I'm new here, and new to bear-making, but the "micro minis" are definitely the most appealing to me. I made little felt critters when I was a kid, and some of them were pretty tiny. But with felt I didn't need to worry about seam allowances and turning -- I just stitched 'em together. I was wondering if I might be able to get away with a similar technique on the "woven backing" fabrics listed at Sassy's. Most of them say "Does Not Fray," but does that mean the edges will hold under tension? I wouldn't even think about it for a normal-size bear, but a micro would be so light, and likely to be handled carefully -- they're not the sort of bear you pick up and hug, after all.
I'm certainly willing to buy a bit of cloth and try it, but if anyone here has already made the experiment, I'd love to hear your results.
Oh, one other question... is a 1/16" pile suitable for micro minis? It's hard to gauge just how long they are... well, I guess I know exactly how long they are, but I'm not sure what it'll actually look like on a bear.
Hi Morgan, and welcome to Teddy Talk!
I've used Sassy's smoky longpile fabric for mice about 4" tall, sewn the pieces by hand and by machine, ripped out stitches and resewn, stuffed hard, needlesculpted the heads . . . and it definitely does not fray. It's wonderful! My first mouse really took a beating from trial and error, but the fabric held up amazingly well.
As for pile length, it depends upon the look you want. I think the 1/8 length would look more like fur!
Oh... so cute! :teddybear:
Hm. If that's 1/8 at 4" tall, then I think 1/16 might be just what I want at 2"-ish. Thanks for the (adorable!) reference.
As for fraying, I think I should clarify... I'm not talking about the technique that everyone here seems to do, where you stitch a seam with the "furry" sides facing in, then turn it inside out. I'm sure these fabrics will hold up great under those conditions. But with the felt critters, I'd actually stitch them with no seam allowance at all, just the two edges together. It seems like much less hassle, but it's pretty hard on the edge -- I'd sometimes get holes even in felt, which certainly doesn't fray, but will tear under enough stress.
*sigh* I should probably just get some hemostats and learn to use 'em...
Hi Morgan! A 1/16 inch pile will be great for micro minis!!! The problem with doing a 100% NO seam allowence using the upholstery type fabrics is that because these fabrics have a definite backing and pile.... the edges would definitely be visable in the finished ted. I can definitely see how you could do that using a felt fabric. You know... I'd give it a try and just see what happens, but I have a feeling that you might be getting out the hemostats and giving it a go the other way. Let us know how it goes!
Wild Thyme Originals
Oh, I see how that could be... I'd (naively) hoped that the pile would help camoflage the seam. I'll certainly give it a try, just for experimentation's sake, but I think I'll go ahead and buy some hemostats when I get the fabric. Thanks gently nudging me in the direction of reality. :rolleyes:
Oh, and silly me, I just found Sassy's bear gallery, chock full of itty bitty bears, with descriptions of the fabrics used: http://www.sassybearsandfabrics.com/gallery.htm
And boy, are they cute... I've definitely got to make a couple of these, one way or another. I already ordered a 5" kit to start on, so it'll be a while before I get to try the littles. But I'll definitely post the results when I do.
For mini and micro mini, I am guessing you mean 5" and under, Sassy's is fantabulous.
I have many of her fabrics in my stash, and love all of them. She has never steered me wrong and is always willing to answer questions...I have never ever had anything from there fray!
And depending on how you size your patterns you can get 2-3 kritters out of a 9X9 piece of fabric....I loved her sherbert colored long pile- I hope she will do this again next winter- it gave us all something fun to look forward to....and if you have too, you can pop back in and get enough to finish a kritter.....
Take a look through all her stuff .... There is so much fun stuff on her site.....one stop shopping helps on the shipping too!
Those are really cute, Jodi. Love the acorn cap!
So, I got my 5" kit today... unfortunately I'm not thrilled with the fabric... it doesn't look dense enough to me, and it feels more "brushy" than soft. And it stands straight, up rather than having a distinct "nap" like longer fur does. Sally's stuff looks much nicer.
Oh well... it'll make for a good first bear, anyway, since I won't be too intimidated by needing to be perfect to "live up" to my materials. :P
Now I just need to get some good thread... I thought I could wax the stuff I have, but it's really pretty awful. It keeps knotting up, and I can break it with my bare hands, just by pulling on it.
Thread? You asked about thread??!! I offer this: don't bother with cotton covered polyester or polester covered cotton. The sheath just frays off duringr the repetitive sewing we do in hand stitching. All polyester is great and 2 of the best brands are
Mettlers Metrosene Plus and Gutermann's. If you can find Mettlers that says Swiss Made on the riung band of the spool and Made in Germany for Gutermann's, you've got the best. Tight twist, smooth & strong - like mercerized.
The companies changed hands some years back and M's is now made in Germany and G's in Mexico; not as good as they used to be but still excellent hand-sewing threads.
Jodi: It's definitely mohair -- good to know that's what it's "supposed" to look like. I think it works for your little guys, because they're sort of stylized, but I've got a polar bear pattern and I was hoping for fabric with a more realistic "fur" look. Live and learn (and then get Sassy's) I guess.
Bobbie: Your polar bears are wonderful. I may have to learn needle felting just so I can work up to trying some of your advanced kits. Thank you for the thread recommendation, I'll definitely keep that in mind. I did just find a little bobbin of what seems like good thread. It's quite thick, to the point where it's hard to thread, but it's really strong -- I definitely can't break it like the other stuff. Between that and the hemostats I found at the dollar store, I should be good to go.