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Shelli Makes - Teddy bears & other cheerful things by Shelli Quinn
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Sure can, mine was from ebay: … 712wt_1163

But I see that some of the results are coming up under "archery supplies" as a category.  I don't know of any around my area but maybe an archery or outdoor sports store would stock it if you don't want to buy online?  Maybe even camping or disposals stores.  Hobby shops also...?  Ooh and I bet saddleries would have it too.


Perhaps try artifical sinew also - it's what I use and I've never had it break.  It also grabs better because it's waxed - probably has the same qualities as whipping twine.  If the head is so hard that you can't press the eye sockets in with your hands though I think you might need to take some stuffing out.  I'm sometimes worried I'm just on the verge of pulling holes in my fabric!

Also thought I should point out that if possible, take your sculpting stitches so they go over a seam to give it a bit of extra strength and avoid pulling holes straight through your backing fabric.  If it really is stuffed hard then I'm scared for you that it could end up disasterous!  (and if you're anything like me you never have enough fur leftover for a new head since mohair is so damn expensive in AU)

The artificial sinew I have is flat like the link above, and you can separate the strands out so it goes even further.  I can use a quarter width of a piece of sinew and it's still incredibly strong.  I got mine from the US on ebay ages ago, the rolls last for ages!


Haha, that's adorable!!  And yep, this is the right place bear_original


I use needle nose pliers for my cotter pins and I have trouble getting them tight, but it's all practise I think.  I'm just no good at it!


I have a hard time getting the joints tight with a cotter pin too - I hear cotter keys are good for getting them nice and tight but I don't have one.  Never used grub screws because I don't understand how it would make a difference to the issue, clearly there's something I'm not getting!  Leaving a gap in the head is usually how I get around it now anyway - and leave it until last to stitch it closed so I can reshape the head if I need to after nose and eyes are all finished. 

Haha, actually... I just googled grub screws - I wasn't picturing them properly and didn't realise you could hold it still with an allen/key while turning the nut.  D'oh!


Hey Leanne :)

Where are you starting your sewing when inserting the gusset?  At the back of the neck or at the tip of the nose? 

I sew the side heads together from tip of nose down to neck, then fold the gusset in half and mark it with a pen at the very centre point.  Then I put my needle down into that mark and right through the centre of the seam on the front of the face that I just made.  Then go all the way from nose tip to back of neck on one side, and then start again down the other side from nose tip to back of neck.

Is that what you mean?  The septum is off centre... or do you mean the muzzle is torquing as you stuff and curving the septum seam to the side?

Edited to add:  Also, are you basting or pinning before machine sewing?  I'm wondering if maybe the fur is slipping at all when it's going through your machine.


I used to have this problem as well - the way I got around it was to either use a cotterpin for the head only (you can buy bags of just the pins - I got some from ebay a few years ago and I'm sure you still can).  A cotterpin doesn't require you to hold onto the other end so it means you can close up the head and finish it off entirely before joining to the body.

Or, something I do now regardless of the head joint I use, is actually leave an opening at the back of the head where the gusset joins with the side head piece, just as you would with the back of the body seam.  It closes up nicely later on but lets you joint the head to the body before stuffing so you can get a spanner or socket in there to hold the other end :)

Neither of these methods will likely be of any use to you now, so maybe try the regular nut and hold the end of the bolt with pliers to enable you to tighten the bolt down.  Then add superglue as you suggested.


Sure - WIP's are half the fun bear_original  I've only just come back from not making anything for a few years, but I have put a couple on instagram:
1366087950_img_20130411_222430.jpg 1366087965_img_20130414_133639.jpg


Is this what you were after?  The top colour on that page is the Slate Blue.


I want her!!  Wish I had the cash to spare :(
I don't usually go for the aged looking bears, but for some reason she REALLY appeals! bear_original


You're welcome!  I hope it works well for you  bear_happy


Wow - ok!  Just wanted to report back to everyone so I could let you know how things went with Loubear and pass on some invaluable info to you all.

The type of fur I purchased and dyed was the 30% Viscose blend called TEDDY.  Very soft and silky and really super nice.  It was really difficult for Bernhard and I to determine where it all went wrong for me, because my processes are apparently fairly standard and neither of us had experienced or heard of it happening with their product before.   

Anyway, Bernhard was enormously generous enough to offer me a 1/2 meter of their 100% mohair range, in LENA (18mm pile).  He's sending out Col. 24, which is washed white and ready to dye.

What I DID learn from our emails back and forth should help all of you when you're deciding which types of fur to buy from Loubear.

TEDDY - This is what I bought.  Super super nice, feels like a little maltese puppy but slightly less wavy.  Because it's 30% Viscose, however, it's very sleek also.  This property makes it EXCELLENT for those of you who make aged bears because it's relatively easy and painless to pluck the hair out for the battered and worn appearance.  Having said that though, tumble drying the fabric post-dye process will cause the fabric to shrink slightly which is what helps to tighten the backing grab the fibres in there tighter and prevent them from falling out when you don't want them to.  This may have been the part that stung me - the blue bear above's fur wasn't tumble dried.

LENA - 100% mohair with an 18mm pile.  The 100% mohairs don't have the viscose in them (obviously) so aren't as super sleek - therefore the pile requires a lot more pull to be removed from the backing weave.  The weave is also apparently slightly tighter.

ERIC and OLGA - both the 70% Mohair, 30% Viscose blends but both have a tighter backing fabric which is better for those of us who aren't designing "overly-loved" bears.

I also learned something about the dying process which is very important, that I wasn't aware of.  I know some of the instructions for hot water dying say that the water should be gently boiling.  Bernhard advised that this is not the case if we want to keep the fur at its most sturdy. Temperature for dying should not exceed 80°C [that's 176°F], which is a fair amount below boiling point.   I'll definitely be making a point of ensuring my water isn't boiling from now on, since I don't actually remember if I boiled the water with the fur in the pot last time.

In any case - my communications with Bernhard have been very positive and I hope I didn't come across as though I was 'bad mouthing' their furs in any way in my first post.  I was more after a remedy or a clue as to what I'D done wrong.   

Bernhard is amazing to deal with, and super helpful.  If you're ever looking to purchase but aren't quite sure which way to go, he's very very helpful.

Hopefully I've helped you guys a little!


Hi Coraleen,
Maybe this will help you -
It's a dye for Synthetics - particularly the Ko-Hair you were trying to dye last time.  It's an Australian company.

I don't know about dying the fluffy plush synthetics though - I know that when my childhood toys were washed, the fur was never the same again.  It was matted and clumpy and not very nice, so unless that's the look you're after I wouldn't advise it.  I also don't know if you would do a hot or cold dye - having never tried either on synthetics so don't know how it will react to heat.

Airbrushing or using oil pants to shade synthetics is fine though.  I know Shelli (Potbelly Bears) uses oil paints for her shading, with a miniscule amount of paint left on the bristles (she wipes and wipes and wipes onto paper towel before going near the bear).  I'll see if I can find the thread for you...
Here it is - perhaps that will help you.  Shelli uses mohair of course but I've tested her method with acrylic paint on synthetic scraps and it was pretty effective.  Oils would be more permanent though, I would *assume*.

gugu"s teddies wrote:

Hi there what colour did you purchase to dye a deep purple

Sorry this is so late!  I used two packets of "Aubergine" RIT dye - it came out a vibrant dark magenta/purply colour.  If I remember I'll take a photo of it for you tonight.

So it was 2 packs of the dye powder in a pot of almost boiling water on the stove.  Pot was about 30cm in diameter from memory - not very big but I do what I can with what I have!

talesia I just checked out your green dye job - it came out so nice bear_original


Thanks Paula, and also to Joanne for your response.  I'll contact Bernhard today - I had intended to but it was really late when this all came about last night and I just slumped into bed.  I have a sneaking suspicion that my mum will claim this one, bald patch or not... mums are good like that bear_happy


Hi guys,

Haven't visited or posted in a reeeeally long time.  A lot going on for me the past year.  Anyway, long story short... certain circumstances beyond my control have rendered me relatively short on cash.  So, I decided to go with what I know and see if I could start selling my bears.

I dug out my fur, scraped together a few dollars to buy the bits I was missing to finish it, designed a new pattern, and made a bear.  I was so happy with it, until I was just giving it a final once over and noticed that there's a BALD spot on the back of its head!!  Now don't get me wrong, I was not rough with the bear in any way.  I did notice that there was a stray hair stuck on the bear here and there, but I figured that was just leftovers from open seams or something.  I guess not!  Also noticed there's a part on the back that's balding too - what the hell?!!

Has anyone ever had this happen?  I certainly haven't!  The fur is from loubear, which I thought was totally fine until now.  I thought maybe it was because I'd dyed it... so I went and checked the other piece, dyed on a different occasion but cut from the same original larger piece and dyed a different colour.  Those tufts are really easy to pull out too. 

I don't know what to do!  Even if I found a way to fix it (any ideas short of dressing the bear, which I'm personally not keen on), would it be dishonest of me to still try and sell the bear knowing it's got damage repair?

Grrr... this was the first one I'd ever been happy enough with to start selling, and right when I really need a way to earn a side income... and it goes bald.  SO my luck!!

head.jpg  back.jpg


I really really like her!  Especially the high forehead.  I've been wanting to try and do something like that for a while, but you managed to get it first go!

Nice! bear_original

boohbears wrote:

I have used the Aubergine and that alone will give you a gorgeous deep purple color!

Thanks Janice - hopefully I have the same success you did.  I'm champing at the bit to do it, but so worried I'll mess it up bear_tongue  Hopefully tomorrow I'll be able to show you all a picture of some nice dark purple fur bear_original


Shelli was posting a while ago about her dying experiences and commented that Dylon were useless, and that she was going to try the Inercal dyes and report back, but unless I can't find it, she must have forgotten!  I was wondering about those too.

Edit:  My fur arrived today!! And Sarah was right - it's so cuddly!  I got both Teddy and Carlo, and both of them are kind of like a maltese terrior.  Cant wait to dye it!!  :dance:


I haven't had this exact one, but I have had others like it.  They're ridiculous!  And always seem to be from Reverend something or other...

Yes, it's a scam.  You certainly wont be getting any sort of "treasures" in return  bear_tongue


I've ordered 2 packets of Aubergine and 1 packet of Wine, both Rit.  I'm hoping that by doubling the dye in the water, I'll get darker results.  Can't hurt anyway!  And if it's not as dark as I hoped, give it a second dipping.  Then if it still isn't dark enough, then I might try overdying it with hair dye or something.  Anyone tried that?  I know hair dye stains everything including the floor when you use it on your hair, so maybe it's worth a shot.  I'm sure I could find some sort of crazy purple colour somewhere.


Not to intentionally drag this thread on and on forever, but after going to the only two craft shops near me (and they're both huge!), one of them had a very poorly stocked range of Rit, and the other only carried Dylon.  I didn't buy either of them - both out of disgust at the lack of availability  bear_tongue  and not knowing how dylon dye behaves.

Have been researching and found this, in case anyone is interested.
I have thoroughly confused myself with which brand of dye to get and what KIND of dye.  All I know is I want a really dark rich grapey purple colour, that Kool Aid purples don't dye vibrantly, Rit isn't spoken highly of on Craftster, and I have no idea what kind of dye the Dylon was when I went to the shops!

Every time I go shopping for supplies it becomes harder for me to get what I want.  It's gotten to the point where I have to order EVERY single bear supply off the internet.  It's getting extremely frustrating, disappointing and unmotivating not being able to just pick something up when I need it!  (yes, I know... whinge, whinge whinge  bear_rolleyes )


Yep, Bernhard contacted me right away too to let me know my order was underway.  He also cleared up a few things for me!

The delivery date field is just a part of the shop system of their service provider, so it seems that entering the day you order or a couple of days ahead isn't going to look too presumptuous on their end as the field is required anyway.  Bernhard mentioned though that it does come in handy if you want your parcel shipped later on so it doesn't arrive at a certain time... ie. if you're on holidays.  Pretty cool I thought!

He also said that lots of his customers have great success dying the fabrics, so I'm feeling pretty confident now!  Apart from the backing getting a bit "sticky" a bit apprehensive about that part.  If anything makes the needle harder to push through then I get sore fingers and get impatient.  The synthetic fur I'm using at the moment (because I'm out of mohair but can't wait to try a new pattern) came with some sort of suede type backing on it (I assume to prevent stretch) but it really grips the needle so it's going to be a slow one!

I do feel guilty posting about purchasing from other suppliers when this is an Intercal forum, but I just can't afford to order for from Intercal  bear_sad  Our exchange rate is pretty terrible at the moment and I only have a limited amount I can spend on supplies.  :doh:

ETA: Whoops - forgot to mention that the field for the "free 1/8 metre" applies to orders over 300 Rand.  My order was only 10 rand under but Bernhard was kind enough to include my free 1/8 anyway as he'd been reading our posts bear_original  Had I have known though, I would have gladly increased my order so he wasn't being left out of pocket!

Also - Sarah how long did your order take to arrive?  Never had something shipped from South Africa before!


Thanks guys!  And yep, I did see the information about dyes on their website, Sarah.  Just wasn't sure if it would work on the already dyed and 30% viscose furs as it looked like they were only referring to the natural furs.  I think "natural" is only referring to the colour, but having jumped in head first to too many projects and then realising too late that I read the instructions wrong, I wanted to check first before I wasted my money!

Have placed my order now, so it's all good!  I did think it was weird though that they asked for a "delivery date."  I wasn't sure what to put there, so I just counted 10 days from tomorrow (2nd Jan when they come back from xmas break).  And there was a field for a "free 1/8 metre" so I filled that in too.  Couldn't find any info about either of those boxes so I just had to wing it!


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