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Daphne Back Road Bears
Laconia, NH USA
Posts: 6,568

I finally got around to reading through the new Ted Menton book I got and he had a lot of interesting techniques.

He stitches the ears either in the seam or the ear material is part of the head sides so is automatically part of the head. He confesses to not liking to hand sew.

Do you sew the ear on after the head is stuffed? Are they part of your head pattern pieces? Do you stitch the ears into seams of the head? Why do you do it the way you do it?

I'm just curious. I sew mine on after the head is stuffed so I can give each bear it's own look and character. I feel all the bears would look the same if the ears were part of the head already. But I haven't tried it the way Ted does it so I could be missing something.

Daphne

DebbieD Posts: 3,540

The only time I've sewn ears into the head pieces was when I was specifically sewing ponies for my little nieces.  I wanted the ears to be extra extra sturdy because one of the girls was only 18 months at the time.  I could adjust a little while I was sewing the ear into the seam, but I did have to take care with the stuffing that the ears didn't become lopsided (of course this was with synthetic material)

All in all I much prefer to sew the ears on after the head is finished.  I think with mohair or real fur, you can get some serious character going, and part of changing the character comes from where the ears are situated "just right" for that particular expression.

Donna Donna's Duin Bruins
Burbank, CA
Posts: 900

Daphne,
I used this method when I first started making bears and was using synthetic.  I hated it, it was so hard to sew and you had to be so careful to get all the layers.  I have not done it since I started using mohair but now that you have brought it to mind it would greatly speed up the process of getting the head finished.  It would need to be a design that I was comfortable with the ear placement being permanent.  I think I am ready to go back and revisit this technique using mohair.  I have a friend that designed the bear head with the ears as part of the head.  I was amazed at how quickly she had her bear head finished.  After it was stuffed and the eyes, nose and mouth added she would go back and take a couple scuplting stitches to the ears.  They looked great.  It sounds to me like this book is going to have you trying some new techniques.  Go for it!
Donna

Judi Luxembears
Luxemburg, Wisconsin
Posts: 7,379

I'm like You , Daphne, I sew the ears on last so I can give my bear the right look.  Higher, for a perky expression and lower for a sadder or droopy look.

Mostly I like to have the top part of the ear sewn right against the gusset seam then bend it downward for a slight folded and curved look.

You can do so much with ears, they are fun!  Big, small, high, low........

psichick78 Flying Fur Studios
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Posts: 3,073

I hate sewing on ears, but I love the look I get when I do.
They are always the last thing I do, one last chance to develop the personality of my bear.

I also have the ted menten book, and thought it was interesting to do the ears that way, but I just dont' make enough bears to bother.

I can see though, if like Donna says, you get a pattern where you are comfortable with and it could really help someone get ready for show etc.

If you try it, post some pics for us please  bear_innocent

SueAnn Past Time Bears
Flower Mound, Texas
Posts: 20,501

SueAnn Help Advisor, Banner Sponsor

I ditto Judi . . . ears are sewn on after the head is stuffed and eyes are set.  I also sew the front half of the ear right onto the gusset seam and bend the back half down.  There are so many more expressions that can evolve from different ear placement that I will sacrifice the time advantage of sewn-in ears.

clare14 Country Bears
England
Posts: 3,066

Sorry to sound like a dumbo  :doh:   but I don't have the Ted Menten book, what does he do??   bear_sad

I always sew my bears ears on last, like everyone else here so far it seems, but I would like to know what you mean!!  Sorry there's always one........  :hug:

Cleathero Creations Cleathero Creations
Ripley, Queensland
Posts: 1,925

Often he designs his ears as part of the head or sews them into the seam.
I tried it a few times but couldn't get the results I wanted as I couldn't position them to where I wanted.

Jellybelly Bears Jellybelly Bears
Australia
Posts: 4,066

I agree...I sew mine in lastly too.  Clare I'm with you...who is ted menten lol

matilda Matilda Huggington-beare
WA
Posts: 5,551
Donna wrote:

Daphne,  I have a friend that designed the bear head with the ears as part of the head.  I was amazed at how quickly she had her bear head finished.  After it was stuffed and the eyes, nose and mouth added she would go back and take a couple scuplting stitches to the ears.  They looked great.  It sounds to me like this book is going to have you trying some new techniques.  Go for it!
Donna

I have also used this method.  It works too!

Laura Lynn Teddies by Laura Lynn
Lexington, KY
Posts: 3,649
Website

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I tried it once, and will try it again  bear_grin   Think it will take some time to get it right LOL!  Not to say that I'll do ALL my bear heads this way.

I have a book on Steiff and found it interesting that they also sew the ears into the head before it is stuffed.

Deb Upstate New York
Posts: 1,650

I've tried it.  It's fast ... but you need to be sure you won't want to move it.  I sewed part right into the gusset, gave it a bend, and sewed the rest into a dart in the top of the bear's head ... instead of straight on the side head.

Daphne Back Road Bears
Laconia, NH USA
Posts: 6,568

Hmmmm... all veeeeery interesting!  bear_grin
I'm generally such a creature of habit but I decided it's time to mix things up a bit.
I'm going to try sewing the ears into a seam. Deb, I like the way you do it though it sounds a bit tricky.
I'll just experiment.

All of your input is so very helpful!!! Thank you!!!!  :hug:

Deb Upstate New York
Posts: 1,650
Daphne wrote:

Deb, I like the way you do it though it sounds a bit tricky.

It is, but I had good results.  Nicer, I thought than just sewn in straight line.  Experimenting is the way to go!

MerBear MerBear Originals
Brockville, Ontario
Posts: 1,540

I've tried ears both ways but prefer to add them on later. The nice thing about sewing them into the seam tho is that they are always evenly placed on each side.

Marion

SueAnn Past Time Bears
Flower Mound, Texas
Posts: 20,501

SueAnn Help Advisor, Banner Sponsor

For those who've never heard of Ted Menten, he's a bear artist icon from the US . . . one of the first coming out of the 1980s.  He's written several books about teddy bears and other topics.  I took a design workshop from him in 1997 and he's quite a character.  He's retired now, but every so often I see one of his creations advertised in one or both US bear magazines, usually associated with one of the bigger teddy bear shops.

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