I'm on a mission to figure out how to make turned-down paws.
I already know that by wiring the "typical" arm with strong, plastic-coated wire, I can simply twist the arm at the wrist for this effect. But that's not what I'm talking about.
What I want to do is to create a pattern which allows me to insert the "hand" part much like I would the "foot" part, so that the paws face NOT each other, but the bear's... knees, I guess. DOWN, in other words.
I have a general idea of how to do this but in trying to create a pattern piece for this kind of more advanced arm configuration I'm just stumbling around like a dodo. The "hand" part seems to want to be, like, ten inches long to accommodate the circumference of the inserted pawpad.
Am I making any sense at all? Someone... help! I'll try to post a picture of what I'm talking about later today.
Okay, so here's a quick diagram (note that it's NOT a real pattern piece and is certainly not to scale; that's the entire problem I'm describing here! So don't try to use it "as is.")
I've got the idea of how to do this pretty much down, but I keep ending up with a GIGANTICALLY huge "back of the hand" portion of the pattern. Either that, or the pawpad needs to be made so small in order to fit, it's, like, the size of a quarter... on a 20" bear! Aargh!
What I'm looking for is help with proportion, examples, references to websites/classes that discuss this, or to books I can consult.
Thanks in advance. I realize this is a more advanced pattern construction technique and I may come up empty but it doesn't hurt to ask!
Hiya, Shelli . . . Nancy Tillberg's book 101 Bears To Make has a good section on how to make that kind of paw. I hope I spelled Nancy's name right and got the correct name of the book . . . I'm pulling that info up out of my old, old brain. WAY to much crawling around up there!
Hey ! I even have that book! Kinda embarrassing, that...! It's a great book with lots of useful information, that's for certain.
I just took a peek at it, though, and I want to do a much larger pawpad than the one Nancy shows. I've even tried working backward starting with the pad pattern piece. But the hand ends up needing to be GiNORmous, like one of those humongous male crab claws that are so big the little guys can barely cross the sand! Maybe that's just how it's "supposed to" look, but I've never SEEN it that way and before I cut into precious mohair, or make a muslin practice arm which won't really look like the end result anyway, I was hoping someone would write and say, "Yes, I've done EXACTLY that, and here's the example, in picture form."
Yes, I know. Shelli = crazy girl.
Thanks for the book reference!
Hey..I have an idea how you can get that... maybe...Do the arm shape in muslin with the front / top side of the
" hand " just the size you want it...OK?.stuff it then.... looking at the "pad " side draw the paw shape the size you want with a felt tip marker ..OK???
Isn't this method an original ? LOL...IT's my crazy way.... Well all you gotta do now is add a seam to both pieces, the pad and the pad hole. Will that work ?.........Winney
Actually, Winney, I never thought of that, but it sounds brilliant! Just do a mock up the "regular" arm I'm familiar with, and then mark it up with a Sharpie -- where the downturned pad would go -- and re-cut/amend the pattern based on that drawing. Since I can't seem to get it the way I WANT it (large pad, NOT gigantic, hideous claw-hand) using the method I diagram, above, your suggestion actually sounds like a very tangible solution to my problem.
THANK YOU VERY MUCH!!!
Just a thought - why don't you copy the pattern of one of your 'normal' arms onto paper, then cut it off at the wrist (ouch!) and reposition the paw as you want it to look. It won't give you a definitve pattern, but it will help you visualise the scale and shape. Good luck!! Judging by the gorgeous faces of your bears, this will be a piece of cake!:)
Hey, that's a great idea, Christine. It's so simple I can't believe I didn't think of it myself. That's what this board is for! Bright sparks of ingenuity from elsewhere!
And also, thank you most sincerely for the nice words about my bears. <blushing> They are sooooooo fun to make. I guess that's true for all of us. That's why we're here...
When I have a pattern piece that seems just a tad bigger than I anticipated, (How on earth did that happen?) I take the piece and put gathering stitches in it so that I can loosely gather it into the size I want. This usually happens on feet and paws if its going to happen. Because our felt is wool as well as the mohair, after I have it basted in I use steam to shrink it up just enough so that when I do the final sewing it fits well.
This works fine if you haven't already preshrunk your fabrics through a dyeing process. If you have then smaller gathering stitiches will allow you to fit your piece and then hand sew it, so that you havent got little tucks.
This usually happenes on my feet. So I don't bother cutting the feet out until I am ready to insert the pad.
Also I have been known to cheat, (please don't tell) if the fabric is really dense and 5/8" or longer I will take a dart in an emergency. Pick out the fur from the stitches and brush it down. You can feel the dart if you are looking for it but you can't see it, because mohair is so very forgiving.
Another example of stealing ideas from another form of fabric art. I used to do courture sewing- and you wouldn't believe what they do to fabric. Yikes! But this idea is something I learned when I did fancy sewing.
I'd rather make a bear and live in jeans, than fuss with silk and inter inter facings and fittings and necklines and....
When sewing on a normal pad, you replace the tip of one side of the arm with felt. When you want the pad on the bottom of the arm, cut the pad as you normally would and remove 1/2 of the material from each half of the arm (preferably the bottom half). Dont forget to leave the seam allowance.
If you want the pad slightly smaller than the arm width, adjust the pad size and remove slightly less than half the arm width.
Step by step:
Cut out a piece of paper the "finished" size of the pad you want.
Fold it in half lengthwise.
Lay it on the arm pattern, lining up the folded edge with the arm bottom sewing line (finished size).
Trace the top back (towards elbow) edge. The front will be cut straight to the arm tip.
Add seam allowance.
This will yield a smooth transition at the back of the paw and shape the tip of the arm to the paw pad.
Wedding dresses... ah ha!!! A fellow couture sewer hiding out behind a teddy bear!
As far as I'm concerned you can hang out with us anytime. Some of my best friends have made wedding dresses.
In grade school I was stealing fabric from my mom's stash- like cutting a ten inch square of the silk she was saving for some special occassion. yikes!. I had really well dressed Barbis. Well I thought so. Did yours have silk underwear?
I got in a lot of trouble, but then she got smart and decided that I ought to be making my own clothing by JR HI. Again, I thought it was great stuff.....don't ask what I think now, 40 years later. Good news....I really can sew now. Good news.... I never see the people I went to school with, so I don't hear them laughing...really good news...I have skin as thick as a rhino's.
Just remember- bad things happen....Suffering is optional...and life too short for that option!