by Jean Paccagnan
So, on a whim I decided to make a large Flopsy bunny using a beautiful piece of variegated pink synthetic fur. I enlarged the Flopsy bunny pattern on the photocopier at 175%, traced, sewed, jointed, and stuffed the bunny. I added a beautiful set of imported brown glass eyes and then, there Flopsy sat, waiting for a nose and mouth for months.
Again on a whim one day, I picked up a lovely skein of wool/silk (?) yarn in my cupboard and decided that it might just work for this bunny's nose. Hmmm...it was ok, not great, bit off. Would outlining the nose and making a mouth with brown perle cotton help? Hmmm, not bad, an improvement, still not crazy about the dull grey colours in the nose threads though.
What if I use a Q-tip to colour the threads with Pan Pastel powder? Oh dear, yuck, the thread texture is showing through and the powder is not sticking to the threads. I should have taped out the area first to protect the fur around the nose. Emergency. What about needle-felting some pink wool on top of everything? Needle, needle, needle, trim, trim, trim, dab on pan pastel again,...hmmm.
Not sure I am wowed by the result. Perhaps I should have just left the pastel nose as it was. Or perhaps I should have removed all of the original nose threads and stitched with a different colour and less "soft" yarn. At the very least, gluing down a felt nose guide or sticky back fleece nose would have given me a clearer guide and sturdier base to stitch over. Geesh, this nose took hours and I am STILL trimming (trying to control) this wayward fur but... somewhere along the way, I sort of fell in love with this fluffy pink Flopsy bunny, imperfections and all.
Stitching noses (or embroidery of any kind) is an art. I doubt I will ever master the perfect embroidered nose on a 3D sculpture or doll, even if bumpy surfaces are not involved. Maybe that's the lesson, leave perfection up to God. Real people and dolls are perfectly imperfect. Maybe it's a part of our uniqueness. Hopefully, through experimentation, my skills will improve and more discoveries will be made.