Puh! I'm having a very bad day! Bear no.6 of this design has gone terribly wrong. Part of the problem was the poor initial choices, when I was cutting out the pieces, weeks ago. For some reason I chose a short pile brown mohair, which shows all the seams, paired with a piece of black mohair for his muzzle. Only very, very rarely does it work to have a pale face and a darker muzzle. In this case the problem was exacerbated by the fact that I only have one shade of brown felting wool - and it's nothing like the colour of this bear. So no shading, no graduations of colour, allowed.
Also, I mentioned in my last post that I thought I should try moving the eyes downwards and inwards, if I was going to persist with felted eyelids. Turns out (duh) that this is only possible if you also move the muzzle downwards and inwards - otherwise you end up putting the eyes on the side of the muzzle. And of course, I can't adjust the muzzle because I've already cut out the pieces - of this one and the next 13 bears!
There's something wrong with the feet as well. They're too... deep, or thick - from top to bottom - and the ankles are too thin in comparison. This was a last minute adjustment I made to the pattern, without testing it properly (serves me right, then!). Once again, I have already cut out 13 bears with these feet. It might be possible to sort. Fingers crossed!
This is the thing though: clearly there are advantages to (a) doing all the cutting out first before you start sewing, and (b) sewing a number of bears in the same design, in succession. One of the disadvantages though is that, if there are any flaws in the design, you have to find solutions to those flaws 10 times over. Perhaps though, it's throwing the bear out with the bathwater, so to speak, simply to abandon this way of working altogether. The better solution would be to be a bit more rigorous about testing the pattern, before cutting out lots of bears.
I'm having second thoughts in another regard too, though. I started working in this way to try to become a bit more productive - and although it has been successful, it has rather reduced the possibility of anything original happening. In other words, I am making more - but more of the same.
Anyway, I'll leave you with a [very dark] picture of my failed bear. He looks better here than he is - his silhouette isn't too bad; it's the detail that was the problem.