This is the 5th of our online newsletters. If you wish to view the previous newsletter with it's tips etc then click the link.
Hi Chris & Tony, I just wanted to say a big thankyou for my Devon Kit which arrived here in the U.K. today. A lovely early Christmas pressy to me!! Thankyou so much, Hugs Julie. I hope you have a very Happy Christmas.
If embroidering a triangular nose, place three pins in a triangular shape on the bear where the nose is to be. Before attempting to embroider a nose, cut back all the fur from where you are going to embroider the nose. Take a piece of thread and run this around the outside of the pins. This will show you whether the nose is even or not. When all the fur is removed from within this triangle commence to embroider the nose.
Never embroider your nose below the line where the centre
head section meets the two side head sections. If you do this - this
tends to make the bear look slightly "rat like".
Place the nose 2-3mm above the centre nose line. A black felt template could also be used and glued on then embroidered over.
Some artists colour in the place where they are going to embroider the nose and then embroider over the "coloured in" place. I use Cotton Perle No. 8. I like the finer thread but this is entirely up to you. You can use doubled thread or single thread. I find once again that single thread is easier to deal with. I usually end up (with doubled thread) pulling on one of the "doubles" all the time. I seem to get a looped effect so I have learnt by experience that a single thread is better for me.
With embroidering a nose I do a small knot at the end of my thread and place this in the centre of the nose. This will end up by getting embroidered over so don't worry about a knot showing through.
I do a series of stitches. One at each side of the triangle (not the top) and then one in the middle. Come out at the same place each time. Then start filling in between the stitches you have just done. Do this randomly keeping your thread fairly tight. Not tight enough to pull the nose too much, just firmly.
Do not worry too much at the early stages if your stitches at the top are slightly uneven. You can even them up before finishing.
I never unpick a nose unless it has gone completely wrong. In all the years I have been making bears (apart from my first few bears) I can remember only ever unpicking three noses and they went horrendously wrong from the start.
Some times leave a bear before attempting the nose just to get a "feel" for what type of nose it should have. Some bears suit square noses and some triangular. It is easier to stitch horizontally than vertically when stitching a nose. When you feel you have a large enough nose and if you have a few uneven stitches then one long stitch placed over the top of the nose usually covers up any unevenness.
To make a "smiley" faced bear, sew one long line under the nose and then one line half the length either side of the long line, slightly above where you have come out with the first long line. To make a traditional bear's mouth, sew an inverted "Y" at the base of the nose.
When the nose is finished, if there are a few odd "hairs" sticking through the nose cut them off if it is possible, but if not then use a fabric marker pen and colour them in. Don't use a black marker pen, as these seem to have a bronze sheen to them when dried and can sometimes be visible.
Some noses can be made from a cut out leather shape and some from fur and you can even use an artificial nose made from plastic which has been "fur dipped". Embroidering a nose is certainly the better solution to finishing a bear but all have merit.
I hope these tips are of value to you, but if you require further help please do not hesitate to contact me.
Email Chris to add any any bits of advise to the next newsletter of if you have a trick problem you would like to discuss.
Kind Regards Chris