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About custom handmade stuffed animals, crafted with love

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Saturday 10 October 2020

Creative process

I’ve thought for a while about this blog post. It started out as a post about pricing. But I didn’t want to seem defensive about my prices. They are what they are. I try to keep them low yet still make it worth my time and effort. Some people are put off by them, and others are happy to pay. Either because they realise what it takes to create their personal treasure, or because they simply find it worth their money.

So I decided to call this blog post ‘Creation process’. I’ll take you along on my creation journey and show you a bit of the love and care that go into my Treasures.

Whenever I get new scraps and wraps, I wash them. I wash them on the settings I recommend for my finished items: low temperature wool wash, low spin, no tumble drying. Even the most delicate fabrics have successfully survived this slightly irreverent treatment. Except the one time I made a mistake and thought I could wash a wool/silk blend on the silk setting. Silly me. Learn from my mistakes and don’t do that, or if you do, dial down the spin cycle!

After they’re washed, I apply a layer of interfacing – my go to brand is Vlieseline H180. It’s the most light-weight version they offer. It prevents fraying and adds durability to the finished product. And a nice bonus is that it allows me to draw out my pattern pieces on it in a very clear way (I use the white version ;)). I’ve used other brands’ interfacing but although they’re cheaper, I have found them to be of a lesser quality as well.

Once I have then traced the required pattern pieces, I cut them (I use scissors for that, too many small pieces and odd curves for my beloved rotary cutter). And then the fun starts – the sewing part! I use polyester Gütermann thread for it. They have very nice cotton thread too, but for the sake of durability, I use polyester. All seams are sewn twice (again, for extra durability). It may take more time this way, but my Treasures are made to last a lifetime – literally.

If you happen to have one of my older creations, it might be that the seams are not sewn over twice, or that it has cotton thread instead of polyester. They should still last a good long time, but if there are ever any issues, let me know and we’ll figure something out!

Once I’ve finished sewing, it’s usually time for stuffing. The merino wool (mulesing free, of course) is lovely to work with. It stuffs quite firmly but keeps a nice ‘spring’ to it. Then the final steps are to close the stuffing gap and if I haven’t done that already, to add finishing touches like a nose or eyes, usually felt ones, sometimes plastic ones.

Finally, your item is lovingly wrapped up in Kraft paper. I add my card with name, fabric composition and care instructions, and finally I add some chocolate – I’ve found some wonderful local chocolate makers who not only packages their product in eco packaging, they produce very eco friendly too! And I like the taste of their chocolate ;).