I've had the idea to try making memory/keepsake bears for a little while. I finally got around to trying it a couple of months ago, and this is my first proper attempt! The pattern is by Funky Friends Factory and is really well designed and written. I also found the photo tutorial vital for my first couple of tries, but am confident enough to use just the written pattern, now!
This first try is made from babies' clothing which I bought from charity shops. Unlike the free Honey pattern, that I tried out first; for this bear, I used woven interfacing which worked out much better.
For my second attempt, I advertised on my Facebook page for people willing to experiment on their special memory items for an introductory price. A lovely lady who has lost her daughter to cancer accepted the offer, and I made this bear from fabrics she had left over from sewing she had done for her daughter.
When I first thought about making these bears, it was to make them out of babies' outgrown clothing, but I have had more interest from people wanting them as memories of loved ones passed away. This adds an extra emotional dimension and, to me, an added responsibility! It was quite emotional when I revealed the above bear to the customer.
I've had interest from one customer who would like a bear made from her late husband's shirt so I decided to experiment further before agreeing to cut into her precious fabric. This bear is made from a man's shirt that I bought, again, from a charity shop, for £1! My first bear and this one will now be used as advertising samples when I go to craft fayres, to show potential customers what they look like.
I've made one more than these for a young mum, in memory of her mother, for her little boy. She hasn't received it yet, and although I think it unlikely she will see it here first, I wouldn't like to risk it.
So, that's the story of my little foray, so far, into memory bear making. Funky Friends Factory has so many lovely patterns to choose from but I am going to exercise self-control, otherwise it's going to cost me more in samples than I can make from them. I might give the bunny a try, though, because it's gorgeous!!
Bye for now