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attaching arms and legs on stuffed animals

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#1 Ilah


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Posted 20 May 2006 - 12:06 PM

I have starting making some stuffed bears of my own pattern. I enjoy making the bears and coming up with pattern variations, but I am having a difficult time with attaching the arms and legs (and ears). I am starting get frustrated. It is seems like more work than it sould be, plus often the limbs do not attach at the right angle. For example, I attach an arm and find that it is pointing behind the bear.

Maybe I am overlooking something obvious, but how exactly do you attach the arms and legs.:think I have tried using a yarn needle to sew arms on with the end of the yarn I made the arm from. This works pretty good with some yarns, but doesn't seem to work good when I use more textured yarn. (The needle seems to go through the middle of the yarn and get stuck.) I have tried "stiching" by using a crochet hook to weave the yarn in and out, which seems to work only marginally well. It takes both my hands to do this, and I find that after I am finished the limb sometimes shifts from where I wanted it.

I am thinking of maybe sewing on the limbs with thread (maybe a thick thread like crochet thread). I think it might be easier, but I am wondering if it would be strong enough to stay on if little kids pulled on the arms of legs. Also I am concerned that a normal thread would not be strong enough, but a thicker thread might show and detract for the look of the bear.


#2 Sue89


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Posted 20 May 2006 - 09:57 PM

I've always used the first method you described, sewing them on with a yarn needle using the loose end of the yarn I was working with. It's probably because when I'm working from a pattern it usually says to do it that way. I don't think I've ever used the kind of textured yarn you're referring to so I'm not sure what you mean by getting stuck. It's definitely a lot of work, oftentimes taking longer than the actual crocheting did. It does leave it feeling pretty sturdy, though. It blends in well, too.

#3 Nadine


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Posted 21 May 2006 - 01:47 PM

When I crocheted a teddy a few years ago, I used LB Homespun yarn, and used those tails to sew the arms and legs on with a yarn needle. But sewing on the head was a pain in the a**! I finally used all purpose sewing thread in a matching color but used four strands of it, also with the head I used a curved yarn needle, it made such a difference! Much easier to sew on straight. BTW the teddy went to my neice who was one at that time, she's had it for a few years and I haven't heard of any amputated arms or legs:lol So I think the thread is fine as long as you multiply the strands. Good Luck:hook

#4 Melissa


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Posted 21 May 2006 - 02:41 PM

You could always buy a strong sewing thread, like button thread, if you're concerned about breakage. Plain all-purpose sewing thread is pretty sturdy, though.

I usually sew appendages on with the same yarn, either an extra tail or a separate piece, using a yarn needle. (This works well as I usually only make stuffed animals in plain worsted weight yarn.) As for the angle they attach at - that is DEFINITELY an art form. I usually hold the arms/legs/head/whatever up to the piece first to see how I want it to go on, rotate it this way and that for the best surface-to-surface fit, and take one stitch. Then I go around it one stitch at a time, constantly checking the position. To change the way it's pointing, you can 'cheat' a little bit and sew a stitch from, say, the first or second round of the arm directly to the body. :think I don't really know how to explain it, I hope this helped at least some...

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#5 sammimag


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Posted 21 May 2006 - 02:53 PM

Here's a link on crochet me with tips on making animals/amigurumi together.

I have heard that some use embroidery floss with some animals especially when they are small.

I do think it's just a bit tricky to get the legs/arms on.

#6 mrs who

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Posted 21 May 2006 - 03:57 PM

I use a regular sewing needle and sewing thread to match the yarn. You can also sew in ends with this method - it's a knitter's trick and secures the ends on clothing items very well without the bulk. That little extra effort makes for a little more professional finishing, I think! More "hand made" than "home made".
Lauri B.

#7 Ilah


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Posted 29 May 2006 - 04:16 PM

I have started using embroidery thread, because it is pretty thick comes in lots of fidderent colors and I already have lots of it. I have started using a curved needle as well. It is going so much smoother now.

Now the next step is to get my photos on photocbuchet so I can post my bears.

#8 KateCrochets


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Posted 29 May 2006 - 07:31 PM

Melissa said...

I usually hold the arms/legs/head/whatever up to the piece first to see how I want it to go on, rotate it this way and that for the best surface-to-surface fit, and take one stitch.

I do the same thing, and then I use some scrap bits of yarn and a crochet hook to tack it on (like if you were making fringe).

I go ahead and do that on all of the limbs, and adjust as neccessary.

THEN I use the yarn needle to sew on the arms/legs, whatever. This has helped A LOT. I had a lot of arms and legs to attach when I made a set of animals to match my daughters nursery decor.

#9 WendyLee


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Posted 31 May 2006 - 11:39 AM

I have used the yarn I made the animal/toy with and thread. With the new furry yarns it can be a nightmare trying to sew with them. I also bought quilting pins, the real long straight pins with the large plastic ball at the top, and pinned some of the more difficult arms and legs in place, but especially ears because I like to see how both will fit before stitching them on.