A Bear for Valentine's Day

I hand-sewed this little guy as a Valentine's Day gift for my girls. It's my first mohair teddy bear and probably won't be my last.

Many months ago, I purchased some mohair fabric from Intercal. But after considering it's price - and the fact that I didn't know where to begin - I just tucked it away while continuing to admire the work of a few of my favorite artists.

Then I saw this pattern by Sasha Pokrass and decided it would be perfect for trying my hand at making a bear (for a few reasons): 1) I wanted to use a tested pattern for my first bear; 2) I needed instructions on how to make a bear in the first place (cotter pins, washers, glass eyes?); and, 3) Although the bear in the pattern is mostly mohair (except his boots), I decided that I could use mohair just for the head. Perfect for learning in case I messed up!

For the body, I used boiled wool from a maternity coat that I wore over the years while pregnant with all three girls. I've been trying to decide what to make out of it for quite a long time. This project seemed ideal. I lined it with red Kona cotton and the little guy is quite sturdy.

He needs a ruffled collar like the original pattern. I just haven't decided what fabric/lace to use. In the meantime, he's borrowing a scarf from a little dog :).

And yes (I'm sure a few of you are cringing looking at my bear :) ), when my hand gets steadier, I know I need to go back and work on his muzzle more. He definitely needs some grooming and a trim. I just keep having flashbacks to the first time I took tweezers to my eyebrows and ended up with one arched ridiculously high. Just one. It took weeks to correct and I looked so silly. So...I didn't want to overdo it on his nose and left him a bit scruffy for now.

Besides, that's a huge part of the joy in sewing for my children - they don't notice these things (right now) and love what I make them (again, for now!).


  1. te ha quedado maravilloso!! very cute!!
    a happy day!!
    susy :D

  2. I cannot believe this is your first bear, he's grrreat! And with his red felt body, he looks like he's wearing a union suit :-) He is delightful.


  3. I think he turned out beautifully! And he's your first one! Goodness me, get the mohair out and start making more, LOTS more!!!

  4. @ Susina - thank you so much!

    @ Beth - you're too kind :). (and be on the lookout for an email from me within the next couple days!)

    @ Hannah - thanks!

    @ Shelly - you inspired me to just give it a try! it was nerve-wracking to think of cutting into the mohair!

    @ Jenny - thank you!

  5. My goodness, her is wonderful. He looks like he has on his warmest snowsuit.


  6. This is wonderful. What a special treasure for your girls.

    PS Voted for you in the Handmade Olympics. Good luck!

  7. Ha ha ha ha. I am telling you, I did not look at this and think, "boy, she should really work to correct that muzzle." Your work is really lovely. If you want amateurish, and yet still fun, have a look at my horsie:


    The bridle is still attached with safety pins, nearly a month later..

  8. From the price of the mohair I can see why you would be nervous. However, the bear turned out absolutely adorable! It looks great!

  9. Your work is beautiful! I learned about your blog through the handmade olympics. Congrats on silver :). Your dolls and toys are really wonderful. I very much admire your work and craftsmanship. The look of your pieces are so classic, heirloom toys for sure. Have you ever considered creating a pattern for your dolls?

    Looking forward to seeing your future creations, thanks for sharing!

  10. gorgeous! I want one! I looked at her patterns and aren't they divine. Oh please, please produce your patterns of your dolls because I would love to make them for my girls!

  11. He's so precious, I can't believe you made him. Just perfect in every way.

  12. Your work is beautiful! I LOVE your bear! He is so adorable! I love his little face.:)