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I’ve spent a lot of time in the last week working on those two teddy bears that I promised to my friend.  Of course, it was too much to ask that the construction of these little bears would go smoothly, and naturally, it didn’t.

The end result?  I had to make a 3rd bear because I wasn’t satisfied with the ‘look’ of one of the bears. 
Because they are both going to the same family, I felt that the bears needed to look quite a bit alike, so that neither child felt they got a lesser present.  My first two bears didn’t look at all alike, in spite of the fact that I used the same pattern for both.  Bear #3 fits the bill perfectly.  But of course construction of bear #3 was not without its problems.  Wrong size safety eyes (to make the bears child safe) meant that the head had to be unconstructed and the eyes needed to be cut off, carefully, so as not to damage the fur as I had absolutely no extra fabric after cutting out the pattern. After installing the correct size eyes, I discovered that the seams near the eyes were fraying badly, (why couldn’t I have noticed that before I installed the replacement eyes?) so I had to re-stitch by hand as the eyes were in the way for sewing on the machine.  I also used some fray check as an extra guarantee.

But I did finally manage to get the 3rd bear done, and I’m very happy with the way he turned out.   I think the children will love their new playmates. I still think they need little sweaters, so that’s the next project.

 

Last year my DD came for a visit shortly before Christmas and had with her a mink stole that her husband found when cleaning out one of their storage units that had been abandoned by the renter.  Would I like it, she asked.  Well, of course, I said yes – so now, finally, I’ve ordered some sticky cloth, and when it arrives, I’ll take the stole apart and start making a real fur bear that I think I’ll give to DD for Christmas.  In the meantime, I need to get back to the block of the month paper piecing as I’m starting to fall behind.  

After a very slow start, my vegetable garden is finally starting to produce a few salad fixings!  Lettuce, green onions and radishes are finally ready to be eaten, although two hot sunny days have caused my spinach patch to bolt.  But the vendors at our Farmer’s Market have lots to choose from and this past Saturday I got a wonderful bunch of beets and some new potatoes. Unfortunately, I arrived too late to score some of the first of the local strawberries.  Maybe next weekend. 

 

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Comment by barbara a. johnson on July 10, 2014 at 8:55pm

Thanks Rebecca for the tips!

Right now I am working on a memory pillow project.

teddies will be  future project, again thank you, Barbara

Comment by Rebecca Sundberg on July 10, 2014 at 4:02pm

Oh - more stuff to consider  - use leather needles in your machine.  I use ultra suede for paw pads when I make them out of real fur (also available from bear supply stores) but good quality wool felt for the paws when making them out of mohair.  Glass eyes if they're not for a small child - safety eyes if the child is under 3.  This is an excellent source if you're in the States  http://www.crscraft.com/ 

Rebecca

Comment by Rebecca Sundberg on July 10, 2014 at 3:58pm

Barbara - I'm quite new here myself.  Welcome.  The skins of real fur is quite delicate - and seams tend to rip when you're stuffing the bear.  So I use something called 'sticky cloth' that, like the name implies, sticks to the skin side of the fur and makes it sturdier and able to take the stress on the seams.  However, be warned.  It's sticky.  It gums up the machine needles something awful - I use nail polish remover to get the sticky off the needles.  And it also gums up the needles used for hand sewing closed the seams.  Find a pattern for a bear that you really like and just follow the instructions.  I get my sticky cloth from here http://www.laboursoflove.com/ (Canadian source in BC, where I live)  but I'm sure any bear making supply place on the internet would sell it as well. Good luck with it - you'll have a stunning bear when you're done!

Comment by barbara a. johnson on July 10, 2014 at 3:32pm

I am new here, but TEDDIES are my soft spot... these are wonderful...I have a fur stole in my closet and would love to know if there is anything special required to use it for making a Teddy!  B

Comment by Donna Sykes on July 9, 2014 at 8:05pm

Your bears came out beautifully. Your friend is going to love them, especially when they are dressed in their spiffy sweaters! Nice job.

Comment by Mary/ Tewksbury MA on July 8, 2014 at 9:36am

Beautiful, the kids will love them.  I don't think the cream one looks worried, more pensive I think....perhaps he's a dreamer looking forward to his next adventure.

Comment by Rebecca Sundberg on July 8, 2014 at 9:13am

They seem to take on personalities when I'm making them.  I thought the cream coloured one looked a little worried - hoping he's going to a nice child who will love him and take good care of him.  LOL.

Comment by Barbara Graham on July 8, 2014 at 9:11am

Those are great bears! The kids will love them.

Comment by Carol Wadkins on July 8, 2014 at 5:06am

They are so darling, what beautiful work!!

 

Comment by Barb/WI on July 8, 2014 at 5:04am

Beautiful bears...they should be treasured! 

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