For any of you familiar with making curvy things, such as bags, you may know exactly where we’re going now, but for those of you who have thus far lived life on the straight edge, you will need to arm yourself with a pair of small, sharp pointed scissors now, as we’re going to start clipping the curves. Now for curve clipping, it has to happen at regular, and small intervals – what you’re trying to achieve is to ease the fabric on the seam allowance so that your main piece can keep a pleasing curve, if you leave the clip points too far apart you’ll end up with a curve that has lots of straight lines on it!
When clipping, I snip only the curved parts, as well as the transition point between straight and curved pieces, such as where the top of the foot meets the bottom of the leg. On the ears, I also clip off the corners:
Once the curves are clipped, we’re still not quite ready to stuff, sorry! I found over the years that if I tried to stuff at this point I would get bumphly seams in some areas (that’s a totally technical expression you understand). In order to make sure that when stuffing I didn’t mash up the seam allowance, I now tack all my seams open (thanks to a suggestion from a beary forum). Yes, I know, you just want to get on and stuff, but I like my bears to have a nice, professional, non-lumpy finish ;o)
When I get to the paw pads, I tack the ultrasuede seam allowance to the mohair side, so that I don’t put holes in the ultrasuede, where it would be permanently visible:
You’ll see I use bright thread (in this case purple) taking long stitches, because I need to be able to both find and remove them again easily after the bear is stuffed.
Okay NOW you can turn the pieces the right way out :o) I use my locking forceps at this point to turn the arms and legs out. They allow me to grip the seam allowance and a bit of the main pattern piece and push it through the opening let for turning:
Here are all the pieces ready to go:
Come back next week, and I’ll tell you how to get stuffed…