bottom open edge to make an ear. Tack the pleated edge to the edge of the dart closest to the back of the side head piece. Fold the other edge of the dart over the bottom of the ear and stitch to hold in place. Repeat to attach the second ear to the other side head piece.
6 Sew the two side head pieces right sides together from the nose to the front of the neck. Open out and tack the head gusset between the sides of the head before sewing securely, leaving the base of the neck open. Clip the curves and turn out. Fold in 1cm around the neck edge and tack. Firmly stuff the head and pin the neck to the top of the body. Slip stitch the head in place securely.
7 Attach the arms to the body at the shoulder with button joints and a long needle. Knot the thread and pass through one arm from inside to out. Sew through a button and thread back through the arm. Take the thread through the body at the shoulder and out the other side. Stitch through the other arm, add a button and sew back through the arm as before.
8 Pass the thread through the body and back out through the first arm and button Pull the thread taut to squeeze the body in a little between the arms. Continue sewing through the body from button to button, keeping the thread taut to create secure joints. Fasten off the thread between one arm and the body. Join the legs in the same way.
9 Decide on the position of the button eyes and stitch in place. Use coloured embroidery thread to make a triangular nose in satin stitch and embroider a small mouth onto the bear, fastening off underneath the nose.