A friend was asking how fabric choice affects stuffed animal size, so here goes.

To the left is the pattern for the bear. Looks pretty big, right? But it’s hard to predict how things will translate to 3D shapes, especially since this pattern involves a lot of darts and shaping. But in general, expect a stuffed animal to look thinner than the pattern, since the width translates to volume.

In the middle is my test bear, made out of a thick, not very stretchy tshirt. It’s a surprisingly small bear compared to the pattern, but it would have been even smaller if it had been made out of woven fabric (tshirts are knit fabric, which stretches more). I cut both bears on the grain, so all the stretchiness of the fabric translates directly into bear fatness. So, for fatter bears, pick stretchier fabric. I really like the ears on this one, and I think the thickness of the fabric is a huge factor. Maybe I’ll put batting in the ears if I use a thinner fabric.

(Pro tip: always do a test when you’re trying to figure out a new pattern - I made a ton of mistakes and it would have been a shame to waste the good fabric in a series of miscuts, piecing errors, and bloodstains.)

On the right is the final bear. Same pattern, but noticeably larger and plumper bear because the fabric was stretchier. (Also - embroidering facial features can go wrong very easily on stretchy fabric. Those eyes were round when I drew them in, but satin stitch pulled them oval. Practice first on the test bear, and be careful about how tight you pull the thread.)

By the way, these are really small bears. You’d think they’d be larger, judging by their body type, but they are in fact tiny, and very portable.

(The pattern is from 101 Great Little Gifts, by Sandra Lounsbury Foose. I think it’s adorable, and looks like a magic gummy bear, but it’s not a fast or easy bear to make.)

🎀 Little Questions 🎀
  • Caregiver:How did you meet your caregiver?
  • Little:Post a little selfie?
  • Paci:Do you have a pacifier/ suck your thumb?
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