Teddy Bear Making Workshops

Workshop dates:

Thursday 22nd – Friday 23rd June: ONE SPACE LEFT, please book below

Thursday 28th-Friday 29th September: THREE SPACES AVAILABLE, please book below

Time: 9am-4.30pm each day

Location: Meadow Lane, Lindfield

Cost: £165

Future workshops: Dates for future workshops will be agreed with groups from the waiting list. Please email your interest to jenny@needleswift.com

To check out my bear making as it happens, you can follow Winters Den on Instagram: @winters__den

A selection of reviews for this workshop are at the foot of this page – please find Needleswift on Google maps to see the originals.

“I am so delighted I attended your teddy bear making course – I think I may have caught the teddy making bug! Thanks to you I feel confident enough to make another.”

N. Allen – course attendee

I am very excited to share my bear making knowledge with students so I hope you can join us at a workshop! We will be making the 25cm bear you see below, which is my own pattern, designed exclusively for these workshops. I have also produced a detailed, fully illustrated sewing guide for you to take home. See photos below. The two bears seated together are the same pattern in different colours of mohair, and also show the different characters which emerge with different nose styles. NOTE: I am working on other bear patterns, and if you have some experience and would like to work with longer mohair, please let me know.

Join me on this two-day workshop and make your own heirloom-style, fully-jointed mohair teddy bear. All materials, including Steiff mohair, will be included in the cost. There will be four spaces available, and each student will have their own complete set of tools to use during the workshop. Sewing machines will be provided, unless you prefer to bring your own.

We will be using a mix of traditional and modern fillings, so you can learn how to achieve the feel and weight of bear you prefer. Learn about using wood-wool, wood shavings and polyfibre for different effects. Make your little bear your own by choosing which kind of nose you’d like to stitch (tip: if you’re worried about creating a neat muzzle, go for a vintage threadbare look!). Use placement eyes to choose eye position and decide if you’d like a serious faced bear, or a smiley character. Choose the colour of paw-pads you prefer and learn how to stitch claws. We will all sew the same pattern, but your bear will take on it’s own personality as you bring it to life.

We will cover everything you need to know to make a beautiful heirloom-style mohair teddy bear, including:

Cutting mohair; pinning and tacking; sewing, by hand and using a sewing machine; stuffing and adding cotter-pin joints; placing glass eyes securely; stitching a nose and adding claws if desired.

Homebaked cake or biscuits and plenty of tea and coffee will be provided throughout both days. Please bring your own lunch and let me know in advance of any allergies or dietary requirements.

Skill level: Although bears can be sewn beautifully by hand, this is very time-consuming, so we will sew some parts by hand, and some on the sewing machines. In order to attend this workshop, you do need to have some basic sewing machine skills. If you have never sewn before but would like to join the course, you can book a Social Sewing session before the workshop date: don’t leave this too late as classes book up quickly! If you have any queries, you can email me at jenny@needleswift.com

Please note that this workshop involves some small-scale hand-sewing. It will be more challenging for anyone with hand dexterity or strength issues. Cotter joints need to be made very tight, but I’m happy to assist anyone who finds this difficult.

Important note: Heirloom-style bears are not generally considered to be suitable for children to play with, due to the type of fillings, jointing, and glass eyes.

Payment note: if you prefer to pay by bank transfer please email me for account details.

Please email jenny@needleswift.com if you have any questions.

Teddy Bear Workshop: 22nd-23rd June 2023

Please read through all class details before booking. If you need to cancel your booking, you will be fully refunded if you give at least 14 days notice. With less than 14 days notice I will only offer a full refund if I can fill the space.


Teddy Bear Workshop: 28th-29th September

Please read through all class details before booking. If you need to cancel your booking, you will be fully refunded if you give at least 14 days notice. With less than 14 days notice I will only offer a full refund if I can fill the space.


Review by J. Slack:

I collect teddy bears but never thought I could actually make my own special, jointed bear. With Jenny’s incredibly well planned and organised two day course, everything at hand for each of us learning, a unique little bear evolved, the same pattern but very individual bears. Jenny’s instruction was clear and not rushed, she was patient and encouraging and helped if you got a little stuck! We all came away with a beautiful bear, full of character as well as a beautifully printed book with all the instructions, illustrations and suppliers clearly printed to aid us making more! I encourage anyone to go on one of Jenny’s bear making courses.

Review by Catherine. Please visit Needleswift on Google to see the original:

I’ve just completed the Handmade Teddy Bear Workshop with Jenny and I’m so pleased with the bear I made. Jenny, as always, is inspiringly organised and had everything ready and laid out. Her enthusiasm throughout the whole process is infectious. Jenny’s teaching and written instructions are clear and easy to follow; she has all the equipment ready to go and patterns to take home so you can make more bears at your leisure. I found the 2 days I spent with her and the others on the course very relaxing and fun. Now I have the most gorgeous teddy bear that I’ve made, which is so rewarding. Now, I’m knitting him a scarf at home.

I can’t recommend Jenny’s Handmade Teddy Bear Workshop enough, I’ve been going to her social sewing classes for years now, and she’s helped me so much with my sewing confidence. This class is no exception, whether you are experienced at sewing or not, the atmosphere is friendly, fun and productive. It’s a mixture of hand and machine sewing, but you will receive all the help you need to make a lovely furry friend. The only preparation you need to do before going is to have a few teddy bear names in mind!

A selection of my handmade bears, sold in my Winter’s Den shop on Etsy: https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/WintersDen