Free Pattern Friday! Panda Memory Bear Plush

Hi everyone!
For this free pattern I was hoping it would be a bit of a two-for-one! I had requests for both a panda bear and a memory bear so I thought I’d combine them 🙂 If you’ve never heard of them before, memory bears are a kind of stuffed teddy bear made with scraps of a loved one’s clothing to serve as a memento.
For this project, I made the pandas using lots of different apparel fabrics and made sure that the pattern would work well regardless of the kind of texture or stretch the fabric had. So you’ll find this pattern has some more darts than usual to add shaping. I also ensured that the pattern could be sewn entirely by machine if you wanted so the finished plush can stand up to lots of extra hugs!

In the samples you’ll see I have bears made from quilting cotton, a men’s flannel shirt, various knit scraps, and the classic minky. So you’ll find you can make this bear from lots of different light to medium-weight clothing. And the templates are small enough that you should be able to cut straight from the clothing. There are tips inside the pattern for sewing with apparel fabrics, like using stabilizer if your fabric is older or more delicate, or using a shorter stitch length for extra durability.
As always, the pattern comes with applique templates to make the face in case you’re sewing by regular machine or by hand, but there are free embroidery files as well if you have an embroidery machine. The face fits into a 4″ x 4″ hoop if it sits diagonally, and there’s a muzzle file as well if you’re making a 3D snout.
The hardest part is likely sewing the body, since the limbs are sewn in the seam so the stitching can get crowded. But if you don’t stuff the limbs too much, take it slowly, and work a few inches at a time, you’ll get there 🙂 For all of that, I rated it a 3/10.
I hope you all like it!

Would you like to see how I designed this pattern? You can support me on Patreon for as little as $1 and get behind-the-scenes details!

26 thoughts on “Free Pattern Friday! Panda Memory Bear Plush”

  1. Excellente idée, j’ai déjà cousu des peluches souvenirs avec des vêtements de personnes disparues,
    et cela a toujours été beaucoup d’émotion pour les personnes qui reçoivent la peluche.

  2. I love this. Thank you so much. My “bonus” daughter was killed in a car accident in October of 2018 at the age of 21 and this is perfect for my family and my other children. We have held on to some of her clothes and when I seen this posted, I teared up. Thank you so much again.

  3. You are so awesome! Your patterns are so totally amazing. As soon as my grandkids (all teens) see them they each want one. They think your amazing too. Thanks for all you do for everyone 🙂

  4. Hagelstein, Meghan K.

    Thank you for this pattern! It’s kind of perfect timing because my mom and I had been looking for a pattern to make memory bears out of my dad’s old shirts. Keep up the wonderful work and thank you so much for the wonderful patterns!

  5. Hello! I am making this pattern with a super stretchy fabric from a pillow, and I’ve never dealt with this kind of stretch before. I don’t have any interfacing, so do you have any tips for sewing with really stretchy fabric? Does it change the shape at all? Thanks for this pattern, and for your help! You’re amazing.

    1. Hello!
      If you’ve got really stretchy fabric, it will make the finished bear a bit bigger and more plump 🙂 In the instructions, the sample made from knit fabrics is the grey/white houndstooth bear. You can see how it compares to the others on page 4. The knit bear doesn’t have any interfacing, so you can see how much bigger it gets compared to the quilting cotton bear.
      As for sewing tips, you’ll want to make sure you use a needle for knit fabrics, since that pierces the fibers a lot easier. Try to keep the fabric from stretching while you sew, so don’t push or pull on it in the machine. And if your machine can lower its presser foot pressure, set it 1 or 2 notches below the normal amount. I hope that might help get you started!

  6. Elke Holzmüller

    Such beautiful idea. I weared a vest of my dad, who died 2013, for some years. Last year it was too ugly to wear it longer, but too much memories to throw it away. Then I thought I could use your Fennek pattern for a small animal which now is in my car to accompany me every day. This new pattern also is such a wonderful idea. Thank you so much for sharing your patterns with us all.

  7. Thank you for this. My mother-in-law passed away on new years eve and I’m making these bears out of her old shirts for my kids and their cousins to hold on to a piece of grandma. 💖


    Thank you! My husband never got a gift for his grandmother’s 80th this weekend (despite having ample notice of her party). Your pattern saved us! Great, in-depth, easy to follow instructions. I’m not new to sewing, but I’m self taught, and I’ve struggled with darts before… Your tips made it so simple that I don’t know why I didn’t figure it out before! I hope hubby’s grandmother loves the bear made from her great-grandsons’ old baby clothes. I can’t wait to try out more patterns including the fish hat that I bought (I was too excited to see that one!).

    1. Oh that’s wonderful! I’m so glad the pattern was helpful for you ♥ And what a fantastic use of old baby clothes too 😊 Thank you for the kind words!

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