OK, I mentioned some ways to obtain a pattern. My #1 source was a good book. Heck, the book I bought even showed you how to create your own pattern. We won't go there right now. Most patterns you find will make you a bear around 12 inches tall. With a scanner you can adjust your pattern smaller and bigger, but 12 inches is a good size.
On tracing paper I copied my pattern out of the book and transferred it to card stock. If you are using a pattern downloaded from the internet you can print that on card stock.
When you are looking for patterns, go for "simple". A bear made with a 2 piece body will look as good as a bear made with a 4 piece body and it will be a lot less complicated to sew.
I wasn't sure whether I should do this but I don't want to leave anyone hanging. The link that I've put below is a free pattern of a bear called "Goldie" by Sue Ann Holcomb and Teddy Talk. Since I'm recommending the pattern for educational use only I can justify directing you there. I still recommend getting a good book for your patterns.
Your pattern should be marked with arrows. These arrows indicate the way the fur lays. Arrow points down, fur lays down. Place the pattern pieces on the backside of the fur.
In most cases you'll need:
2 body pieces, reversing 1
2 head pieces, reversing 1
1 gusset head piece
2 or 4 arm pieces, reversing 1 or 2
2 or 4 leg pieces, reversing 1 or 2
4 ear pieces
2 foot pads, cut from felt
2 hand pads, cut from felt (optional)
(I don't always cut felt for hands because I like my bears with fur paws and embroidered claws. I simply use the full arm pattern for both sides of arm.)
I use a brown or black fine point permanent pen to trace around the pattern pieces on most fur but for dark fur I'd use a white chalk pencil. Your body pattern should also have 2 marks for where to place the arms and legs later. I poke these 2 holes out of the pattern and mark the fur for future reference. I also mark the fur for where you will leave it open for jointing and filling.
The plush felt you can simply cut out once your pieces are traced. Other fur may be more difficult. A lot of fur requires you to only cut the underneath material so you don't ruin the fur.
Because I'm sharing what I've learned from my experience I certainly welcome suggestions from those of you who have your own experience to share!