For the last 5 years I’ve been involved in a thing called Postcrossing. This is a postcard exchange project where you send a postcard to a random member, and when it arrives your own address goes to someone else to send you a postcard. I’ve sent over 1,400 cards to date, and of course have received as many back. It’s a lot of fun if you’re a snail mail person, a postcard person or just a “spreading random cheer” person! The project itself has just turned 8 years old and the Postcrossing Team ran a small contest asking people to celebrate Postcrossing creatively. So, of course, I did. May I present to you Mr Postcrossing Bear (not the snappiest name in the world, granted)
The Postcrossing colours are red and blue (which I’ve always assumed is from the old Air Mail envelopes, but I might be wrong), so Mr P. Bear here is done in both. I wondered for a while about doing each section in different colours (so each arm would be both red and blue, for example) but then decided it would look neater just split down the middle. The seams match pretty well, though you can see the snout twisted a little bit in stuffing. This is an easy technique – you join your two fabrics together, then cut the pattern piece from the joined fabric, placing the colour change where ever you like.
To stick with the Postcrossing theme, his bow tie is printed with a scattering of postcards, and includes the Postcrossing Logo. His belly, foot pads and inner ears are printed with postmarks and vintage writing. These bits were all done with printable fabric, which is fabric you can feed through an inkjet printer. It’s nifty stuff and produces quite a good print, but can be fiddly to work with (or at least the stuff I used is). It’s an openish weave, so it frays easily and it’s very thin so the belly is actually backed with more fleece so the stuffing wouldn’t show (and to make him squishier – I like a squishy bear).
The fabric, though thin, is not really made for shaped work and you can see here the leg darts are a lot pointer than they should be. Part of this might be the fleece behind it, but I don’t feel like the printed fabric shapes well. It’s really designed for adding panels to quilts, bags and clothes. It works well enough.
Anyway, Mr Postcrossing Bear has won me a little something from the contest, so pointy darts be damned, I’m pleased with him. I don’t know what I’ve won, I’m presuming it’s postcards. Lots of very creative people did some awesome stuff, you can see a slideshow of the entries at the Postcrossing Blog.
The pattern I used for this bear is from The Funky Friends Factory. Designed by Pauline McArthur in Queensland, Australia, Funky Friends patterns are an absolute joy to sew. The patterns come with clear, step by step instructions which make them a breeze to complete, and the designs are entirely adorable. This bear is “Izzy Insomniac” from the instant downloads section.