Tip When Tracing Teddy Bear Patterns

I don't know about you, but I make a total mess of my hands when I trace out my teddy bear patterns.  I always get marker on my fingers and fingernails, and that stuff does not wash off easily!

So I finally realized the obvious - if I wear gloves while tracing the patterns, my hands will stay clean!  I use regular rubber gloves for cleaning.  They are thinner and easier to use than dishwashing gloves.  I found mine in the cleaning aisle of the grocery store.  I've also seen them in auto parts stores.

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Choosing Your Thread for Handsewing & Closing Seams

Let me show you my favorite type of thread that I use for hand sewing my bears and for closing up the seams.  I'll also show you how I choose which color thread to use.

I've  given the website a little face lift!  The "Classroom" page now has photos of each class and the main Classroom page is now available to view to everyone so you can easily see what classes are included in membership.

     To celebrate, I'm having a 72 hour SALE!  https://www.teddybearacademy.net/72-hour-sale-learn-make-teddy-bears/
Join Teddy Bear Academy now for just $14.95/month  (save $10/month off the regular price!)  
   
      You also get a BONUS!!!!  
Everyone who joins during this sale, will also receive a FREE copy of my Pixie Bear Pattern.
This pattern is rarely even offered for sale as it is one of my current patterns that I use with Teddies by Laura Lynn.
(I gave this deal to all of those who took advantage of the  Mother's Day Sale.)
Click here to get this awesome value before the sale ends: https://www.teddybearacademy.net/72-hour-sale-learn-make-teddy-bears/
If you have any questions, feel free to contact me at:
https://www.teddybearacademy.net/contact/Happy Bear Making,
Laura LynnTeddy Bear Academy
Teddies by Laura Lynn

 

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You CAN Sew a Teddy Bear without a Sewing Machine!

Have you been wanting to make a teddy bear, but thought you had to have a sewing machine in order to do that?  Well don't worry, you can sew a teddy bear by hand and make wonderful bears!  You only need to sew a few different types of stitches to sew a teddy bear.  This free video will show you the basic back stitch that is used for the majority of sewing your bear.  You can learn the other stitches you need for making your bear with a membership to Teddy Bear Academy.

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Beginner’s Guide to Bear Making Fabrics

FREE PDF BEAR MAKING FABRICS CHEAT SHEET

 

Click Here for Your Cheat Sheet

 

Hi, I’m Laura Lynn of www.TeddiesbyLauraLynn.com  and www.TeddyBearAcademy.net .  I’d like to introduce you to the Beginners Guide to Bear Making Fabrics.

I’m going to start this guide with a few faux fur fabrics that I found at my local fabric store.  I have found that my local fabric store does not have a very large selection of fur fabrics and that most of them are not suitable for making quality teddy bears.  Every once in a while, though, you can sometimes find a great fabric to work with.  The video above will show you which fabrics I found suitable for making teddy bears.

A step up from the fabric store furs are the teddy bear fabrics from an online shop called www.CrsCrafts.com.  They have a large selection of synthetic faux furs, but I have found that I prefer those that start at about $17 per yard.  My three favorite fake furs at this supplier are “teddy bear short”, “cubby short”, and “teddy bear”.  I show them in the video as well.

Ultra-premium synthetic faux fur fabrics can be found at specialty bear making supply shops.  The cost ranges from $100-$300 per yard.  These furs are very thick.  I recommend them for someone who has a little experience with trimming faces.  These are so soft you would think you are touching real fur!

The very first teddy bears ever made were created out of a fabric called mohair.  Mohair fabric is made from the sheared wool of the Angora goat.  The fiber is spun and then woven onto a cotton backing.  Because mohair is a natural fabric, it comes in many colors, finishes and lengths.

It can be straight, wavy, curly or a number of other finishes.  It comes on a woven backing so it does not stretch out of shape.   I like working with mohair the best.  I find it the easiest bear making fabric to work with and it comes in the widest variety of appearances.  I show you a sample of some of the mohair that I happen to have in my mohair fabric stash.

Finally, we need to discuss the fabric you use for your teddy bear’s paw pads.  The first teddy bears had wool felt paw pads and many of today’s bear makers use wool felt as well.  I recommend using wool felt, and not the cheap thin acrylic felt.  You can find some wool felt at your local fabric store and also online.

Another material often used for paw pads is called Ultrasuede.  It is a made made suede like material and comes in a wide range of colors.  You can find Ultrasuede at teddy bear making supply shops.  Because it is a synthetic material, it cannot be dyed at home.

FREE PDF BEAR MAKING FABRICS CHEAT SHEET

 

Click Here for Your Cheat Sheet

 

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What Size Disc Should I Use?

I had a friend of mine ask which jointing hardware she should use if she enlarged the 12" Marco teddy bear pattern.  Here is a quick basic tutorial on how I determine what size joint discs I use for my bears.

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Teddy Bear Eyes

teddy bear eyesTeddy bear eyes are what give bears their personality, but what do you use for bear eyes?

When the first teddy bears made in the early 1900's in both the United States and eyes for teddy bearsGermany at the same time, the bear makers used leather covered boot or shoe buttons for his eyes.    But eventually, shoe makers started using laces instead of buttons, and teddy bear makers had to find a replacement to use for those beautiful soul searching eyes.

Many teddy bear factories started using amber or glass eyes, shaped just like a boot button.  Later, in the 1950's, manufacturers started using plastic safety eyes instead of glass eyes because of the danger.  A child could  pull a glass or boot button eye off his teddy bear and swallow it!

Glass teddy bear eyes and sometimes even antique shoe buttons are still used today in teddy bears for collectors.  They just bring so much more life and personality to the bear than plastic eyes do.

Where is the world do you find glass teddy bear eyes?  Antique shoe buttons?  Well, it is hard to find them in local craft stores.  If you are lucky you can find the plastic safety eyes there.  Thank goodness for online shopping!  You can find many types of teddy bear eyes from teddy bear suppliers around the world .  You can even buy teddy bear eyes on eBay.

Maybe you want to use antique shoe button eyes on your bears?  I have found them by poking around in antique stores - and of course it is so easy to buy antique shoe buttons on eBay too.

 

 

 

 

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How to Download and Print your Teddy Bear Class Pattern

Not sure how to get the pattern for your class downloaded?  Here is a quick video explaining the process:

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More Tools for Making Teddy Bears

When you are  ready to add to or upgrade your bear making tool box, here is what I use.  I will provide links to where you can buy them online if you cannot find them locally.


 

Fiskars-5inch-Easy-Action-Micro-Tip-Scissors

 

    Scissors - I prefer the 5" Fiskar's Soft Touch Micro Tip scissors.  They are much easier     on my hands and if used ONLY for fabric, stay very sharp. You can find them on Amazon here: Fiskars 5 Inch Titanium Micro-Tip Easy Action Scissors (12-71777097J)

 


 

AwlAWL:  I like using an awl instead of a sharpened chopstick.  You use the awl to insert the     glass eyes into your bear and to help insert the teddy bear joints. Here is one on Amazon: Clover Straight Tailors Awl

 


Needles:  Most of my needles I get from my local fabric shop, but I use a set of specialty needle that I love using to insert the bears' eyes.  They are heavy duty C.S. Osborne upholstery needles.  If you cannot find them with your bear making supply shop,  you can find them on Amazon: C.S. Osborne Straight Round Point Upholstery Needle Kit
Osborne Upholster Needle Set K5

 

 


 

 

cotter_pin_turner Cotter Pin Turner (or Cotter Key)   You can make teddy bears without one of these tools.  You can turn your cotter pins with a needle nose pliers instead.  But I do find it easier to use a cotter pin turner.  I have both the regular size and the mini size.  I tend to use use the mini cotter pin turner quite often.  I also use it to help stuff my bears.  I had a hard time finding this tool on either Amazon or eBay, but it is  most certainly available at the online teddy bear supply shops!


 

alligator-clip

alligator clips

Alligator clips instead of pins:  I used to use pins to hold my mohair fabric pieces together while I sewed.  Then I discovered alligator clips!  They are so much faster to use.  They don't pucker my fabric like the pins did.  An added bonus is that they don't put pin sized holes in my fabric!   I originally found them at Radio Shack.  I had to ask at the counter as they were not out on the shelves.  Recently I've been buying them online at eBay (link).   I prefer the type with teeth.


Ultimate StufferThe Ultimate Stuffer:  I use a variety of items to help me stuff my bears:  the eraser end of a pencil, my fingers, cotter pin turners - and my favorite - the Ultimate Stuffer!  (or Ultimate Stuffing Stick)  This was designed and manufactured by a teddy bear artist friend of mine:  Donna Mettling.  They cost $20.   She's been selling them for years at shows and mail order.  This item has made it so much easier for me to stuff my bears, especially the noses.  Most of the bears I make are 16" or smaller.  The short handled stick works best for me.   If you want to add one of these to your bear tool kit, just drop Donna an email:  mohairmaniac@gmail.com


 bear grooming brushSlicker Brush:   I bought a clean small dog slicker brush that I use just for my bears.  I highly recommend one for bear makers and collectors alike!

 

 


 

curved embroidery scissorsCurved Embroidery Scissors:  Every bear maker will develop their favorite method of trimming faces.  I find that a pair of small curved embroidery scissors are a great help! I use Gingher's 4" curved embroidery scissors available on Amazon: Gingher 4 Inch Curved Embroidery Scissors (01-005273)

 

 

 


 

tweezersTweezers:  I highly recommend getting a set of tweezers to keep in your bear making kit.  They are just wonderful for pulling out stray mohair from around the eyes or the rest of the face.  I use them on every bear!

 


 

 

gelly-roll-penWhite Gelly Roll Pens:  These are awesome for tracing patterns onto the back of very dark colored teddy bear fabric.  Not all gelly roll pens are created equal though!  I tried many from the local shops around my home, but finally found some that work great for me on Amazon.  You can find those here: Sakura 37488 3-Piece Gelly Roll Blister Card Medium Point Gel Ink Pen Set, White

 

 

 


 

 

trimmerBattery Operated Mustache Trimmer:  This makes trimming the fur away from your seam allowances a breeze!  I do go through a few AA batteries, so if that is a concern, you may want to consider the regular electric variety.  I had trouble with the cord getting in the way so I use the battery operated type.  I also use it to help me trim bear muzzles. Here it is on Amazon: Conair Beard and Mustache Trimmer

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What tools do I need to Make a Teddy Bear?

What Tools Do I Need to Make a Teddy Bear?

You will need just a few basic items to start making teddy bears.  If you decide you really enjoy it, you can upgrade if you like.

tools

  • Needlenose pliers
  • Awl (or sharp chopstick) for making small holes for joints and eyes
  • Stuffing tool (un sharpened pencil or end of wooden spoon works fine)
  • Scissors (I prefer Fiskars Softouch Micro-Tip Scissors)
  • Pins (or alligator clamps – I like these better than pins because the fabric does not shift as much for me)
  • NEEDLES:
    • #16 Millners needle for closing seams & handsewing
    • 5″ long doll needle for eyes and hiding threads
    • 3″ long soft sculpture doll needle for nose
  • OPTIONAL:  Sewing machine ( you can sew by hand if you don’t have one)

When you are ready, read this article on more advanced bear making tools.

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Teddy Bear Making Suppliers Worldwide

We have a list of bear making suppliers all over the world below.  You can also find what you need to make  bears on eBay:  Bear Making Supplies on eBay

Teddy Bear Suppliers in the USA

www.EdinburghImports.com

www.Intercaltg.com

www.SassyBearsandFabrics.com

www.CRsCraft.com

 

Teddy Bear Suppliers in Canada

ShamrockRoseTeddyBearSupplies.org

www.Dear-Bears.com

www.LaboursofLove.com

 

Teddy Bear Suppliers in the UK 

www.BearBasics.co.uk

www.ChristieBears.com

www.NorbearyFabrics.co.uk

www.MohairBearMakingSupplies.co.uk

Teddy Bear Suppliers in Germany 

http://www.probaer.de/

http://www.baerenstuebchen.de/

 

Teddy Bear Suppliers in the Netherlands

http://www.berelijn.com/

 

Teddy Bear Suppliers in Australia

TeddysBits.com.au

www.Gerrys.com.au

 

Teddy Bear Suppliers in South Africa 

http://teddytech.biz/

http://www.creativeme.co.za

Teddy Bear Suppliers in Japan

http://www.primera-corp.co.jp/

http://www.santacruzbear.com/

http://www.teddybear.co.jp/

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