Just in time for Spring celebrations, come spend an afternoon with me at Ragfinery in Bellingham on April 6, making little rabbits. It’s an opportunity to enjoy the pleasures of the time-honored tradition of sewing toys from the scrap basket. Inspired by illustrations in vintage children’s books, these little dressed rabbit finger puppets are about 5 inches tall. They can be made and embellished with a wide variety of fabrics and notions to create one-of-a-kind characters.
We’ll be making our rabbits with “boiled” wool fabrics and looking at some of the many other fabrics that can work with the basic pattern. Starting from machine-sewn basic shapes, I’ll guide you through the traditional toymaking techniques to finish and add character to the basic bunny with hand-stitching, glue and simple embroidery. Along the way I’ll share tips, inspirations and resources.
Once your rabbit is done, you can simply leave it au naturel, finish it with a smart bow tie or make it a complete costume. To spark inspirations, I’ll be bringing a tasty and varied stash of fabrics, notions and trims for you to use. Plus there will be options to create accessories (banners, pennants, parasols, bags, baskets, etc.) to personalize and add finishing touches.
All materials will be provided, and of course you can always supplement with your own purchases from the treasure trove that is Ragfinery. The 8-page pattern and instructions are yours to take with you so you can continue making more at home. Basic hand-sewing skills and a pair of sharp scissors are all you’ll need to bring.
These little guys are the right size to inspire so much imaginative play. They like to hang out in dollhouses, lego and block structures and little nooks in the garden. Not to mention their pleasure in peeking out of Easter baskets and papier mache eggs. Add one to a flower arrangement or Spring centerpiece for lighthearted touch. Put one out in the garden on top of a bamboo garden stake or dowel as part of an Easter egg hunt. You could even send a handmade Spring wish to someone far away, tucked into an envelope.
I’ve been struck recently by how many artists and creative people grew up in households where making things was part of daily life. In that spirit, once you have the basics down, it could be fun to make up a batch of plain rabbits and let the kids in your life guide you in making costumes for them. It could be a one-time activity or it could spur an ongoing shared project, making a family (or even a whole village) of handmade creatures. Intergenerational fun and an affirmation of the power of continuing creativity—and all this from your scrap basket!
I’d love to see you…here are the details:
Little Scrap Rabbits workshop, Saturday April 6 2019, 1-4PM
Ragfinery 1421 N. Forest St. Bellingham, WA 98225
Tickets: $22 early bird (til March 23), $25 regular