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Conker & Hazel 'The Combine Harvesters'

Designed by Ann Thomas and Amanda Davies of Bedspring Bears

September is here and as you get ready to celebrate the Harvest Festival why not take the time make these two beautiful bears. Conker and Hazel are both sewn in rich autumn colours, have big round tummies and look as if they've been stocking up on food before the colder months arrive! They look remarkably similar but Hazel is designed with a wobble head. Once complete they the pair measure 23cm (9") high.

You will Need - Conker (Bear A)

  • 1/8m mohair fabric
  • 15cm x 15cm piece of ultrasuede
  • 1 pair of 5mm glass eyes
  • 2 x 12mm washer and cotter pin joints for arms
  • 2 x 25mm washer and cotterpin joints or nut & bolt joints for legs
  • 1x 20mm cotterpin joint for head
  • Pearl cotton for the nose
  • Strong thread for attaching eyes and closing after stuffing
  • Shot-lead, steel, glass or fine aquarium gravel for weighting the bear (1 kg of lead shot will be sufficient for both bears)
  • Polyester/kapok stuffing
  • Long nose pliers and appropriate sized spanners for nut/bolt joints

You will need - Hazel (Bear B)

  • 1/8m mohair fabric
  • 15cm x 15cm piece of ultrasuede
  • 1 pair 5mm glass eyes
  • 2 x 12mm washer and cotter pin joints for arms
  • 2 x 25mm washer and cotter pin joints or nut and bolt joint for legs
  • 1 x 15mm wobble joint and washer for head
  • Pearl cotton for nose
  • Strong thread for attaching eyes and closing after stuffing
  • Shot-lead, steel, glass or find aquarium gravel for weighting the bear. (1 kg of lead shot will be sufficient for both bears)
  • Polyester/kapok stuffing
  • One pair of long nose pliers

You will need - For both bears

  • Thin card for pattern templates
  • Embroidery scissors
  • Similar colour cotton to fabric used
  • Sewing needle & long doll maker's needle for threading eyes
  • Fraycheck
  • Stuffing stick

Conker and Hazel are made with Schultz 10mm sparse-tipped mohair (SB50T corn/dk brown) and Bronze ultrasuede supplied in the UK by Oakley Fabrics Ltd www.oakleyfabrics.co.uk

Hints and Tips

Please read all the instructions carefully before starting to make your bear.

Mohair needs special care. Make sure all the arrows on the templates match the pile direction of the fabric.

When cutting out the templates avoid cutting the pile. Slide the scissors close to the fabric and cut a little bit at a time. Fraycheck all the edges once you have cut the pieces out. Do not sew too close to the edges and use small stitches, tuck the pile in as you go, do not cut the pile, be gentle when turning and stuffing.

Step by Step

  1. Transfer the pattern pieces onto card. Cut out and use these templates to mark out the pattern on to the back of the mohair, ensuring all arrows on the pattern pieces point along the pile of the mohair. The pattern pieces include a 5mm seam allowance, make sure all markings are transferred onto the mohair i.e. joint positions, openings etc. Remember to reverse any pieces where necessary and mark out all the pieces before beginning to cut them out. The pieces may be sewn either by hand using backstitch or machine sewn, using a short stitch.

  2. To make the body sew the pieces together by firstly sewing the side seams of the front and the back together, then place the two halves together, sew the centre backs together and then the centre fronts. Turn right side out.

  3. To make the head sew the nose from A to B i.e. nose to neck, insert the head gusset and sew from C to D and E to F (the gusset will sew more evenly this way). Please see diagram 1. When completed turn the head right sides out. Stuff the head firmly with either polyester or kapok. Now trim any excess off the head gusset.

  4. Bear A: To insert the joint into the head, take one washer, one disc and cotter pin, place inside the head and sew the gap up using ladder stitch around the bottom edge of the head making sure the washer and cotter pin does not fall out. Then pull the ladder stitch tightly and finish off, see diagram 2.

  5. Bear B: If the wobble joint is not already constructed, take the two wobble pins and join them so that they are shackled at the heads i.e. open one split and put the head of the other pin through the 'eye' of the second pin. Continue to push until the eyes of both pins are together and joined. Close the split on the first pin, place a disc and washer on one pin and then split and curl the pin as if it were a normal cotter pin. Place the joint in the head of the bear as above with the uncurled pin protruding through the neck opening. Please see diagram 3.

  6. Mark the eye position with pins, make a small hole with a sharp point, and ensure that you have plucked the fur to just above the eye position. Use a long piece of thread, fold it in half, pass it through the loop of the eye until you are halfway along, wrap one end around the loop three times and knot it together to the other end. Gently squeeze the wires together with the long-nosed pliers. Thread the needle with one end and pass this through the eye hole at an angle to come out on the opposite side of the head, please see diagram 4. Remove the needle and rethread with the other end, pass this through the eye hole in the same way with the two ends of the thread coming out the back of the head. Gently push the eye into position with your thumb and pull up the threads tightly, secure with a few knots. Lose the ends of the thread inside the head; repeat with the second eye. Remember that you are aiming for an upturned nose effect. Pluck or shave the muzzle if you wish.

  7. Sew the four ear pieces together leaving the straight edge at the bottom open, then turn them right side out. Using strong thread close the opening with ladder stitch. Fold the ear in half and overstitch the two corners together, trim the fur from the inside of the ear. Use the remaining thread to attach the ears using ladder stitch; use a pin to keep the ears in position whilst sewing them on.

  8. To embroider the nose use satin stitch with one strand of thread and give the bear a triangular nose with an inverted Y mouth.

  9. Attach the head to the body, put the cotter pin joint through the neck, take the second washer and insert over the pin in the body, then with small long nosed pliers coil the pin back either side, make sure when doing this that you do not catch any of the material. Please also be careful not to tighten the pin too much as it will pull out of the head. Repeat the same process for attaching all the arms and legs.

  10. Sew the legs together leaving a gap at the back to allow for stuffing. Sew in the footpads gently; this may take some time. When finished turn right sides out.

  11. Sew the paw pads to the inner arms as indicated on the pattern pieces, then sew the arms with right sides together. Sew up the arms leaving a gap at the back for stuffing, then turn right sides out.

  12. Bear A: Fill the legs to the ankles with shot making sure that that they are compressed firmly, and then pack the polyester stuffing on top to hold the shot in place, leaving enough room to place the joint in the leg. Please see additional jointing diagrams for construction. Now attach the legs to the body and tighten the bolts so that the joint is stiff to move. It is important that the joint is tight at this stage as it will loosen over time and they need to be stiff if the bear is to stand unaided. Finish stuffing the leg with polyester and ladder stitch the opening closed. If using cotter pins joint as per the head.

  13. Bear B: Place the cotter pin joint in the leg where marked then stuff the legs with polyester only. Stuff firmly enough for the legs to take shape. Attach to the body as per the head.

  14. Bear A: Fill the arms to the wrist with the shot then stuff the rest of the arm loosely with polyester so that the arms can be folded. Place the joint in the arm and finish the stuffing, then ladder stitch the opening closed. Attach the arms to the body in the same way as the head to the body. Please see diagram 2 and jointing illustrations.

  15. Bear B: Stuff the arms as the legs in step 14 and attach to the body in the same way as the head.

  16. Bear A: Stuff the body fairly firmly around the neck and shoulders; pay particular attention to this area, if it is not stuffed sufficiently your bear's head will sag. Fill all the body firmly with polyester. Sew up the gap at the back with ladder stitch as previous.

  17. Bear B: Place a small bag containing your weight material in the bottom of your bear's tummy and then stuff the rest of the body so that he still feels squidgy and then ladder stitch the opening shut.

Bear Facts

Bedspring Bears sell a range of teddy bear kits. For more information write to Anne Thomas & Amanda Davies at Bedspring Bears, 12 Beechcroft Road, Alverstoke, Hampshire, PO12 2ER
Telephone or fax: 023 9260 2075
e-mail: bedspringbears@btopenworld.com

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