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Furry Sewing Goodness!

Time for some furry goodness today!
I have kindly been given this wonderful little pink Bear Sewing Kit to try out by Minerva Crafts and who could resist that face! Having previous made Nanu The Snail from the Minicraft series I thought it would be great to try another creature and see how the construction and pieces compare. Would it be the Rolls Royce of bear kits? Or a ‘Furrari’ if you will…
The bear comes from a kit make by Minicraft Toy Kits, who have a whole host of lovely cuddlies to choose from. This fella is part of their ‘Cuddle Time Bear’ range and you have the option of blue, pink, green, or the traditional bear shades ‘chestnut and honey’. I initially wondered whether I was properly ‘koala-fied’ to undertake this task but you’ll just have to ‘bear’ with me…… (I heard you all collectively sigh but you’ll have to grin and bear it).
The kit contains all pre-cut pieces of fabric and eye parts together with instructions so that you can get making the bear right away. The only thing you need for this product is a needle, thread and some toy stuffing which can be bought separately. The stuffing goes a long way trust me!

This particular bear is 35cm high and the fibres are 100% acrylic. The pack indicates that the product is not suitable for children under 3 years as there are small parts for assembling the eyes. To be fair if that’s the only reason that making a bear from scratch can’t be done by a 3-year old I‘d be pretty impressed.  

Let’s unpack this hairy beast.

The bear comprises of 16 fuzzy pieces, 4 pieces of felt whose purpose is yet to be revealed and 7 facial components.

As you can see from this picture it does look like something pretty sinister kicked off down at teddy bear’s picnic and CSI: 100 Acre Woods is about to rock up and conduct an investigation. 
The great thing about this is that you can sew it on the machine or easily stitch it with needle and thread, by your own ‘bear’ hands. I made this on the sewing machine but to be honest there were times where hand-stitching would have given better control, especially with so much fuzz flying around and the kit’s tiny 5mm seam allowance. I tacked where it said to – they were pretty serious about that.

The ears came together really quickly, and after that, the head started to take shape after a bit of read and re-read of the instructions. I think with a bear and all these weird pieces there’s no frame of reference so it's tricky to see if you’re on the right lines and not sewing a leg to a head bit etc. With a dress at least, you can see if its ‘about right’. I was flying blind here people. The instructions and diagram of the pieces are however very clear and give good guidance. I would also give these instructions 10/10 for hilarity factor as it references such classics as ‘the furry head gusset’ which for some reason I could only read in the voice of Joe Lycett. (Side note: Yay to the sewing bee coming back!) 

Tip for sewing the head together – keep the fur tucked inside, right sides together, otherwise when you turn it out and the fur catches in the seam allowance, your bear looks like he’s got a bit of a toupée centre part going on. 

At this point, I did wonder if I’d made a possum or other such small rodent until it was time to attach the eyes. The instructions say to sew around the eye hole to reinforce it. I did not. I could barely see the eyehole due to all the fur let along jet that under the machine so just gave that a miss. The eyes take some force to pop into place securely so don’t be afraid to go for it. 

This is the only time I ever want to see what the insides of a bear's head look like. 

The arms and legs were relatively straightforward if a little fiddly. All was going fairly smoothly UNTIL I turned the arm out, it got stuck on a thread and this happened. Not sure Minicraft has made this themselves… I think they need to revise that age limit. Absolute panda-monium. 

Now lets paws for a second…. The rest of the body construction is great, it whips up like a little pimp jacket!

Looking good so far but we’re not out of the woods yet…. (and we all know what happens there). The legs are attached to the body and the whole thing gets turned inside out so you can attach the bear’s bum. Weird but true. 

The head goes on quite easily as at this point its just a straight seam to attach the head to body, as the back remains open for stuffing.

Now fill that bear up! I used some multi-purpose washable Polyester Filling which is certified safe for toy stuffing. 
The last few steps are to hand sew the gaps where you stuffed the bear with a ladder stitch. This gets hidden nicely in the fur and keeps him securely together. The final touch – his nose!

Meet Terri. Here he is channelling his inner Yogi.

I thoroughly enjoyed making Terri, it was a lot of fun, especially as it's not something I usually sew. This kit would make a wonderful gift – a toy presented ready-made for a kid or even the kit itself for those a little older, so they can enjoy the process of making and keeping their own woodland friend. 

Just watch where you put those pic-a-nic baskets….
Thanks for reading,
Emma @ Crafty Clyde

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