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bearlysane Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 2,188

I've enjoyed this thread immensely. A trip down memory lane is nice from time to time ... keeps your feet on the ground!

Here's my contribution (thank heavens I keep records of all my bears):


My first bear Howie made from a pattern 1996.


One of my first designs, Briar and Brambles 1996.


My first design with boobs Delilah (Charity Bear) 2003.

My most recent design will be appearing later this week.


toadbriar ToadBriar
western massachusetts
Posts: 532

Here's my first guy ever, he's made in flannel with wool needle-felted on for color.
Based on a pattern from one of the bearmaking books - the one in the book is a little
red bear whose head comes off, to store needles inside. I didn't do that though.
His eyes are black paper fastener tops. His ears are felt. He's from Sept 2005. I'm coming
up on a year of bearmaking now bear_grin


Here's my first *original* guy, the second bear I made. Oct 2005.
I needle felted wool onto flannel, again.
He's so utterly ridiculous  bear_laugh

My most recent guy is this chihuahua:

& panda from last month:

Great thread!!

K Pawz Guest

Okay so I went into the files on hubby's computer and found my very first bears...
First we have my very first which is from a pattern in my first bear magazine Austrailan Bear
And these other ones are created from Nancy's 101 Bears to make
Also from Nancy's book, here is an aviator bear that I made for Hubby's birthday, we still have him of course

and again, a current bear


edie Bears by Edie
Southern Alberta
Posts: 2,068

Tami, It doesn't have to be a first bear - early is fine - just something that shows contrast to what you are doing now. None of mine are "first" bears - don't have them still - I might have poor photos of some, but my scanner isn't workin, so had to use bears I had kept to photo. Interesting that you were thinking this at the same time - I'd been planning to do it for the last month but have had so much company I didn't get time. Also thought it would be fun to do a thread with a few photos of the best bears - or at least our very favourites  - that we have made, perhaps a little later on - once everyone has finished with this thread. I am sure enjoying seeing where people started and where they have have progressed to now! What a lot of great bears - both early and recent!

Jennie Teddybears Sweden
Gavle, Sweden
Posts: 751

Fudge is my very first bear ever and I made him from a bought pattern:scrubs1.jpg
My very first "artist bear" was a guy called Alvin:alvin2.jpg
And this is my newast bear, finished today, a guy called Gilbert: gilbert1_15cm.jpg

SueAnn Past Time Bears
Double Oak, Texas
Posts: 20,829

SueAnn Help Advisor, Banner Sponsor

Jare Hares & Bears wrote:

Sue Ann -
I don't know that first bear you posted looks pretty nice to me.
I know that fabric I made a few pieces out of it in my day, like I'm so old. :crackup:

Though I have to say, Sue Ann... I think that early "cheap" synthetic guy is just adorable!!!!! 
Kim Basta
Wild Thyme Originals

Thanks much, guys, but I think it is the Jennifer Laing pattern!  I got that synthetic for about $4.99 at a fabric store many years ago . . . and I AM that old!

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


OK, you asked for it Edie.  This guy was made before I ever had an interest in making bears.  I was trying to think of things to make for Christmas one year and decided to make this bear for one of my nieces.  He is made from a McCalls, or Butterick or one of those type patterns.  Many years later, when I was making bears as a business, she gave him back to me at Christmas, with this very "cheeky" note attached.  "Hi, I am Mr. Balloonhead, please take good care of me and my new sweater."  Oh my goodness the poor guy is sooo bad - but I keep him around to remind me that we all start somewhere!

Jane P.

chrissibrinkley Posts: 1,836

Cool Thread!!   :clap:
My very first bear was made back in Feb 1998, for my first Valentine's Day with my now hubby. bear_wub 
I really didn't sew as much back then so I was beyond frustrated during the entire process.  The head was the worst of all and to this day I call this bear "Rat Bear" because of his odd slim snout bear_grin  I used whatever safety joints I could find at the craft shop, I can't even believe how I jointed that darn head! Safety eyes obviously got placed before I stuffed or anything bear_rolleyes  He's a McCalls Pattern, I think.....
Valentine's "Ratbear" 5 years before I got bit by the artist bear bug:

My most recent larger bear was Delby Del (I'm working mini's this week)


melissa Honeythorpe Bears
Wellington, New Zealand
Posts: 1,789

Chrissi - I think your rat bear must be made from the same pattern as my mum made her first bear from.

Hers is exactly the same big mousie ears and a little pointy rat nose.  Hers also has ginormous "hips" as the top of the leg pattern seemed to be wider than the body. gave us a good lesson in what not to do when designing bears!!

millie PottersHouse Bears
Posts: 2,173

kaiser-015.jpgkaiser-014.jpgThe first is a picture of the very first bear I ever made.  It was from a McCall's pattern, cheap synthetic.  When I finished I thought "Why does my bear look nothing like the picture on the envelope?"  I came very near to stopping right then and there.  I then realized that my dad's baby sweater would fit this bear, so I decided to keep him and give bear making another try.  The second picture is the bear that I just finished a couple of days ago.  She is made of alpaca with hand painted eyes.

Pumpkin & Pickle Bears Pumpkin & Pickle Bears
East Sussex
Posts: 2,047

Oh, I suppose I'D better join in!!! Well I've only been making bears since January of this year so you probably won't see much of a difference compared to some of you!!

This is the very first bear I ever made. He was from a kit by Ruth Parsons. He's 4" tall and called Peanut.

This is the second bear I ever made from another kit. Again 4" and called Edward.

The 3rd bear I ever made from my OWN pattern (I only used other people's patterns for my first 2 bears before I dived right in and started designing myself!!). He was a gift for my son and called Benji. Made in February of this year.

Some of my recent bears....

Charlie - 10"

Bobby - just under 4" (currently on eBay)

WildThyme Wild Thyme Originals
Hudson, Ohio
Posts: 3,115
SueAnn wrote:

Thanks much, guys, but I think it is the Jennifer Laing pattern!  I got that synthetic for about $4.99 at a fabric store many years ago . . . and I AM that old!

You know what though Sue Ann... even though it's from someone else's pattern... the way that you finiahed the face is so distinctingly YOURS!  I'd recognize him as one of yours instantly!  That's one of the things that I find really interesting about these looks back... There are some bear artists that do something completely different each and everytime, but for most of us.... I think we each have a kind of mental image of "bearness".... you know kind of like Plato's forms?  And though the skills improve, and the details change... there's still that thread of continuity that carries through even if we are using a completely different pattern.  It's that mental image of "bearness." 

Kim Basta
Wild Thyme Originals

Jellybelly Bears Jellybelly Bears
Posts: 4,066

okay, here is my very first design from around 2001, began bear making in 99 3f.jpg
2nd design with tweaks to first to make her more girly 4f.jpg
my first mini design 2f.jpg
i'll have to take a photo of my first pattern bear.  he was a jennifer lainge and i still think hes cute

jenny Three O'clock Bears
warwickshire uk
Posts: 4,413

It's interesting to see that even though the bears are obviously 'first bears' ...the signature 'look' is clearly emerging in everyones work.

I haven't got pics of my very first bears as the photos were on my old computer that died, infuriatingly, losing everything, sadly.

Here's a couple of my earlier ones..I think I'd been going about 10 months at this stage:

...and my latest efforts:


Amanda Pandy Potter Bears
Staffordshire, UK
Posts: 1,864

IMG_1675.JPGIMG_0678.JPGIMG_1682.JPGA very interesting thread. I first did a miniature around eleven years ago and then that was it until this time last year. The panda was made from mohair and my first pattern that I drew myself. I did a couple of minis but then gave up.

The second panda was a new pattern that I started with last year and the third panda I finished today.

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

What a  great topic. I haven't been able to drop in as often as I like lately, so I have been missing everyone! Here are 2 bears - same pattern,  Barnham N Bearly. This is the 2000 version
And this is the 2006 version
If nothing else my photography has improved!


kbonsall Kim-Bee Bears
Posts: 5,645

I'll play

Here is one of my first needlefelted bears... (she resides with our Anne bear_original )

here are two newer one (this one is Peanut, he resides with our Amanda  bear_original )..


(this one is Snowy and he resides with Anne as well)

Here are some of my first bears...

This one is Scruffy and he is made of synthetic....

This one is Hannah and she was my first mohair bear...

And here are pics of recent bears...


kbonsall Kim-Bee Bears
Posts: 5,645

Sorry my pics are so big  bear_wacko   I didn't know how to reduce them early on LOL

Tammy Beckoning Bears
Nova Scotia
Posts: 3,739

This is a great topic !  It's fun to see how everyone's work has progessed.    Here are some of my first bears.
The white one is from a commercial pattern and was my 1st ever bear.  it was made from a awful sythentic fur- sherpa or something.  The rabbit fur bear was nicknamed " Quasimoto" by someone on TT before.  Fitting name I think  :crackup: Laugh as much as you'd like  bear_grin 

The bears below are samples of my recent fur, mohair and upholstery velvet creations.

Mikki Mikki, Cripple Creek Creative
Bethel, Ohio
Posts: 1,051

newfirstfeltie.jpgnew-firstfeltiepolar.jpgMy first Feltie wa a sleepy Llama, January,2004 and my most recent Feltie is a Polar Bear Family w/ a Penguin Chick.September,2006 This is a great idea, and just a little humbling.

minkbears Vintage Mink Bears by Kathy Myers
Lakewood CA
Posts: 1,387

chilly9a.jpgclassic1a.jpgOh boy, what fun!

My turn....I don't have any photos of my very first bears on this computer but I had recently taken a photo of one of my old mohair bears to share in the Classic Challenge. This bear is over 15 years old and 20 inches.

Compared that big mohair bear to what I do today which are little mink bears in the 6 inch range.

What a difference!!!!

~ Kathy Myers

JeannieB JeannieB Bears
Greensboro NC
Posts: 1,183

BB33601248.jpgIMGBB00006.JPGHope you'll don't mind some crochet bears, before and after. I will get hubbie to shrink some of the pictures of the kittens from the 1980's......they've really come a long way!
  One blue bear at the bottom is made from a free pattern in 2002 and the other is my pattern from 2006.

Tami E Tami Eveslage Original Teddy Bears
Milford Ohio
Posts: 2,367

I've just gotta say, again, there are some really fine looking "early/first bears" folks! It is cool to see the changes in style.
Well...MY early bears really look the part.  I like to think that I have come a long way.

Here's Hunnypaws:

And here's Baxter:

And here's my latest, Figaro (also posted in the showcase):

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

ff.jpgWhat fun! I wanna play too!!
The very first picture is my latest bear for the Moscow teddy bear show. Tzarevna Anna.

Here is my first bear ever. Made of plush and has lots of bell inside. So his name is Bell.

next, is my first mohair bear

my recent traditional bears

and of course my anime series

Hugs, Julia  :hug:

majdle Posts: 130

This is one of my first bears ever...hmmm..not that long ago:-) I´d say early January. I just knew I wanted to make a teddy, but I didn´t know how:-) So I made this pattern and tried it myself.


Then I searched the net hoping to find patterns - I found a lot of free ones and with them, I was able to get a lil know-how. Those two are my late January - early February creations:-)) They´re made after my sister friends Doubravka and Daniela and they bear their names.Here they are.


And this is my very last bear I finished today - Jackfrost:-) Not much of a change, but practice makes prefect.jack3.JPG

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