Thursday, August 29, 2013

Fixing a very special Horsie

Meet 'Horsie'. She belongs to a very special little girl who has treasured her for years! She's been so treasured in fact that she's a little worn and broken in places. The little girl's mum sent her to us this week to see what we could do...

... so we quickly got to work on disassembling Horsie's limbs (which was actually trickier than I anticipated!). This was the end result. It does kind of look like Horsie exploded though... :P

We chose some hard-wearing cotton and fleece for the new limbs, retained the paw pads with original applique detail and built her back up. I matched the colours on the hoofs to the ribbons used for her mane. I think the mane is my favourite bit actually!

Her finished photos are below :)

Saturday, August 24, 2013

NEW pattern - just released for YOU!

So THIS is the new pattern I've been banging on about for the last few blog posts. It's not really a 'new' pattern in the sense that I designed it a number of years ago and have used it to create MANY different bears. But it is new in that we've just gotten it back from our graphic designer - and it's now a very snazzy looking PDF pile for you to download, print and make your own 'Belarius' bears!
(available as an instant download in our etsy store)

This is one of the most recent bears I have made using this pattern - we called him 'Belarius'. So I decided to use his name to christen the design. Up until this point the pattern was just 'that big bendy bear', recognised in my crappy pattern filing system by the recycled paper I used when I drew him out that first time!

I've used this design so many times over the last few years, in so many variations that I had intended to keep the pattern just for me (how selfish! lol). But we've had a few requests this year for some more larger patterns in our store... so I decided to play nice and share! I totally get it though - I much rather MAKE the larger bears to sell, but BUY the smaller bears for my own collection.

Big bears are so much fun. I feel like you can do SO much more with them too... as you'll see by my rather extensive list of example bears in this pattern....

With this guy, it was as simple as finding three contrasting mohair fabrics and cutting the limbs from one, the head/belly from another, the top of the body and the ears from yet another! (and adding lots of eye-shading!)

The pattern has such long limbs and body parts that it also works BEAUTIFULLY when rainbow-dyeing. You can get some really lovely variating tones by blending the colours down the limbs.

This girl was kept very simple with just some stunning pink feathered fur, pink paw pads and contrasting blue eyes.

The pattern is large enough to buy baby-clothes to dress the finished bear in as well! This baby-girl is wearing a size OOOO (newborn) jacket and a sweet little white ruffle nappy cover.

This one was a very unusual idea - we took a super long pile mongolian lambswool fur for the body and limbs and matched it up with a super short crew-cut mohair for the head and paw pads! Blue eyes tied the colours together and made for a very distinctive one of a kind bear.

The beauty of this patter is that it will work with both long and short pile fabrics. There's enough width in the pieces to still look in proportion when using a short-pile fabric, but enough length in the limbs that the shape isn't completely lost under longpile furs.

This was one of my favourites - just a classic bear in a luxury animal print faux fur.

For this guy we kept the cheeks fluffy and hand painted paw pads details on his feet.

Another one of our rainbow-dyed bears. To get this effect you need to cut the pattern pieces from the mohair first - then lay them out on the dyeing table and paint the colours where you want them to go. If you're careful and match up the colours from piece to piece you'll end up with a bear that just looks like she was born like this!

Tia is another of my favourite versions of this pattern. For this girl we just made some slight adjustments to the face (cut the side-head piece and gusset piece off at the muzzle and cut those bits from a plain white fur to contrast with the spotty fur).

Another feathered fur bear, this time with big handpainted paw pad detail.

And last but definitely not least - the full spotted bears. No face inserts or fully cheeks, just a classic bear with a trimmed face and a splash of gold on his nose and paws. You really can do ANYTHING with this pattern! I'm so looking forward to seeing what you guys come up with now!

Friday, August 23, 2013

Earth Air Fire and Water!

I was sewing up seams this morning, wondering what on earth I was going to name these 4 bears when I had a moment of inspiration! There were four bears, in appropriate colours... why not use the 4 elements as inspiration!!

And so we have 'Gaia' our earth bear - made in the bright green ('Green-Eyed Monster') and hot pink (Perky Pink) imported luxury faux fur fabrics. I liked the idea of the pink/green symbolising a fertile 'earth' blooming in greenery and flowers.

(The pattern for these guys is NEARLY finished! So as soon as it is I'll link the listings for the kits as well.)

Then we have 'Delaire' our air bear - made in the bright green and sky blue (Wild Blue Yonder) faux fur fabrics. Delaire's name is English in origin and means 'of the air'.

Then there was 'Naida' our water bear. Naida is made in the sky blue faux fur again, but this time paired with our rich purple (Purple Rain) faux fur. The colouring/tone of the purple is a little off in these photos - the contrast has made it look more like an inky indigo blue - but it's definitely purple in person.

And lastly, the rather bright 'Safara', our fire bear - for obvious reasons! Safara is made in our bright orange (Fantango) and hot pink faux fur fabrics which really do pair up beautifully! Her name is African in origin and means 'fire'.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

You might need your sunglasses for these bears!

I had this BRILLIANT idea on the weekend just gone that I would make some new kit bears, as I haven't done this in quite a few months.

So I sat down with some of the special designs of mine that I'd been holding back from turning into PDF patterns for our store, and chose a select few to work with. This pattern here is one of my all time favourites. It makes up to a long, bendy/curvy 21" bear with the sweetest little face no matter what you do with it!

I sent the hand drawn pattern off to our graphic designer earlier this week, and we should hopefully have a professional PDF version of the pattern to release for sale by the end of the weekend - all going well! Hopefully in time to release these new brightly coloured bears I've cut from the same pattern.

I've gone with 4 colour mash-ups that I think work really nicely in our imported luxury faux fur lines. We have a lime/pink bear, a blue/purple bear, an orange/pink bear and a lime/blue bear.

There are other combos i think would also work - purple/pink or pink/blue for example - but I was too lazy to make 6 huge bears at once!!!

I've just finished filling each bear with glass beads and stuffing, and will close the seams and add the finishing touches tomorrow! I can't wait to show them off. I think these guys would make a stunning asthetic addition to a child's room (not so much as a play-thing though), or as a mood-brightener in an otherwise more neutral toned collection!

Watch this space for the finished collection! :)