2015 Sewing Summary

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Wedding dress Memory Bear

Wedding dress Memory Bear

Attention to detail - buttons on a TOTZ Togz dress

Attention to detail – buttons on a TOTZ Togz dress

Phewwww  where do I start ? Well there was a Wedding Dress Memory Bear that was the last Bear of 2014 and first to be posted in 2015. From there on it was a lovely blur of sewing. There were dresses and tops and costumes and Bears galore.

I am incredibly fussy when it comes to attention to detail so at every step I have to have matching buttons and threads. I love ensuring that I take my time to make every project as perfect as possible & the research I do into my sewing is just part of that. I also love upcycling or recycling so I often hunt back through my Nana’s button tin for treasures like the 3 little heart buttons I used on this pink pinafore.

A dinosaur wedding garter

A dinosaur wedding garter

One of my Memory Bear customers asked me to make a bespoke wedding garter. I do love fun unusual projects. It was made from blue fabric with dinosaurs all over it. The bride is clearly a fan of dinosaurs. I was happy to help out and I am told she loved it.

In total I have no idea how many bears I actually made in 2015 but it was quite a few. Some were for customers others for friends and family. They all go on my little list and I make each one with as much loving care and attention as possible. Oh and matching threads of course.

Giraffe

Giraffe

I do also give myself some personal sewing time to just sew clothing or fun things. One of my fun projects in 2015 was this cute giraffe. It was made for a school prize and was modelled from a picture drawn by one of the school children. There was a competition for school mascot and the giraffe picture won so he was made into a special toy as a school mascot. I loved how he turned out and I do hope I get to make another giraffe to keep at home one day.


Unicorn / Unidorn

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I’ve been busy this month adding another animal to my TOTZ family.
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It’s a wonderful horse with a horn and wings. I’m not quite sure what to name it though.  After much consultation with all sorts of experts in magical mythical equine animals for the exact name of a Unicorn with wings to it became obvious I didn’t know much. Most  of the aforementioned experts are under the age of 10 and let’s face it I am a fairly long way from being 10 so I  am sure I can be forgiven. The very best name however came from my 3 year old niece who calls her winged horse a Unidorn. So here he is. .. the Unidorn.
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He is similar in height to the Lion.
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Lions that go roar and other animals.

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2015 has been an awesome year for me at TOTZ.  I’ve added 3 other animals as well as bears and they seem really popular especially the lion.  My first lion was a sample.  Made from my son’s Tshirts he had just grown out of so a mix of age 6 to 8.

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He came out beautifully and since then I have made a few more. 

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I love that a simple pile of clothes can be transformed into something so beautiful.  My son didn’t want the whiskers and smile that I added to the others but I love the lion smile. 
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As well as Leo I also have a giraffe appearing soon and a horse that can also be a unicorn or a pegasus or indeed both. Phew we do love our cuddly toys but most importantly the special ones made from memories.
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Leo the Lion joins the gang.

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Say hello to Leo the Lion.  A new animal to join our gang at TOTZ HQ. 

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I made this Lion which will live here at TOTZ HQ with us from 6 of my son’s old Tshirts.  I only needed one half of the Tshirt so really I suppose it was only 3 Tshirts fully used.  They were age 4 or 5 Tshirts.  Lion took more time to make than a bear and there were couple seams unpicked but the effort was totally worth it. 

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There are almost double the amount of pieces than bear and they are smaller and fiddlier so I am going to put him on my page at slightly higher price. The pattern is from funky friends website which you can use to make and sell so no problems on copyright.  

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He’s been a roaring success though and already been snuggled in bed with my son.  Roarrrrrr the lion sleeps at my house.


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Bears. Special Memory Bears

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One of my favourite things to make is the special Memory Bears.  I have a steady stream of requests which is nice and also make some time for some personal dressmaking too. All in all I just love my sewing. 

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There is something especially lovely about taking a pile of clothes and turning them into a bear.  Something that can be cuddled and treasured. 

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The nicest part is knowing that someone else will look at their bear and see all those memories of the person who wore the clothes. It might be someone young or old. A baby or a grown up. It could be someone past or present and any fabric will work.
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It might be a stack of baby clothes. Or it could be shirts.
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I love making the baby bears. Usually these are for mums to remember their child’s baby days in a special way rather than clothes in a box. But it could be a remembrance bear which is something both sad and special at the same time.
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Sometimes the bears are made from dressmaking fabric I have. Usually these are special requests in fabrics that the new owner will love. This heart bear has been made for a special brave lady who has spent months in hospital fighting for her life and thankfully is now on the road to recovery.
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Having a bear made is easy.
1. Gather up the clothes and send them to me.
2. I make the bear and send it back. This usually takes between 4 to 6 weeks. Sometimes faster if especially requested. I can also add special stitched messages too.
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I do this by hand so restrict this to names , dates and or short messages. I am about to make 2 grandpa bears for 2 little boys who live a long way away from their grandpa and will stitch their names on the feet.
If you are interested please message me. My email address is on my site and my fb page and twitter account are here too.


Sewing and Bears

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Sewing and being creative is really important in my life right now.  Right up there alongside baking he he.  My sewing tends to centre around my bears and sock animals but of course I try to make extra time for some dressmaking too.  I think we all need things to do that make us feel happy. Things that make us feel good. Creating something, building, making all those things can help us feel destressed and give us a sense of fulfillment when they are completed. They occupy our hands and minds. David Beckham builds lego models. My mum knits. My Dad completes the crossword. I bake and sew. Sewing is considerably better for my waistline.

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So a normal evening for me is sat with the sewing machine in front of me and something fabric like in my hands.  I love to see the end result and know how cherished the bears will be or how nice it is to have lovely unique clothes.  I choose a movie to watch or something I’ve recorded on Sky+. I feel content that the kids are happily snuggled up in their beds and I sometimes treat myself to a small glass of something cheeky.

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The bears are my favourite makes. My daughter in particular loves the bears and a few of them cause tears when they get packed up for posting. This bear was treated to a snack and some small talk and she wasn’t happy to part with him. Lots of the bears just seem to be boys. I wonder why we think of all teddy bears as male?

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If you are interested in having a bear made simply email me.  They are unique and personal to you.


Memory Bears.

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I have had a few bears to do this new year.  I won’t share them all but here are just a few.  These 2 were made for little girls and really show the different characters different fabrics result in.

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I love when I receive the material so I can plan which bits go where. This baby pink bear is adorable.
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Each bear definitely develops it’s own personality as it comes to life.

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I lay all the clothes out and sometimes add little labels.  Eventually I will end up with a pile of scraps and a pile of neat cut out pieces. 

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Each bear is totally unique and has its own personality and character.  I feel honoured to handle someone’s treasured memories and bring life to them through a teddy bear. 

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My littlest loves them all and gives them plenty of cuddles and kisses before they leave.

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Memory bears in pink.

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Pink Baby Memory Bear

I always love creating a new bear.  These bears are so special because they are made from treasured items of clothing that hold special memories.  This bear is for a little girl.  Her mummy and grandma picked out their favourite baby clothes.

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When the bag arrives it’s exciting as I look forward to having a look at the clothes and planning out the new bear.

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Straight away I knew which parts I would use for the belly and the feet then the rest came together naturally.

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I was really pleased as I started to sew the pieces together. I could tell that the bear would be lovely. At the end when it was finished and ready to stuff I couldn’t wait for my baby girl to see Teddy.  She likes to give them all a cuddle.  The finished bear is adorable xxx

Memory Bear


Pattern planning and memory bears

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Weekends are my time for sewing project planning.  I have promised my wonderful mum two tops for her upcoming trip away but apart from that I have a few other projects lined up too and one is this pink bear. 

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When I plan a pattern out I think about fabrics and colours too.  The bears are the same and to help me I lay out the pieces and decide what bits of fabric should go where.  This helps when I come to assembly.  It means I have a plan and oh yes I do love to be organised.