Saturday, 29 November 2014

The Smith Puppet Saga - Part 2

Greetings Everyone - Cy Bear here! Good to be with you and allowed to contribute to the exciting events happening in the Coldham Cuddlies Family.  


You can see that I am  in my customary place, these days, on Isobel's bed.  It's much more comfortable than previously - when I was perched on top of a bookshelf in the hallway of our previous home, although  I don't now see who comes in and out to visit us!  This photo was taken when the Tiger fabric Isobel had found was photographed to send to JS - our latest customer (mentioned in our previous past last week-end).  So, it seemed obvious that I should take up the story today.
The first thing was to cut out the pattern, and a new template for the Tiger Head and a puppet body (using our Hand Puppets as an example) was made for this particular project.  The body was lengthened to accommodate JS's personal dimensions from finger tip to elbow and the width of his hand from finger tip to tip of thumb.  Once the outside fabric was cut out, a lining in exactly the same size as the body was also cut out.  (Sometimes the fabric backing for the plush materials can be a bit scratchy).  Both versions (lining and outer shapes) were then hand sewn and with wrong sides facing, fitted together - meeting at neck and arm openings and the bottom hem.  It results, I am told, in a very nice, warm space for the puppeteer to operate the Tiger as and when required.

Isobel then sewed the pieces for the head, ears,
and arms (for which she'd used the Teddy Bear arm templates she has in her Pattern Library).
They all looked like this when we sent a photograph to JS  - showing progress to date.
Then, once the eyes had been put in place (green plastic pillar eyes, with metal safety backs -purchased from a fellow Etsy  producer Clara - from had been fixed Isobel proceeded to build DanielS - stuffing his arms lightly to give them some bant.  The head was firmly filled and the ears attached so that he looked like some of the photographs of Daniel Tiger that JS  had provided Isobel to work with.

Some finger guides were then constructed from cardboard, which were rolled into a 2" tube  sewn in place - rather than glued or stapled - and covered with the same calico lining that the body was lined with.  To make sure that the stuffing in Daniel's head did not escape during operations, Isobel cut out a circular piece of calico and sewed it into the neck cavity.  She then cut a hole and pushed the neck finger guide through and arranged the head.  Then the whole head was attached to the body, at the neck hole.  Both arms had their finger guides sewn in as well, and then the arms were attached - as shown in the the picture below.  In order to protect the stuffing in the arms, the guides were sewn with a cover over the tube hole at one end.

You can see the difference in length of the body between Tommy Tiger, the Puppet prototype and Daniel S in this photograph, which was taken at the same time.  Tommy was made to fit a Lady's arm, because that was the only model available at the time he was cut out.

Once DanielS'  facial features (going by the photo guides we'd been given) had been done, this photo was sent to JS to see if the puppet was acceptable.  He also had some claws embroidered on to each hand.
One of the photos of the original Daniel

One of the photos of the original Daniel
A positive response was received and Daniel was then prepared for his journey to Tulsa, Okalahoma

 The next installment of this intriguing story will take place shortly - and it's getting more interesting, and exciting as the days go by.  But I'll let Isobel take up the narrative next time.