Tips


All about Twinkle's eyes

Where did I find Twinkle's eyes? Well, here's the truth of it... the eyes on Twinkle came from the bottom of my button box! I don't have any more, and I've not been able to find any the same, but I do have some alternative suggestions that I think would work.

The first are some beautiful 3D effect sparkly eyes in various colours and sizes that I've seen on eBay on the following link Sparkly Glitter Eyes

My next alternative would be to use a layering of 2 buttons... one larger sparkly button for the Iris and one smaller black button for the pupil and again I have some examples on the following addresses: Iris glitter button and black pupil button


If you'd like to see how layering buttons for eyes works please look at Amethyst Bunny and Belladonna Bear  (I love this technique) You sew the Irises on first and without cutting the thread add the pupils over the top.
I hope that makes sense and helps to give you some ideas to be going on with ūü¶Č

NB  None of the eBay links are sponsored or affiliate. They have not been tried by me so I cannot personally vouch for the individual sellers.

 

Why the fabric direction matters

To prevent your finished toy from looking stretched and distorted its important to pay attention to the fabric direction before laying out your template pieces.  The warp threads are typically strongest as they run the entire length of the bolt. This is the direction line you should lay your pieces along, matching the directional arrows to either the warp line or the weft line which is also quite strong.  Fabrics have the most stretch when they are pulled diagonally on the bias line and this is the direction you should avoid when making stuffed toys to prevent distortion.

 

How to sew the body dart

Hopefully this image will help explain how to sew the dart together in order to give the body a slightly curved and rounded shape - a bit like a bra cup.
Basically you fold and pin the V shaped dart edges together (right sides facing inwards and raw edges even) Machine sew along the short dart line... et voila!
.

How to insert the foot pads

Take the foot sole piece and with right sides together insert it into the bottom of the foot making sure heel and toe match up. Carefully pin in place - use lots of pins here to help stop the fabric moving when you sew. When you're happy with the position you can take it to your sewing machine. Start at the toe and slowly stitch down one side of the foot to the heel and end off. Start at the toe again and sew down the other side to meet at the heel and end off. Remember to go slowly and carefully and check all the time to make sure you're not catching other parts of the leg under the machine foot.

If this method is just not working for you, its perfectly acceptable to hand sew these foot pads providing you use doubled over thread and very small regular stitches that are a similar size to your machine stitching. I always use this hand method for smaller toys.

 

 

How to sew the neck hole closed

Make sure that the head (or body) is stuffed very firmly to maximum capacity before closing the neck hole. When it comes to closing the holes you might find it easiest to begin by using a strong thread to sew a running stitch all around the circumference of the hole. Gather this together to begin the process of closing it up. Pull it together gradually into a circular shape as much as you can and then finish sewing it together by stitching from side to side and pulling it completely closed.

I'd say that one of the most important things to remember is stuffing very firmly!  Most people underestimate how much to stuff a traditional styled teddy bear... Without very firm stuffing he has no structure and no shape!


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