Sorry for the super beginner question, I'm brand new to bear making and really excited to buy a pattern and try out my first teddy! I've sewn a few plush toys before, mainly for my daughter and I primarily have used Shannon Minky for the material as it is very soft and fray resistant however it is an incredibly stretchy fabric and I don't think it would be suitable for bears due to it's very stretchy characteristics and generally short nap in my local store (around 3mm pile).
What I'm trying to say is I'm wondering about the stretch and backing of Mohair.
It is very expensive and living in Alaska the shipping is usually astronomical when I order fabric. I'd like to try my first bear or two in a locally available faux fur until the idea of trimming and jointing is less terrifying but I'd also like the pattern I buy to be successful, so what should I look for stretch wise or weightwise in my fabric? And/or what adjustments would you or do you make to a pattern designed for mohair when you substitute faux fur? I could use trial and error but I'm such a perfectionist the idea seems scary lol
Hi, Kraken, and welcome to Teddy Talk! When I started making bears, I used fake fur. If the backing stretched at all, I would use iron-on facing material before cutting out the pattern. When I finally got up the nerve to use mohair, it was a very pleasant surprise. Mohair backing does not stretch at all and it's much easier to sew than fake fur. I didn't make any adjustments to my patterns whether using mohair or another fabric . . . just make sure your fake fur isn't really thick. Good luck with your bear creating!
Welcome, Kraken! Sue Ann did give you great advice. Like her, I find it much easier to work with mohair, and it's durable, wonderful, natural fabric with a lot of interesting variations (though not the ultra softness of a faux fur).
I just want to ask about shipping to Alaska by USPS. Their postage calculator makes the cost look comparable to sending most anywhere in the US. Does it cost more in actuality?
Thank you Becky!
I am eager to get my hands on some mohair in the (hopefully) not too distant future as I've only heard how great it is to work with and I am very interested in the behavior of the natural fiber, I've never worked in that sort of medium before.
As for shipping via USPS it's actually very comparable... But only when shipped priority at their higher rates. Otherwise the wait can be nine weeks or more and the rates do increase fairly substantially. I haven't placed an order with intercal yet, but I find many suppliers still tend to use UPS or other such carriers and those rates tend to wind up higher than the cost of the purchase. Recently tried to have some keepsakes mailed from northern California (model car instructions from my husbands late grandfather) only to be told the shipping cost of one 3lbs box would be over 100 dollars through ups
That's a shame - either pay for Priority, or wait ages for first class. I didn't know this about Alaska. (I guess the model car instructions stayed where they were... Wow.)
If you are thinking about the Intercal fabrics, I'd say to contact Johnna and ask her about shipping options. She has always been helpful to me when I've gotten in touch.
Hi Kraken! I just made a bear of cheaper faux-fur from my local craft store, and it does have a semi-stretch. It didn't worry me; I just made sure to cut the whole pattern all over again in a medium weight muslin and back all the fabric pieces while sewing. It means sewing through 4 pieces of fabric instead of 2, and it means sewing much more carefully, but you can use any kind of faux-fur that way! I can't wait to switch to mohair, but maaaaaaan I can't afford the price tag either! Maybe one day soon! Hope that helps!
Welcome to the world of bear making Kraken! I have looked on eBay for mohair also, sometimes you can find some fantastic deals there on mohair. I have been making bears now for 16 years and just bought my 1st really expensive $100 for a 1/2 yard of mohair. I could not find any curly dense white mohair on eBay so I went to Edinburg Imports they deal in Steiff Schulte mohair. I am making Christmas bears, yes, a very late start. I had to wait for the mohair to arrive. However, I let my customers know and all is fine. I am getting ready to draw the patterns onto the mohair today. Try eBay and Etsy both have great prices from bearmakers selling their stash of mohair. Just a thought, that's where I go first for the deals. It helps the fellow bear maker and me too.