Introduction to teddy bear making

As promised, I’ll do a how to about teddy bears this week, and I’ll start with a brief introduction. Next post will feature a downloadable pattern and the first steps towards a finished bear.

I started making teddy bears in 1999, when I came across Thielmann’s and Franz’s book «Making Lovable Teddy Bears & Their Clothes» at a book sale. A month after discovering the book, I had made my first teddy bear from grandma’s old curtains (the very same I’ve used to test a dress pattern recently). That year I made more than twenty teddy bears, followed by just as many the next year. Over the years I’ve made 104 teddy bears, and this week I’m starting on my 105th.

I started making my own patterns at some point during 1999, and with inspirational inputs from pictures, books and fellow teddy bear makers and enthusiasts,  I’ve created many different patterns over the years.

The pattern I’ll use is the same as I used to create these lovely bears.

tn_IMG_1787

 

It’s a pattern I started developing in 2010, which was altered a bit before I made the bears in the picture. This time I want to make a bear with slightly smaller ears. I’ll include both ear sizes in the pattern I’ll upload.

The sewing instructions are based on what I’ve learned over the years, with focus on what has worked for me. As mentioned, I started with the book by Thielmann and Franz. I also have a great book by Gillian Morgan, The Book of Teddy Bear Making. In addition to this, I’ve had the luck of knowing Anne Line Gjerdrum, who made and sold teddy bears for many years, in addition to giving classes and running a teddy bear supply store at her home, where one always would get some new tip or advice on how to be better at bear making. She has been my biggest inspiration, and a treasure of knowledge when it comes to teddy bears. She has retired from her bear making days and moved on to new crafts, but a collection of her work can still be found at her bamseri. Through Anne Line I also came across Vanessa Littleboy’s manual on designing teddy bear patterns. If you’re into making your very own pattern, I deeply recommend reading a copy of her design guide.

I’ll try posting the pattern later today or tomorrow.

 

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