When I’m not illustrating, I sew things! Lots of my sewing work is costuming, but I sometimes make “normal” clothing and– most recently– plushies.
After I drew the design for the Alexander Semin “Sasha Cares” t-shirt, my mother gave me an excellent idea: “Why don’t you sew a real one?”
Drafting patterns is not my specialty, so to start I managed to get my hands on a vintage Care Bears “Wish Bear” plush pattern from 1983. So glad I didn’t try to make my own pattern—The one I bought had 20 different pieces to it, each with lots of little darts and seams and details.
The pattern itself was pretty straightforward, the only differences being the color scheme, and the appliqué details on the stomach, back, and face.
The shooting star on Wish Bear’s belly was now the silhouette of a Weagle. And to make sure people knew it was Sasha, I added his number to the back. They were both sewn on by hand. The shapes were too complicated to stitch by machine. Appliquéing by hand was tedious, but worth the result.
The hardest part of the plush was getting the face right after the whole body had been constructed and stuffed, especially the eyes. It took many trials to get them to look the way I wanted to. They differ from the original drawing, since the look of the eyes on the drawing did not translate to 3D as well as they do in just a flat illustration. The eyes and nose are hand-appliquéd fabric. The rest of the details (i.e. the eyebrows, mouth, and freckle-like dots) in the face were embroidered by hand with heavy-duty perle cotton thread.
After finishing the face, I gave Sasha Bear some hair and a signature obnoxious gold chain. And voilá! Alex Semin cared so much… He became a Care Bear. Sasha Bear is made entirely of fleece, and is super soft and cuddly!! You judge for yourself.
Will I ever make another Sasha Bear? Unless the man himself asks for one, NOPE. But this was a fun project to sew and who knows? There’s a pattern for a Care Bear Sheep out there. Maybe Sasha Bear will some day get his best pal to keep him company.
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