Create wonderful character in your next bear by adding these appliquéd paw pads. Take a look at the finished result. This can be achieved on alpaca mohair and even synthetic furs. This is a good way to give a soft look to your bear while adding realistic features. This is also a great way to add color to you work.
Start by tracing and cutting out the foot pad from the same fur as the leg.
Cut the raised paw-pad pattern pieces from suede.
Prepare the foot for the paw pads by placing the template onto the fur; you can trim away the fur where the pads will go. This will make sewing much easier. You can leave the fur long to trim down; in this case I am going to trim it slightly to show the under color of the fur.
Now place the suede on the trimmed section and use a small backstitch to sew it in place.
Turn the foot over and cut a small slit, then fill gently, making sure the stuffing goes all the way to the corners. I like to use poly-wool blend. Use a ladder stitch to close the slit.
Shade the edge of the pads with Copic markers; I have used dark bark and the clear blender.
Separate the toes by simply using the thread of your choice to sew 3 or 4 lines down the pad.
Continue with the other sections of the footpad; make the shape to suit your bear. When complete, sew into the footpad opening at the bottom of the lag like usual. Make sure you line the pad up and sew centered.
The patterns for Basil and Zhu Zhu are available as part of the bear-making guides at Bare Cub Designs.
Australian bear artist Helen Gleeson runs Bare Cub Designs, where she offers her own creations as well as patterns and bear-making tutorials. She also runs the website Easy Artspace, which aims to help artists start their own businesses. E-mail your questions and topic suggestions for this blog to her at [email protected].