ome people think bears should not be repaired. I think we all have choices. Is the bear an investment or a dear and treasured friend? I believe that a poor bear who is leaking stuffing or is showing wear and tear needs some help if he is to continue to give pleasure for years to come. Some of my favourite challenges are the repairs I have done on well-loved teddies. However, whether or not to repair a bear should always be a personal choice on the part of the owner.

When repairing a teddy, I never remove any of the original fabric unless the owner wishes me to. I prefer to cover all the worn areas with new, closely matched fabric. On this page, you will find some before and after photographs of teddies which I have helped return to some of their former glory. Repairs and restorations take a lot of time and can be costly, but are worth it to be able to love a bear for many more years.

The photo on the left was how Ted looked when he came to me. He had an ugly coat of brown synthetic cloth which covered most of his original fur. The photo on the right is Ted after the repair was complete. He was patched and grafted onto some new fur, with new paws and eyes and nose. This repair took over a week to complete.

This bear had an encounter with a dog and the dog won! I hope the dog had stomach ache! The photograph on the left is how the bear looked after his fight. Fortunately, enough of the original body was intact to reproduce the design in new fur, which was then distressed to match the rest of the bear. The final result is the photograph on the right.

The above four photos show the progression from a poor bear with withered limbs and lots of dirt to a renewed version with fresh stuffing and new ‘leakless’ paws.

I have been working on repairs for about ten years now. I really enjoy the challenge of trying to replicate old fabrics. I also enjoy making a brand new bear look like he’s old. One of my favourite bears to make is “Needy”. I taught this bear as a workshop at The Bear Fair in Calgary. The picture on the right shows all the kits ready for the students.

This is a typical “Needy” when he has had several hours of distressing work done.
“Needy” retails for $145 US.
A pattern for “Needy” which includes an A-Z of distressing techniques is available for $12 US, including postage.