Having recently been asked to make a keepsake bear for a client out of a dressing gown whose children had grown out of, got me thinking about teddy bears, why they are so sentimental to us and where they actually originated from.
It is widely believed that the ‘teddy’ bear originated in 1902, and was named after the then American President Theodore ‘Teddy’ Roosevelt who refused to shoot a ‘tethered’ bear whilst out on a hunting trip. A cartoonist drew a picture of this for the Washington Post and the story was borne.
Later that month Brooklyn shopkeepers Morris and Rose Michtom made a soft bear toy, which they named ‘teddy’s bear’ and displayed it in their shop window with a copy of the cartoon. America went bear mad almost overnight.
More than 100 years on teddy bears old and young find themselves more popular than ever, especially with the new trend for keepsake or memory bears. These bears are made from treasured fabric e.g. clothing or blankets from a child or loved one passed and helps to remind us of the emotions of love we feel/felt for that special someone. Memories are essential to our biographies, filling in our histories. Creating keepsakes helps us write our life’s stories and nuture feelings of peace and love.
Below is a free pattern for a simple keepsake bear. Have fun creating your own memories.