Tuesday, 22 January 2013

How Edward Bear became a New Bear - Part 2

Here is a close-up of Edward Bear as he now looks- and this is the tale of how he finally reached this conclusion.

This is Cy Bear taking over from Isobel to finish off the latest Patient's saga in our Stuffed Animal Restoration Clinic (Etsy Listing #79124185).   Part One of Edward Bear's renaissance story ended with his newly washed and rinsed pieces hanging out to dry on the clothes airer in our workroom.

Once the pieces were all dry, Isobel drew the shape of the original pieces of Edward's body, legs, arms and head and cut out two new ear patterns.  She then trimmed the edges of the original Edward, which had become badly frayed, and tacked each piece to its matching new version.  In the photograph above, you can see a leg, with the two pieces matched and already sewn together, with the two front body shapes ready to be sewn together.  The bits of wool indicate where the plastic safety discs are to be fitted when the limbs are added to the body - in this case, it's the arms.

Here you can see Edward's new head, sewn up and turned inside out.  His ears are already sewn, as are his two arms - with some smart new beige leather pads replacing the somewhat tatty originals.  The second leg is at the back on the right hand side, and the two pieces making up the Edward's back has been sewn together, ready for attaching to the front.  These seams become the side seams eventually, with the top coming to a narrow point - with just enough room for the head disc to be fitted on when the time comes.

Finally, with all the pieces sewn together, the time came for Edward to be turned inside out ready for the stuffing to be applied.   Isobel is finding it is easier to fit head to bodies first when making us Bears, so this is what happened next.  Edward was first given two brand new brown eyes and the stuffing was then put into the head cavity.  You can see the white plastic neck disc waiting to be fixed once the neck opening had been gathered together, and the head was then attached.

The nascent new Edward is a little taller than our Glove Hand Puppets, but for the purposes of this photograph, Isobel used one of the knitting yarn cones we use to make the Puppets stand up when we are exhibiting them at Craft Shows in the area.


Once the head was fixed firmly in place - quite a tricky operation as Isobel has to work in a fairly restricted area,  with one hand in his abdominal area and pushing the head disc though a small hole with the other hand. Then she has to ensure fixing the washer firmly on so that it never comes off.

( Isobel interrupting:  one of our neighbours here was a prolific Teddy Bear maker - she has over 100 samples she shares her flat with still - and when she had to give up sewing because her fingers simply would not work any longer, she gave me a lot of her bear sewing paraphenalia, plus offering a lot of great tips.  One of these helpful hints was to use an old-fashioned wooden cotton reel (the hole in the middle just fits over the disc posts) and leaning on the reel (with a hard surface beneath the seam and disc) and just wait for the satisfactory click that comes when the whole thing is firmly in place!  Works like a dream!!)

The picture above shows Edward almost complete - all the limbs and head are in place and he just needs to have the final seam between his legs sewn together. Isobel found it easier with Edward to fix his legs to the body without the stuffing in them.  She then stuffed each leg and sewed the beige leather paw pads in place.  At least he now has two legs that look the same size!

Then, Edward's ears were sewn in place and finally, Isobel got going with a needle and black double knitting yarn to sew on his nose and mouth.  Here's what the finished article looks like!