Sunday, 19 February 2017

PuffinR's Treatment - Part 3: He can go home on Monday

Greetings Everyone!

Cy Bear back again, now that Isobel has completed her duties in the ColdhamCuddlies Soft Toy Animal Restoration Clinic (  She can't be attending to patients AND type here simultaneously!

Good News folks - PuffinR is now ready to depart the UK. after a slight delay in departure.  We had hoped to send him homewards on Friday, but Isobel was away from the flat that morning, with a trip into Nottingham, which lasted longer than she'd expected - so everything got put back a bit.  Puffin R was almost completed that evening, but because she was tiring, and didn't want to make a mistake in the final stages, she emailed DadR to tell him that Puffin would be en route first thing Monday instead.  (The initial order actually set a dispatch date of 24th February, so we're still well within the deadline, but we had wanted to get the Bird back to Forever Friend, NR, as fast as possible - but not so fast that things went wrong at the last minute!)  

Photographs have been taken of PuffinR's treatment, and some of them will be shared here - with the final stages shown next week - because, obviously we want PuffinR's Family to see him in his new guise, before showing him off to all of you - our Great Followers.

This is what we've now termed PuffinR-Dry Run version.  He looked quite perky when this photograph was taken at the end of last week, but since then, because Isobel was experimenting with the amount of stuffing that might be required to achieve a "soft" feel, we think he actually hasn't had enough to keep him going for any length of time.  When compared with the final version of PuffinR (who will revert to his more familiar name when he is packed and ready to go - so will be called Puffin when we talk about him next week) it's now obvious he needs to get some more stuffing in him.  This will happen before the PuffinDR gets listed as our newest addition to the Shop (

Now, I'll hand over to Isobel, who can give you a better commentary on how things have progressed over this last week.

Hi Everyone - good to be able to report on a successful outcome for our latest Patient. 

Proceedings began, obviously,  with cutting out a brand new set of pieces using the template I'd created last week for the Dry Run version of PuffinR.  Here is the Body Front, his two eyes and the new beak - seen from the wrong side.

You can see that his feet have been attached to the front of the body, and the shadowy fabric you can see is actually PuffinR's original front since it was taken to pieces at the beginning of this exercise. Here it is lightly tacked and in such a way that when the stuffing was added at the end of the sewing, the tacking could be removed without disturbing the new piece of fabric.  (To try and ensure that all PuffinR's bits and pieces - feet, wings, tail and neck - hold together longer, I've not only tacked them in, but sewn each seam with blanket stitch ending up with a REALLY firm seam.)

Here are the same pieces, shown on the right side of each pattern piece, but before I'd done the blanket stitch edge to each foot!

I then tacked the original pieces (or as much as I felt would survive the exercise - which meant trimming the old seams really) and tacked each original Puffin piece to its equivalent new pattern piece.  So, the body front (top left) has the base sewn on it, the head is almost together, with eyes attached to the forehead and back of the head.  The bottom two pieces are the back of the lower body.  All have their equivalent "original Puffin" pieces tacked on (wrong side to wrong side) using a contrasting coloured thread - to make removing the tacking easier when required.  (Doing it that way means there is less stuffing required, because the original fabric's pile is doing part of that job).

The body front and head have been turned right side out in this photo, and wait for the original tacking to be removed.  The lower two back pieces are still shown on their wrong sides. and wait for the centre back seam to be sewn together.

Then all PuffinR's peripheral pieces needed to be sewn and fitted to the body in the appropriate places.  Here's the tail and two wings, and the beak, while the head needed sewing together at the front neck, and the body had it's final side sewn together.  

When making PuffinDR, Isobel wondred whether she should stuff the body and head separately and then sew the two pieces together at the neck area.  In the end, it was easier for her to first sew the back of the neck - from wing to wing along the neck seam (finished off with the blanket stitch used for the other peripheral pieces).  There was then a convenient gap in the front through which she could push the stuffing and shape the body and head separately.   Then she was able to close the neck (in the region of the throat) and sew the remaining gap using ladder stitch, which is what she uses most of the time when making all us Cuddlies.  (This smaller seam does not have the blanket stitch finish - it's not possible to achieve it once the entire body is fully stuffed - the ladder stitch is a pretty tight finish in any case).

You can see the wings and tail in situ here, and under the tail I've stitched back a label - which had a series of numbers on it.  Don't suppose that NR will notice this detail, but in fact when he arrived PuffinR had 2 labels under his tail.  One of them probably had the original maker's name on it, but that had disappeared and I didn't see the point of replacing a label with nothing printed on it. 

 (PuffinDR has a label sewn under HIS tail now - which is the ColdhamCuddlies label which goes on all the Cuddlies made for our Shop. He has been listed today -

 - leading the list of entries to the February FriendsRUs Team Heart Attack session, which is currently under way as this blog is prepared for publication on Sunday afternoon.   I drafted it on Saturday evening, so that I could participate in the monthly Heart Attack and do the blog post - almost simultaneously!

We have taken some more pictures of the final stages of  PuffinR's treatment process  - as well as photos of Puffin fully completed.  But, as we've shared our posts with NR (and FamilyR) as the therapy progressed, I'll wait until next week (or even until I've received confirmation of Puffin's safe arrival in Warwick, Rhode Island) before posting the final bulletin regarding the latest Patient in our Clinic.

This has been a really fun exercise - and Cy Bear and I will miss this Little Bird when he leaves us. Farewell pics will,  of course,  also be taken - and be shown here in the next bulletin.  Now, it's off to give PuffinDR some more stuffing and shape, take said photographs, and then get down to some much needed administration for the Shop - which had to be set aside (happily, I hasten to add!) when PuffinR arrived 3 weeks ago.

Until next week then, 

Your Friends - Cy Bear and Isobel