Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Wobbly neck for mini bears

To make a wobbly neck with fibreboard discs, you'll need a pair of cotter pins, 2 discs and a pair of long nose pliers (or cotter pin turner tool).

Start by inserting one of the legs of one the cotter pins through the eye of the other cotter pin

Place a disc on one of the cotter pins

With the help of the long nose pliers, grab one of the cotter pin's leg and turn it tight over the disc

Repeat for the other leg of the same cotter pin

Run a gathering stitch around the bear's head neck

Place the set of cotter pins and disc inside the neck, making sure the straight pin is protruding out of the neck

  Pull thread and close neck opening securely with a couple of knots.


  Insert straight cotter pin through the opening at the top of the body

 Place disc on the pin through the back opening of the body

Turn pins legs in the same manner as before

Make sure the neck is not too tight, if it is, then pull head apart from the body slightly and this will loosen the pins a little making the head a little wobblier

Waxing noses

This is the easiest way I know to wax noses, and after reading through this tutorial, you might say ‘… why haven’t I thought of that before …?’

 Well, here are some helpful hints. It’s so rewarding to end up with a perfect embroidered nose after spending so much time giving our bear the look we’ve tried to achieve… but unfortunately that doesn’t happen very often, so to cover up some minor unevenness on our bear’s nose we can use the waxing method below.

 This is Romeo before his waxed nose:

  Place some sticky tape around the bear’s nose, very close to the edge of the embroidered nose.

Fill an empty glass jar (jam, preserves), with very hot water (only 3/4 full). Place the lid on the jar and close it tight

Get some wax and rub it on the side of the jar until you have melted a decent amount of wax to place on the bear’s nose.

Holding the jar by the top (lid) with a cloth or towel, (so you don’t burn your hand), bring the nose close to the jar and rub the bear’s nose on the melted wax


Fill all unevenness of the nose’s threads, and don’t be afraid to add more wax as needed

 If you make a boo-boo, or want to correct areas that need more wax, keep rubbing the nose against the hot jar. This will keep re-melting those areas and relocating the wax where needed.

Finally, after the wax has cooled down, get some computer or photocopying paper and rub the nose with it till it shines


  Peel off all sticky tape from around the nose.
VoilĂ ! You’ve got yourself a waxed nose..! Yeah!!



Trimming the muzzle

To trim the muzzle of your bear, you'll simply need a good pair of sharp embroidery scissors and a mohair brush (Fur Reactivator Brush).

Before you start sewing your bear's head together, simplify your task ahead by trimming all the fur from the front part of the head gusset, right up to where the eyes will be placed on either side of the head gusset

Like this.

Then you can proceed to pin and sew the head gusset to the head sides.


  You'll find that this step will make it easier for you to sew the pieces together.
Finish sewing the head, turn right side out and stuff nice and firm. This is how your bear's head should look so far

Following the 2 photos below, trim fur from the chin area in a straight line, just like an upside down 'crew cut'




  Next, trim all fur around the area where the nose will be embroidered (having a wool felt template of the nose will help you see how much to trim off. Also trim a very narrow area around the seam line at the front, where the septum and mouth will be embroidered as well.



Next (if the bear you're making has dense fur), trim a very narrow line from the neck area towards where the eyes will be placed. this will define the cheeks area much more. Omit this step if you're making your bear out of sparse mohair

This is what it looks from one side 

  ... and the other

  And last, trim the fur around the eye areas


Like this

Sewing cauliflower ears

Start by matching 2 ear pieces together, pin and then stitch around the curved edges. Leave the straight edges open. Turn them right side out, but do not stuff. Fold the straight edges in half and baste them together

  Pinning the ears to the head

Using a couple of pins, attach each ear to the sides of the head.

 The straight edge of the ear (which you've just overstitched together), should be pinned below an imaginary horizontal line which is usually below where the nose will be.

Always check for symmetry between the 2 halves of the head by using the middle seam as a guide

  Front and back

  ... and also from below...

... and top

  Sewing the ears to the head

Using a long needle and double upholstery thread, start by inserting the needle inside the neck (if the head is too big, you can start underneath the ear), and come out in front of the straight edge of the ear

Now, start sewing the ear to the head with ladder stitch, going towards the back and only picking the outside layer of the ear

When you've reached the end of the straight edge, pull threads. The ear should automatically lift.
Now make a long stitch from the back of the ear to the middle part of the head where the ear will lay later on.


Now, make a small running stitch right below the ear

Before pulling the thread, make another stitch starting close to the last stitch you did on the head and come out towards the front of where the ear should lay

Pull thread. This will make the ear to lay flat against the head

Now, to make that ear open a little more and to make sure it's really attached securely to the head, insert the needle on the edge of the ear (as shown below), and into the head

  … coming out at the back straight edge of the ear.

Make a couple of knots, insert needle close to where the knots are and come out from inside the neck. Cut threads off