Monday, April 13, 2015

Little helpers - Rotary cutter (an self-healing mat)

After pausing for Easter Monday, the little helpers are back with a vengeance! Today I'd like to introduce you to my best friend when it comes to cutting long ruffles or strips of fabric for decoration: The rotary cutter!

What is it good for?
It cuts without lifting the fabric up, so if you like to sew slinky jerseys or fabrics like silk georgette (unlike me ^^), the rotary cutter helps to eliminate pulled fabrics and distorted patterns. I mainly use it to cut what feels like miles and miles of fabric strips to decorate historic dresses...

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As you can see, my cutter has different blades that can be exchanged. Currently the zigzag blade is inserted, but it also has a straight blade - which could be used to cut bias strips or pattern pieces- and a wavy blade which I have never used. Bummer! I heard that most of the seamstresses who use the rotary cutter for patterns prefer a smaller diameter of the blade as it is more on point. I might get another one in future, but for the purpose of cutting obscenely long strips, this is the best!

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Feet for scale - yes it is huuuuuuuge!

Another thing that you need if you use a rotary cutter is a (self-healing) mat for cutting. I prefer self-healing because it still looks good after years of use and abuse! Please use a mat instead of cardboard or hard mats because otherwise you blunt your rotary cutter and those blades unfortunately don't come for free. You don't have to get such an huge monster of a mat, for cutting fabric strips a small one is sufficient. You can just put down the rotary cutter with the fabric on the mat and slowly pull the fabric underneath the cutter. For this, 5cm x 5cm would be sufficient!

How much does it cost?
The rotary cutter I use was one of the most expensive ones on the market. I got it as a Birthday present from my co workers! I think it was 20 Euros. My humongous mat was even more expensive, I think I paid 35 Euros plus shipping.

Who needs it?
While I have not yet tried cutting nothing besides straight lines, I love love love my cutter! But I sew historical stuff and cut many straight lines. If you do this as well, or you quilt or sew large rectangles together (for clothes or decoration, no judging!), the cutter cuts down your time  a lot (pun intended!). I'm not sure whether I'd use it for cutting jerseys and slinky fabrics, but I might try soon and give feedback here.


Madame Mari Mortem said...

I love my rotary blades and mats. I use a 60mm for cutting things with lots of loft like fleece, batting or velvet, my 45mm for general use, 28mm for stretch fabrics, and 18mm for curves or itty bitty parts. I have an equally large collection of rulers to help me guide them all too, hehe.

MindLess said...

@ Madame Mari Mortem: Yeah, I should have mentioned rulers... So you do recommend getting a small one as well? I think I might cave then...

Janina said...

Ach, da sollte ich mir wohl auch mal einen kleineren Rollschneider zulegen. Und ein größeres Lineal - 30cm sind mir oft zu knapp.

MindLess said...

@ Janina: Stimmt, da sollte ich auch mal investieren... Immer diese doofen Folgekosten! ;)