Thursday, 25 April 2013

The Latest Foxes and how they joined the Coldham Cuddlies

Earlier in April  - 08/04/2013 to be exact, under the title "Attempting to Re-start the Posting Process...", I threatened to tell you how our Country Gentleman Fox and Beau Fox appeared in our shop at  The post was really a repeat of the Etsy listing for each Fox, plus a few extra items to make it a little more interesting (hopefully!).    I hadn't intended the gap in the process to be quite a long as it has been, but having completed the reports on Turner Bear's treatment, there were some unexpected delays in getting the new computer back, and it's really only today that I've been able to try to post about the production process for Foxes.  So, here goes:

As ever. these Cuddlies are made with separate calico bodies, which are then stuffed and made ready to have their clothing attached.
Country Gentleman Fox (CGF) 
As I go along, I'm finding that it's better for me to get all the bits and pieces sewn together so that heads, tails, boots, jacket (with arms and paws attached in this case) are ready to be put on the body as soon as trousers and waistcoat are in place too.

While waiting to attached the jacket, I used some rubber bands to hold CGF's newly-cut tassels in place at the top of his boots.  The suede leather was a tad inclined to stick out instead of facing downwards, and I experimented with the rubber bands which just happened to be at hand.  It actually worked quite well, and  I shall be using this as a patented Morrell method in future - when the need arises.

This rear view of CFG shows the white tip that all my Gentlemen Foxes are given - to distinguish them (as in real life) from the Ladies whose brushes are all in natural chestnut plush.

Once this fellow was completed, the process began all over again for Beau Fox -  whose apricot
pink fleece trousers make a change from the white felt johdpurs that my Gentlemen Foxes tend to appear with. The fabric happens to be left over from making the The Pig Twins earlier this year.  As I didn't have sufficient for another whole Pig, Beau Fox's johdpur trousers seemed the best place to use the remnant up.

 The waistcoat is a rather smart blue plaid fabric, which was part of the haul I received when I last picked  up  my fabric supply from the Fine Quality Feather Company in Frome, Somerset some weeks' ago.  (The Three Buchanan Foxes' dresses - described in our posts "Making the Buchanan Foxes, Parts One and Two - 18/02/2013 and 25/02/2013) - were part of that consignment), and I have some other unusual plaid fabrics to use in future - whose destiny has yet to be decided.

As I was finishing the waistcoat, I decided to see what might happen if I put the sleeves in at this point, rather than waiting to insert them in the overcoat/jacket.  I had some rather nice royal blue velvet remnant to hand, so decided to use it for Beau Fox - to show up the waistcoat, and also decided not to hide it when attaching the outer garment.  I also thought that a little light blue ric rac added a certain "je ne sais quois" to the overall look - what think you?

His boots are made with a lovely crimson soft glove leather remnant I have in my leather collection, and I then added the white stock to finish the overall look.  At that point, I did waver:  because he actually looks quite smart as he is - without the full jacket.  However, having cut out the jacket, I went ahead and completed it - and actually think he looks even smarter than before, especially with the double breasted fastening, which allows the waistcoat to be viewed, as well as the scorpion type emblem embroidered on the white felt stock.  This is what makes creating my Cuddlies such enormous fun - without an original pattern, I'm absolutely lost:  but give me a pattern, and my creativity has almost no bounds!

This last photograph was taken just a few days ago, with the sunshine blazing and the garden here at The Hospital of St. John just beginning to burst into flower.  I also took some of CGF at the same time, as well as one or two of them together.

Now that Spring is beginning to show it's hand, I shall endeavour to take as many photographs outside as I can.  Obviously, while the production process is in hand that does also mean that some still have to be taken in the work-room, but I do think daylight makes such a difference to showing off our Cuddlies!  Hope you do too.

Have got some outside shots of the Owl Twins (now only one still looking for a new home) as well as two new Frogs to show you.  That will have to wait until next time.  In the interim, I'll close this post  - and wish you all a great week-end.  Seems like it was  only yesterday when I was posting about AndyB's Christening in Edmonton, Aberta! - and yet it is 6 days ago, already and Clare arrived back in the UK earlier today!   How the time flies!   Isobel