Memory Bears—A Bear and a Spare

pattern

I bought this pattern several years ago when our fabric store was running a special on patterns, some ludicrous price like $1.00 each. I never knew if I would make one or not, but who can pass up a bargain like that? Fast forward a couple years and a good friend was retiring from law enforcement after thirty years. Just my opportunity to try my hand at making a Memory bear. I didn’t have any of my old uniform shirts left, but digging through my box of hoarded fabric, I found just the right color fabric, with a receipt showing I bought the fabric in 2002! Wow.

I have to say I was just a little intimidated by the pattern. The head comes in five parts. This was probably the most difficult part of the bear. I did follow the instructions, I thought, very closely, but after assembling the bear and getting ready to stuff it, I realized: 1) I had the head on sideways and 2) both legs were facing inward. A very pigeon-toed bear. I had already stuffed about half the bear and couldn’t figure out why the legs looked so strange. It finally dawned on me what I had done, so, out came the stuffing and back to ripping and the sewing machine.

jana bear

I’m really pleased with how the bear turned out. I bought 1″ wide gross grain ribbon for the tie and gun belt and then went to the dollar store where I bought the toy gun and walkie-talkie. The gun was originally all orange, so I spray painted it black, leaving the tip of the barrel orange (denotes a play gun) and glued both the gun and the walkie to the belt. Please ignore the nose, it is upside down in this photo. Incidentally, I bought the eyes and nose at my local craft store. Both the eyes and nose come with safety backs that go on the shaft like earring backs, but don’t come off or shouldn’t pull through the fabric.

I personalized the soles of the bears feet with her name and her two designated serial numbers (we call them DSNs). I used printable fabric and just printed them out on my desk jet.

printable fabric
http://electricquilt.com/online-shop/satin-inkjet-fabric/

My second bear was for a baby shower and seemed to go together much quicker, but there’s always something new to learn. On this bear, it wasn’t until I had the bear entirely stuffed that I realized that one of the selvage edges of one of the ears did not catch in the seam and was coming out. I pondered this for a while trying to decide if I wanted to unstuff most of the bear to try and fix this and ultimately decided to do some small hand stitching. Not ideal, but it’s a reminder to me to check all the seams BEFORE stuffing!
boomer bear

On this bear, I set the ears farther apart and bought larger eyes with blue irises. I think these look better and I resurrected by embroidery skills for the mouth. My eighteen month old grandson saw these bears sitting on the shelf and wanted them badly. I guess that’s my excuse to make another one!

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