Teddy Bear Making
Stuffing a Teddy Bear
An Excersice in the Art of Shaping
By: Nancy T On: Mon 01 of Mar., 2010 19:09 CST expires: Sun 01 of Mar., 2020 00:00 CST (996 Reads)
Stuffing A Bear
I find that the best way to stuff a bear is by using small lumps of stuffing that are about the size of a kiwi. Hold the appendage in your hand, cupping the area that you are putting the stuffing into, with your palm. Holding the appendage this way also helps to prevent you pushing your stuffing stick right through the leather.
If you use big chunks of stuffing, you can get a â€˜log jam.â€™ This build up of stuffing prevents you from sliding bits of stuffing into the bear where you want them to go. Stuffing is an exercise in shaping. Itâ€™s not just a matter of putting in as much fluff as you can. The shaping you do by sliding in small amounts of stuffing with your stuffing stick can make a DRAMATIC difference in the appearance of your bear.
Once again, precision is the word of the day. You should be aware the proper stuffing could take a lot of time. Sometimes it happens quickly, other times, a bear can take me several hours to stuff!
Pack down your stuffing so as to fill out any ridges and puckers. This is especially important in the face (muzzle) and the paws. Your muzzle should be nice and firm with NO ridges. Ridges make ugly lines in your shaving later. Youâ€™ll be amazed how much stuffing your bear will eat!
One other thing to watch out forâ€¦. I like to call it the â€˜Right Hand Twist.â€™ This is SOOOO commonâ€¦youâ€™ll have to make an effort to see just how common it is the next time you visit a teddy bear show. Right hand twist occurs when you apply a little bit of extra pressure towards the right as you are stuffing your bear. The result is most obvious in the legs, and generally is most prevalent if you stuff after the bearâ€™s legs are attached rather than before. The result of the slight extra pressure? The bearâ€™s left leg will want to twist in an outward manner. The right leg looks like it is upright, but actually it twists towards the left as well. It is not as pronounced a twist because the bearâ€™s body gets in the way and stops it. The left leg however points distinctly outwards!
To prevent this, hold the legs in the â€˜cuppedâ€™ palm of your hand while you stuff. Be careful not to twist the stuffing stick as you go, and stuff the legs before you attach them.
A twist can also occur while you are sewing. This is often a result of the top layer of fur or leather shifting in one direction while you are pinning. During the pinning, sewing and stuffing stage, the appendages should always lay flatâ€¦without any twists. Once again, precision in your work is the key!
(What if youâ€™re left handed? Youâ€™re not off the hook. Your bear can suffer from â€˜Left hand Twistâ€™â€¦and the leg will point towards the bearâ€™s right.)