How to design teddy bear clothes

Stuffed animals delight children and adults alike, and the teddy bear is always paws-down favourite. Indeed, speciality retail stores are at your service to meet the needs of fashionable teddy bears. However, the clothing is expensive for the amount of fabric used for such little suits, sweaters and hats. The solution, if you're good at "stuff" like this, is to design and make your own teddy bear clothing at home. Simply take the bear's measurements and use basic sewing knowledge to create one-of-a-kind teddy bear outfits.

Browse through books, catalogues and Internet history pages to find interesting vintage or modern clothing ideas. Your choice should be based on the personality of the recipient, if the bear and/or clothing is a gift, or your own favourite hobbies, causes, sports team or ideas.

Sketch out several clothing designs using the pictures you found as your guide, or your own inspired creation. Include adornment items such as lace, ribbon, beads and sequins.

Choose the materials you will use and be sure you have everything you need to make the outfit. Decide if you will zip, button or hook the clothing. Velcro works best. Snaps and elastic also work well to keep clothing on the teddy bear. Remember the clothing should be a little larger than the bear's body so it can be removed later, if necessary. The closure should give it a somewhat tight fit,

Transfer the sketched-out pattern to newspaper, brown paper or butcher paper, newspaper being the least expensive. Double check the measurements. Use pencil so lines can be easily erased, if needed.

Sew your paper sample together. Make any necessary changes to the pattern prior to cutting out the final pieces.

Record the measurements of the length of the teddy bear arm, width across the front of the waist area and the height from the waist to the shoulder to make a shirt. Remember the adage to "measure twice to cut once" to avoid mistakes.

Measure the width across the waist area and the length of a leg to make a pair of trousers. Measure from the waist to the knee area to make a pair of shorts and for skirt or dress length. Write the measurements down.

Measure the distance from the back of the neck, over the top of the head and stop and the top of the eyes. Measure from in front of the ear, around the back of the head and stop in front of the opposite ear. Write the measurements down. These measurements are for an optional hood.

Measure around the head just above the eyes and write the measurement down. This is the circumference for a hat. Measure from just above the ear, over the top of the of the head and stop just above the opposite ear. This is the measurement for the height of a hat. Divide the measurement in half to make two sections. Divide the circumference in half for the width of each hat piece. Example: the diameter is 18-inches and the height is 9-inches. The two pattern pieces are 9-inches wide by 4 1/2-inches tall.

Add one inch to each measurement when designing the pattern. This allows for a 1/2-inch seam allowance. Sew the article of clothing together and make some teddy bear very happy.


If making clothing for a child's toy, be sure to check any buttons or other add-ons to be sure they can't be easily removed as they are a potential choking hazard.

Things You'll Need

  • Internet
  • Paper
  • Pencil
  • Ruler
  • Teddy bear
  • Sewing tape measure
  • Paper
  • Pencil
  • Pencil or pen
  • Ruler
  • Newspaper or plain paper
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About the Author

Kim Blakesley is a home remodeling business owner, former art/business teacher and school principal. She began her writing and photography career in 2008. Blakesley's education, fine arts, remodeling, green living, and arts and crafts articles have appeared on numerous websites, including DeWalt Tools, as well as in "Farm Journal" and "Pro Farmer."