Teddy Bear Making (Day 4)

October 7, 2012

Today, prior to jointing and adding safety eyes, I did a test-run of stuffing with some Crest-a-lon polyester filler from my local Spotlight store, mainly to check on any weaknesses in seam stitching. I need to re-sew one of the legs because the the paws in the pattern are a fraction too short.

The pile-less acrylic faux fur has the general appearance of strong felt or chamois, rather than conventional mohair or knitback fur. Where there are any weaknesses in stuffing technique, creases appear. At the same time, I’m trying not to overstuff as ‘basic’ fur, especially of the knitback variety, can expand, distortig the intended look and creating a bloated-looking bear.

Having started with basic materials (acrylic faux fur, felt and polyfilla), it seems only sensible not to mix-and-match with more expensive and better quality materials. So I’ll stick to safety eyes and conventional joints, this being ultimately an exercise in getting my eye back in. I’ll retain German glass eyes, ultrasuede, wood wool and superior joints and sparse mohar for a ‘cousin’ done a bit later.

So this version of Pee Wee (and a brother to be done in a different colour acrylic and felt), after the design of Catherine Cardellini, will be cheap-and-cheerful with a total price at a shade under $20, compared to the one illustrated in the Australian Bear Creation magazine article. Hardy any bears pictured in books and magazines are made from knitback, polyflla and safety eyes, they invariably are made from mohair, ultrasuede and German boot button or glass eyes. Frankly, having stitched a few myself, I’ve yet to see a really convincing teddy bear made from knitback faux fur.

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