T-shirt to teddy bear refashion
Upcycle a t-shirt into an adorable teddy bear with this free teddy bear sewing pattern designed by Jennie Jones
Cuddle up with Jennie Jones’ simple T-shirt teddy, which can be sewn by hand or machine. It's the perfect quick-sew project if you're looking for something to make in just one evening.
For this project, we've chosen a refashioning theme - take a comfy soft T-shirt and turn it into a toy! It's perfect for a last minute Christmas present.
Designer Jennie says: “I’ve used a T-shirt to make this quick, simple, sleepy bear, but it would also be great to use old baby grows to make a little softie for your child to keep as a handmade family heirloom.
If you are going to give it to a little one, it would be safer to leave out the felt scraps and stitch on the detailing instead.”
Read on to find Jenny's free tutorial for how to turn a t-shirt into a teddy toy.
How to sew a T-shirt teddy
You will need
- Felt scraps
- Toy stuffing or wadding
- Basic sewing kit
- Templates: Download our issue 11 sewing pattern sheet to find the template for this project
How to make your teddy toy
Step one: Turn the T-shirt inside out, then pin on your bear template. Cut 5mm (1⁄4in) outside the pattern for a seam allowance, through the front and back. Pin together.
Step two: Sew along the outside edge of your bear, using a zigzag stitch and leaving a 4cm (15⁄8in) gap on one leg for turning. Stitch around the bear again, using a straight stitch this time for added strength.
Step three: Turn the bear right side out and stuff quite firmly. Turn the excess fabric at the turning gap to the inside and slip stitch the opening closed.
Step four: Cut a 4x6cm (15⁄8x23⁄8in) scrap of felt. Pinch this in the middle and fold a T-shirt scrap around the centre to make a bow, and sew. Stitch the bow onto your bear.
Step five: Following the template for positioning, sew on a felt nose. For the eyes and mouth, make one long stitch for each and work loops over to make them curved.
Jennie Jones discovered sewing when she had children and her work is featured regularly in Simply Sewing magazine. Her Fast Fat Quarter designs show makers how to craft modern gifts, accessories and homewares using just one or two pieces of fabric. She shares a mix of handmade loveliness with a bit of vintage thrown in on her Instagram @thestitchinghut.