I would love to go up another step up on the bear ladder of learning and wondered two things:
1. Do you shade under the eye before you sew it on or shade around the eye once it is attached or both? I am going to attempt copic pens again now that I have a blender!
2. I love the ears where the ultrasuede/cashmire inner ear is cupped inwards and slightly curves over the top of the ears before touching the mohair/synthetic on the back. My ears seem so flat, is there a technic someone would be willing to share with me - I've been trying to find an example to explain what I mean (in the bears for sale section) and the only one I could find was a beautiful bear called Sable from Littlepawziee (page 27).
Hugs Ali x
Re the shading, if you are using a Copic pen or the Copic airbrush attachment, definitely do at least the area behind the eye and a millimetre or so out from there *before* you tie off the eye. You can put your eyes in place to be sure you are colouring in the right area, just don't tie them off, and then pull them out a little to colour in behind. With the thickness of the Copic tip, its extremely difficult to get right close to the eye. Once you tie your eyes off you can go over it again and finalise your shading without having too worry about getting close to the eye with that chunky old tip
If you are using a proper airbrush it's not necessary to colour before setting the eye, but it can still make life a little easier.
Hello Ali ,
I'm not expert of bear making but for the carved ears ,
I sew ears on head as flat "V" or "MOON" shape. not the "I" shape.
( bottom of your ear shape will be flat "V" or "MOON" instead of "I" shape.)
Also, to make curve on top of ears, some time I sew "thin wier" in seam allowance of ears.
put the wire in seam and sew your thread as "zigzag" in seam allowance so seam can hold the
wire...... if you knew about all these sorry !!!
Many thanks Karen for your advice on shading, do you use the thick or thin end of the pen? Also just realised that you are the artist that makes those lovely patterns sold on discs. I have just bought your no 3 disc to make something for my daughter.
Hi Marie, thank you also for helping me out. I didn't think about filling the space at the top with wire to curve it over - will have to experiment with that one I'm hoping to try out armatures soon, so perhaps have a go then when I have some wire.
ooooh so many new things to try!!!!!!
Bearst wishes, Ali x
Thick end or thin end all depends on the size bear- you might be best to start with the thin end until you get braver- shading can be a scary experience to start with *but* once you start it's lots of fun!
hehe yes that's me, well, I do the bears and my clever Mum does all the disc part, I am not that clever with the computer!:)
I am wondering, with your ear question, perhaps if the outer ear was slightly smaller than the inner ear, you would get the look you are after?
EARS: Have you tried using ultrasuede or velvet for the inner and fur for the outer yet, using the same pattern piece for both inner and outer? Then when you attach the ears do a sort of half moon shape. I do this by attaching the top and bottom of the ear first with pins then push the center of the ear back and put another pin in the center there so your three pins form a V. Then sew from the top pin, back to the center pin and then forward again to the bottom pin. Make sense? (I'm better at SHOWING than putting into words... that's why I teach workshops and don't write books!)
Another suggestion: When you cut the ultrasuede out use a pattern piece a bit bigger than the one you use for the back (fur) side of the ear. I do the opposite as I like the fur to come over the top of the ear, the ultrasuede to be just inside the ear. By using one pattern piece larger than the other for the ear, the larger piece will come up over the top of the ear.
Sadly, I've not had much spirit for bear-making lately. Although I have a "closet full of good intentions," I've been focusing on work for most of the last six months or so. One of the negative side effects of being self-employed is that there's no good way to get yourself off the clock. Ironically, I have a harder time doing things "For Myself" now that I'm my own boss.
I am currently making a 27" black bear for the 3-year old daughter of one of my models, my third bear since signing up to TT. I need to deflate the arms a bit at the joints, re-do the ears, add the tail, and have been trying to use the leather nose technique from "101 Bears To Make" (Tilberg) using the same stiff cotton material that I made the footpads and inner ears with.
This is the first time that the ears have looked the way you and I have wanted, and this is entirely due to the C-shaped joining. However, the ears still look overstuffed to me. I have a lot of cotton batting left over from a cloth infant's picture book project, so I think I'll use several layers of batting for ears from now on. I suspect that I'll be able to shape the ears much better this way.
Another idea that I'm considering is that instead of a C-shaped, I will try attaching the ears with a G-shape, so that the parts of the ears closest to the gusset will turn inward on the ear.
A while ago, I bought a spool of black ribbon which I wanted to use as a maker's tag. Of course, I came up with this idea mere days after buying a new sewing machine that doesn't embroider letters. The closest friend I have with an embroidery machine lives about 90 minutes from me. *sigh*
Hrm, what else is new this time around? I successfully built the bear without ever looking at my directions. I have all the parts memorized, except I forgot to leave a seam open so that I reverse the bear and stuff him. Instead, I stuffed each limb separately, soft-sculpted the head (which I still do not have the knack for) and then had to try to attach a fully stuffed head to a fully stuffed body. That was not my most favorite activity in the world.
Oh, and audio-books! I have discovered the great joy of listening to audio books while sewing. It really helps during those marathon bear-making sessions. I find that I have just enough brain left to listen to a story while I'm doing everything except head-design.
I'll post pictures of the bear as soon as I finish him.
WOW attaching a stuffed head to a stuffed body no wonder you lost some of your bear 'spirit'! I like the sound of your present bear (Black is apparently the hardess to work with!). I'm sure once you post it here and read some of the responses from other TTers you will find your 'spirit' returning. Oh and try doing the ears without stuffing them and see the difference that makes.
Hugs Ali x
Amul said: This is the first time that the ears have looked the way you and I have wanted, and this is entirely due to the C-shaped joining. However, the ears still look overstuffed to me. I have a lot of cotton batting left over from a cloth infant's picture book project, so I think I'll use several layers of batting for ears from now on. I suspect that I'll be able to shape the ears much better this way.
Hi, Amul . . . glad to see you back on TT! I've never used any stuffing in my bear's ears, so you might want to try leaving yours unstuffed to see if you like the look. Ears are much easier to "manipulate" without the added fabric. Sounds like you're staying busy!