Thursday, 24 April 2008

Bringing the past to life ...

Peregrine 16"

After creating Peregrine from a beautiful piece of antique mohair earlier this year, I couldn't resist purchasing some more wonderful vintage mohair when it was made available to me a few weeks ago. I also had the good fortune to purchase some original German boot button leather eyes! There's something very exciting about making a teddy bear from such venerable material and it really is a privilege to be able to bring it back to life!

Antique mohair with tapestry

I've been working with an amazing piece from my new antique fabric stash this week; it has a beautiful patina and a fabulous tapestry design woven through it. So far, this has been a nail biting exercise because parts of the fabric have been a little too frail for purpose and of course, I wanted to utilise the tapestry design to its fullest potential to create a truly striking big bear, so it was crucial I made certain I didn't waste any of the precious mohair.

Work in progress ...

As I write, I have two arms, two legs and a body ready and later today I will work on the head, no doubt with baited breath! I'm not at all sure I will be offering this bear for sale, but nonetheless, I thought you might enjoy watching him evolve. Please keep your fingers crossed for me, I simply can't afford to have any head catastrophes today!

Original vintage German boot button eyes


  1. Thats wonderful fabric! I'd be just as nervous about using it, its not as if you can order some more! I'm sure he or she will turn out unique,original and very, very special.

    Hugs, Sarah x

  2. Paula, what beautiful fabric to create a real one of kind bear. I can't wait to see the result, and hope his head comes together effortlessly for you.

  3. this will be a wonderful bear...
    I have been trying to decide what to do with some vintage curtain panels from our old house; my sister wants me to try. so..some day...but they are totally flowery....hmmmm.......

    This is one of the reasons I never do a head last...I am the type who always has to do the head first. I have to see it done. When I know that part is okay, I carry on with the rest...
    If it is you line it to help with securing things? I have done that with some fabrics to help hold things better...

    love the little boot buttons....

  4. Paula, what absolutely beautiful fabric. This bear is going to be a stunner. I have no doubt the head will be perfect and I'm anxious to see him completed.

  5. Paula you brave girl, I know how nerve racking the antique stuff can be. I have several pieces and so far have only cut into two of them and boy was I scared... I lined both with an iron on interfacing seemed to help strengthen it a wee bit. Your bits and pieces of body parts already look amazing I can't wait to see the completed bear.

    I have several pieces of incredibly thick long antique mohair way to big for my small guys if your interested I can send you some and tons of the boot button eyes I love sharing and I know you could do a much better job with this stuff than I could. Just let me know if you are interested. Hugs Deborah

  6. Hello, thanks for stopping by! I'm a day behind with my antique bear, but I'm getting there! I've been determined not to rush him. I now have a head, fixed to a body and arms! I'm still not sure what the overall effect is going to be like, fingers crossed! Deborah, Vee, as you say, a lining is helpful and I have had to line most of this bear ... especially the head because of the work involved with the eyes etc. The last bear I made didn't need lining because the backing was as strong, if not stronger than some of the modern fabrics, but this bear is more fragile, which is the reason I'm not sure that I'll sell him - he really will need to be treated with care.

    Deborah, thank you so much for your offer, but I have so much on the go at the moment, I don't think I could it justice. I have a mountain of fabrics to work my way through in the foreseeable future! I really appreciate your offer though ... hey, I bet you could create a wonderful bigger bear in it and I'd love to see it given the fabulous Bearhaven Bears treament ... you've definitely got something special going on!

  7. Oh, wonderful finds! How delightful to come upon vintage mohair with tapestry designs and boot buttons, to boot! Your bear is going to be absolutely lovely; I like how you've positioned the design on the body and limbs. Thank you for sharing!

    New Avenue Crew

  8. Hi Paula, no problem I understand completely. I just might give this stuff a go when I have all my prior bear commitments tidied up. Might just be what I need to get the old creative juices flowing. Tuddles Deborah


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