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a blog about my adventures in dressmaking, crochet, knitting and anything else i try to make.

thomas bear

warning – not a dress making post!


in december, i saw the christmas edition of the Great British Sewing Bee.  Anne (the cutest lady, in the world, ever) made this teddy bear, and i wanted it.  however, at £40 i did not want to splurge that much so tried to forget about how lovely he was.


then the other day at work, i got a promotion (yay!) so i decided to treat myself the only way i know how; by buying something for myself.  i still didn’t buy the £40 version (my new pay hasn’t started yet!) so i downgraded to a smaller version – the thomas bear.  


i spent yesterday making him, and i love him.  here’s the making of the bear…


pattern cutting – so much easier on a smaller scale!
the instructions say just to cut through the fabric backing rather than the mohair as well, however that was too fiddly so i just cut it like i would dress fabric.  it turned out okay!
here’s all my little pieces…
i liked that i could write on the pieces.  i feel like it made my organisation easier.
i did think that the seam allowance was small. i really tried to keep it to the minimum because (i’m silly) i didn’t realise how small the bear would be when i was done.  that’s what happens when you’re stingy and won’t pay an extra £10 for a bigger bear!
after sewing all the pieces to their corresponding part, it was time to look at the joints.  i have never ever made a teddy bear before and these joints confused me.  i youtubed and googled, things came out okay.  
my thoughts at this points…  ARRGHHH.
here’s thomas’s head after i constructed, stuffed it and put his ears on.  the cotterpin joint is also in place.
hello teddy bear head!
i embroidered his nose and mouth on, and then sewed his eyes on!  i love how cute he is!
yay, facial expression!
When it came to actually attaching the limbs to the body, it wasn’t too tricky.  luckily i had some needle nosed pliers from some jewellery making trials (the less said the better), so i used them to twist my pins into place.  it was SO fiddly because of the size of him.
legless ted.
floppy bear!
get stuffed, bear! (hehehe, stuffing pun)
AND YAY BEAR.  i had some lead shot with the bear and was really confused with where to put it.  logic told me his bottom needed to be heavy so he would sit properly, so i put a bit of stuffing in the lower part of his body, then poured (what i think was a good amount!) of lead shot in.  i did the same with the tops of his legs too.
hello world!
all dressed up with only a shelf to go and sit on.
I would definitely buy another teddy bear kit.  definitley.  although i was slightly hungover and grumpy through lack of sleep (thanks national grid for digging up my road at 8.30am on a saturday…) i really enjoyed making thomas.  i might splurge on the £40 one next.
i do have something not-really-negative-but-could-be-improved kind of point to make about the pattern.  they should tell you what pieces to cut out of the ultrasuede!  because i did not get that i was supposed to cut the inside of the ears out of that as well as the feet/claw pads.  i would also like more instruction on where to put the lead shot.
i’m going to buy a teddy bear making book from amazon and see if i can figure out all the parts i need, try and make one from scratch sans kit, maybe i can do it a bit cheaper.
i’ve kept the pieces for thomas because i love his shape, he’s such a classic looking bear and i love that about him.  i’m going to take them to work to photocopy them and blow the size up, so when i do get some faux fur fabric, i can make a bigger version of my now favourite bear. i might make his tummy a bit fatter though, chubby bears are the best!
2 Discussions on
“thomas bear”
  • I loved the bear on that episode as well, and thought I couldn't really justify the pennies needed to buy one. I'm glad you earned yourself a promotion (well done) and got one. I also loved how he turned out. Do let us all know if you buy a book and make one from scratch. That definitely sounds cheaper and I would love to see the results if you do x

  • thanks very much! 🙂 i'll do some research and definitely post about it. planning on going to a few fabric shops to check out the price of faux fur too. i see myself becoming obsessed quite quickly!

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