Sunday, August 31, 2014

Sweetie Bear Part 3- Stuffing, Sculpting & Stitches

Sweetie Bear Part 3- Stuffing, Sculpting & Stitches
Start by stuffing the head firmly, fill the around the edges first. What I do is spread the filling from the center out with my fingers as I stuff, using smaller pieces also helps keep your stuffing even and smooth.
When the head is stuffed to you liking, wrap a length of extra strong thread around the
neck tightly several times and double knot.

Next mark my face with an erasable marker and get the cardigan buttons (if you choose to embroider the eyes do so now with a satin stitch).
To attach the buttons as well as sculpt start by threading your doll needle with extra strong thread. Push the needle in at the bottom of the head, near the now closed neck, then up through the face & out on the inside corner of the eye.

Thread the button, push your needle back in at the outer corner and back out at the bottom of the head.
Pull both ends of the thread until you achieve a shape you like and then double knot the ends together. Trim you thread and repeat for the other eye.
* If you embroider the eyes follow the same steps, but ignore the button part.

Next embroider the nose and mouth. I start with a standard teddy bear nose, then I fill the "V" in with a satin stitch. Little back stitches or a stem stitch works perfectly.

Now look at that cute face!
Set the head aside while you stuff the body, you don't need to stuff the body as firmly as the head, you don't want the filling pouring out the neck when you are trying to attach the head.

Attach the head to the neck opening with a ladder stitch, it doesn't have to be pretty (you will be doing a second round), but you do want to make sure you get a good hold. Now go around a second time, with smaller stitches and you are done!!

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and I can't wait to see all your Sweetie Bear creations!

If you want some extra help with stuffing and sculpting the NimblePhish YouTube channel has a few helpful videos for you.
Thank You

Friday, August 29, 2014

Sweetie Bear, Part 2- Construction & Applique

Part 2:
Before you sew the pieces together, you will want to get your applique pieces attached. I decided to use a different technique for each of them. You can choose either one, just remember to take into account the type of fabrics you are using.

I used "Wonder Under" (aka, fusible webbing) for my little cotton heart. I cut around the edge with pinking shears because I live in a constant fear of fraying. 

I decided to do a simple back stitch by hand around the outer edge of the heart, partially to make sure it was really stuck on and partially because it's just plain cute.

For the muzzle I used felt. I traced the pattern piece with an erasable pen on the right side of the felt and I cut  it out with extra space around my mark. Then I sewed a straight stitch directly on the line and trimmed around the edge with a pair of small sharp scissors.

Now we are ready to start sewing our pieces together. Remember that the freezer paper is still attached while you do this. In Part 1 we already prepped the ears and arms, now sew the pieces together, leaving the top of the arm and the bottom of the ears open. When you are done trim the edges. I used pinking shears & I recommend using them for trimming the seam allowance on any fabric, not just woven ones.
Once your edges are trimmed remove the freezer paper. It should be pretty easy, but be careful around your stitches, you don't want to pull them out.

Turn the ears and arms right side out and pin the ears in place, sandwiched between the right sides of the head. Sew around the head, leaving the neck open. Remove the freezer paper on both sides and sew around the edges a second time, I noticed a lot of skipped stitches and pulled quiet a few when I was removing the paper, so better safe then sorry.

Follow the same steps for the body, keep your stitches small and remember to pivot on those smaller corners.

Again, don't forget the double stitching around the body after you remove the backing.
Now I chose not to stuff the arms, you can if you want to, you just need to leave the top 1/2" completely unstuffed. Sew the arms to the body, across the side seams, on edge of the neck opening. The arms should lay flat at the sides of the body the seams facing front to back.

Yay! All your pieces are ready for stuffing. Tomorrow will wrap it up with Stuffing, Sculpting and Stitches in Part 3!

In the mood for some more plushie making? Check out the big 1/2 off Labor Day Sale over at the NimblePhish Etsy shop!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

DIY Sweetie Bear, Part 1

First I want to say thank you to all of my wonderful customers, your support is what keeps my little shop growing and I am so grateful for you.

This little bear is so sweet it'll make your teeth hurt, his name is Caramel Bear and I'm going to show you how to make him. First download and print the Sweetie Bear.

First this is what you'll need:
Printed (and cut out) copy of the Caramel Bear Pattern
Minky Fabric - you'll need less then a 1/4 yard, scraps are awesome for this project
Scraps of felt, knit, cotton...really what ever you want
Polyfill (you can use wool if you want)
Embroidery Floss
Cardigan Buttons
Extra Strong Thread
Embroidery & Doll Sewing Needle
Sewing Machine, Scissors...sewing staples
Basting Spray
Freezer Paper

* Optional:
Iron On Backing
Pinking Shears

Okay, gather up your supplies, print you pattern and we can get started.

As you can probably tell minky is super soft, it is also slippery, stretch and a general pain in the booty. That is where the freezer paper comes into play (if you do not have Freezer Paper any iron on/tear away stabilizer will work). Trace 2 copies of the Head, Body, Ears and Arms pieces and cut them out.

Using a warm iron (polyester setting) fuse the Head and Body pieces to the wrong side of the minky and cut them out. Next fuse the Arms to the minky, but do not cut it out completely, make sure you leave a good amount around the pattern piece. Finally fuse the Ears to the secondary fabric, also leaving space around the edge.

Next you need to assemble the rest of the Ears and Arms, now there is a couple ways to do this, but first you need to cut out pieces of minky to match (if not slightly bigger) the Ear and Arm pieces that already have the freezer paper attached.
Now, I like to used Basting Spray, it is sewing machine safe and it only takes a small spritz on the right side of one piece of the fabric to keep those slippery little pieces in place. You can use pins, with the extra around the edge, the little pieces will be easier to control.

Tomorrow we are going to tackle applique and sewing all out pieces together!