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May 25, 2012

Getting dressed

Now, here's the next part of the Making Of A Rag Pet series. You can read the earlier parts by clicking the "making of"-tag there on the side panel on the right.

When a Rag Pet has been stuffed and has had all of it's bits sewn up, it's time to clothe it.
I always have an idea of the personality or character of a Rag Pet ready when I design it, and thus I've a pretty clear image of what sort of an outfit it will have right from the beginning too. I tend to stick to a certain style when designing Rag Pet clothes, and I've been told that I look a lot like my work, or that my work looks a lot like me... it's hard to say which influenced which, really. :) I've posted about my personal style (that I'd describe as a mix of "forest girl" and "little old lady") before and I wanted my example rag-cat to wear something I would wear myself, and that reflects me being a seamstress a bit too. So, I made her a cozy two-tone dress and a plaid work-coat, because I love to dress in layers and work-coats are simply the bees knees!

sew, sew, sew

Sewing little toy-sized clothes is a little different than sewing human-sized ones. Certain things have to be sewn in a different order and all details are, well, more detailed. You also have to be more picky about stuff like notions and fabric prints, since not everything will work well in small scale. I am pretty finicky when working in human size, and I am just as fussy when working in miniature, especially because I want Rag Pet clothes to be as close to real human clothes as possible.

One bit of the process that doesn't change regardless of the scale I'm working in is ironing. To me, ironing is one of the -if not simply the- most important parts of sewing. Regardless of how useful and important ironing is, I don't think many people give it its due attention, seeing how the actual sewing is the main part of, well, sewing. But really, there's not a lot that you can't do with a good ironing, from stretching and easing difficult to fit pieces to making precise pleats and folds. There's also something immensely satisfying about pressing a sharp crease or making a wrinkle disappear. I really wish I could instil the importance of ironing in everyone who works with fabric, but it's hard to find the words to express how vital a part of the whole process it is, so you'll just have to trust me when I say that you should be ironing just as much as you are sewing! Oh, and use glass headed pins when you iron, you do not want to melt plastic headed ones to your iron and fabric. :)

The finished outfit

I like that Rag Pet can be dressed and undressed, that there's potential to change character just with a change of wardrobe. Making clothing removable is also a nice challenge when sewing; it'd be a whole lot quicker and easier to just have sewn-on clothes. Drafting patterns for functional clothes to fit a, umh, differently shaped body is another challenge and half too.

getting dressed

And now, with a finished Rag Pet, all sewn and done and dressed, it's only a hop, skip and a whole pile of photos before the whole process will be done!


Oooh, what a wonderful little outfit. I wish I could see only the dress, the fabrics are all adorable as well.

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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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