Nov 18, 2009

11/18/09: The Phillip Bear Day One

I spent most of yesterday obsessed with the making of the Phillip Bear. I talked to everyone who would listen about how moved I was by the class and how much I wanted to be home working on the bear. I spent my free time making copies of the pattern pieces and organizing a notebook for my information and the pictures that will follow. 

After dinner I finally got to start on the Phillip Bear. I cut the shirt to make flat pieces of fabric, ironed the fusible interfacing the the inside of those pieces and began laying out the pattern pieces. All of this I did with a sense of honor and a bit of fear. This was Phillip's shirt and I only had one set of cuts! The shirt had just a large light colored flowers on it. I knew I wanted those to be the pads on the bear's feet, the inside of his ears and the center of his face. Those pieces went down first. Then the other pattern pieces went down, following the grain and all of that important stuff. This took much longer than I expected but experienced bear makers told me this is often the hardest part and even with careful planning the bear may not look like what you envisioned. Good to know.

I finished laying pattern pieces out and rough cutting the pieces. Tonight I will do the real cutting, being careful to be as precise as possible. My goal is to finish cutting and pinning pieces together tonight so I will be ready to sit down and sew on Thursday. I may wait until the weekend to sew ... but I may not! I am excited to get these pieces together and creating this bear. 

I have two weeks to complete this first little guy. When I turn him in I can get another bag with a garment in it or I can wait until I know I have the time to make one and pick one up them. I know I will wait because I have the fabric for another bear waiting for me. It's been waiting for several months. That's another story for another day. Right now it's all about Phillip.


  1. Can't wait to see the finished product. Not being a person who sews well, I can't envision what it's going to look like, so I'll wait til you've completed the first one.

    The material is neat!

  2. What a wonderful project, Laurie! And a blessing for you as well as the recipient of your bears.

  3. Thanks for the link, Laurie. I love fusible interfacing, and besides doing what it is supposed to do with the fabric, it will help you see easily the right side of the fabric. I have put many things together, only to realize later that one piece was backwards. My mil was a wonderful seamstress and learned from the best. She never made anything (any thing) that wasn't first hand basted. It is tedius to do, but if you have some curves, you might try basted them in instead of pinning before you use the machine. Good luck, I can't wait to see the finished project.

  4. The experts were half and half about using the interfacing on this fabric. One of them said she uses it on all fabrics so she can mark the dots, etc, and so she can know right side from wrong side. I do have some curves and basting is a good idea. Thanks!

  5. Wow Laurie, that IS a lot of pieces for a bear! I would never have imagined that many. I can see why it is tedious at first.