Today I’d like to show you another old teddy of Naomi’s that needed some help. This teddy arrived with his head detached from his body, no ears and an eye missing so I had quite a lot to do.
First of all, I had to find some glass eyes the right size and some material which was a similar colour to the bear so I could make him a pair of ears. We found some mohair the right colour at Teddies on the Green, a rather nice bear shop in Richmond. Sadly it has closed since I last went there.
When I had a look at Teddy’s neck joint he had an enormous wooden disk in his head. It must have been the size of a saucer. I’d never seen one that big before. Perhaps he had a floating head like some of Naomi’s other bears. I’ve no experience with those so I decided to replace it with a smaller one and bought some the same size I had used for making bears that size in the past. A lot of bears now have lock joints in plastic but I had not used those before and decided to stay traditional with a cotter pin to attach the joints.
I put the new disk in his head and gathered it up so the pin was the only thing showing.
I had to take some stuffing out to get the second disk in. In my opinion, this is the trickiest part of making a jointed bear.
When Teddy recovered from the anesthetic he had a nice cup of tea and a rest before the next part of his surgery commenced.
The ears were the next job. I have made teddy bears so I know how to make ears but my concern was that we had no picture of this bear with ears so I didn’t know what they were supposed to look like. I chose a template from a similar-sized bear and looked at photos of bears from the same era. I think we had decided he was a fifties bear. I sewed the ears to his head rather than, as some makers do, making a slit for them and turning his head inside out so I could have the seam on the inside. The reason I didn’t want to do that was that one day we might find what the correct ears should be like and we can replace these. I think the colour is a good match though.
Sewing eyes in is one of the jobs I do most frequently. It’s not very hard, you just need a nice long needle. The diagram in the photo shows what to do.
Amber glass eyes.
When all the surgery was over I knitted Teddy a new jumper as a reward for being good.