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April 20, 2012

Cutting it

This is the second part of my "Making of a Rag Pet"-series, the start of taking the design off of the page and making it tangible. You can read the first part of this series here: Designing a Rag Pet.

Making a design into an actual, huggable Rag Pet usually starts off with picking fabrics, if the original idea didn't come from a specific fabric to begin with that is. Although, most of the time I already have a notion of what materials I want to use when I work on the design. For this example rag-cat (please keep the name suggestions coming, I've gotten some brilliant ones so far!), I know I want to make her out of linen, as it's one of my most favourite materials and really lovely to work with besides. I haven't yet decided exactly what fabrics to use for her outfit, but I do have an idea of what I'm going to go with there.

Because deep down I'm pretty lazy, I try to do things as simply and easily as possible. Also, doing things properly and precisely the first time 'round means not having to do it all over and over again to get everything right and that of course means less work over all. This has resulted in a bunch of little tricks to save time and effort, like taping two fabric marking pens together so I can draw the seam allowance at the same time I draw a guideline for where to sew.

Tracing the pattern

Having an uniform, consistent seam allowance is -to me at least- really important. It makes it easy to align pieces together and to sew each bit exactly where it should be sewn, especially when the pieces aren't of the same shape, for example when attaching a sleeve to the bodice or similar. Having a good seam allowance also prevents your sewing project from coming apart should the edges fray a bit.

Once the pattern has been traced onto the fabric, it's time to cut it out.
I could go on and on about my scissors, which I am quite particular about! I have scissors for cutting paper, scissors for cutting fabric and clippers for cutting thread and I never ever use them for other materials than the ones they're designated for. That way the blades stay nice and sharp for ages.

Cutting out
(I had to fake this picture, because I forgot to take a photo when I was actually cutting the pieces out.)

My beloved fabric shears are by Fiskars and like I said, I treat them with the utmost of respect. They've served me very well for, well gosh... over ten years now and I intend to keep them nice for at least as many years yet to come, because good scissors make cutting easier, which, again, saves time and effort. So remember, treat your scissors well and they'll treat you well in return!


What an AWSOME idea - two pencils taped together. Brilliant! Thank you so much for sharing.

I can't wait to see more of her. She is going to be one big cat! :)

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Rag Pets by Eerika Valkonen

Eerika lives in Helsinki, Finland and makes Rag Pets. They're 100% handmade and filled with rags, love and personality.

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