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tcfolk TC Folk Originals
Tempe, AZ
Posts: 1,553

Just curious - How many bears do you make simultaneously?  I always was a multitask-er when I was working, but no matter how often I say I'm going to do multiple bears at once, I seem to find myself concentrated on one at a time.  I ask this because I see that there are times when someone may be absent from TT for a while, and then they reappear with several bears at once!  Wish I could!!!!  bear_original

FenBeary Folk FenBeary Folk
Pointon Fen, Lincolnshire, UK
Posts: 2,234

I went through a juggling stage but then ended up the week before a show with loads of body parts and no stuffed bodies  bear_wacko

I have loads in the planning stage and cut out stage but once I get to sewing and stuffing I complete each bear in turn.

I have also found that its a better PR move to produce frequently rather than lots all in one go  bear_grin

jenny Three O'clock Bears
warwickshire uk
Posts: 4,413
Website

Well I used to have as many as 10 'on the go' ...when I used to do that I used to get very uptight and didnt really enjoy it. I still do that when I am building stock for a show. One reason I have now stopped doing 14 bears for a show stand...now I do about 7 and that's enough.
But I much prefer to work on one at a time now...it is much more satisfying creatively and I think it shows in the bear.
I used to say I finish  2 to 3 bears a week ( but I might have 10 in various stages of being made) One reason for that was that my mother used to help me..and to keep her busy I would get her cutting out and stuffing. But she died 4 years ago..and my dad who is 88 does cut out my bears...but I do one at a time and he is happy as he is not nearly so quick as my mother was. I still do 2-3 bears a week...but they are done start to finish individually now. That works best for me.

SueAnn Past Time Bears
Double Oak, Texas
Posts: 19,912

SueAnn Help Advisor, Banner Sponsor

I've always done one bear at a time.  Just seems easier to keep from getting confused as to which bear I'm working on and at what stage.

KJ Lyons KJ Lyons Design
Seattle, WA
Posts: 1,413
Website

I usually work on three cats at one time. But they are always very different, i.e. a large wild cat, small kitten, character standing cat. It just seems more efficient to work that way. First, after cutting I'm at the sewing machine, then stuffing and joint/armature area, and finally I take out all of the tools I need for coloring and fine details. It's easier to go through this for multiple pieces than to take everything out for each piece. Three seems to be as much as I can keep straight in my head at one time  bear_tongue

Plum Cottage Bears Plum Cottage Bears
Long Beach, CA
Posts: 2,151

Plum Cottage Bears Cute Animal Ambassador

Like Karen, I have worked on three pieces at a time.  However, each head gets full attention, one at a time!

teeeej Brisbane
Posts: 623

I usually have at least three or four hanging around that I am actively working on. Since I don't sell my work I only sew when I am in the mood for it or if im making something for a competition. Having a few around means I can just work on what I feel like at the time.

Francesca KALEideaSCOPE
Rheinfelden
Posts: 1,306
Website

I'm a 'one bear at a time' person. This is probably because I don't sell bears for a living, it is just a hobby that is meant to repay for its expenses. I'm not sure I could enjoy making more than one at a time! bear_original

tcfolk TC Folk Originals
Tempe, AZ
Posts: 1,553

Jenny and Karen, you guys are amazing!  I can't do 3 bears in a month, let alone a week!!!  Up until now, I've been more like Sue Ann, I seem to get honed in on one and worked it thru to finish but now I have some arthritis in my hands and I find that there are many things that I can only work on for about 1/2 an hour at a time. Maybe I'll try doing what Sue and Gail do and keep going with some of the simpler things like laying out and cutting on other bears, but working with the heads one at a time. I am more in the Therese and Francy category where my living does not depend on it, but I would still like to be more productive!  I was getting very frustrated by trying to do things beyond my hands capability until Pink Veen told me about the 1/2 hour thing!  Thanks for all the input!   bear_flower

Bear Hearts Bear Hearts
Las Vegas, Nevada
Posts: 548

I've worked on about 6 at a time before.  I don't really do that anymore because I realized it takes about the same time anyway. 

-Robert

valewoodbears Valewood Bears
Yorkshire
Posts: 6,537
Website

I ususally have 6 on the go at once, I also have Arthritis and it helps to work on different things at different times, the good thing is I sometimes have a few done all at once. I remember once having 21 all cut out in different stages.... nightmare, some were ones that I was working on for a show and others... well I had got a lot of new mohair and just couldn't stop cutting out hence I ended up with 21, but that hasn't happened since, i'ts usually just around 6.

Pauline x

kellydean k e l l y d e a n & c o m p a n y
Narrowsburg, New York
Posts: 718
Website

I do one piece at a time, from start to finish, averaging about 3 pieces a month.  I've tried cutting out multiple bears at a time, but found I always wanted to change something by the time I got around to the second one, and ended up wasting both time and fabric. 

(besides, I think cutting out bear is so impossibly boring that I can't face cutting 2 in a row. . . )

rkr4cds Creative Design Studio (RKR4CDS)
suburban Chicago
Posts: 2,044

Generally anywhere from 2 to 6+, in any stage of beginning to finish.
When I was making sewn fabric minis I would cut out about 6 at once as soon as my sealant on the sewing lines had dried and cured—often of different fabrics, because it was more time-effective.

I had to immediately string them onto nylon upholstery thread, in the order in which they'd be sewn and then assembled, and then be restrung and placed individually into snack-sized baggies or I'd end up losing the WORST part to have to replace - ears... or some other part. This was learned only after years of sewing 3 legs or arms or an extra head for almost every bear made. Minis just evaporate!
Funny thing... after all these years I never have found any of the missing parts either, so my last efforts at organization finally worked.
I still do have some strung on thread that never got sewn together before switching to NFing, but at least I never lost them.

tcfolk TC Folk Originals
Tempe, AZ
Posts: 1,553

I guess there are good things and bad things to be said about each method.  Thanks Robert, Pauline, Kelly and Bobbie for sharing your findings.  I will give it a go working on multiple bears, but being and old dog, new tricks might not work for me!

KJ Lyons KJ Lyons Design
Seattle, WA
Posts: 1,413
Website
rkr4cds wrote:

Generally anywhere from 2 to 6+, in any stage of beginning to finish.
When I was making sewn fabric minis I would cut out about 6 at once as soon as my sealant on the sewing lines had dried and cured—often of different fabrics, because it was more time-effective.

I had to immediately string them onto nylon upholstery thread, in the order in which they'd be sewn and then assembled, and then be restrung and placed individually into snack-sized baggies or I'd end up losing the WORST part to have to replace - ears... or some other part. This was learned only after years of sewing 3 legs or arms or an extra head for almost every bear made. Minis just evaporate!
Funny thing... after all these years I never have found any of the missing parts either, so my last efforts at organization finally worked.
I still do have some strung on thread that never got sewn together before switching to NFing, but at least I never lost them.

Bobbie,
Great idea! My characters are larger, but they do usually have over 20 pieces. Sometimes when they get mixed I have to stop and separate them out. Your stringing idea will help a lot  bear_thumb

wubbiebear Braille Teddies
Murfreesboro, Tennessee
Posts: 671

Sometimes I have multiple bears going at once.  This is because I make my patterns in playdoh and then someone with eyeballs transfers them onto cardboard and then fur.  I also have to have assistance getting the joints in because I can't feel the holes because they're so small.  I usually go ahead and start another bear while one bear is still waiting to be put together.  I love sewing, ,but the joints are a pain in the *** because of having to get assistance.

lovenshire Love and Cuddle Nursery
Missouri
Posts: 945
Website

I can't do multiple bears at once or I will never get them done.  I always want to do the easy stuff!  Have to do them one at a time and then it takes a long time with all my pain.

jenny Three O'clock Bears
warwickshire uk
Posts: 4,413
Website

Oh that is such a good plan. I will definitely be string mine together fom now on. It's the same old story ...all pieces go in bag...then I do something else. Bag gets moved around. Sewing pieces together and I can't find an arm or a leg piece. I cut out another...then a week later I find the other piece under a pile of other bits of stuff..
I am nothing if I am not disorganised. I work hard but it's chaotic!!!!

All Bear All Bear by Paula
Kent
Posts: 5,159
Website

I've worked both ways over the years, but much prefer to work on a single bear from start to finish.  I usually remind myself of how tedious it is to trim more than one bear's seams at a time whenever I feel the urge to make a group of bears in one go!

thondra rosenheim / bayern
Posts: 311
Website

i used to make 1 bear at a time
now as i plan for a show
and got lots of orders
i got a few in diffrent stages from plain cut out, to seam alowance cut, to limbs sewn, some with limbs stuffed and closed
some with face finished some with all parts finished, just need to be assembled and belly stuffed and closed
and then painted ... and one is completely finished, and needs his fotoshooting ..  since 1 week *lol**bangs head*
but i do prefer 1 at a time ... its far more relaxing and feels more ... satisfying ...

Beth Anne Beth Anne Bears
New River, AZ
Posts: 73
rkr4cds wrote:

I had to immediately string them onto nylon upholstery thread, in the order in which they'd be sewn and then assembled, and then be restrung and placed individually into snack-sized baggies or I'd end up losing the WORST part to have to replace - ears... or some other part. This was learned only after years of sewing 3 legs or arms or an extra head for almost every bear made. Minis just evaporate!

Bobbie, you are sooo right! I immediately put each cut bear in it's own plastic container. I love having them in the containers because I can stack them up and see each of the bears in them. I need to have my bears-in-progress on my table right where I can see them so I don't start a new one without finishing the one's I've already cut. I also find I'm more productive with less guilt if I just get rid of the one's I don't care for and will probably never finish. That way I feel good about working on the one's I really like without the "I should finish this other one first" feeling.

I usually have 2 cut, sewn and turned at the same time, but then it's one at a time after that. I get confused on each one's "personality" if I try to put together more than one at a time. I try very hard not to cut and sew more than 2 at one time, because that's my favorite part! Once I make a sketch and pick the colors, I almost feel like making the bear is an afterthought (although I love seeing the finished bear!). It's the feel of the fabrics and the colors that inspire me. Decorating the finished bear is also very satisfying, even if it's just a ribbon around the neck.

I tried making 3 at once, but then it got really confusing! Also, I agree with Sue of Fenbeary Folk that I'd rather get one out at a time more frequently than several at once with long breaks in between.

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