I spent all day and part of the evening yesterday , and this morning working on the bear . It is not complete yet, the face takes me hours to get the way I want. Here are some photos (well a lot actually !) showing more steps in the bearmaking process.
The cut and trimmed pieces are matched up with alligator clips- no pins for me. I love these clips as they prevent putting holes in the fur pelts. They are sooooo easy to clip on and off too. I sew almost everything on the machine using a leather needle and wide stitch length. A narrow length would almost make a perforation line on the fur and allow it tear too easily even with a lining.
My hands cramp so I can't do much handsewing. I do handsew the gusset, footpads,ears and seam opening. I prefer to sew the head and feet by hand to ensure they match up nice and even. Who wants a twisted face or feet !
Once sewn, the pieces are ready for assembly into a bear.
After the limbs are jointed and lightly stuffed , I choose the color for the toes and stitch them on.
The most important, time consuming and scary part is trimming the face. One wrong snip and the head goes in the trash. It really does take me hours to get everything right. Afterall, a bear's face is what we fall in love with ! At first it doesn't look like much (other than uhm...ugly) , but with time a face starts to emerge. I use curved scissor for the trimming and shaping. I may use a razor to smooth the surface and trim stray hairs.
Many more snips later and the face is taking shape. The nose is in, next comes eyes and more lots shaping.
Check back tomorrow to see more photos as the bear's personality emerges and his/her head is attached. I hope it will be completed by then. Or, at least almost.
(Note:You can enlarge the pictures by clicking on them)