I have read a lot of the topics about stuffing the head, but there is still a "bear-making-secret" I didn´t manage to solve.
OK, the head - especially the nose part - has to be stuffed very firmly to embroider a nice nose later.
BUT: How do you stuff the nose part firmly? When I put the stuffing wool into the top of the muzzle/ nose, I find that the nose risks to become very pointed like a mouse nose.
And do you know a trick to stuff the cheeks looking really puffy and well-balanced?
Last question (I´m a real nuisance - sorry ): How do you handle with the seam allowance along the chin seam? In my bear heads it doesn´t lie even, so stuffing the head arises sometimes nasty holes.
I would be very glad if you would share your tricks with me! And please apologize my questions when there was already some tricks written in TT which I didn´ta found.....
Thank you so much and a beary hug :hug: !
Guten morgen, Claudia!
I stuff my heads ROCK HARD. After you think it's stuffed, stuff it more. And then more. And then more again. I use a stuffing stick which allows me to shove stuffing really firmly into nooks and crannies; that's pretty much how I fill out my bear's cheeks. I keep stuffing and looking, stuffing and looking, until the cheeks are full and even. I just keep shoving stuffing in there! You can't imagine how much. It helps if you double-stitch your head seams to reinforce them if you're going to stuff this hard, just fyi.
If your nose is too pointy, maybe it's not your stuffing technique but your pattern??? Try making a more rounded muzzle.
Some people use wood wool (excelsior) to stuff their noses and then polyfil for the rest of the head. This gives a very firm nose that the needle slides through easily. Personally I don't care much for wood wool (although having said that I'm thinking about maybe using it for a new line of bears I'm doing.) It makes a big mess and hurts my fingers and doesn't stuff in the same way that polyfil does, and I'm used to polyfil. But it's the traditional bear stuffing material and maybe that would give you a good result. In that case, stuff the nose first with tightly packed excelsior, and then add the polyfil to the rest of the head.
I'm afraid I don't understand your question about the chin seam. Can you rephrase?
Hope this helps! And please, don't apologize for asking questions. I've found that when questions are reintroduced we often get new, even more helpful answers. It's only when someone asks a question that we JUST addressed here that I think it's better to refer people to the library for their own research.
thank you for your fast reply with all the details! I like your tricks pretty much especially this one with the pattern. I think you are right, I will try to design my next pattern with a more rounded muzzle.
Ok, I realize that I must stuff even harder than I do for the moment and especially I give a look to the nooks. Thank you so much!
I try to explain my question about the chin seam in other words. When the head is turned and I begin to stuff, the inner seam allowance along the chin (I mean the seam from the top of the nose to the front neck opening, where the septum will be later) lie down either on the left or on the right side, but it doesn’t lie folded separated in the middle. So when I stuff, there will be nasty holes because the seam allowance doesn’t lie even.
I mean that correctly the seam from the left side head should lie on the left side, the same with the right seam??? But I don’t know how to do this way?
Do you know my problem? Please let me know when I didn´t explain it in the correct way.
When you have any idea I´m looking forward to your answer!
That, or you can begin stuffing the head and then use a very large dollmaking needle to kinda shove and pry the seams into place. Some people actually even do this from the outside of the bear after it's been stuffed; you simply insert the point of the needle at several places and then work the stuffing around until you feel you've fixed the problem.
I usually finger-press the chin seam open prior to stuffing and in most cases that solves the problem.
Occasionally I sew a bear head crooked, which might be your problem; that makes the chin seam lie sideways, too. In that case, you're just kinda stuck!
Hope this helps!
A little suggestion on stuffing in addition to Shelli's great advice: be sure to use little bits of stuffing at a time... larger pieces will just ball up and you won't be able to spread it into those corners and empty holes.
For the chin seam, finger pressing (just pretend your finger is an iron and press really hard flattening out the seams) is a great idea. So is suing a doll needle to keep the seam open as you stuff. Also, when you are stitching the gussett is, be sure to keep that seam open.... left chin seam allowance to the left, right to the right. You could also, after sewing the chin seam, stitch the seam allowances open at the neck opening too.
Another tip, clip the seams at tight points, its less likely to go to one side or the other when turned...I also do what Shel said and use the needle or even the stuffing tool to stuff from under the chin, right through to under the nose...if that makes sense the stuffing slides up through the seam and into the nose, filling up as you go and keeping the seam open. Hope this helps too