The Patchwork Bear – Preserving Memories in Cuddly Fashion - Washington FAMILY Magazine: Mom Reviews

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The Patchwork Bear – Preserving Memories in Cuddly Fashion

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Posted: Monday, June 4, 2018 4:30 pm | Updated: 4:37 pm, Mon Jun 4, 2018.

Tucked away in each of my child's closets is one bin of my favorite baby clothes. I had to limit myself or they all would have been saved! Though some are stained and a bit worn, they all have a place in my heart and trigger fond memories. The only time I see them, however, is if I pull out the bins. 

For a unique way to display these special garments, I tried out Patchwork Bear. By using provided clothes, garments, blankets and other fabrics, they create a handmade bear, bunny, tote or blanket/quilt.

The Patchwork Bear is a company founded by Jennifer Cura, an architect who took her passion for sewing and created a way to produce original, handmade designs that are personalized to the customer. The company is growing, but remaining true to their original concepts and continuing to create memories that are 100 percent made in the USA.

Patchwork Bear sent us a sample of their gift kit with everything we needed to get started. Contained in the sturdy cardboard box (also used to ship back your chosen clothes — very green!) were detailed instructions on choosing clothes and designing your bear. The booklet presents two options: Send your clothes and let their designers create the bear, or you can map out the whole bear, selecting where each piece of clothing will be on its body.

We got started by pulling out our bins and deciding which pieces to use. After looking through the clothes, we chose to make the bear a representative of both children, tying it together with the crib sheet they both used. When using baby/children's clothes, you need to send about six to eight garments (For a keepsake using adult clothing, you should select three to four garments). I chose three from each child, though it was hard when I thought of the clothes being cut up! You can request your scraps to be sent back, which is a nice option. We finally found several items that we loved and wanted to see preserved on the bear.

Inside the kit is the order form that offers plenty of room to send along notes. Along with the overall concept idea, which I detailed on the order form, I pinned notes on each garment indicating special patterns, logos, or specific areas to use or avoid. I then folded up the clothes, packed them into the shipping box, and sent them on their way to the Patchwork Bear studio in New Jersey.

Approximately four weeks later, our Memory Bear arrived!

We were literally bursting with excitement and tore into the box and immediately fell in love with the creation. The bear was exactly how I had pictured it, representing both my children yet flowing together naturally.  Each of their names are embroidered on the corresponding feet, blue for my son and pink for my daughter. The designer respected all my wishes for parts of the clothing to preserve, and created a great keepsake for our family. The bear is beautifully hand sewn and very durable, as it has already been through a lot of love in our house this week!

We are going to have another bear made in memory of my grandfather, who loved teddy bears. It's the perfect way to recycle his old sweaters that sit on a shelf. It will be a Mother’s Day gift for my grandmother and become a family heirloom to be passed on through generations.

The concept makes such a unique gift for any occasion. I highly recommend browsing their website and considering their products for birthdays, baby showers, graduations or special holidays. It is a great way to recycle favorite baby clothes, wedding dresses, sports jerseys, school t-shirts – you name it!


Memory Bear

Manufactured by The Patchwork Bear

Available at thepatchworkbear.com

$98.00

Appealed to the advertised age range

5

Instructions were easy to follow

5

Durability

5

I would purchase this for my family

Yes

I would purchase this as a gift

Yes

Overall rating

5

Christy Petrak is a Systems Engineer currently taking a leave of absence to raise her two children, Thomas (5.5 years) and Eliza (2.5 years). She enjoys spending time with her family, swimming, and baking/decorating cupcakes.

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