Saturday, 25 December 2010


Merry Christmas!

I can't believe I'm posting on Christmas Day(!) Unfortunately, I'm already over the Christmas feeling - if I ever had it at all - and I'm a bit impatient to get all this holiday merriment over with, so I can get back to work.

I am not going to make the five-day shop display that I mentioned in my last post. I just didn't give myself enough notice. Really, I'm the kind of person that needs to have everything organized a month in advance. Anyway, the idea was that I was going to have a sort of morning-after-the-Christmas-party kind of display - empty wine bottles, fallen wineglasses, sagging tinsel and party poppers, torn paper hats, and all the bears snoring their heads off. To this end, I was prepared to sew heavy eyelids on every bear (the natural state of all my current bears is wide awake and alert - a sort of sans eyebrows effect). I was at the Art & Craft Centre with my tape measure, trying out eyelid templates, when a thought suddenly popped into my head.

*... sleep masks!*

Why on earth didn't I think of that before? Anyway, unfortunately I don't have time to make 20-odd teddy bear sleep masks (never mind 20-odd sets of eyelids) - so maybe next year.

In the meantime, this display idea prodded me into searching the web for a pouffe pattern - for the bears to sleep on. I found a cracker at DesignSponge (see the tutorial here). Naturally, I had to change it round a bit. I decided to make it out of cream faux fur. The pattern suggests that you back the outer fabric in plain cotton - and this is what is recommended for faux fur anyway, when you're making bears, to stop it from stretching.

I have never tried using faux fur before (see post here), so I thought the pouffe would be a good opportunity to try it out. It hasn't quite gone to plan (naturally). The idea is that you create each 'face' of the pouffe out of twelve segments, which meet in the centre, like slices of a cake. The tutorial recommends that you sew each face in two lots of six pieces. This gives you two long straight edges to sew together - thus avoiding the possibility of having a hole in the centre, where the segments meet.

Anyway, in the photo in the tutorial, the six segments all meet neatly, on the head of a pin as it were. When I tried it with the faux fur, I think I must have sewn my seam allowances too small because actually the 'point' of each segment was about a centimetre wide - so at the point where they met, they actually receded from the straight edge.

Is this making any sense?

So I decided to sew the two lots of six pieces together in two lines of stitches, instead of one - leaving the hole in the middle. I will then (so the plan goes), draw the hole in with a drawstring, and then - once the pouffe is turned right side out and stuffed - cover it with a button. The button is recommended in the tutorial anyway - to pull in the centre of the pouffe.

This is where I am so far...

This is still inside-out, of course(!)

And I'm thinking of using these buttons for the centre...

Or maybe these ones...

Anyway, the tutorial recommends that you pull in the centre of the pouffe with fishing line. Nobody's into fishing in my family, so I'm going to have to go out and find a specialist shop. So, just waiting on that! I am actually (with my elbows touching a wooden table, just in case), looking forward to seeing how this turns out. The faux fur is gorgeous! I will post the results (if it turns out alright - ahem).

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