I love using ribbons to finish off my bears and have purchased several books on more elaborate ribbonwork (flowers, leaves, etc.) which I hope to incorporate into my work at a later time.
Does anyone (meaning YOU, Winney!) have any tips or pointers for working with ribbon? By that I mean...
Ways to tie so that the bows are even and symmetrical?
Tips on finishing off ribbon ends so they don't fray?
Types of ribbon that are best used for teddy necks... and types that are worst?
Resources for ribbon (vintage, especially unusual, etc.)
I found a wonderful store in Berkeley, California -- LACIS -- that sells lots of vintage ribbons by the yard, as well as ribbonwork medallions. I'm not sure you can order these types of items from them via their website, but they do have one: http://www.lacis.com/
If you're ever in the area it's a worthwhile stopover. The shop is lovely and has tons of craft books and, of course, all those lovely vintage ribbon pieces...!
Okay, here's how I tie bows, and most times it works out well. :)
I turn my bear upside down, so I'm looking down, over its shoulder. I then tie a bow like tying your shoes... This way the tails of the bow are already pointing down. Then I just fluff and wiggle the bow until I'm happy.
You don't have to have advanced bow making skills to make wonderful and interesting neck bows for your bear.
I will show here something anyone can easily make....
There are some ribbons that are easier to work with than others. Sheer , see thru organdy type and especially the wired edged ones ar by far the easiest to work with and gets some beautiful results. This ribbon also comes with a satin edge in many colors.
A single bow tied around the bears neck looks good just as it is... and you can tie the bow tight enough where it won't easily come untied.
Use Kirstins instructions above . Clip the ends if you want then fray check then ,wait til that drys then trim off almost all the fray check leaving the ends still un frayable...
To make a 4 loop bow is almost as easy; First make a bow on the bears neck as above ...
Then using a separate piece of the same ribbon. or even different smaller ribbon ...Wrap the ribbon around your hand or something like cardboard ... what you want is one tail, 2 wraps around for the 4 loops( 2 on each side) then one tail to finish ( make the tails longer than you want as they will be trimmed later and fray checked).
.Then keeping it all together as is,,,slide it off and tie it in the center with a narrow 3/8" or 1/4" organdy ribbon,
( you have pre cut already ) into a tight KNOT...then tie it onto the center of neck bow .
If you leave the tails long on the narrow ribbon you will be able to tie on items like flowers, scrunched up gather tulle or lace behind your flowers...just experimenting and have fun! .
One of the worse ribbons for beginners to work with for bows that have more than 2 loops is ...
Double sided satin..in any width, it comes in picot edged too....it is somewhat stiff an unyielding.
Any ribbon that is springy... especially narrow ones.
Taffeta and Morae Taffeta is ok ,as long as you don't have to keep untying it as it stays wrinkled when wrinkled.
Florist ribbon ...it is very stiff for nice starchy bows but shows every wrinkle or fold if you make one where you don't want it.
The most energetic bow I ever made......
I almost died laughing at myself one year when I started to work just before Christmas at Craft World's florist dept.....Suddenly, I was thrown into a crash course on making bows. I couldn't believe how many people were willing to stand in line waiting for custom bows...and pay easily as much as $15. or more for 1 bow!
They stand there and watch you...I had an order for a 8" bow made of some very pretty but springy stuff and she wanted a "many looped full bow "...well... each pass with the ribbon is twisted for each loop and you have to have a death grip on all these loops as they keep stacking up between 2 fingers......suddenly BOING ! .. there goes the whole bunch springing up into the air about 2 feet...I was amazed at the height of the boing and cracked up like everyone else...try again...try 3 times..." Lady, do have any other shopping to do "? All the awhile I could not stop laughing.
So..need I say anymore about springy ribbon....Winney
Oh... The 4 loop bow above is a 4 loop bow...but when you add it to the 2 loop one already around the bears neck, it now become a total of 6 loops.
And.... to add tulle. lace. flowers, etc...these are either tied on one at a time (in a stacked fashion ) with the narrow ribbon.
Or you can make the add ons into a separate " corsage " then tie that on all at once....Winney
Great instructions and a great story, Winney! :lol:
You remind me of my daughter Caroline's part-time Christmas break job a few years back.
She found herself a novice package wrapper/bow tyer with a constant audience of people eager to pay mucho bucks for her rather amateurish efforts. She used to come home with terrible glue-gun burns!!