Friday, 13 September 2013

Celebration Time -The ColdhamCuddlies Shop is Three!

This should have been published yesterday - but, although drafted, the final publication button was omitted - because I got involved  in something else!  Am sure everyone has had plenty of such moments!  Isobel

Good afternoon Everyone!  Cy Bear here - on a Big Day for us Cuddlies.

Today, SEPTEMBER 12, 2013, the Coldham Cuddlies shop on Etsy (   is three years' old!  Actually, it is the day on which the first five items were listed in the Shop, and we have now got 59 items available for sale - from Big Teddy Bears like me,  various other kinds of  Bears,    Rabbits galore, and Foxes, Coyotes, Frogs, Beaver and a Wombat - not to mention a variety of Slippers in various sizes. (Isobel actually joined Etsy in January 2010, but spent six to nine months after doing that making some Cuddlies - which included me).

 Isobel is actually away from Heytesbury at the moment, but thanks to technology (which I don't understand, being merely a Bear, made from Beaver Lamb Fur), it is the Slippers that Isobel wants me to tell you about today.  She's been making them for the last few weeks, and is actually working on the last pair she wants to include in the 2013 Slipper Collection, which are being launched for sale today!  So we felt that you might be interested to hear how she goes about making them.

She's made slippers for Children (in Small, Medium and Large sizes), Ladies (also in Small, Medium and Large Sizes) and when she's finished, there will be the same variety in Mens' sizes too.  The Mens' and Childrens' versions are based on patterns she was given by her friend LauraC who operates two Shops herself on Etsy (one of which is, while the Ladies' ones are wholly Isobel's own invention (based on a custom order from LauraC some months ago).  Most of them are made using the special plush fabrics we are lucky to have sourced locally, but we are more than prepared to make them in any other fabrics folks might like to consider for a pair of warm winter footwear.
Indeed, the Frog Ladies Slippers (Etsy Listing #160760658 ) were made in some moleskin-like fabric, not our usual furry plush materials.--

While making the Ladies Size 6-7 (Large) versions recently, Isobel took some photos as each step was reached, and this is how the process goes - featuring some Panda Head Slippers:

Ladies Panda Head Slippers - Etsy Listing #155281164
First, we use a pair of memory insoles that Isobel can get from a local multi-purpose store in Warminster.  The insoles have a diagram of  every size variation for Ladies and Mens shoes - in UK sizing.  She then cuts out the shape for a Ladies' Size 7 slipper following up by drawing the shape of both left and right feet  on the wrong side of a some faux leather fabric - allowing for about a one inch seam all around each insole.  Then the leather is tacked on to the insole and the finished bits look like this:

The right slipper has its' piece of poodle fur lining ready for fixing later on in the process.

Having cut out the poodle fur lining and outer plush fabric to fit around the outside of both slippers, Isobel then tacks them together, with wrong sides facing, so that they look like this:

In the background of this picture, you can see the unstuffed Panda head on the right, the black plush ears in the middle, and the front foot insert Isobel uses to make sure that the fabric goes round - allowing room for toes. She stitches the ColdhamCuddlies label on before attaching the outer straight edges to the insole.  They have been cut to not quite reach the tip of the toe, because Isobel puts a gusset in around the toe area, to allow for maximum wriggle room - and for really cold-blooded individuals among our friends, there is room for a sock to add extra warmth, if required!

Here, we have the slipper with the outer edge, complete with lining, sewn to the insole, the Panda head  ready for stuffing, complete with its eye patches in place, and the ears ready to be turned inside out prior to being attached to the stuffed head. Once the head is stuffed, and ears fixed, Isobel apparently attaches the bottom of the head to the poodle fur lining and then ladder stitches the outer edge to the head around the neck. She then ladder stitches around the whole outside of the slipper, attaching the outer fabric to the leather-covered insole.

The final piece of construction involves sewing the black and white checked satin ribbon edging around the ankle area of the slipper - so that the finished item looks like this (sideways-on view here).

Then here is what the slippers look like from the rear:


The Panda Head Slippers have joined the rest of the collection and are currently packed safely away in the Cuddlies carrying case all ready for the MacMillan Cancer Greatest Coffee Morning in the World sale we've been invited to appear at  on Monday, September 23.  By then, Isobel hopes to have completed the Large Mens' Size slipper, which features an Owl Head (another version to my friend Ben the Barn Owl Etsy Listing #99686556 ) - and another new introduction to the Cuddlies family.  We hope to have them listed shortly and feature them in another post early next week.

Until then, I'll end this story - and look forward to being with you again shortly.  It's nice to think that while I'm sitting on guard on the bed in Isobel's home in Heytesbury, I can still be with you here on the blog too!

Good night!  Cy Bear