Friday, 12 April 2013

Chiltern Bear Little Jimmy Before and After 'Plastic' Surgery

I had a pretty little 14" Chiltern bear to mend before he could be put for sale.
His nose had a hole in it about the size of a 50p piece.

I found a piece of mohair of a similar colour and trimmed it back so it looked a bit worn.  It was then pinned into place ready for sewing.


Little Jimmy is now SOLD
See my other bears at 

Saturday, 6 April 2013

Restoring Chiltern Bear George - Part 1 of 2

I finally plucked up courage yesterday to start the restoring process on old George, a beautiful large Chiltern bear.
He is quite off colour, partly with being a bit dusty, partly to fading with age.  A dry bath should improve that, and soften his lovely mohair. 

His paws were the worst of any of the bears I have restored, with one of his foot pads virtually non-existent and the other 3 all needing work.
This pad was missing

Left paw

Right foot Replacement pad
I have pinned the new material in place, underneath what is remaining of the old paw pads.  The right foot pad had to be replaced altogether.  That meant I had to take the leg off to take the stuffing out, and turn it inside out to stitch the new one in place.  The Kapok was horrible to remove,  as it was old and really dusty it seemed to fly everywhere.  I was concerned about breathing it in, so wrapped a scarf around my nose and mouth while I was doing it, much to the amusement of my husband and son, who said I looked like a gangster.
Left foot pad

Right paw

Whilst I had the bear unpicked to remove the leg I took the opportunity to have a look at his voice box.  It was not a growler as I had thought, but an oval, double squeaker.  It was not working so I gently used a blunt wool sewing needle and tweezers to get the bits of wood wool and Kapok from inside it.  It still didn't work so I resealed the sides of the squeaker part with glue.  Still no noise.  The only thing left was to re tape the whole sides of the box as the coating had disintegrated, and was letting the air through.  A bit of thin masking tape did the trick, and when I pressed it there was a lovely loud squeak came from it.  Sounded more like a duck, we thought, than a bear but still I had got it working. 

Harry (left) and Sidney having a bad hair day

I spent a few minutes teasing Harry with it, as even though he is very deaf he seemed to be able to hear the squeak and kept listening with his head on one side, and turning to look at me every time I pressed it.


So now George is at the stage where he has a voice, and his stuffing is no longer in danger of falling out through holes in his paws.

The next step will be to fasten the paw repairs with very fine stitching, removing the pins as I go along.  That will be the difficult part done, all that will be left to do is a good clean, brushing and inserting new eyes.  Then we will see a beautiful old Chiltern bear looking back at us.