Alrights so here is the post about my secret project.
Yups! This is the product of me cutting and stitching and stuffing and prickling myself for 5 days. Like what I said, this is not up to my expectations. Somehow the head looks weird, and I was really depressed at first when the bear was done. I know it’s not easy to come out with something like this, but I am a bit too perfectionist to feel really happy about my handiwork.
The idea first occurred to me quite some time ago, that was even before I finish my last sem’s final exams. I initially planned to make one for bf as his birthday present, but decided to push the plan early and make one for him bring to Cambodia during his OVE. Thought it will be an appropriate timing, or at least that is what I thought la.
My very initial plan was to buy a bear plush sewing kit and make a small one for him. But when I went to the shop to look for it, those sewing kits were long gone from the shelves. The last time I saw those kits was actually quite a few years back, and I thought they always have it there. =(
So plan B! Didn’t really have an exact plan or exact shape about how I should make the bear like, so I just grabbed a few pieces of cloth and some polyester stuffing from Daiso, thinking I’ll figure it out more specifically after I got home.
The easiest way to do of course is just to cut out the shapes in two pieces of cloth and stitch them together. Something like this:
But in my mind I know this is not what I want. Although it’s super easy to make, the cuteness level is not really to my liking. I tried looking at my own bear plushies to figure out how to make a more 3D one, but my limited sewing level convinced me to give up and go online to search for templates.
There aren’t many websites that offer free templates or teach you how to sew a 3D one, but I managed to find one that not only gives you the template, the web owner made it clear and convenient for people to sew their own teddies according to her instructions. Here’s the link:
Besides teddy bears, the web owner also has her blog featured with many handicrafts, such as handmade flowers, transformed clothes, bags, and they are really pretty! She also teaches a few sewing techniques like how to sew ruffles or make a strap. So if you’re like handicrafts and is interested to learn to make some handicrafts, go check this blog out. On the side note, she is quite pretty.
The template can be found right from the link I pasted, just download and print it out, trace it on your desired cloth and start cutting away! Basically you just have to sew the pieces of cloth together matching the same alphabet, for example the A-B line of this cloth should be matched to the A-B line of the other cloth. Sounds easy right?
But I butt itchy and went to do some modifications to my bear. My plan was to make a not-too-big bear with a bigger head as compared to the body so it’ll look cuter. And because the template sizes are drawn according to her teddy, which has a size of this
I cannot trace the pattern out directly. So basically I just follow the shape of each piece and estimate the size of it. And I must say my estimation skill is quite godlike, coz I usually get it just about right in my first draw.
Started off with the head first. I used felt (that can also be bought from Daiso) for the eyes and nose. But lesson learnt here: Don’t sew the nose piece on too early until you’ve stitch it to the face, otherwise you will risk having it senget like mine.
Just my eeyore goofing around with the head.
After the head is done, I went on tracing the body pieces out.
This is the finished part of the front body.
Working on the back body. Not forgetting to attach the little tail to it before stitching the two pieces together!
So here I have the two separate pieces of the body. Time to sew them together.
It is a little confusing here at this part so to prevent mistakes, I pinned the two pieces together at places I think should be correct to stitch together and see for myself before working on with the needle. It’s a real trouble when you realize you did it wrongly and have to undo the stitching, especially at the later stages where all the stitches are overlapping and you don’t know which belongs to the one you’re suppose to remove.
Somemore, I specifically want all the cloth pieces to face one direction so it won’t look messy. A lot of times I kept forgetting and ended up re-cutting the pieces off the cloth in the correct direction.
I’m quite used to sewing and have some experience in troubleshooting when things go wrong, like tangles and wrong stitches so generally the process is quite smooth for me.
After stitching everything together except for head and body, I started stuffing my bear.
This is what I used for the stuffing. It’s quite bouncy and nice and it expands after you open it.
The amount is more than enough for me to fill my bear.
I used a pencil to stuff the polyester into the arms coz they’re quite thin (another mistake in my estimation coz the plan is to make them short and fat).Stuffing is fun, well at least to me. Coz it’s so much easier than cutting and sewing, and the sense of achievement when you see your plush getting near to completion.
Here’s my stuffed body. I added a four-leaved clover to it and stitch his initial on the clover using felt, making it a good luck bear for him. =)
Okay, at this point of time I was bloating with excitement and happiness coz I was almost done and it looks ultra cute when I placed the pieces together and try to visualize it.
After I stuffed the head, I realized something is wrong, something is very wrong.
Like seriously?? Why is the difference so big after the head is stuffed??
Words cannot describe how disappointed I was feeling when I saw this. It is not suppose to look like this! Absolutely not!! It is suppose to look like the one without stuffing!
I really don’t know how to save it at this stage. I tried altering the amount of stuffing used but the outcome is still the same. It’s too late to do any major alterations and I was left with too little cloth to make a new head.
So I just stitch the head on to the body, feeling miserable at how it turned out. The feeling got worse when I looked back at the picture of the ideal look of my teddy bear with the non-stuffed head. It was depressing, and I almost wanted to give up the idea of giving him this. I know it’s quite impressive to come out with something close to this, but I really want it to be perfect…
I went to bed early that night, not feeling happy at all about the idea of giving him the bear. The feeling was totally different as compared to before I realized the mistake. I was really depressed.
But I brought it with me to the airport anyway, adding a headband to it to cover up the flaws of its head. He said he likes it, and although I know he does, I just don’t feel as happy. Oh well, sometimes being a perfectionist is not a good thing eh?
Although he didn’t bring it with him to Cambodia (which defeats the purpose I rushed it out for him), I expected it anyway. I just wanted to give him on the day he flew off to show him that I did something for him for the trip, so yeah, I wasn’t disappointed, though his family kept scolding him for not bringing when I brought it all the way from Msia. lol
So here are a few mistakes I think I made:
- The back of the body is too low, as seen from the photo. The body is slanted towards the back, and my bear couldn’t sit on its own (it’ll flip backwards). I should’ve drawn longer pieces of the back.
- The arms are too thin. Lesson learnt here: When the size of any part looks ideal, add another 1-2cm for the sewing around the edges.
- I think the most fatal mistake of the head is the spacing between the two pieces. Because I didn’t follow the dimensions of the template and was using pure estimation of my own, the curves of the head may be the cause of the head to go out of shape after stuffing.
But oh well, what’s done is done. It actually looks not too bad after awhile, so yep, my first ever handmade soft toy: Tadaaaaaa~~