myBearpaw Blog by Jo Avery

Liberty Pandas and the Robot

I think that has to be the weirdest post title this blog has ever had! It sounds like a new show on CBeebies!
Let me explain…
As I was saying in my last post, I have been planning lots of new classes for the Summer and Autumn, and one of them is called Handmade Party Bags.

I do a bit of market research at each class, asking my students for ideas for other classes they would like me to offer, and a few young mums had wanted ideas for handmade party bag favours. They were all fed up with the cheap plastic tat you usually get and wanted to make something worthwhile to give away at their children’s parties.

So meet my Liberty Pandas. This one is Sunshine, and the other is Sweetie. Obviously I have named them after the pandas at Edinburgh Zoo, which I still haven’t seen! My pandas are wearing very luxurious Liberty pants. Sunshine’s are made from Tana Lawn…

…and Sweetie’s are made from gorgeous silk that I got as a freebie at FQ London. Unfortunately their pants are securely sewn on, so like their Zoo counterparts, they may have trouble conceiving!

I really do adore pandas (even more than owls actually), and these 2 are just so cute I can’t stop looking at them! They are based on the felt animals I made for the mobile here, but with that little bit of extra detail and a hanging ribbon. They will be the girl present in the party bag (though I am reluctant to be so gender specific, I am sure lots of boys would like a cute panda with Liberty pants!).

Would you like a tutorial for the pandas?! I am on holiday next week (staycationing) and might just get one done!

And next, for the boys, meet Robot. He is more 3-dimensional than the pandas and stands on sturdy button feet. I had such fun making him! His ‘controls’ are press studs, buttons, beads, eyelets and a shisha mirror.
I’ve photographed him here in his usual hi-tech environment (a roll of aluminium foil). I got lots of ideas for him from a wonderful book called Crobots by Nelly Pailloux, which is all about crocheted robots. I plan to make a few more varieties before the class, but this one will do for the photo.
Robot doesn’t have a name yet, does anything spring to mind?!

The class also features a very simple fabric party bag to put them in, but since I made this I have thought of a better way to do it so this will probably improve before the class.
The class is on Sunday 12th August and at the moment we have an Early Bird Offer on class bookings, 15% off all bookings made before Friday!! I know most of you live too far away but Edinburgh is a great place to come for a holiday, especially during August when the Festival is on! Check out my Summer School Classes here.

Oh and thanks for all the ideas for my next patchwork eve class, I think I have it all sorted now!


  1. As a girl, I'd rather have the robot than pants-wearing pandas! Maybe remove all gender from the categories? 🙂 Cute robot – love the button topper!

  2. Great ideas!! I'm way past the party bag era but it was about the start of the plastic tat stage and I hated it!!!
    I had one odd friend though who put random things like plain sitcking plasters and polystyrene balls in her child's bags?
    Teresa x

  3. I had to chuckle at the thought of the problems their sewn on pants would cause – if only the real ones only had to worry about getting their pants off! They're well worth visiting, couldn't be cuter if they tried. Enjoy the holiday next week. Juliex

  4. Great idea. I would love a panda tutorial please. I have a niece and a few grown up friends that would love one.

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