Now I can start stuffing, and I usually do this up to the edge of the opening hole when I’m using nut and bolt joints, as I will need access to both sides of the joint for these (with cotter pins I could actually stuff all the way to the top)
Moving on to the legs, I stuff the feet completely first to allow me to create my ‘pulled toes’. Next, I take my T-pins and mark out where the tops of the toes are going to be. I use a ruler to make sure that they come out evenly on both feet, then I use pearl headed pins to mark the bottom of the toes, again wielding the ruler to ensure it comes out evenly. As for the nose, I use #5 perle cotton for this, and I measure it out by following the path I’m going to sew, which is marked out below:
Like the nose, I thread my ridiculously large doll needle and work from the tip of the toe at position 1 above, going into the foot and out the stuffing hole, so I can tie off the end, then I rethread the needle with the other end and pull taught. I work just outside the ultrasuede for the tips of the toes, so that it doesn’t rip through as I pull tight. The tiny stitches at the top are one of the best pieces of advice I have got on a beary forum, as they really help to pull the toes in. I also make sure that after I’ve taken them, I come back to do the next stitch to join the toes together very slightly to the left of where the previous one has gone in, so that I don’t get any obvious holes in my paw pads.
Now it’s time to put a little weight in there, so it’s time to grab a couple of pop socks and the steel shot. I don’t use a huge amount of the shot, I just make up a little bag like this:
I tie the end off with a knot, then stuff it into the leg, before working more stuffing around it so that it can’t be felt on the outside. Then I finish stuffing my legs up to the bottom of the opening as for the arms.
When I’m working on stuffing the limbs of a bear, I stuff all the way up to the bottom of the opening, before putting the joint in place. Looking at where I’ve marked the joint placement when I drew the pattern out, I grab my bradawl and make a hole at that point. I then hold the bolt up against the hole, and snip about one warp and one weft thread from the backing fabric to enable me to thread the bolt through. Before I thread, I add a washer and the joint disc, then push the bolt through. (Note that in the photo below the joint isn’t fully in place so I could actually show where it went)
The end is now in sight, come back next week for the final instalment!
Awww, he's got toes!
This whole process is amazing and where and when did you learn all this?!
wow! It blows me away with each installment – it's just so involved.
Looks like acupuncture for bears!
Well, here I am in the Alps, but still getting my weekly horror show.
This week wasn't too bad, all that accupuncture stuff with the pins and things. Of course maybe I'm not seeing straight as I got a bit tiddly today. We were up at a high refuge and I managed to snaffle some of himself's genepi beer. It was very nice but quite alcoholic. Still I look forward to the horror show and you didn't disappoint.
The toes look so adorable! What a meticulous process to sew them!(not cuter than baby feet though) =D
I'm with Susan. How did you get started making bears? It's really an astounding process!
Amazing stuff – meanwhile you have a bear fit for the Paralympics. xx
Making bears is full on!!! So far we have a head and a leg… Old heady hop along.
Wow! That diagram is intense, but it makes such cute little toes. 🙂
I like his toes! He's going to be a whole bear soon! I'm looking forward to see fully created!
The pins caused me to say wow! There are too many hours in this project for my numb brain. You are a machine and an amazing bear maker.