Friday, November 24, 2017

Velveteen Rabbit Sew Along Day 2: Assembling the PDF Pattern and Cutting

Hello there! Today we will be assembling our Velveteen Rabbit PDF files and cutting our fabric.

If you've missed any previous posts, here is what has come before in the Velveteen Sewalong:

Welcome and Schedule
Day 1: Fabric and Supplies

The pattern is designed to be printed on a home printer on 8.5"x11" paper. Make sure that you print the pattern at 100% (I have to turn off "scaling" on my printer). After you print, check the test square on the first page of the pattern with a ruler-- make sure it measures exactly 1 inch or 4 cm.

Some of the pattern pieces are larger than will fit on 8.5"x11" paper, so the first 4 pages need to be taped together. Match the triangles and tape together pages, matching the triangles. For a secure and accurate join between two pages trim off the margin of one page and tape it to the side that still has the margin.

Pages 5, 6, and 7 don't need to be taped because the contain smaller pattern pieces.

Before you cut, prewash your fabrics. This helps remove any residual chemicals or contaminants from your fabrics, which is important if you are planning on making a toy that a child will play with. It also prevents shrinkage when the toy is washed... although a finished stuffed toy should only be hand washed and air-dried.

After you've taped together the pattern, cut out the paper pattern pieces. Arrange your pattern pieces on your main fabric, contrast fabric, and muslin using the cutting layouts in the instructions. When I'm working with lofty fabrics like fleece or some velvets, I prefer to trace around the pattern pieces with a fabric marker and cut them out with fabric scissors. For thinner fabrics like quilting cottons and muslin, I use a rotary blade and a cutting mat.

You can also cut out the heavy weight interfacing for your ears at this time using the Ear Front Inner pattern piece and the cotton muslin for the weight bags.

If you are using a velveteen or velour with nap, make sure to pay attention to the nap. The main thing is to always cut nap in the same direction, so that when you stroke your bunny, the fur will all lie in the same direction. You want to place the arrow on the pattern piece in the direction that the little hairs on the fabric want to lie down. Here's a short video I made to illustrate this:

If your fabric has stretch, you will want to underline or interface it. In the video above about nap I am making a bunny out of cotton velour, which is a knit fabric with stretch. To help the bunny keep it's shape, I chose to underline it with cotton muslin.

You might also want to underline or interface your fabric to provide additional strength. If you are making a bunny that you plan to give to a child who will potentially play with it for many years, the underlining or interfacing will make the toy better able to stand up to the tough life of a well-loved toy.

You can underline with any medium-light weight fabric-- I usually use cotton muslin. If you are interfacing, use a quality medium weight interfacing with minimal stretch. Don't trim the seam allowances on your interfacing: sewing the interfacing into the seam will add strength.

To underline or interface your fabric, cut the Body and Belly pattern pieces out of your underlining fabric or interfacing. If you are underlining, simply machine baste your underlining piece to the back of your fabric piece with a wide stitch. Keep your basting stitch just inside the 1/4 inch seam allowances. If you are interfacing, follow the instructions on your interfacing to adhere the interfacing to the back of your fabric piece.

Tomorrow we start assembling the bunny!

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