Welcome to the Funky Friends Factory blog!

Hi, I'm Pauline.
I believe that toy-making should be
SIMPLE and FUN for everyone ~
so anyone can give it a go!

Here you will be able to keep up to date with the latest happenings at the 'factory'...

WIN a free Funky Friends pattern ~ check out these Janome decorative stitches!

Posted under A day in my lifeBlogCompetitions & Giveaways on 2019-08-22 08:40:30

I got a lovely email from Katy from Janome-America, who told me that their creative educators used some of my Funky Friends toy patterns to showcase their unique decorative stitches for the Janome dealer’s conference this month in the city of Atlanta.

She was very excited to show me how they used the stitches so she sent me these photos to see. Take a look at how they used the Janome sewing machine’s decorative stitches to create lots of  cool texture effects on the fabric to make the toys look amazing!

Then leave a comment
on this blog post below, to enter the GIVEAWAY t

WIN a free Funky Friends Factory pattern!!!


I love the details they added for the Slowpoke Sloth Sloth Pattern – can you see the texture detail on her tummy? Look at those fuzzy eyebrows!

Sloth pattern


And… for the Monty Manatee Sewing Pattern they have added some decorative stitching down the sides of the manatees and also made a baby manatee toy – how cute it that?


And look what they did with the Mickey Moose sewing pattern! I just love the cute expression on the face of their Mickey Moose and look at the detailed stitches they’ve used to give him a quilted look!


They have used the decorative stitches to add some fun texture detail to the mane of the Larry Lion Pattern. If you  look closely you can see how they edged around his ‘paws’ too!

Next up is the Patty Cow sewing pattern. Look at the stitching around her hooves!!!

Read more…


Posted under A day in my lifeBlog on 2019-08-16 08:41:43



I LOVE the gorgeous designs and funky bright colours of the Island Batik fabrics

Funky Friends Factory with Island Batik


…  and having sewn up lots of Funky Friends soft toy patterns with their batik fabric I can say they are BEAUTIFUL to sew with.  😀



OK, what can you win?

You can win the Island Batik fabrics in the photo below AND and a FREE Funky Friends Factory pattern of YOUR CHOICE


Which Funky Friends Factory soft toy pattern
would you like to sew with these fabrics
from Island Batik?

Giveaway 2 - FABRICS August 2019


How do you enter?

Read more…

Do you want to test my NEW KEEPSAKE BEAR Pattern?

Posted under A day in my lifeBlogUncategorized on 2019-08-08 17:32:14

I’m so excited to tell you about my NEW keepsake Bear Pattern!

BUT for now I can ONLY give you a little teaser… because it is still in the testing phase! 🙂

testers keepsake bear pattern


I know a LOT of my customers already sew lovely keepsakes with my Calico Bear pattern and you must be wondering why I am designing ANOTHER teddy bear pattern when I already have


7 completely different, original

Funky Friends Factory teddy bear patterns


Teddy Bear patterns Funky Friends Factory



Well… it’s kind of a long story (which I won’t get into right now). ALL I will say is that I am designing a new Keepsake Teddy Bear pattern because I’ve been told that there’s no way to design an original teddy bear pattern because all teddies have the same basic pieces (a head, ears, body, arms and legs) and “commonplace teddy bear shapes”. Lots of my friends are teddy bear artists and toy designers and they don’t agree BUT I don’t think you have to be a pattern designer to disagree – every person who loves teddy bears know that all teddy bears DON’T look the same! 


What about Paddington and Pooh? Rupert, Fozzie and Lotso Huggin Bear?

Pauline and Paddington


I want to prove that it IS possible to create a new and ORIGINAL teddy bear pattern even though there are thousands of existing bear patterns today. If I can design 8 original teddy bear patterns, then those Keepsake Businesses in the UK who are using my Calico Bear Pattern, adapting it and selling patterns that look like my original teddy bear design, have no excuse ~ they should design their own original pattern too! Ooh, I got side-tracked!!!

The point of this blog post is to see…

who wants to test my NEW KEEPSAKE BEAR Pattern for FREE?


Are you a Keepsake Business or do you sew lovely keepsakes for yourself? Either way, I want to give some keepsake makers the opportunity to test my NEW Keepsake Bear Pattern!!!


HOW do you get to try this keepsake pattern for free?

Read more…

Sew a Maxi Keepsake Bear with my Calico Bear Pattern!

Posted under A day in my lifeBlog on 2019-07-24 23:08:36

These days LOTS of people sew lovely keepsakes with my  Calico Bear pattern but when I designed this pattern in 2008 (WOW, I just realised that’s over a decade ago!!!!) I had no idea that it would become so well used (and LOVED!) by keepsake makers around the world. 

Calico Bear Pattern


What’s is even more AMAZING to me is how many people have created their own Keepsake Businesses using Funky Friends Factory patterns, making money by selling items they create using my toy sewing patterns! 😀


Made from Memories baby clothes keepsakes


I cannot tell a lie – it gives me a lot a joy to see home sewers (sewists?) like me making money by selling items they create using my patterns… because it’s been a long journey for ME to achieve MY dream of working from home doing something I love.

Pauline McArthur soft toy sewing pattern designer Australia snake


I wonder why Calico Bear has been one of the most popular Funky Friends Factory patterns which my customers use to sew lovely keepsakes – I guess because he’s so simple yet so versatile!

He’s been made into all sorts of other animals over the years (for example you can see him turned into a Keepsake Bunny in this blog post) and he has also been resized smaller (you can see Calico Bear made into a Mini Keepsake Bear here).


It is very easy to resize the pattern ~> you don’t need to buy a ‘mini’ or ‘maxi (enlarged) version’ of the pattern!


I have a blog post about how to resize a toy pattern with information about resizing patterns. BUT seriously, it’s so easy. ALL you need to do is to print the pattern at a larger or smaller size!


a Maxi Keepsake Bear
and a Mini Keepsake Bear!!! 🙂


Maxi Keepsake Bear Sew Tilley


HOW cool is that?

You can make ANY size Keepsake Bear from the SAME pattern! 😀

(AND: The instructions are exactly the same for any size you make.)


Maxi Keepsake Bear-SewTilley


Sew Tilley is a small handmade business, based in the Scottish borders, run by Tilley, who sew lovely keepsakes including bear and animal keepsakes, cushions, blankets and lots more! I loved reading the story behind her creative sewing business. Her husband let her purchase her first sewing machine with a voucher they received for their first wedding anniversary.

What a good man!!! 😀


Maxi Keepsake Bear


Not only has Tilley made LOTS of Mini, Maxi and Standard sized Keepsakes…

Read more…

Sew a bunny keepsake with my Calico Bear Pattern!

Posted under A day in my lifeBlog on 2019-07-12 12:31:22

When I designed the Calico Bear pattern as a Signature Bear in 2008 I had no idea that it would become so popular as a keepsake bear pattern.  Lots of people sew lovely keepsakes with my bear pattern BUT some have made… a bunny! 


A Keepsake BUNNY?


Yes! You don’t even need ANOTHER pattern! It’s so easy to do, just use the Calico Bear Pattern and add

  • a little bit more fabric for longer ears * (You can see how to make LONGER EARS in this blog post I wrote in 2012 about making longer ears for one of my other bunny patterns!)
  • and a pom-pom for the tail and hey presto… 


…you have a keepsake bunny!😃

 sew lovely keepsakes - bunny
Clare Birkby of Neverland Keepsake Creations has been making keepsake toys from my patterns for about 10 years now and her Keepsake animals are beautiful!


AND… HOW cute is this keepsake bunny made from babygrows , sewn by Lily Grace Keepsakes, from my Calico Bear pattern!


Read more…