This is the third of our online newsletters. If you wish to view the previous newsletter with it's tips etc then click the link.
Recently I have been experimenting with hats and accessories for bears. Buy a light straw hat (almost like a type of mesh hat) and cut the brim away carefully without cutting through the brim section. This will then leave you with two possible hats. One is like a type of cloche hat and the other will be like a type of sunhat brim. Seal all the edges with glitter glue or ordinary glue. Around the brim you can bind with ribbons or lace - sew a flower or two on and you have two lovely hats. Beads also look good sewn onto hats. With the cloche type of hat sew a large flower made from felt or an artificial flower at the brim. With this type of raffia hat you can also tea or coffee dye them. For another type of hat, buy raffia from a florist shop and make a very long plait. Curl this up like a snail and sew between the layers to keep together. Mould with your fingers the shape of a hat and decorate.
Other accessories for bears are a button necklace. String old buttons together on thin string. Out here we can get dried gum nuts. These look quite spectacular when varnished and drill a hole through them and string them together like a necklace. Felt leaves or suede or leather leaves look good in between these gum nuts.
Top hats can be made from an old toilet roll (for small bears) or a large roll of cardboard for larger bears for the top part. Simply glue black felt onto the top part and cut out a brim covering this also with black felt. Old keys (if you have any) also look wonderful on a thin string of leather around the bears neck.
A square of felt folded in half as wide as the bear and just reaching under the bears arms, with a hole cut around for the head to go through makes an ideal vest. Decorate with vest with blanket stitch around the armholes and neck and bottom. With some bears you will have to cut a slit down the back to accomodate the head. Blanket stitch around this as well. Sew patches of bright material onto the vest, decorate with bears and strips of leather.
Bow ties, scarves and collars are also very easy to make. Most of these items I make out of felt, because felt doesn't need to be lined or hemmed. I hope these tips are of value to you, but if you require further help please do not hesitate to contact me.
For the month of June (seeing as it is the designer's birthday month - Gemini) everyone that purchases a pattern, bear, or kitset off the internet goes into a draw to win a Toby Mohair kitset. Every time you order you go into the draw so get your orders in!
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.
All the best for Christmas and the New Year.
Kind Regards Chris & Tony Cotton