Sometimes success is all about having the right tool for the job. A ball point awl is one of my favorite softie-making tools. Here's how I use it:
To free fur from seams. When you sew with faux fur, bits of the fur pile will get caught in the seams. Freeing the fur from the seams will give your softie a fluffy, nearly seamless look.
If you've ever tried to use a needle for this job you know that the needles bend. They just aren't strong enough for the job. But a ball point awl is perfect for freeing fur from seams. It's strong, and its small tip lets you slide right under the fur bits. Give a good tug and they'll come free.
Work your way all around the toy to give a fur softie a professional finish.
To insert safety eyes. Often you'll read pattern instructions that say, "Cut a small hole to insert the post of the safety eye." Please don't! Cutting a hole weakens the fabric irreparably. Over time that hole may grow larger, especially after multiple washings, and compromise the whole toy.
Instead, use a ball point awl to poke a hole between the fibers of the fabric. The awl is tiny at its tip so you can start very small and slowly push it in further, stretching the fibers apart, to form an opening large enough to accept the post of the safety eye without cutting the fibers apart.
Ball point awls are available at many fabric stores, or online right here.
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