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So to set the scene… Hello Fresh deliver a big weekly box of healthy recipes and all the perfectly measured out ingredients to your door, 5 days a week. This isn’t a Hello Fresh promotion, so I won’t go on about how life changing I think the service is, but I really need to explain where this whimsical idea came from…
Each box is insulated to preserve the fresh ingredients before they make it to your fridge.
Hello Fresh distribute thousands of boxes a week and they’re one of those nice companies keen on keeping a low carbon footprint, so use “wool liners” made with 100% wool. After use, you can throw them on the compost heap, send them back for re-use or come up with your own solution which is why we decided to make teddies.
Using one sheet of woolpack insulation, we created Iron Man and a Rabbit named Boggle.
We were complete utter amateurs at this but wanted to try something different with our Hello Fresh stuffing, for kicks.
If you’re making teddies on a whim, use paper, card or kitchen roll for your templates.
We probably could have downloaded something from the internet for this, but didn’t want to cheat “too much”. We decided early on that the scruffier the Hello Fresh teddies looked, the more charming and homemade they would feel.
Over-estimate your measurements or look at my sketch on a Blitz kitchen roll for a rough idea of scale.
If you’re like Tony, you will measure with ultimate precision for the perfect proportions (guess which one Tony made). If you want to save a bit of time for something with that “homemade” feel, sketch the main body onto some kitchen roll, staple around the edges and stuff for a rough idea of how bulky your teddy will be, then trial and error to your heart’s content.
Label your limbs for the love of everything good in this world
We didn’t think limbs would he hard to confuse until we stitched the rabbit’s arms on, only to find they were far too small and needed to be re-done. Take your time, because stitching and re-stitching is punishing.
We used this website to learn how to make a teddy from the inside-out www.cookcleancraft.com/2013/05/baby-shower-gift-flat-teddy-tutorial/
It turns out, making a teddy is all about stitching on the inside, then flipping the whole thing inside out for a “seamless” result. Here’s Tony’s example of a somewhat finely stitched iron man arm. Notice how the black thread shouldn’t matter (but probably should have used red anyway) because it’s now on the inside after flipping.
Use pins as much as you can or prepare yourself for complete failure
Use pins in keeping everything in its place and for holding front and back pieces together while you sew them up. Also, take pictures of fine details like this for your Instagram to give the impression you know what you’re doing.
Buy a pin cushion or use a textile object you don’t care about
Use strict rules for needle resting. They should be either in the original container, on a white surface or in a pin cushion at all times. If not, they will find your hand.
Use a discretely placed hole for flipping out the body
Once you have a soulless empty body, do your flipping from the inside-out via a strategic discrete hole, like the bottom on the teddy, not the top of his head. If you don’t do this, you risk having visible stitches from the “blind stitching” (stitching from the outside) you will need to do to close them up.
You will also find pencils and chopsticks critical in pushing out long, thin limbs.
Ensure your stuffing is in small chunks and don’t bother scenting it
We took our Hello Fresh box stuffing and tore into finer pieces for a bouncer, easier-to-shape stuffing. We tried adding some crushed potpourri to the mix to create a vanilla scent but it soon faded (it also turns out potpourri is hard to crush… and mixing it with sheep wool really sets you up for one those “what am I doing with my life” moments).
Practice your facial features on a ball of excess fabric
To avoid the disaster illustrated in on the right of this picture, practice creating your noses, buttons and eyes. If you take the time to sew up your practise ball into a bizarre creation itself, mail it to friend or relative and say nothing.
If you decide to use glue, use a full bottle of Pellegrino to press down on details such as the tail, while the glue sets.
Stage your teddies in accordance with the social media platform you plan to use. I'm not going to lie, I got the good camera out for this...
For Instagram, get yourself some bright lighting, some homely patterns and textures in the background and completely crop out the mess you made along the way.
For a profile picture, get a simple headshot with some context in the background.
To share with the world, use a simple well-presented picture of the final product #nofilter
So there you have it. That’s teddy making off the bucket list and we hope you’ll be inspired to make something cute on a whim too. Despite the novice effort, we were actually quite pleased with the finished results, although I'm sure we won't be selling on Etsy anytime soon!
Thank you Hello Fresh for the main ingredient.