CLOSING AND FINISHING
& Hints |
Bear Making Terms
...AND MORE ON STUFFING
- Use small wads of stuffing (no
bigger than the size of a cotton ball). Start at the neck
and use a stuffing tool to get the filler in and around the
joints. Even a soft stuffed bear needs to be firmly stuffed
at the neck to avoid a floppy head.
- Stuff around the shoulders and
arms and then begin at the lower part of the body.
- If you are thinking of a growler
or music box, place it now
a cotton sack for the growler to protect it from bits
of fiberfill getting inside the mechanism.
you want the bear to growl if tipped forwards, then place
the growler in the middle of the body cavity in a horizontal
position with the holes facing backwards toward the center
stuffing around the growler so it won't fall out and also
around the top so it cannot be felt when the seam is closed.
- Stuff the bear so that the final
seam can be squeezed relatively easily with your fingers while
The Ladder Stitch
Close both seams
invisibly with a ladder stitch.
- Thread a needle
with a strong thread and knot the end.
- Place the needle
at the top of the seam to be closed and anchor the knot.
- As illustrated
below take the thread horizontally across the opening and make
a small stitch on the opposite side.
- Repeat on the
other side and all the way down the length of the limb or the
- Pull the stitches
to close the seam.
The Eyes &
Ears are Related
low; ears high
high up; ears low
wide space; ears high
vary eye placement
here. Usually no higher than 1/2 way between nose
and ear line
and eye placement will determine the personality or character
of your bear. Remember equal spacing proportions - after
that there are no hard and fast rules regarding placement.
ears in place first. Curve forwards to give the natural
look. Keep moving the ears around until you are satisfied
with "the look" then sew them in place.
the thread behind the ear. Use the ladder stitch working
top to bottom on the back of the ear and then up the front.
the curve of the ear as you stitch.
your time with a bear nose. After all, it's one of your
bear's most obvious features. Beginner and experienced bear
makers alike know the frustration of embroidering that perfect
1 for noses
a felt, leather or ultra suede template (see illustration).
Position in a central place on the muzzle.
the surplus mohair from the nose area. When fur is removed
right to the backing fabric glue the template in place (white
glue is fine).
pins in lightly and allow template to completely dry in place
(overnight is best).
a leather or darning needle with the perle cotton of choice.
Cut cotton approximately 25" (70cm) long.
2 or 3 horizontal stitches across the top of the felt template.
The secret to any bear nose is an even tension.
embroider over the template by starting at one side and placing
cotton in even stitches side by side to cover.
the mouth, bring the needle out at point A and into the bear
at point B and up out at C. Allow thread to pass under
A to B length. Pull and adjust until preferred expression
2 for Noses
away a small area where you plan to put the nose.
an outline of your nose and then fill in with satin stitch.
Keep the tension as even as possible.
the whole area with satin stitch several times until you have
achieved the look you want.
3 for Noses
leather, plastic, flocked and now really quite stuffing blown
ideas for embroidered noses:
noses - if it's not the look you want - pull out and
restitch. Keep cutting and restitching until you
are happy with your bear.
trim between eyes and nose; muzzle trim.
for Trimming - Remember
it doesn't grow back!
sharp scissors are the best.
SLOWLY. Cut bit by bit to get the idea of how much you'd
like to trim.
1/8 - 1/4" (3-6 mm) of fur covering if you are using
a knit back pile.
back fabrics can be trimmed as much as you like since the
backing is solid.
a five o'clock shadow or stubble effect.
collectible teddy bears, glass eyes are used. If the bear
is intended for a child, then use safety eyes. Trim around
the eye placement areas since most bears would like to see where
they are going!
eyes are hand made and there is a wide variation so match
the eyes at the time of purchase. If you will be making
many bears and are quite a distance from your supplier, then
purchase a dozen pairs and match 'em up.
you purchase your eyes "on a wire" - twist them
while they are joined. Form a loop and then twist 3
or 4 times. Do other eye and then separate with wire
eyes takes time. One easy way to use eyes on a wire
with no loop. Simply cut the wire to a convenient pin
length. Lightly press the eyes into position and keep
on repositioning until you achieve the look and expression
the trial eyes out. Use an awl at the point of entry
and make a hole wide enough to take the loop on the eye.
a length of doubled dental floss or nylon upholstery thread
that will be long enough to pass through the head and leave
room to tie off.
the thread through the loop on the eye and tie the eye at
approximately the middle of the thread. Double knot
to make more secure.
one of the double ends onto an extra strong long needle (I
use doll sculpting needles). Push the needle through
the head until it comes out at the base of the head just above
the neck disk on the opposite side. OR until it comes
out at the middle point behind the opposite ear.
the needle off the thread and pass the other doubled tail
of thread until it comes out at about 1/4" from where
the other thread had been pulled through.
the threads tightly and knot them securely. The pressure
will pull the eye into the head and create a natural eye socket.
Bury the thread inside the head.
for the other eye.
eyes can and do break. Consider using safety lock eyes
but remember these must be installed before you stuff the
you want your eyes to be less shiny - scratch 'em up a little
with sand paper or dull them with a bit of hand cream.