I've always embroidered my noses on real fur bears but am always so unhappy with the results.
Does anyone have other suggestions? What's worked best for you?
I've never made any other kind of nose but embroidered ones. So, please give me instructions.
If there is any potential for making a mess, ruining this customer's bear I will!!!!!! :doh:
I'm certainly no expert, but I am awake!
I've done 3 fur bears so far, two with embroidered noses and one with a leather nose. The embroidered noses were on small bears, and worked well, though I was scared to death that I'd split the pelt and they'd fall off.
I like the leather nose, but haven't quite figured out the best way to attach one. I glued and sewed my first attempt and it looks quite solid, but I'm thinking of another method for the next.
I'm considering two possible methods, actually, one for leather noses and one for embroidered noses on a fur bear. Probably reinventing the wheel here, but . . .
I'd like to try molding the leather nose around a wired eye, which would make it possible to clip off a bit off the stuffed snout and attach the nose eye-fashion. The loose edges of fur snout could be glued back down over the edge of the nose, or just behind it.
I'd also like to try safe-embroidering a nose, by clipping the pelt away from the tip of the snout and embroidering the nose directly onto the lining fabric. Again, the loose pelt edges could be carefully glued back down onto the lining.
If I were wise, which I'm not, I'd try both methods on a mock-up snout first.
Anybody else? Please?
I have made several real fur bears (mink, muskrat, persian lamb, rabbit, squirrel) and embroidered the noses on all except one, where I used a glass nose. I had no problem embroidering and don't think the fur will fall apart. The glass nose was a nice option for a change, but more expensive. Nancy Tillberg recommends embroidering the noses in her book on real fur bears, Teddy Bears with a Past. I always glue a piece of felt on and embroider over that.
So, don't worry, if the fur is in good enough condition to sew it will hold for nose embroidery.
Hi. I like to make leather noses on my rfeal fur bears. I'll add a few pictures.
These are a few examples of leather sculpted, hand painted noses. Embroidering noses does work too but as Daphne said, it is hard on the hands. Also I think leather noses look more realistic. I often use this type is nise on my felted face bears too.
Judi, those nose are the nicest I have seen done with leather..
Now, someone is going to ask you how you make that kind of nose so I may as well be the first..LOL. BUT... if this is a trade secret then please dont feel bad if you must decline...
Kim ... those fimo noses are really cute ! of course those guys are so sweet...Did you form the clay over a glass eye ?...Winney
Thank y ou ladies. It is not a huge secret but rather just a piece of leather manipulated into the shape of the nose with nostrils. I don't even use a pattern. I "wing-it" with every nose. The key to a nice symetrical nose is to fold the leather in half when you cut the shape. Every nose I do is a little different shape. Each one is done by hand and custom fitted to each bear. I think the nose shapes differ depending on my mood because there is no pattern. Then, I hand paint the details in three layers of colors. Anytime I shade anything...I always layer the colors. Nothing is ever one color.
Hope this helps.
Kim, Thanks for the info. Hadn't thought of using a cotter pin.
Judi, Yes, I've seen those bears and their noses many times now. As I don't make bears that resemble anything near realistic and like cute and cuddly I guess I'll pass on leather noses. Also seems like more sewing... attaching the leather, and I need to avoid that... the idea of a clay nose is really appealing to me!
Tammy, thanks for your email about noses, too!!
When I am doing a fur bear that I am not sure of I will cut two nose felt templates. I sew the two felts together leaving the top open and stuff the template then close the top. I then do a running back stitch or whip stitch to attach the stuffed template to the bear. Then I do an embroidered nose going between the fur bear and the template. The only stitches that I may take through the fur may be on the very edges on the sides. I hope this makes sense.
That makes a lot of sense. One of the reasons I don't like embroidered noses is that they seem so flat with all the fur around them. I have yet to learn to trim the muzzle fur so it looks smooth (on mink especially). It sounds like your method would 'poof' up the nose and save my fingers from pushing the needle through the pelt.
Thank you, Donna! :dance:
Kim, How do you install that cotter based nose ? Lots of questions here but this is a great thread on noses, many diffrent things will work.
I love the idea of clay over the glass eye and Judi...you certainly have mastered manipulating leather, looks very natural, not even like leather. Shading ( in part) is the key to dimensional work .
Did you look at the post on here that Deb did awhile back? A nose answer for Jill or something like that. She showed a foam piece that she used for her template. I am in the process of making a bear on all fours out of seal. I used her idea and cut it out of leather. Very quick and easy.
Lovely nose ideas....and I'm curious to try the fimo clay noses myself. Judi I ADORE the leather noses you do for your bears!!!! If only I can come up with something so nice!
For my bears, I had to give up on the embroidered noses because I'm an early retired dog groomer. Too much punishment on my hands left me with a non working righthand! After months of chiropractic adjustment by my osteopath, I've got my hand functioning again, but it will not hold up to the embroidered noses.
Sooooo....I take a plastic safety nose and cover it using ultrasuede
Sometimes I'll make the nose poofier by adding some polyfill between the plastic nose and ultrasuede, but mostly I use just the plain ultrasuede.
I wanted to embroider a nose on the first real fur bear I ever made, out of mink, but I swear, I could not get the needle thru the pelts. I gave up after the first stitch; it was just way too hard. I think since it was my first try at real fur I may have slightly understuffed the muzzle, which made it all that much harder. I did this so as not to overstress the pelts; not a concern with mohair, which I'm much more accustomed to.
I ended up using Sculpey, which I formed around a glass eye and then baked, as Christine Pike had suggested in a recent TEDDY BEAR REVIEW article (sometime last fall I think.) I was able to get a nice sculpt on the nose, with nostrils even!, even though I don't do nose sculpting often (my first teddies had clay noses because I couldn't make a good embroidered one yet!), and I was able to paint that clay nose with several very cool colors -- hard to see in the photos but easier to view in person -- and give it a wonderful wet glossy shine, which I can't get on my embroidered noses because it's a different medium. So it wasn't necessarily a better nose, per se, but I thought it was an equally good option for a nose, even though it wasn't my traditional embroidered nose. I tried to keep the perimeter shape to my usual "oval" because that's what my eye likes seeing, and that's what my collectors like bringing home!, even though I used a different medium, and gave the nose nostrils in its detailing. Next time I might be more brave!
I'm posting a pic of HIAWATHA for illustration.
PS Debbie, your pic might be too large. Is it saved at 72dpi?