Monday, 7 October 2013

New Toys!


After reading a post by the lovely Tasia of Sewaholic regarding tips for using rotary cutters, I decided to finally take the plunge and invest in a cutting mat and rotary cutter. Can I just say this was a bloody miracle?

Did anyone else read the comments on that post with stories of gruesome amputations (well near, but that wouldn't sound so exciting would it?) and severed nerves (that one did actually happen)? How did that become a selling point? Perhaps I'm just a little weird.

I don't have any problems with using scissors to cut my fabric. I do, however, have major problems with kneeling on the floor and not being able to stand back upright following said pattern cutting. I am not what would be considered "old" (not sure about thresholds for using that term), but lord do my knees and back have something to say about that.

I started cutting on the dining table (AKA my sewing space), but have had a few occasions when I thought a cutting mat would be useful.

So with my very lovely 40% off voucher for Spotlight I decided to treat myself.

I ended up with the Birch Craft double-sided cutting board, 60 x 90cm, which after discount could be considered quite reasonably priced. This seems the largest size readily available in fabric stores in my area and it is pretty much perfect. Most fabric I work with is 110cm wide, so with fabric folded in half the board's 60cm width happily accommodates. Most of what I'd cut is longer than 90cm, but you can easily slide the board up under the fabric when a move is required.

I also settled on this board as it has both metric and imperial rules on the sides, whereas a few others were only imperial.


This particular Fiskars rotary cutter attracted me for a few reasons. The grip is very ergonomic and I felt that it would prevent the infamous Oops my fingers lid down the shaft and I sliced off my index finger scenario of those with a simple long handle. The titanium blades were another selling point given they are purportedly harder and stay sharper for longer. With the price of replacement blades that's got to be a good thing...

And is that a pretty project on the go below?


Why yes! And I can report that the rotary cutter and board are working just perfectly.

Anyone else a died in the wool fan of the rotary cutter and cutting mat, or would you be a shears person all the way to the grave?

16 comments:

  1. I'm definitely a proponent of the cutting mat and rotary cutter - have been since they were introduced WAY back - and I still have all my fingers and nerves!

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    1. Very happy to hear you have all your fingers still, Gail! I do seem rather late to the party on this one.

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  2. I recently made the switch, too! (Also with 40% and 60% coupons!) I got the same style in pink and really like it! I was actually just thinking about that as I was cutting out a pattern with scissors for the first time in a while thinking, "my rotary cutter does such a better job!"

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    1. Yay, for discount coupons! These cutting boards are not the cheapest of investments. Pink? Wow, how did I miss that one??

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  3. Oooh, that fabric looks promising!
    I don't own a rotary cutter and cutting mat, but I'm looking into it: it seems like the best option for slippery fabrics, doesn't it? Still, they also seem scary when you hear all those horror stories!

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    1. Do it Tassadit! The cutter and mat do work rather marvellously. And yes, that fabric is a bit awesome and now a finished project. Just gotta get it photographed.

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  4. Rotary cutters and boards are life changing! So glad you invested in one :D

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    1. Life changing indeed. Onto my second project with them and didn't flinch at the idea of pattern cutting. Easy, yay!

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  5. After decades of using shears, I read about rotary cutters on a couple of blogs and mentioned them to my quilting neighbour and she very kindly lent me hers to try. I was smitten (OMG-rotary-cutter-where-have-you-been-all-my-life-how-could-I-have-not-known-about-you?!) and ran off to Spotlight that very afternoon to procure said tools. I got large and small cutters at Spotlight but ended up sourcing a very large mat (around 900mm x 1500mm I think) from ebay (terribly sorry but have forgotten the shop however it was very well priced and arrived two days after I ordered it). I still use the shears occasionally but the cutters are so much easier on my arthritic hands. And I still can't believe how long it took me to discover them.

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    1. I'm with you on the arthritic hands! This makes life easier. I've heard about those larger cutting mats, might invest in one later down the road.

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  6. Oooh, intriguing! I've been wondering about getting a board and rotary cutter lately. Part of me wonders how they cut cut through fabric so brilliantly though? I should just go for it and get one and see for myself! x

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    1. They do cut through the fabric layers well and they do it by being ridiculously sharp. Watch those fingers! Mind you, as soon as you get a knick in the blade you get annoying little bits that don't cut and you've got to go over them...

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  7. Oh, you're never going to look back! I use both my trusty dressmaking scissors as well as the rotary cutter, for different things. The rotary cutter is brilliant for bias binding, spaghetti straps, and things like buttonbands and plackets, that require a perfectly straight edge. I also use it sometimes for slippery fabrics like silk charmeuse.

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    1. Yep Carolyn, I got them mainly with thoughts of using them to cut slinky fabrics. I have a few in my stash and I've been terrified to cut into them... and sew them if I'm being honest!

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  8. I love my board especially for tracing patterns, and I just used my rotary cutter to make kilometers of cording for our Kombi cushions - life saver! And that balloon fabric - I know it's not seemly for a woman of nearly 35 years to yearn for balloon fabric but that is SO awesome!

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    1. Wash your mouth out! It's entirely seemly for a woman of 40 to lust after ballon fabric and I did... Then I bought it. It's all made up, just need to get the damn photos done! Oh and I have serious Kombi envy. Sunny Boy is gorgeous and my dream is to have a Kombi one day. I drive my hubby mental talking about it!

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