Recently, I have been embroidering letters and motifs on towels and pouches. My daughters love watching me craft and cook, and they always have questions to ask. My eldest daughter always has ideas, and she came running to me the other day whether she could make a jacket or a vest for her stuffed animal.
I just knew from her facial expression that she wanted to use a sewing machine or a sewing needle. At first, I thought – is it possible to let an eight-year-old handle a sewing machine or a sewing needle? Then I asked her which stuffy she was talking about. She showed me Teddy, the Steiff teddy bear, and desperately told me he was cold. This Steiff teddy bear is very special to us, especially since we bought him right before she was born at FAO Schwartz at 5th Ave. (before it closed) Okay, I must admit…he does seem a little cold.
I knew I had to make one, but how? So, I went to my favorite go-to place, Pinterest. Everything looked very professional, and adults either sewing by a sewing machine or hand. And with all the inspirations, I decided to make my own no-sew pattern. She first was unenthusiastic that she could not use the professional tools, but I told her that she can do it by herself with just a pair of scissors and felt fabric!
First, measure your doll or stuffed animal. Based on your measurements, make a pattern using the sample pattern provided. I actually had Teddy wear the paper vest pattern, so I could adjust the armhole. Make changes to the paper pattern as much as you like – it will save you fabric! After tracing the pattern on your fabric (felt or stiff fabric preferred), cut the fabric. And you are done!
The toughest part of this project is measuring your little guy or gal and adjusting the armhole. I suggest parents to help measure the doll or stuffed animal and to make the pattern, and let the kids do the rest! Feel free to download the vest pattern. The kids can always draw with a fabric marker and decorate the vest. And follow me on my Instagram account @byasamihasegawa for more tips.