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Little Nan Posts: 233

Hi everyone !
I'm wondering if anyone has come across the current problem I'm having ? When I start embroidering the nose , like lots of you , I run the thread through the wax which stops all the fluffing , but then it seems the thread as its going through the fabric somehow grabs bits of fur thus taking it back through which I then have to fish out with the needle and by the time I've finished the nose the fur either gets very waxy in parts or I lose bits from them constantly getting caught !!
I have tried embroidering the nose upside down , but it feels peculiar doing it that way and not sure it really helps.
I've also tried taping the fur but don't think I had the right tape !!
What a peculiar problem ... And really frustrating , I'm dreading the next nose !!
Any suggestions would be very gratefully received cos its driving me nuts !
Nan bear_cry

rowarrior The Littlest Thistle
Posts: 6,212

I magic tape the fur away from the nose.  Also make sure you've trimmed the fur back far enough around the nose that it doesn't get caught.  I never wax the perle cotton I'm sewing the nose with though.

Little Nan Posts: 233

Hi, Katy thanks yes I do need to tape a little firmer if you see what I mean . I did tape the fur away from the nose but I used Sellotape which wasn't really suitable and didn't hold! I also think I need to trim the fur back further but I'm loathe to do that just in case I regret it further down the line when I want those ' chubby cheeks ' but think I'll just have to be braver!
The reason I use wax on the embroidery thread is to stop that fraying that also kept happening!
All in all I do have trouble with noses !! Been thinking of trying those ready made thingys ,if anyone has used them with success I'd be glad to hear about it !
bear_thumb Nan

dangerbears Dangerbears
Posts: 6,021

Nan, I would think that waxing the embroidery thread would make it more likely to grab stuffing or fur...?

I do know exactly what you're talking about though. What I do with each stitch is position the needle, and then before I start pulling I place my other thumb over the fur below the nose (I stitch from bottom to top). That helps, though sometimes I still use the needle to pull out some fur that followed the thread into the hole. bear_laugh


Donna Donna's Duin Bruins
Burbank, CA
Posts: 900

One thing I learned from Steve Schutt was after waxing the thread then to hold the waxed thread  between my index finger and my thumbnail and run the thread through to remove excess wax.  I don't know if that will help or not.  I also like to keep a fingernail at the site where the thread in going in.
The nose is a long process to master so just keep working on it.

Little Nan Posts: 233

Yes Becky it does ! It's hard to know what to do cos I do like the finish waxing gives but it does make things harder.
Also I see what you are saying about manoeuvring the thread and your thumb so that it does sort of avoid the thread getting sucked in!
Dare say its a combination of maybe taping, trimming the fur back and then watch every stitch you make !! Oh dear another hazard to overcome ... wonder how many more I'll find ? Oh yes the there's getting the eyes level ...      bear_rolleyes

Little Nan Posts: 233

Oh right yes I see Donna , good tips !! I'll certainly be trying both !
I couldn't agree more the nose certainly is a long process to master... I was better when I first started... think that was purely beginners luck !!
Thank you  bear_flower

dangerbears Dangerbears
Posts: 6,021
Little Nan wrote:

Dare say its a combination of maybe taping, trimming the fur back and then watch every stitch you make !! Oh dear another hazard to overcome ... wonder how many more I'll find ? Oh yes the there's getting the eyes level ...

I think you've got it! bear_original (And people's eyes are never perfectly level, so I think the same should go for teddy bears.)

Have you tried waxing the nose after you've embroidered it? That's a common practice, and TT member Paula Carter has a very good tutorial on her blog: … -nose.html


Little Nan Posts: 233

Yes Becky I've seen Paula's tutorial its excellent . I have tried it but was a little heavy handed with the wax , so next time ill take more care !!  Ill watch the tutorial again I think !
Thank you
Nan bear_wub

karenaus Melbourne
Posts: 694

Hi Nan, I always wax my thread before I sew too, as like you, I find it makes it easier to wax at the end, as well as helping the thread sit nicer while you stitch. And like Donna suggested, I always run the thread through my fingers to remove the excess wax.
    I don't tape the fur away, but do trim, of course. Yes it's scary to trim, but you shouldn't be trimming anywhere near the cheek part, so don't worry too much about losing your chubby cheeks. Mark your nose out then trim that area, and remember you can trim more as you go ( not sure about you but I always end up changing the nose shape as I work lol) Maybe something to help you figure out where to trim is using a felt template as a guide? You can glue it down or just use it to give you an idea where to trim.
  And yes, watching every stitch bear_grin  much less stressful that way  bear_grin

Little Nan Posts: 233

Spot on with everything Karen! I totally agree .. I think my biggest problem was not trimming enough fur away !
I've just finished a nose , apart from waxing and I trimmed the fur and yes a much better result !
I think I may make a felt template next time because that would give a more bulbous sort of nose and when you're using faux fur which I am at the moment I think you need a bit more of a ' nose '
Still managed to get slightly uneven eyes though, again because I didn't trim the eye area a little first and there was so much fur , not like mohair where you can see the area a lot easier! Oh well 50% better anyway !
Thanks to you all !!!
Nan bear_wub

jenny Three O'clock Bears
warwickshire uk
Posts: 4,413

First of all I stuff the nose with wood wool...that makes the sewing easier and you then don't then pull the stuffing through where the thread emerges. Then I  pluck the nose area bare...slightly smaller than I want the nose shape to be. Snipping it back means that you inevitably have short hairs poking through the stitches. I then use a template to stitch over ..try felt or leather...I use a tacky PVA  to hold it in place...and then I use a very thin layer of PVA to sew over. This holds each stitch in place as I sew. I then sew a second layer of stitches over the first which gives the nose a rounded profile ..but before I sew I use a thin layer of PVA again over the first lot of stitches which nicely holds each stitch in place. Because I work over a template and the base it is stitched over is clear of pile I don't get that fluffing. I used to get it all the time till I found this method. It works for me and I don't often have to redo a nose these days.Waxing the thread before you sew is great but it can make the thread hard to pull through. So I tend to wax after I sew..if I wax at all. I tend to use a satin sealant..the kind artists use on paintings. It works really well. Not traditional but I tend to do what I want to get the look I am after. I do work with the head upside gets easier with practice .

Plum Cottage Bears Plum Cottage Bears
Long Beach, CA
Posts: 2,151

Plum Cottage Bears Cute Animal Ambassador

Where would I order wood wool?  I am in California, USA.

Little Nan Posts: 233

Ooh Jenny lots of useful info there !! I'm visualising it and like the idea of the PVA glue and could see how it would work. I think the wax was sticking to the fur as I put the needle in under the nose and I keep getting a tiny bald patch always on the right side , weird as its never on the left ! Anyway I will be getting the PVA and the satin sealant ... I love your unorthodox approach to things , so original, thanks Jenny.
bear_wub  bear_flower  bear_thumb

customteddys Custom Teddys
Juneau, Alaska
Posts: 1,550

I've never been very good at the stitched noses so this post is very helpful to me, too. I tend to follow Jenny's method when I do stitch the noses. Also, Gail, I have purchased the wood wool (excelsior) from CRs Crafts. I did check our sponsor's website for excelsior first  bear_original  though. I couldn't find any at this time, but they may carry some in the future.

Holthillbears Holt Hill Bears
Hurst, Texas
Posts: 20

This is wonderful information, thank you all for sharing  bear_grin

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