Tyo & Bear

Girl & Bear

Tyo’s teacher is pregnant. This is awesome for her. Tyo’s teacher is going on maternity leave.  This really sucks for Tyo—not just because, despite a bit of a rocky start to the year, Tyo has really come to love her teacher, but because now we have to go to the trouble of breaking in a new teacher, with only a few months left in the year and province-wide tests coming up. But that’s another story.

As a present for her teacher and the new baby, Tyo really really really wanted to make a teddy-bear.

We have a pattern for a teddy bear. Tyo made it once before, in rice-stuffed version. It’s, um, a nice pattern. For a very classy, old-fashioned sort of teddy bear. With ball joints. The kind you set up on a bookshelf in an antique doll’s dress, sipping tea.

Bear Profile

We have no ball joints, nor any particular interest in inserting them into a teddy-bear. Also sewing fun-fur with 1/4″ seam allowances around sharp little curves is tricky for my sewing skillz, never mind Tyo’s. This makes making these bears a bit of a frustrating project. And there’s a fair bit of hand-sewing involved. And the pattern is designed to have the seam go down the front of the belly, which Tyo doesn’t like, so we kept them on the sides and went with an asymmetrical body. The scarf is mostly to cover up how ugly this makes the neck area.

Anyway, Tyo did do most of the machine sewing, and all the stuffing, and sewed on all the buttons. I hand-stitched the head, limbs, and ears to one another, with varying degrees of care.  And the finished product is, if not exactly cute, at least endearingly ugly. Kind of like newborns, really. So it works.

Bare bear

I know buttons aren’t exactly kosher for baby toys, but, frankly, this is about Tyo and her teacher.

Oh, the Jalie yoga pants are cut out, too. The only change I made there was to add, oh, 4″ to the length (although I suspect I won’t need all of that, I’d rather be safe than sorry). And then I spent a whole hour (which was my designated sewing time for the evening) the other night sampling stitches because I’d like to add some black topstitching to cut the pink-sweetness-overload. I *think* I’ve figured out settings and a stitch that will work. It turns out that my White sewing machine stitches knits beautifully, completely without stretching  out the seams, because you can adjust the presser-foot pressure and partially lower the feed-dogs. Unfortunately, its poorly-calibrated backwards component (the stitches it takes backwards aren’t the same length as the stitches it takes forward, which isn’t great for fancy stitches) means that all the fancy stitches that might look cool as topstitching look like crap. But there’s one that I think I can use for seam-stitching, which’ll save me flipping the settings back and forth all the time on the Janome.

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15 Comments

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15 responses to “Tyo & Bear

  1. He’s a very cute, ugly bear. I love ugly bears because they are so cute. He looks as though he belongs in the same shop as Bagpuss. If you don’t know Bagpuss then you must find him on youtube right now. (Although, you might not “get” Bagpuss because you weren’t a child in the UK in the early 1970s:)

  2. How sweet of your daughter! You must be so proud, I know I would be. Ugly is the new cute, no?

  3. Ugly is sweet, when hand made with love and no one has to wear it in public. I’m sure her teacher will understand the love behind it.

  4. He’s endearing and very charming! UNIQUE! That’s the word! :D Good for her, making something for a person she cares about. My brother had a lot of trouble in school as well, and a good teacher makes a world of difference.

    I have a feeling that my machine also does different size stitches backward than forward, but I don’t normally play with the fancy stitches, so it’s not something that impacts my sewing much. Not that my machine has many fancy stitches to begin with…

    • Oh, I love your descriptors! Exactly—endearing and unique! ;)

      My Janome does it a bit, too, but the White is definitely worse—and working on the stretchy fabric just maginifies it. It also shows up in making buttonholes, but is a little bit easier to compensate for there…

  5. I feel your pain, my 7 year olds teacher just took a new job and we are “breaking in” a new teacher. It has gone pretty good, but it isn’t ideal.

    • What makes it worse is this is at least the fourth time this has happened in her school career! You’d think a majority of elementary teachers were women in their 20s and 30s or something… ;)

  6. Nice bear! Oh sure, it’s not perfect, but it’s the thought that counts, and honestly, it seemed to me that every little kid I knew had a “lovey” that was the least attractive stuffed animal they owned. So this one may turn out to be “the one” for the new baby. :)

  7. Joy

    That is soooo sweet! It has an antique-y quality to it which, as you said, is endearing – much more so than a beanie baby would be.

  8. Oh my, if I were pregnant and a student gave this to me, I think I would just melt! What a thoughtful, meaningful gift. Ugly bears are the best!

  9. Pingback: An Odyssey in Denim | Tanit-Isis Sews

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