How do you do a hand embroidered doll/stuffed animal face? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 7 Old 03-15-2006, 02:17 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm going to be making a stuffed bunny for dd for Easter (thanks to the great links I got in another thread ). I'm thinking I may want to hand embroider the eyes, nose & mouth. Is this hard to do for a novice? What is the best way to do this?

Thanks in advace

Tina - mama to DD1 10yrs, DD2 5.5 yrs and DD3 22 mo and wifey to DH.
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#2 of 7 Old 03-15-2006, 12:10 PM
 
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I don't think it is too hard to do for a novice. When I started making finger puppets for gifts last Christmas I hand-embroidered everything and I'd never embroidered before in my life. So if I can do it - so can you!

If the eyes are larger or you are trying to "fill in" a larger area, I suggest you do a satin stitch (think that's what it is called). There are sites online that show you different stitches. The only supplies you'll need are an embroidery needle and floss (DMC is a nice brand and available in most craft stores or even WalMart). Oh yeah, and you'll need scissors and fabric lmao!

Here are some links for you:
http://www.ehow.com/how_5974_choose-...-stitches.html
http://www.needlepointers.com/ShowAr...spx?NavID=1574

Good luck! You can do it!
Another option, depending on the style of animal and fabric you use, is to applique on the larger items (eyes, etc). This works especially well if you are using felt.

Let us see your final product!
Tamara
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#3 of 7 Old 03-16-2006, 01:19 AM
 
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I can see it being easier to do the embroidery before sewing the critter together, but you'll have to be very careful how the face comes together.

I've embroidered doll faces. I use 3 strands of floss, sometimes doubled over through the needle so as to be more bold on the face.

I've done eyes by doing a satin stitch radiating out from the center, then outlining the edge with outline stitch and coloring in a pupil with permanent marker or cloth marker pens. I've also done eyes by starting in the center spiralling outward with outline stitch. You have to keep it close for no gaps between the stitches and be careful to make the second eye the mirror image of the first. You also want to be able to end the spiral coming off the top of the eye and heading for the same side of the head. That means the right eye spirals counterclockwise and the left eye spirals clockwise out from the center.

Depended on how artsy versus how realistic I wanted the eyes to be which technique I used.

For nose and mouth, I went very simple outline stitch to suggest the shapes.

"What will you do once you know?"
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#4 of 7 Old 03-20-2006, 01:45 AM
 
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Hi. I saw your question a few days ago and have been tring to find a spare moment to post a few tips about face embroidery. These work for me!

I find that 6 strand floss works best on flat surfaces, such as cotton knit or broadcloth doll skin. I like to separate the floss strands in half, so that I have 2 strings-3 strands each, and I like a length of about 22 inches long, for a 16" doll head. I take small piece of all natural beeswax and run the strands through the wax a couple of times to coat it well. Then, using the satin stitch, I embroider an eye with each string, counting the number of stitches so that they are equal on each, and making sure that the eyes match. I use the same method for the mouth, except that I use the 6 strands whole. The wax really helps to control the floss and gives a nice even satin stitch which lays flat to the surface and covers well.

I have found that Pearl cotton embroidery thread works best for fuzzy or furry fabrics. It is more 3 dimensional, and shows up better against the pile. It has a nice sheen, and comes in at least three different thicknesses. On large items, or longer pile, the thicker I go with the thread. For small plushies, or felt animals, I usually use a size '8'. Larger toys over 10" such as Teddy Bears and Rabbits, I use a '5' or even a '3' on very long pile for noses and mouths.(The higher numbers mean thinner thread.) On these furry items, I use a piece of 1.5mm felt cut to shape and satin stitch over the felt. The felt keeps the pile from coming through the stitching and gives the nose a plump 3D effect. Sometimes I carefully trim away the pile on the area to be embroidered. I always hand embroider the face last, after sewing and stuffing is done, and I never wax the thread when embroidering furry items.
Machine embroidery is done while the pieces are flat, before sewing, but hand embroidery has the advantage of being done after construction, so that you have the most accurate and pleasing placement of the features. HTH
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#5 of 7 Old 03-21-2006, 09:39 AM
 
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Those are some great tips. How do you hide the knot when embroidering the face on something completed - like the bunny? I know with dolls the hair will cover it but not with this bunny pattern.

Thanks
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#6 of 7 Old 03-21-2006, 03:19 PM
 
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I am not sure what the bunny is made out of, but if it is a fur pile, it should be easy to hide the knot behind the ear or under the chin. I like to 'needle sculpt' a bit of shaping and pull the eyes inward towards the back of the head, and I do this by pulling the embroidery thread from the back of the ears, through the head and anchoring it at the bottom of the eye spot before I start embroidering the eye. Under the chin is a good place to try, as well. This is in the case of a more 3 dimensional plush face. If the bunny is a flat pillow type, and does not have a furry surface, you can try hiding the knot in the head side seam. If this won't work, taking three short stitches in the same place, in the spot where you want the embroidery, will usually anchor it.
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#7 of 7 Old 03-21-2006, 03:36 PM
 
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Thank you - that helps. This is the bunny pattern. I don't want to use a bead so I am going to embroider the face.

http://weewonderfuls.typepad.com/wee.../Wee-Bunny.pdf
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