Making Bear Paws: The Lefty First

…drew a Valentine’s Day card for my daughter recently that featured me tickling her while wearing bear paws. Well, the idea of having actual giant paws kinda ate at me for awhile. I figured “why not make ’em??” Who cares if it meant doing something I knew absolutely nothing about. Like, sewing by hand. Sewing with a machine. Selecting materials. Selecting threads. Making patterns. Yeah. All new, baby.

Like always, the first step was to plan everything out on paper.

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Next I watched a few YouTube videos,  researched glove making online, presented the concept to about 6 people for advice (one of which creates custom interiors for vehicles), perused dozens of fabric varieties at 3 different stores, and created four pages of approaches. So here’s the first attempt. Oh, the goal…uhm, create a giant bear paw that’s ultra soft and, if struck by, will cause you to smile.

The foam at the craft stores weren’t exciting. They were all “open cell foam” and failed to react the way I wanted. Memory foam, or “closed cell foam,” was what I really wanted. And that’s not easy to find. Unless you’re standing in Meijer in the bedding sections and find a box of it for $29. Score.

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Next. Spiced ‘n dice it. Two layers were required per side. I said “ultra soft,” yo.

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Tried using every bit of excess I could. Cause at $29…c’mon. Need I say more. Like for the actual pads, which were a deviation from the original plan, the scrap between the patterns worked great.

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So look…

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…there’s a sewing machine on my drawing table. Trippy. Anyhow, because the same machine laughed at the idea of sewing the foam I had to go Rambo and stitch it myself.

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Don’t judge my stitching either. One, no one will ever-ever see it. Two, it’s foam so I trimmed it. Three, I was too excited to get to the fur part and couldn’t stand spending an hour on this. Here’s the taco paw view…

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…and finally…

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…I’m wearing it. Next, I created a pattern on the “Ultra Cuddle Fabric” using the foam paw. Dig the sewing action.

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I’m doing a blind stitch here. Tricky. Because this material wants to disintegrate along the edge. Finally, I reverse it out right onto the foam and …

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…Blam. I’m wearing something. Next I used the same material, only in black, to cut out the “paw pads.” And…

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…I got’s me a paw. One down. One to go. Then the attacking will begin. A couple things to note.

  • The foam pattern needs to be larger. Right now it’s tighter than cheap hooker clothing.
  • The paw pads are attached with spray mount. Curious if they are going to last long.
  • The fabric needs to roll into the opening. How i’m going to do that it a mystery.
  • Fabric scissors. Need them. The ones I’m using now had be cursing like Ice Cube (circa 1993).
  • To add a scent to the paw I closed it up in a plastic shopping bag with a dryer cloth. Score.

Okay. Stay tuned for the right one.

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