...I wonder if this would produce an exact center nose seam...sometimes mine is a little off and I need to re sew.
I used to have the "off center" problem too. Thought it was my sewing and discovered it was my STUFFING! I now do my noses before I close the head. Then as the stuffing shifts when I'm embroidering... I can add more where I need it.
Ted Menten's book was one of the first books I bought and started out trying some of his methods. I went back and checked the book today to see if I had the same book that you had and read throught it again. I remember trying it when I first started out and it worked but through reading posts and other articles I realised most people started their heads differently so I began with the chin first and have stuck to this method. I think I'll have to go back and try another one. Thanks for reminding me.
I always sew by hand , and I sew from nose down to bottom of the neck in front. Then sew from nose up and around head to the back of neck then go to the other side starting at nose and follow the head to the bottom of the neck . Works for me !! :dance: It is all in what you get used to. :dance:
I think I do as Jodi does - at any rate I always start from the nose & work towards
the neck, because if something goes wonky, the neck doesn't need to line up but
the nose of course does.
Stuff doesn't go wonky anymore now that I alligator clip all my pieces together
Those clips ARE a wonder, aren't they?
I do something totally wacky I've never read about anywhere else. Necessity is the mother of invention!
First, I draw a seam allowance line along the entire length of the muzzle with a non-bleeding, acid-free, permanent Micron pen -- the lightest one I can find which still shows up against the mohair backing. This keeps my machine sewing precise even around weird curves.
Second, I clip and sew the very tip of the muzzle. It's maybe one inch of stitching.
Third, I clip and sew one side, nose to neck...
Fourth, I clip and sew the other.
Fifth and last, I clip and stitch from nose down to chin and neck.
This method would only work with bears in the mid to large size range for obvious reasons. Minis would require something entirely different. I use a very, very tiny stitch length for super tight stitches.
I never "eyeball" it and I always use way too many clips, but I find that this method gives me a very even and precise head shape almost every time!
I work in a similar way to Shelli. I haven't ever used alligtor clips, I just use good old fashion pins, but I do baste (oversew) the entire nose area by hand, concentrating on securing the centre of the muzzle to the neck seam so that it sits in the right place when I machine sew. I like using the drawn seam allowance method on tricky areas too ... keeps things nice and neat.
I always use to sew the nose down the neck first. But after this method was brought up the first time I tried it & it worked great for me. Seems to allow me to center the nose easier & the head turns out better then before. Now I start at the nose & sew each side of the gusset & then the nose to the neck.
I sew the chin seam first.
Then I baste the gusette in place. I fold it in half and mark the centre of the nose with my pen.
I then start at the fold mark and stitch through the middle of the chin seam, does that make sense?
Try looking at the typed in diagram and see if it makes sense.
Gusette \ /
|-| chin seam
I stitch srtaight down between the two pieces and wrap the thread up and over and back down through the same hole.
Then I baste the remainder of the gussette in place. That usually keeps everything on centre.
I have also found that how I stuff can get things off-centre.
Be careful when stuff and be mindful of the force you are using... mmm... I must be channeling Yoda...
The book includes a couple of patterns and lots of photos of his bears. Oh, he also addresses the egyptian virus where your bear feet both turn the same direction. And some interesting info on how placement of joints in limbs as well as body effects what direction they go in once attached and stuffed.
I find that stuffing the feet to the ankles and the arms to the wrists before I attaching them to the body helps to prevent this from happening.