Akhenaten – the scary bit!

Trimming Excess Padding

Trimming Excess Padding

I did say the next bit was scary!

I undid the stitches holding the silk and top layer of wadding to the calico backing, and cut away the polyester wadding close to the back stitches outlining the figure. Quite apart from the fact that I had to tie myself in knots to follow the edge around, particularly around the neck and shoulders, and beneath the arms, I was terrified of cutting through the backing, or the padding I didn’t want to cut, or, worst of all, cutting through the silk.

If you are of a nervous disposition, do not attempt this technique. Try something soothing instead. Like base-jumping.

View From The Back

View From The Back

The next bit was hardly less scary.

Having been terrified of the prospect of cutting any of the layers, I then had to cut slits in the calico at the back, in order to stuff the figure more firmly.

I’ve had occasion in the past to express my conviction that holes into items to be stuffed actually open into the Fourth Dimension or something. The capacity of the item to be stuffed always seems to be higher than is suggested by the measurements.

And guess what, it happened again. I’ve done my best to stuff evenly, using small pieces of stuffing, but I won’t be at all surprised to find that after the next stage (whatever that turns out to be!) I will be doing more of it.


  1. Lady Fi says:

    Well done you!

  2. Dima says:

    You are very brave. I’m not afraid of cutting fabric thread but I’m not sure I’d be able to do this.

  3. Glenis says:

    So that’s what it was, the fourth dimension! I have the same problem with stuffing and used to have to buy almost industrial quantities in the days when I was knitting soft toys and animals. Onwards Rachel, ever onwards 🙂

  4. jenclair says:

    An entire big bag of loose stuffing can go into such a small space when packed in. I’ve been amazed at the quantity of stuffing that can go in a doll. On a project like this, I can see how unnerving it would be to make the adjustment by cutting! Good job, Rachel!

  5. When I cut away excess wadding, I use my little applique scissors – the blades curve up, so there is much less chance of cutting holes in the fabric.

  6. Now that you have some practise, I am happy to pay your board and travel so that you can come and cut St. Laurence for me :)!

  7. Alex Hall says:

    Yes, definitely scary – I can only admire your grit in getting stuck in. If ti was me, I think I would still be wandering around, looking at it and then finding something else to do!

  8. Lin says:

    Scary stuff indeed! xx

  9. Catherine says:

    Gosh you’ve got some nerve! I’m generally terrified of cutting fabric which is why I’ve never attempted cutwork. But I guess there’s only one way to learn! Love all your experiments

  10. Janine says:

    I would have a hard time with that too! But you obviously have a steady hand. I was nervous cutting the backing on a rug hooking project lately. Kept checking myself. So I totally get what you mean! Isn’t creativity fun?!

  11. Sue Jones says:

    Yes, that is scary. I am very good at wrecking things with my scissors, so I would have been terrified! I suspect that you won’t need a third stuffing session – the filling doesn’t need to be packed solid, just solid enough to hold the shape when the back is flat on its backing board.
    I’ve just faced the opposite problem – trying to pack a case for a weekend away, and discovering that things put inside a case take up more room than they do outside of it….

  12. I know this is scary work. I always place the scissors in position, then look before I cut – for each cut. It takes a long time to remove the excess wadding.
    You are so brave!

  13. Karen says:

    lol…the description of your fear is hilarious, sorry. I actually completely get it, I have been there myself and I don’t think I will be taking up base jumping any time soon.
    I never doubted you…I knew you would master this beautifully.

  14. You are a brave woman! Congratulations on overcoming your fears and making something wonderful.

  15. Terrie says:

    It takes a bit technique to do it. You made it.

  16. Susan says:

    I like your sense of humor, but I can see that would be nerve-wracking. She seems nicely stuffed right now!