Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Brr Bear Renovation Project - the next stage

Hello again - Cy Bear here, being allowed to tell you what has been happening to my friend Brr Bear. In our last post, Isobel left him waiting for a bath, I believe, and I am pleased to tell you that the dousing happened later that evening.  He was soaked in a lukewarm bath with a soapy substance especially meant for "delicate" fabrics.  His pieces spent the whole night in the solution, and early next morning, he was thoroughly rinsed until there were no suds left and then Isobel stretched and pulled each piece back into shape and they were hung on a rack to dry.  Here is a picture to show you what I mean!

In the interim, while they dried, Isobel had a conversation with Mrs. DK, Brr Bear's Best Friend.  It was agreed that the wood stuffing used to stuff the muzzle area of Brr Bear's face should be used again, that his eyes would definitely be brown, but bigger than the ones that had been taken out and the growler to be placed within his torso was also chosen.  However, when Isobel got back home, she realised that she had more than one version of a brown eye!  So, she sent a sample of each to Mrs. DK for her to choose and the answer was received by telephone this morning.

So, while Isobel was waiting, she actually cut out and started sewing another Bear Glove Puppet - this time a Brown Bear - who by the look of it is going to resemble my good self!  He's not made of Beaver Lamb like me, but a nice soft dark brown plush fur fabric (whose label is Bruno, actually - which I am told is a bear type name!)  We'll post about him another time, because this is supposed to be all about Brr Bear, but you may be interested to know that the body is completed, as is the head.  They've just got to be put together, once the ears have been put in place.

Then last night, Isobel suddenly realised that it was already Monday evening and Brr Bear was supposed to be ready to be handed over on Friday.  So, she got a move on, and ironed all Brr Bear's pieces, drew a cardboard template of all of them and then transferred them on to the mohair fabric that we'd got from Bear Basics a few days ago.

Taken under electric light - hence the yellowish tinge to the fabric!

One thing that Isobel noticed when she was deconstructing and washing Brr Bear was how on some pieces the way the fur laid on the fabric differred.  Now Isobel takes a great deal of trouble to ensure that all our fur is lying facing the same direction.  In this picture - of Brr's arms as it happens - the fur is going in two different directions - can you see?

Now I know one arm is the left one and the other is the right one, but even so, it must have been very uncomfortable for Brr Bear  to have his fur going in two different directions at the same time. It was the same for both sides of his face, too.   But then, if it was always that way, perhaps he did not realise it should not have been like that! Isobel is making sure that his new coat has the fur going the same way, all over. (By the way, this is the colour Brr Bear was after his bath!)

Also, talking of his new coat, because we've now learned that Brr Bear arrived in Mrs. DK's life "circa 1953-ish", and he was made by a well-known  British bear factory called Chad Valley (who are not around any more),  it does mean that he may well not be the exact colour he was before he was deconstructed.  Bear Basics provides mohair which is made by the well-known bear-making company Steiff Schulte and they may well use different goats and other materials to those that were used in the 1950's by Chad Valley to make Brr and his friends.  He will still be creamy brown and very soft and furry, but not exactly the same.  But, Mrs. DK has been warned and is ready for it!

Having drawn the pattern on to the selected fabric, Isobel then cut out the new pieces, and put them on top of Brr Bear's original pieces, matching each bit in turn.  She then placed the cardboard templates on top of the various piles - all ready to begin sewing him up, as and when she knew what colour eyes Brr Bear was going to have.  Now she does know, the construction process can begin - and, in fact, it already has.  His head has been sewn up and the wood stuffing put into the muzzle.  His body is ready to be stuffed and waiting for the growler to go in.  Next Isobel will sew up his arms, legs and ears and then the fun bit begins:  putting all the bits together.  So she's going to stop me twittering on, so she can get on with the job!

Here, before I go, is a picture of the template piles awaiting attention (before the head was sewn).  Till the next time! Cheerio.  Cy Bear.

And another thing.... because Mrs. DK's  bedroom is being "done" - to quote her - Isobel now doesn't have to deliver Brr for another week!  That's so good, because she didn't like the thought of rushing to have him finished by this coming Friday!  It also means that we can get to know each other before he finally leaves us!  I like that - as the official ColdhamCuddlies mascot (www.coldhamcuddlies.etsy.com)