How to turn a t-shirt into a teddy

How to sew a teddy bear

Cuddle up with Jennie Jones’ simple T-shirt teddy, which can be sewn by hand or machine. It’s the perfect quick-sew project if you’re looking for something to make in just one evening.

This week we’re bringing you daily quick-stitch gift ideas that you can sew up in an evening – just in time for Christmas. They all need just one or two fat quarters of fabric so you should be able to raid your stash and start sewing instantly. For this project, we’ve chosen a refashioning theme – take a comfy soft T-shirt and turn it into a toy!

Designer Jennie says: “I’ve used a T-shirt to make this quick, simple, sleepy bear, but it would also be great to use old baby grows to make a little softie for your child to keep as a handmade family heirloom.

If you are going to give it to a little one, it would be safer to leave out the felt scraps and stitch on the detailing instead.”

Read on to find Jenny’s free tutorial for how to turn a t-shirt into a teddy toy.

How to sew a T-shirt teddy

You will need

  • T-shirt
  • Felt scraps
  • Toy stuffing or wadding
  • Basic sewing kit
  • Templates: Download our issue 11 sewing pattern sheet to find the template for this project

How to make your teddy toy

Step one: Turn the T-shirt inside out, then pin on your bear template. Cut 5mm (14in) outside the pattern for a seam allowance, through the front and back. Pin together.

Step two: Sew along the outside edge of your bear, using a zigzag stitch and leaving a 4cm (158in) gap on one leg for turning. Stitch around the bear again, using a straight stitch this time for added strength.

How to sew a t-shirt teddy step

Step three: Turn the bear right side out and stuff quite firmly. Turn the excess fabric at the turning gap to the inside and slip stitch the opening closed.

How to sew a t-shirt teddy step 2

Step four: Cut a 4x6cm (158x238in) scrap of felt. Pinch this in the middle and fold a T-shirt scrap around the centre to make a bow, and sew. Stitch the bow onto your bear.

How to sew a t-shirt teddy step 3

Step five: Following the template for positioning, sew on a felt nose. For the eyes and mouth, make one long stitch for each and work loops over to make them curved. How to sew a t-shirt teddy step 4