I was wondering if some of you would share how you tie off your bear heads to best reduce the bulk at the joint?
I have always been a 'gatherer' and seeing as though my disks are usually a fairly snug fit, I rarely have a huge amount of gathers anyway so generally don't have much bulk. But despite this..on occasion I still have enough bulk that when the head is attached, it catches a little bit when I turn the head from side to side, which is incredibly annoying. It also sometimes prevents me from tightening the disks as close together as I would like to.
Some things I have thought to do as an alternative method are to:
1. Turn under a seam allowance around the neck edge and then gather on the fold of the seam allowance so that the bulk is inside the head.
2. Make a circle of mohair and stitch into the opening much like one would when making a double neck joint...therefore elmininating all bulk. I know Jennifer Laing does all her bear heads this way....but it is more fiddly and time consuming.
So what does everyone else do??I know some people's designs actually require the top of the body to be gathered in too, and would imagine that you'd get double the bulk at the neck doing it this way.
I use a screw set like this I call them grub screws but I have seen them called set screws. But it works for any type of joint.
I use strong thread knot the end and start at the back of the head. It doesn't really matter it is just what I do.
I have exaggerated the stitches in the next few steps so you can see what I am doing. Start ladder stitching like normal.
you can see how I stitch around the shank (stitches would normally be closer together)
I tighten the stitches as I go but as you will see there is a little bit left under the chin.
Now i take my needle (you can see the end near my finger and the tip poking out the other end) and thread it through the bit that is sticking out and push the needle through to the other side. Sometimes I will go over it again, but with small stitches and strong thread I don't think it is necessary.
As you pull the needle through it tucks it all in neatly
Here is the finished product. The shank is very secure and it ends fairly tidily. I am able to tighten the neck discs nice and tightly too!
I hope this makes sense.
Hi Hayley, I ladder stitch around my head joint too. The only thing I can think of to help, is to suggest you add more stuffing to the head, so that there is less spare fabric to gather around your joint.
Also, how about adding darts to the side head pieces - that will reduce the joint space and might help. I find it helps to trim away the spare pile under the joint area too, once the joint is sewn in.
I don't have a problem with bulk..the body top is not gathered.
I clip away all pile from the neck edge for about 1/2" on larger bears...this removes a lot of bulk plus I can see better what I am doing.
Then I double thread with waxed linen thread...and just gather all around 1/4" from the edge...pull tight.... then I go back and forth with stitches directly across from one another until I think everything is caught and pretty well lays FLAT..... then knot several times and bury the thread.....Winney
Thanks for all the ideas folks! I pretty much do the same as Winney does...but still find that there is just enough bulginess to stop the disk moving freely like an arm or a leg would. I think it's really just the 1/4 inch seam allowance as I always stuff the head really firmly and close to the neck edge before adding the disc and closing.
Judi and Paula...I added a dart at the neck edge on the last one...but then my neck hole was too small for the disc ( ) so I had to make another head...don't we all love doing that!!! I guess you have to make the whole head wider when adding darts huh. My bodies always have darts at the shoulders so I have no body bulk at all.
I think I will try #1 like Matilda does and then ladder stitch closed like the majority of you seem to do. Bronwen, thanks for the pics...it is true that a pic is worth a thousand words. I use epoxied bolts which works with the same principle as grub screws...only easier IMHO....but that's another thread from the past.
So no-one uses Jennifer's circle of fabric method??
I'm grateful for all your responses....have to close a head this morning so will let you know how I went.