So you have found my page, you’ve seen the awesome pictures of the MJS Memory Bears! (who doesn’t love a bear balanced on a hand!) - but what exactly are Memory Bears and how do you go about getting one made?
Well buckle up, as I am about to tell you!
Keepsake Memory Bears are made from your clothes. These clothes can be baby clothes, school uniform, adult clothes, suits, jumpers, shirts, pretty much anything - i’ve even made a bear completely out of ties! The main premise of a Memory Bear is that they preserve the memories of a loved one or a special time in your lives, in the form of a very cute and loveable bear!
So now you’ve got a better understanding what a Memory Bear is - what do you do next? Well that’s easy - you simply click here and make an order! (*all orders are currently closed until 1st September 2019, but you can make a deposit to secure a slot - email me here)
Once I have received your order I will send you a check form for you to fill out and send with your clothes. On this form it mentions:
where to send the clothes too
how many items of clothes you will need to send
a section to write down any special requirements or particular items of clothes or details to use.
what personalised details you would like (name, DOB, birth weight)
a section to write your name and address to send back too.
So now its the hard bit - you need to dig out those clothes and decide what to send! We all have those boxes full of old clothes stashed away and the thought of finding them and digging them out feels like conquering Mount Everest - but wouldn’t it be worth it? Instead of special memories being buried, they will out on show, reminding you of how you felt in that moment or of a special holiday - or of someone no longer with us. So finding those clothes, to me, is the hardest part of the job and trust me I know - I am still yet to make my youngest daughters bear, and she’s now three!
So now you’ve sorted through the clothes, filled out the form and posted them to MJS head quarters! Now comes the true magic, the ‘Made Just Sew’ magic! I lay out the clothes and decide which part of the various items go where on the bear! This is process I don’t take lightly and sometimes I can ponder over it for hours, trying to picture the final bear in my head.
With each bear you can have the paws embroidered. You can have the name, DOB, weight what ever you fancy! But one of the unique options I like to offer here at MJS, is the opportunity to have your child’s very own hand or footprint embroidered on to the bear too. You simply email a photo (just taken off your phone) of a print made at home (like the ones you sometimes have made when they are babies - or even one you’ve had done with paints at home!) I then import this picture into software and convert the print into stitches and then machine embroider the print and apply it to the bear pattern - making your memory bear every bit as special as the baby who once wore the clothes.
Once I know which piece of fabric is going where then I start to cut! I apply an interface to help control the stretchy nature of the fabric (mostly with jersey knit baby grows) and then apply the pattern piece and cut more accurately. The pieces are then ready to be sewn together.
It’s then time to stuff! And I don’t hold back! I make sure to get enough stuffing into all the ‘nooks and crannies’ so all the features come to life and they have a nice round full belly! The arms and legs are then ‘jointed’ to the main body by hand-sewing strong thick dolls makers thread through the body, through to the other limb and back again, and again, and again until they are secure.
The last thing to do is take their picture (balanced on my hand of course!) and package them up with love and care in their own special dust bag. I like to think that they should be treated as though they are a Chanel Handbags and have a fancy dust bag to keep them nice for when they are not on show.
So that is it! You have had a sneak peak behind the curtain that is Made Just Sew, and how we make our Memory Bears. I hope you have enjoyed the process. Thank you for reading and if you have any questions please leave a comment or email me here. Claire x
Bear pattern from Funky Friends Factory