Monday, September 19, 2016

Mickey, Minnie, Bear

One very large pair of mice
I know I've said this before, but this was probably the most difficult memory bear I've had to make.

Some fabrics are harder to deal with than others.  Old, nearly sheer t-shirt fabric would be one of those.  Also, prints/patterns/graphics can be weird.  Ditto, extra-large Mickey and Minnie.

But it had to be done.

My client contacted me and said that her best friend's mother was dying, and that the mother was very, very close to her friend's little boy.  They had gone to Disney together and this was a souvenir shirt that she had worn nearly to pieces.  She thought that turning it into a bear would be a comfort for him when his grandma passed.

Pre-cut denim bear being used as pattern
because pattern pieces have vanished
I could certainly see where it would, but when I received the shirt and saw those enormous mice, I wasn't sure what to do with them.  There wasn't a whole lot of time to wait for inspiration to strike - I knew from speaking to my client that grandma was unlikely to last the week, so there was already a serious likelihood that the bear wouldn't arrive on time for her to give it to her grandson.

The faces were just so large that there was no way to turn them into the bear's face, so after some puzzling (until my puzzler was sore, as Dr. Seuss would say), I laid out my pattern pieces very carefully to take advantage of the features of each.  You can see from the photo that everything fit on the front, but only just.  I did end up using denim for the insides of the arms and legs, and for the accents on the ears, just to break up the white t-shirt fabric.

I also interfaced the -shirt before cutting it apart, just so I wouldn't lose any of the image to stretch.

I haven't totally decided if the combined Mickey-Minnie smile is creepy or fun.  I think it's a little of each.  I was just pleased that I was able to get the faces onto the bear's face in some form, and it seemed more logical to try to do that than to have a half smile appearing under its ear.

The deadline wasn't met, though - I got the bear turned around and shipped back out in 2 days, but my client emailed me the same day that I shipped to tell me that her friend's mother had passed away.

She also emailed me a few days later to tell me that the little boy loved his bear.  If nothing else, it's very suited for all the tears it will have to absorb.

But that's what a bear's for, after all.


Jane M said...

What an absolutely perfect use for such a difficult fabric and I know he will love this bear to pieces. Very touching, Karen.

Linda T said...

Such sweet sentiment for that little boy!

nrf said...

I think the face is fun - not creepy - and that was my thought before I read your comment about it. It's amazing you were able to do such a great job in such a short amount of time. Such a touching story, and I like your ending comment.