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penh Posts: 7


Can anyone give me any advise on making 'real fur' ted's?
I have just acuired an old fur coat with lovely fur that I want to turn into a treasured friend, and haven't really got a clue!!!

1st question... can I sew up the seams on an ordinary household sewing machine (as opposed to an industrial one)

2nd question... do I have to do anything to the skin of the pelt? I was thinking that as it has already been proccesed as a garment that it must have been 'cured/tanned' (please excuse if my terminology is incorrect)

3rd question... do I have to line the skin in anyway or can I just cut out my pattern and sew away?

All help and advise will be greatly received!


dangerbears Dangerbears
Posts: 6,021

Welcome to Teddy Talk, Penny!

In our library, there's a section called "real fur" with lots of good information. You might also try Nancy Tillberg's book: Bears with a Past

Other than that, you might want to try making several bears in fabric (muslin, mohair, alpaca, faux fur) before you cut into that fur coat! bear_original (assuming you haven't done that already)


penh Posts: 7

Hi Becky

I do make and sell bears already using all of the above lol! (well except the muslin) just haven't had the courage to try that special little baby with a 'built in soul'.

I have gone through the library section and have found loads of brill advise but can't seem to find the answere's to the questions I posted above. I have a copy of Nancy's book on reserve (need to save the pennies up..haha)

I've got some free time next week so I was hoping to make a start.


dangerbears Dangerbears
Posts: 6,021

I've never made a real-fur bear myself, but off the top of my head: You must hand-sew real fur using a "glover's needle," and you don't need to do anything to preserve the pelt (if it's in good shape to sew, that's as good as it gets), but most people do recommend using a lining.

In the library, the first thread I see when I go to "Real Fur" (need help, first time...) contains a lot of tips, and the fourth thread (lining real fur) contains tips for that part of the process.

Anyway, we'd love to see pictures of bears you've made (you can show them off in the Showcase section) and of your fur bear (once it's born), too!


penh Posts: 7

Hiya Becky

Goodness that was a lightening speed response!!!

I've just gone back to 'real fur' for another butchers (oops thats English slang for 'a look see' I don't even normally say that word...double oops bear_grin )

Your perfectly right there is a section on lining, I was just hoping that I could use my machine as after all those years of being in the clothing design trade my hand stitching still leaves a lot to be desired... bear_grin

I had better go get some muslin to line my newest baby with then.

Once I have got the hang of this wonderful site (only found you guys a few weeks ago) I will post pics of my babies

Pen xx

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

Hi Penny,
You can use your sewing machine, just make it a longer stitch than what you use for fabric or mohair.  I do tend to put Lennox leather conditioner on my pelts before I use them just to extend the life a little longer.  I use Leather Weld to attach the muslin to the pelt.  It is designed for leather repair and remains flexible after it is dry.  Choose a pattern that does not have tight areas, you will have a thick area to turn right side out.  Also leave your openings from turning and stuffing larger than normal. 
I hope I have answered your questions.  If not, ask again.

penh Posts: 7

Hiya Donna

Thanks for all the very sound info!!

I love this site, everyone is so helpful! I just wish I'd found it a couple of years ago when I first started out with my ted's, it would have saved a lot of 'poorly' bears coming into this world (most have now been helped out of their disabilities as it
Thankfully I've only had one that was beyond help at a later stage....poor baby!!! He sleeps with my cat and she loves him all the same tho!!!

Penny bear_original

penh Posts: 7

Hi all

I bit the bullet and ordered 'The' book by Nancy........Only trouble is its vertually imposible to obtain a copy in England so its been ordered from The USA (the one I thought I had on reserve turned out to be the wrong book!!! Big oops!)

Hope it doesn't take long to arrive, I'm such an impatient!!

Penny xx

Michelle Helen Chaska, Minnesota
Posts: 2,897

If you sew real fur on your machine, please make sure you change your needed to a leather needle. Also when you line your fur pieces, make sure to hand baste (I use a long over cast stitch) the muslin lining to the leather pieces. Do not glue the muslin, for that will erode the leather and the integrity of your stitches will be at risk for opening over a period of time. You want your real fur teddy to be around for many decades so avoid glue.

Post pictures when you finish your bear.

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