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Hand Stitched Fiber Art – Slow Stitched Polar Bear

I love the dimensionality of fiber art, and it’s a great way to use up fabric scraps! We got the chance to try out a hand stitched fiber art kit. Read our review.

Click to read also: Sewing Tutorials for All Ages

hand sewn art

Disclosure: I’m a member of Timberdoodle’s blogger review team, and they sent me this product to review. I did not request or receive any other compensation, and all opinions are my own.

Slow Stitched Polar Bear Fiber Art Kit Review

slow stitched polar bear review

If you’ve read this blog for a while, you know I love anything that is hands on and creative. My kids inherited this joy of making and creative curiosity.

I’ve always found stitched fiber art like this polar bear interesting, so when I was offered the chance to review a kit I said yes. Timberdoodle markets this Slow Stitched Polar Bear Kit for ages 12 and up, or 6th grade and up, and my 11-year-old 6th grader decided to give it a try.

Like the detective agency model kit I reviewed in the fall, this is a more involved craft. I think it could have been very accessible to beginners (and I explain how to accommodate that at the end of this post), but as presented it was not a beginner craft.

My 11-year-old is an experienced crafter. Unlike the model kit, this is not a “make yours look like the picture” kit. She tried to stick very close to the picture, and that definitely made it harder.

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Slow Stitching a Polar Bear

My daughter went through the image that was included in the kit, separating out the layers, tracing them with a little help from a light table and then cutting them out.

creating fiber scrap art

This was pretty fiddly work, and she asked me to help a few times.

Fabric art

Now it was time to start sewing! The piece of background fabric that was included in the kit was barely large enough and very frustrating to work with.

tween sewing project

We swapped it out with some wool felt. Felt is easier for this type of project as a background because the scraps kind of stick to it.

fabric painting

It was also larger, so she had more wiggle room to work with.

hand sewing a project for kids

It was hard for her to keep all of the fabric pieces in place as she stitched. She worked and worked at it, and got this far:

slow stitched polar bear

Then she got completely overwhelmed.

So I stepped in an ddid some basic stitching on the rest of her pieces, really just tacking them into place.

hand sewn art

She is still deciding if she wants to add more stitching to finish it off, or leave it like this. I think it works either way.

What We Liked About This Kit

Kits are great for trying out a new technique. My daughter and I were both curious about hand stitched fiber art, and I don’t know that we would have gotten around to trying it out.

The design was adorable, and the kit came with a fun range of fabric scraps to use to create the design.

We decided to try the kit in order to learn a new crafting technique, and I think we could new go out and create our own original fiber art using this technique pretty easily.

What We Would Change About This Kit

I would have liked the kit to come with a larger background piece. The instructions were also pretty sparse for a kit that was clearly designed for beginners. For the price, it was strange to skimp on background fabric; an embroidery hoop would have also been a nice addition to the kit. The needle that was included in the kit was difficult to work with; we swapped it out for a Clover embroidery needle.

Over all, this was a great concept with lots of room for improvement in the execution of the idea.

How to Make This Kit Easier to Work With

Backing the fabric scraps would have made this kit much easier to work with. I actually considered adding HeatnBond to the scraps before handing it over to my daughter. She would have been spared quite a bit of frustration if we had done that. I didn’t because HeatnBond makes the fabric a little harder to sew through, but I think it would have been worth the extra effort.

Have you ever tried creating this type of slow stitched fiber art? What did you think of this art form?

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MaryAnne is a craft loving educator, musician, photographer, and writer who lives in Silicon Valley with her husband Mike and their four children.

4 thoughts on “Hand Stitched Fiber Art – Slow Stitched Polar Bear”

  1. I have never heard of such a kit before and am wondering whether A would enjoy it – she picked up embroidery in college. However, considering the number of pieces that she would have to keep track of, I am pretty sure it would have been even more of a disaster. The semi-finished piece looks nice though!

  2. I’ve done some hand applique, but haven’t ever done that style.
    I do agree with you it seems odd they gave you such a small background fabric, and it really should have had an embroidery hoop, but that is a more complicated tool to use for a beginner.

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