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Friday, May 30, 2014

A Fun Rat-Themed Hammock Set

I found this novelty fabric at J&O Fabrics. I have seen it before, but this is the only vendor I can currently find it from, so I suspect it may have been discontinued. I hope not. I really like it.. At the moment, they have 8 yards left in stock. It is designed by Patrick Lose and sold under Timeless Treasures.

This is perfect hammock making fabric. The mouse (rat) theme is one that is not easy to find - or when I do find it, it tends to be too mousy for my tastes. But theme aside, the bright primary and secondary colors set off against the black background make the coordinating fleece colors really pop.

I used some of the Rigilene designs in this set. The tube is held open by rings of Rigilene, keeping the openings from collapsing flat when hung. I am trying out a tunnel with a strip of Rigilene across the top to keep the entrance from falling backwards when left unattended in the cage. We will see how well that holds up. I also used a strip of Rigilene sewn into the cuff of the snuggle sack to keep the sack open in the cage. My rats have never been especially fond of snuggle sacks, so I thought I would try this and see if it is more inviting this way.

Example of how to size the frame
And finally, I made a cuddle cup with a Rigilene frame to keep it from collapsing. Bela is really a fan of the cuddle cup, especially when it doesn't end up squished and flattened in the cage. I made the cuddle cup as described in the tutorial, but built a Rigilene frame like the one shown to the left, and sized it to fit perfectly inside the cup before sewing the cotton/batting cup (outside) to the fleece cup (inside lining), ensuring enough fabric is left above the frame for the seam connecting the cotton to the fleece. Once sized, the frame is removed from the cuddle cup and the cotton/batting cup is sewn to the fleece cup as described in the tutorial, only making the opening through which the cuddle cup will be turned right-side out about 3 1/2" wide. After turning the cuddle cup right side out through the opening, I inserted the frame (it is flexible) inside the cup through the opening, then slip stitched the opening closed once everything was positioned correctly. The only problem I have with this cuddle cup is the top stitching. For some reason, I can never top stitch this item neatly when the Rigilene is in place.

 I couldn't resist the opportunity to create a Peek-a-boo hammock with a rat-shaped opening. I added a zig-zag stitched spiral tail to complement the spiral tails on the fabric.

The following is the DCN decked out in the mouse/rat themed hammocks. I am in the process of making some for Casper as well.

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