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Shelli SHELLI MAKES
Chico, California
Posts: 9,939
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Laura,

I noticed you referred to your staple basting "thang" in another thread and wanted to introduce it separately here.

Actually, basting footpads is one of my least favorite parts of bearmaking.  There aren't many of those "least favorite" parts... but this is definitely one of them.

Can you explain for everyone how you do that and what equipment you use?  Something special?

Thanks!

Dilu Posts: 8,574

I read about stapeling for basting.  I've tried it, its pretty good on the best quality mohair.  When I use mink I use Giant paperclips. ( oops....sorry Intercal- but you know I'm always back for more mohair.)  Giant paperclips keep the fur under control without stressing the leather with extra punture holes it doesn't need.  Old leather can be brittle.

Everyone should make at least one fur fur bear.  I use old coats or sleeves or stoles, fabric that just isn't useable anymore.

Dilu

Laura Lynn Teddies by Laura Lynn
Lexington, KY
Posts: 3,649
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Hi Shelli!

Well... I still baste the footpads with regular ol' needle and thread.  I have the mid point of the toe and heel marked on the pad and tack those into place to the heel and toe seam first... then, if the footpad is sized just right.. then I can baste the rest of the pad fairly quickly.  When I first started.. sometimes my footpads were too big or too small... but now I've got them sized correctly (thru trial and error)...

But when I baste most of the bear with staples....
After I cut out the pieces, I clip them together with alligator clips (instead of pins).  I then use an office staple gun (I have better control with that than I do with a regular ol' stapler. 

I then sew my bear as usual.  After the pieces are all sewn together... I carefully remove the staples with one of those staple removers that looks like a stick?  I'm sorry I don't know how else to explain it.  I've seen them at Staples Office Supply.  It's a staple remover.. but not the "alligator jaws" type if you know what I mean (that's what we called them as kids)  I usually just use the remover to take out 1 half of the staple and carefully remove the rest by hand. I want to keep track of the staples anyways. bear_original   With the head though... I ALWAYS baste the nose part of the gusset by hand and sometimes the whole head if it's a smaller bear..

I"m not quite explaining myself as well as I'd like to...:rolleyes: I'll have to get a picture of what I'm talking about... but probably won't get to until Monday.  But I tell ya, it's saving me TONS of time!

Shelli SHELLI MAKES
Chico, California
Posts: 9,939
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Shelli Retired Help Advisor, Banner Sponsor

I am imagining your poor little cut out mohair bear-to-be, getting crimped by roach clips and then stapled to death by some amazingly huge piece of hard-core office machinery.  Poor mohair...! :P

I am dismayed that you have nothing to offer me on the footpad thing.  TRY HARDER NEXT TIME!  Can you tell I'm tired and punchy tonight?

Actually, I am so anal-retentive about my pinning that the stapling thing does sound like a timesaver.  Do you think it's necessary to use the clips first if one "knows" what one is doing in terms of pinning?  Can you just hold the pieces in place while stapling?  I'm searching for ways to work smarter and quicker but without any kind of quality shortcuts (yeah, I know... good luck, Shel.)  Something like this might help but I'm daft tonight due to lack of sleep. 

Do send some pics or links to pics if/when you can. I'd love to get a better mental picture of what you're describing.

Thanks!

Shelli SHELLI MAKES
Chico, California
Posts: 9,939
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Shelli Retired Help Advisor, Banner Sponsor

PS What is an "office staple gun?"  I guess I've been out of the office too long.  My only stapler reference points are the one I have right beside me -- ACCO model 40, whatever THAT means -- and a hysterical reference, in film, from the movie OFFICE SPACE, where poor, abused employee Milton is just over the moon about his Swingline stapler.  I can picture that stapler EXACTLY!!!

That movie is worth its weight in gold, by the way, and anyone who has ever spent time in corporate American will know EXACTLY what I mean if/when they watch it.  Highly recommended!

Laura Lynn Teddies by Laura Lynn
Lexington, KY
Posts: 3,649
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Oh Shelli you just crack me up!  Just checkin' in real quick before we go take our Trans Am to a local car show.... (and I'll be bringing footpads with me to work on :D)

I'll take photos of my footpads too... and how I work on getting them sized right - promise bear_original   (I forgot to say that I still sew my footpads by hand with a backstitch.  I just never could get the same control with a machine for that part.. and the nose of the gusset...)

I actually got the idea for which stapler (staple gun) to use when I was at Hobby Lobby and they stapled my receipts together... I thought "That's the PERFECT stapler to use for basting!"  You can see a photo of it here at Swingline's site:  http://www.swingline.com/products/produ … =S7029950A  I had tried a regular desk type stapler and I just couldn't really SEE where I was putting those staples.  I like to get them pretty close to the edge so that I have plenty of room to sew without  taking a chance of hitting a staple with my sewing machine.

Here's what that stapler remover looks like: http://www.swingline.com/products/produ … p=S7037143  I happen to get mine from Ed... but then I found you could get them at the office supply sotre :cool:

As for skipping the roach clip part.... for me I NEED to use them bear_grin  Otherwise I end up gripping my pieces too hard with my left hand and then it hurts really bad....

And oh yes... LOVE that movie "Office Space"!!!!

Well, better run and get ready.  Just wanted to check here real quick bear_original

Shelli SHELLI MAKES
Chico, California
Posts: 9,939
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Shelli Retired Help Advisor, Banner Sponsor

Hey Miss Laura... Thanks for the links.  I've actually never seen a staple remover that looks like that.  Apparently, I am out of touch!

I'm okay on the sizing-of-footpads thing, so don't send pictures just for me.  When designing a footpad pattern piece, I use a piece of string to measure the half-size of each pad,  matched to the width of my leg pattern bottom edge, to make my pads "fit" without a lot of fuss later on... so that part is well and truly under control.  But there might be other people who'd love to see your method!  I just don't want you to go to extra effort just for lil' ol' me...

I do not have a glamorous car show to attend this morning.  Instead, hubby and me are going to go sit outside in the freezing cold near-dark in ten minutes -- for about two hours -- so I can sign my kids up for their recreation department camps for the summer.  When did life get to be like that, where parents have to wait in the cold for two hours just to get a spot at summer camp for their kids?

Judi Luxembears
Luxemburg, Wisconsin
Posts: 7,379

Okay, here's what I think works the best for me instead of pins, paper clips or staples........alligator clips.  They are one of the tools I could not make my bears without.  They grab the peices together without making any holes.  These are a MUST for real fur.  Much better than paper clips as these will not slip.  They accurately keep the pieces just where you want them.  This is one of my best kept secrets.  No mess, no holes, no damage to fur or mohair, simple to use, MUCH FASTER then pinning.  I even use them with my sewing machine.

Judi Luxembears
Luxemburg, Wisconsin
Posts: 7,379

Can anyone tellme why my avatar is cut off?  It 270 pixels by 203 wide.  Thanks.

Shelli SHELLI MAKES
Chico, California
Posts: 9,939
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Shelli Retired Help Advisor, Banner Sponsor

Judi... just heard from our tech guru Quy -- who is a stellar, cool dude bear_cool -- that avatars need to be sized to a maximum width of 185 pixels.  So I think that explains it!

The instructions for CREATING AN AVATAR are being updated with this new information to better inform the next person.  Thanks for the good catch on this!

Shelli SHELLI MAKES
Chico, California
Posts: 9,939
Website

Shelli Retired Help Advisor, Banner Sponsor

Alligator clip users...  How do you sew around these?  I mean, I'm imagining you have to grab a certain amount of fabric in order for them to be useful.  Can you get a good grip using alligator clips that holds 1/4 inch of mohair edge, or less???

Judi Luxembears
Luxemburg, Wisconsin
Posts: 7,379

They work fabulous.  Much better than pins with out distorting or bending the fur or mohair.   I use small alligator clips  AKA "roach clips."..not that I know anything about that!!! If I am sewing on my machine I remove them as I go.  I have been using these for years.  They also work super well for positioning paw pads accurately.

Thanks for the info on the avatar thingy. bear_laugh

Eileen Baird'sBears
Toronto
Posts: 3,873

Gee, and here I thought I'd invented alligator-clip basting!!:/:/

These things are not much more in your way than pins, and don't draw blood. I've got a supply of 3/4" clips that I bought 8/$1 at a dollar store.

I haven't tried machine sewing over them, but they grip your fur very well in front of your stitch line, or anywhere else you want to place them to hold your pieces together.

I've also been using them to mold leather noses and claws. After a few hours, the shape is set without glue, and the piece is ready to sew onto the muzzle/paw.

No holes, no glue, and no blood. I'm trying to learn how to bleed into the seam allowance, but I guess that's an advanced skill.

Eileen

SueAnn Past Time Bears
Flower Mound, Texas
Posts: 20,576

SueAnn Help Advisor, Banner Sponsor

HEE HEE . . . you're a hoot, Eileen!  bear_grin bear_grin

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

3/4" clips...are they metal  or plastic ?....Winney

Eileen Baird'sBears
Toronto
Posts: 3,873

They're metal. But I'm going to try looking for even smaller ones at Staples, Business Depot or whatever.

They also help to keep the fur tucked inside the seamline better than pins do.

I put together a mink head today, and only bled once, when I took a stitch and jammed the needle into the thumb of my left hand!! For me, a record!!:D

Eileen

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

Owchie ! Yes, I need to get some of those as I do a lot of real fur bears and I don't use pins, I baste everything....so that would definatly save me a lot of time and holes in the fingers .... I have to let my fingers and hands rest up and heal  between bears ............. Winney
P.S....check the dollar or 99 cent store for those ....Here ,Stapels beats the other stores on prices.

Laura Lynn Teddies by Laura Lynn
Lexington, KY
Posts: 3,649
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Hi Shelli!  Haven't forgotten ya!  Plan to get some pics taken tomorrow! 

"Glamorous car show" LOL!!!  It was my daughter's high school's 2nd annual show.  MAN was it cold!

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

Laura Lynn Banner Sponsor

Here ya go!  This is just the basting with staples direcitons.... Next time I'm doing a leg I'll post how I fine tune the fitting for my foot paw pads...

There's a few photos and instructions... so I put them on a webpage:

http://teddiesbylauralynn.com/hints/sta … aples.html

Shelli SHELLI MAKES
Chico, California
Posts: 9,939
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Shelli Retired Help Advisor, Banner Sponsor

Woman, you are a rock star, and clearly missed your calling as a teacher of some kind.  Thank you so very much for (what I know to be) the enormous investment of time in prepping and posting those pictures for all of us to see.

You're so appreciated! bear_original

Laura Lynn Teddies by Laura Lynn
Lexington, KY
Posts: 3,649
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Laura Lynn Banner Sponsor

Oh Shelli LOL!!!

Not a problem!  I love helping out when I can!  I've learned SO much from these boards it's nice to be able to give back bear_laugh

Eileen Baird'sBears
Toronto
Posts: 3,873

Excellent instructions! Maybe the things I'm using aren't really alligator clips--they're square on the gripping edges. I like yours much better.

Thanks,
Eileen

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

Me too. I like them better..wherchagetem ? .......Winney

Laura Lynn Teddies by Laura Lynn
Lexington, KY
Posts: 3,649
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Laura Lynn Banner Sponsor

Awww!! Thanks guys!

I used to get them at my local Sears... but they stopped carrying them.  Then Radio Shack... but they kept them behind the counter (cause of the "roach clip" use :lol:).... and then I found a guy on eBay who sells them and even with shipping they are reasonable!  I get the "Small Open Barrel - Jewelry Beading" ones. 

His ebay ID is kjohnson28 - and here's his store:

http://stores.ebay.com/Discount-Merchan … mainQQtZkm

Shelli SHELLI MAKES
Chico, California
Posts: 9,939
Website

Shelli Retired Help Advisor, Banner Sponsor

I just bought some myself at our local Radio Shack -- NOT behind the counter.  We Chico-ans are apparently to be trusted!  Shocking, actually, since Radio Shack is across from one of the two local high schools...!

Anyhoos, they come in packs of 12 in the smallest size (the one I bought) for just under two dollars a pack (here in California they do, anyway.)  Just in case you want to price compare with the eBay guy Laura mentioned above (whose stuff I haven't looked at yet.)

Hope this helps!

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