I have a friend who is a professional artist/illustrator who always swears by the Pigma Micron as colorfast, non-bleeding and non-fading, so it's what I use to trace my patterns out, but I have several bears from other artists in my small collection, dating back about 15 years, that used this ID technique on leather & ultrasude. I hate to say it, but all of them are currently unreadable. it's entirely possible that modern inks are more colorfast, but my guess if that you are making a bear for the ages, ink on textile might not be your most long-lasting option.
I've never tried this, but if I were working on a project like yours, I'd find someone with a computerized embroidery sewing machine, and have it machine embroidered, thinking it would be sturdier and more durable than hand embroidery
i'm a nuts-and-bolts guy myself. I've never been able to get my cotter pins tight enough to suit me. I've even found tiny nuts and bolts (2-56) for smaller bears and critters. I rod-joint 90% of the time, so the limbs get stuffed and closed after they're attached to the body, and I always use both a locknut and a lock washer. it's overkill, but I think it helps compensate if I have to loosen a bolt back up a tad.
Jenny, I buy digital scrapbook graphics from http://www.designerdigitals.com/ and then just drop and drag, there is no html to write or dreaded 'tables' to nest things in. and it turns out perfect html - it does come with lots of templates, but just start with a clean page.
you can often find older versions of Serif's programs on ebay, and I don't find much difference in the various versions of their PagePlus, but I would definitely recommend the latest version of the Webplus. another good thing is that their money-back guarantee really is money back, no questions asked, if you don't like it. I've returned several upgrades that I didn't think were worth the money (and once you're on their mailing list, they'll start sending you offers for discount versions of the other software - the photoplus is very nice, too)
plus Serif is a U.K-based company ;-)
I recommend Webplus from Serif (www.serif.com) I've been using their DTP, Serif Pageplus since 1993. it's a fairly simple drop-and-drag, wysiwyg program that I swear by and have used for my own website & graphics work for over 18 years. I actually use the Pageplus to create my website, and publish it with Microsoft's ExpressionWeb because my website is so big and unwieldy that I've been unable to import into serif's Webplus, but from the little I've played with it, Webplus works as well as their Pageplus. (ExpressionWeb is a horror to lay out graphics with)
I think all of Serif's programs are really great - equivalent to Abobe, but much cheaper and far easier to use
meet Lulu, she's 18" tall and is made of shulte 'zotty' tipped mohair, which is sort of frosted mauve color. She is 6-way jointed, has top-appliqued trapunto leather paw pads, a sculpted leather nose, German glass eyes. a heavy, floppy bear, she weighs about 5 lbs and is stuffed with plastic and silicone pellets & woodwool, for a crunchy, old-fashioned hug.
more pics and info at https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set … 172&type=3
lol. . .thanks, Sue Ann - but however the wall may be organized, you can be assured that I am not. . . I think of it as my 'neat' wall, and it's all of the stuff that I never touch (makes a good backdrop for photo ops). ask me where the packing tape is - or where that special spot that-I-couldn't-possibly-forget that I hid my needle stash in - and I'm lost
lol. . . vintage singer sewing machines & accessories, wool & silk fabric, leather, buttons, lace & ribbons - even though I rarely do costume bears anymore, anything that might possibly be used for a bear of any size. . . (also vintage 50's kitchen stuff, hammered aluminum & vintage 50's clothing - for myself)
Meet Fergie, 18" of cuddly fun from KD&CO. Fergie is cut from a wonderful tan and black faux fur with guard hairs from Tissavel's 'wildlife series' He is 6-way jointed with trapunto leather paw pads, a sculpted leather nose and has German glass eyes. He also has a disk-jointed tail. Fergie is stuffed with a combination of glass, plastic & silicone beads, polyfil & excelsior and weighs in at over 6 pounds. He is soft, cuddly and squishy with tubby little tummy. More pictures and purchase detail at
I do one piece at a time, from start to finish, averaging about 3 pieces a month. I've tried cutting out multiple bears at a time, but found I always wanted to change something by the time I got around to the second one, and ended up wasting both time and fabric.
(besides, I think cutting out bear is so impossibly boring that I can't face cutting 2 in a row. . . )
I've no advice for the sticky backing on the fabric other than to line it, but I do keep a spray can of Prestone silicone lubricant (from the automotive dept) next to my sewing machine. when I'm working with stickier backings or leather, I spray a paper towel with silicone and run it through the machine a few times before I sew. it makes a big difference. it also helps if you're using fray-check on your edges.
I have noticed the gunky backing on Tyber before - esp the shorter stuff - and hate sewing with it for that reason. it also has a more loosely woven backing and I've had problems with seams shredding loose while stuffing (or overstuffing, I guess) I've also noticed coated backings on Schulte, esp the sparser stuff, but I've got nothing but praise for Tissavel to date, and have never found a Tissavel fur with a coated back.
meet Bryson - made of a Tissavel faux mink that’s so real looking I still can’t believe it’s fake. Dark brown tips over gold with a downy grey under fur give it a very soft and real hand, too. Bryson is 14" (10.5" seated) Bryson has 6 joints, with trapunto leather paw pads, sculpted leather nose and German glass eyes.
he wears a vintage linen collar with an antique MOP button. more pics and details at http://kellydeanandcompany.com/bryson.html
Meet Garvey Grizzly, 18" of cuddly fun from KD&CO. Garvey is cut from a wonderful tipped and shaded faux fur from Tissavel's 'wildlife series' He is 6-way jointed with trapunto leather paw pads, a sculpted leather nose and has German glass eyes. more pics and details at http://kellydeanandcompany.com/available.html
I don't use leather needles anymore. I use a new #8 klasse needle for leather sewing and applique work on my machine. if you use a good thread (ie not Coats and Clark and a decent needle ie. not a Singer) you shouldn't have any problem. for hand sewing, I always use a dritz or Gold Eye #7 quilt basting needle. they are 3" long but very thin and tapered, and pierce the leather easily without cutting it, which is essentially what a leather needle does, and I think results in a stronger seam
Klasse has a new titanium needle that lasts forever, I rarely have to use larger than a #10, even on the heaviest furs and fabrics, but Shmetz & Inspira needles are good choice also