I frequently have people ask about a lower priced fur bear option. They are just looking for an option that allows each family member to have a little keepsake of the original garment. So, I’m thinking about adding my “Friendship Bear” option but am very conflicted about it.
I prefer to make the jointed bears from fur because they are a higher quality final product that should last a lifetime if taken care of. However, they are time consuming and the price I have to charge reflects that.
I created a little pattern for about a 10″ non-jointed bear many years ago. I call it my “Friendship Bear”. It is much simpler to make than a jointed bear so I could bring it down to a price point of $65-$75. However, it doesn’t convey near the quality that my jointed bears do and I don’t want to dilute my brand. Any thoughts?
I posted this on my Facebook Page when it was first done but this was such an interesting project that it needs to go here as well. Rita Manogue asked me to make a unique wall hanging from several fur coats she had. I did quite a bit of research to see what kind of fur wall hangings/blankets etc. are out there. My first instinct was to look for Native American themed blankets but all of the images I could find on the internet were very basic so I decided to step off the cliff and see if I could make a sculpted wall hanging with a wolf theme. This is one I’m really proud of.
I frequently have people call and ask what I can do for them with their wedding dress. Although FGC offers several options, they tend to be all over this web site so I created a new sub-page under Heirloom Gifts called “What to do with a Wedding Dress” that gives links to all of the different items through the web site that can be made from wedding dress fabrics/materials.
I am planning to expand our Wedding Dress Conversions services this year to include a selection of purses, some additional Christening accessories and Communion accessories and a couple more Bridal gift options as well so check in every now and then.
People often ask about the patterns I use and, with my bears, it is complicated because the patterns are an amalgamation of several patterns that I combined and then, those patterns have morphed over the past 16 years as I adapted them to work with every kind of material thrown my way However, I don’t get to do different animals that often in an average year so I usually use an existing pattern.
This was the first time I’ve used this monkey pattern. I normally like to use the monkey pattern from the book Adventures in Toy-Making by Gillian Bradshaw-Smith (published in 1976). It is a fun pattern and I like the look. However, there was a pattern in another book I have Sew Soft and Cuddly Animals by Donna Childers (published in 1978) that has had me intrigued for some time so I decided to give it a try. It is a more difficult pattern, but I do like that the features are more defined. The face, ears, foot and hand pads are made of doe suede. It had the right texture to go with this fur.
This pony pattern is also found in Sew Soft and Cuddly Animals. It is my favorite for thicker fabrics or fur usually. There is another really good pony pattern in the book Easy-to-Make Stuffed Animals & All the Trimmings by Jodie Davis (published in 1992) but the legs are somewhat thin so they don’t work as well with thick fur or fabrics. For this pony, I chose to add some of my own contrast black mink on the hooves and found some died black fox for the main and tail. To help him stand, I did sink small dowel rods wrapped in poly fiber fill into each of his legs
For the dog, I have a lot of different dog patterns to choose from–including a variety of breeds–however, I keep coming back to McCall’s Crafts Pattern #M6620. I’ve used this pattern many times and really like it for a basic dog even though it has a couple of different breeds represented. It isn’t a particularly easy pattern, but the finished dog usually actually looks like a dog
By popular request, I’ve developed a non-jointed memory bear pattern for those who want a softer and more “squishy” bear to hug. These happy, huggable bears are intended to bring comfort, joy and good memories.
Our signature bear has jointed arms and legs. Joints allow you to move the arms and legs up and down and allows you to position a bear. They also allow the placement of the legs so that the bear can sit on its own. However, to accomodate the joints, we have to stuff the bears firmly so, although they are cuddly, they aren’t soft and “squi…shy” cuddly.
By creating a non-jointed bear, we don’t have to stuff it so firmly so we can make a much softer bear. Our non-jointed bear is not only great for hugging, it is going to be a bit more durable for younger children to play with and much more cuddly to crawl into bed with and hug at night. On top of that, we are able to offer it at a lower price than our jointed bears.
We are currently only offering one size. Our 16″ non-jointed fabric bear is $75 each and our fur-based non-jointed bear is $95 each. Shipping is additional.
Her wedding dress was covered in lace so we tried to really bring out the lace in each project. We made an ornate, unisex gown using the lovely older satin from the WD and created a lacy robe to go over it. We also made bib, diaper cover, kerchief, headband and a petal rose corsage.
Monica Barker sent her late aunt’s fur jacket/cape from the 1960s and asked me to make two cats for her and her mother for Christmas this year. She specifically wanted Siamese cats, but I could not find a pattern specifically for that breed of cat and the coloring of the fur wasn’t really a good match. However, I think we ended up with some very pretty cats.