How to make a jointed teddy bear

Written by venice kichura
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How to make a jointed teddy bear
Teddy Bear with Elbow Joints (Dreamstime)

Teddy bears are not only simple and fun to make, they also make ideal gifts for just about any occasion for a special child in your life. Besides using fabric, you can knit or crochet them. Jointed teddy bears are even more versatile as they’re able to bend and stretch like real bears. If you don’t have a pattern that includes jointed arms and legs, you can easily make your jointed teddy bear by using just the gathering stitch with nylon thread to create the illusion of joints.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Pattern for teddy bear
  • Fabric
  • Scissors
  • Nylon thread
  • Buttons for eyes and nose
  • Red embroidery floss for mouth
  • Brown embroidery floss for toes on paws
  • Embroidery needle
  • Sewing needle and thread
  • Sewing machine (optional)

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  1. 1

    After finding a pattern for a teddy bear, pin the pattern pieces to fabric. Cut out the pieces. Keep identical parts of the body together, such as both sides of the legs and arms.

  2. 2

    Sew the front to the back of the body, with right sides together, leaving an end open for stuffing. Stuff the body and slip stitch the ends. Sew the arm pieces together (either by hand or using a sewing machine), leaving the slit open for stuffing, and then stuff the arms with polyester filling. Then sew the leg pieces together, also leaving a slit open for stuffing. Stuff the legs with polyester filling. Sew the arms and legs to the body. As with all ends, weave the remaining thread into the fabric and filling, burying the knot.

  3. 3

    Locate all joints, including on arms and legs. Using nylon thread, sew at the joint areas using a gathering stitch. Include the two arm elbow joints and two knee joints. Pull the thread tightly so it’s gathered, forming a “joint.”

  4. 4

    With the right sides together sew the paws together, leaving the slit end open. Using brown floss, embroider "toes" on paws, using the outline stitch. Turn outside and stuff with filling. Sew paws on the legs with nylon thread.

  5. 5

    Sew buttons on the head where the eyes and nose should be located. With red embroidery floss create a mouth, using the outline embroidery stitch. If your pattern has pieces for a mussel (rather than embroidering a nose), sew identical mussel parts with the right sides together and stuff. Embroider the nose with brown floss, using the outline stitch. Sew the mussel to the head.

  6. 6

    Sew the right sides of the head together. Turn to the outside and stuff with filling. Sew the head to the body with nylon thread. Sew the ear parts, right sides together. Turn to outside and stuff with filling. Sew the ears to the head.

  7. 7

    Sew the sides of the tail (right sides together) and then stuff it with filling. Sew the tail onto the body.

Tips and warnings

  • Choose solid-coloured fabric (preferably brown) so body features such as button eyes and embroidered "toes" stand out.
  • Clip the seams before turning over each sewn body part.
  • Before making “joints” with invisible thread, rub your fingers on the arms and legs to distribute the filling evenly.
  • Pin and cut pattern pieces on the grain of the fabric.

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