Monday, December 13, 2010

Clay didn't appeal ...

..the other day when I had a bit of time to play.  So, instead...I stitched up some bear bits and pieces. Remember the little furry face?  These are the rest of the story.... although, even her/his face is not yet finished.

Oh.... and ... have some lovely warm beverage at hand.  This is not as quick for me as it is for some folks....















Usually I hand stitch my bears as they aren't very big.  My largest stitched mohair and other fabric bears would be about 8 inches....  they go down to about 2 inches.  My needle felted guys are usually under 2 or just up to 3 max....

There are several ways to hold the pieces securely in position while stitching.  My preference is alligator clips ... probably because that's the way I was shown when I did my first little bear.  You know how it goes... we do what we are comfortable with...and it seems it's often the way we learn to do something that remains most comfortable for us.  Some people like to baste the two pieces using blanket stitch, or whip stitching... and then go back over it with a secure backstitch.

Here's my way.  A porcupine.  Hahahha.... this is the body.  It is pretty tricky to stitch up a piece with this many clips hanging off it...even by hand... but, it definitely keeps the pieces from sliding around and then... either puckering or the whole piece being twisted when you finish.















I may give basting a try on the next bear I do on the machine. If I do another.  We'll see how this little guy works out first.   I can see basting perhaps being a little easier all 'round.  Although...if you remove a couple for the first stitches....and just go slowly.. removing each clip as the toe of the foot touches it or just before ... things work out okay.  I am not a quick stitcher anyway...so, no biggy for me.  Maggi likes to whiz along...so she pins hers and when she isn't using my machine...says she even stitches over the pins. Ohhhh..... she's brave.  I tried that once and sproinnggg!  'Busted needle'.  My first try going over a pin.  Forget it.















Seeing as this is about a 6 inch bear....I thought I'd give it a go on the machine.  Of course, it's been so long since I used my machine that I had to look up how to put thread on a bobbin...and then..page 15...how to thread the darn thing.  It was already threaded because Maggi was here not that long ago and she did it properly of course.... she sews .. a LOT.   But, I had to change colours... and...   I'm just not that much into sewing...yet.  Probably not going to happen at this late stage in my life ..... oh, well.... it seems to be stitching properly.  So..off I went.  Wooohooo...it is a lot of fun when I get going.  I just hesitate so darn much at the simple "trying" of some things.... only some things though.  Other things?...I'm the fist guy on the block ... even I can't figure me out at all.  Don't even try.

Oh, hey! and..... don't forget to pick the "fur" out of the seams on the wrong sides before turning the pieces.  If you leave it caught in the seams you will have undesirable shorter tufts all along a seam.  Not very professional looking.  It might not be quite as noticeable to the average viewer, especially on a bear with long scraggly fur...but....I would notice ... and not be all that pleased with myself.















And... one other thing..... on the machine...I get going along and forget to stop in time, so all of a sudden...I have a hole remaining that is just too tiny.   I got to use the seam picker thingy two times.  You need a hole just a bit larger than this to get a finger and needle nosed pliers inside the body to attach joints and limbs....  not much larger....but, just a tad.  Unpick... reinforce the ends of the stitching a second time.  Pick out scraggly fur caught in the seams...turn the body... Voila.... bear bits ready to play with and...now... stitch on the foot pads.  I'm too chicken to try those on the machine.















It's a beautiful blue sky day....  going up to an amazing +8C or so.... I'll sit at the kitchen table in the lovely warm sun and stitch on the foot pads today...

7 comments:

Draffin Bears said...

Hi Vee,

Sounds like the perfect day sitting in the sun and stitching your little bear.
Oh yes, that noise when you run over a pin and break a needle is not a good sound.
Love the little clay doll and look forward to seeing her finished.

Happy week
Hugs
Carolyn

Daisy said...

Wow, making bears seems very complicated. I can tell it is a labor of love.

frayedattheedge said...

You can get very long, very fine pins that quilters used (called flower pins) You pin the seams with the pins at right angles to the seams and then it's easy to pull them out as you go. Have you tried using a cocktail stick to stroke the fur away from the seam allowance as you sew - easier than picking it out afterwards!

Leslie said...

Love the WIPS of the bear! I would also love the recipe for the chocolate cake in the ramekins!

Maria said...

Can´t wait to see the end result of your handy work!
Enjoy that Chinook ... hope it lasts for a good few days. Hugs

Susan said...

Thankyou BumbleVee I've learnt a lot already :)
Those alligator clips appeal to me - they're bigger than pins!
Also, frayedattheedge's hint about using a cocktail stick to stroke the fur away as you sew, thanks!

Serena said...

Great tip about pulling the fur through before turning it! I sometimes sew over the pins - placed side on like your clips - if I need both hands on a fiddly piece. I usually slow the speed right down to avoid needle breakage.