Hi Castlebar, Click on this link and it will take you to the real fur section of our Teddy Talk Library concerning real fur.
I cut all the pattern pieces from the cotton or muslin lining first. Then,very lighty glue the edges to the back of the fur pelt just enough to hold it for sewing the bear.- I use a glue stick. Next, cut out the fur pieces with the lining attached. You may also find it helpful to try using aligator clips instead of pins to hold your cut pieces together for sewing. Sometimes pins can be hard to get through stiff pelts, and the less holes the better.
Good luck !
Laura: I use good quality muslin and cut out identical pieces to the pattern. I don't use glue for it may erode the leather over time. I hand stitch - using a basting stitch- all the muslin pieces to the fur parts. Next I do the usual steps in sewing the bear.
Now a good tip for you: When you cut out the real fur pieces. do not shake them. Once the pieces are all cut out, take a hand held vacuum and run it over the fur pieces. Hold on to the bear parts though. I've been know to lose some. But I just dig it out of the bag and start over again. I find this method great in keeping me from having fur all over the place and not breathing it in or itching.
Post a picture of you teddy bear when you are finished.
You'll want to use a glover's/ leather needle castlebar. Its got a specifically created head that's triangular in shape....and mind, it goes through fingers exceedingly well!! The design creates the holes in the hides as you sew.
And yes, alligator, or paperclips work very well to hold the pieces together without having extra holes from the pins. I use the black clips from Office Max for holding together lots of papers. They seemed to work better, have a stronger hold than my paperclips.
I handsew my real fur bears, and found with the mink and squirrel furs, you'll do okay, but heavier furs, like muskrat, beaver, and definitely raccoon, you'll want to have thimbles for your fingers. I've created my own leather thimbles from moosehide, they cover my thumb, forefinger, and middle finger. But you'll be able to sort how much protection you need for your hands when you start in.
What type of fur are you attempting for your first bear?