Good one Katy
Once I bought a meagre quarter of hand dyed coral moral only to find I had two left arms!!! I ended making SMALL bear out of it in the end but I was really upset about it.
The bear maker Gertie Wiggins once told me she did this with a leg and ended up making a pirate bear with a peg leg!
Yes, I have suffered from "swiffy gussets" and jolly annoying it is too!!
What works for me it to oversew the gusset from nose to back on both sides then hand backstitch the head. I oversew all the bear pieces first as I have found they tend to slip if I just use pins - but this could just be something I am doing wrong as I know a lot of people pin
Take the time out to make all the pattern pieces; so 4 leg pieces amd 4 arm pieces (if two part arms and legs), 4 ears etc; That way, not only will you be sure it fits your fabric, but you are less likely to end up with pieces that face the wrong way or not enough pieces!
(I forget how many times i've messed up which coulod have been saved by taking a bit more time at the template stage)
Throw NOTHING away :crackup: :crackup: the amount of times I have lost the back of an ear is incredible, I now have enough odd ear pieces that I have found after the bears had been finished that I could sew them altogether and make a bear from them :crackup: :crackup:
Remember that there is no 'right' or 'wrong' way to make a bear! Don't be afraid to do your own thing!
Take notes... record finished size, joint and eye sizes, materials used and where they came from... in case you ever want to make another one!
Keep an open mind, be flexible... that bear you intend to be a boy may look like a girl when you're done!
My advice would be...Remember that everyone's taste in bears is different...so please yourself! We don't all march to the same drum. (Thank goodness!
My second piece of 'wisdom' is that if something I am making just won't go right and it starts to fluster me, I leave it 24 hours and look at it with fresh eyes the next day. It's amazing how many problems solve themself overnight.
I am surprised so many of you keep loosing bear parts. Maybe that is because you make more bears together.
What about puting all the parts of one bear in a box or bag while waiting to use them?
I do not remember I ever lost any bear part. Now I am not working at bear making as a mad woman...
Plus my cat never tried to steal any bear part. I just have to be careful when using leather, as she loves playing with leather bits.
Whenever I am missing a part I always ask our gray tiger cat Davey Crockett what he has done with it. He will steal my parts while I'm at work.
My best "tip" (even though I"m relatively new at this myself) is to not compare yourself to others. Also, even though you may be anxious to work on a bear don't do it when you are tired. You will just end up frustrating yourself.
When sewing mini's get some fine fishing line and thread all the pieces on it in the reverse order of how you sew them. This way everything stays together. (if you sew your head first put those pieces on last).
If you change a pattern during the construction of a bear make sure the original pattern piece gets seperated I swear if you're anything like me you will not remember which bit you're supposed to be using next time!