Sunday, August 8, 2010

Tip Top Numbers Bear link to free pattern included!



This cute, little free bear pattern is a fun afternoon project and a great way to show off some really cute fabric. This little guy is made with Tip Top Numbers Bright and Michael Miller Dumb Dot Red. Tip Top Numbers is so bright and colorful, works for boys, girls, babies and big kids.


Daiwabo Tip Top Canvas Numbers Bright
Michael Miller Dumb Dot Red
The 7 inch version of the bear is a perfect size for little hands.


The directions are not too detailed and after trying this pattern a couple of times, here are some tips and tricks that made things easier for me:

  • Adjust the seam allowance from 3/8" to 1/4". It was definitely easier to sew the little pieces with a smaller seam allowance.
  • Press open the front and back seams. A tailor's ham is very helpful for pressing open curved seams like these.


  • When sewing the curved seams, go slowly, repositioning the pieces every few stitches. It will keep the curved seams nice and smooth.
  • When sewing the fits to the legs, I found trying to sew the fits onto the legs with both leg seams sewn was too difficult. Instead, sew the top leg seam first. Starting at that seam, sew the fit in one direction. In the picture below, you can see how I positioned the fit on the top seam. Stop 1/4" from the edge. Go back to the center seam and sew the other side, stopping 1/4" from the edge. Sew the bottom seam, stopping 1/4" from the edge.

  • The directions skip the step of sewing the arms together. Sew them after you sew the legs.


  • Sewing the front piece to the body is a little tricky but it will come together. Start by sewing the curved leg seams together, then sew the seam between the legs. Sew the curved arm seams and then the shoulders, which is what I am doing in the picture below. The trickiest part is sewing the seams between the legs and the arms. The directions don't mention it, but the back pattern piece has notches at arm and leg joints. Clip these notches to make it easier to sew the front to the back. Good luck, go slow and be sure to turn the bear right side out to check how things are coming together. And don't be afraid of the seam ripper.


  • After sewing the face darts, sew the top face seam, then sew the nose on. Just to warn you, the nose piece is too big so you will have to give it a little nose job. Start sewing the nose at the center seam on the face, going in one direction, then the other. Then sew the lower face seam. Once the face is together, you can see how much of the nose needs to be adjusted. Sew a new nose seam following the original seam line but have it line up with the lower face seam. Trim the excess fabric.


  • When sewing the ears, sew them nice and slowly since they are so little. Stuff them and baste them closed. Sew them onto the front of the face before sewing the head together.
  • When sewing the head to the body, start by matching the two center seams, sewing one side to the back and then the other.
Good luck and have fun!

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