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Oh Liane-  the bears arrived today and I have never seen anything so cute in my life! . ... It was a wonderful pleasure working with you on this project, your ethics, communication, prices and love for this craft is heartwarming- a fairy Godmother indeed!  Please keep in touch and from my heart, thank you! love

Barbara

 

The bears were a "smash".... the girls loved them.  At first they were not sure what they were and then when I said (their aunt's) mink they went crazy.  They have already bought shadow boxes for them. This was such a great experience and I thank you again.  I know you will be hearing from me in the future.

LuAnn P

 

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Whether it is grandma's heirloom fur coat or a beloved husband's favorite sweat shirt, trust Fairy Godmother Creations to turn it into a custom, huggable memory bear (or several teddy bears) to help commemorate their memory and share with others.

 

mink stole memory bear
Military memory bear
Memory bear

Standard Memory Bear Making Fees

Any fur or fabric that can be sewn. I can combine two different garments for two-toned bears. Each bear has jointed arms and legs, acrylic safety-lock eyes, plastic nose and comes with a scarf or satin ribbon.

$85 (plus shipping) for a 10"-14" bear
$95 (plus shipping) for a 16" or 18" bear
$125 (plus shipping) for a 20" bear
$145 (plus shipping) for a 24" bear

Shipping is $15 for the first memory bear and $5 per each additional bear. We are located in Dayton, Ohio (45404).

To Order, Click Here for a Downloadable Order Form

Scroll down to find additional information.

Baby's first year bear memory bear made from a quilt Neck tie memory bear

Patchwork Teddy Bears, Neck Tie Bears & First Year Commemorative PatchworkBears

Combines four to twelve different garments into a fun, colorful heirloom. These bears are extremely time consuming, so they are priced higher.

For Pricing and Additional Information, Click Here

For Downloadable Order Form Click Here

Shipping

$15 for the first bear and $5 per each additional bear. I am located in Dayton, Ohio (45404).

Add-Ons:

$15 Premium German Glass Eyes (These are a special order and are available in three color options: Brown, Blue and old fashioned Shoe Button Black. (Glass eyes are NOT child safe.)
$15 to embroider two (2) initials on one foot per bear (Because the foot pad is not that large, we are limited to two (2) initials per foot.)
$15 to embroider initials or name on scarf (I do not have a large, industrial embroidery machine so am limited to a 4" space but I can put a name on each scarf)
$15 to make a vest (I can make the vest from additional clothing you send, or from the lining of a coat, or from my own selection of fabrics. the cost is the same)
$35 to make a full custom outfit
$25 to insert an in-stock 18 note music box We have a limited music selection in stock (check the order form for our current tunes). If you have a specific melody you'd like, you can either supply the music box, or I can try to find it. I will charge the normal $25 insert cost plus whatever the music box costs.

For fabric based memory bears only: I can embroider a short name or two initials on the right side front of the bear itself (kind of over the heart) for $20 per bear but you MUST contact me in advance if you want me to do this. It is not on the order form.

For Standard Memory Bears Click here for a downloadable order form

Download the form and send it, along with your garment and payment to:

Liane Wagner
Fairy Godmother Creations
1001 E Second St #3140
Dayton OH 45402

If you you have additional questions or just want to talk to a human being before making your decision, you can contact me at.

Phone: 937-231-5025
Email: Liane@fairygodmothercreations.com

For some reason, AOL doesn't always allow my emails through. If you have emailed me and don't receive a response within 24 hours, it means I either didn't get your email, or my response did not make it to you.

Additional Information

Fur condition:
For real fur coats/stoles, the fur needs to be soft enough to sew. If the hide is too dry, it will not hold the seams. I usually will not do anything to an heirloom garment unless I believe the material will work for the project. For more information about how to assess your fur's condition scroll down to find Frequently Asked Questions.

Important!: It is important to know that memory bears made from matured fur cannot be considered toys. Although I do things to re-enforce the fur and make it stable, old fur is not overly sturdy and it simply won't hold up to rough child play. In addition, the premium glass eyes are NOT child safe. They are blown glass on the end of a wire. Although they are securely attached to the bear, a child pulling and twisting them can break them off and they can become a choking hazzard.

Want to know more?

Below the following samples of recent projects, I include more information including Frequently Asked Questions and a description of my process.

Here are some of the many projects I've had the opportunity to work on. Not everyone takes the time to write me when they've received their memory bears, but I've included some of the ones I have heard from. You can also see even more projects on my More Bear Stories page or my Gallery page by following the link at the bottom of this page:

A Happy Memory Bear for a Friend

Andrea Rabiner sent us a Michigan Wolverines sweat shirt to have a memory bear made for a friend. We couldn't fit all of the graphics from the shirt, but we did use some of them in the creation of this happy guy.

A Happy Memory Bear for a Friend

Christine's Family of Four Fun Bears

Christine Sargent sent two furs, one from her mother and the other from her mother-in-law, to have these 16" beauties made. We couldn't get them all the same with the available fur, so we mixed the furs.

Christine's Family of Four Fun Bears

Memory Bear for a Dear Sister-in-law

Sandy Romkey sent her late brother's shirt to have a memory bear made and sent to her sister-in-law. She had also included a little note that we mounted on to a piece of card stock and put into a matching mini envelope that we attached to the bear's paw.

Memory Bear for a Dear Sister-in-law

Super Fluffy Bears from Beloved Wife's Coat

These bears are all fluff. Ed LaCroix sent his late wife's coat to have these made for his granddaughters.

These bears are all fluff. Ed LaCroix sent his late wife's coat to have these made for his granddaughters.

 

A Beautiful Coat Becomes Five Beautiful Memory Bears

Martha Tanyi and Ginny Bosma had a beautiful fur coat that they had us make these five bears from.

A Beautiful Coat Becomes Five Beautiful Memory Bears

Six Patchwork Memory Bears

Doris Kaderabek asked us to use the left-over fabric from her first order to make six patchwork bears. Olga ended up cutting over 800 individual pieces to make these bears. However, I think the end result was worth it.

Six Patchwork Memory Bears

Remembering a Beloved Brother-In-Law

Rebecca Morrow Hugh sent some of her late brother-in-law's shirts to have memory bears made for her sister and niece. We mixed the shirt colors to create these two unique bears.

Remembering a Beloved Brother-In-Law

Christmas 2013 - 119 Memory Bears, One Cat and a Whole Lot of Christmas Joy

We had such a wonderful time this Christmas season! We created 119 Memory Bears (and one cat), and helped spread a whole lot of Christmas joy. Here's a quick look at all 119 Memory Bears (and one cat). Thanks to everyone for letting us be a part of your Christmas celebration. We hope you enjoy the bears (and one cat)!

 

Six Bears in Memory of a Beloved Sister, Grandmother, Aunt and Friend

Debbie Becker had these bears made in memory of her sister. She sent a variety of clothes to have bears made for grandchildren, nieces and nephews.

Debbie sent this note:

"Liane: I begin by apologizing for not sending this sooner. I got the bears on the 20th and gave Bonnie's friend hers before she left for Florida. Needless to say it was emotional and she loved it. The bears were sooo cute. Everyone loved them even the 10 month old. Thank you so much for getting them done and here for Christmas. It was a surprise for all of them. Happy New Year! Keep up the great work." - Debbie

Six Bears in Memory of a Beloved Sister, Grandmother and Aunt

Seven Bears Spreading Christmas Joy

This family of bears was a special gift from Susan for her loved ones for Christmas. They were featured in a video we made about the 119 Bears (and one cat) we created for Christmas. Susan saw the video on FaceBook and noticed her family of bears starring as bears number 88 through 94. You can see the video here on YouTube.

Susan wrote: "We are number 88 - 94. I don't know how to thank you. It was a very emotional First Christmas without our Mother. The bears that you made from my Mom's favorite blanket, tops and 2 of my Dad's suit coats turned out amazing. My family loved them. You are a blessing!" -Susan Rearick

A Father Helps His Daughters Remember Their Grandfather

Todd Thompson sent his late grandfather's robe to have these lovely 24" bears made for his two daughters.

Daughter Turns Neckties Into Two Wonderful Memories of Her Beloved Father

Mary Hendrick sent two dozen of her late father's neck ties to have these two guys made. Neck ties make really nice bears. There is a richness to the fabrics that shows. We create a patchwork fabric from the ties and then cut the bears from that, so there is a lot of work involved. However, the finished bears are truly one-of-a-kind.

Daughter Turns Neckties Into Two Wonderful Memories of Her Beloved Father

Two Memory Bears With Big Personalities

Terry Bollinger sent us a lovely mink stole to have two bears made. They each ended up with their own personality.

Two Memory Bears With Big Personalities

Cherished Stole and Dress Transformed Into Three Wonderful Memory Bears

Debbie Elk sent us a fur stole along with a brown dress and a piece of cream satin. Sometimes people tell us what the significance of the materials they send is, and sometimes they don't. However, these little darlings were made from those materials.

Three Memory Bears Provide Comfort in a Time of Loss

Kelly sent some of her late father's clothing to have memory bears made for her and her two small daughters. Her father passed relatively recently and she felt that having something to hug can help her and her daughters in dealing witih their loss.

Three Memory Bears Provide Comfort in a Time of Loss

Kelly posted this wonderful comment and beautiful photo on FaceBook:

"I wanted to share this photo with you. You made bears for us back in oct from my dads clothes (not sure if you remember I know how busy you are) but anyways this is my oldest Mia was her bear. She carries it everywhere with her!

"Thanks again for making them!! You can't find something personalized like the bears everywhere!"

Mia, we are delighted you love your memory bear!

holding memory bear

 

Three Fur Bears from her Mother's Stole

Linda sent her late mother's mink stole to have bears made for her daughters and niece. It was a challenge to get three bears from the stole, but we were pleased with the results.

Three Fur Bears from her Mother's Stole

A Fur Coat Becomes Memories for Her Sons

Ida Hentig sent her mother-in-law's fur coat to have two bears made for her sons and their families. Dark fur is harder to photograph so this photo really doesn't do these bears justice.

A Memory Bear for a Great Niece

Bertha sent us the stole her husband had given to her many years ago to have a bear made for her great niece, who was named after him. We kept the original initials from the lining of the stole and put them on the scarf.

A Memory Bear for a Great Niece

One More Bear to Match an Earlier Order

Sharon Stromme realized that she needed one more bear so she asked us to make another bear to match ones we had done earlier. She did not have another fur, so we pulled scraps from our own fur bins for this little darling.

Heirloom Fur Coat Becomes Five Fluffy Memory Bears

Lucille Fine sent her artic fox coat to have these bears made. Her coat actually didn't have quite enough fur to get the five bears she needed so we dipped into our own fur bins to augment her fur.

Heirloom Fur Coat Becomes Five Fluffy Memory Bears

Remembering His Son With Three Memory Bears

Robert sent us a sweater jacket that belonged to his late son who passed away in 1968. He wanted three bears made for this three granddaughters. The jacket had a lot of condition issues but we were able to make three 12" bears from it.

Remembering His Son With Three Memory Bears

A Wedding Dress Becomes Four Cute, Happy Memory Bears

Betty Hove sent her mother's wedding dress to have four small bears made for her loved ones. The dress was a dark blue stretch velour that gave me quite a challenge but made really cute, happy memory bears.

A Wedding Dress Becomes Four Cute, Happy Memory Bears

A Family Heirloom - Five Memory Bears From a Collection of Family Furs

Heidi McPherson sent shaved beaver coat, a mink stole, a lamb muff and a shaved beaver muff to have us make her five bears. We mixed the furs to give each bear its own individual personality.

A Family Heirloom - Five Memory Bears From a Colection of Family Furs

Mother's Fur Coat and Father's Military Patches and Pins Becomes a Very Special Memory Bear

Sheree wanted a memory bear that incorporates both her Mother and her Father's memories. She sent her mother's mink stole, a piece of leather from her father (an avid hunter) along with her father's military pins and patches. In addition to incorporating all of these elements as much as possible, we also built a zippered pocket into the back of the bear so she can store her parents' wedding rings there.

 

memory bear made from moms fur and dads military uniform and badges

Sheree wrote this wonderful letter. She said I could share it with you.

Hi Liane,

Just received my Teddy and I LOVE HIM! You truly outdid yourself on this one. The workmanship is superior! The deer skins are so wonderful against the mink. I love the vest you have designed with the WWII patches and medals. I can't tell you how wonderful the back zip pocket is! I placed wedding rings and extra medals in it.

My 16 year old (football player) saw the bear and loved it. This really amazed me. He asked if it was his! I said, someday. For now the bear is mine. He examined it over and over. Cool!

I have taught for 37 years. I brought the bear to school. Other teachers were amazed and felt it was such a great tribute to my parents.

Liane, you must have been sent to me by an angel. I thank you again for your great workmanship and professionalism. Feel free to use any of this letter on your website. YOU ARE A FAIRY GODMOTHER!

Sincerely,

Sheree

Great-Grandma's Fur Coat Becomes Six Memory Bears for Future Generations

Sharon Stromme sent her late mother's fur coat and stole to have bears made for her children and grandchildren. We chose to mix the furs to make two-toned bears.

Great-Grandma's Fur Coat Becomes Six Memory Bears for Future Generations

Two Special Memory Bears Made From Her Late Husband's Shirts

Jackie Shifflett sent us some of her late husband's shirts to have two special bears made.

Two Special Memory Bears Made From Her Late Husband's Shirts

A Memory Bear for a Great, Great Granddaughter

Allan Young sent us a mink fur stole to have a bear made for his great, great, granddaughter. We kept the initials from the stole lining and used them on the scarf.

A Memory Bear for a Great Great Granddaughter

Memory Bears for a Daughter and a Niece

Kali Lopez sent her grandmother's coat to have memory bears made for her daughter and niece.

Memory Bears for a Daughter and a Niece

Mink stole made into teddy bearGift for a Sister

Leslie sent her grandmother's stole to have a memory bear made for her sister. She had some specific memories of going to the store with her grandmother and sister so we preserved the label from the lining in the bear's scarf.

Half Dozen Persian Lamb Memory Bears

Lisa sent her late mother's persian lamb coat to have us make these little guys for her children, nieces and nephews.

Persian Lamb coat into teddy bears

Real fur memory bearSoft and Huggable Memory Bear

Jean sent us a small stole to have this soft, huggable little guy made. He is 18" from head to foot. His scarf preserved the embroidered initials from the lining.

Memory bears from real furA Large and a Small

Mary wanted a large memory bear from a fur she inherited. Once we had the bear pattern laid out, we realized there was enough fur left for another smaller bear so she decided to have it made as well.

Mary wrote us this beautiful letter and sent us a very special gift:

"Dear Liane,

"I received my bears a week ago. I can't tell you how pleased I am. The bears are better than I imagined they could be. You certainly did a very good job on them; I will treasure them forever. Thank you.

"Enclosed is a little pin and the box says "Every once in a while we all need a helping hand from a Fairy Godmother." It has been hanging on the wall in my craft room for over ten years. I think it's time it moved to your room. Please accept this as a small token of my gratitude and appreciation for the bears. I feel it's appropriate.

"Thank you again,

"Mary"

Variety in Memories

Irene sent several different garments to have bears made. She sent a couple of shirts, ties and hats from her late husband to have two memory bears made. She also sent a couple of humorous garments with spiders on them to have two additional bears made from. Then, she sent a robe and nightgown from her late mother to have a bear made for herself and her sister.

Memory bears from shirts

memory bear from real furA Gift of Fur

Dolores's brother-in-law gave her a fur that belonged to his late sister. She had us make two little memory bears from it.

Memory Bear from furMemory Bear for a Grandson

Pam sent her grandmother's fur stole to have a bear made for her grandson. The fur had a very pretty color to it and made an adorable memory bear.

 

Teddy Bears from fur coatFour Two-Toned Beauties

Bev came by personally with a couple of furs wanting four memory bears and a pony. We used the furs to create two-toned bears. You can see the pony on our animals page by clicking here

Like is an understatement! Liane is amazing. I brought in my mom's coat and stole and she was able to present several options. She is very kind and caring, too. I was lucky to be able to sit down with her, but after having spent that time, there would have been no problem with having to ship the coats. I can't think of a better way to honor my mother. The bears are precious. Thank you, Liane, Olga and Lowell. Bev Paull Gutmann

Mnk fur stole to teddy bearTwo Mink Buddies

Peggy sent her mother's mink stole to have two bears made for her great grandchildren.

They have arrived!!  We love our sweet bears--and can't wait to show them to Mom.  Thanks so much Liane.  I've already told several friends about your service, and hope to send some customers your way.

Gratefully,, Peggy Tazelaar

Fur coat teddy bearTwo Furs for Two Animals

Arlene sent two furs to have a bear and a bunny made.

Dear Liane, just received my bear and rabbit, they are absolutely beautiful, I love them. the wonderful hand made sak you made for them to travel back to me shows me the love you have in your work. I will leave them in my living room for a while then retire them to my bed. thanks so much again. Arlene Peterson-- Fort Myers, Florida

Real mink fur teddy bearFor a Friend

Rebecca sent some left-over fur to have a bear made for a very special lady. Since there was enough fur to get two bears, we ended up making two.

Liane is the best Fairy Godmother anyone could be fortunate enough to have work done by, the bears are wonderful and your prices are the best, the most reasonable anyone could find.

 

Teddy bears from real furTwo Furs and a Collar

Mary lost her mother earlier this year. She had her mother's mink coat, cape and a mink collar so sent them to have a couple of larger bears and a couple of little bears made. She and her sister have many memories of their mother wearing the furs.

I just received the bears today and am very pleased with them! They are absolutely adorable.

Thanks,
Mary

Custom Teddy BearA REALLY Special Blanket

Debbie sent me what was once a blanket that had been in storage for over 30 years. Mostly it was tattered pieces of a blanket. The blankie belonged to her son when he was little. Now, in his late 30s with a new son, she wanted a bear made from the tattered pieces for her grandson.

Fantastic job Liane! Thanks!!! Debbie

Muskrat Memory BearsReal Fur Bears

Karen sent her grandmother's muskrat fur coat to have bears made for herself and her siblings.Muskrat (also known as poor man's mink) has a slightly longer fur than mink but has the same luster and makes lovely bears.

Liane! So sorry for the delay as we continue our hectic transition;  I waited to open your package until I was with my daughter, and we were  so thrilled with what we found; all three bears were just perfect, beautifully made and packaged in their own little bag:)   Now I cant decide who should get them as they are so special.  Thank you for your "wonderfur" work, I so appreciate it and will cherish the three little bears.  Karen Petersen

Memory bearFive Unique Bears

Claudette sent two furs to have bears made for her daughter, grandchildren and great grandson. In order to get five bears, we had to mix the two different furs. However, they all came out with their own unique personalities.

They are just perfect and I love them!!  Passing your talent on to lots of people.  You are a very special person to save the memories we have in such an adorable way.  Take care, Claudette

Mink Memory BearsMemories of Mom

Stephanie sent her late mother's stole to have bears made for her and her brother. We embroidered her Mother's initials on the scarves. These two also have the German hand-blown glass eyes.

Hi Liane - The bears arrived yesterday as scheduled and they are gorgeous!  Thank you so much!!  I will do as you asked with the testimonials ...  happy to do so ...  as soon as I get a minute!

Thank you again for all your kindness!

Stephanie Tracey

Memory bearA 60th Birthday Gift

Debbie sent her grandmother's mink jacket to have a couple of bears made, one for her mother's 60th birthday. The jacket had lovely lining that made beautiful scarves for the bears.

Liane, I just got the bears!!!!!  They are BEAUTIFUL!  My mom is going to LOVE it you did a fabulous job really!  They really really came out so beautiful I cant say enough!  I cant wait til Friday to give it to her.  I will send you pics!   I sure do appreciate all your hard work!  I am a crafter, quilters, crocheter ect. so I know what it takes to do this!  Thanks again! Deb







Real fur teddy bearsHappy 60th Anniversary Bear

Jill sent a beautiful fur coat to have a special bear made for her parent's upcoming 60th wedding anniversary. She had us embroider Happy 60th on the scarf along with her and her siblings' names and some charms that she had sent along.

This guy has nothing but love put into him and all of us at FGC wish her parents a lovely anniversary celebration!

 

custom fur bearsMink Bears for Sisters

Diana and Carol sent me their late mother's fur stole to have these two little guys made. The fur really had its own personality and it shows.

teddy bears from fur stoleGreat Grandma's Fur

Carole sent her mother's silver mink stole to have bears made for her granddaughters.

Hi Liane,

I received the bears yesterday and they are great! They are so cute, and I can't wait to give them to my daughters.
Thanks so much,
Carole

Dad's Shirts

Lisa sent several of her late father's shirts to have bears made for her, her siblings and cousin.

Liane,

The bears are HERE! Thank you so very much!!! :-) They are perfect!!!! Love the fabric bags as well!  I have shared your website with many people!!!

Blessings! Lisa

Memory bear from shirts

Memory bears from real furBears from Coat and Jackets

Jim sent a seal jacket, a rabbit jacket and a faux fur coat to have six bears made. We mixed the furs up both to make them stretch to six bears AND to add character.

Liane,

Only one word describes the bears! WOW!!! You have brought a great deal of JOY to my family!! Thank You.

Jim Hearty

Mouton teddy bearsBed Buddies

Bobbea sent a mouton coat to have a bear and bunny made to put on her bed. She also sent fabric for making vests. The coat had some unusual buttons so we put them on the vests.

custom teddy bearsThree Bears to Pass On

Jan wanted three bears made from her late mother's jacket to pass on to her children.

Hello Liane,
It's a cold, rainy, day here in GA, so I was so excited when the postman rang my doorbell to deliver my bears!  They turned out SO precious and I loved the added touch of the bags they were in.  Thank you for taking on this project for me and getting the bears done so quickly!  When the time is right, I will pass them on to my 3 children.  They will be a cherished keepsake for all of us.  Thanks again!
Sincerely, Jan White

Beautiful Mouton Bears

Richard sent his mother's mouton fur coat to have three large bears made. His mother is suffering with alzheimers and he wanted her to have one.The middle bear pictured here has her initials on the tummy. We took them from the lining of the coat.

Memory bears

What a great surprise to get your box today.  The bears are just as cute as we hoped.  I'm taking them to my Mom tonight & I can't wait to see her reaction.  Thanks sooo much for making these, they are absolutely beautiful!
Rick Young

old fur coat bears A Half Dozen Mink Bears

Monika sent a mink coat to have bears made for her grandchildren. The coat had not been preserved so it had some issues and she was worried that the fur would not work. However, once I had a chance to remove the lining, I was able to treat the fur and remove the damaged areas. This left enough fur to get six 14" bears from.

Oh my gosh!!  The teddy bears are absolutely adorable, Liane!  Any part of my coat left over?!?!  I want more!! I can’t thank you enough for a fabulous gift for my grandkids . . . when they’re older and can appreciate them!

Thank you, thank you, thank you!!

Cheers! Monika 

Memory bearsPant and Shirt Bears for Pam

Pam sent a pair of pants and a shirt to have two bears made for loved ones. We used the pants for the bears and made vests from the shirt.

Thank you so very very much Liane! They are so adorable!! I  know they will bring quite the amount of joy to them :)  God bless you and the work you do.      Pam

memory bearA Custom Memory

Deb wanted a special bear for her daughter's birthday. She sent me two sweat shirts that had a graphic on them. She wanted a 20" bear from the sweatshirts and wanted the graphic incorporated into the bear. In order to get the graphic on the bear, I treated it to reduce any fraying and cut the graphic out and hand sewed it on to the bear's belly.

Hi
I just received the bear. My daughter LOVES it!!!!!
Thank you!!!!!!
Deb

memory bearsChristmas Memories

Dotty sent me a robe and some other garments to have four bears made for her children as Christmas gifts.

Dear Liane, Thank you so much for making the    memory bears for me. They are so very beautiful. I am so impressed with your hard,creative work. I am sure my children will love them and cherish them as I do.    May God bless you. I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving -we did. My kids will be with us for Christmas. I have to share them with the in-laws .LOL!

Have a very wonderful Christmas Holiday.  Dotty Hack

memory bearsCoat and Collar Bears

Susan sent me a mink coat and black fox collar to have bears made for herself and siblings. Each person wanted a bit different combination of fur and eye options which made for some fun in making them.

Liane,

We love the bears.  The entire process has been fun and easy.  After many years sitting in closets, the coat and collar are now wonderful bears ~ to be handed down the generations and loved.  Thank you, thank you!

Susan and Family

Memory bear from fur coatOcelot a Lot

Meg sent her mother's Ocelot coat to have made into seven bears for her mother's grandchildren. Ocelot is very challenging to work with but it makes adorable bears.

Hi Liane,

I just wanted to let you know we received the bears today and they are wonderful. Mom is very pleased. Down the road we will send the next shorter coat.

Thank You

Meg

Fur Coat BearMink Quartet

Lori send her grandmother's coata to have bears made for her stepmom, sister, daughter and son. The coat was a nice, full-length mink so we were able to get four 20" bears from it.

OMG, I just opened the box from you with my 4 bears.....I knew they would be wonderful to see

BUT

They took my breath away and the tears started flowing !!!  My Grandmother was Valerie von Stroheim and a Queen of a woman who wore this coat back in the 40's and 50's. Ever since her death it just hung in the closet. I used to stand there and 'pet' it with fond memories of her.

NOW I am passing on the cutest, sweetest, biggest personality bears to my family so they can smile everyday they see them !!! You do more than sew them together....you are now part of our amily forever !!!

Many many thanks for what you do. Lori Mantz

custom fur bearsTwo from Two

Donna sent me her jacket and her mother's jacket to have two 20" bears made. One was to go to her granddaughter.

Hi, Liane,

Yes - the teddy bears are home - and they look perfect !!!    Gave them to my grandchildren this past weekend and they LOVE them!!!  J

Thank you, thank you!!!

Donna

 

mink stole memory bearSomeday for her Great Grandaughter

Dora sent me her mink stole that she had "worn on many happy occasions." She said that shse hoped it would someday go to her great grandaughter. The mink made a lovely little bear. The ears, paws and sacarf were all made from the stole lining.

Dear Liane- The Teddy Bear arrived safely today and I am delighted with him!  I'm going to show him to the owner of a quilting shop near us.  I had inquired there some time ago about a source for this conversion and she didn't have a contact.  Thank you for doing such a nice job...it takes some of the sting out of givinig up that beautiful stole that I had enjoyed so much!  Dora Burnside

memory bears from coatFive Fluffy Bears

It was my pleasure to do business with Liane Wagner.  Liane crafted five beautiful teddy bears for me from my mother's furs to be given to my grandchildren for Christmas.   Liane was professional, prompt, and accomodating.  Any reservations that I had, she dispelled with her willingness to work with me and for me.  Everything she promised, she delivered and then some.  My teddy bears are beautifully "recycled" gifts and my mother would love them ! ! !

Corinne Dyer

California

Hi Liane--just a short note to tell you how much the teddy bears you made for me are loved by my daughter and grandaughters----lots of emotion on Christmas morning, my thanks again for your help and expertise---Happy New Year---Corinne Dyer, Lakewood, CA

memory bears from furHalf Dozen Furry Friends

Gail sent two fur coats to have bears made for some special people in her life. The coats originally belonged to her mother and her aunt.

The bears that you sent are wonderful.  Great craftsmanship and wonderful detail.  I couldn't be more pleased.  These will make treasured gifts for some special family members.

I really appreciate your gifted hands.  Thank you. Gail

Real fur bearsSix Very Large Bears

JeanMarie sent several furs and asked for the largest bears we could get from the fur. We ended up with six 24" bears. One of the furs was a full-length white mink and JeanMarie wanted two bears from that specific coat so two of the bears are all white but the other bears were a mix of the different furs.

Hi Liane

I picked up my box from the post office today (we were away last week.)  The Bears are A-M-A-Z-I-N-G.  I had tears in my eyes as we took one after the other out of the box. So beautiful, and cute and cuddly and nostalgic at the same time. 

I will definitely write a testimonial which I will send to you along with a picture for your website next week. But for now, please accept my family's sincere and heartfelt thanks for the work that you did and the love that you used to create our bears. I really can't express the transformation that you created and what these bears have brought into our lives.

Thank you, thank you, thank you. Jean Marie

Real fur teddy bearBarely Enough for a Bear

Gayann sent me a stole that was crumbling on all sides. Normally, I would not have attempted to use the fur, but, with a little work and my special process, I was able to rescue enough fur for one small bear.

Liane,  I absolutely love the teddy bear.  He is so sweet and will be a wonderful memory for our family.  You did a great job. thanks so much.  gayann

Memory bears from fur coatFor the Granddaughters

Marsha sent her late mother's fur to have bears made for herself and her grandchildren. The lining on this coat was stunning and made lovely scarves.

I got home from a vacation yesterday and was excited to open the box filled with the most Beautiful bears I've ever seen.  I can't thank you enough for making these special bears that I can pass on to my grandkids from their great grandmother.  You did an absolute incredible job on them.  Again, thank you so much. Marsha

Memory Animals from furTen Little Animals

Dawn sent several fur coats and stoles that belonged to her late mother to have a variety of animals made in her memory. We ended up with five bears, two bunnies, a killer whale and two ponies. The bears and bunnies were made of mink and seal, the whale was made of seal and mink, the ponies were made of mouton, seal and mink.

Hi Liane. Received the bears today. They are wonderful. My daughter loves her pony and came just in time for her 8th grade moving up! I will definitely recommend you to everyone I see. Thanks again

Dawn 

Memory bear from shirt teddy bear shirt

Button Down Shirts

Michelle sent a couple of her late father's shirts. She wanted a bear made from one with a button-down shirt. She also sent her mother's bear and asked to have a shirt made for it from one of her father's shirts.

Liane,
I am blown away by the bear and the shirts. They are so fantastic. We have a mass for my Dad on Sunday and I will give it to my mom then. I will also bring tissues. Thank you Thank you Thank you. I will write a glowing recommendation on your website when I can put together some eloquent words. Right now all I can think of is WOW (haha)

Michelle

Brown Furry FriendsTeddy Bear from fur coat

Chris sent her late aunt's coat to have bears made for her grandchildren and grand nieces. This fur had a mind of its own but really made adorable bears.

Dear Liane,

I'm sorry that it has taken me so long to write this email to tell you how much I appreciate your beautiful work. I received the four sweet bears in their bags and couldn't wait to open them. Each one has a charm of their own. One has gone already to live with my great niece and the others are waiting for their new homes. I'm sure that my grandchildren and niece will love them as much as I do. What a wonderful service you provide! I will share your name with friends and family.

Thank you again for your personal and professional work.

Sincerely,
Chris

Bear from mouton teddy bear from mouton

One Bear, Two Outfits

Rosemary sent her mouton jacket to have a bear made for her first grandchild. The family did not know if the child would be a girl or boy so she had me make a vest in case it is a boy and a pinnafor in case it is a girl.

Hello Liane..... the bear arrived and is absolutely beautiful!!!!!! You did a wonderfully creative job with such a daunting task~~~~~and for this, I am very grateful  :o) He/she will make a stunning gift, forever enjoyed!!!!!!

And the vintage bag....... lovely!!!!!!!! Such  a thoughtful touch!!!!!!!

The speed with completion was remarkable and attention to detail, beyond fantastic and greatly appreciated!!!!!!!

Many, many thanks to you!!!!!!!!! Rosemary

fur coat bearsGifts for Generations

Corinne sent me her mother's furs to have bears made for her daughter and granddaughters. The black mink and the white fox made an adorable combination. I decided to leave the fur long on the ears and tummies but trimmed the muzzles.

It was my pleasure to do business with Liane Wagner.  Liane crafted five beautiful teddy bears for me from my mother's furs to be given to my grandchildren for Christmas.   Liane was professional, prompt, and accomodating.  Any reservations that I had, she dispelled with her willingness to work with me and for me.  Everything she promised, she delivered and then some.  My teddy bears are beautifully "recycled" gifts and my mother would love them ! ! !

Corinne Dyer, California

Hi Liane--just a short note to tell you how much the teddy bears you made for me are loved by my daughter and grandaughters----lots of emotion on Christmas morning, my thanks again for your help and expertise---Happy New Year---Corinne Dyer, Lakewood, CA

Memory bear from stoleGrandmother's Fur

Kim sent her grandmother's fur stole to have bears made for herself and her cousin. The stole was small so the bears were small.

Liane:

I apologize for not notifying you sooner, but I did receive the bears.  I was away and come home to them.  That was a nice surprise.  I love them.  It brought tears to my eyes to see my grandmothers fur transformed.  Thank you very much.

Kim

memory gift bearA Special Gift for Her DIL

Frances sent me her daughter-in-law's late mother mink jacket to have a bear made.

Liane,

I am overjoyed with the truly beautiful teddy bear you made for my daughter-in-law. Her mother had passed several years ago and when Sharon gave me her Mom’s mink jacket I decided to do something special with it. I looked at several web sites, but something told me I could trust you with the irreplaceable jacket. So I took a leap of faith and sent it.

You emailed me immediately to let me know that you had received the fur and told me that you had a 5 week turn around. True to your word, You received the jacket on March 16 and I received the beautiful bear on April 19.

I gave it to my daughter-in-law. She hugged it and cried. I can’t thank you enough for preserving something of her Mom’s that Sharon can hold on to. I have a new friend in Ohio.

Sincerely, Frances V. Reissner

Memory bear from furIn Memory of Wolfie

Annie lost her beloved Pomeranian, Wolfie. She sent me his jacket and asked me to make a bear in his memory from some of the fur I had on hand. I didn't have an exact color match to work with, but I used a combination of fox and coyote fur. Since Wolfie usually had his tongue hanging out, Annie asked me to add that detail.

Hi Liane,
I just got back from my trip to Japan and Hawaii and received my Wolfie
Teddy!!! He is adorable!!! I love the cute tongue and how you made his
jammies into a tee!!! So cute! He is now on my shelf memorial in my bedroom.
Now I have him to hug!

Thank you so much for all the time and love you put into him, you are
amazing.

Love, Annie

Memory bear from minkTwo Minks Five Bears

Joanne sent me two furs that belonged to her late mother.One was a lighter mink stole and the other was a blond mink jacket with very ornate lining. Joanne wanted to surprise her sisters and brothers with bears in memory of their mother.

Hello Liane.....I recently received a gift from my sister Joanne ... who mailed you our mothers fur coat .... Our mother has been gone 20 years now and she was the core of our family. My sister always wanted to have teddy bears made from this coat but the timing wasn't never right...With your beautiful talent, your patience,and love, you turned that coat into a life time of memories . My sister kept it a secret and mailed the bears to us her siblings. I received the parcel and did not know what was inside. When I opened the parcel my heart exploded and tears of joy ran down my face. Not only was I able to hug my teddy bear but the teddy bear hugged me back and I felt my mothers embrace. You have a gifted talent that cannot be replaced. I Thank you a millions times over for my Teddy Bear ( i named her Sunshyne) it is a gift that I will treasure forever.
sincerely cindy (sister of Joanne)

Teddy Bear from fur coatFluffy Coyote Fun

Jeanie wanted a bear made from her Coyote fur jacket. Coyote is a beautiful fur and really makes the most adorable bears, but the fur is a "bear" to work with. I had fun sculpting the face and we used fur on the inside of the ears as well.

I just received my coyote fur bear today - It is totally adorable!  I love what you did with the short fur nose and inner ears.  The lining made wonderful paw pads and scart and the deep red you added was perfect!  Thank you for the beautiful job you did in preserving my jacket.  Thank you again and again,

Jeanie

memory bears from fur coatBeautiful Bears from Mom's Coat

Teri sent her mother's fur coat to have bears made. The coat had a mixture of short and long fur so we decided to emphasize that mixture. It made unusual, fluffy bears with a lot of personality. The two bears with color scarves are 14" and the two bears with the lining scarves are 18".

Good morning Liane,
I wanted to let you know that the bears arrived yesterday. They are absolutely perfect and I can't thank you enough.

I brought one to school with me today and have been showing it off. I also have given many teachers your information, just in case they decide to have bears made.

Thank you again, I now have a lasting memory of my mom and myself for my children, niece and nephew.

Sincerely, Teri

memory bears from fur coatFrom Grandma's Fur

Lynn sent her grandmother's fur to have two bears made for her and her brother's family. The fur was a dark mink and made beautiful bears.

Hi Liane,

What a fabulous homecoming!!!  My husband and I returned from 3 weeks in South America yesterday, and when the mail came (all 3 weeks of it!), there was a package from you.  I was so excited I could hardly get the box open.  The bears are absolutely fantastic.  They are all I dreamed of and MORE!  You did an outstanding job and I love the bears so very much.  Today I invited my best friend over to see them and she was just awed!  She does a lot of sewing and said that your work was really top quality.  All and all, the bears are a HUGE success and greatly loved!  I will give the smaller one to my brother’s family.  Thus, they too will have something from my grandmother and can pass the bear down within their family.  I will keep the larger one for myself and love and cherish it.  He sits on our bed and each time I pass him, he brings back wonderful memories of my grandmother.  It’s so much better than having a coat I don’t wear taking up room in my closet. 

I will certainly recommend your fine work to anyone that might be interested and tell them what a wonderful “fairy godmother” I found on the internet.  Thank you from the bottom of my heart. 

Sincerely,  Lynn

teddy bear from mink stoleChallenging Fur

Linda sent her mother's white mink stole and her mother-in-law's dark mink coat. The coat was in very poor condition and it was a challenge to use the fur. I was able to salvage just enough to get two bears from it. The white stole was in fine condition so I mixed the two furs to make the four bears she wanted.

Dear Liane,

When I shipped you my mother-in-law's brown mink coat and my mother's white mink stole, I was excited to get this project started. i was very excited when you suggested using both colors in each of four teddy bears. I was excited when the carton arrived with our new additions. then came Christmas morning and I could hardly contain myself until my four grandaughters openedd their bags--after I narrated the significance of the bears.

I am so happy I found you on the internet. Your work exceeded my highest expectations. Thank you and Happy New Year!

Love, Linda

Memory bearKeeping the T-Shirt

Mia sent me her late Father-in-Law's favorite T-shirt and another work shirt to have bears made for her husband and his brother. The T-Shirt had a saying on it that she wanted captured. I had to split the words between the front and back of the bear because they were too big to fit all on the front. However, I think it worked well.

Liane,

"I have been thinking of just how to express the feeling I had, when I opened my heirloom bears from Liane! They were mesmerizing~ All the memories from our father, came flashing by, and we both cried as we held the bear in our arms. This is the most precious thing we own...We couldn't be happier with the outcome, and I will cherish the bear forever...Thank you Liane for capturing the true spirit of our father in these adorable, huggable, bears!"

-- Warmest wishes... Mia

Bears for Siblings

memory bears

Susan sent me her late mother's mink coat to have bears made for her and her siblings. I was able to get four 14" bears and one 12" bear from the fur. Each bear has a vest made from the coat lining.

Hi Liane

I picked up the bears this week and they are so cute!  It was a pleasure working with you on this project - it was certainly an easy process.  My siblings will love the bears as a Christmas present, and, as a reminder of Mom since the fur was her original mink coat.  I am so pleased I chose to do this.  With your help it has been a very gratifying project.

Many thanks. Susan

Opossum in Three
Real Fur teddy bears

Nancy sent me her Opossum coat to have three bears made for her daughters and granddaughter. Opossum coats are often made up of a kind of patchwork of different colors so it makes really interesting and unique bears.

Dear Liane,

I just went to the post office to pick up my package (I was gone for the weekend).
I have never been happier...They are absolutely gorgeous!

I have to tell you that I was a little apprehensive about sending a complete stranger my coat and money without knowing anything about you, but I can say now with complete confidence that you are the real deal.

I checked out a couple web-sites before deciding on you.  I felt that your web-site was the most direct, but most importantly, I felt an honesty in yours that I didn't feel in the others that I reviewed. I made the RIGHT decision!

The quality and care that went into your creations is obvious in the finished product. I love the expressions on the bears faces.  They just look sooooo happy. My adult daughters will receive theirs for Christmas.  I haven't decided when to give the other one to my 4 year grand-daughter.

All I can say is thank you, thank you, thank you.

Nancy

Merry, merry Christmas to you.  I had to let you know that my daughters think that you and I are "the bomb".  They were so surprised and moved by the bears that you created from my coat. There were some tears of joy and lots of good memories shared.

Thank you again for allowing me to do business with you. And thank you for your talent.

Nancy

 

Big Furry Bears for Granddaughters

memory bear from fox custom teddy bear

Marjorie sent me her black fox jacket to have two bears made for her granddaughters. Fox is one of the more difficult furs to work with, but it makes really furry bears. She also had me put her granddaughters' initials on the scarf.

Dear Liane,

Our two beautiful bears made from my black fox jacket arrived today. My granddaughters and I just love them and could not be happier. Their faces are adorable and the bodies so furry and silky. Thank you so much for creating something my girls will have for a lifetime. You truly are a fairy godmother..........Marjorie

memory bear from fur coatFurry Gifts for a Friend's Grandchildren

Maureen sent me a coat that belonged to her friend who passed away. She wanted two bears made for her friend's grandchildren. The coat was made of white fox. Fox is difficult to work with but it makes truly beautiful bears.

Liane -- The bears are fabulous!!!  Your workmanship is unbelievable!.
 My husband said there's no way I'll be able to wait until Christmas to give them to my friend's daughters.  I'll keep you card on hand and refer my friends to you.

Maureen

bereavement bears from furJust Too Fluffy

Vicki sent me her raccoon coat and asked me to get two bears from it. I used nearly every last inch to get these two fluffy 18" bears. Raccoon is one of the more difficult furs to work with because of the way the coat manufacturers actually create the coats. However, it makes such lovely bears.

Liane,

My precious bears arrived yesterday.  They are absolutely beautiful.  I was originally planning on giving them to my granddaughters but that will have to wait I can't bear to let them go (sorry no pun intended there). ....   I don't know why I waited so long to send you the coat,  if I'd know how much joy they would be giving me I would have sent it much sooner.  Thank you again so much !

Vicki

Millitary uniform memory bearMilitary Memories

Mary Lou had her late husband's military uniform and decided to take it out of the closet and have a memory bear made from it. I preserved many of the embelishments from the uniform to use on the bear and its scarf. This little guy is 18" and has glass eyes and corded joints.

Comment from my Facebook page:

This bear is even better in person. This bear was made for a friend of mine. It was made from a Blue Air Force uniform. The blue does not come out in the picture. The bear also has beautiful blue eyes. The front of the scarf is light blue from the uniform's shirt. The button on the scarf was the one of the buttons from the jacket. The medals are part of the medals this man earned. What a great keepsake. Beth

memory bear from persian lambPersian Lamb and Mink Bears

Beth is local to me and she brought over her black Persian Lamb coat with a silver mink collar. she wanted three bears made. We decided to use the mink as accent in the muzzles and ears of the bears.

Liane, I love my bears. You did an outstanding job on them. Each one has it's own personality. Every time I look at them, I am reminded of my Mother. I am so glad I found you living so close to me. It was great meeting you in person. I will spread the word about your work. I have already sent you one of my friends to have a bear made out of her husbands military uniform. I can't wait to see it. It will mean so much to her.

Beth

real fur memory bearsIn Memory of Mom

Marcia sent me her late mother's fur coat and a couple of her mother's favorite dusters and asked me to make four bears with outfits. She wanted each bear to wear a duster, glasses, beaded necklace and bracelet as well as embroidered scarf. I made the dusters in the same style as the original ones.

Dear Liane,

The 4 memory bears arrived safely.  They are just perfect!  I could not get over the incredible detail you have put into each bear.  From my first email to you requesting 4 memory bears, sending my mom’s fur coat and 2 duster dresses, my ‘long’ list of instructions as each bear was a bit different, to receiving progress updates, to picking up the box at the post office; the process was smooth and timely.  You graciously honored my timeline as I plan to give them to my sister, niece, and daughter on May 23rd, the first anniversary of our mom’s/grandma’s death.

I am completely overwhelmed with each bear and as soon as I saw the first one, I burst into tears.   They remind me of mom in so many ways; you have certainly captured her for all of us!  From the duster dresses (which she wore in her senior years), the eye glasses,  and the ‘jewelry’, the bears are truly her.  You have put so much work into each bear and it shows!  I could not be more pleased.  There are no words to tell you just how much they mean to me and will to the receivers.

Once again, thank you for your time and TALENT!  You have an amazing gift of making memories that will last for years to come, and for that,  I will always be grateful!

My best wishes for your continued success.    Your work is amazing!

Sincerely, Marcia

 

eight memory bears made from a party dress, a silk stole, a shirt and a jacket as Christmas presents for grandchildrenChristmas Gifts for Grandchildren

Lorna sent several garments to have bears made for her eight grandchildren. Six of the bears are made for her young granddaughters. The bears are made from a robe and additional fabric she sent. I then made wardrobes for each bear consisting of a party dress (made from Lorna's mother's silk stole) and an outfit that included a shirt, pants and jacket (all made from clothing).For her grandson, I made a hoodie and shorts from a shirt that Lorna's father used to wear. The fur bear was for her teenage granddaughter and was made from a fox fur jacket.

Hi Liane,
I sent the pictures to my daughters and one emailed me back that she had to stop crying before she could reply!  She loved them, so I think they will be well received.  Certainly, they will be well received by the parents of the kiddos who will receive the bears!
Thanks so much, and I will let you know when they arrive.
Gratefully,

Lorna

Bereavement bear from fleece shirtIn Memory of a Beloved Son

Lois's son was a vibrant, active person who was taken from her suddenly. She sent me his favorite shirt and hopefully this little bear will help bring comfort to a grieving family.

Liane, I received my little red bear today and it surpassed my expectations!   I can't think of a better way to keep alive the memory of a loved one.  You do beautiful work and the gift bag was a pleasant surprise.  I will surely pass on your name to family and friends.  Thank you for doing this project for me

Sincerely,   Lois

You can see more projects on my Gallery Pages

Click Here for More Stories with Pictures

Click Here Just to See More Bear Pictures

To order, download the form and send it, along with your garment and payment to:

Liane Wagner
3943 Old Troy PIke
Dayton, OH 45404


How much fur/fabric does it take to make a bear? I can usually get the following:

Fur Garments

Standard small shoulder stole = Two 9"-12" bears
Larger stole or small jacket = Two 14" bears one 16" bear
Hip-length jacket/coat = Three to four 12"-14" bears or two 16"-18" bears or one 20-24" bear
Full length coat = Four to six 12"-14" bears or three 16" bears or two 18"-24" bears

Fabric Carments

Standard men's shirt = Two 12"-14" bears or one 16-18" bear
Standard woman's blouse = Two 12"-14" bears or one 16" bear
Standard pair of pants = Two 12"-14" bears or one 16" bear
Full length bath robe = Four to six 14" bears, Two to three 16-18" bears, two 20-24" bears

Each bear has approximately 24 pattern pieces. I have two primary patterns in a range of sizes. If someone wants more bears from a garment, I can sometimes adapt my patterns to make smaller bears. I don't like to work with bears less than 9" though.

Questions about Fur

Will My Fur Work Well?

So far, I've been able to work with any fur that has come my way. However, different fur does handle differently.Here are some of the common furs I've worked with so far:

  • Mink, Muskrat, Beaver, Squirrel, Weasle, Sable, Ermine, Opposum, Badger and Persian Lamb all make beautiful bears and I can make just about any size bear from these fur types.

  • Rabbit has very thin hide so I have to treat it a bit more and it tends to shed over the years. However, it does make very cute bears in any size.

  • Mouton and Seal These furs have a very thick hide. The final bears are beautiful, but it is nearly impossible to work with bears under 16" in size.

  • Fox, Silver Fox, coyote and Raccoon all tend to have very thin hide with long pile fur. However, most coats with this fur are made of strips of fur between strips of leather or suede--which gives added strength to the fur. This works well for coats, but when making smaller items--like bears--the strips of leather WILL show. I try to place the pattern pieces so that none of the seams land on leather strips, but this means there is more waste. If you want me to reduce or eliminate the leather strips, I can do so but there is a $50 up-charge to your total order because it is time consuming to do so. I have to cut the strips off and re-bind the fur pieces together. The fur from these animals is so long, it works best on bears 16" or larger.

Can you use smaller fur pieces?

Some people have collars, hats or the kind of decorative stole that is made of several small animals--more like an accent piece than an actual stole. I can make small bears using fur for the head and paws and other fabric for the actual body (which is covered by an outfit). However, I do charge for the bear plus a full outfit to do so.

How do I know if my fur will work?

Most fur that still has its original lining in good shape tends to be useable. Furiers use lining fabrics that allow the hide to keep its oils. Vintage fur can get dried out over time though--actually, it is the hide that gets dried out. If the hide is too dry, the needle holes from sewing act like perforation instead of binding.

For thicker hide like mink, muskrat, wolf, beaver you can test the fur. If you peel back a bit of lining on your garment to expose the hide, try and poke your finger through the hide (preferrably not on a seam--though some fur is made up of nothing but seams). If it takes a lot of effort to tear, or if the hide simply doesn't tear, your fur is probably going to do well in the sewing process. If the fur tears easily or acts like paper once there is a little hole (as long as it isn't along a seam) then it is pretty dried out.

For thin hide like rabbit and silver fox, this test won't work because the hide will poke through even if it is in good condition. The best thing to do is send me the fur so I can assess it.

There are things I can do to re-inforce most hide (in fact, I rarely have to send a garment back). If you are unsure, you can send the fur to me along with your order. If the fur simply won't work, I'll ship it back along with your returned payment minuse the cost to ship the garment back.

Is there any option for fur that is dried out?

Yes, there may be. If your fur is in bad shape but you want me to try and use it, I have a process I've developed that has made it possible to use every fur that has been sent to me so far. However, there are no guarantees so I will only attempt it with the following understanding 1.) If it simply won't work after I've tried, I will return all but $20 of your money. 2.)It requires me to cut the fur in order to create a bear arm and leg. I use a process I've developed but I won't know if the fur will split at the seam until I turn and stuff a sewn piece or two. If the test does not work and you want the fur returned, I will also charge ($15) to ship it back at that point.

What happens to the extra fur?

Most of the time, there isn't much in the way of extra fur. Very few people have only wanted one bear from the fur they have sent me so I'm frantically working to get the number of bears they want from the fur. However, occasionally there is a little fur left over. Unless the person who sent it specifically requests to have it back, I will keep it and use it to augment other projects--or use when I want to do a test run on a new pattern or approach (I have a growing collection of prototype bear heads :) ). If I've collected enough extra fur to make a bear, I'll sometimes create one, but it doesn't happen very often. There isn't much of a market for people who want to purchase a bear specifically made from real fur and there is a segment of the population that is offended by what I do so I can't just make a real fur bear to give to a charity auction. The people coming to this site are looking for someone to help them turn their heirloom fur into bears so it is a more personal service rather than a manufacturing process.

I have an old fur coat I don't want, do you take donations?

Yes, if you have an old fur coat you don't want I will take it off your hands. I'm not in the market for buying fur but will happily reimburse your shipping costs. Most of the people coming to this web site want bears made from THEIR fur and very few people are simply looking for a pre-made bear made of real fur so it isn't usually worth it for me to spend money on fur to make bears from. If you have the energy, you might be able to sell your fur on Ebay.

 

Questions about Fabric

I have a couple of shirts from my late husband and would like bears for each of my grandchildren. How can you use them to create five bears the same?

I can use quilting and patchwork techniques that incorporate the different fabrics into each bear. This bear uses a quilting pierpoint star on the belly, embroidered initials on the foot and patchwork from a couple of garments.

What happens to the extra fabric?

Most of the time, there isn't much in the way of extra fabric. Very few people have only wanted one bear from the garment they have sent me so I'm frantically working to get the number of bears they want from the available materials. However, occasionally there is a little left over. Unless the person who sent it specifically requests to have it back, I will discard it.

 

General Questions

Do you do animals other than bears?

Yes, I literally have hundreds of patterns from over 40 years of sewing. If you want a cat, a bunny, a dog or some other animal, let me know what you are looking for. You can click here to see a growing gallery of other animals.

Do you use the garment lining?

Yes, if the garment has lining material that can be used for paw pads and ear pads as well as noses sometimes, I will use it if at all possible. I will try to use it to make a scarf for each bear as well. If the lining is just too old (old satin degrades to the point that it simply tears easily), I use satin scraps from my own supplies. If there is a special embroidery element, I try to work it into a scarf when possible.

What kind of eyes do you use?

I use standard acrylic safety bear eyes for my basic bears. The acrylic eyes are more affordable, long-lasting and look good. They are also more secure so don't represent a choking hazzard for little ones. If someone wants glass eyes, I will use glass eyes. They take a special order and do cost a bit more ($15 per bear) and they ARE NOT for bears being given to little children. Although they are securely applied, glass eyes are attached to a wire that can break if enough twisting and pressure is put on them--making them a potential choking hazzard. If someone wants an old fashioned folk-art look, I use buttons for eyes. If you are interested in glass eyes or button eyes, please mention it when you place your order.

Why aren't your bears' heads jointed?

I try to make bears that can be cuddled and I'm usually working with older materials. In order to joint the head, the bear head and body have to be very firmly stuffed or the head will flop around. This not only makes them less cuddly, it puts extra pressure on the head and body materials. If you want a jointed head, I will do so, but there is a $20 per bear charge.

Do you offer internment of ashes?

Yes, this is a specialized service and is not offered on my order forms but I can place a small portion of ashes in a sealed water-tight container into each bear. For those who would like to do their own internment, I can create a pocket in the back of each bear that you can slide a small locket or container into. If you want internment options, please call ahead to discuss what will work best for you and your family.

How much time do you put into each bear?

Normally, each bear takes 8-12 hours. There are some preliminary things I have to do to the fur or fabric to make sure it will hold up to the sewing. With some garments it can take nearly an hour just to propperly remove the lining. The higher quality the garment, the more difficult to get the lining off. I often have to adapt my patterns to work with the fabric/fur nap as well and this can literally take hours of switching the pattern pieces around when I'm trying to get several bears from a single garment. In addition, the joints take time to apply and have to have the right amount of tension. And, of course, there is a lot of hand sewing involved.

How long can I expect to wait before my bear arrives?

I tell people that an average bear order takes about four to five weeks from the day I receive the materials to the day I ship it out. Sometimes I will turn an order around faster though. It really depends on how many bears I'm trying to make from the materials and what I have going on. Since this is a hobby, I use my evenings and weekend time. I try not to work every evening or my family feels neglected. I do try to email updates along the way. Starting in mid September, Christmas reservations tend to keep me pretty busy through to Christmas so I highly recommend planning ahead if you are wanting bears as Christmas gifts.

How should I send my garment?

Pack it into as small a box you can fit it in. I'd prefer not to receive garment bags or cases that need to be returned. If you are concerned about protecting it from moisture, put it into a plastic garbage bag. It will not be in the mail very long--and I remove it from the box when it arrives.

I realize that I'm working with materials that mean something to the person who sends them. As a result, I treat those materials with respect. Here is the process that I use:

Assessing the Fur/Fabric: When the package of materials arrives, the first thing I do is check the fur (or fabric) to make sure it can handle the sewing process. Although there are techniques I can use to re-enforce the fur, if I simply don't believe the fur will hold up, I will call and give the option of having me try and stabilize the fur with the understanding stated under my FAQ or re-package the fur and return it to the sender along with their payment minus the cost of shipping.

If the fur/fabric is in workable condition, I will send an email letting the person know. If there is a question as to how many bears or what size bears I can get out of the piece, I can usually answer those questions at that time.

Preparing the Fur: I then carefully remove all linings and interfaces from the fur garment. I test the lining material to see if it will hold up to being used as accent cloth for paw and ear pads. On really old coats, the lining material gets very fragile so it isn't always useable. I then disassemble the primary seams of the garment to retrieve as much of the fur as possible and to allow the fur to lay flat.

For fabric garments, I disassemble the garments so that the fabric lays flat.

Placing and Cutting the Pattern: Once the fur/fabric is ready, I carefully lay out all the pattern pieces. Since I have to avoid certain types of seams and I need certain pieces to match the fur or nap, this can take quite a bit of time. Once every piece for each bear I'm making is in place, I cut them out.

Sewing and Assembly: The individual parts are machine sewn leaving openings for stuffing each part. I sew the head, attaching the ears and adding eyes and noses. Once the head looks right, I tuck it into the bear body inside out and sew it on the body by hand. I then mark where the joints will be placed and turn the body and head right-side out. Once the arms, legs, paws are sewn, I start attaching the arms and legs using plastic joints or locking nuts, bolts and washers so that the arms and legs move. For lighter weight fabrics, I may use a corded joint. Once all of the arms and legs are attached and moving correctly, I stuff each element and close them with hand stitches.

Finishing Touches: If the person I'm creating the bear (s) for has also requested a full outfit, I create an outfit based on any information I've been given about the person the bear is in memory of. An outfit can take several hours to make and each is created uniquely for the bear.

For those not paying for a full outfit, I add a Fairygodmother signature scarf as an accent.

Finally: I take a picture and email it before putting the final bears into the mail. I usually post the picture on my web site with some information about the project. If I receive a comment from the person after they have received their bears, I add it to the picture on my web site.

Not everyone takes the time to write but I do like to share the projects.

 

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1001 E Second St. #3140
Dayton OH 45402