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May 15, 2012

Oh, stuff it!

After a bit of a break to celebrate a few holidays, here's the next part of my ongoing "Making of"-series. You can read about the earlier bits of the process by clicking the "making of"-tag there on the right.


Once all the pieces have been sewn together, and the seam allowances have been clipped and everything has been turned, it's time to stuff! I've talked about the stuff I use for stuffing before, but rather than the usual old bed sheets I generally use, my example rag-cat is stuffed with little fabric scraps instead. I have two bags of fabric off-cuts that I collect, one of bits that are still big enough to make something out of, and one of little shreds that are only good for stuffing. I believe in "waste not, want not", so I try to make use of any and all leftover material making a Rag Pet (or any other sewing project for that matter) produces. It also makes my conscience happy to know that even if I'm making a new thing, I'm not making much waste doing it.

Stuffing

Stuffing is the most time-consuming and arduous part of making a Rag Pet. It's hard work to get the rag stuffing to be smooth and even and to get everything packed in tight, and it's rather hard on my fingers too. I mostly use a chopstick to push the stuffing in place and to tamp it down once there.

tools of the trade

For more precise stuffing handling, I use hemostats. I got my collection of hemostats of varying shapes and sizes from my mum, who is an OR nurse, but they're easy enough to find in abundance online too. Hemostats are brilliant for getting bits of stuffing exactly where you want them, and they're also really super for turning pieces the right side out, especially tricky long and thin ones.

hemostats in action

Once the Rag Pet has been stuffed nice and full, it's time to stitch the opening closed (I use my favourite, ladder stitch, for that) and to knead the stuffing about a bit so it's all smoothed and evened out.
And then, well... then I have a complete -albeit naked- Rag Pet!

Comments

Hemostats? Another brilliant idea!

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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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Email: kitty@ragpets.com

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