10 Tips For Choosing Clothes For Your Keepsake Bear
So, you've been following HoneyStitches for a while now, you've been drooling over all the beautiful keepsakes, in particular those smiley, friendly, cuddly bears, and you've decided you're going to do it. You're going to take those precious pieces of clothing you've been holding on to out of storage. Why have them hidden away for "safe keeping" when you can actually have those treasured babygros, or your loved ones favourite shirt, transformed into a beautiful bear that you can have with you every day, helping you to literally hold on to your memories, to give gentle hugs to and perhaps even talk to occasionally (maybe that one's just me...).
For a Keepsake that will last the test of time:
1. The most important thing is to choose the pieces that pull at your heart strings. Our clothes have such a powerful connection to our memories that simply holding your little one's first babygrow can bring you right back to those first few moments of brand new life: dressing them for the first time, their first feed, the first time your baby looked right in your eyes, so many firsts in those few hours after they enter this world. While the sight of your loved one's favourite shirt, or the smell of their perfume or aftershave on the clothes, can remind you of a special moment in time you spent together before they left this world.
2. It really doesn't matter if the clothes match or not, it's how they make you feel when you see them. That is what will make your bear so special. I've created bears that were two basic colours or patterns, I've made bears that had every colour of the rainbow, full of busy patterns, and everything in between. Each one was unique and special. Each one represented and honoured the person or people whose clothes it was made up of.
3. Cotton or cotton mix fabrics are perfect materials for creating these bears. Think babygrows, t-shirts, sweatshirts, jeans, leggings, corduroy, shirts etc.
4. Stains are okay! Don't be afraid to send clothes that have stains that won't wash out, I can work around them. However, maybe there's a stain that is particularly memorable, perhaps from the first time your little one tried to feed themselves, or raided mammy's or daddy's treat box! In that case just attach a little note to that piece of clothing and I'll make sure to include it on your bear.
5. Light/sheer fabrics can be included, but may be incorporated as a tutu skirt, cape or layered with another fabric for stability. You can always let me know if you have a preference!
6. Heavy fabrics such as denim, wool, tweed, leather can also be used and give an amazing feel and weight to the bears.
7. You aren't restricted solely to clothes. You could include a light blanket, towel, a special handkerchief, tie... There may be other fabric items or accessories that hold special memories for you. If you are unsure whether they would be suitable to use in a keepsake bear, just ask!
8. Clothes with graphics on them are great for the bears, just bear in mind the size of the image in relation to the pattern pieces of the bear. If it is too big then you will likely lose part of the image.
9. Unfortunately shoes cannot be included in your keepsake bear as the bear's feet are much too large and rounded. If you really want your Keepsake to include your child's first shoes, you might want to consider a Keepsake Quilt or Blanket instead.
10. Lastly, make sure the clothes are clean, dry and in reasonably good condition. Especially with baby clothes, the last thing you want is a Keepsake Bear smelling of sour milk or getting mouldy. Of course if the clothing simply has the scent of your loved one, you may not want to wash that away, and that is ALWAYS okay.
I hope this has been helpful. If you have any pieces of clothing you're not sure will work, but you'd love to incorporate in a Keepsake Bear, you can pop your questions in the comments below or drop me a private message here, or through my Facebook or Instagram accounts.
Now you have no reason to wait to have that precious bundle of clothing transformed into a special Keepsake Bear. The sooner you order, the sooner you can literally hold on to your memories and bring them with you wherever you go.