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
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!!!
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!
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:
I myself have a Husquavarna and love it but there are a lot of others with their favourites as well.
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 Good luck!
I have no additional advice, just my two cents.
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!
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!
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 ) 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.
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
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
I think, I'm ALREADY addicted
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 knoŵ 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 : )
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?