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1  TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS / Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects / A big teddy bear that I made for charity (Includes four pictures) on: July 20, 2011 07:39:19 PM
Every so often, I make something for fund-raising, including teddy bears. I made this one about a year ago.

This guy is the third bear I've made, and as you can see, he's quite a contrast to the first bear I ever made (the second one was an experiment with a different pattern, and with working with joints further than I had before that point, and I haven't posted him because he didn't come out very well at all). Even though this bear was made from a slightly modified version of the same pattern as the first, he came out a LOT bigger, because I used different fabrics and construction techniques - he was easily about two or three feet tall, and very big and huggable. His photos are below;

There's also a bit of a sad tale behind him.

Basically, when donated (which was at a charity event where attendance was poor), he seemed to me to be a little bit gruffly-received, but nonetheless I was told that since attendance that day hadn't been good, he would be raffled off at an event late last year (one which I wasn't attending), and that I would be sent a letter to let me know how much was raised. This seemed nice to me, so I said my thanks, and handed the bear over.

Unfortunately, I never heard anything more, and for all I know, the bear might well have been thrown in the trash after that.

I haven't sewn anything since, although lately I've been trying to get myself to finish the super-obscure project that I mentioned at the end of this project's thread last September. Hopefully that will get me back to sewing things again.

Anyway, I hope everyone else appreciates the bear, even though it seemed that the charity he was donated to did not.
2  TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS / Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects / My first bear on: September 05, 2010 08:12:26 PM
I made this teddy bear about a year ago, for a fund-raiser. It was the first thing I had ever been commissioned for by someone else, and the very first item I ever made with a sewing machine.

He was made with fleece, has felt inner-ears and foot-pads, and big, shiny black buttons (turned backwards so that the convex side faces outward) for eyes, and a black felt nose. The outfit was pre-made (it's a Build-a-Bear compatible outfit), and was chosen beforehand by the person who asked me to make him. Unfortunately he is not jointed (I had no source for safety joints at the time), so his pose is fixed as you see it in the photograph.

Once he was finished, he was raffled off and raised 150 in the process (the raffle tickets sold out!). The raffle was to name the bear (each person who bought a ticket picked a name to be assigned to their ticket from a big list), with the bear being the prize. For anyone who's curious, the winning name was "Running Bear".
3  TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS / Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects / Life-size six-foot-tall mannequin/doll on: August 30, 2010 08:15:43 AM
This is one of my slightly older projects, which was made as a Christmas present for a relative of mine who collects costumes and is forever running out of mannequins on which to display them.

This is the only picture I have of him. It was taken on Christmas Eve, which is why he has a paper hat on his head and a Christmas cracker in one hand. It's not really visible in the photograph, but he actually does have a proper nose.

He's six feet tall, and was actually mostly made a couple of days before Christmas Eve. I was able to work on the head and limbs a month or two in advance, but I had to keep hiding them all over the place so that the recipient wouldn't be able to see them when they dropped in to say "Hi" - I found this quite humourous. However, making and stuffing the torso, as well as the final construction, had to be done at the very last minute to prevent the surprise from being ruined - it was very tiring, and quite tricky because the mannequin is taller than I am! Thankfully, two days before Christmas Eve, he was completed and dressed.

His body, leg, arm, and hand patterns were created by drawing around my father on a couple of giant pieces of paper. The mannequin's hands look a teeny bit odd because my dad put his fingers in some weird pose for some strange reason. Tongue The arms were attached using large safety joints, for ease of construction as well as the fact that it allows them to move, and the feet are roughly based on the technique used for the feet on Runo's Big Girl Doll. The head is an enlarged and slightly modified version of the head from Runo's Tall Boy Doll pattern - I originally did this modification to the pattern when I was working on Forte, although of course, Forte is less than six feet tall! The mannequin's glasses were a souvenir from a trip to see a 3D movie - these were added to give him some semblance of a facial feature for Christmas Day, since his face was deliberately left blank so as not to interfere with the display when he's used for his intended purpose, which is showcasing screen-used movie costumes and associated props. The outfit and bag that he's wearing in the photograph were store-bought, and these were also part of the gift.

I'm not sure if I'll make any more life-sized dolls anytime soon, but I'm glad that I can say that I've made one. Tongue
4  TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS / Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects / Forte / Bass - Mega Man character doll (Picture-heavy!) on: August 18, 2010 01:01:59 PM
I just wanted to show a project that I completed earlier in the year, if that's ok.

He's a character from Capcom's Mega Man series of video games, and his name is Forte. (He's known outside of Japan as "Bass", but I was introduced to the games via the Japanese versions, so Forte is the name I use. Tongue)

Since he was created by the series' villain Dr. Wily, Forte's not one of the good guys, but since he's a rebellious fellow he's not strictly one of the bad guys, either - he's something of an anti-hero (and he has a complex about losing in fights!).

He was entirely hand-sewn, and took two years to complete, because I wanted to make sure that he was as perfect as I could possibly make him. Here's how he came out;

Front view, sitting. CD shown for size reference. You can see the jets (the red things) that are set into the soles of his boots quite well, here.

Front view, standing. There's two pictures here because, again, I included a CD to give the viewer an idea of his size. He really wasn't happy about that doll-stand jabbing his belly like that. Tongue

A side view, which shows off his helmet-fins a bit, as well as the audio-receptors on the sides of his helmet, and some other details.

A back view, showing off his helmet-fins again, as well as his neck, and the way the back of his armour looks.

I used almost fifty pieces of reference artwork whilst making him, a tiny selection of which you can see below. Since the character has been around for some years, not all of the official artwork depicting him is 100% consistent with each other, as you might expect. To that end, I combined elements from several different "eras" of artwork of him in order to create his final look.

An official profile picture.

The image in the bottom right-hand corner of this collage only became available during the last week or two of me working on him!

Since Forte took such a long time to make, I eventually ended up setting a deadline to finish him by. The date I set was March 24th 2010, which was the fifteenth anniversary of the character's debut. I'm proud to say that I did finish him on that date.

Last of all, here's a picture of Forte with all of the officially-made Rockman/Mega Man dolls that I own;

At the left of the picture are Blues (Proto Man), and a Metool (a common helmet-wearing enemy in the video games), and at the right are Forte's rival, Rockman (Mega Man), Rock's dog Rush, and, peeking over Forte's shoulder, Pharaoh Man (one of the bosses from Mega Man 4). As you can see, he's considerably bigger than all of them - he never did learn his lesson about picking on people (and robots) his own size. Tongue

I hope you all like him!
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