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Past Time Bears - Artist bears designed and handcrafted by Sue Ann Holcomb

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

I am definitely not a fan of hand sewing...and if it fits under the presser foot of my Janome it gets sewn up on it. I just like to get to the 'good' bit as quickly as possible and so machining wins hands down.
I machine straight over the pins and in 6 years have only broken the needle once or twice, even when sewing in the foot and paw pads. I learned that method at the course I went on at BEARBITS with Jean and Bill Ashburner...and if it's good enough for them...it's fine by me too!!

bearhug07 Strange Bears
Sydney
Posts: 444

Well I'm a half and half........as my daughter does so many after school activities I take my sewing and do it by hand.........if I'm at home I do the bigger pieces on the machine.....BUT.......if I start a bear by hand I finish the bear by hand!!!  I can't do one arm by hand and the other by machine bear_grin  bear_grin  So I often have more than one on the go at the same time.

Weird I know but I feel I can say all hand sewn or not at all and there is a slight superstition in there as well.  I think it will be uneven or something if not done all the same way.

Plum Cottage Bears Plum Cottage Bears
Long Beach, CA
Posts: 2,151

Plum Cottage Bears Cute Animal Ambassador

I prefer the control of sewing the muzzle, paw and foot pads by hand.  Smaller bears (ten inches and below)I often sew completely by hand.  Larger bears, including Northern Light, my avatar (28 inches long) are machined.

mingrul Our Blue Iguana
Posts: 233

will it be uneven if it was not done the same way as what sandra said? That im also concerned.... also, if machine sewed, wont it be not that tight? That is the concept i get that is why i stick to sewing by hand.. but would love to try machine...  bear_laugh

I need to make clothes for my soon to be nephew! i dont plan to sew his clothes by hand! :crackup: maybe by the time his 1 years old, im still not done!

SueAnn Past Time Bears
Double Oak, Texas
Posts: 21,042

SueAnn Help Advisor, Banner Sponsor

mingrul wrote:

will it be uneven if it was not done the same way as what sandra said? That im also concerned.... also, if machine sewed, wont it be not that tight? That is the concept i get that is why i stick to sewing by hand.. but would love to try machine...  bear_laugh

I need to make clothes for my soon to be nephew! i dont plan to sew his clothes by hand! :crackup: maybe by the time his 1 years old, im still not done!

My thinking is that machine sewing will make the stitches tighter and certainly more even than I could ever hand sew.  I don't make minis, so that could be an entirely different story.  But, on my smaller bears, I hand sew the more tedious places like footpads and gusset, then go over it again on the machine.  Just my preference, however, and we all seem to have one.  Whatever works best for you is what I suggest.

Kat Brierley Bears
Barnsley, South Yorkshire
Posts: 384
Website

I hand sew everything at the minute.

I'm only 24 and I already have RSI (possibly carpel tunnel) in my right hand & wrist from all the typing I do at work. I manage to make a few bears, then I have to have a few weeks rest, because my hand decides to give up on me.
I haven't been able to do any sewing for the last three weeks or so, my hand and wrist are still not much better and I have two orders to do.

I'm looking for a nice old machine, maybe a treadle, at the minute so that I can save my hand a little by doing the bigger bits on machine.

I would love to keep hand sewing them, but if I don't start using a machine, my bear making career isn't going to last very long.

Marie_ Kiprie Bears
Yokohama, Japan
Posts: 2,735

Hi Melissa !   
I like to saw my bears by hand now (since I make less than 1 bears in month and my bears is 4" to 15" only) .
But I have used machine before. It took me 2-3 days to practice on sewing machine and it worked ok.   
I have a simple plane "Brother" machine wich was around $120.00(in Japan) and my sis bought me a simple " Singer" machine ,
she said it was $99.00 at Target(in USA). I use both and both work great for me.  I like to cut all mohair-hair in seems before
I start sewing and I use double stichs.  bear_original

Jigpaws Jigpaws
Edinburgh, Scotland
Posts: 564

I sew all mine by hand  bear_original

Making bears is my way of relaxing at night, I like nothing better than making myself comfy on the settee and getting my needle and thread out!! I've tried a couple of times to sew bears using the machine but I just don't find it as pleasurable. I also feel I have more control with hand sewing  bear_smile  bear_smile

Hugs
Janice

bhbears Bearhaven Bears
Merrickville, Ontario
Posts: 224

I'm a hand sewer and that is why my bear production numbers are very low bear_wacko , I've tried the machine but the thing scares the dickens out of me.  I think the monster has a mind of it's own and goes all wily nilly on me and I can't get the tension right, nasty beast makes a mess of my good mohair bear_shocked .  I find I have more control with hand stitching and I'm all about control.  If I could find an old hand crank machine I'd be a very happy girl would make sewing the bigger bear bits go a lot faster.  I would always still sew head and paws by hand but would be nice to get through the tedious cadaver parts in a jiffy. HMMMMMMMMMMMM something for me to think about.
Hugs Deborah

eteddys eTeddys
Phoenix, AZ
Posts: 880
Website

Mellisa,
I sew everything by machine.  I've been sewing by machine since I was a child.  My dad always teased that I sewed like a bat out of you know where.   bear_whistle He comes over to my house and says, yep, you still sew the same.  I can even sew a 4 inch mini ALL on my machine.  I have an old singer.  It's a mid-sized machine, not quite as small as a feather weight but sews identical to one.  I would recommend an OLD machine.  I've had some new ones and they just don't cut the mustard.  All my machine does is sew in a straight line.  No zigzag, no fancy schmancy stuff.  This is all you need to make teddy bears.  So, don't go out and buy something from the store, unless you have a shop that carries old machines that others have traded in.  Get yourself a 50's or older Singer.  You won't be frustrated with too many buttons and they sew like a dream!

Alison

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