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shantell Apple Dumpling Designs
Willamette Valley Oregon
Posts: 3,128

How hard or soft do you stuff your bears?  I've noticed that my little bears are stuffed pretty firm...but for some reason my bigger bears aren't as firm...they are squishier...I "think" I'm stuffing them so much that the seams will burst before I get them closed up but once they are all stitched together they STILL feel squishy...not that squishy is bad.

Just curious...what's your stuff level?  And how do you achieve it?

Shantell

Tammy Beckoning Bears
Nova Scotia
Posts: 3,739
Website

Hi Shantell,
I know I've stuffed enough when my pants get too tight and I feel like I'm going to burst ( usually after a good meal of Chinese food )  bear_grin:lol::lol::lol:  Sorry I couldn't resist.

As for my bears, I try to stuff firmly, but since I use real fur I am always afraid to put too much tension on the seams.  I stuff until it is popping out of the opening then try to sew it closed.  Usually I end up adding more stuffing as I stitch the opening to ensure it is packed in well. 

Since I don't use mohair, I don't know if it stretches or not ??? bear_ermm

kbonsall Kim-Bee Bears
Pennsylvania
Posts: 5,645

Enough to fill the rest of my bra bear_grin:lol::lol:

I stuff my bears more in the heads and limbs - a little less in the tum, I like a not so firm tum - just firm enough that it squishes bear_original it also depends on the style of bear too

psichick78 Flying Fur Studios
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Posts: 3,073

I stuff as much as I can. The head mostly. So far, using mohair, the seams haven't ripped, and I'm always suprised to see exactly how much stuffing can fit into one little head.
I like my bears to feel heavy, so I also put alot of glass beads in the bear as well.
Heather

SueAnn Past Time Bears
Flower Mound, Texas
Posts: 20,239

SueAnn Help Advisor, Banner Sponsor

Generally, I stuff pretty firmly.  I do, however, have a couple of collectors that like their bears more flexible . . . so when I get commissions from them, I stuff accordingly.  And I have had seams rip because I forced too much stuffing in, so have eased up a little in recent years.  The head, though, always gets stuffed very hard!

Delartful Bears Delartful Bears
Australia
Posts: 3,518

LOL I'm like Sue Ann, I have had the seams open due to over stuffing LOL  It also makes it hard to close up the body when you have stuffed nice and hard.

Buttt I still stuff hard, I don't know hwy, but I love to stuff really hard!

Danni

shantell Apple Dumpling Designs
Willamette Valley Oregon
Posts: 3,128

So...stuff until just prior to busting the seams...gotcha!!!

Amanda Pandy Potter Bears
Staffordshire, UK
Posts: 1,864

I am a squishy stuffer. I find if I stuff the head too hard I can't do the needlesculpting very well.

All Bear All Bear by Paula
Kent
Posts: 5,162
Website

I like the head stuffed firmly.  I use a separate filler for the body, so that it stuffs with a little 'give'.  I like to weight my bears with pellets too and so I always double stitch all the seams to be on the safe side!

Mutz Mutz's Tootsz Bears & Buds
New Berlin, Wisconsin
Posts: 397

I am a firm stuffer too.  I have had that seam bursting prblem too! :(
Amy

Deb Upstate New York
Posts: 1,650

Head, very firm (not rock hard though).  In the head I have nearly ready to go here, I can press a finger in almost 1/4", but not quite.  I guess that's my definition of very firm.  Arms and legs similar.  Belly, slightly less.

Deb

Helena Bears-a-Bruin!
Macclesfield, UK
Posts: 1,291

I use heavy poly-fibre and stuff pretty firmly, especially the head. Sometimes I mix the heavy fibre with regular fibre for the right degree of 'give'. I've been guilty of bursting seams too and that causes huge problems on little bears! I'm a bit more careful these days bear_tongue

Tammy Beckoning Bears
Nova Scotia
Posts: 3,739
Website

Hi Helena,
I don't think we've met , so a big welcome !  Your bears are so absolutely beautiful.
I love the avatar bears, I could just give him a big hug.

Helena Bears-a-Bruin!
Macclesfield, UK
Posts: 1,291

Hi Tammy, and thankyou! I joined today and am just finding my way around - but everyone has been so welcoming I'm already feeling at home!

Winney Winneybears and Friends
White City, Oregon
Posts: 1,103

Hi Helena, welcome to the board ! I always say ..you are gonna love it here ! Yes....what a cutie you avater is, really darling !

To all my stuff hard friends...I don't know how you all can stuff so hard then try to do needle sculpting??? I find that nearly impossible to do and I also worry about stress on the glass eyes...do they ever pop too ? ....Winney

melissa Honeythorpe Bears
Wellington, New Zealand
Posts: 1,789
Website

Hi Winney

I have a particular way of stuffing the head that still means I get a firm head but with a soft area to sculpt the eyes into. I use what I think is called orlon flock stuffing in the US - white cottony feeling stuff with a few fibres - it's definitely not polyfil.   I'm not very good at explaining but here goes...

Hold the bear head cupped in the palm of your "non stuffing hand" (i.e. right hand if you're a leftie like me).  Suff small pieces of stuffing into the back or non-muzzle portion of the bear's head until it is fairly firmly stuffed.  Keep turning it in your hand as you stuff -b y keeping it cupped in your hand, you keep that nice round shape to the top of the head.  Of course this works much easier for smaller bears. 

Once that area is looking nice and round you can start working on the muzzle.  With tiny pieces of stuffing start poking right into the tip of the nose.  I tend to place a piece to the left side, a piece to the right and then a piece in the centre to try and keep everything nice and even.  Continue working in this manner until you get the muzle stuffed. Keep feeling the muzzle as you go to make sure there are no hollows or dips. 

I then go back and fill in any areas of the back of the head that may have shifted or settled.  It does take quite a while and you do have to use fairly small pieces but I find this method works for me.  By working on the two areas this way you end up with a nice little hollow, just enough to sink the eyes into.  A few months ago, I reverted back to the original way I learnt to to stuff - nose first and then the head and found I was not able to sink my eyes in properly, so I've gone back to the slow but sure method.  Hope this helps! 

hugs,
Melissa

Eileen Baird'sBears
Toronto
Posts: 3,873

bear_laugh Great method, Melissa!

Somebody also mentioned holding the muzzle-stuffing in place with a needle through the fur and stuffing while you work on the rest of the head.

Hi Helena--what a beautiful little bear!

Eileen

psichick78 Flying Fur Studios
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Posts: 3,073

So I've been lucky not to have broken any seams from stuffing then. I thought it would never happen to me. So thanks for sharing, now I won't go too crazy and split my seams.
Phew!! Saved some time on that one!!
Heather

matilda Matilda Huggington-beare
WA
Posts: 5,551

Hi Helena, loooovvve that bear. Such a cutie!:)

Thanks Melissa, You just explained clearly something that has been worrying me, when it comes to my large bears. I am definitely going to give your way a try.I have a good feeling that it is going to work.!!:cool:

Winney Winneybears and Friends
White City, Oregon
Posts: 1,103

Thanks Melssa...Winney

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