Thursday, September 2, 2010

Trying to Get Ahead?

I am often asked how I go about making a teddy bear. Not the specifics mind you. They aren’t asking for a dissertation. They are just curious.

I’ve found there are as many ways to make a bear as there are artists and each has figured out a way that works for them.

For me, especially when it’s a new design, but even on the tried and true ones, I make the head first.


I think my logic goes something like “if the head turns out okay, then I can work on the body, but if I mess up the head at least I haven’t ruined an entire bear”.


The odd thing is that when I get the head completed satisfactorily, I scramble to make his body and put it together. Then I make an arm, just one, so I can see how it would look. Then I make a leg to give me a better idea. If it comes together as planned, then I go back and make another arm and another leg. Oh – I know – it’s a bit weird.

I don’t really know how to figure the percentage of work that the head accounts for but I sort of feel like if I’ve gotten that far, the rest will easily follow.


Therefore, most of the time, when I am making bears I’m not trying to get ahead, I’m trying to get a head. Potato – potahto, tomato – tomahto . . .


  1. I sew every piece and then I do the head. But your way is logically, too. And the bears can see how you sew the body... "Oh, please I want a round belly" giggle, giggle, giggle.

  2. OMG how cute are these guys I think the bluish head is my fave with his little open mouth can't wait to see the rest of them
    hugs Nikki

  3. This makes sense to me, Ginger, I think I have to know "who" will be looking at me to see what will be the result. As soon as I know "him", I start sewing the body, the legs, the arms, and Whilst that I have time enough to think about dressing or not, accessoires and a story behind "he" is going to tell me....

    It´s fun, isn´t it?

    The very top head is special and really lovely!

    Have a nice day!

  4. Ohhhhh sooooo sweet the litte Bears. I love the Bears. I hope i can see the three sweetys finisch. Potato is my favorit. Best wishes from Germany, but sorry for my bad english.

  5. Gracias por tu explicación.
    Aun así me parece muy dificil hacer un osito.
    y súper dificil, la expresión tan dulce que logras.
    Besitos, May

  6. Love It!! Those heads look Cuuutttee!

  7. Hi Miss Ginger,

    We LOVE them - soooo sweet. Can't wait to see them with their little bodies.

    Please be safe - hopefully Hurricane Earl will move farther east into the Atlantic.

    Heaps of Sticky Hugs (we are eating our honey & peanut butter and are a sticky mess) Giggle.

    Prudence & Sissy

  8. Oh my, I love that last head on the left!!

    Yeah, I always make the head first too... for me there's something so satisfying about that moment you plunk the eyes into it. :)

    ... plus sewing the ears on is something that, if I leave it till last, will sit undone for a long time... not sure why, but ears bring out the laaaaazy in me.

  9. Pues te tengo que decir, que puedes seguir con el resto de cuerpo porque estas dos cabecitas, te han quedado Fantasticassssssssssss!!!!!!!
    Pero que preciosidad de ositos.
    No importa la forma que tienes de realizarlos, lo importante es que tus ositos tiene vida propia, enhorabuena.
    besitos ascension

  10. Hee hee, what cute heads! I'm terrible, I design a pattern and just cut the whole thing out in a oner without having any idea of what will turn out...

  11. Well, I imagine the head is where the personality comes from...okay, now you've created the little guy and the body comes next because of necessity. I know you probably talk to them as you make them.
    I love that one with the white face and the red hair and that cute little nose. He has already found a place in my heart and he doesn't have a body yet.
    Mama Bear

  12. Hi Ginger,
    They are all keepers !!! So cute...

    I do the same thing. I make the head first, that way if I don't like it I just start over to make sure the head is right. :)


  13. I tend to do the head first, too. In fact, I have designed three full bear patterns that way: head first. I created the head pattern, cut it out, sewed it up, and finished it before designing the body and limbs! I kinda like the little sweet faces peering up at me from an antique teacup and waiting patiently for me to finish. (They don't take up much room on my crowded desk that way.)

    Love the last photo--that little brown guy is just darling!

  14. Your little bears are so adorable. I don't always leave a comment, but I do stop by to see what you are making. Have a great day.

  15. I ALWAYS do the head first, for the very same reason you do. I love all your adorable little bears heads!


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