Friday, 27 September 2013

Classic Bear - New 10 Inch Pattern

Still getting smaller, this is a new pattern now down to 10 inches, well perhaps that is a little optimistic and he is more like 10.5 including his ears.



I have made one or two bears around 6 inches tall in the past, I find the temptation to grow them larger again very strong because I do find the work a little fiddly for my fingers at that size, this 10 inch size is just about small enough to be comfortable to work with. 

Finding a supply of genuine vintage boot buttons in a suitable size is tricky, so I have to keep a look out and match up pairs from my supply.  On this bear the slightly larger proportion give him a more cub like look.


I returned to my ideal of a bear which will stand by itself too, I don't want to alter the vintage feel by adding weight to the feet so the balance is just in the design, helped by nice long feet.

This is Gilbert, the first bear available from the new pattern, others will be in different colours and each will have an individual finish.  Gilbert has been heavily aged and his fur is a faded greenish goldish grey colour, the foot pads are stained and I would say his overall appearance is "dusty attic find"

On this bear the wood wool filling is crunchy but quite firm.
Please visit my website to see if Gilbert is still available and for information on availability of more bears in this pattern
or email for more information

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Black Bear - Cornelius

Black Bears seem to have a special appeal, almost every artist will say that the black fabric is difficult to work because it is so hard to see what you are doing.  It is also quite difficult to get the facial features to show up sufficiently well.
I opted for light colour paw pads and the rather clever device, first used by Steiff many years ago, of the circle of red felt behind the eyes which gives them a particular emphasis.  I also prefer to use all black embroidery, the nose is sewn high in the very early style.

It is also quite tricky to photograph them, so I have lightened the images a little to help show more detail.

The idea for this particular bear had a rather odd beginning.  I had been admiring the buttonholes sewn onto doll clothing by my mother, and as a diversion to relax I tried to hand sew buttonholes myself.  Having worked my way through various threads to make them neat and scaled down for Teddy clothing I discovered some rather nice red silk.  From that the idea came to make bright red buttonholes on a waistcoat to complement the red felt discs behind the eyes of a black bear; That might seem a bit long winded but it is the way my mind wanders and it is typical of the rather tortuous route taken by ideas on their way from my brain to a bear.
So the reason that all the pictures show his bottom button undone, in addition to sartorial convention, is that I wanted everybody to see that I worked becomingly increasingly crossed eyed under a magnifying lamp, to hand sew red silk buttonholes on his waistcoat.
Cornelius also incorporates the extra floppy zone at his neck and shoulders, this along with the heavily fatigued finish on his fur, helps add to the aged appearance and feel.


He has been named Cornelius and is now available for adoption on my website at
Thank you for reading about Cornelius
for more information contact me as always at