Every so often, I make something for fund-raising, including teddy bears. I made this one about a year ago.
This guy is the third bear I've made, and as you can see, he's quite a contrast to the first bear I ever made (the second one was an experiment with a different pattern, and with working with joints further than I had before that point, and I haven't posted him because he didn't come out very well at all). Even though this bear was made from a slightly modified version of the same pattern as the first, he came out a LOT bigger, because I used different fabrics and construction techniques - he was easily about two or three feet tall, and very big and huggable. His photos are below;
There's also a bit of a sad tale behind him.
Basically, when donated (which was at a charity event where attendance was poor), he seemed to me to be a little bit gruffly-received, but nonetheless I was told that since attendance that day hadn't been good, he would be raffled off at an event late last year (one which I wasn't attending), and that I would be sent a letter to let me know how much was raised. This seemed nice to me, so I said my thanks, and handed the bear over.
Unfortunately, I never heard anything more, and for all I know, the bear might well have been thrown in the trash after that.
I haven't sewn anything since, although lately I've been trying to get myself to finish the super-obscure project that I mentioned at the end of this project's thread last September. Hopefully that will get me back to sewing things again.
Anyway, I hope everyone else appreciates the bear, even though it seemed that the charity he was donated to did not.
I don't know if this is related, but I've been trying to post a new thread in the Toys, Dolls, and Playthings section for the last half-hour.
I'm using Firefox on Xubuntu 10.04, and it just won't stop with "Waiting for craftster.org...". Bizarrely, I can post replies to threads (hence putting this here, where it seems to possibly be relevant, instead of trying to post my own thread about it), but not a new thread of my own.
EDIT: The second I finished writing this, it's now just given up entirely and presented me with "The connection has timed out" and "The server at www.craftster.org is taking too long to respond.". The thread has not appeared, even after all that time, so I'm going to see what happens now.
My experience has been that putting the fabric inside a tied-up pillowcase and running it through the washing machine seems to help this (but won't stop it completely), although I've only tried it with short-pile fur.
The eventual yellowing (or in some cases, turning brown!) in ABS plastics - which I'm going to guess that this wardrobe is made from - is caused by bromide and/or other chemicals, which were originally added to make the plastic flame-retardant, rising to the surface over time.
It's a common problem with some old game consoles and computers, and if you're careful, it's possible to make a substance that can reduce or remove the yellowing. It tends to be known as Retr0Bright, and you can read about it on this site. If the wardrobe is made of this type of plastic (and as I said before, I would guess that it is, as it's a common type of plastic in toys and consumer goods), then this may work.
It does involve a lot of hazardous chemicals to make this cleaner, though, and accordingly, I unfortunately don't know if the surface would be possible to clean up to be safe enough for a youngster to play with afterwards...
Anyway, I just thought I would mention it in case the provided link is useful to yourself, or to anyone else who this plastics issue might be affecting.
I have perused many blogs and tutorials, and have gotten some ideas, but since I am making him quite big I thought I would ask around here if anyone has made large soft dolls before, and if they can give me any advice/helpful tips.
1: Make sure you have somewhere to put all the parts whilst you're working on the project. The one I made was for a Christmas gift, and I struggled with this, because not only did I need to find places to store the parts, I also had to make sure they wouldn't be seen!
2: If you're sizing up a pre-existing pattern instead of drafting your own, make sure that the proportions are retained when you enlarge the individual sheets or pieces. Initially someone offered to do this for me with mine, but they simply stretched each image to fit the page, which resulted in a loss of proportion. This wasted quite a bit of time.
3: Don't use super-narrow seam allowances if you can help it. Doing this resulted in the seams bursting a couple of times when I was trying to do the stuffing of the limbs on the mannequin I made, so I had to go back and re-work the arms.
4: Attaching arms is much easier if you use large safety joints. Thankfully I had this idea before struggling with attaching them, with mine, and it also has the added bonus of affording the doll a bit more poseability.
That's about all I can think of. I hope that it's helpful to you in some fashion.
The picture with your cat is priceless. Your plushie looks so, so demented in that one (in contrast to your cat ) - it's hilarious.
Some ready-made sphere pattern pieces are located here, just to add to the existing suggestions on this front. This place has them from three-part all the way up to ten-part, dependent on what type of fabric you're using.