A fat eighth of a metre of curly dense mohair
A small square of matching 100% wool felt
One pair 8 or 9mm black glass eyes
Three 30mm joints (for head and arms)
Two 35mm joints (for legs)
Plastic pellets for tummy if desired
Matching sewing cotton
Strong thread for sewing up and insertion of eyes
No. 5 black perle nose thread
Dylan by Susan Jane Knock, Bears by Susan Jane
This handsome fellow looks simply adorable with his large feet and adorably rounded pot belly! Best of all, Dylan is quite simple to sew, yet the results are quite stunning. Measuring 28cm (11") high, Dylan looks very smart in long dark gold mohair with a bronze coloured ribbon, although you could experiment with different shades and styles of fur for a completely different effect
Step by step
Place the pattern pieces onto the reverse side of the fabric, making sure the arrows follow the direction of the pile. Mark around and cut out. A seam allowance of 1/4" is included in the pattern. Pull off any loose mohair from the edges and trim the fur from the muzzle area on the head gusset and side head pieces. Also trim the pile from two of the four ear pieces.
Tack the body pieces together (leaving a 5cm-7.5cm (2"-3") gap at the back). Next tack the head pieces, matching the letters on the pattern. The best way is from the front neck to the nose, then insert the head gusset, stitching from the nose to the back of the head each side to ensure that it goes in evenly. Tack the ears together making sure you use one trimmed ear front to one fluffy ear back each time. Tack the leg seams ready for the insertion of the foot pads, leaving a 3.5cm (1.5") gap at the top.
Cut out two foot pads and two paw pads from the felt. Insert and tack the foot pads, ensuring that they are straight, then tack the paw pads to the arm pieces at the wrist. Tack around the rest of the arms, leaving a 3.5cm (1.5") gap at the top. Sew around the tacking on all the pieces with a machine, allowing a 1/4" seam allowance. Make sure both sides of the fabric have been sewn evenly.
Turn the pieces right side out and stuff the head, arms and legs, leaving room at the top of the limbs for inserting the joints. Also make sure that the head is stuffed evenly and that there are no pockets of space as this can make it look lopsided when jointed. Insert a 30mm joint in the head and then sew a gathering stitch along the neck edge and secure tightly around the pin.
Insert the 35mm leg joints, using the paper pattern to pinpoint the joint position. Make a very small hole to allow the joint pin through the fabric (please make sure you have a right and left leg). Then stuff behind the joint to the top of the leg and neatly ladder stitch shut. Insert 30mm joints into the arms in the same way as for the legs and securing the openings. Using the same technique to find the positions, joint the head, arms and legs to the body.
Evenly stuff the body; if a more weighty bruin is required, make a bag from scrap cotton fabric, fill it almost full of plastic pellets and stitch up the opening, then insert this into the body, carefully stuffing around the bag so that the bear feels evenly filled. Close the back using ladder stitch and strong thread. Brush out any trapped fur from all seams using a teasel brush.
Check the muzzle is trimmed evenly and snip away any excess to give the desired effect. Oversew the ears along the raw edges using strong thread and attach as desired, with the trimmed side facing the front. It is best to pin them onto the head first and experiment with different positions, to ensure that they are evenly placed on both sides, before stitching them on permanently.
Using glass topped pins, choose the desired position for the eyes. Using a long needle, thread with at least a double thickness of strong thread and working from the base of the neck, push the needle through the eye position. Thread the glass eye loop into the needle and then insert into the same hole, take the needle back to the base of the neck and secure. Repeat for the other eye, ensuring that you pull the threads tightly so that they don't appear loose.
Using a double thickness of black perle thread, work across the nose for the desired width and depth. Then change to a single thickness and starting at the top centre of the nose, work vertically outwards one way and then the other until all the original horizontal stitches have been covered. This gives a neat nose fully filled in. Work a mouth with single thickness thread to the desired size, ensuring it is centred beneath the nose and even when looking face on. Add claw marks to the paws if desired and make sure all the fur is brushed from the seams and away from the eyes. Finish off with a smart toning bow.