Just started my first mini in velvet. How big is the seam allowence as It just doesn't say, He's 5 inches. Also I was reading saying you thread your bears with floss. So I sent my mom to town to get me some floss. She came back with Tooth floss... That made me think, Is it waxed tooth floss or like DMC cross stitch floss?
You might find that velvet ravels too much along the seams. I find that rayons and some upholstery fabrics work better cause they don't ravel and you can do very small seam allowances. I don't think you want to sew with floss - unless it's embroidery floss for the nose. Some people use tooth floss to tye in the eyes altho I find artificial sinew is better. Have you visited Stephanie's site (Sassy Bears)? She has everything....I repeat everything you would need for miniatures
I started out making mini's. I loved it right away, but found it to be a little frustrating in the beginning only because I wasn't using the "right" fabrics..esp for just starting out. I've heard that a lot from others too, so just in case something doesn't go smoothly, don't give up..mini's are so much fun and so rewarding in the end!!
Seam allowance can depend on the fabric. If you're using an upholstery fabric that has a white grid backing you can keep keep a very small allowance, the second full grid away from the edge for example....other fabrics that ravel or "roll up" are going to need more of an allowance and probably fray check. Sassy's is great, I love her stuff and use often. There's also a seller on ebay who sells a ton of "vintage" upholstery fabrics in lots of colors, some are only $1.50 a square (usually 9in x 9in). (Check under bear making supplies, then vintage fabrics) She lists as long pile, but it's really a short to medium pile...but still very good for a first mini. True Long furry piles are harder to come by and you'll spend anywhere from $8 a square to much more if a hot color like cream or dark brown...could go to $30 a square.
As far as the floss goes....some use it for jointing, maybe attaching eyes (??). For sewing up your bear I would just use a good thread like Gutermann. Match your thread color up well, on a tiny scale you really want everything to blend well. I take a scrap of the fabric with me if I'm looking for a thread I don't have on hand. If using embroidery floss for your nose using 1-2-3 of the 6 strands works very nicely, depending on the size of the bear.
Keep us posted on how you're doing!! and HAVE FUN!!!
edit....Just thought of something....for jointing you can use a sturdy beading thread or uphostery thread. Both are strong and won't wear over time. Cotton floss is too thick. I've never used dental floss myself...dental floss can stretch and get weak so I'd be afraid to use it for jointing.
MerBear: It is actually an upholstery Velvet. A friend of mine gave me "scraps" (usually half meters of unused upholstery fabrics as she reupholsters Chaise lounges) Oh no, I was more thinking of the floss as attaching arms and legs and head to the body! not actually sewing.
chrissibrinkley: Thank you so much for your help. Yes it is upholstery fabric, How many MM's would you recommend? They are already fray checked as they did start to fray at the edges when I just finsihed cutting them. I have looked on sassy's site but it's so hard to choose!!! I will check out ebay also. Thank you for all your info and I will use my upholstery thread to sew him together :o)
chrissibrinkley: Thank you so much for your help. Yes it is upholstery fabric, How many MM's would you recommend? They are already fray checked as they did start to fray at the edges when I just finsihed cutting them. Richy~
You'll always have some of the grids at the edge of the pieces that will cut or looked "frayed" only because cutting into the blocks sperates the grid pattern itself. But what's nice about this fabric is that is doesn't fray..it won't ever fray apart or into itself like some fabrics can (nothing will "unravel" with this stuff).
Seam allowance: I always have at least one or 2 solid block(s) of uncut grid above the actual blocks I'm stitching into. That way your stitches are secure and "locked in" with that solid uncut grid above it. Your stitch can slide up or out of the fabric, like with some fabrics that unravel. Does that help? I hope it does If it doesn't I can try to draw out a picture and scan it in a little later today
Richy: Marion and Chrissi said it best. I just hope you post pictures of your little creation. I too love Sassy's and if you do not know what fur to choose, e-mail Stephanie with questions about what she recommends. Just tell her the type of bear you want to sew and the look you are after and she can guide you as to what fur she has in stock to achieve that look.
If you do order from Sassy - check out her nylon threads. She has these little spools $1.25 each in many many colours. This thread is very thin but extremely strong - I now use it for my minis and large 12" bears.
Minis are fun but addictive. Whenever I've made several large bears I get the craving to make some 3" bears just for fun. :dance:
Richy if choosing fabrics are difficult. Look at completed bears on the supply sites. They tell you what fabric they have used. I find this information invaluable when I want to order more fabric. It can take me an hour to make a choice heheheh. looking at the completed bears helps me make up my mind.