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MoonlitNight MoonlitNightNurseryArtDolls
California
Posts: 7
Website

Hey all!
My name is Shannon. I am professional art doll artist (Moonlit Night Nursery Art Dolls), but brand spankin' new to teddy bear making. I am clueless as far as where to begin *scratches head*. Where would I go to find bear making kits to start off with? Please help this newbie out lol Thank you in advance bear_original

CrawlyCreepies Posts: 65

Welcome to the forum! I think Edinburgh Imports sells some bear making kits. If you're interested in working small, Sassy Bear Fabrics has mini kits.

Edit: Many of different kinds of plushie making kits are available on Etsy as well.

dangerbears Dangerbears
Wisconsin
Posts: 5,914
Website

A kit is a great way to get started!

Our site sponsor has kits (http://www.themohairstore.com/pattern-and-kits.html) for mini-bears designed by Pam Holton.

Becky

BerLynne Ontario -GTA
Posts: 37

Hello and welcome bear_original

I started with a kit by Emma's Bears/Furaddicton, first and foremost because they were the cheapest to have mailed to Canada  (And I adore her designs of course). They have both faux fur and mohair kits in quite a few patterns.  Emma has a etsy shop as well.

https://furaddictionstore.com

MoonlitNight MoonlitNightNurseryArtDolls
California
Posts: 7
Website

You are all awesome!! Thank you so much for the info! It's greatly appreciated!!

MoonlitNight MoonlitNightNurseryArtDolls
California
Posts: 7
Website

If you all don't mind, another question? What kind of needle and thread is best? This the kit I am going to start with? I feel so clueless haha  http://www.themohairstore.com/ike-by-pam-holton.html

CrawlyCreepies Posts: 65

Don't worry, asking questions is what the forum is here for!

Just an ordinary sewing needle will work for most of it, but you do need a longer needle for some of the finishing techniques like thread sculpting, thread jointing, and attaching eyes. These techniques require a needle that can comfortably go all the way through the head/body with length to spare. For that 5" piece, a 2.5" needle should work.

Regular sewing thread works for most of the plushie, but once again, thread sculpting, thread jointing, and attaching eyes require stronger thread. However, when working at such a small scale, ordinary sewing thread should be strong enough.

Since you're working small, you will need some hemostats or small jewelers' pliers to turn the pieces right side out (and to secure the cotter pins).

MoonlitNight MoonlitNightNurseryArtDolls
California
Posts: 7
Website
CrawlyCreepies wrote:

Don't worry, asking questions is what the forum is here for!

Just an ordinary sewing needle will work for most of it, but you do need a longer needle for some of the finishing techniques like thread sculpting, thread jointing, and attaching eyes. These techniques require a needle that can comfortably go all the way through the head/body with length to spare. For that 5" piece, a 2.5" needle should work.

Regular sewing thread works for most of the plushie, but once again, thread sculpting, thread jointing, and attaching eyes require stronger thread. However, when working at such a small scale, ordinary sewing thread should be strong enough.

Since you're working small, you will need some hemostats or small jewelers' pliers to turn the pieces right side out (and to secure the cotter pins).


Thank you so very much for the information! Oh boy, I don't know what I got myself into lol I didn't even think about needing hemostats or pliers due to the size. Eeek!  bear_laugh

dangerbears Dangerbears
Wisconsin
Posts: 5,914
Website

Here is a good list of basic tools: https://www.teddybearacademy.net/what-t … eddy-bear/

I guess the alligator clips are for clipping fabric pieces together. I use pins, but with small pieces, the clips might work well.  bear_original

Becky

CrawlyCreepies Posts: 65
dangerbears wrote:

I guess the alligator clips are for clipping fabric pieces together. I use pins, but with small pieces, the clips might work well.  :)

Huh, I'd worry about the "teeth" on alligator clips damaging delicate fabrics. My mom has some tiny plastic sewing clips without teeth, though.

MoonlitNight MoonlitNightNurseryArtDolls
California
Posts: 7
Website

Do you all think it would be easier for me to start with a bigger bear?

BerLynne Ontario -GTA
Posts: 37

I personally cannot seem to manage the really wee ones, but that might just be my preference for the big cuddlers working over my subconscious!  bear_happy I've had the pieces to this 4" poor bunny sitting in a Ziploc baggie half finished for what feels like forever now because I find my fingers fumble the seam stitching and cramp more easily then when I work on any of the larger practice bears I've currently got started, stashed in other baggies.  The really large bears pose their own difficulties, but it really is a matter of your patience regardless of the size I imagine, as long as you remember that this is your first and to take your time, even be willing to redo the occasional stitch or even full seam, which I admit to having a hard time doing myself since I'm always in a hurry to see the finished results - which could have been better if I slowed down... few franken-bears and an ewok so far, but   I haven't given up yet!   bear_laugh

And I'd like to share the same warning about alligator clips, though with a lot of synthetic faux fur they work well with the more forgiving backings, but with leathers, suedes or super short velour/minky type fabrics they can leave marks. Ive got a set of "WonderClips" which I adore but I found that they were expensive for what they did and a cheap alternative that I found works pretty well are clothing pins ( plastic  &  wooden worked equally as well)

Sorry! Even though my teddies are not exactly works of art and I'm just a rank amateur, I'm pretty long winded!  bear_rolleyes

- Amber

MoonlitNight MoonlitNightNurseryArtDolls
California
Posts: 7
Website
BerLynne wrote:

I personally cannot seem to manage the really wee ones, but that might just be my preference for the big cuddlers working over my subconscious!  bear_happy I've had the pieces to this 4" poor bunny sitting in a Ziploc baggie half finished for what feels like forever now because I find my fingers fumble the seam stitching and cramp more easily then when I work on any of the larger practice bears I've currently got started, stashed in other baggies.  The really large bears pose their own difficulties, but it really is a matter of your patience regardless of the size I imagine, as long as you remember that this is your first and to take your time, even be willing to redo the occasional stitch or even full seam, which I admit to having a hard time doing myself since I'm always in a hurry to see the finished results - which could have been better if I slowed down... few franken-bears and an ewok so far, but   I haven't given up yet!   bear_laugh

And I'd like to share the same warning about alligator clips, though with a lot of synthetic faux fur they work well with the more forgiving backings, but with leathers, suedes or super short velour/minky type fabrics they can leave marks. Ive got a set of "WonderClips" which I adore but I found that they were expensive for what they did and a cheap alternative that I found works pretty well are clothing pins ( plastic  &  wooden worked equally as well)

Sorry! Even though my teddies are not exactly works of art and I'm just a rank amateur, I'm pretty long winded!  bear_rolleyes

- Amber

I appreciate all the info. I really do!! I'm like that too, when it comes to wanting to hurry and see the finished results lol I have a feeling the ones that are a little bigger would be best for me

BerLynne Ontario -GTA
Posts: 37

Would you be doing any work with a sewing machine or entirely by hand? A bear in the 12"-14" range is a lot less work if you'll be doing a fair amount of hand stitching, but there's something so wonderful about a good 19" hugger! I did a 19" in a horrid, cheap black faux fur (Not from a  kit) who definitely had a good deal of.. *ahem* character (flaws  bear_laugh  ) but I did him by hand and he took absolutely forever to finish!

MoonlitNight MoonlitNightNurseryArtDolls
California
Posts: 7
Website
BerLynne wrote:

Would you be doing any work with a sewing machine or entirely by hand? A bear in the 12"-14" range is a lot less work if you'll be doing a fair amount of hand stitching, but there's something so wonderful about a good 19" hugger! I did a 19" in a horrid, cheap black faux fur (Not from a  kit) who definitely had a good deal of.. *ahem* character (flaws  bear_laugh  ) but I did him by hand and he took absolutely forever to finish!

I would be hand stitching

BerLynne Ontario -GTA
Posts: 37

From my (very limited  bear_happy ) experience, 12" is small, but still large enough that it wasn't a huge issue to turn the pieces right side out, but Again, the hand stitching of a larger bear will take longer.

dangerbears Dangerbears
Wisconsin
Posts: 5,914
Website

I agree, maybe a bear in the 9” - 12” range would be a good place to start.  bear_original

Becky

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