Saturday, 11 June 2011

Making Mr. Fox - the next stage

Cy Bear did such a good job describing what I do when making Foxes for addition to our shop on that I think I'll let him carry on.

That's kind of Isobel - so here goes.  Once Mr. Fox's boots were firmly sewn on, the next addition is the furry tail.  Mr. Foxes have a white tip to their tails, so when making up the patterns, Isobel has to cut two bits for Mr. Fox's version (the lady foxes have a self-colour version which takes less time to make up).  Then once having joined the white and chesnut plush fabrics, the tail is sewn in one piece, stuffed and sewn (firmly - it's ideal for little people to hold on to when playing with them!) through the trousers and onto the body.

Mr. Fox's tail viewed  from the side
In this picture, you can also see Mr. Fox's head, without facial features, next to Isobel's pin cushion and in the background is the envelope in which all the pattern pieces for the Fox family are stored.  They all repose on top of the spare fold-away bed that is kept in the second bedroom (used when elder daughter comes to stay the night).  In between, it makes a useful surface for Isobel to work with - as well as a platform for taking pictures from.

The picture also shows Mr. Fox with his jacket on.  That takes quite a bit of sewing before reaching the stage shown in this photo.  The original pattern calls for the jackets to be made in felt alone.  However, Isobel likes to use other materials - in this case a nice dark blue tweed material, which has a darker blue circle pattern incorporated into it.  Many of these fabrics tend to fray, so the jackets have to be lined, and sometimes the seams have to be over-sewn to prevent them falling apart.  Then she added some light blue braid around the lapels (to match those on the cuffs) and fits it on to Mr. Fox's body.  The rear has a slit cut into it to accommodate the tail.

Showing the jacket, with rear slit for tail
Then the delicate and sometimes fiddly part of sewing the head on to the shoulders, and fitting the jacket round the neck begins.  That can take a lot of sewing, undoing - because the head hasn't gone on straight, and then fitting the jacket round the tail and so on.

Now, we did intend to finish the Mr. Fox production story today, but plans had to change - because we've still not taken the photographs of the finished Mr. Fox.  The weather also took a turn for the worse and the light was not good enough for outside pictures.  Isobel does want to have some pictures of  a completed Mr. Fox (hopefully, we'll have a name for him soon - it's so formal continuing to refer to him as MR Fox!) taken outside in the garden so photography sessions have been postponed.  At the same time, we'll take some more pictures of Miss Prim Fox ( and then she can replace some of those already in the Shop at the same time as Mr. Fox gets listed. Meanwhile, here is a final picture of Mr. Fox still minus his head, but this time leaning on Isobel's sewing machine.

Mr. Fox's body from the front, with head waiting to be fixed on
So, weather permitting, hopefully we'll be able to complete the Mr. Fox production story tomorrow - and will have decided what to name to give him when he is listed at the Shop (  Bye for the time being!  Cy Bear