Cutting it out

… you know how it is? You wait 2 months for a blog post and then 2 come along at once (not that I think anyone has been losing sleep over my lack of blogging, or in any way “waiting” for a post from me).

So, generally I use a rotary cutter to… well, to cut things out – I can’t think of many other things I would use it for. The day I got it I fell for the awesome ease of use, and the speed compared to scissors. And I always knew that it was quite necessarily sharp, but I never , until I read a post by Sewaholic Tasia, back in August, thought to be scared by it. (and don’t worry; this is not going to be a cautionary tale with a gory ending, it’s just a load of random waffle)

But these days, every time I use it I can’t help but think of watching Casualty* back in the ’90s, where the episode would start in somebody’s house, and you just knew that an accident was about to occur (“don’t dry your hair in the bathroom!” “watch that dangling kettle lead – the dog is jumping up!” “Knives! children! aaargh!”…). I now narrate my cutting in my head (“Cut AWAY from your fingers, you fool!” “Put that DOWN before you scratch your head” “PUT THE BLADE AWAY!!!”) and yet I still slice away with blithe disregard for my personal safety.

Now, the geographically closest sewing blogger to me I know of is Ali over at Thimberlina. She’s a paramedic, but there surely must be better ways of arranging a meet-up than slicing my own hand in two… (or losing an eye – honestly, I didn’t realise I was scratching my head with an unsheathed cutter in my hand until my vision was filled with sharpened steel and the voice in my head shouted at me!)

So far I have been lucky, but I think I should add to my resolutions to take more care when using sharp tools!

Anyways, my cutter is on my mind because I have managed to find my sewing room under the piles of “I’ll find a home for that later” crap, and I have got around to cutting out a Moss mini skirt – made rather less mini for my decidedly un-mini gams. (And cut out rather badly, I might add – I kept finding that my bottom layer of fabric was shifting as I cut, but in my haste to get back to sewing I carried on…)

And I guess I must feel as if I have 2 months worth of blogging to get out of my system, otherwise I would be sewing, not typing right now. (You know when you’ve been on your own for a few hours, and as soon as you see somebody you just talk at them for half an hour? I feel a bit like that about writing down my inconsequential thoughts).

If I’m honest I might also feel a slight trepidation about getting back into it. I don’t think I have the energy to deal if this does not go together easily, so there is a chance I am just stalling a wee bit…

Enough! I shall gird my loins and get back to it. I’ll see you back here, either in tears or a new skirt.

* for those who are not aware of Casualty (the longest-running emergency medical drama television series in the world, apparently. I think it is still going; I just haven’t watched it since the 90s), another example could be the Final Destination films, which do the best potentially fatal accident set-ups ever!


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16 Responses to Cutting it out

  1. Well I for one have missed your blog posts. I haven’t got on very well with my rotary cutter. Perhaps mine isn’t sharp enough? It always seems to leave little bits that aren’t cut. I’ll have to change the blade and give it another go.

    • rachsews says:

      Thanks, Louise. I’d definitely recommend trying a fresh blade in your rotary cutter. If it is leaving uncut bits it sounds as if it is either dull or has a nick in the edge and if you do find you can get on with it, you’ll find time spent on cutting out greatly reduced! And we all know that the sewing is the fun bit. Usually.

    • rachsews says:

      Glad it is working better now – hopefully you’ll get used to using it and it’ll soon feel completely natural!

  2. Andrea Gray says:

    Dearest rachsews
    I will never ever use a rotary cutter unless is needed to a) cut cheese or much much less likely b)I am instructed to do so as a life saving action (what am I thinking here?.. Amputation? Tracheostomy?…) in the manner of an episode of the aforementioned Casualty where the medics can’t get to the scene so have to talk the wired yet calm and capable heroine through the procedure . By speaker phone , obvs .
    Anyhew, what I mean to say is , I sure have missed your bloody brilliant blogs.

    • rachsews says:

      Ha! I’m pretty sure you could perform an amputation with it, at a push! Nice to hear from you… See you soon, now I have made my triumphal return to society x

  3. Amanda says:

    I am the same…. I really like my rotary cutter . My pattern pieces are now the same size….but yes…….first injury last week cutting out some Liberty lawn.Not good!

  4. Amanda says:

    I really like my rotary cutter too, my fabric pattern pieces are now the same size! Major accomplishment. However, first injury from it last weekend cutting some liberty lawn! Not good..!

  5. Sue Pricey Brandom says:

    Good to have your musings back in my life Rach!
    Like Hawkey I can’t imagine having a use for a rotary cutter unless for serving slices of tiny pizza.
    But I do recall my mother (once a keen sewer, now a manic crafter) using motorised scissors. They had a chunky off-white plastic handle and permanently open ‘jaws’ which must have been battery powered as they sort of vibrated against the fabric (often brown cord, being the 1970s) and chewed their way through the material at some speed.(Around the same time and on a similar theme I also recall my Dad carving the Sunday roast with an electric carving knife….perhaps my parents were in competition to see who had the most groovy gadget.)
    Happy Chinese New Year and good luck with the resolutions!

    • rachsews says:

      Ha ha. It was my grandparents who couldn’t resist a gadget in our family and they had both of those. I think they were probably from k tel and ordered off the telly.

  6. Ali says:

    Ha ha……just be aware that we take major trauma to Huddersfield not Halifax so if you do anything really nasty don’t take yourself to Calderdale Royal!
    I bought a rotary cutter only about 3 weeks ago. I was on duty and found myself at Kershaws Garden Centre and HAD to pop into Samual Taylors. £50 later, I was the proud owner of a self healing mat and rotary cutter! (..Just wondering if a self healing mat would work on my patients if I layed it on the stretcher!!!)
    Amazing! .
    Until…….later that night I was cutting out lots of squares. I’ve never quilted, but thought they’d come in handy and it was a reason to try out my new toy. I must have been overconfident as i locked the blade in the cutting position. I don’t even know now what I was thinking when I (with rotary cutter in hand) attempted to use the same hand to do something else and sliced into my thumb!
    The only way i could stop the bleeding was to pinch it tightly together. I couldn’t find any plasters so wrapped it in kitchen roll and secured it tightly with cellotape! This acted as a splint and stopped it gaping and bleeding!
    Lesson learnt…..I never lock the blade in the cutting positition and put it down inbetween ‘cuts’. ✂️😀✂️

    • rachsews says:

      You see. I really do need to be more careful, as you guys are worrying me now! Thumbs don’t half bleed… I’ve had more than one knife-in-the-washing-up incident that has required much kitchen roll (secured with an elastic band on one occasion – not that I had no plasters, but they were upstairs!)

    • Lori Garde says:

      I have been using a rotary cutter for a good 20+ years and never really hurt myself with it. However…Sunday night I was in a hurry to finish squaring up a quilt block and then head down stairs to start supper. My granddaughter was in my sewing room with me and as I was finishing the last cut she said something to me and I looked up to answer her as I was rolling the blade. (dumb move!) The blade jumped the ruler and cut to the bone in my left index finger and went all the way across to my upper knuckle. Good 2″ gash. I immediately grabbed my finger with my right hand and applied as much pressure as I could to try and keep bleeding all over the place. My daughter who happened to be there as well, wrapped the finger as tightly as she could and drove me to the emergency room. The doctor said I was lucky that I did not cut a tendon. Six stitches later and a lecture from the doctor I headed home with pain pills and strict instructions on how to care for my wound. This is one of the dumbest things I have ever done. Lesson learned…don’t allow your self to get distracted while you are cutting and never look up while the blade is in motion! My granddaughter learned a good lesson as well. She used to want to use my rotary cutter, now she has a greater respect for it. So does my daughter. There is some nerve damage that may or may not heal, but at least I didn’t cut my finger off. Lesson learned!

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