Thursday, 9 June 2011

ColdhamCuddliescalling: The start-up of Mr. Fox

ColdhamCuddliescalling: The start-up of Mr. Fox: "Hello there! Yet again, I've been overtaken by the overwhelming urge to link with folks - now that I seem to be getting somewhere. Daytim..."

The start-up of Mr. Fox

Hello there!

Yet again, I've been overtaken by the overwhelming urge to link with folks - now that I seem to be getting somewhere.  Daytime and other home life pressures prevent me being able to do too much during the day and it's a question of time allocation - do I blog, sew, or link?  Also since the last blog, I've also been getting on with the production of the new Mr. Fox.  He will have to remain with this formal title until he's finished - when, hopefully, his name will be come obvious.   (As in the case of Miss Prim Fox -  His shirt is made in the same material as Miss Prim's dress:    and although blue is the colour theme, he is  his own unique self (as are all the Coldham Cuddlies featured at

However, before describing the Mr. Fox production process,  here's an update.  As alluded to in my last blog, Charlie Coyote, Mascot for the Wylye Coyote's After School Club, has presided over an award ceremony.  I promised to include the picture which accompanied the report in last week's Warminster Journal - and here it is:

As ever, the quality of the picture suffers from the fact that is taken from a newsprint pic, but one can see Charlie quite clearly being held by the Wylye Coyote on the far right of the pciture.  Permission to include this in our post today has been given by Mrs. Kate Brayne, Manager of the Wylye Coyotes After School Club.

Now to the process of producing Mr. Fox:  obviously, one starts with cutting out the pattern using my special template for the Fox Family.  I have used these since I began making the foxes in the late 1970's while living in Canada (although I have had the pattern book since 1971).  Making the male foxes is a more complicated process than the lady foxes, because there are so many more pattern pieces involved.  Once they are all cut out and the materials vary - using plain sheeting or calico for the body, plush fur for the paws, tail and head, tweeds or similar weight material for the plus-fours and coat, cotton poplin for the waistcoat and completing the outfit with leather for the boots.  Leather finishes the toys off, I feel personally,  even though the original pattern calls for the boots to be made with felt.  I can do so fairly easily at the moment, because we are located close to a Glove Making factory - in business for over a century - (which also makes quality handbags and other leather goods) and I can buy off-cuts from them. 

This time around, I made the body with white sheeting material - of which I am fortunate to have a good supply.  The soft furnishing factory which provides me with their off-cuts (plush fur and tweeds mainly) is also where I purchase the polyester fibre which is used to stuff the toys. They provide it to me at trade rates, which is handy, and I can get it by the kilo (approximately 2.2 pounds weight) for roughly the same price as I could in a haberdashery outlet for 200 grammes (or approximately a quarter of a pound!)  This meets all international safety standards.  The factory usually stuffs the fibre into a pillow made with the sheeting material - and I am able to get several toys out of one pillow's worth of sheeting.

The latest Mr. Fox's body was then stuffed and the waistcoat made and placed on the body shape - as shown in the picture below.
Mr. Fox from the rear
The production process continues - and the description of it will follow in the next post - hopefully, tomorrow.  If he's good, I may let Cy Bear do it this time!  Bye for tonight. Isobel