Hi, I'm Torrey. Welcome to Left Field, where creativity runs amok and imagination is ALWAYS more important than knowledge. Shoes are not allowed but ties are optional. This is a repository of snippets from my life out here in Left Field. One never knows what shiny bits of creativity will be found here... cards, scrapbook layouts, photography, poetry, recipes, ponderings, rantings and musings. It could be anything! Life in Left Field is always changing, always real, always ...interesting.

October 8, 2012

Da Bear

So, my cousin Andrea is about to have her first baby. We're having her shower this weekend. I am in charge of the cake. I'll post about it...later in the week when I actually make it. For now, I'm posting about her shower gift.

I KNOW she's registered at Babies R Us,Target and Walmart. I KNOW there are things she NEEDS. But I just couldn't bring myself to BUY her shower gift. I figure, if I'm making the cake, and her card...I can sure as sunrise make her gift as well. It just sorta rounds out the Trifecta of creativity. For her gift, I decided to make her a polar fleece reversible baby blanket. The no-sew kind. Instead of a tied-fringe border, I opted for a braided border (actually it's crocheted, not braided). I think it looks neater. So I went to JoAnn's and bought the fleece. Andrea's doing the nursery in hot PANK. So, I found the PERFECT pattern--a black, hot pink and white patchwork of bold designs. After I finished the blanket, I had all this leftover fleece.

So, I got a wild hare (or is that bear) up my, um, backside and decided to make a stuffed bear toy with the remaining fabric. I found a really cute pattern online. At first glance I thought..."PIECE OF CAKE".  I printed off the pattern and pieced it out on the fabric. Easy peasy, right?

Problem is...I don't sew. The last stuffed animal I made was when I was 13. I was gonna dispose of it, quietly, but my mom snatched it from me claiming she "LOVED" it. Oy vay. Only a mom could love this. Before you ask...it's a rabbit. Really. Yeah, his nose came off. It was a pink pom pom.

Just look at this quality hand-stitching!

Can you believe I flunked the sewing part of Home Economics???

So, I thought now that I'm all grown up, maybe my sewing skills had finally come in--that I was, perhaps, a late sewing-bloomer. I had confidence that I could make a stuffed animal this time that actually looked like what it was supposed to be.

Then, I started looking at the directions.

The gal who made the pattern did provide illustrated (kind of) instructions. Well...sort of instructions. The lady who created the pattern is from Chile and her English--she is not so well. I give her credit though. She tried to write the instructions in English. But it was kind of like reading those instructions that come with chopsticks at a Chinese restaurant. That plus she skipped around and left out sections altogether.

Not helpful.

Thank goodness for my mom.

My mom waltzed into my studio this morning to find me sitting at my sewing machine, sighing heavily. I asked her if she would help me (she's a sewing guru...I am, not). Then we both started giggling at the thought of that sad little rabbit I made years ago.

Well...mom and I spent the ENTIRE day working on this silly bear. It went like this:
  • I'd sew pieces together.
  • I'd realize I had sewed them together wrong.
  • I'd rip out the seams.
  • I'd resew the pieces.
  • I'd pin them in place.
  • I'd stitch them together.
  • I'd realize I had the arms on backward.
  • I'd let out an exasperated scream.
  • Mom would giggle.
  • Mom cut out additional pattern pieces and laid them all out on the table.
  • Mom would arrange the pattern pieces, rearrange them, visualize the arrangement.
  • Mom would try to figure out how the heck the arm fit in the hole...then realized I had sewed them WRONG.
  • More seam ripping.
  • More screaming.
  • More sewing.
  •  ...
  •  ...
  •  ...
I finally got the sucker all assembled--LARGELY thanks to my mom's excellent sewing and spatial-relation skills. And when I finished...everything looked pretty good!! Most of the seams matched up. The angles of the limbs are close enough. Face is asymmetrical...but so is my face, so it's all good. I stuffed him and hand-stitched his neck closed. Then I tied a jaunty scarf around his neck just because.

Most important of all...it actually LOOKS like a bear. Whatya know.

Here he is sitting on top of the blanket I made. I really like him. I think Andrea will too! Will I ever consider going into the stuffed bear making business?

Not in this lifetime.


  1. It looks great!!! The baby will have a grand time snuggling and chewing on it. =)

  2. You're hilarious Torrey,you started my day with a big laugh! hehe! Sounds you and your mom had great fun creating this little bear!The result is good! !!

  3. I think it looks PERFECT!! I've never heard of the braided edge....or crocheted....how do you crochet the edge?? It looks adorable and I'll bet it's super cozy to snuggle too. Her baby is going to LOVE IT!! You just watch, it will be the favorite toy of that child! Great work, Tor!

  4. By the way Torrey, I'm pregnant... wanna make me one? I need one!!!!

  5. Jodi...if you are pregnant...I'll make you 2.

  6. look so cuddly -- soft -- beautiful

  7. Very awesome blog !! I couldnt have wrote this any better than you if I tried super hard hehe!! I like your style too!! it's very unique & refreshing…

  8. Your story is so riotous. I found my self laughing as I pictured you putting this together and your poor patient mother. It's a wonder she didn't throw you out of the room and do it herself.

    Your bear did come out awfully cute though. I would never have thought of putting all those patterns together.

    My youngest and I are taking an advance techniques lace sewing class on Saturday. Last time I poked myself with a pin and bled like a stuck pig for the entire class. I have bloody project samples to prove it.

  9. Huh, sounds exactly like me two days ago trying to put together a dresser from Ikea.

    Your project definitely turned out cuter and cuddlier than the dresser. Plus, if yours falls apart it won't have the capacity to injure someone.


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