To make Rag and his friends, I start with pieces of felt. First I cut out the pieces to make the various body parts. Then I sew them together, mostly by hand, and thereafter I stuff them.
The eyes are buttons and the arms and legs are generally held together to the body using elasticated thread with buttons on the outside as decoration. I make the clothes from natural fabrics, mainly wool, linens and cottons, using a sewing machine.
Again, I cut out the fabric from sewing patterns and then sew them together and lastly I add buttons and poppers.
Whenever possible I use recycled fabrics for the clothes. So far possibly around 25% of the clothes are from recycled materials, mainly taken from old, discarded clothes. The buttons - size and colour allowing - are also taken, when possible, from old clothes. Again this doesn’t happen as much as I would like as the buttons need to be small so as not to dominate the outfits. Sometimes that is hard to come by.
To date I have used shop-bought, coloured felt to make the animals, but my daughter, who dyes her own fabric using natural dyes taken from nature, will be providing me with naturally dyed felt as well as some naturally dyed cotton for clothes, crowns and bags.
This will lend an organic, unrefined tone to the fabric and add to the sustainability of the product. https://www.instagram.com/freja_moonmilk/
To make Rag, or one of his friends, takes me at least 3 days at 6 hours per day. This includes the animal and his/her outfit and it assumes that all goes to plan which, of course, doesn’t always happen. It’s something I do for the pleasure of it, and because I love things crafted with detail and uniqueness in mind.
Mass production doesn’t appeal and I think it is important to surround oneself with well-made, individual products. To be able to make stories about these animals adds to their originality. They take on a life of their own.
Please take the time to read the stories of these animals on my blog and thank you for showing an interest.
Greetings from Zurich, Lizzie