old dog. new tricks. or whatever.

a long long long time ago, i got my start in sewing by making little felt stuffed animals. they were mostly flat at first, and then i branched out to some three dimensional characters. but, then i began quilting and have sort of lingered in the two dimensional space ever since.

the quilt/fabric/sewing shop at which i am currently employed offers a wide variety of classes and we are encouraged (and even occasionally subsidized) to take advantage of these options. so, when we had a guest teacher, who also happens to be a world renowned teddy bear designer, i quickly signed up for her “memory bear” class, in an effort to gain a new non-quilt related skill.

for this first bear, i opted to use some hot pink corduroy i had thrifted awhile back, but discovered was super bleedy and unsafe for use in a quilt. i got set up and got straight to work.

i had high high hopes at this point. all was going well…..

and then, the actual sewing began. there was some confusion with the pattern. and i ended up ripping out a lot of seams and resewing. some my own fault. also, it turns out that i tend to be a bit on the more meticulous/ocd/perfectionist end of the spectrum and i guess teddy bear makers are less so? i don’t know. the next few hours were an exercise in overcoming extreme frustration and, well, not packing up and quitting.

due to the intense stress of the situation, i have no photo documentation of the remainder of the process. but, as proof that i stayed the course and finished up, here’s some after photos of the hot pink corduroy bear and me and some fellow classmates. (the lady in the first pic is the wife of a teacher that i used to work/coach with back in the day, before children. the friend in the second pic is a co-worker at the shop, and a very amazing sewist.)

and lastly, some closeups of the bear. he(?) turned out pretty cute after all. his head is a little crooked. and don’t look too closely at the ear attachment. my bear ended up with a narrower head than everyone else (after being told to seam rip it all apart twice because the pattern was maybe wrong but maybe not or maybe i had been instructed wrong but maybe not, i just went with it). the corduroy wasn’t the most friendly sewing material when it came to seam ripping. there was a lot of fraying. next time (will there be a next time???), i will use some stabilizer or something. i don’t know.

the best (worst) part was. i got home, thinking hazel would be really excited about receiving this guy. and she shrugged and said she didn’t really want it. so now, he sits in my sewing room. taunting me. a constant reminder that i am destined to a world of two dimensional sewing.

oh well. i tried.

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