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Delartful Bears Delartful Bears
Australia
Posts: 3,518

HI Everyone,

It's been interesting to read  how many bears  people can produce in a year.  Personally, I would have no idea how many I could make in a year, simply because I haven't been making them long enough to work that out.

I'm just wondering how many hours it takes you to make a bear, and what size bear you make?  Also, do you hand sew, or machine sew? 

The bear (15") in my avatar suprised me, because he really only took another 5 hours to make when compared to how long it takes me to make a 6" bear.

When I first started making bears, a 15" bear took me a whole month - and that was working about 4 hours a day on him.  But then I had no needle work or  hand sewing (or machine) sewing experience....  I would be so proud when I finished about a 5" stretch on an arm LOL  I am much quicker than that now though, of course.

So, I guess I'm just wondering am I a slow worker or a quick worker?

Looking forward to reading your responses!
Danni

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

Danni,

When I started making bears my first took me about 45 hours. YIKES!!!!!!!!! He was 18 inches.
That was 5 years ago. Now it takes me about 10 hours for the same size   "BUT"   That all depends on the details on the bear. Shading, soft scultping, making accessories, etc. take more time. It can easily take 15-20 hours. And that doesn't include the time it takes to design the pattern. The more details, the more time.  I hand baste head & paw pads. Then machine sew everything.

You will likely find it takes less and less time as you make more and more. There are parts of the process that will become easier and faster as time goes on. The time and love and care you put into a bear shows in the end. You are not slow! You are careful, creative and learning new things with each bear you make I'm sure! Your bears have their own personality and are adorable.

Enjoy the process and have fun, speed will come!

Daphne

SueAnn Past Time Bears
Double Oak, Texas
Posts: 20,786

SueAnn Help Advisor, Banner Sponsor

Danni, it's hard for me to really determine how many hours I spend on a bear since it's a "stop and go" process.  Huge bears (20" and up) probably take anywhere from 15 to 20 hours.  I mostly machine sew.  I don't make anything less than 7", but on the smaller bears, I will hand baste the paw pads and gusset, then machine sew them.  As Daphne said, the more bears you make, the faster you will become.

carsoncreations Carson Creations
Macomb, IL
Posts: 252
Website

Danni,

It's a guessing game as to how long it takes me to make a bear.  I work full time and must squeeze in the bear time whenever.  I'm lucky if I get one bear made in a week.  After coming home from work, I'm sometimes too stressed to work on a bear for fear of wrecking it.  I never work on bears when I'm tired, mad or stressed.  These frustrations are always reflected in the bear itself. 

I too do all the work myself.  I feel it is MY creation and I will do all the work that goes into it.  My hubby has helped a few times by cutting out, but I really would rather do it myself.   It doesn't take that long to cut out a pattern and I usually double check to make sure I have drawn out all the necessary parts.   He could care less if all the parts are there, he just cuts.

I do know that a new design takes longer to make as there are usually a few adjustments to be made and while I'm creating, I make notes as to the type and color  mohair used, size eyes, size discs,  the colors I use for airbrushing or anything extra special that I do so that if need be I can recreate.

I spend a lot of time on the head basting first before stitching, stuffing, stitching the nose (which takes quite a while), placing the ears just right and marking for the eyes.  And while I'm creating I lose all track of time  . . . I'm content in my own little world... so that when I finish and look at the clock, I can't believe it is that late and past bedtime.

And then if there are clothes or costume to be made, that adds more time.   So I usually tell anyone who asks how long it takes, approximately 10 to 12 hours, give or take a couple of hours.   So I do think you are doing quite well, just keep up the good work.

Wanda

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

My bears usually take between 10/12 hours to complete.  Fortunately, I rarely costume them, because that would be time-consuming and nibble hard at the profit margin!

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

Laura Lynn Banner Sponsor

carsoncreations wrote:

Danni,
  I work full time and must squeeze in the bear time whenever.  I'm lucky if I get one bear made in a week. 
Wanda

OH my Wanda!!  I do NOT work outside the home and just seem to get one bear made per week! bear_rolleyes  Definitely need to stay off this computer!!  But all my bear friends are here.... so I'll have to figure something out....

Oh,... it probably takes me about 9 - 12 hours straight to complete a bear.... but I get so distracted bear_tongue

Shelli SHELLI MAKES
Chico, California
Posts: 9,939
Website

Shelli Retired Help Advisor, Banner Sponsor

Laura Lynn wrote:

I do NOT work outside the home and just seem to get one bear made per week! bear_rolleyes  Definitely need to stay off this computer!!

Ayup.  I'll second that!!!

I've never managed to make a bear from pattern tracing to finishing in a single day.  Usually I've either cut out and pinned the pieces beforehand, or finished/accessorized/stuffed the bear on a second day.  It's generally a two-day process... and this timing helps out my hands, which get really sore and tired and cut up with all that stuffing and pinning and needle sculpting.

I think it takes me about 15 - 20 hours to make a bear, and sometimes -- if something goes "wrong," or if it's an especially involved piece -- much, much longer.  I also handpaint most of the eyes I use, so that adds to the time as well.

We all must be pretty much in love with what we're doing, since we're so willing to spend such a very long time, utterly seated and still, doing all this focused work!  It speaks a lot to the passion that teddies inspire in people...

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

Laura,
I'm with you and Shelli too. The bears are my full time job and I don't seem to get more than one and a half done a week. But I get SOOOOOO distracted! Yes, it's the computer that sucks up all my time... it's the computer's fault, not MINE! bear_grin:lol: Then my mother calls to chat (there goes an hour cause no matter how busy I tell her I am she just chatters on, God bless her.) Then the dog wants to go for a walk or to the doggie park (40 minutes away - but he wants to play with his buds, I can see it in his eyes!) So then I might as well pick up some groceries while I'm out and see what a couple of my favorite shops have in for new stuff. Then as soon as I sit down to finally work my hubby gets home from work and it's time to make dinner! So, at 9pm I am sewing away, making up for lost time. What's wrong with this picture??????

Do we have any time management experts here????
Any advice you can give to increase productivity? (I can't kill my computer cause then you wouldn't be able to give me advice! And I wouldn't learn new techniques for bear making or be able to keep up on the bear world. That is my 'profession' after all!) bear_grin

Daphne

wendi Toggle Teddies
Derbyshire
Posts: 597
Website

wow some of you are so quick, it takes me on average 3-4 days to complete a bear, not including design, i find the stuffing takes the longest time, that in itself can take a day, but then in that time i am doing all the other chores too, but i guess it's one per week for me, ...ooh isn't life busy:)

carsoncreations Carson Creations
Macomb, IL
Posts: 252
Website

Gosh, I thought it was just my old hands that hurt when I did too much teddy bear work!  You gals are young and have the same problem.  Well, that makes me feel much better.

I know a lot of bear artists assembly line their bears and that's great if it works for you.  But I think the repetitive motion would really do a number on your hands.   I know it probably isn't very productive, but I like to do different things, kinda switch off with different tasks. 

And, yes, I too spend too much time on the computer, but it is my gateway to the teddy bear world and away from the real one.  I enjoy reading all the posts and the occasional chuckle and saying to myself, "been there and done that", and all the wonderful tips and suggestions that are given freely.

And I think those distractions such as walking the dogs, etc are great.  After all, it makes you want to get back to the bears even more so, gets you up and moving and when you get back to the bears, you might have an answer to a problem or decide to move those  eyes a little higher or wider.    I know at first it seems like a pain, but everything happens for a reason.   That's my motto and helps me to roll with the punches.

Well, better get off this and get hubby supper.    Have a great weekend gals.

Wanda

Wanda

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

OK, I'm not going to belly ache a whole lot here but about the hand thing....
I couldn't sew for 3 months this past winter beause of crippling tendon problems. I've had 3 cortisone shots - one for carpal tunnel and one in hand for chronic trigger fingers and one in shoulder for more tendon problems.
Then I was tested for arthritis and various other diseases that could be blamed for these tendon issues. Nothing. Because I'm diabetic I'm told I'm prone to tendonitis (doctors love to to blame diatetes for everything!). I've found that taking something like Motrin or Advil when I'm going to work on bears really helps keep my hands from getting toooooooo achy. If I don't take it before, I take it when I'm done. I also try to stop and stretch my cramped up fingers regularly along with neck and shoulder stretches. All of this makes a difference.

So, regardless of whether you have known joint problems or it's just from making bears remember to stop and stretch! It's so easy to get so engrossed in that bear nose or setting eyes and forget to focus on our own bodies.

Wanda - it' NOT age!!! :(

Daphne

carsoncreations Carson Creations
Macomb, IL
Posts: 252
Website
Daphne wrote:

So, regardless of whether you have known joint problems or it's just from making bears remember to stop and stretch! It's so easy to get so engrossed in that bear nose or setting eyes and forget to focus on our own bodies.

Wanda - it' NOT age!!! :(

Daphne

Daphne,

And I thought I had aches and pains, Whew girl, so glad you can work around all that and make those wonderful bears.     I'll remember it's not the age thingy.

Yes, I do get up and stretch the ole bod and the fingers.   My fingers get lots of use at work in the office too, and I vary my duties to alleviate the aches and pains.  But thanks for the reminder as I do get all engrossed on those bear noses.

Wanda

Dilu Posts: 8,574

Have you ladies tried the elastisized gloves that have the fingers  free-I use them, to hold my hand "together "and it really helps the achey breaky joints.  It also seems to help keep the inflammation down.  I also use a melted wax machine-its good but to be effective it takes up too much teddy time.
Once you get used to the glove you forget you have it on.
Here's hoping everyone's hands feel better soon.

Dilu

kimkc Australia
Posts: 66

It depends!!
I'm not a full time bear maker, after a couple of years still only a novice. But when i get into a ted, its hard to stop.
I often have a couple on the go, in various stages, which allows me to vary what i am doing. That way i don't get bored:rolleyes:

Delartful Bears Delartful Bears
Australia
Posts: 3,518

Thanks for your answers!!  I'm guessing I'm not too slow, because on average a 6" bear that I've hand sewn takes me about 14 hours of fun :D

I just found it interesting .. My sister made a comment the other day that I'm a fast bear maker, because they don't take too much time.  But then she's compairing how long it takes her to reborn a doll.  Just to root the hair it takes way longer than a whole bear takes me!

Danni

Laure Fool's Gold Bears
San Luis Obispo, CA
Posts: 351

Danni,....Reborn??  What's that?  I know about when I was reborn, but I doubt that it is the same for a doll.:P

Shelli SHELLI MAKES
Chico, California
Posts: 9,939
Website

Shelli Retired Help Advisor, Banner Sponsor

Laure, a "reborn" doll is a manufactured doll that someone has removed the original face paint and sometimes, also, hair, from, and re-finished with new paint and re-rooted hair.

If you search "repaint" on eBay you will see hundreds of repainted fashion dolls... "reborn" is usually the word more used for repainted baby dolls, often life-size.  These "reborn" fashion and baby dolls often sell in the very high hundreds; some regular sellers with collector followings can make $500 or more per item.  Interestingly, although the artists take time to style and shoot wonderful, fully-dressed photos of their repainted dolls, the fashion dolls are usually sold NUDE.

There are so many wonderful artists to choose from but for just a quick peek at an artist who does fashion doll repaints, check out www.illustratedgirl.com.

For something just one step further -- repainted dolls that are also elaborately recostumed and accessorized, often as fairies -- check out www.oneandonlydolls.com.

There is also a very large market for custom clothing for these dolls, especially Helen Kish's little girl doll, Riley.

Dilu Posts: 8,574

Shelli  thank you-I've been wondering the same thing.


Teddies=nearly instant gratification

Dilu

Eileen Baird'sBears
Toronto
Posts: 3,873

Me too.

And teddies look better in the buff! :D

Eileen

Delartful Bears Delartful Bears
Australia
Posts: 3,518

LOL I just think it's a shame when people customize vintage dolls like barbies.. Keep em how they are!!

Danni

Wisdom Bears Wisdom Bears
Ayrshire, Scotland.
Posts: 951

Well, I take anything from 12hours to 2 days,depending on whether or not it is a new creation, sometimes too if you are needle sculpting it takes a good while,I also double stitch my bears which I suppose all adds up too. If I,m pleased with my finished bear ,then it does not matter how long it takes .Quality before Quantity I would say.

Hugs From Scotland
Rita xx

Dilu Posts: 8,574

Rita that's the best answer.....if you're happy, who care how long it took.  It takes what it takes. and your bears are awfully sweet.

Dilu

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