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'...

Shannon Fabrics September National Sewing Month Giveaway!

Posted under A day in my lifeBlogCompetitions & Giveaways on 2020-09-03 15:35:17

September is an important month for those of us in the sewing industry because it is National Sewing Month β€” a time when everyone who sews can celebrate their craft! I’m super excited to have been invited to contribute some of the prizes for Shannon Fabrics Ultimate National Sewing Month GIVEAWAY.

Shannon Fabrics Giveaway


This year is REALLY BIG for Shannon Fabrics because 2020 also marks their 25th anniversary of being in business! They are partnering with almost 20 of our trusted industry partners to create their biggest giveaway of all time.

and the Grand Prize is worth over

$2,500 MSRP!


Let’s just say you don’t want to miss this!


National Sewing Month Prize


Read more…

More fabulous FREE Unicorn Keepsake Pattern ADD-ON feedback! πŸ¦„πŸ¦„πŸ¦„

Posted under BlogTry these FREE PATTERNS on 2020-08-24 19:01:15

Here are some more lovely feedback photos and thank-you messages, in response to offering my Calico Bear Pattern and Unicorn Pattern Add-on,  for FREE, to anyone who wants to sew a memory bear or Keepsake unicorn during lockdown. 

Just so you know ~>

*** If you’re still in lockdown – you can still get the Calico Bear Pattern AND Unicorn too – for free – to sew your own lovely keepsakes! Read the blog post here to find out HOW to get the free memory bear pattern. *


* There has been a teeny bit of confusion so I thought I’d just explain
the Unicorn Keepsake Pattern is not a NEW “stand-alone” pattern – it is a pattern ADD-ON, like we did on a SEW ALONG last year turning Calico Bear into a bunny, this time were using the same Calico Bear pattern to make a unicorn. πŸ¦„


Keepsake Unicorn Tutorial


AND here are some super cute unicorns sewn during lockdown to inspire YOU! 

Clare Sneddon has used the free Unicorn Pattern ADD-ON to sew this super laid-back Unicorn!

She says, “This almost makes me want another baby. “lol”



Michelle Walker has used the free Unicorn Pattern ADD-ON to sew lovely keepsakes from baby clothes!

“all made from baby grows of 3 little sisters”




I love this bright cheery Unicorn Keepsake sewn by Monkey’s Memory Keepsakes



Charlotte-Brackley used the free Memory Bear Pattern and Unicorn ADD-ON to make a rainbow fluff unicorn keepsake. She said it was to help them remember the good times in lockdown…including her 6 year olds first time helping her on the sewing machine!

“Thanks for helping us make happy memories πŸ¦„πŸ’•πŸ§΅”


And last BUT not least…

Anel Carson amd this gorgeous keepsake unicorn for hergrand daughter. She says, “She wanted wings and a tail alsoπŸ˜…Thank you for your wonderful patternsπŸ‘πŸ˜€”


FREE-Unicorn-Keepsake-Pattern-ADD-ON-during-lockdown-sewn-by AnΓ©l Car

In case you missed the info above about the free Memory Bear Pattern and Unicorn Pattern ADD-ON during lockdown ~>

*** If YOU are still in lockdown – you can still get the Calico Bear Pattern for free to sew lovely keepsakes of your own! Read the blog post here to find out HOW to get the free memory bear pattern. 

I can’t wait to see YOUR lockdown Unicorn!

Pauline McArthur - Funky Friends Factory 

Bye for now



MAKER OF THE MONTH – win a FREE Funky Friends Factory Pattern!

Posted under BlogCompetitions & GiveawaysInspirations on 2020-08-16 08:49:29

We’ve had some AWESOME feedback photos this month. Check out these highlights from the visitor’s posts on the Funky Friends Factory Facebook Page.

So few soft toys get to visit the seashore 😁. What an exciting adventure for GB Bedford’s version of the Ozzie Octopus soft toy pattern

Octopus pattern sewn by GBBedford


Mary Stenger took her version of the Nate Narwhal toy pattern on a nautical holiday, too!

Narwhal Pattern sewn by MaryS


A couple of cool Igor Iguanas have gathered to sun themselves on the Facebook page. Jackie Hillman enlarged her version of the Igor Iguana pattern 150 percent to make it nearly life-size!

Iguana Pattern sewn by JackieH


Sarah Miller traded out the felt spikes for fabric spikes in her sophisticated memory toy version of the Igor Iguana pattern. LOOK how cool the shirt buttons look as reptile eyes!

Memory toy Iguana sewn by Sarah M


Karrol Mayfield says the Larry Lion Pattern is her favorite to sew lovely keepsakes. You can tell by looking at this perfect plaid pride of lions!

Keepsake toy lions sewn by KarrolM


What a couple of cool cats! Louise Collins sat her version of the Patch Pussycat pattern next to her real-life cat, Wooster, for a fun photo opportunity. I can’t tell if Wooster is happy about this or not…  

cat pattern sewn by LouiseC


Read more…

More FREE Memory Bear Pattern feedback from July 2020

Posted under BlogInspirationsTry these FREE PATTERNS on 2020-08-09 20:06:42

Here are some more lovely feedback photos I’ve received in response to offering my Calico Bear Pattern for FREE to anyone who wants to sew a memory bear during lockdown. 

Just so you know ~>

*** If YOU are still in lockdown – you can still get the Calico Bear Pattern for free to sew your own lockdown keepsake bear! Read the blog post here to find out HOW to get the free memory bear pattern. 

A FREE memory bear pattern 2020


AND here are some MORE super cute keepsakes sewn during lockdown to inspire YOU! 


This is the first Calico bear, Carolyn Harperβ€Ž made for her daughter who graduated as a midwife, made from her uniform. She says, “There are a number of things which could be better but she loves him. He just needs her lanyard to finish him off. xxxx😍  Really enjoyed this and learnt some things on the way.”

FREE Memory Bear Pattern during lockdown sewn by Carolyn H



Such a cute pic from Sam Griffiths who says, “Here is a duo of Calico memory bears I recently made 🐻β™₯οΈπŸ’™βœ‚οΈ”



How cute is this version of Calico Bear sewn by Sarah Homewood?

My first Calico bear all done in time for my little boy’s
first birthday tomorrow πŸ‡πŸ₯°

Free-memory-bear-pattern sewn by Sara during lockdownarah-Homewood


Carol Manuela Patino says, “This is my first Calico bear full of love and tenderness, is the first of many my baby loves him and puts on the clothes we kept as a newborn. The next will be in baby clothes to be a Memory Bear.”

FREE Memory Bear Pattern during lockdown sewn by Carol Manuela Patino

Read more…

NEW Keepsake Bear Pattern for you to sew lovely keepsakes with! πŸ’—πŸ§ΈπŸ’—

Posted under A day in my lifeBlogFFF NewsUncategorized on 2020-07-30 12:11:34

Yeehar! Finally, the time has come to release my NEW Keep Me KEEPSAKE BEAR pattern BUT first, I want to apologise to those of you who have been waiting so long, I think you’ll understand once I explain why.

I haven’t been keeping you
waiting for nothing.

I have been through what can only be described as a personal hell since February 2019, both mentally and physically. You may already know that I have been involved in a copyright dispute with one of my customers but now that the dispute has been settled in my favour, and the settlement money has cleared in my account – I feel it’s important that I let everyone know what has happened and how devastating it has been for me to have to defend my life’s work like this and hopefully I can have some closure and move on with my life! The settlement payment will cover my legal costs (I have paid over $20,000 in legal fees!) and also compensate for lost income from lost sales due to reduced web traffic BUT it will NEVER compensate me for the personal toll this has taken on me and my family – which has been so devastating that I feel I have literally lost 18 months of my life dealing with this. My health has been affected to the point I’ve needed medication. I have been put on anti-depressants because I was in such a bad way mentally, at the end of last year, that at times I was crying uncontrollably and unable to concentrate on work and unable to sleep through the night, waking up from grinding my teeth and disturbing my husband (as I was apparently thrashing around so much). I’ve spent over 20 years of hard work developing my sewing patterns and my business and it’s a real body-blow when others copy my sewing patterns.

This matter, which I consider involved one of my customers blatantly copying one of my sewing patterns, has been legally settled and I can’t even begin to explain how incredible it feels to say it’s finally O-V-E-R!


It’s a HUGE relief knowing I can rely on my copyright to protect my patterns and my business

The sad thing is that this situation is not unique to ME and the Funky Friends Factory sewing patterns… In writing this blog post I want to give hope to other pattern designers and members of the crafting community who have had their work copied.


I want you to know that when someone copies your original work you don’t just have to “accept it” – something CAN be done! 


Although I am a great believer in the concept that “everything happens for a reason” – I still haven’t figured out why I had to go through an experience as stressful as this legal dispute. I guess one positive is that the delay has given me time to tweak my Keepsake Bear Pattern ~ and BOY did I tweak!


Here’s me with the final Keepsake Bear – Prototype No.10  – which is why we decided to score him 10/10!!!!

Keepsake Bear Pattern finished


Let’s get back to the HAPPY NEWS  –

It’s time to introduce the latest Funky Friends Factory pattern!


Meet the new Keep Me KEEPSAKE Bear Pattern


This baby-faced teddy bear was specifically designed for sewing keepsakes. With an adorable heart-shaped nose, cute upturned muzzle, arms and legs sewn into seams (for easy construction), large flat spaces for embroidery or HTV (heat transfer vinyl) letters….. and a chubby little bottom for extra β€œhugginess” –  this is a perfect pattern for you to sew lovely keepsakes with!

How many items of baby clothes do you need for a baby bear keepsake?

I used about 8 – 10 pieces of baby clothing to make each baby keepsake. The Keep Me Keepsake Bear Pattern has a large flat TUMMY PIECE which is great for embroidery and there is enough space on the ARMS and the FOOT PADS to add birth dates and details – so this is also a great bear pattern for embroidery or HTV (heat transfer vinyl) lettering.

*** For the embroiderers out there – you can fit a 4inch/10cm square embroidery design on the TUMMY, ARM, BACK and PAW PAD PIECES.  ***

The Keepsake Bear is not just for baby keepsakes, it can be used for a bereavement bear too. You can use most fabrics for the Keepsake Bear. One of the testers used some lovely soft Luxe Cuddle from Shannon Fabrics to create plain fluffy bears which were just as cute (if not cuter?) than anything I have seen in a store!!!!

Look at all these lovely feedback photos!!!!


Is there a Keepsake Bear Pattern tutorial?

Read more…