Introduction: 2020 Care Bear Reboot

About: Love to sew, quilt, cross-stitch, and scrapbook. Etsy shop owner and Amazon book seller

For Halloween this year, I wanted to do something in honor of our newest dog, Bear. There have been many Care Bear costumes throughout the years; however, my design is unique since it incorporates both dogs and people.

Furthermore, the costumes for people include a mask for the muzzle, so it was perfect for 2020's social distancing guidelines.

Fortunately, I was well-stocked with fabric and other supplies due to making masks earlier this year. I had also purchased a new Janome sewing machine that has many features that I have been experimenting with over the past few months.

After much consideration I decided on the following Care Bears for my family:

  • Best Friend Bear (purple) with rainbow/heart/star badge for our 17 lb. Lhasa Apso mix, Bear

  • Cheer Bear (pink) with a rainbow badge for our 11 lb. Maltipoo, Daisy

  • Good Luck Bear (green) with 4-leaf clover badge for our 65 lb. Goldendoodle, Topper

  • Love-A-Lot Bear (pink) with double heart badge for me

  • Grumpy Bear (blue) with a rain cloud badge for my husband

  • Birthday Bear (golden yellow) with cupcake badge for our son who lives in Minnesota

  • Tenderheart Bear (brown) with heart badge for our son's 9 lb. Morkie, Buster

  • Bedtime Bear (blue) with moon/star badge for our son who lives in Massachusetts (not pictured)


White felt or batting (low loft)

Felt in assorted colors

Fabric in assorted colors--about 1/2 yard for each adult costume

Thread to coordinate with the fabric

Thin elastic

Various round objects (e.g., plates, pot lids, stencils) for creating circles with 3 to 10 inch diameters

Fabric marking pens


Ironing board and iron

Sewing machine

Headbands, pom-poms, and ribbon for ears

Hooded sweatshirt for each adult costume

Step 1: Cut the Fabric

After selecting a Care Bear for each of my dogs and family members, I cut out the following items:

For each dog costume, cut the following:

  • one 6" to 8" circle of white felt or batting, depending on the size of the dog
  • one 6" to 8" circle of fabric for backing (to coordinate with the color of the bear)
  • cut a piece of elastic that will allow the circle to hang in front of the dog's chest--about 8" for small (<20 lb.) dogs, and 15" for a larger dog (my Goldendoodle is about 65 lbs.)

For each "human" costume, cut the following:

  • 11" circle from felt or batting and 11" circle from fabric for "belly badge"
  • Two 10" circles from fabric for men or two 9" circles from fabric for women, to create muzzle mask
  • 3" circle of white felt or batting for muzzle applique
  • a 22" piece of elastic

Step 2: Assemble the "Belly Badges"

Creating the appliques for the "belly badges" was my favorite part of the project. I enjoyed using my new sewing machine to attach them to the batting circles. I started with the easiest one (the single heart for Tenderheart Bear) and by the time I got to the 4-leaf Clover for Good Luck Bear I was a pro! For the rainbow appliques, I attached them by hand since there were so many layers of felt.

  • Pin circle of batting to the wrong side of the fabric.
  • Tie a knot on both ends of elastic. Insert knots at 11:00 and 1:00 position between fabric and batting and secure with pins.
  • Use overcast (i.e., zigzag) stitch to attach circles together (or hand stitch using a slip stitch or blind stitch
  • Create applique and attach to the circle using applique stitch if the machine is equipped, if not, use blind stitch and attach by hand.

Step 3: Make a Muzzle Mask

Make applique for muzzle

  • Cut out a small heart (about 1") for the nose and attach to the 3" diameter circle of batting using an applique stitch
  • Use applique stitch to create mouth (e.g., smile for Love-A-Lot or grimace for Grumpy)

I used the following video to make a mask for each person; however, prior to folding the mask in thirds (about five minutes into video), attach the muzzle applique to the middle of the mask.

Step 4: Color the Dogs (optional)

Our groomer spayed the dogs to match the costumes. She also assembled the ears by attaching ribbon and pom-poms with a hot glue gun.

I have mixed emotions about the coloring:

  • The green ran out so Topper was a little blotchy
  • Bear's fur seemed to absorb the purple so by the time we got home it was barely visible
  • Daisy's pink got all over the place

All three got a bath not long after my pictures were done!

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