Let "Momma Bear" Teach You How To Make Miniature Jointed
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
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
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.