Tuesday, September 2, 2014

16" is a really nice size for a bear


In amongst all the other stuff going on here in the Emma's Bears studio with creations and custom orders and fur supplier negotiations... we've whipped up these two bears using our 'Lyric' pattern. The resulting bears are 16" tall, and I think I have come to the conclusion that this is my new favourite size for a bear. They're not too small that you wonder how on earth something so tiny took you so long to make, and not so big that you feel like you've run a marathon at the end of stuffing it!


We made these bears as examples of some new limited edition faux fur fabrics we were stocking over at www.furaddiction.com. This fluffy ginger guy is 'Belmonte', and there is still a bit of the faux fur he was made from available. We achieved his distinguised centre-seam part look by folding the head-gusset pattern piece in half and rotating it to lay horizontally on the fabric rather then vertically, then cutting each half of the gusset so that the fur naturally parts down the middle like this (and sewing it back together again obviously!).

*** it sounds way trickier then it actually is! ***

But we've sold out of the faux fur used to make the bear down the bottom of this page (I've gone a little photo-crazy with Belmonte here so you'll need to scroll down a fair way to find poor Bon Bon bear!)





We cut Bon Bon using the same Lyric pattern, but this time using the muzzle pieces (instead of the full head pattern) and the half-body pieces (instead of the full body pattern - it will make a lot more sense if you actually own this pattern already!).

We used our dense 'Noah' mohair to make his cheeks and chest insert as they allowed us a flat white contrast to the 'noise' of the faux fur. Sometimes a bear's face can get a bit lost if you use a really noisy fur like this without something to break it up a bit.


In saying that, Bon Bon's faux fur was VERY popular, and we actually sold out of it within a few days! We do still have Bon Bon himself available for adoption though, and 'Belmonte' bear available for adoption too.




Friday, August 29, 2014

Three little owls



These three little owls were the projects for this week. Completed around many many hours of house hunting!!! (We are trying to find a new property with enough space to handle our ever expanding fur fabric supply business Fur Addiction, as well as our two active kids and two destructive dogs!!!).

But despite the distraction, I am quite proud to show these guys off. They've all been made up in our 'Barn Owl' pattern, but the white one has mohair for her head and belly (unlike the original), and the other two are made using some of our imported faux fur fabrics.

The white owl (Halo) is sold. As is the purple owl (Hadley). But the black/red owl (Hagar) is still available. 


Halo was made using our longpile white mohair 'Eddie' and our feathered faux fur 'Golden Peacock'. 







Hadley was made using a mix of our 'Island Sunset' tipped faux fur and our 'Amethyst Sparkle' purple/silver effect faux fur. (This one is my favourite! You can easily make her yourself as well  - the pattern and fabric are available in our store).




And Hagar is made using our red 'Cherry Bomb' faux fur, our jett black 'Ace of Spades' faux fur and the 'Golden Peacock' faux fur again. It really does work so well on the owls!


Friday, August 22, 2014

Follow our crafting process with these two big bears...



Last weekend was mostly spent indoors thanks to some nice persistent rain. So while the kids watched their favourite DVDs ('Frozen' and 'LEGO Movie' are on high rotation here at the moment!), I got busy drawing up and cutting out more of our jumbo 33" bears to test our new pattern using different fabrics.

I wanted to try the pattern in mohair to make sure the proportions still worked even when the fabric didn't stretch slightly like it does with faux fur. And I wanted to try it in a shorter-pile faux fur then the original prototype bear 'Kittie', to make sure that it still looked as cute even when there wasn't long fluffy sticking out everywhere.

Let's just say this pattern has held up beautifully!



So, during the work-week this week I was trimming seams, sewing never-ending limbs, turning, jointing, stuffing, stuffing, and stuffing some more...




... until I had two not-so-little faces staring back at me. (I didn't take any selfies with these guys - the rain is messing with my hair!), but you can just make out my toes in the photo above. These bears are large!


(Stuffed, seams closed. Awaiting final details.) 




(Toe shading while blue-bear waits his turn)



I managed to rummage up enough pink-girly-goodness for the white faux fur bear just in my current stash. But blue-bear just wasn't looking right in anything I found for him. So we made a special trim to the local children's clothing department and purchased him a brand new blue tartain shirt!

The faux fur we've used on the girly-bear is our 'Maltese Cream'. I hadn't actually used it soley for a bear before because it isn't the fluffiest of fabrics. But I honestly don't know why I didn't use it earlier. The result is just beautiful!

'Charlotte' is currently available in our etsy store. 









BlueJay is made using our 'Bermuda' mohair. Again, I hadn't used this fabric soley on a bear before. I'd used it paired with other mohair colours - but it really does hold it's own quite well. I remember why I chose this particular colour mix (choc backing, dusky-blue pile) now... the whole plan had been to make a bear with the face trimmed back! BlueJay has done the fur proud.

BlueJay is also available in our etsy store. 



The pattern for these big bears is in our Graphic Designer's hands. Once we have it back in ours as a smart-looking PDF file, I'll post a link to the listing so you guys can have a play with it too. We might even offer some kits.... if you're willing to try it out on a full 1m piece of mohair?! (that was probably the scariest bit of the whole process!).




Friday, August 15, 2014

GIANT bear!


We've had a few requests over the years to release bigger ePatterns for our bears. But I honestly didn't have many over the 20" mark because there's not a lot of demand for bigger artist bears (cost/shipping/materials etc).

But this week I decided to give it a go. After all I have a whole supply stores worth of fabric at my disposal (thanks Fur Addiction! lol), so had a bit of flexibility to play around a bit.

I pulled out some of my older big bear patterns from about a decade ago, but the biggest one was only 27". So we drew up a new one. The photo above shows the cut pieces laid in position. It looked like the bear might come to about 35" tall. It took just under a full 1m piece to make (approx a yard of fabric). We used 'Aurora Borealis' for this bear.


I then managed to use ALL of my stuffing just on the head. So this was as far as I got on the first day of work. Poor teddy had to spend the night crammed into a tub while she waited for me to source some more stuffing!



Then the next day we had an unexpected urgent custom request (which is a little bit secret right now - but I have taken lots of photos and hope to be able to show you all sometime in the near future. Think iconic aussie animal and TV!), so poor teddy got neglected again. But today I was able to finish stuffing her, then closed her seams, pulled and shaded her toes and finished off her detailing.

And this was the beauty we were rewarded with!




I've called her 'Kittie'. Mostly because she's wearing a STUNNING moveable faux diamond gold-tone kitty pendant I've just been dying to use on a bear. And also because I love how it conjures up images of tiny little fluffy creatures, yet here we have this incredible monstrosity of a bear!



It really can be hard to tell proportions on the bears sometimes, so for this big girl I decided to take a 'selfie' with her to help show her true size better. I am not a small person by any stretch of the imagination either (at nearly 6 foot tall) so even I dwarf her a bit! But as you can see - she is big!

She has already been adopted, but we will be trialing this pattern again with some different fabrics to make sure it is versatile and the proportions don't look weird in say mohair, or a short-pile faux fur before we release it. So keep checking back at the blog (or head on over to our facebook page) to keep up with the next lot of work-in-progess updates!


Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Custom rainbow Dragon - Parisa


While we were making the dragon duo from our last post, we were also finishing up this stunning custom rainbow dragon for a special collector. She is made in the last piece of our very vibrant hand-dyed rainbow sparkle mohair, a pair of our HUGE handpainted glass eyes in rainbow effect (I tried SO hard to get an accurate detail shot of these eyes, but my camera was just not up to the task!), and some pretty scalloped print cotton for her belly and paws (that was too perfect as dragon scales not to use!).


I was careful to lay her pattern pieces so that hald of her was purple/pink/orange...




... and the other half was more blue/green/purple. I think the effect is actually really cool - and almost leaves you with two different dragons depending on how you display her.



We called her 'Parisa', which means 'like a fairy' - seemed appropriate with her gorgeous shimmery wings and her floral head detailing. And those eyes!



Parisa is adopted, as is the little mini dragon Eleri - but Torvald (the electric blue dragon below) is currently available in our etsy store.