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CrawlyCreepies Posts: 89

(I'm not sure if this is the right place for this thread, my apologies)

I'm partway through Anne Dyer's "Design Your Own Stuffed Toys". It's a superb resource that goes into far more depth regarding the geometry of advanced pattern design than anything I've ever read. That said, it is a HUGE slog to get through. This book is nearly 50 years old and really shows its age. The pen and ink diagrams are very hard to decipher and never on the same page as the paragraphs referencing them.

This book has so much valuable information but it's in dire need of an update. Unfortunately, there doesn't seem to be a revised edition. Do any of you have this book? I practically need a study group to make sense of some parts.

Kaijumama Posts: 4

When I first started sewing, I could never find good books on pattern design. The best lessons I had in sewing plush was through studying company manufactured stuffed toys. I buy a plush toy with a design I like or am interested in learning (or two so I can have an extra) and take a seam ripper and take it apart, study how it's built, how the pieces fit together, darts making curves. Take the pieces, practice sewing a plush from them in different fabric. From within you can also learn the tricks that are used to make certain parts the way they are, it's really helpful.

I think most people hesitate to do it this way because they have empathy and don't want to hurt toys. But it's a great way to learn.

Have you looked on etsy for plush patterns? Some sellers have really cute designs bear_original what kind of style toys were you interested in making?

dangerbears Dangerbears
Wisconsin
Posts: 6,016
Website

If you can find a copy, I'd recommend How to Make and Design Stuffed Toys by Rudi de Sarigney.

It's from 1971, and even longer than yours, but the drawings are clear, and there are principles discussed as well as patterns provided.

Another possibility is Constructing Teddy and His Friends by Jennifer Laing. It's a slim book of 12 patterns with instructions, including elephant, monkey, koala, rat, rabbit, and even humanoids (elf and gnome). Jennifer is one of the great ones, and a person could learn a lot by following her patterns.

Becky

MonBears Original Mon Bears
Melbourne
Posts: 37
Website

I got my start with 'The Complete Book of Teddy-Bear Making Techniques' by Alicia Merrett, it is a great book for beginners and I still refer to it all the time.

Another wonderful resource I use all the time is Jennifer Laing's 'Teddy Bear Art: How to Design & Make Great Teddy Bears'. Happy designing!

CrawlyCreepies Posts: 89

Thanks for the suggestions, everyone! And sorry for the late reply, I was under the weather this week.

Kaijumama wrote:

When I first started sewing, I could never find good books on pattern design. The best lessons I had in sewing plush was through studying company manufactured stuffed toys. I buy a plush toy with a design I like or am interested in learning (or two so I can have an extra) and take a seam ripper and take it apart, study how it's built, how the pieces fit together, darts making curves. Take the pieces, practice sewing a plush from them in different fabric. From within you can also learn the tricks that are used to make certain parts the way they are, it's really helpful.

I think most people hesitate to do it this way because they have empathy and don't want to hurt toys. But it's a great way to learn.

Have you looked on etsy for plush patterns? Some sellers have really cute designs bear_original what kind of style toys were you interested in making?

I have looked on etsy, but I generally can't find things with the degree of complexity or types of animals I want (it's pretty difficult to find a tarantula sewing pattern). I do want to pick up a few for study though. You're absolutely right, I need to work up the courage and do some disassembly (dismembering a toy inflames my sense of thrift, rather than empathy, haha).

I like working very small and very detailed (yes, I enjoy making things hard for myself). The little tentacle-faced monster I'm working on has defined eyebrow ridges and posable tentacles, but the head shape is still not as refined as I would like, so the pattern will be undergoing further revision.

I would also like to make realistic animals. Attached is a test for a gecko pattern I'm working on (please excuse the unfinished neck and lumpy back, the next version is getting a gusset there). I'm not wild about the look of jointed animals, and want to learn to make well-shaped bodies without separate limbs. I also want to have a lot of control over head shape without relying on felted muzzles. Thread sculpting works to a point, but I feel like it's best used to further accentuate a well-designed head.

dangerbears wrote:

If you can find a copy, I'd recommend How to Make and Design Stuffed Toys by Rudi de Sarigney.

It's from 1971, and even longer than yours, but the drawings are clear, and there are principles discussed as well as patterns provided.

Another possibility is Constructing Teddy and His Friends by Jennifer Laing. It's a slim book of 12 patterns with instructions, including elephant, monkey, koala, rat, rabbit, and even humanoids (elf and gnome). Jennifer is one of the great ones, and a person could learn a lot by following her patterns.

Becky

The reviews suggest How to Make and Design Stuffed Toys doesn't go much beyond the basics, but I'm sure I can pick up a new trick or two from it. Thanks for the tip!
How to Make and Design Stuffed Toys looks good, but again, the reviews say it's more geared towards beginners. Constructing Teddy and His Friends comes with a nasty pricetag. Do you know if it's available as a downloadable purchase anywhere?

MonBears wrote:

I got my start with 'The Complete Book of Teddy-Bear Making Techniques' by Alicia Merrett, it is a great book for beginners and I still refer to it all the time.

Another wonderful resource I use all the time is Jennifer Laing's 'Teddy Bear Art: How to Design & Make Great Teddy Bears'. Happy designing!

I do have 'The Complete Book of Teddy-Bear Making Techniques', it's a great reference for jointing and eyes and such, but it doesn't really go into patterning for anything beyond teddy-shaped things. Teddy Bear Art is on my wishlist as well, but presumably has the same issue.

I'm going to pick up 'Anatomy of a Doll: The Fabric Sculptor's Handbook' by Susanna Oroyan. If it suits my needs well I'll be sure to let you all know about it.


dangerbears Dangerbears
Wisconsin
Posts: 6,016
Website

I love your critters! Are you familiar with Arcas Designs (Lisa Page)? She makes the most varied realistic pieces that I know of: http://www.arcasdesigns.com/id12.html
I wonder whether she'd be willing to point you in the right direction?

Becky

CrawlyCreepies Posts: 89
dangerbears wrote:

I love your critters! Are you familiar with Arcas Designs (Lisa Page)? She makes the most varied realistic pieces that I know of: http://www.arcasdesigns.com/id12.html
I wonder whether she'd be willing to point you in the right direction?

Becky

Thank you

Oh wow, those are fantastic! I need to go through her whole gallery. I could try to work up the courage to contact her, haha

dangerbears Dangerbears
Wisconsin
Posts: 6,016
Website
CrawlyCreepies wrote:

Oh wow, those are fantastic! I need to go through her whole gallery. I could try to work up the courage to contact her, haha

She's very friendly.  bear_original  The natterjack toad she made (I think in Gallery 5) lives with me, and I just love him.

Becky

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