Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Tooth Bear

These little hand-stitched felt bears have an important duty: safely guarding teeth awaiting pickup by the Tooth Fairy. As Martha Stewart Living television stylist Cindy Treen demonstrates, you'll need to know several basic embroidery stitches for this project: the backstitch, satin stitch, French knot, and whipstitch.

Tools and Materials
Tooth Bear template
Straight pins
Embroidery thread
Polyester fiberfill
Chopstick or bone folder

Bear How-To
1. Print and cut out template. Pin to felt, and cut out one bear half; repin to a new piece of felt, and cut out second half.
2. Make the bear's face: Embroider two French knots for the eyes, then make a nose with a satin stitch. Extend the nose one stitch down on each side to create the mouth.
3. Cut the pocket shape from the bear template, pin to a piece of felt, and cut out. Embroider a name and tooth image on the pocket, using a simple double-thread backstitch (this will make the details stand out). Attach the pocket to the bear's front, using a single-thread whipstitch.
4. Starting at the top of one ear, stitch the front and back pieces of your bear together with a whipstitch; stop at the top of the other ear to create a space at the top of the head for stuffing.
5. Stuff the bear with polyester fiberfill, packing the stuffing tightly so that the body is firm. Use a chopstick or bone folder to push stuffing into the legs and arms.
6. Whipstitch the top of the bear's head closed.
7. Embroider claws onto the ends of each arm and leg with a 1/4-inch whipstitch.

Cindy Treen used polyester fiberfill from JoAnn Fabrics and wool felt from Magic Cabin Dolls.

Satin Stitch How-To
At an angle or straight across, these side-by-side stitches fill in the outlines for a shape. Pull the needle through to front at 1. Insert at 2; pull needle back through at 3, right next to 1. Keep stitches tight and flat for a smooth finish.

French Knot How-To
These are useful for creating a raised point of interest. Pull needle from back of fabric to front at 1. Holding thread taut with one hand, wrap it twice around needle; insert needle again close to 1, keeping thread taut as needle is pulled through to back.
 ~Craft is from

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