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krystolla Fuzzbutt Bears
Columbus Ohio
Posts: 87

Has anyone got a way to practise embroidering noses without making a lot of spare bear heads? I thought about making snouts (minus the rest of the head) from muslin to practise with so that I wouldn't be going through fur -- just stuffing. I don't know if the texture would be the same as a mohair nose.

Anybody have ideas to share?

Erika
Fuzzbutt Bears

Jellybelly Bears Jellybelly Bears
Australia
Posts: 4,066

I've heard that socks make a good practice piece, but I think that the texture wouldn't be the same as mohair.  Up until probably my 70th bear I was still re-doing my noses 3 times!  Right now I've made 130 odd and I usually get away with one or two tries at the most.
It is definately something that needed practice for me lol
Prehaps if you make one practice head, stuff it but only gather it so you can untie it later...then after the nose is worn from practicing you can open it up and restuff and make it firm again...does that make sense?  then at least you only have one practice head instead of many...
Hugs Sarah

kassiebears Kassie Bears TM/Creations of Mysticism
Oregon
Posts: 1,078

Hi Erika,   
   
Sarah idea is a good one....  bear_original   
 
I use a piece of the mohair that I am making the bear out of. But then if it really turns out well ...I go ....OH !!! I wish that was on the bear. LOL   
I do that, Just so I get use to how it works out. As you know each mohair texture is different. 
But ,I find if that works well. I will just kinda make a shape like a nose and stitch away.

Hope that helps.

Big Hugs  :hug:
Kassity

Kelly Blondheart
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Posts: 289

If it was me, I would buy some of that inexpensive 2.98 a yard craft store fur or thick felt to make disposable practice bear heads with the right texture....they also make good cat toys instead of throwing them away! bear_happy

matilda Matilda Huggington-beare
WA
Posts: 5,551

Erika, I found that practice did it for me. The first nose I did really well was on an antique style bear and the nose thread was to be messed up. Go figure.  That's when I relaxed while doing them. I now use felt cutout in a simple oblong. I do two layers and then add any extra details. AND ..... you can 'stop' half way though if you start getting anxious.  bear_grin  bear_grin If it doesnt work out, it can always be removed.

We have all been in the same position as yourself at some time :doh:  bear_grin  Matilda

Laura Lynn Teddies by Laura Lynn
Lexington, KY
Posts: 3,649
Website

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Hi Erika,

I've always used mohair bear heads.  For me... part of doing a good nose is stuffing it well too!  2 things I starting doing lately have REALLY helped my bear noses!! 

1)  I leave the neck OPEN while I am stitching the nose so I can add more stuffing and re-adjust the stuffing.  It always seems to shift while I am stitching... so now I can re-center the nose!

2)  I now use Donna's stuffing stick to stuff my noses... HUGE difference for me!  I used to get air pockets in the noses.  I'd always spend at least 1/2 hour getting rid of those air pockets  bear_angry   the air pockets make it difficult for me to stitch the nose.  I don't GET any air pockets when I stuff the nose with Donna's stuffing stick!

She does not have them on her site... but just drop her an email!  Here's her website:  http://www.donnasduinbruins.com/

matilda Matilda Huggington-beare
WA
Posts: 5,551

Thankyou for the link Laura! bear_thumb  Matilda

Deb Upstate New York
Posts: 1,650
Laura Lynn wrote:

I leave the neck OPEN while I am stitching the nose so I can add more stuffing and re-adjust the stuffing.  It always seems to shift while I am stitching... so now I can re-center the nose!

Hmm ... may have to give that a whirl!


Laura Lynn wrote:

I now use Donna's stuffing stick to stuff my noses... HUGE difference for me!

Erika,

YES, by ALL means, invest in one of these.  I was thinking as I plunked down my $ ... "Can this be as helpful as they say?"  The answer is YES!

Daphne Back Road Bears
Laconia, NH USA
Posts: 6,568

Erika,

I'd be afraid that I'd have a really good nose on a dummie head and wish I'd done it on the real thing.


My tips would be:

Relax... it's just a nose... it can be redone!

Breathe... it's just a nose... you can rip it out and start over.

Visualize... BEFORE you start, have an idea as to the size and shape you want. I use a felt template underneath, glued in place, after trimming all the mohair under it away.

Breathe some more
... it's just a nose...

Go slowly! Go very slowly!

Lay your floss in place where you want it to go, see where you should insert your needle, then take your stitch, keep that floss in place with your finger. Be sure you pull every stitch taught and equal to the last so no loose threads, no bumps.

Breathe.....

Do one side of the nose at a time. I count my stitches on one side then try to match them on the other side.

Go slowly!

Make straight lines where you insert your stitches. So, if you are doing verticle stitches be sure that the straight edge at the top of the nose is straight... that all your stitches are in a row.

Breathe.... mop the sweat out of your eyes....

bear_grin   bear_grin   bear_grin

:hug: Daphne

Donna Donna's Duin Bruins
Burbank, CA
Posts: 900

Laura and Deb,
I am glad to hear that the Ultimate stuffing tool is helping.  I saw a big difference once I found it and started using it.  If anyone is interested, there is a thread with pictures if you do a search for Ultimate stuffing tool.  You can just hit my email button is you need more info.

One of the things I have found that really helps also for noses is to do them first thing in the morning in front of a window or outside (weather permitting).
Donna

jenny Three O'clock Bears
warwickshire uk
Posts: 4,413
Website

Laura...you know what ...that is such a good idea...leaving the neck open...that's one of those 'duh' moments for me!!!!

Thanks.....!!!!!!! :clap:  :clap:

Marie_ Kiprie Bears
Yokohama, Japan
Posts: 2,735
Donna wrote:

One of the things I have found that really helps also for noses is to do them first thing in the morning in front of a window or outside (weather permitting).

bear_laugh  bear_laugh  bear_laugh

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