Sunday, 29 May 2011

The Making of Mrs. Fox - Part 2

Hello once again.

I really got carried away last night when sending my news about the production of Mrs. Fox and sent multiple editions to the Facebook link.  Apologies to any Friends who visited my page earlier today, as it must have been a bit of a surprise to see 4 posts saying exactly the same thing!  Giving the information was important, but not that much!  I have since corrected the mistake, and hope that when today's post is ready for circulation the same thing won't happen!                                                                                                                                 
So, to today's post:  having made the body and dressed it suitably, the next step is to make the head.  I do this by sewing the ears with their lining first and then putting the head pattern pieces together.  Once that's done, I put the eyes in and then stuff the head.  Getting the eyes level and in the right spot is very important - because it can affect how the completed toy looks!   It's also important to do it BEFORE one stuffs the toy, because it's impossible to achieve if one doesn't.  Many is the time that I've stuffed the head, got it exactly as I've wanted it, and then realised that there are no eyes!  Frustration is not in it - because one can never get the same result twice:  or, at least, I cannot!

Mrs. Fox's head, minus facial features
I'm told that, having settled down with their friends at the BOSS Federation, Freda and Freddy Fox ( and #62236009 respectively) office visitors and my daughter do find that they are somewhat "boss-eyed" (pun not intended) when facing them, with one eye being slightly above the other;  when viewed sideways, the problem  is not as apparent!  Since making them in November 2010 and having the problem pointed out, I now make sure that I thread-mark eye positions before inserting them and,  so far, have not repeated the error. 

Once the stuffing is complete, and the neck space sewn by gathering together and then oversewing the resultant seam, the time comes to attach the ears.  Placement of these too can affect the final look of the toy, and in this case, with the addition of a contrasting bonnet, one has to consider where to put the holes in the hat so that the ears can pop through at the end!  I buttonhole-stitch the slits I make in the bonnet, thus preserving the integrity of the fabric.  

I don't always include a bonnet when making my lady Foxes. Since starting my Etsy shop ( I have chosen to put bonnets on those that are to be customised.  In which case, the name of the intended recipient is embroidered on to the shopping bag that Mrs Fox carries on her arm..  If it is to be used as a Mascot, then the initials/logo of the company/school/etc can be embroidered there too.  If Mrs. Fox is to become a companion toy, then she is less formally attired - no hat, no bag, no special labelling! 

Then comes the important bit of putting head and body together, not my favourite bit of the operation, because it's fiddly and my arthritic fingers can (and often do) object to all the digit movement that this can entail.  In Mrs. Fox's case, this time was reasonably easy.  The head is attached to the body using a ladder stictch, which hides the stitches nicely.  Once firmly on. I attach the collar.  In Mrs. Fox's case, it is a plain white felt collar:  some of my other mother toys have decorated collars, or collars that compliment the material from which their dresses are constructed.  This time, as the material is somewhat "busy" and colourful, I did not feel any further decoration is warranted.
Now, as I've yet to transfer the pictures of the final step in Mrs. Fox's preparation from my camera to the computer, I'll end this post and complete the job description tomorrow.  Hoping that the distribution process is more smooth tonight, I'll close.    Isobel