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A Sewing Project for Beginners – Making a Teddy

A Sewing Project for Beginners - Making a Teddy

Crevette (6 years 1 month) is really keen on ‘making things’. A couple of weeks ago, he decided to do some sewing. He had a few ambitious projects in mind and eventually settled on making a teddy bear. I told him we would get started on Saturday but I was dreading it to be honest, and hoping he would forget about it all. He did not. He was so excited he started counting down the days, so we had a look for free patterns on Pinterest towards the end of last week.

Before I go into details, let me tell you that I am an absolute novice at machine sewing. I had never been near a sewing machine until I attended a beginner’s course a couple of years ago. I honestly thought they worked by pressing a pedal repeatedly. Hubby bought me the machine I wanted just before Jumpy was born. It took me ages to take it out of the box, as I was kind of scared of it. Scared of not remembering what to do, scared I had chosen a model that was way too complicated for me, scared to break it, scared to start getting on with it…

When I did take it out, it took me forever to thread it, and it did not seem as easy to sew a straight line as it had been during the sewing class. I decided everything I would ever sew would have to be red as it was the colour thread I had put in the machine (yes, really!), and there was no way I could ever thread it again. I might break the whole thing. I was just hoping the spool and bobbin would never need changing. I did change them eventually!

All I seemed to master was straight lines, though.  As you can imagine, the prospect of making a teddy was not appealing. I warned Crevette that we would try our best. I also told him not to be too disappointed as it might take us more than one attempt.

‘Warren the Charity Bear’ seemed perfect! The free pattern was available on ‘shiny happy world’. Wendi designs everything with beginners in mind and her website is full of photos of finished bears so you can decide exactly what you want yours to look like. She also has links to video tutorials, but her explanations were so clear even novices like us did not need them. I would highly recommend visiting her blog if you are a creative person. She is a very talented lady indeed!

A Sewing Project for Beginners - Making a Teddy - Pattern
We started by choosing our fabric. We went for two of Jumpy’s old stained tops. They were a tad small, but they would do. We printed the pattern, pinned it to the fabric and I helped Crevette cut around the bear shape. We then added the eyes Crevette had chosen from my button collection and I embroidered the mouth before we got the machine out.

A Sewing Project for Beginners - Making a Teddy - Sewing the Eyes

We set the machine to the slowest mode possible and got to work on the belly. We did quite well. We then sewed the front and back of our bear together, leaving an opening to turn the fabric around and add stuffing. Both Crevette and Beanie used the sewing machine. I only helped with tricky angles.

A Sewing Project for Beginners - Making a Teddy - Beanie using the Sewing Machine

Crevette’s teddy bear is in no way perfect, but that is what makes it so unique! We made it in approximately an hour and my little man loves it!

A Sewing Project for Beginners - Making a Teddy - Cuddle

Here is a quick reminder of what to do:

A Sewing Project for Beginners - Photo Tutorial

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  1. adeline
    20/09/2014 / 11:53 am

    on s’éclate vraiment bien chez vous!!!!!!!Moi je serai incapable de faire ça, je déteste recoudre un bouton et puis j’ai même pas de machine à coudre d’abord, snif snif….mais je sais pas ce que j’en ferai!!!hihi!!!

    • Mel
      20/09/2014 / 12:05 pm

      C’est vrai qu’on n’a pas le temps de s’ennuyer ici! Envoie-moi tes boutons, je te les recoudrai!

  2. Viv'Maman_Bas
    21/09/2014 / 4:38 pm

    Super ! J’ai ressorti ma machine à coudre fin août justement pour coudre le nom d’E. dans ses uniformes et ça m’a pris un temps fou aussi pour refaire les bobines et savoir où mettre quoi (merci YouTube !). Ca m’a donné envie de l’utiliser davantage… J’essaierai peut-être ça. xx

    • Mel
      22/09/2014 / 8:32 pm

      Franchement, essaie! C’est super facile et c’était un bon petit projet avec les deux grands. Ta puce adorerait faire le nounours avec toi, et je suis certaine que tu es plus douée que moi! Pour les noms, je fais au fer, moi!

  3. 21/09/2014 / 9:32 pm

    Aw, that’s really cute.

    I’ve not used a sewing machine since school, but i’ve inherited my mum’s super duper one. I just need to learn how to use it now, without breaking. Think I’ need to take some lessons.

    • Mel
      26/09/2014 / 11:33 pm

      The manual and YouTube should help. Go on, you can do it! If I can, you can. Looking forward to sewing posts from you, Emma!

      • 30/09/2014 / 8:22 pm

        I’m thinking I shall have a couple of lessons from someone so I don’t break the machine. I think the OH’s going to despair at more craft/fabric turning up. Last Winter it was wool and crocheting!

        • Mel
          30/09/2014 / 8:59 pm

          Same here, new hobbies keep making an appearance! A few lessons sound wise. I was really enthusiastic after my two sessions but life got in the way and I only tried my own machine about 6 months later… scary!

  4. Alexandra Mercer (Life of mummy)
    23/09/2014 / 10:19 am

    It’s great fun sewing with children but I find you do need to have the patience of a saint!! x

    • Mel
      23/09/2014 / 1:47 pm

      The thing is I am as slow as them when it comes to using the sewing machine so we make a pretty good team! I just wish they were not thinking of the next project (Let’s make an Elsa dress! Oh, shall we make a dinosaur?) as we have barely started our current one (i.e. the simplest thing we could find!). x

  5. 24/09/2014 / 9:12 am

    My sister is the expert seamstress, I on the other hand look at a sewing machine in fear. I mean, how many potential accidents could happen using one of those?! I’m very impressed and the bear is absolutely lovely xx

    • Mel
      28/09/2014 / 4:06 pm

      Thanks Iona. If I manage not to get injured, I am sure you would not either!

  6. 24/09/2014 / 9:46 am

    Oh thats such a sweet little bear and looks very obviously loved 🙂

    • Mel
      28/09/2014 / 8:33 pm

      It is very much loved! It was all worth it, and not as difficult to make as I had anticipated.

  7. 24/09/2014 / 8:49 pm

    This is so cute and what a lovely thing to start out sewing. I just did my very first stuffed owl. Love it. Thanks for linking up to Share With Me #sharewithme

    • Mel
      24/09/2014 / 8:55 pm

      Thanks, Jenny, It was a really nice little project for the children and I to work on together from start to finish.

  8. 24/09/2014 / 10:11 pm

    Great job! I like how honest you are about your fear of doing it all wrong – I would be exactly the same. This does take me back to childhood sewing projects though – which are actually really satisfying to complete and you can guarantee that that little toy will be better loved than many a shop-bought equivalent! X #sharewithme

    • Mel
      26/09/2014 / 11:01 pm

      It is scary, isn’t it when you start something out of your comfort zone? Even though it was not done to perfection, it is a special little teddy. I can still picture Jumpy wearing the pretty tops we used!

    • Mel
      26/09/2014 / 11:05 pm

      It is scary, isn’t it when you start something out of your comfort zone? Even though it was not done to perfection, it is a special little teddy for us. I can still picture Jumpy wearing the pretty tops we used!

  9. wendigratz
    25/09/2014 / 1:07 pm

    It turned out so cute! Thanks for sharing!

    • Mel
      26/09/2014 / 2:01 pm

      Thanks a lot, Wendi! I could never have done anything remotely cute without your fab pattern. x

  10. Louisa
    26/09/2014 / 7:24 pm

    Well done all on a fantastic team effort. I used to be terrified of my machine. My first make was a cushion with no curves at all to sew. It’s an addictive hobby, I am now making clothes and changing patterns to suit my needs. It’s great for your children to have something they have made. #sharewithme

    • Mel
      26/09/2014 / 10:51 pm

      I really hope we can make clothes one day! We found a really simple Elsa dress tutorial a couple of weeks ago, and we will have a go soon. Fingers crossed!

  11. 26/09/2014 / 10:59 pm

    Such a cute idea. Can’t wait for my girls to be a little older so we can do these activities. Thanks for linking up to the #binkylinky

    • Mel
      26/09/2014 / 11:11 pm

      It is brilliant when they start thinking of little projects to do with you!

  12. kohlmama
    28/09/2014 / 4:08 pm

    Bravo! Trop mignon 🙂 I don’t believe you’re a novice sewer for one minute 🙂 x

    • Mel
      28/09/2014 / 4:12 pm

      You are too kind, lovely! I can sew by hand (kind of), but the machine terrifies me!

  13. 29/09/2014 / 8:16 am

    What a great job you did. I often wish my mom had been more successful teaching me to sew. Lovely bear and great use of upcycling the material.

    • Mel
      29/09/2014 / 2:04 pm

      Nobody in my family really likes to sew. I am not sure why I got into it, but I enjoy hand sewing. It is so relaxing! The machine is a different matter, but we will get there!

    • Mel
      29/09/2014 / 2:05 pm

      It is (she writes, looking at the discarded teddy on the floor!). He wants to move on to the next project now: sewing an Elsa dress for his sister’s doll.

    • Mel
      29/09/2014 / 1:50 pm

      I love mine. I just wish I was a bit less scared of it!

  14. 29/09/2014 / 10:13 am

    That is gorgeous. I would love to be able to make something like that and they become more precious to them as well. I must dig out my mum’s sewing machine. Now inspired #magicmoments

    • Mel
      29/09/2014 / 1:47 pm

      Let me know if you have a go at making something like that. Wendi’s website is full of fab patterns!

  15. normaleverydaylifeblog
    29/09/2014 / 1:51 pm

    I’m impressed! That turned out so cute!! #magicmoments

    • Mel
      29/09/2014 / 2:12 pm

      Thanks, I like its uneven shape. It makes it even more special!

  16. lauracymft
    29/09/2014 / 8:40 pm

    Awww what a cute teddy!

    • Mel
      29/09/2014 / 9:53 pm


  17. BakedPotato Mummy
    01/10/2014 / 7:49 pm

    Oh this is fab! I used to love to sew, but don’t get time to do much now. Mum does most of the sewing and knitting and I do the baking and messy stuff 🙂 I’m looking forward to teaching Potato to see though. This looks like a perfect first project!
    Thanks for linking up with #BinkyLinky

    • Mel
      05/10/2014 / 12:29 pm

      Same here, I have less time than I would like to for little project, but I have to say this little bear was an easy one for the kids!

  18. 01/10/2014 / 10:48 pm

    Hello there-I love this! And am tempted to pluck up the courage and have a go-thank you! x #magicmoments

    • Mel
      10/10/2014 / 9:19 pm

      This little teddy is very special indeed.

  19. 05/10/2014 / 2:26 pm

    oh wow this is fantastic! i shy away from sewing i have to admit! ..

    thanks for linking up with #MagicMoments

    • Mel
      05/10/2014 / 2:48 pm

      It used to scare me a lot, but I really enjoy it now, even though I am not really good!

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