Friday, 18 December 2009

Sew It - Make A Traditional Teddy Bear

Here is my latest attempt at the 'Classic Teddy' pattern from which I made Honey last year. This is Snowflake. She is a soft creamy white in colour, with caramel coloured felt paws and feet. She is this year’s gift for the lovely Emily, thought I have found it hard to part with her because she is so soft and huggable!

~ Traditional Teddy Bear ~
The pattern is very simple and one that I have been using for years. It is all done by hand though it could easily be done on a sewing machine if you prefer. I think the pattern originally came from my textiles teacher at school, which means I've had it a long time! Enjoy!!

What you will need: 
Medium Pile Fur Fabric 
Strong cotton thread 
Black embroidery silk for eyes and nose 
Sewing Needle + A Long Sharp Needle for sewing eyes and nose 
Free PDF Sewing Pattern Download it Here

Cut all the pattern pieces out following the grain/pile/nap markings on the pattern.

Be sure when you are cutting fur fabric that you only cut the back layer and not the fur itself, this can be quite tricky but if you take your time and use only very sharp scissors this should help, the best way I have found is to give the scissors a little wobble/wiggle to move the fur out of the way before snipping the jersey backing.

Once all the pieces are cut out you can start pinning and then sewing them together.

1. Sew the two back pieces together as marked on the pattern - Upper back.

2. Sew back together lower back the gap between the two sew lines is left open for stuffing later.

3. Sew Tummy pieces together along the marked line.

4. Sew front and back pieces together along marked lines to create a continuous seam - no gaps needed!!

5. Sew two leg pieces together - Repeat on the other leg.

6. Sew upper leg together all the way to the tip of toe leaving a gap for stuffing at the back of the leg. Repeat on other leg.

7. Sew from the Chin to nose on headpieces.

8. Insert Head Gusset - I find it easier to pin the head at the centre of the gusset (the nose) and work my way pinning down each side checking that it all matches up, before stitching.

9. Sew the Arm pieces to each other following the dotted line and leaving a gap for stuffing - Repeat on the other arm.

If you want to make paw pads in the arms: You will need to just cut two pieces of the above arm one right way and one reflected and then use the arm pattern and paw pad pattern on page 3 to make the inside of the arm.
9a. Firstly seam the shorter arm piece and the paw pad together at pink line line, using the same seam allowance as for rest of arm.

9b. Join each inside arm with its corresponding outside arm inside piece leaving a gap where marked for stuffing and your done, on to step 10!
10. Sew the foot pads into each of the legs this is a little fiddly but with patience and enough pins it should not be too taxing.

11. Sew two ear pieces together as shown on the pattern piece. Turn right way out. Repeat for the other ear.

12. Now your bear is ready to be jointed, the best description of using joints on the web is at Soggibottom's Blog or if you prefer you can sew the arms, legs and head directly onto the body.

13. Stuff and then sew up all open seams.

14. Stitch ears on to the head - Pin in place first as the placement of the ears really can change your bear's personality.

15. Sew the eyes by using 4/5 French knots for each and fastening off the thread securely when finished.

16. The last bit is to sew the nose double up the embroidery silk and over sew the tip of the snout to create the nose. Again make sure that this is fastened off securely and you're done!!

Now say Hello to your new friend!!!!

Wendy x

March 2020: It has been brought to my attention via a comment on this post that 'unnamed' feels I have stolen the pattern linked in this post from Soggybottom's blog. I can assure you all that this is not the case, this pattern was given to me by a teacher when I was at school in the 90's and has been a trusted pattern that I have used many times over the years, and scanned in, scaled up (he was much smaller than he is now) and tidied up in illustrator to share, as I though it was a nice thing to do. I have seen her pattern today and yes there are similarities, as it is a teddy bear pattern, but there must surely be thousands out there, that all look rather similar. The first teddy that I made and actually shared on my blog was Honey made for a christmas gift in 2008, a year before SoggyBottom posted her pattern.

I linked to Soggybottoms website as her's was and is the best description of jointing a teddy bear on the internet at the time, and is a much a better description than I could have produced, as was pointed out in the comment my descriptions on making up the bear are not the best, yes 'unkown' is correct they are very, very basic but I was no expert in sewing or writing blogs at the time, so I did my best. 

I am no thief and feel very upset to think that such accusations have been thrown my way. What I would have stood to gain from sharing someone else's work and not crediting them, when I have linked to them in my post anyway, I really don't know, I am just sorry that nearly 11 years later it is felt that I have. I still think her blog is great and her bears beautiful. Wendy x 


  1. The best description is at Soggibottom :-) ?
    Thank you :-) x

  2. Second attempt at making teddy bears. This is perfect! I bought a similar teddy from a second hand shop ages ago. My cousin sister loves it so much, she has been asking me to give it to her for the past 3 years. I think her wish is about to come true. :D Wish me luck.

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  5. Just ignore the hater's .and enjoy your work

  6. What stitch do you use to hand sew? I have been doing these on the machine.

  7. How tall is it?