CIRCLE: South Western Districts

BRANCH: Still Bay

PORTFOLIO: Lifestyle

CONVENOR: Gerda Marais

REPORTER: Carol Scott

DATE OF MEETING: 14 May 2024


The Convenor of Lifestyle thought it prudent to use a VLV member to do a presentation at our monthly meeting. VLV Still Bay have many talented ladies who have much to share.




Madelene Grobler a member and convenor of Education and Culture of Still Bay told us about her hobby which has become a small business.

For many, young and old, our school years are remembered fondly. We are all very proud of our school uniforms, hence many people still have their school blazers and school dresses or gyms hanging in their cupboards.

The birth of ‘Blazer for Teddies’ was when an article was read in an overseas magazine where teddy bears are made from old school blazers and dresses.

Each Teddy is unique and has a story to tell. One will not find a teddy bear that looks like another, every one is different. This is due to each scholar having achieved different achievements and receiving different awards. The pocket and badge, the awards badges and Colour awards braiding are used when the teddy bears are made. A little card is inserted in the pocket of the teddy bear with the name of the scholar, with the name of the school that he or she attended, and the total number of years spend at the school in question. Some of these blazer teddy bears are touring other parts of the world.

There are some very special stories to be told around the teddy bears that have been made. Three stories will follow:

A young farm boy needed to go to boarding school. The buttons of his blazer came off and needed to be re-attached. He needed to plan to get the buttons re-attached as his mother was not near to assist him. He then took pieces of thin wire to re-attach the buttons. As they say “’n Boer maak ‘n[p plan”, he surely planned. When Madelene was taking the blazer apart, she struggled to loosen the buttons, to find out that the buttons were attached with thin wire. These pieces of wire have also featured on his teddy bear. This is a very sentimental aspect of a grown man with adult children.

The oldest blazer Madelene worked with was that of a grandfather who matriculated in 1954. His mother must have been a member of VLV, as the badges and achievement awards badges were attached with very fine blanket stitch. It took Madelene an entire morning to remove the badges.

Another special story is a grandmother had teddy bears made for twins who now reside in Australia. A teddy bear was made for the little boy from his father’s blazer which he wore when he was head boy at primary school and the little girl’s teddy bear was made from her mother’s school dress.

Madelene mentioned that it gives her great pleasure seeing the recipients receiving their teddy bears which are heirlooms for which they are proud of.


Twins teddy bear for the little boy made from his fathers blazer

Twins teddy for the little girl made from her moms school dress

When a blazer is big enough, the owner will get a big teddy and a baby teddy

This is the logo of the teddy bear business and the card that is placed in the pocket

Beautiful teddy made from a pretty blue checked school dress.

Teddy bear where the colours braiding is used as pipping.