Collectable bears, patterns and kits by Angela



Using your pattern 

Looking for some help with one of my patterns ?  I hope the following may get you over any sticky patches.   If not, do get in touch : )

Preparation - every little helps x

Absolutely nothing is worse than cutting out your pattern on that speacial piece of fabric you have been saving, or expensive mohair then  finding you do not have enough left for that last leg, or arm : (

Avoid this by transfering ALL the pieces onto card before you start (ie 4 x legs, 2 x body, 4 x arms)   With all the pieces you need in front of you, it is so much easier to make best use of the fabric : )

pattern pieces

Orientation (left or right?)

This is not such a problem if you are using something like felt which has no right - wrong side, but other fabrics will need you to "mirror" some pattern pieces in order to pair up left and right facing parts.  (ie legs) 

Always check that you have the correct number of pairs before taking up your scissors : )

left and right

Transferring to fabric

Transfering paper to fabric

Two important rules  :   Always work on the back of your fabric and choose a pencil just a shade darker than your fabric.  There are special dressmaker's pencils available with a small brush on the end to brush the marks away.  Also dressmaker's chalk, but a coloured sketching pencil is fine but avoid black artist pencils as they wil smudge !

Pin the paper pattern piece to the back of your fur/fabric (if you have glued them to a thicker card then you may be able to simply hold the piece in place) and draw around the edge (very lightly) with your pencil.  Keep close to the pattern's edge and include any tabs or V shapes along the edge as these will help you later.    

Unpin the piece and add any markings for eyes, joints or the pattern piece number if any.

Cutting Out:

Once all the pieces are drawn onto your fabric, start cutting them out     Cut just inside or along  your drawn lines to keep the sizing correct.

If you are using a fur, try to cut just the backing, leaving as much of the  fur in tact as you can.   It helps to take tiny snips with the tips of your scissors as you cut.    

I've found that drawing a small craft blade along the backing is perfect and leaves the fur alone.   Do be very careful though and be aware that this will not work on trickier shapes  : )

pin at right angles

Tacking and Pinning

Check the instructions, but most patterns require the fabrics to be placed with their "right sides" against each other (so seams and stitching are kept inside)

Pin pieces at right angles to the seam line - especially good for piled fabrics like velvets and furs as it will stop them "walking" against each other

Any awkward shaped pieces will be easiest tacked together as well after pinning.

Keep to the seam allowance.  If you wish, pencil the sewing lines onto the fabric as a guide when you sew.  Anything that helps is brilliant !