Meet Lisa and Corduroy the Bear

When I was little, I loved books where the toys were central characters - and they were real. The Velveteen Rabbit, The Lonely Doll, and Corduroy were some of my favorites. So when I saw a copy of Corduroy at our local bookstore last month, I picked it up. Our board-book version of Corduroy disintegrated years ago.

Days later, I noticed a pattern for this bear by one my favorite artists/toymakers, Jennifer Murphy. His small size seemed like the perfect opportunity to try my hand at sewing an entire mohair teddy bear (he's completely hand-sewn). After purchasing the pattern, I couldn't help but think of Corduroy the Bear.

Aaaaaaaaaaaand I just happened to have an unfinished doll body that would be perfect for Lisa. So I started on this gift set for my youngest daughter's birthday.

I didn't finish it in time for her big day (I gave her the book and told her the toys were coming), but she's been watching me work on it when I could squeeze in the time.

The Maxwell bear pattern is really sweet. And I think I've figured out cotter-pin joints! The bear feels really secure. I can't wait to make a few more! My bear didn't turn out looking like a "Jennifer Murphy" bear. I had an idea of how Corduroy looked (to me), but also, I think even if I had tried to replicate Jennifer Murphy's "style", I would have failed. It is nearly impossible to replicate that kind of talent! So, my bear looks like a regular ole' bear. My daughter likes him just the same. She wants me to fix his overalls, though :).

Oh, and one thing about the bear pattern, I ordered the recommended size of glass-eyes, but they seemed too small for my bear. (I hand-sewed the entire bear with smaller than recommended seam allowances - so I'm guessing that's the reason). I ordered some larger eyes, but in the meantime, he's sporting some Sharpie-colored pins as eyes :).


Sweet Bears!

Do you recognize this pattern? If not, you'd better head over to Gingermelon's store and take a look! Shelly has such an eye for detail. Her patterns, kits, and little creations are all so adorable. I absolutely love her work. Her patterns are perfect for people of all ages/skill levels. You really can't go wrong...the only result is cute :).

Before the holidays, I purchased a Tag-Along Bear Kit. It included the pattern and everything needed to make the bear.

After seeing how sweet the pattern was in person, the girls decided that they both wanted to make their own Tag-Along Bears for February Sunday Sister Sewing Sessions.

For my 6-year old, I enlarged the pattern and used some really old red wool felt I found awhile back in my Grandma Lou's sewing stash (it must be decades old!!!). I used a 1/16'' craft punch and made holes so she could whipstitch the bear on her own. I helped her with the head dart and the features. It's hard to tell from the picture, but her finished bear is about 9'' tall.

For my 8-year old, I reduced the pattern (she likes thing small), and she did all the sewing on her own. I helped with the eyes and nose.

They turned out great! The girls are pretty pleased with themselves.

We added these two bears to our Valentine's Day/February decorations. We also added this garland - a super easy and cute idea from Betz White found via a tutorial on craftzine. This took mere minutes to make. I love quick and rewarding projects...