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MM13: Miniature Jointed Teddy Bear

w/ Lorraine Garner

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$29.95 + S&H

Table of Contents:

Tools and Materials
Pattern
Head
Legs and Arms
Assembly
Dressing
Sources

Approx. Running Time: 86 minutes

 


Let "Momma Bear" Teach You How To Make Miniature Jointed Teddy Bears

When you watch the ease with which Lorraine Garner creates a jointed teddy bear, you'll understand why her friends call her "Momma Bear." You see, Lorraine has been making bears for 20 years. And she's been teaching her techniques for the past 15 years.

And now, thanks to "Miniature Jointed Teddy Bear," Volume 13 of the multi-part Master Miniaturists Video Instructional Series, you'll have the privilege of having this master teacher share with you her experience in the privacy of your own home. In this video, Lorraine takes you step by step through the process of creating and dressing a hand-stitched, jointed miniature velvet bear with movable arms and legs. You'll also learn how to make a night shirt, vest, and a bonnet with bunny ears to create what she calls her "Easter Bear."

In order to make sure you'll have everything you need to create your teddy bear, the video begins with a detailed review of all the tools and materials Lorraine uses to create hers. You can purchase most of these materials at local craft and hobby shops. But just in case you can't find some of them, the final section of this video provides you with a series of resources where you can find them. The video also includes a free pattern for a 2-1/2" bear, which can be adjusted to make bears from 2" to 4" in size.

After your tools and materials are all laid out, your first step will be to trace your pattern onto the upholstery fabric from which you'll create your bear. To do this you'll need to know which way the fabric's nape is running. As any good teacher will do, Lorraine provides you with an easy tip to insure you do this right every time. And after tracing the pattern, she shows you how to cut the fabric to create the individual pieces that will form the various parts of your teddy bear.

When the pieces are all cut and laid out, you'll start working on the most intricate part of your bear, the head. The process begins by using a back stitch to stitch the two pieces of fabric you've cut for the head. "Don't use a whip stitch, or the stitching will be loose and it will show," Lorraine says. Make sure you pull your thread snug. Otherwise when you stuff your bear, the stitches might fall apart.

One of this video's strongest assets is that much of the demonstrations take place in real time. Camera close-ups capitalize on these real time demonstrations so it's easy for you to follow along to create your own bear.

Once the pieces are stitched together, you'll stuff them with poly fill. "For a small bear you don't need a huge amount of poly fill," says Lorraine. "Big bears have a ferocious appetite, and they eat a lot of stuffing" she jokes. "These little guys, however, don't eat too much."

Lorraine also reminds you that stuffing is a form of sculpturing. You're not only stuffing the bear, you're also forming him and giving him shape. Stuffing is what ultimately gives your bear that special look you really want.

"The head is the soul of your little bear," Lorraine says. "That's where his personality will be." Consequently, the head is the most difficult portion you'll be creating, as you add eyes, ears, and features to bring out his facial expressions. But with a teacher like Lorraine to guide you, you'll be an expert in no time at all. And once you master the head, you're ready to create a body for your bear.

For this you'll follow the same procedure of stitching the cutout pieces together. Once stitched, you'll attach the head to the body and stuff it. It's here that Lorraine will teach you another stitch to close the bear after he's been stuffed to insure that the stuffing will stay put.

After the head and body are attached the next stage will be to give your bear arms and legs. Again you'll follow the basic stitching and stuffing procedure you've used up till now. Then it's on to the final step, assembling the arms and legs onto your bear.

Using straight pins, you'll first place the arms onto your bear. Next you'll mark the spot using a felt tip marker, and finally you'll sew them on. Then you'll do the same for the legs. For attaching the arms and legs Lorraine recommends using dual duty thread, doubled and waxed for added strength and manageability.

In the final portion of the video, you'll learn how to dress your teddy bear. Here Lorraine show you how to put the cut pattern pieces together. But no actual stitching is demonstrated. That's because Lorraine recognizes that there are three ways to hold patterns together: hand stitching, using a sewing machine, or gluing. She recommends you choose the one you're most comfortable with and use it to create a night shirt, a vest, and a bonnet for your teddy bear.

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