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ellen ontario, canada
Posts: 324

can anyone post a picture of how they actually physically embroider their mouths?  oops, not YOUR mouths - your bears/critters mouths!   bear_grin
i have a terribly hard time with this and when i see beautifully formed mouths i wonder how on earth they/you do that!  i think i am just going to deep into the head/jaw - maybe i should just be embroidering the surface of the mohair - not going right into the head.  does that make sense?
thanx in advance for any tips!
Ellen

shantell Apple Dumpling Designs
Willamette Valley Oregon
Posts: 3,128

Ellen,

Is there a particular style of mouth you are wanting to create?  Like the sculpted mouths or smiling or something completely different?

Is there a picture you can post or link to so we might see what you are trying to create?  I asked about sculpted mouths awhile back.  I can find that post if that's something you are interested in.  Fair warning...I almost gave myself a black eye trying it the first time...my thread broke.   bear_grin

Shantell

Eileen Baird'sBears
Toronto
Posts: 3,873

bear_laugh  Ellen,

So far your question has drawn 71 views but only one reply. I think a lot of people are waiting for the answer!

LIke Shantell, I've managed to snap heavy perle cotton, but merely whacked the back of my hand on the edge of the tabletop. Ouch. Picking out the dead threads is also painful.

Even when using pins to anchor and guide the mouth threads, and pinching in hard to pre-sculpt, I've had trouble getting the mouth thread to stay where I want it to--especially if I'm trying to create a longish, smiling lip line low on the muzzle.

The only thing that helped a bit was pre-sculpting the mouth using a full strand of artificial sinew, which is ultra strong and a bit sticky. This is a bunny mouth, and I'm still working on it. No piccies yet.

It occured to me that I might also try drawing the lipline inward by taking sculpting stitches through the muzzle, side to side, just to indent the line in the right places. This might work better for a bear than a bunny, if you want a bit of chin. Bunnies are basically chinless.

Where are our resident experts? Hello?

Eileen

Shelli SHELLI MAKES
Chico, California
Posts: 9,939
Website

Shelli Retired Help Advisor, Banner Sponsor

I have no other suggestions other than what's been offered.  I just use a regular old, 6-strand embroidery floss and insert/exit at the mouth sections where it makes sense to do so (center, corners, etc.)  I pull really hard, to get a sculpted effect.  There's no magic to it. 

???

Bramblewoodbears Bramblewood Bears
Brooklyn, Washington
Posts: 309

Hello, This is my first posting on this website.  I am very new to bear making and am having a blast.  I have so much to learn!  One of my big questions right now it how to hide the knots in the thread when working and finishing the mouth of the bear (and also when finishing the embrioidered nose).  So far my bears are turning out pretty well, but small details like this are detracting from my finished work.  Thanks for your help!

Tomi

Bumpkin Bears Bumpkin Bears
Antwerp, Belgium
Posts: 2,190

Hi Tomi, so glad you're having fun with your bear making, be warned it really is addictive  bear_grin   When starting to embroider the nose you can just insert the thread into the head and then re-insert back into the hole it came out of and carry on until it is well and truly firm and will no longer pull out (this means you do not need to knot the thread, it attaches through all the filling).  You can finish off the same way, although you may want to take a tiny back stich for the mouth (loose into the mohair)  to keep the tension tight and then finish off as above.  This is not easy to explain in words but i hope it makes sense!  Please do ask if you get stuck with this or anything else, we are all very happy to help here :)

Have fun :
Hugs
Catherine

Bramblewoodbears Bramblewood Bears
Brooklyn, Washington
Posts: 309

Catherine,
Thankyou for your instruction.  I will try what you described.  I think I do understand what you are saying bear_original  Your bears are adorable!
Thanks,
Tomi

clare14 Country Bears
England
Posts: 3,066
Website

Hi Tomi,

I may be different here.....I actually sew my noses in BEFORE I close the neck, so I can hide all threads quite easily.   Always works for me.....   bear_whistle  bear_original

ellen ontario, canada
Posts: 324

sorry for the late reply everyone - i can't always get on here when i want!  *foot stomp*   bear_wacko
after reading more about this i think i have to stuff my head even harder - then i can sculpt and "pull hard" and indent the wee souls' heads exactly where i want to.
right now if i pull hard the jaw caves in.  maybe leaving the opening/bottom open will help redistribute things too.
THANX MUCH for your input/tips/help!    bear_flower

Bramblewoodbears Bramblewood Bears
Brooklyn, Washington
Posts: 309

Clare,
Thanks for your insight!  That is what I did on my last bear.  It turned out great, but I wasn't sure if there was a reason why people didn't normally do it that way.  Now I will feel more confident embroidering before closing knowing others do it also.  Thanks for your help!
Tomi

Eileen Baird'sBears
Toronto
Posts: 3,873

bear_original Tomi,

I'm another who delays closing the head until all the sculpting and embroidery are finished. To keep the stuffing packed in hard, I bring thread ends out through the open neck and secure them there. If I need to stuff certain areas harder, or even out opposite sides, I can still do so.

NOt sure this is normal, but it works!

Eileen

psichick78 Flying Fur Studios
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Posts: 3,073

Eileen, I do the same thing as you.

When I started out, and was using anothers pattern, I could never figure out why they just didn't bring all the threads out of the neck.

Anything to make my life easier, I'm all for!

Eileen Baird'sBears
Toronto
Posts: 3,873

bear_original Maybe it's traditional to close the head first.  bear_sad

None of my bearmaking books suggests keeping the head open, but I don't see any reason not to. Does anybody know of one?

The practice might be a holdover from the assembly line, where one worker specialized in embroidery.

Actually, after having to reopen my first head a few (dozen) times, I decided to make all my mistakes and adjustments first for a change.

Imagine--without mistakes, we'd have no Post-Its! Somebody's got to take the responsibility! bear_laugh

Speaking of mistakes, I've got to get back to my student's essay . . . Ezra Pound, Waltie Whitman, all my favorites  bear_tongue

Eileen

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