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Chico, California
Posts: 9,939

Shelli Retired Help Advisor, Banner Sponsor


Actually, it's just as I pictured it.  Except for the two tiny people that appear to be hanging at the upper left. What's with THAT?!? :P

Now, back to meditating.  (And if you actually knew how NOT the meditating type I am, you'd be laughing hard at that one.)

Mutz Mutz's Tootsz Bears & Buds
New Berlin, Wisconsin
Posts: 397

There are a couple of Christmas ornaments hanging on the peg. One is a pipe cleaner Santa that I made & one is  a Chinese man that I picked up when I was in Hong Kong.  I keep forgetting to put them on my tree & then pack them away for the year. I kinda like them there.

matilda Matilda Huggington-beare
Posts: 5,551

A wee tip that I have'nt heard anyone mention as yet. I also do the zip lock bag like many of you BUT.. I cut samples of the fabrics that I have used and place them in the bag , stapled to a description card with all the relevent details.  I find the samples let me know immediately what bear pattern I'm looking at. ( I have hundreds of fabric samples and can tell every bear that was made out of that fabric. ) Don't ask how I do it though.   Matilda

Winney Winneybears and Friends
White City, Oregon
Posts: 1,103

Thats a good wee tip and I am gonna use it ! ..I like to have the  photos and fabric samples  with details...that would really be a great !
  If you have made many , many bears I do wonder how you would catalog with the patterns or....maybe with a small file box and index cards ?
Hmmm. how about a larger artist register notebook . I guess it depends on what purpose this collection will serve you...I think I like Matilda's idea more and more....

I once saw an artist at a big show in Anaheim that made real furs bears...she was an exceptional photographer, she put  her 4x 6 photo extensive past bear gallery in plastic sleeves that fit onto a Roladex....That way at shows clients could look at her " collection " and maybe tell her what they would love to order / have...? Id hate to do all that work then have it stolen tho...Winney

Cleathero Creations Cleathero Creations
Ripley, Queensland
Posts: 1,925

Ok I was browsing this today to see how I can improve my storage method for patterns.
I am a ziplock person but find it not very organised.

Shelli how does you system work?  did you tweak it or are you still using it with great success.

I also have a folder that has a picture and description of each bear made and which pattern used, I have only just started this but I like to see them easily.
I name my paterns fopr the first bear I made from them.

Jane Perala Jane Perala Designs Ltd.
Vancouver Island, B.C., Canada
Posts: 819

Wow, that's interesting - everyone's different methods of making and storing patterns.  I make them from different coloured bristol board and punch holes in them and then hang them on hooks hanging on a peg board.   One hook per pattern.  The name of the pattern, and the date of any changes are then written on the pieces.  And, yes the edges do wear down over time - in fact there are probably a couple that need to be redone.  The originals are all kept in a file folder, so my bears may look completely different if I go back to the original!

I do like the idea of a thinner paper such as cardstock and then laminating the pieces - hmmm, have to think about that.  I guess any changes could be written on lables and stuck on the appropriate piece.  I can see a trip to Staples coming up.

Jane P.

Dilu Posts: 8,574

I guess that's why my last doll looked weird- she had a pot belly, tail and ears....guess I shouldn't use the shoe box anymore!  :crackup:

I don't, but you could easily believe I would, huh?

I use file boxes, one for gollies, one for bears and one for dolls.  Then I put the pattern pieces for each critter into manilla envelopes with the critter's name on it- and in Savanah's case the incarnation I am on-which is currently 5.  Sigh.  Can't get this little one right.

I haven't a clue where old phone bills are or blank check books, but heaven help the guy who goes into the studio and rummages around my file boxes thinking the check book is in there!  Can you tell this has happened?  bear_grin

When i get the bears right i make plastic templates- when I get the gollies right I do the same.  When I get the dolls right I don't, cuz i trace the pattern on to freezer paper and iron it on the makes it easier....specially for the fingers....

I don't imagine that I am preserving the patterns for anyone but I'm not to concerned about that aspect.....


Cleathero Creations Cleathero Creations
Ripley, Queensland
Posts: 1,925

I do plastic templates too.  durable

Chico, California
Posts: 9,939

Shelli Retired Help Advisor, Banner Sponsor

Bambridge Bears wrote:

Shelli how does you system work?  did you tweak it or are you still using it with great success.

I switched systems for a while and starting using a zipper binder into which I placed page protectors.  Each page protector held an entire pattern.  In the example I used earlier, in the first post of this thread, what this means is that one page protector held the entire PURPLE pattern.

However, rather than being helpful or more streamlined, this method drove me bonkers right quick, and I ended up going BACK to my accordian folder with sections for SIDE HEAD, GUSSET, EAR, ARM, LEG, etc.  Which I still use today.

I do enjoy pulling out the pile of ARMs, for example, and seeing what "looks" right with the head and body pieces I've chosen so far.  It keeps me interested, and I rarely make the exact same bear pattern twice in a row, if ever at all!  I also come up with new patterns on a regular basis; maybe one entirely new one, totally from scratch, per month or two.  So it just adds to the pile.

Since I tend to stick to the 14-18 inch size, just cause that's what my hands and heart want to do, it makes swapping one piece for another quite do-able.

Hope this helps!

Cleathero Creations Cleathero Creations
Ripley, Queensland
Posts: 1,925

Thankyou Shelli!
I am being driven crazy by my method of storage!
The only down side I can see to using your system is that I
a) make different critters namely dogs and cats
b) my bear sizes range in sizes from 4 - 8inches

Although I can see it could be modified easily enough. I am going to glare at my patterns for a while.  For some reason I believed they should be all kept together as one pattern but i like your idea.
Thanks again

fredbear Fred-i-Bear
Posts: 2,243

I also use plastic templates, the same that quilters use, patterns are then stored in folders in my filing draw.
I like the clear templates as I can write my info onto them. You can also get template pencils for writing on them.


Winney Winneybears and Friends
White City, Oregon
Posts: 1,103

I make 20" fashion bears and  also in several other  sizes..which poses a different pattern storage problem. So... I use a notebook for one size and include ;

Bear pattern in a zip lock ,   following  with instructions in a plastic sheet

Several costume sketches,       "                      "                     "             and each  pattern  in a zip lock.

I also had to work up a list of material and labor  so I know how I need to figure basic  pricing every item as the costume parts do get use for different bears....this really helps when " costing" out this type of bear...some costumes are more elaborate then others..... I keep this as the first page in the notebook ......Winney

Eileen Baird'sBears
Posts: 3,873

bear_original You are all so well-organized!!

I keep my patterns in ziplock bags in a hanging file, along with relevant sketches, notes-to-self and swatches.

I make the pattern pieces from bristol board or matt board left over from picture framing, and tape the edges to keep them from wearing down. It occurs to me that I could coat them with glue, which would be less fiddly  :doh:


Winney Winneybears and Friends
White City, Oregon
Posts: 1,103

I tried other ways but this works the best for me as I love to go sit at the table and flip thru my book then I get new ideas so add more sketches that sometimes can be drafted right off the costume patterns I already have...Winney

nettie scotland
Posts: 2,160

I never make more than a few of each pattern so I use old cereal packets.I hand draw a pattern and make a scone.If I like him I transfer on to acetate and keep it in a zippy bag.After a couple of goes with it I tend to change something and destroy the first one.I never have more than half a dozen in existence at any one time.This post has inspired me to keep more and be more organised.

Pijangibears Pijangibears
Posts: 870

Hi everybody

I am just curious.
How many bears do you make in a month.
If I am lucky - I finish one. ( I am not living on bearmaking )

I'll make a full pattern on each bear, so if I want to make the same bear again,
the hole pattern is in a map. If I make a bear with different arms or legs, but the
same body, I make the hole pattern to put in the map.

I love making the patterns, and the cardboard is for free. I can use so many things
from my work - they just throw it out.

Hugs Birgitte  :hug:

plushkinbear BEAR ME SHOOTKA
Vladivostok, RUSSIA
Posts: 2,139

Birgitte, I'm with you. I have a full-time job and have not much time for bear making right now. UNFORTUNATELLY bear_cry

But I love to draw patterns too. I have too many patterns which I know I will even never sew... bear_whistle just like to draw.
I finish one bear in 4 nights. I usually work at night from 10 p.m. - 4 a.m. All my bears are born at night, just like my daughter. I think it's a habit already  :crackup:

I wish I could sew more and more bears but I need to sleep a little too.  bear_tongue  bear_shocked

Hugs, Julia :hug:

Eileen Baird'sBears
Posts: 3,873

bear_original  bear_flower  bear_thumb

I love to go sit at the table and flip thru my book

Winney, I like your method--I think I'll move my stuff out of the file cabinet and into a big zipped binder the kids left behind!


BearBottoms 'Bear' Bottoms Originals
Ft. Bragg, NC
Posts: 2,465

Wow, I have to say this:  This post has inspired me to completely revamp my method of pattern storage - piling an unnamed pattern made from tracing paper on top of my cabinet and grabbing it when I need it.  No wonder I spend half an hour trying to sort through 3 different bear patterns all piled up together and unnamed... every time I want to make a bear!

Now the babies (mini's) are a different story.  Each one is cut out of that heavy plastic paper (I assume is vellum; I bought it from Sassy Bears) and each is put away into a small craft ziploc bag then into it's own labeled drawer in one of those plastic things that have about 100 drawers; I can't think of what it's called right now.

I am learning!

Kimberly W.

matilda Matilda Huggington-beare
Posts: 5,551

I use the card from large sheets. I place them in zip lock bags with a sample of the fabric used and a layout sheet. If the pattern pieces are large then I draw the layout on the card pattern piece. Then I stand them up in a shoe box. Every pattern has its own bag but variations of a pattern are clipped together.
I dont always remember a bears name. But I always remember the fabric. Spotya Wendy bear_thumb

gotobedbears Posts: 3,177

I have a huge pile of patterns just teetering on the brink of sliding off onto the floor - i colour code the pattern pieces so even if i mix them up i can put them back in order, when i can be bothered that is.

The master patterns are filed neatly away in plastic folders just in case of accidents. so i'm not a completely messy moo.

Penny  :hug:

kbonsall Kim-Bee Bears
Posts: 5,645

I also have my patterns in ziplock bags and then have them labeled with what kind of bear it is (like small bear/panda)... I will keep my alterations to a pattern in with the original, like a panda body or like an open mouth (yes I have an open mouth pattern, too chicken to try it yet though!)  My patterns are also either laminated (they are made on thick cover stock paper as well to give added strength)  I did notice that once they are laminated they like so slide around when I am trying to trace though so I have to be careful (makes my hands and wrists tired when I am tracing onto mohair/synthetic)...

psichick78 Flying Fur Studios
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Posts: 3,073

It's soo interesting to see how we all store our patterns.

As for me, I keep them in baggies, and those baggies in a box.

I also number my patterns, then any alterations are assigned a letter. So for example, I'll have pattern 'A', but then I'll make some changes after making the bear, so those pieces will be 'A-1' and so on. At least that way I can track all my different variations.

Dilu Posts: 8,574

Well- sigh.....I am on my seventh incarnation of Savanah-  7!  The rest are great dolls, i made up three, but....they weren't what I was aiming for.  So I guess to keep from
getting any more confused

[size=22]than I already am[/size]

I guess I shall rename the other three dolls......can't have seven patterns with the same name...........

can we?


Jare Hares & Bears Jare Hares & Bears
Polo, IL
Posts: 983

Dilu -
Name them whatever you want.
You could name them progressively...
Savanah, Savanah 2, Savanah 3...
Kinda like the Borg on Star Trek... 7 of 7... he he he...

To chip my two cents in...
I draw my patterns on paper and tweek them until they are just right.
Then I scan them into the computer. I save them to a file labeled patterns.
I then print them out on card stock. If I ever want to enlarge or make them smaller I just adjust the size that they print at.
When I have the time then I trace over them by hand in COREL DRAW and save them. Then I can go in and make adjustments on screen and print them out.
For the hardcopies each piece gets labeled with a pattern number, usually 2005-16. The year and the design number.
I then place those pieces into a zip lock baggie. Works great for me.
I also keep a notebook with the pattern number, the size of the finished piece, name, size joints and eyes used, fabrics, etc., etc.
That way when I need to make another one for an order I have all the information on hand.
I can never remember which size joint or eye to use so this helps when I use the same pattern to make a different bunny or bear.
I figure that notebook will be worth a small fortune some day... when I am famous. LOL

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