'Modern Soft Toy Making' by Margaret Hutchings - first published 1959
Don't be put off by the term 'soft toy making' by the way, many of the techniques featured in this vintage book are still used in modern bear artistry today. In fact, if you have an urge to begin designing your own teddy bears, I think it's entirely useful to study as many toy making and crafting books, past and present, as possible, in order to fully understand how best to develop your potential. I've been designing my own range of bears for about fifteen years and I am still discovering new skills, which for me, is a major part of keeping the process fresh and exciting.
'Complete book of stuffed work' by Toni Scott - first published 1978
And then of course, there are recent bear-making manuals aplenty; these are the three I would class as teddy bear artist bibles and no self-respecting bear art shelf should be without them!
'101 bears to make' by Nancy Tillberg, 'Constructing teddy and his friends' by Jennifer Laing and 'A bear of my own' by Rotraud Illisch
Aside from crafting publications, you can also enhance your bear design knowledge greatly by studying many other teddy bear related books. I'm thinking of reference books featuring vintage/antique bears, auction house catalogues, specialist collectors'magazines etc ... I'll share some of my favourites with you another day!
In the meantime, do keep your eyes peeled for some of the rarer vintage gems - they can often be found in second hand bookstores, or on internet sites. Don't be put off by tatty dust covers, because often you'll find a treasure trove of relevant bear-making information inside those faded covers and all for only a few pounds!