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janaesmom Posts: 4

l recently stumbled onto making bears, and would love to try but I have no idea were to begin.

Should I start with a kit, or find a pattern and pick my own fabric and everything.

Also, do the kits have instructions on sewing the bear such as what stitching to use?

Any help would be appreciated. Thanks, Monica

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

I think it depends in part on how you learn and/or what you are willing to tackle. It also depends on whether you have experience sewing be it clothes, soft toys, etc.

Assuming you have NO experience (I'd never touched a sewing machine before I began making bears, never mind tried to read any sort of sewing pattern)..... find someone to teach you how to make a bear. If you can't find a class or someone to teach you then you have further options:

Buy a bear making book or video. Recommended: "101 Bears to Make" by Nancy Tillberg and "The Art of Making Teddy Bears" by Jennifer Laing. Jennifer's book also comes on video tape as do other bear making videos should you find it helpful to have the visual demonstrations.

Most patterns and kits generally come with some instructions, some more detailed than others, but still don't cover all that would be covered in a book.

Buying a kit with all the supplies in it is the way to go for a first time bear maker. This will help you become familiar with all the bits and pieces involved and will ensure that you have just the right materials and amounts to make your bear avoiding frustration or delays. You'll then be ready to start ordering supplies once you know what you need. You'll still have to get the tools for joints, needles for noses and eyes, stuffing material, threads, etc. so you'll still have plenty to shop for.

Just be prepared... bear making is addictive!!!  bear_original

tuppies teddies Tuppies Teddies
Lindenow, Central Gippsland
Posts: 1,969

Daphne has covered it all I feel.  Books and definately a kit to start and then you are off and running.  Trouble is you will never stop thats for sure...

All Bear All Bear by Paula
Kent
Posts: 5,162
Website

I like the idea of a kit to start with.  That way you'll get great satisfaction when what you've made looks like the picture!  Then move on to a pattern and start to choose your own fabrics, eyes etc ... after that, the world's your oyster!  Gradually you'll start to understand how the bear is designed and why.  Then you'll start to want to make your own amendments and finally, you'll take courage, a pencil and an eraser and work your own design ideas until you achieve your first individually designed teddy bear!  Good luck!

matilda Matilda Huggington-beare
WA
Posts: 5,551

It has all been said! So I will just say "All the best in your new adventure" :dance:  bear_thumb
"cant wait for the pics :photo: "

sarahjane Brisbane
Posts: 2,951

Good luck...I'm sure you'll love it!!!

DebbieD Posts: 3,540

The only thing I would add, is that if you're stumped, come on here and ask  bear_thumb   All of us had to start somewhere.  You may even find the answer in the search on this site.  But yes, beware...bear making is addictive in the most delightful way  bear_wub

Eileen Baird'sBears
Toronto
Posts: 3,873

:dance: Go for it, Monica!  :hug:

All I can add is that many of us were beginners a very short time ago . . .

Michelle Helen Chaska, Minnesota
Posts: 2,895

Daphnie said it best. I think buying a kit is the place to start plus a video/book. Good luck and post questions as you go along....we can help....

Michelle

Judybug Posts: 1

Hi Everybody!
I've been making bears for 3-4 years and LOVE it. My question (and I'm not sure where to post it) is what kind of sewing machines have you had good luck with. I've had two machines, and am not entirely satisfied with either-for making bears...
Thanks!

edie Bears by Edie
Southern Alberta
Posts: 2,068

Some great advice here for you, Monica, so I don't think I have anything to add other than good luck with your new venture!
Judybug, there has been some discussion on sewing machines which you should be able to find if you click on "search" at the top of the page and then put "sewing machine" in the keyword search. Also search under "topic" only so you don't get every post that just mentions sewing machines! Here's one for you:
http://www.teddy-talk.com/viewtopic.php?id=24444
I myself have a Husquavarna and love it but there are a lot of others with their favourites as well.

Gantaeno Je Suis Lugly!
Posts: 1,065
Website

Hey Monica, welcome to TT!

My first bear was made just over a year ago now, from a kit that came with everything apart from the tools and stuffing, which i bought here in the UK.  I didn't have any books but have bought a few as I've moved on to designing my own patterns- I guess it depends where you want to end up?  I was happy with a kit bear and bears from bought patterns for a while, but they do drive you to work on something of your own too!

For me working on a kit was a lot of fun, and the bear (although technically poor!) is a good looking chap who was my mum's Mothering Sunday present last year. i would definitely recommend one as a good place to start!

If you need any help with the instructions, we're all here too bear_original Good luck!

Marlys Waggle Bears
So Cal Desert
Posts: 4,089

Everyone's given excellent advice. I would also add that ebearz university offers many online classes with excellent instructions and pictures.

danceswithteddybears Dances With Teddy Bears
Pacific Northwest
Posts: 697

Hi Monica
I have no additional advice, just my two cents.   bear_whistle 
I started making bears about 6 months ago and am soooooooo addicted.  I made some bears about 15 years ago, but they were from patterns and look stagnant, if that's the right word.  I dove in this time and am making bears from scratch, with mistakes galore.  I just love it!  So I say, go for it and just let your creativity flow.  (Maybe after a kit, which is a great way to start.)
And Judybug, I suggest a simple, heavy-duty machine.  I have a 20 year old Sears Kenmore and a Morse Fotomatic that's about 40 years old.  Wonderful machines!
  Laura  bear_flower

tamiking Posts: 2

bear_flower I had astart a few years ago and then life happened,we moved,built home,grandechild,etc etc.I'm trying to restart again,and would like to try a challenge or contest but I dont know how.Any advice?

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

Plum Cottage Bears Cute Animal Ambassador

It seems like I've been making bears forever.  I started with kits and with instruction at a local bear show that stopped in the mid 1990s.  You might wish to start with a kit, for about a twelve inch bear, nothing larger, they take too long to stuff.  You could gradually work down to eight or six inches high bears, even miniatures if  you are so inclined.  A kit has everything, including the instructions.  Usually you need to get the stuffing, which you can find at a craft or quilting store.  Happy bear making!

millie PottersHouse Bears
Ohio
Posts: 2,173

I think if you start with a kit, it will help build your confidence.  Also, if I'm not mistaken,  the patterns and kits on Intercal do list them according to skill level.  If you start with a beginner you should do fine.  Go for it!

FrizzyBear New York
Posts: 198

Hi!  Welcome.  I am a newbie, too, and am just finishing my second bear.  I have to agree with what everyone said above.  A couple of good books from the library or to purchase is an excellent idea.  The Complete Book of Teddy Bear Making Techniques by Alicia Merrett and Ann Stephens is one I have gone to time and again. 

I think a kit is a great idea.  That way you have everything at your fingertips to complete your very first bear and you don't have to hunt all over looking for the parts.  I didn't do that and shopped for multiples of everything because I knew I wouldn't stop at one (they did say it was addictive after all  bear_grin ) and then I had to wait for it all to come only to discover there was something else I needed and had to wait some more.   :doh:

This board has been priceless!  The 'library' has all kinds of bearmaking knowledge, techniques, etc. I posted a question and then remembered about the library and found my answer there!  It's wonderful.  Everyone is so helpful and generous with their knowledge.   :hug:  Rarely do you see that.   Thank you everyone for that.

Good luck with your first bear!  Let us know how it goes.

EvaJ EJ's Crafts
Fort Mohave, Arizona
Posts: 829

Not much to add but to say that bear making is very, very addictive.  I was a sewer so I started with a pattern and went to a couple bear shows and bought a couple of books.  My first book was autographed at a bear show by Doris Michaud.  The book, "How to make and sell quality teddy bears" was published in 1986 so you can see how long I have been making bears.  Good luck on your first bear and all the many more you will be making bear_grin

Suzheid Posts: 4

Howdy All,
    I'm a  "REAL" NEWBY HERE, I haven't EVER made a Teddy Bear, I " Have" bought the sewing machine, it's not a Heavy duty one but I hope it will still work on Bears for me. I have ( MANY"MOONS" ago) worked on making home made dolls for my 2 girls when they were little but haven't made dolls since.MY girls are all grown now.  So I DO at least know HOW to operate my new sewing machine ( "WHEW") hope ya'll got PLENTY of patience because I have a feelin I'm gonna be pickin ya'lls BRAINS a LOT. I think it is "SO" TERRIFIC that we have a place like TT where we have the opportunity to get to learn from some of the very BEST teachers right here. It gives me the GOOSE BUMPS just THINKIN about it I can't " WAIT" to get STARTED
PS
I think, I'm ALREADY addicted bear_wacko
Susie

clwilmot HandmadebyCarrie
Tallmadge, Ohio
Posts: 890
Website

Nice to meet you  Suzie were ready to answer questions:)
Carrie

Francesca KALEideaSCOPE
Rheinfelden
Posts: 1,306
Website

Welcome Susie! I'm sure you'll have great fun. Any help you need, just ask...or look in TT library, it is full of info, all nicely divided into topics! bear_original

Dee72 EDINBURGH
Posts: 2
Daphne wrote:

I think it depends in part on how you learn and/or what you are willing to tackle. It also depends on whether you have experience sewing be it clothes, soft toys, etc.

Assuming you have NO experience (I'd never touched a sewing machine before I began making bears, never mind tried to read any sort of sewing pattern)..... find someone to teach you how to make a bear. If you can't find a class or someone to teach you then you have further options:

Buy a bear making book or video. Recommended: "101 Bears to Make" by Nancy Tillberg and "The Art of Making Teddy Bears" by Jennifer Laing. Jennifer's book also comes on video tape as do other bear making videos should you find it helpful to have the visual demonstrations.

Most patterns and kits generally come with some instructions, some more detailed than others, but still don't cover all that would be covered in a book.

Buying a kit with all the supplies in it is the way to go for a first time bear maker. This will help you become familiar with all the bits and pieces involved and will ensure that you have just the right materials and amounts to make your bear avoiding frustration or delays. You'll then be ready to start ordering supplies once you know what you need. You'll still have to get the tools for joints, needles for noses and eyes, stuffing material, threads, etc. so you'll still have plenty to shop for.

Just be prepared... bear making is addictive!!!  :)

Hi There, I've just been reading your thread on where to begin. Brilliantly covered, I am in the throws of beginning myself and becoming overwhelmed quietly thinking omg! I feel better now I've just read your post : ) yay ah last I knoĊµ what I'm doing. :wacko:
It's just a shame there is not any websites around for the absolute beginner like myself, even better Teddybear School. I've started crocheting a mini bear from thread so I'll post up a pic once I'm done,then moving onto teddy bear construction : )

Suzheid Posts: 4

"HEY",
    I'm FINALLY back an just as I said I gotta "million" questions ta ask. I was on e-bay an found this place where I could buy several things for Bear making but for the "LIFE" of ME I can't figure out out "where" the place is located AT, its called "Sassy Bears & Fabrics", could somebody tell me "where" this place is at? Is it overseas or right here in the USA?
Susie

SueAnn Past Time Bears
Double Oak, Texas
Posts: 20,779

SueAnn Help Advisor, Banner Sponsor

Susie . . . Sassy Bears is located in Colorado and is run by Stephanie Sarsfield.  Just google Sassy Bears and Fabrics and you'll get many hits.

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