August 30, 2013

Teddy Bear Felt "Paper Doll" with case

This is another one of those crafts inspired by something I saw at my parent's house that my sisters and I played with when we were kids!
Since I have three girls I love it because it is the perfect sort of toy that gets lots of use, can't really be ruined by the baby, and is fun for all ages!  It's also awesome because they toy itself is its own carrying case!

These would make great gifts, or stocking stuffers (not that I'm thinking about that ;)  even though yes, I DID see Christmas things out at Costco today!) or, this would be a great project for a beginning sewer/young crafter.  My 6 year old cut out all of the felt clothes for this doll, and had a blast doing it!

Ready to make your own?

Start by cutting 4 pieces of fabric, 2 for the outside of the bag and 2 for the liner.  Each piece should be 7" x 9".  I found it best to use fairly solid, dark colored fabric for the outside of the bag so that the bear showed up better.

You'll want to print out the pattern page (click here) that has the bear shape.  There are also some clothes shapes to get you started.

Cut out the bear from the paper and trace it onto tan felt.
Cut the bear out of the felt.

Place your felt bear onto 1 piece of the the outer bag fabric.
Use the paper you cut it from to place the arms and legs correctly, or use some of the clothes shapes to help with placement.

Also, do as I say, not as I do: place the bear toward the BOTTOM of the piece of fabric, still leaving at least 1/2" or so for the seam.  It is much better to have the extra space at the top, for ribbon casing and any hats you want to dress your doll in.

You can pin or glue stick your pieces down while you zig-zag stitch around each piece (as shown below).

Hand stitch eyes, nose and mouth onto your bear.  I just did this freehand.

Now you can assemble your bag.
Place the 2 outside pieces (one of which will have your bear on it) right sides together.
Sew around 3 sides with 1/4" seam allowance.  One of the short sides should be open.

Place the 2 lining pieces right sides together.
Sew around 3 sides with 1/4" seam allowance but LEAVE a 2" hole in the bottom for turning.  (see picture below)

Turn the lining fabric right side out, and place it inside the outer fabric, as shown below.  Line up the top, raw edge and pin.

Sew all the way around that top edge with 1/4" seam allowance.  (Try to have your seams lay flat as you sew, for the sake of the ribbon casing later on.)

Pull the lining fabric out of the outer fabric...

Pull the entire bag through the hole in the bottom of the lining fabric.  Poke out the corners...

Once it is all right side out, fold under the hole in the lining fabric, and sew shut.  You can sew with a machine or by hand here.

Tuck the lining fabric inside the outer fabric...

Press the top edge flat with an iron (if you want) -- or just get it as even as you can with your fingers and then sew a top stitch around the edge.  I did mine really close to the edge (1/8"), but do yours however close/far you want.

Next you need to decide how you want your bag to close.  Snap buttons would be a good choice, if you have some of those handy.  I would not suggest velcro, because the felt clothes would get snagged on it easily.

I chose to do a drawstring/cinch ribbon closure.
To do this, sew another top stitch 1/2" (or whatever width your ribbon is) away from the first top stitch, to create a casing.
Pick out the few stitches at the side seam, between the two top stitched lines.

Using a safety pin, thread your ribbon through the casing, using the hole you made by picking out the few stitches at the seam.  Tie a knot in the ribbon once you've got it all the way through.  (And your bag is done!)

Now, have fun tracing and cutting out lots of clothes from colorful pieces of felt!  We did pants, shirts, skirts, scarves, dresses, swimsuits, shoes, crowns, hats and mittens to name a few - but my daughter had tons of ideas for more outfits.  

Here are a few of the cute pieces she cut out, all by herself!

Now have fun dressing up your teddy bear doll, and store all the little felt pieces inside the bag when you are done!

Pack this little toy around in your purse, church bag or other bag for a quick and quiet game on the go. Or make a few for little friends to play with at the same time - and give them extra felt to make new outfit creations!  You wouldn't believe how fun these little toys can be :)

I also have a few of these available in my ETSY shop - come check them out!

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