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Daphne Back Road Bears
Laconia, NH USA
Posts: 6,568
Website

I finally got around to reading through the new Ted Menton book I got and he had a lot of interesting techniques. Some I already know won't work for me or I already do, etc. but this was one I'd never tried:

When sewing head together sew one head side to gusset from neck to tip of nose. Then sew other head side on other side of gusset, neck to nose. THEN sew head sides together from nose, down chin, to neck.

I've always stitched chin first, then inserted gusset. Do any of you do it 'Ted's Way'? Or even tried it and wasn't happy? I'm interested in feedback on this method. It'll be another week or so before I can try it.

Thanks, Daphne

Deb Upstate New York
Posts: 1,650

Never have tried his method.  Have the book though, and have it on my list of things to try.
bear_grin

DebbieD Posts: 3,537

This sounds very much like the technique I just used for my center seam bear....that is, if I'm reading it right.  Why don't you try a small mohair head, just to see what it looks like?  if you don't like the technique, you can always just chuck the head.

Donna Donna's Duin Bruins
Burbank, CA
Posts: 900
Website

Daphne,
I use it for all of my bunnies!  I have started using if for my four and five inch bears.  You will want to trim the seams before stitching this nose or you will have wild hairs  coming out of the side bottom of the nose.  If you want to get really fast with the nose you can put the ultrasuede or felt on the tip of the nose before you stitch it then you have your template already in place.  The way my seams end up, I have a little of a bump where the nose is which I like.  I like to have a little of a raised nose on my bears.  Thinking about it now, I don't know why I don't do it this way all the time!  I guess I am just a creature of habit, I learned the other way and that is what I continue to do most of the time.  Try it on a head that you could use as a pin or ornament so that if you don't like it you are not wasting too much mohair.
Donna

pandamac 'EmBears
Northern New York State
Posts: 917
Website

I started doing it this way on all of my bears and have been very happy with it. It seems to make the head go together easier and quicker.........

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

I also do this after reading Ted's book. I find I get alot less lopsided heads this way.

Try it, it's not so bad.

kbonsall Kim-Bee Bears
Pennsylvania
Posts: 5,645

I use to do the way Ted does but now I do the other way like you do, Daphne... things line up better that way bear_original

krystolla Fuzzbutt Bears
Columbus Ohio
Posts: 87

Does he also do footpads that way? I've never tried gusset-first heads. I usually sew the chin first, and then sew the gusset on in stages on both sides -- nose to eye, eye to top of head and top of head to neck.

Erika
Fuzzbutt Bears

Gail Bear With Me Enterprises
Posts: 1,319
Website

What is the title of Ted Menten's book that all of you are referring to?
Hugs
Gail

SueAnn Past Time Bears
Double Oak, Texas
Posts: 19,261

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Teddy Bear Studio.

Jellybelly Bears Jellybelly Bears
Australia
Posts: 4,066
Website

Hi Daphne
I've never sewn my heads like that before...I wonder if this would produce an exact center nose seam...sometimes mine is a little off and I need to re sew.  I will try it out next bear ;)
Hugs Sarah

Love Bud Bears Love Bud Bears by Sandy
New Jersey
Posts: 224

Very interesting, I'll have to try this on my next bear. I've been having trouble in this area so hopefully this will help. ~ sandy

matilda Matilda Huggington-beare
WA
Posts: 5,551

Sorry, but I found nothing but trouble his way. IT MAY BE BECAUSE I HAND SEW?

I sew chin, then I sew nose to nose area on side of head up to the eye area.. Then I will sew from neck to eye on one side and then neck to eye on the other side. It makes any thing  from 4 to 5 seperate sewn areas. The nose can be done in 2 or 1 go. I just found that this works for me. It keeps my muzzles straight.  bear_thumb

Daphne Back Road Bears
Laconia, NH USA
Posts: 6,568
Website

Erika - foot pads this way.... had never thought of that... could be worth a try!

Donna - great advice! Thank you so much!!!  bear_thumb

Gail & Sarah - Ted Menten's Teddy Bear Studio is, I believe, at least his second bear making book. Can't say as I'd give it an outstanding review but he does have some very interesting techniques if you are willing to think outside the box. This book seems to assume you know the basics of bear making as many techniques are not explained, assuming you already know them. It focuses more on the quick and easy ways of bear making. I suppose you could call them short cuts. It does explain ways to bend arms/legs, shorten/lengthen them, how to make a boy body vs. a girl body (I found this interesting.... less pronounced shoulders but more pronounced hips for a girl for example - common sense but I never thought of it!  :doh: ). The book includes a couple of patterns and lots of photos of his bears. Oh, he also addresses the egyptian virus where your bear feet both turn the same direction. And some interesting info on how placement of joints in limbs as well as body effects what direction they go in once attached and stuffed. OK, so he had some great tips to share. It was all the typos that drove me crazy in the book and I simply felt some of this techniques were just plain being lazy. But.... for some they'd be quite helpful and if you need to crank out a bunch of bears in a hurry his ways would help you do that! And his book obviously made me re-think some of the things I do....

So, I'm going to try his way of sewing the gusset in on my next bear...... I'll let you know how it goes!! I may be with Matilda on this one... but, then again.....  bear_grin

:hug:  Daphne

Laura Lynn Teddies by Laura Lynn
Lexington, KY
Posts: 3,639
Website
Daphne wrote:

..... It was all the typos that drove me crazy in the book .....

LOL!!!  I didn't notice the typos!  Guess I was reading too fast  bear_whistle

DebbieD Posts: 3,537

bear_original Hmmmmmm....well it does sound an interesting book!  I like to look at different techniques from different artists.  What works well for one, does not necessarily work well for another.  And its fun to see the varying patterns, as you say, 'thinking outside the box'  bear_happy

Let us know how the new way of sewing goes for you  bear_thumb

sandi Snowy Day Bears
St. Albans, VT
Posts: 263

I think I'll get a copy of the book.  Sounds interesting.  I love reading about different ways of doing things.  Sometimes the smallest thing makes such a big difference.   I've learned something I could use in every book I've read.  My first reaction is to think the nose to neck method won't work for me but you never know until you give it a try.

Sandi

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

Hi Daphne

I kind of do it the way ted does - except I sew both pieces from nose centre to back of neck and then chin seam (I don't sew one piece neck to nose)
I have a regular round nose shape - from memory I think they gussets in Ted's books have those angular ends on them.

Like others that do it this way, I find it keeps the head more centred and as a bonus - the nose is easier to stitch as you have slightly less bulk somehow at the junction.  A a caveat I do always handsew and haven't tried this with a machine.


I LOVE IT and I know that Alexis does it that way too - even on teeny tiny bears her size.


Umm, I have to agree with you about the book - I was slightly disappointed with it - some great tips but I agree, some key stuff left out.  A very interesting book is the South African artists one.  Not a lot of techniques explained but some very interesting bears.  I have a sneaking suspicion that Lynette (Fred i bear) may have a bear in there.  Dammit, I lent my copy to someone and haven't seen it for 6 months to check.

Jellybelly Bears Jellybelly Bears
Australia
Posts: 4,066
Website

Thanks Daphne
sounds like a good book with some different teqniques to try....love the egyptian virus lol...definately had some bears with that!!  What does he say to do?  I've found paying close attention to stitching and stuffing is a great cure ;)
Hugs Sarah

matilda Matilda Huggington-beare
WA
Posts: 5,551

MMMMMmmmmmm you have got me really interested now. Will be waiting with baited breathe Daphne!!! bear_grin  bear_smile Matilda

Daphne Back Road Bears
Laconia, NH USA
Posts: 6,568
Website

For the Egyptian Virus..... he said stuffing was the key.... if you are right handed then you hold leg in left and stuff with right so you'll have a tendancy to push stuffing to the left which will result in feet pointing to left on both. He joints in such a way that he stuffs first then joints making it easier to stuff straight down into leg. If you joint first, then stuff, try being ambidexterous (sp?)!!! Or just be extra super careful with the direction in which you are pushing the stuffing in.

I think, in my case, that where the joint is on the leg and on the body also make a tad bit of difference. I'm going to keep an eye on it and let you know. I'll be jointing a dog today... 4 legs... we'll see if he's Egyptian or part pigeon!!

Deb Upstate New York
Posts: 1,650
Daphne wrote:

I'll be jointing a dog today... 4 legs...

Trying to digest this comment ....  bear_grin

Daphne Back Road Bears
Laconia, NH USA
Posts: 6,568
Website

Oh, Deb!!   bear_laugh   bear_laugh   bear_laugh   bear_laugh   bear_laugh
  bear_tongue

Jellybelly Bears Jellybelly Bears
Australia
Posts: 4,066
Website
Daphne wrote:

For the Egyptian Virus..... he said stuffing was the key.... if you are right handed then you hold leg in left and stuff with right so you'll have a tendancy to push stuffing to the left which will result in feet pointing to left on both. He joints in such a way that he stuffs first then joints making it easier to stuff straight down into leg. If you joint first, then stuff, try being ambidexterous (sp?)!!! Or just be extra super careful with the direction in which you are pushing the stuffing in.

I think, in my case, that where the joint is on the leg and on the body also make a tad bit of difference. I'm going to keep an eye on it and let you know. I'll be jointing a dog today... 4 legs... we'll see if he's Egyptian or part pigeon!!

Yep, thats what I've heard too, and it works most of the time.  I always stuff, then joint too.

Oh guess what??  I sewed the head on the bear I was working on last night the new way!  I liked it and I'm gonna be doing it again lol  I don't know...it gave me more control I think and instead of trying to work the gusset nose part around the curve or the side head part,  it lay flat and was easier...if that makes sense...anyway...my vote is for it!!  It was easier to keep all seams even too.  Mind you my bear is a little one, 5 inches...and mohair.  I stuffed it and will hopefully be finished tomorrow, so will post pics :)

Thanks for mentioning this Daphne bear_thumb
Hugs Sarah

mcawus Posts: 2

I think that the way that you sew the head will lead the character of your whole bear.  I try to pin the pieces together first and flip them right sides out.  Then I take a pic and try to draw noses over the top of the photo.  I think if you sew neck to nose between the 2 head pieces then the gusset then the nose is rounded more.  The way he describes is pointer and if you are going for a rounder look you end up spending extra time on  sculpting stitches for the nose.  I guess it all depends on what you are looking for.  I have tried both ways and really I prefer his method when making a classic ted but for a panda the rounded works better for me.

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