In addition to the above it might also be worth increasing your seam allowance a little. On cotton pads I use and iron cotton interfacing for that bit extra strength.
I use a machine on most of mine now but when I hand sew I use a tiny backstitch - think about sizing it to a small stitch on a machine kind of size and I pull the thread taught, if your stitches are small then it shouldn't pucker your fabric too much
Hi & welcome :-)
There are 3 main suppliers in the UK;
Bear Basics https://www.bearbasics.co.uk/ Sue is very helpful and she holds the only official UK licence to buy Schulte fur fabrics from the mill in Germany (Schulte is very high quality & what Steiff uses). This is where I get all my supplies as the quality is amazing which always makes a difference to your finished bear. Sue is really good at giving advice on what furs are suitable for projects and what go well together etc.
Christie Bear is another UK supplier https://www.christiebears.com/ I have never used them personally; they stock Helmbold furs which are also good quality (2nd best to Schulte).
Mohair Bear making supplies https://www.mohairbearmakingsupplies.co.uk/ I have used this supplier when I first started out for 1 or 2 things. His prices are generally lower but I personally don't think the quality is as good.
It all depends on what you want but I hope that helps.
I have used Christie Bear - she is great and has a nice selection of stock and is super helpful.
Most of my mohair though is from Mohair Bear Making Supplies and to be honest it was because they were at a Hugglets show and I was able to go and browse the fabrics in person. If you can get to a show to do that even if you don't buy much it is well worth doing. You then have an in person idea of what the different fur types are like in person and I have found it has made decisions when buying online so much easier.
Their mohair lately has been mostly Hembold and Schulte which are well covered by the others also, but I think he tries to stock a different selection of these to Christie Bears and Bear Basics. I do find they get some other brands in too. I had some of their Jerry mohair a while back which is lovely to work with and I wish I had bought more as I can't get anymore in that colour They do however generally have a great selection of faux furs - of varying quality mind but reflected in the price they charge. They have a mixture of knitted and woven backed ones. I also really like that they put quite a lot of their mohair stock on eBay, which is really useful if you only want to buy a few bits because you then benefit from having free postage (and nectar points if you link you nectar card to your ebay account), whereas if you order on their website you get charged postage.
I find they all have their strengths. I haven't yet ordered from bear basics but they also look to have some of the better selections and priced paw pad fabrics and I really like their eye's on pins sets to try out eye positions and sizes so I shall eventually treat myself to a pack of these.
I haven't tried inserting a music box but had been thinking about it. I thought about inserting it and then seating the key between ladder stitches when closing up the back with some extra stitches around it to reinforce that area.
I have some general bear making books I was going to look through for some extra information on these so I shall ping some other solutions here if they are different from the above :)
If the top of the leg is already open and you can get a disk through the hole in the body you could joint it the other way round. So put the pin head in the body with the disk and a washer, then close the body hole around the pin, thread it back through the hole in the leg add the disk and washer and recurl the pin.
I have started a new bear and trying my hand at using a long dense fur. It has a lot of bulk so was going to trim it along the seam allowance.
The only thing is I don't know how far into the seam allowance to go. Half way? Just a bit less than the allowance? Right up to the allowance? Or just over it?
I have not been around on the forum for a while.
I am so sorry someone snatched your beloved bear, he certainly looked well loved. I am currently under diagnosis for Asperger's and I am enjoying making bears (I am just a beginner).
He does look like his muzzle is one piece. Did he have jointed legs or were they all one piece with his body? Its hard to tell from the photos. It looks like your backpack handles have been attached separately. There is a book called Teddy Bear Studio by Ted Menten might be useful for learning about the way patterns are put together. It does tell you how to adjust them so that might be a way to go to find something that makes up similar and tweak it. I am planning to have a go at some of my own but using a upholstery fabric (non-stretch) to practice with as it is much cheaper than the fur fabric.
It's worth keeping in mind a full freshly stuffed bear will look differently in shape, if you want the well cuddled look you may want to consider understuffing him but I am not a sure how this would affect jointed limbs You can also shave patches of fur to create the bald looking areas if you wanted the feel of an aged bear.
I hope you get some luck with someone being able to create a pattern. I will have a quick look through some of my books to see if there is anything vaguely similar that can be adapted.
If the seam allowance is not included you need to add it when cutting and stitch down the drawn line on the pattern, it may not look a lot but can effect the shape of the paws and narrower parts of the head. I have just made this mistake and now the edges of my paws fold upwards as the height of the toe was no longer deep enough :-/
If the seam allowance is included you cut on the pattern line and stitch inside it.
I was wondering how different does a design/pattern have to be before it is your own?
Most bear patterns I have come across are made from relatively standard shapes in differing proportions. I have been using some patterns out of a book, but changing the fabric, eyes and paw styles. I would also like to play around with some colouring around the features of the faces and my paws later on. Do these changes mean it is now my own design, even if it evolved out of someone else's pattern originally?
Here is my first little bear - I haven't decided on his name yet.
I completed him a little while ago as part of a bear making course held at my local sewing shop, the course was run by a lovely lady called Helen. The pattern was provided to us.
I am pleased with how he turned out, and although he had some popped seams around the face (stitched too close to the edge of the fabric), I was able to repair him with a ladder stitch.
Any comments/suggest are more than welcome :)
My little bear
Your bear looks gorgeous!
This happened on my first bear down the nose. Luckily I had enough fabric which was stable enough (I stitched too close to the edge of the fabric) to stitch him closed with a curved needle using ladder stitch and didn't have to unstuff and restitch him or stabilise any edges.
I made sure I didn't stitch too close to the edges on my second bear and the seams look to be holding after the first session of head stuffing.
I really hope I don't get the same issue again.
I have only finished one bear as part of a course. Just about to do my second head, I have done phase 1 stuffing and set it aside to rest.
On the course we stuffed the head and stitched in the joint first. Then we threaded the eye onto the centre of a whipping twine brought together the two loose ends and threaded them into a dolling needle, pushed the needle in where we wanted the eyes to sit and pulled it out at the base of the head, slightly to the side of the centre (on the opposite side of the head to the eye) gently pushed the eye in place and left a long tail of thread (enough to grasp and knot). Then we did the same with the other eye, coming out on just the other side of the centre of the base of the head.
We then took the two threads, one person pushes the eyes into the position wanted on to the bear and the other person pulls the two strings hard and knots them together. We then threaded the tails back inside the head. I liked the effect this had in the way it pulled the eyes in and slightly downwards. I am looking to use the same method on my next head.