Collectable bears, patterns and kits by Angela



The Basics

BASIC STITCHES:   When making your bear, or other character by hand, always use a double thread and keep stitches neat and small.

Hand sewing - Begin and finish by stitching "on the spot" 2 or 3 times  

Dont cut the threads too close to your last stitch - better to leave a 1/2 cm free.

Use a cotton as close to the colour of your fabric as you can find.  If in doubt, I find it better to err on the lighter side, rather than a darker shade.

Below are the stitches I use most when making bears ....

 Back to workbox 

Back stitch

Back Stitch

The best stitch when sewing by hand.  This creates a strong seam and replicates a machine stitch.

So called because you take the needle "backwards" each stitch.

Work on one side of the fabric.  With the thread at (a) take a stitch backwards to fill the space (b).  Take the needle into the back, up and out an equal distance away at (c).  Do this is one movement.  Then repeat the backstitch this time to (a) filling the space.

Oversewing or Overcast

A good stitch for neatening the edge of seams and working with felt or thicker fabics.  

Does not give as neater finish as back stitch when working seams

This stitch is worked over the edge of the fabric.  Take the needle over the edge of the fabric(s) and through the back on a slight diagonal.  Keep stitches neat and equal as possible

Ladder Stitch

A brilliant stitch to close openings on your soft toy or bear.

Work from top right to left in groups of 3 or 4 stitches.  Taking a stitch on each side altlernatively.  Pulling each group closed as you go.

The stitch "folds" the raw edges inside as you work and creates a very neat finish.   Almost invisible!

blanket stitch

Blanket Stitch

Again, this is an excellent stitch to neaten raw edges or used as a decorative edging.

It should be worked over the edge of your fabric, very like an oversew stitch, but your needle stabs front to back at the bottom of the stitch, staying at the back of the fabric and catching a loop of thread.

basting stitch

Running or Basting Stitch

A running stitch is a smaller stitch than basting, but worked in the same way.   

Basting is a longer stitch used to keep two fabrics together (also called tacking stitch).  Running stitch is shorter and can be used for gathering the fabric by pulling on the thread.

The needle stabs in and out of the fabric in one movement.  Keep stitches and distance between equal as possible.

There are many fabrics that you can use to make soft toys, or decorative sewing projects.  Here are a few to get you started x


(fabric not the wool : )

Originates from Kashmir goats, but now other goats provide this soft dense fur.

Used in clothing too, but a short nap and woven,fray resistant backing make this fabric perfect for those teddy paws 


A plain cotton and inexpensive. Ideal for testing out your designs and for using in craft projects - embroidered or painted!


Nap lays in distinct lines.  

Velvet like appearance - I often use in toy making.


A natural fabric available in varying weights to suit most sewing projects.   Also mixed with man-made fibres.

Easy to sew, colourful and brilliant for making dolls or bears garments.


Wool and man-made versions. Available by the metre, but most usually sold in squares or rectangles for craft work.

Good for small bear paws as it does not fray


Warm and huggable.  This makes wonderful soft toys for children. 

Also handy to try out designs before using furs too.

Silks and Satins

Luxurious finish can be made from cotton or man-made fibres  (like polyester).  

Light and heavier weights.  Will fray readily !

Usually used for linings in clothing and curtains.  

Makes beautful bow for bears!


Short pile fabric with a lovely luxury texture.

Can be used for smaller bears  but will fray easily.