Friday, July 18, 2014

Project 52 - Miniature Bear Making - #15

Make a bolero jacket

A bolero jacket is a short tailored jacket.  This is possibly one of the easiest pieces of clothing to make for your teddy bear.  The pattern requires very little sewing and is best made from fabric that does not fray, such as wool felt or suede.  Apryl is modelling a sleeveless bolero for us.
Start by folding a piece of scrap paper so that it is doubled.  The doubled up part should be at least as wide as your bear when it is lying on it's back.
Move the bear so that it is lying on its side, with its back against the folded part of the paper.  The fold in the paper represents the center seam at the back of the jacket.
Draw a straight line out from the top of the bear's neck, long enough to reach the end of the shoulder.  Then draw an armhole, draw a shoulder at the top of the jacket (another straight line) and draw the front of the jacket, taking the line down to the center back of the jacket.
Cut the jacket from paper and test to see if it fits.  Do you notice that the jacket is gaping a bit at the back of the neck?  Gaping neck holes are often a problem because bears have a slight hump.  The jacket covers Apryl's tail.  I'm going to shape the it at the bottom to accommodate the tail, and make a dart at the back to reduce the fabric at the neck. 
If there is too much fabric over the shoulders, cut the shoulders down at an angle for a better fit.
When you are happy with the shape of the jacket, cut it from fabric.
Sew the dart at the back (if you made one), then sew the shoulder seams.
Turn right side out, and Voila!  You have a little bolero jacket to dress your teddy.
Notice how the jacket fits neatly over the shoulders, and how the shaping at the bottom accommodates the tail?  It is worth adjusting the pattern until you are completely satisfied with the fit. 
This is my pattern template after several adjustments.  If you are making Angus, it should fit him well. 
A simple bolero can be accessorized with beads, buttons and embroidery stitches. I would love to see a picture of your completed jacket!

My book page for Lesson 15.

Next time we are going to make a more intricate waistcoat with side seams and lining, and the week after, buttons. 

In this miniature bear making series, we are using the Angus pattern, which you will find in my Etsy Shop, and on the Tin Soldiers Website.  Every week, you will find printable templates for Project 52 HERE .


  1. So cute. And it's wonderful to see you back in the classroom again, you have been missed - big time.


  2. Glad to see you back Megs, we really missed you xxxx