SOFT TOY: POLAR BEAR
Whether frolicking in the snow or snuggling under the duvet, Jo Carter’s polar bear softie will warm the coldest winter days.
YOU WILL NEED
Plush fabric: white, 50x75cm (20x30in)
Plush fabric: black, 6x6cm (2!⁄"x2!⁄"in)
Pair of plastic safety eyes: black, 12mm (½in) diameter
Stranded cotton: black and metallic silver
Scraps of iron-on interfacing Polyester toy filling
Water erasable pen/pencil
Basic sewing kit
Smooth Cuddle 3 in Snow White from www.plushaddict.co.uk
Approximately 22cm (8½in) high.
You will find the templates needed on the pull-out pattern sheet included with this issue.
Use a 5mm (¼in) seam allowance unless otherwise stated.
Step one Trace and cut out all the template pieces. The templates include seam allowances where necessary and the arrows indicate the pile or print direction for marking and cutting out. The notches are used to match pieces when stitching together, so mark these, too. When the pattern specifies to cut two or more of a template, after marking out half of the pieces required, the template needs to be turned over to mark out the remaining half so that the pieces are cut as mirror images. Step two Using a water erasable pen or pencil draw out the pattern pieces onto the wrong side (WS) of the fabric and cut out as follows:
From white plush fabric:
Front ear, cut 2. Back ear, cut 2. Middle face, cut 1. Side face, cut 2. Back head, cut 2. Tummy, cut 2. Side body, cut 2. Under arm, cut 2. Top arm, cut 2. Inner leg, cut 2. Foot, cut 2.
Tail, cut 1.
From black plush fabric:
Nose, cut 1.
STITCHING THE SNOWFLAKES
Step one You can embroider as many or as few of the polar bear pieces with snowflakes as you prefer. We have put three on ours. To do this, draw out your own snowflake designs onto paper then copy them freehand onto your chosen fabric pieces.
Step two It’s best to press a small piece of iron-on interfacing onto the wrong side (WS) of the plush fabric piece where you want to work the embroidery to support it and stop the fabric puckering underneath the stitching. Use metallic thread to stitch the snowflakes using backstitch worked close together.
MAKING THE EARS
Step one Place one front ear right sides (RS) together with one back ear and sew around the sides, leaving the straight edge open.
Step two Turn the ear RS out and make a fold in the centre of the front ear so that it mirrors the shape and width of the back.
Step three Tack the fold into place across the bottom of the ear.
Step four Repeat this process for the other ear,
but this time make the front ear fold in the opposite direction.
MAKING THE FACE
Step one With RS together, close the dart in the top of the middle face. Taper the end when you reach it for a neat finish.
Step two Sew the top of the nose onto the bottom of the middle face.
Step three With RS together, first close the dart in one side face piece and then sew it to the corresponding side of the middle face.
Step four Repeat this process for the other side face piece.
Step five With the front of the ears against the RS of the face and the fold in the ear facing outward, tack the ears in place between the seam and marker on each side.
Step six Make the smallest hole possible through which to allow the shank of the eye in the side face pieces where marked. If you’re using thin fabric such as cotton add a small square of fabric over the shank on the reverse of the face before adding the washer. This will provide some extra support to the eye to keep it in position and stop it dropping down.
Step seven Fit the eyes into place according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
FINISHING THE HEAD
Step one Place the back head pieces RS facing and sew together from the top down along the back of the head for approximately 4cm (1!⁄"in) just to join them.
Step two With RS together, line up the dart at the top of the middle face with the central seam in the back head and from this top point sew the face and back head together down one side. Return to the top point and sew the remaining side together. Sewing the seam in two parts in this way is easier and helps to ensure a more even finish.
MAKING THE TAIL
Step one With RS together, fold the tail piece in half then sew it together, leaving the end open for now.
Step two Turn the tail the RS out and stuff it lightly just to give it a little body.
Step three Tack the end closed.
MAKING THE BODY
Step one Select the corresponding tummy and inner leg pieces and with RS together sew together around the internal curve. Step two Repeat this on the other side with the other two tummy and inner leg pieces
Step three With RS together, sew a side body piece to the corresponding tummy and leg section from the under arm area down along the side of the body. Continue to sew across the top of the leg.
Step four Repeat this process on the other side with the other two side body and tummy and leg sections.
ATTACHING THE ARMS
Step one Select an under arm piece and the side of the body section it corresponds with. Step two With RS together, sew from the internal V at the top of the under arm to the V-shaped opening formed between the side body and tummy.
Step three Repeat this process on the other side of the body.
Step four With RS together, first close the dart in a top arm piece and then sew the top arm to its corresponding under arm.
Step five Repeat this on the other side.
ATTACHING THE FEET
Step one With RS together, sew a foot piece around the end of one leg.
Step two Repeat this to sew the other foot on the end of the other leg.
JOINING THE HEAD
Step one With RS together, sew the front of the face closed from the bottom of the nose down to the neck edge.
Step two Join the head and body together along the neck edge, taking care to match up the markers.
FINISHING THE BODY
Step one Tack the tail to the RS of one of the side body pieces.
Step two With RS together, sew the back head together fully to just a little beyond the neck seam.
Step three Sew the bottom back of the body closed to just above the tail to leave an opening of 8-10cm (3-4in) in the back of the bear body.
Step four With RS facing, sew the bottom of the bear together from the bottom of the foot on one side over to the bottom of the foot on the other side.
Step five Turn the polar bear RS out and stuff firmly with polyester toy filling.
ADDING THE FEATURES
Step one Embroider a mouth in backstitch using black stranded cotton and referring to the photograph above for positioning.
Step two Sew some shaping between the eyes by bringing the needle out at the inside of one eye, securing the thread with a few small stitches and then taking the needle through the face to the other eye, back to the first eye and back again to the second eye. Step three Pull lightly on the thread to draw the eyes together slightly, giving the face more character. Secure the thread, take the needle back into the head and out again at any point and then snip away the excess.
Step four If preferred, add some more shaping between each corner of the mouth and the eye above it in the same way.
Step five Re-adjust any filling that was disturbed by the shaping then sew the back of the body closed using ladder stitch.
Give your polar bear subtle sparkle with snowflakes sewn in shimmering silver.
Jo worked for 10 years as a soft toy designer and rediscovered her love of toy-making while taking time out with her sons. www. twoowls.typepad.co.uk