Sunday, 26 October 2014

Ready to Celebrate Halloween? Here are Three Cuddlies eager to help you!

Hello Everyone!

 Cy Bear has been hinting that I've not been doing my bit here on the blog,  so I've decided to take over for this post - since it contains a description of how some new COLDHAMCUDDLIES have arrived in the Family.  

Cy Bear did mention them in our post last week - so now allow me to tell you more about our Halloween Spider (HS) Friends.  I really do hesitate to label real spiders as "cuddly", but these guys do buck that trend!  They are not only cuddly, they're furry and completely safe for People of all ages:  because grown-ups are needed to operate them at their full capacity, although Little People can also snuggle up without fear.

Etsy Listing #207688666

If you read our last post, HS is based on a Spider Toy made over 40 years ago by Alan's sister, who was a Patient in our Stuffed Toy Animal Restoration Clinic.

In that story Cy Bear told how I made a template before sewing Spider up once more, and this is what HS (and all future Spiders) will be based on.  It might also be possible to adapt him as a Frog Finger Puppet, but that experiment will have to wait for a week or two.

Essentially, this is what is required for this Activity Toy.  It didn't take me long to make each one (I actually did three), and the decision to use Black Plush for the Upper Body, and Yellow Plush for the Under Belly was obvious, given the proximity of Halloween and it's Arachnid associations!  They could be made in Fleece fabric too, and it may well be that future Spiders could emerge in that form.

The final piece of template are for the eyes and mouth - and I decided to give the eyes a white double knitting yarn highlight, just to give the Toy some more facial character.

The rectangle piece of fabric is folded with the edge meeting the bottom of the mark on the template.  Then I folded it lengthwise and cut the fabric to match the edge: and then folded each half once more to get the four fingers.  One then folds each finger and sews each finger pocket.  As the canvas backing for some plushes can fray, I blanket stitched each seam to give a firmer edge to each finger - potentially they could get quite a lot of hard wear.  You should get something looking like this when you've done that bit of sewing.

I then sewed the finger piece to the underbelly along the seam line indicated on the underbelly circular pattern piece - making sure that the fingers are facing in the right direction (the first time I did it, I didn't!  Which meant I had to start the attachment all over again!)  One also has to make sure that the fabric pile is going in the same direction - from front to back, for both the underbelly and upper body. (I leave turning the fingers inside out until I've done the whole Toy.)

Once the finger guide is attached to the circular under belly, one can fix it to the upper body, 

sewing all the way round, but leaving an opening through which one can turn the whole Toy inside out and put the stuffing.   Again, because some plush fabrics can fray, I blanket stitched the seams to ensure it's long-term integrity.

 Then once the opening is closed, the toy is stuffed and the eyes and mouth  are attached - and should look something like this!

The Arm Puppets Cy Bear spoke about are coming along well.  The prototype is completed and will eventually join the  Cuddly Family and introduce yet another size Puppet Activity Toy to the Cuddlies Collection.  Meanwhile, the individual pieces for the Puppet due for the American puppeteer have been sewn and pictures sent for approval to the customer.  Once he's replied (hopefully in the affirmative), I'll be able to build the toy - with eyes, facial features and head stuffed:  arms lightly stuffed and attached to the body.  I'll tell you how that happens in a future post.

The Halloween Spider Threesome
Good Night - God Bless - and see you all here again soon.  Isobel

Coldham Cuddlies Clinic