I am SO excited that my bear is finally a success! After 4 tries, I finally did it! This bear was patterned after my first and favorite childhood bear, Pookie.
This was my first bear, taken from the pattern for Baby Pip bear. I didn't like this one...he looked like an angry mouse and was geared more toward a sturdier fabric. My second try is from the post below, where I simply drew a freehand bear, again in pieces, and sewed them together. This was a bit rough and not what I was looking for either. My third attempt was also not quite what I wanted. This was just two pieces of fabric, in a bear shape, sewn together. Again, I had a different vision in my head.
For my fourth try, I took my childhood favorite and traced the pieces of his body that I could make out on sheets of paper. I then used these as templates. This actually worked out really well! With just a little time spent to make out where his seams were, I was able to determine how to make exactly the bear I wanted. The head is three pieces, two in the back and one in the front, and the body is made up of four pieces, first sewn together, then sewn to the head.
For the face, I hand stitched felt buttons for eyes and nose. I didn't add a mouth, as my original doesn't have one either. I also handstitched the ears, arms, legs and tail. The final step was to stuff the bear and sew the bottom (two pieces machine sewn to the bottom of the back of the bear, then hand stitched closed after stuffing). And that's about it. I'm really excited to start making these now that I have it figured out. :)