Skip to main content

Banner Sponsors

Intercal Trading Group - Your mohair supplier
Tedsby - Handmade teddy bears and other cute stuffed animals. Hundreds of teddy artists from all over the world and thousands of OOAK creations.

greatwon2 AlmostBears
Tasmania
Posts: 332

hi since ive started making teddies ive been using really cheap(and i mean CHEAP..lol)fabric as its about all i can afford at the moment(3 wee mouths to feed,and one big husband size one!!! bear_grin  :crackup: ) but since ive started designing my own patterns i have so many ideas swirling through my head about the kind of bears i want to create but none of them turn out how id like .Now, i know most of it is just that i need more practice(do i ever!)but i cant help feeling that some of the problem could be the quaility of the materials ive been using(can this be true...or just wishful thinking?).
Ps.ive looked at mohair prices and nearly dropped dead on the spot bear_grin
So......does any one have any idea on cheaper fabrics that preform well or any tips on how to make a nice looking bear with any material?
Is it worth while buying a small piece of mohair just to see if it makes a differance?
Or could it be that its just me,maybe i need to approach things a differant way....

If anyone can spare a few mins to take a quick peek at the bears ive designed so far and  give your opinion on the designs(just to see if im on the right track)
(i promise i WILL NOT be offended by an honest answer,even a brutelly honest one)
i have a web site thingy with a gallery of bears @www.freewebs.com/almostbears

please your honesty in this case really is the best policy and very much appreciated as i respect all your opinions and im sorta hoping that one(or some) of you wonderful people here have been at a similar stage while trying to find your way as a bear creator,and that i can find my way there too,not for the fame or money but for the pride of knowing your doing something the best you can while learning new things everyday
(i have to admit in the spirt of honesty tho, to having a dream of making a bear that is sooooooo amazing that everyone that sees it is rendered speechless and cant believe i made it myself!! :crackup: )bet im not the only one

wow thats a huge post bear_grin  but to sum it up...i guess im in a bit of a rut at the moment and wondering where to go from here?

to perservere or not to perservere ... that is the question bear_original

ps. to the people that take the time to even read to the end of this post - thank you, your the kind of poeple the world should be full of! bear_wub

chrissibrinkley Posts: 1,836

Hi Natasha!

I once read, in one of the books I first bought on teddy making, that supplies do matter in avoiding frustration.  That doesn't mean you have to go out and buy Mohair at $200 a yard..not at all!!  Depending on the size of the bears you're making there are many many great resources for quality fabrics. Lower cost but high quality synthetics can be found on ebay, bearycheap, sassy, christie bears just to name a few...I know there are tons more.

Your pink panda is ADORABLE and if you used that same pattern with a sturdier mini fabric you'd be blown away by the difference. I can tell what fabric you used on her because I found the same stuff in a fabric shop when I first started out...it was beyond frustrating to use.
When you're financially able to do so just start out small... one square of a fabric from the bargain or end list bin...or a square of mini fabric.

PERSEVERE !! Look at your quilts, I'm sure it took time to achieve that skill!! 

:hug:
~Chrissi

greatwon2 AlmostBears
Tasmania
Posts: 332

oh thank you so much for giving your opinion and advice(and taking the time to not only read the post but look at the site as well,your officially on my list of people for a perfect world!!)

just a quick question(this time) is there any websites that i can order off without a credit card as i dont have one and noone'scrazy enough to give me one :crackup: (im in australia so money orders are prob out too for international sites)

PERSEVERE !! Look at your quilts, I'm sure it took time to achieve that skill!!

to be honest there..thats my 2nd quilt in that style and my 3rd alltogether and it looks better from a distance(as in the photo) than it does close up - havnt quite got the hang of sewing straight yet bear_grin you should see the one i made with squares(disaster) :crackup:

Aleta - The Silly Bear The Silly Bear
Portland, Oregon
Posts: 3,119
Website

Hi Natasha,  bear_flower
What size of bear do you enjoy working on most?  I have a whole pile of scrap mohair just sitting in a basket.  I'd love to share some of it with you. 

Warmest bear hugs,  :hug:
Aleta

K Pawz Guest

Hi Natasha I took a boo at your website too...you have the fundamentals down, which is a huge feat in itself, and I believe that you would be much happier if you moved up to a sturdier fabric...I started out with fabric store fabrics and all I got was a tonne of frustration!!! What size bears do you make, I may have some leftover pieces of mohair and good synthetics I could send your way!!!

Hugs,
Krista

K Pawz Guest

lol Aleta Great minds think alike!!!

Hugs,
Krista

Aleta - The Silly Bear The Silly Bear
Portland, Oregon
Posts: 3,119
Website

Krista,  bear_flower
I was just thinking that myself!!  Isn't it wonderful when people reach out with a helping hand?  With the odd posts of late, it's refreshing to see such positive vibes being extended.

Warmest bear hugs,  :hug:
Aleta

greatwon2 AlmostBears
Tasmania
Posts: 332

my goodness theres hope for the world yet
your kindness has litrally bought tears to my eyes
such generosity,i feel humbled, i really do
you dont even know me!
id feel bad tho taking other peoples stuff with nothing in return
id love to take you up on your offer but is there somthing i can do in return??
id be happy to trade somthing or maybe i could make a pattern and post it for everyone to use?
anyone have any suggestions?

i like making mini bears by the way but im better at big bears so far(such little stitches for such an impatient person bear_grin )

if i can think of a way to somehow pass on the sharing and generosity to others that id recieve ill take you up on that offer(so,so,kind - i cant get over it in a world that is usually me me me gve give give etc. )i love this forum bear_wub  bear_wub

Aleta - The Silly Bear The Silly Bear
Portland, Oregon
Posts: 3,119
Website

Hi Natasha,  bear_flower
PM me your address.  I'll send you a few pieces.  The only thing I ask is that you post pictures of the bears you make.  How's that?

Warmest bear hugs,  :hug:
Aleta

K Pawz Guest

Hi Natasha, no need to feel obligated in turn, your way of sharing and showing your appreciation would be to post pictures for all to see of the lovely creations!!!! I started out where you are, and I would have given the moon for someone to offer this to me, please take it, if I can help someone have an easier start than I did that is all the thanks I need. :hug:

Hugs,
krista

K Pawz Guest

WOW Aleta, we are totally on the same wave length this morning!!!!

hugs,
Krista

bumblebearies Bumblebearies
Calgary, Alberta
Posts: 436
Website

Natasha

I think one of the things you touched on all by yourself.... such tiny stitches for an impatient person!  hahahhah ...... I feel the same way which is why I like making smaller bears too.   Endless stitching for the body parts on the big bears seems to be so much stitching with not much to notice I guess.    I love the faces.... maybe I should just make heads....

BUT...... tiny perfect stitches are the key to making the shape turn out exactly as you plan it and also for making the seams look beautiful.   Don't rush anything... make sure the stitches are tiny and keep them taut (not pulled so tightly that they pucker up.....but don't let them be the least bit loose either... the tautness might take a time or two to get right)   They when you stuff your little guys they don't pull and separate.  Yes...I can see that the fabric you used might not hold that well when you do stuff...so... again ...as the others mentioned... fabric is important.  A decent piece of mohair or synthetic can handle very firm stuffing and won't separate.   However, your stitching does need to be spot on as well and it is just a lot of practice as you also mentioned.  Take your time and don't hurry any part of bringing a little cutie to life. 

Send us all your address..... we can each send you a small piece and then you won't have to feel obliged at all.   It is not a big deal for us to send a bit in an envelope.....and it will make us feel great to be able to help out.

SueAnn Past Time Bears
Double Oak, Texas
Posts: 20,993

SueAnn Help Advisor, Banner Sponsor

Hi, Natasha . . . Veronica has already mentioned the stitching, which I was also going to point out.  And, I think it would be easier to work with mohair rather than a synthetic to make those stitches tight enough that they can't be seen.  You're certainly headed in the right direction, however - the pink/white bear on your website is really cute.  I probably have the world's biggest stash of mohair, so I can send you some also . . . I won't miss it.  Think you'll find that mohair is just easier to work with all the way around - and you'll love the results.  PM or email your address and I'll get some to you, also.

fribblesltd fribbles, ltd.
Kalispell, Montana
Posts: 679

..got beat to making an offer of extra fabric!  I was going to offer some mini fabrics too, Natasha---I was lucky enough to have a husband who booted me into bear making by buying a lot off eBay of marvelous upholstery fabrics from Vivienne Galli, and a bear making DVD.  It might take me awhile to lay my hands on the DVD, but I'd be happy to send you out a care package with some mini making materials---and your mother & baby koala turned out really well!  I am with Chrissi, adore your little pink panda!



Amelia

greatwon2 AlmostBears
Tasmania
Posts: 332

Thank You All

im not sure i deserve it but it seems ive got some great people around me. the best bit of all this is the overwhelming feeling of generosity and sharing and community all of this invokes and the new people(dare i say ..friends)that im meeting thru this.the world has tended to be a lonley and scary place for people in modern times but because of a few nice people here ive come to realise that there may be hope for us all yet,if only everyone made teddy bears! you all really are an amazing bunch of people here on teddy talk .i commend you all for your generous nature and hope to continue to get to know you all better

Christine Christine Pike Bears
Norfolk, UK
Posts: 683
Website

Hi Natasha,
I really like your 'Tiny Bear' - he's got a lot of soul! bear_original   You can certainly get away with using less expensive and unusual fabrics if you go down the folk art route - and that little guy certainly has a folk feel.  You could even combine bears with quilt making and make patchwork bears.  Folk art is really popular - check out a few websites to see what other artists are doing.

I always advise beginners on a budget to try working with the cheaper mohairs.  I really recommend Intercal's S/CM range as they are very versatile - and, if you wash them they will fluff up into a more substantial fabric.  They are really great for making character bears of all sizes.

Good luck and happy bear making!!
Regards,
Christine

samanthapotter Mary Myrtle Miniatures
Cheltenham, UK
Posts: 800
Website

Hiya!
I really enjoyed looking at your bears.  I thought the pink panda had great proportions and a lovely face.  I thought the dog face was super!  It would be great if you could make him a body!!! bear_grin
I also really love your tiny bear.  Using a slightly different fabric would make it a lot easier to create such a tiny bear.  It looks like you used felt for him?  I find felt really difficult to use on such a small scale - you did a great job!
I started making bears as a child, so didn't have the money for 'proper' fabrics.  I made my first mohair bear when I was 14, for my GCSE Textiles project!  As it was for school, my parents bought me a piece of mohair, and the results were great!  As part of the school project I actually made the same pattern in a cheap fabric, and in the mohair.  The difference was remarkable!
I can't wait to see what you make next!!
Hugs,
Samantha
x

Koala Adorable Bears
Shepparton/Victoria
Posts: 149

Hi Natasha. As usual I came to this subject late so can only add what others have advised. I really loved your pink panda...others I couldn't see very well...probably my old computer.
Someone has already advised to stitch carefully with small stitches with some tension on the thread. This will stop stitches showing ,as it would if the tension was loose on a sewing machine. Also it is important to cut very carefully. If the bear has been cut out perfectly you really can't go wrong...you can always unpick a wrong stitch !
I would also be happy to send you a piece of mohair. What size is your pink panda?
Keep up your good work and remember we all spend some time in a rut ( Even after 12 years of making bears). Some of my best work has resulted as I have crawled back out...yet again.
Susan

djbbears Queensland
Posts: 356

P1010023.jpgNatasha knows how it feels when you start out and use the cheap material,have family in Tassie and I went to the wool factory inTassie (closed now) and got my fabric from there and that was my first bear still have him but trial and error over time has helped me, and the people on here have helped to guide in the right direction....I have been getting my materials from Beary Cheap and they have some great fabric at great prices they have great specials also and they are up on the Gold Coast so it wont cost an arm and leg........I like you bears as they have character love the pink one bear_flower Am with the other ladies to help you along will send some material down to you if you like, anything to help......... bear_thumb




Debbie

djbbears Queensland
Posts: 356

I know the above be is a crack up so laff :crackup:  as it always makes me laff :crackup: ......the ole saying try try again.am getting there :crackup:  :crackup:  :crackup:




Debbie

chrissibrinkley Posts: 1,836

This is a awesome thread to read.  There's so much here that represents what I love about the arts.  Those who understand what mentoring and kind gestures can do for the person receiving (and the pure joy felt in the giving).  I always think that one day they too will "pay it forward" and keep this awesome kinship alive with the industry. 
THIS is a heartwarming thread.  bear_wub

:hug:
~Chrissi

matilda Matilda Huggington-beare
WA
Posts: 5,551

My goodness, you guys!!!  :hug: I read Natashas plea and headed for her site and then came back to offer mohair and a bear making book. bear_grin  Then I have grazed on your postings and realised we are all doing the same. bear_grin
Natasha, you are obviously worthy or so many wonderful people wouldnt offer their generous help.
Me included.hehehe  I can renmember when you first posted that Teeny mini and I said then that minis are your calling.
I have a lovely piece of string mohair here and my first book that got me started in bears. 'BEAR MAKING with Rose Hill' I would love to send them over. PM me with your address and I'll do just that possum.
Wendy bear_thumb

greatwon2 AlmostBears
Tasmania
Posts: 332

What size is your pink panda

shes about 8cm from head to beary bum


I always think that one day they too will "pay it forward" and keep this awesome kinship alive with the industry

i certainly plan to do just that(i dont think i could accept all this kindness towards me if i didnt hope to find a way to "pay it forward"(did you watch that movie too)

thought the dog face was super!  It would be great if you could make him a body!!!

i ran out of the material but plan to get more next time im in town
bye for now

WildThyme Wild Thyme Originals
Hudson, Ohio
Posts: 3,115

Yea you guys!!!!!!  Now, THIS is what TT is supposed to be all about!   bear_wub  :hug:  bear_wub

When I first started making mohair bears, my mind was literally swirling with all the choices!  I had NO idea what it was going to look like, or feel like.  Heck, I didn't even know what size my finished bear would be so I had no idea whether a 1/4 inch mohair would be more appropraite than lets say a 2 inch mohair!   :doh:  S/C, H finiah.. it just made no sence.  A couple of ultra kind folks.... just like Aleta and Krista offered to send me a few scraps and little pieces labeled with the quality numbers, or description of the color or style.  I've never forgotten that kindness, and have done my best to pass it on when I've been able to help out newer folks myself!   SO nice to see that kind of genuine help and assisstance here on TT!  I'm usually not the type to participate in group hugs, 'cause I'm more the shy type... but....

Group HUGS!

Kim Basta

greatwon2 AlmostBears
Tasmania
Posts: 332

Kim Basta - Right there with you :hug:  :hug:  :hug:
i am loving this post ,for me its not about the material(altho thats real nice too bear_grin )but all the wonderful people im getting to know here today
unfortunatly the down side to that is that the poor dears have to get to know me too :crackup: i pity them,i really do bear_ermm
nah really this has been just fantastic bear_thumb we are keeping the spirit of friendship alive and kicking on teddytalk,yah to us,woohoo,congrats
anyone wants to talk/message/email me feel free to as i cant bite from this distance(well ive never accually tried.....hmm....)

Board footer

Powered by FluxBB

Banner Sponsors


Johnna's Mohair Store - Specializing in hand dyed mohair and alpaca
Past Time Bears - Artist bears designed and handcrafted by Sue Ann Holcomb