I made a gift this weekend for a cousin who just had her second baby. I started with an adorable Ed Emberley for Cloud9 elephant fabric that I bought on a whim last year when it came out because it was too cute to pass up. (I love the Lions and Tiger print from that same collection.)
I matched it to a soft gray fleece and then chose some coordinating ribbons and I was ready to make a baby bear and blankie.
This is my go-to baby gift. It just seems so classic to make a teddy bear and a matching blanket, and it's easy and enjoyable to sew.
I love to sew for new babies not only because babies are pretty great, but also because a handmade baby gift is really for the parents, too. I remember so well those very first days of being a mom, sitting in the rocking chair in my daughter's bedroom, holding a sleeping newborn. I was totally bleary with exhaustion and also in total bliss that I'd actually made it through and was now hoding an amazing little person in my arms.
In those early, overwhelming and emotial days, when the mailman arrives with a box and you open it up to find a handmade gift inside, it's such a good feeling. Just knowing that your family and friends took the time to make something for your baby with love, it uplifts you.
And when the baby grows, and becomes a toddler, and it's time to give away all their newborn things, you don't give away a handmade bear or a handmade blankie. Those are the things you hold onto, to try to remember what it was like when you first met your child.
The pattern for the Baby Bear and Blankie set is here.