So you may be asking –
“Why another Bear Pattern
when you have lots of CUTE ones already?”
Well… I guess I am on a bit of a mission to design the perfect “ALL-ROUND BEAR” – one that’s great for beginners, experienced makers AND everyone in between! So Ben the BEGINNER Bear is – ready to become everyone’s new “BEARY BEST FRIEND” ~> your “go-to” bear pattern for every occasion!
Ben is extra EASY for beginners, but he also has some of the features that existing FFF sewers have been asking for:
- Ben’s floppy ARMS are much easier than Melody Memory Bear‘s arms,
- he doesn’t have joints like Calico Signature Bear
- and his “no center seam” TUMMY PIECE is even bigger than the Keep Me Keepsake Bear‘s, so he’s much better for showing off t-shirt logos and embroidery!
Read on to find out why Ben should join (or begin) your pattern collection!
What size is Ben?
He’s 30cm/12 inches tall (sitting). He has “fixed” arms and legs, so she stays in a seated position.
What fabric can I use?
Ben looks GREAT in ANY fabric!
Look at this sweet pastel Ben the BEGINNER Bear who was sewn in C3 Cuddle® fabric (from Shannon Fabrics) by Michelle Newton. Her children named her bear “Cotton Candy”!
AND here is Ben the BEGINNER Bear
sewn by Mireille Leurs, who upcycled an old pair of denim jeans!
Fleece is the easiest fabric for beginner sewers, and Ben the BEGINNER Bear looks great in this version sewn in fleece by Shirley Smith.
What makes Ben different from the other bears?
You can see all the rest of the Funky Friends Factory teddy bear patterns in the Compare the Bears blog post HERE …
AND here’s a pic of me and Ben so you can see his size!
Ben the BEGINNER Bear is made to be extra easy for new sewers and he ALSO has features experienced sewers of Melody, Calico, and the Keepsake Bear have asked for:
- Ben has all the best aspects of Melody Memory Bear (seated bear that sits firmly, no joints) but with
- the EASY ARMS and no-seam front piece of the Keep Me Keepsake Bear.
- Ben has large, easy pieces like Calico Signature Bear, and Ben is my first bear designed with both a large tummy and no “center seam” on the tummy… that means he’s great for showing off t-shirt logos and other large designs for keepsakes.
Calico Bear (left) has joints, but Ben the BEGINNER Bear (right) is babysafe without joints! Ben also has a “no seam down the middle” tummy piece so you can use t-shirt designs like this cute heart design used by Emma Woodley of The Sewing Bumble Bees.
Why Should you get Ben?
Ben the BEGINNER Bear Pattern will be great for you if:
- You’re a beginner
- You want a FAST or easy bear pattern
- You like Melody, but find her arms difficult
- You make keepsakes and want to put a t-shirt logo or large design on a bear’s tummy
- You like Calico, but want a baby-safe, NO JOINTS option
- You like pattern pieces with grids to help center embroidery machine hoops or fussy-cutting designs
There are so many
reasons to LOVE Ben!
1. He has a very sweet baby-face!
Look at this sweet smiley Ben the BEGINNER Bear sewn by Sandy Thurlow, sitting out in the sun!
2. Extra-detailed instructions:
I have created my “usual” step-by-step photo tutorial – with lots of clever bear making tips and tricks!
On top of this – I have packed this pattern with lots of extra-detailed tips for concepts that may be new to beginning sewers, such as how to sew a dart, pinning opposite curves, and stitching an easy bear smile!
3. A great bear for Keepsakes!
Even if you’re an experienced sewer, Ben the BEGINNER Bear is a great option for keepsake makers because he looks great made up in a mix of clothing items… his single piece TUMMY PIECE is the largest tummy space on any of my bear designs which is great for displaying fun clothing prints or special details – or this can be embroidered along with the FOOT PADS. (a 5 inch square embroidery machine hoop easily fits on the tummy and a 4 inch square on the foot pads).
4. A great bear pattern for t-shirt logos & fabric panels
Ben the BEGINNER Bear has a a large flat tummy space which doesn’t have a seam down the middle! (YAY!!!) This makes it perfect for featuring logos/designs from the front of a t-shirt.
AND she used a cotton fabric panel decorated this Ben the BEGINNER Bear – look how she fussy cut the bee and rainbow on his ears!
5. Perfect for owners of Cricut machines & users of Heat Transfer Vinyl
You can use a cutting machine – like Cricut, Silhouette or Brother Scan & Cut – to make quick HTV (heat transfer vinyl) designs for Ben’s TUMMY.
6. Great for Embroidery Machines – pattern grids to center designs!
No need for guesswork when you need to get your embroidery designs centered right on the first try! Ben the BEGINNER Bear has guide marks on the TUMMY PATTERN PIECE and the FOOT PADS for easy centering of fabric details! If you have a heat-transfer vinyl cutting machine (like a Cricut) or an embroidery machine, you can use the 4 inch square grid markings on the FOOT PADS and the 5 inch square guide on the TUMMY PATTERN PIECE to perfectly position your fabric. (The single piece TUMMY is the largest tummy space on any of my bear designs – a 5 inch square embroidery machine hoop easily fits on the TUMMY).
Wendy Bruce of @wendyshomemadecraft used the guide-marks on Ben the BEGINNER Bear’s tummy pattern piece
to center her embroidery machine hoop.
Lynnette Holland of Sew Dreamy Designs used an embroidery machine to put her mother’s nicknames on the tummy of this Ben the BEGINNER Bear for Mother’s Day.
…and look at this sweet of her Mom with her Mother’s Day bear!
Monograms, baby clothes details, and embroidery birth stats also fit well on the tummy.
💡 Great Idea: 💡
Make Ben with a t-shirt logo on his tummy
for a FUN gift to go with a t-shirt quilt!
This keepsake t-shirt Ben the BEGINNER Bear sewn by Lorna Moore
goes great with the clothing quilt!
Who got to test this “top secret” bear?
How can you be considered for future top secret project testing? I appreciate it when makers follow the Funky Friends Factory copyright guidelines when selling toys and displaying toys on social media, especially those that always give pattern credit by stating “made from a Funky Friends Factory pattern” on their social media posts or by adding #funkyfriendsfactory. (Sellers who follow copyright rules are the first people I put on the “top secret tester” list).
More Beginner Bear feedback pics…
Here are more Ben bears sewn by the testers!
A Ben bear, a baby, and a puppy…I don’t think you can fit any more “cute” into a collage! Ben the BEGINNER Bear sewn by Paula Blevins.
I’m LOVING Ben in purple hues…
This Ben the BEGINNER Bear sewn by Shavaugn is great in purple gingham!
And this very pretty flowery version of BEGINNER Memory Bear Toy Pattern sewn by Alyssa King of Snugglysoft Designs . She used Cuddle® fabric (from Shannon Fabrics) and embroidered some pretty funky eyes and Ben’s tummy with machine embroidery.
And last but NOT least!
Lorretta Barbour had tons of fun sewing her Ben the BEGINNER Bear in African shwe shwe fabric, so she created enough for a whole “Teddy bear’s picnic”!!!
to ALL the Testers ~>
I love ALL of your lovely feedback photos!!!!
In case you missed the link above – the BEGINNER Bear Toy Pattern is available to download from the website NOW!
P.S. If you’d like to join my free toy-making course (with a free pattern included!) go to my page just for new sewers HERE!
Till next time – Happy Sewing!