Gifts That Tie Generations Together

Furry Friendship Bears

friendship-b02I 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?


Turning fur Coats into a Wall Sculpture

manoguer-wolf02webI 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.

What to do with a Wedding Dress

wd-conversionsI 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.

Picture Pretty Princess

Emmy1OOOOOHHHH, pictures! Kelly Butcher sent pictures of her daughter in the Christening outfit we created for her from her Mother’s wedding dress.

I absolutely LOVE getting to see the outfits being worn and isn’t this one such a cutie?



Stuffed Menagerie

BuschN animals01webNancy Busch wanted something a little different from her mink fur coats.  She wanted a Monkey, a Pony and a Dog–so that is what we made!

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.

BuschN monkey01webThis 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.


BuschN pony01webThis 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


BuschN dog01webFor 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 :)

Soft and Squishy Non-Jointed Bears Now Available

nj fur andfabric02We now offer soft, squishy, non-jointed Memory Bears!

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 “squishy” 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.

Click here to find out more about our fabric non-jointed bears or

Click here to find out more about our fur non-jointed bears

Memory bears with outfits

This Christmas Season, we had a number of people ask for outfits on their bears.  As much as possible, we will make whatever you want on your bear that will make that bear special to you and your family.  Clothing, hats, glasses . . . you let us know what you want.

CaseyH bear01web Northrop BaumerJ01web CarvilleL01web SprinzC01webKaderbackD01webMarvinJ02webHunter S01webWolfeL01webhamiltonG01webSRbeara01webllpartydress02webSRbearc02web

Grandmother’s Wedding Dress Converted to Gifts

OconnorK gownrobe01webKathleen O’Connor sent her wedding dress from 1956 to have a number of Christmas gifts made, including a unisex christening outfit for her grandchildren and great grand children to use.

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.

OconnorK ornaments01webwd rosecorsage01OconnorK booties01web OconnorK bib01web OconnorK bonnet01webOconnorK headband01web OconnorK panties01web

Fur Jacket made into Cats

Barker Monica

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.

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