Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Tuesday Tutorial!

Sorry, I missed a Tuesday Tutorial last week.  I was finishing an order of 4 lovely, "loverly" bears for Silly Bears which will debut at Hugglets in London on Sunday, February 22nd.  I wish I could, but I can't show them to you yet.  Shhhhhhh!  Has to be a secret!!

Anyways, let's get started!!
The Head Joint

This tutorial may be a bit basic, buy, hey, it's important!!  No head . . . no bear!  First slide a small metal washer onto a cotter pin and then slide on your fiberboard disk.  Put this assembly into the neck hole with the legs of the cotter pin sticking out. 
Tip #1:  Use artificial sinew or waxed dental tape.
Using waxed dental tape or artificial sinew, hand sew a running stitch around the edge of the opening.  The picture below shows this without the cotter pin and disk. 
After you have gone around once, be sure to put the cotter pin/disk assembly in place and close the opening by pulling the floss tight. 
Tip #2:  Protect your fingers when pulling sinew tight.
I use a leather finger thimble/cover when I do this because the sinew is tough stuff and I can't count the number of times it has cut me. 
Tip #3: Use a backstitch to hold your stitches in place.
When your stiches are pulled as tight as possible, take one backstitch to prevent the stitches from slipping and loosening. 

Don’t worry if the head is not completely closed yet. Go around a second time with a running stitch, this time pulling occasionally between stitches.  At the end of this, the opening should be almost closed if not completely closed. 
If necessary, stitch a third or fourth set of running stitches around the cotter pin.  Since I stuff my bears' heads pretty firmly, I generally need to stitch around the cotter pin 3 or 4 times until the opening is completely closed.  Knot securely and bury the floss into the head.

TaDa!!  Now your bear's head is all ready to get a FACE!  I know we would all love to hear if you have any other neat tricks.  Or do you have any questions about what I've written?   Let's hear them in the comments so that we can all learn together!  Thanks!!

Love and Hugs,

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