Hello teddy bear friends: My question has to do with turning long thin tails for miniatures ie like for mice or cats. When I sew wrong sides together, I sit for a while trying to figure out how on earth do I turn it right side. I can't seem to figure this out. Any tips?
Excellent question Michelle and a great answer Kerren. I myself ( I just made a cat that is 1 5/8" ) only sew just over half with right sides together, then I turn it and finishing sewing it with a ladder stitch. I think next time I will try the paint brush idea and see if it works! I really love making itty bitty ones to go with my regular minis.
Easiest turning for skinny parts - tail, limbs, necks, etc.. Long thin needle & upholstery thread (Conso, Mastex, etc..)
Before sewing the seam:
Knot a doubled uphostery thread and leaving the knot against the sewn shut end (end of tail, toe end, paw pad...) sew across the end w3ith the usual back stitch. Poke the doun=bled thread inside so that it's not caught in the seam as you sew.
As soon as you've got a bit sewn, say - 1", roll the fabric between your fingers to soften it up and apply GENTLE pressure against theknot by pulling on the doubled threads. Continue to sew and put - by the time you reach the spot you've chosen as youir opening, the tip of the skinny point will be right there, ready to pull on through.
You 'can' run a doll needle through the completed part after it's sewn (in through the opening to the far end, over the seamline and back out again,) but you run the risk of catching some of the fabric inside or sewing through the frirst half of the doubled threads.
Pull out completely ans snip off the doubled threads, leaving just the knot inside the body part.
It's so much easier to pull-as-you-sew; this is how we made those spaghetti straps on our dresses and lingerie back in the 50s & 60s.
Well knock me over with a feather.....So many wonderful ideas. Sarah Jane, Roberta, I do believe you have been doing this for a while.....none of them ever occurred to me to do that....I will practice with my kitty....that is the last thing I have to do to finish her....
Roberta: I hope you are feeling better....take care of yourself....
You can practice on a scrap of material like this:
Cut a length of fabric 1" wide x 6 or 8"long.
Prepare a length of upholstery thread 12" long when doubled.
Knot the loose ends together into a slightly larger than usual knot (you don't want it to pull through the seam)
Fold the fabric in half.
** Lay the doubled thread up against the inside of the fold line. placed so that the knot shows on the outside.
Sew a backstitched seam along the short end: the seam allowance depth will be determined on your fabric and your comfort zone - how close to the edge you feel comfotable sewing!
Capture the upholstery threads if you can - this assures the knot won't pull out while turning.
Turn the corner and sew about 1" of the long seam.
Roll the stitched inch between your fingers to soften the fabric's backing.
Dampen your fingertips of the holding hand and slightly pinch the sewn inch between them.
Gently begin to pull the thread outthrough this short tube.
Stop when the short sewn end appears in the hole.
Continue to sew and pull every inch or so, making sure that you haven't sewn through the doubled threads (If the happens, pull out your seam to the point od having caught the doubled tread, free them and sew the seam again)
By the time you've reached the top of your tube, the piece has been almost compltely pulled through.
When you get really good at controlling the fabric, you can use a bias strip whick gives a more flexible tail.
If you need this for a narrow limb:
sew down one side of the arm or leg to the farthest tip of the toe or paw.
Follow the instructions from ** to the end.
I usually placed my seam openings at the top curve - 11 to 1 clock positions, or 12 - 2 - as it is easier for me to use the short fine needles closing a curved section rather than on a staright edge.