Friday, 26 October 2012

Funky Skirt from Old Jeans with Pics!

So, I've been invited to a 50th birthday party where the theme is Funky and Fun.  So I thought I'd try my hand at creating a funky skirt from an old pair of jeans and some material oddments. 

I took inspiration from some of the items found here:

The end result looks like this: 

So I started with an old pair of jeans.  I cut the legs off....

Then removed the crotch and folded over the extra material.

And stitched it down with two lines of stitching.

Same at the front.

Inside view of the stitched over bits.  Excess material cut away.

Next I ran a line of fancy stitching around the hemline.  However I didn't hem it as I'm going to fray the fabric instead.

At this point I decided to do something with the pockets at the back and took one off... ummmm Old dead washed tissues! Nice!

 I cut the extra fabric off the pocket.

And then went back to fraying the hemline, while debating what colour to use for the pocket.

I rubbed the cut ends together to start to produce a frayed effect.  It's slow and fairly ineffective.  Middle daughter tells me a couple of goes through the washing machine and tumble drier will do the trick.

 Back to that pocket.  I covered the denim in the material of choice and then stitched the pocket down, just slightly higher than before to show off the dark denim underneath.

Then I decided to rip off the other pocket.  Thankfully this one was tissue free, but sadly I ripped the last bit... This requires some thought.

Perhaps I'll just make a bigger hole and fray the edges a bit.  Make it look part of the design.....

I sewed another fabric in behind the hole... I think it qualifies as "funky".  :)

And then I got carried away and made the hole much bigger, and frayed all the edges up.  I'm quite pleased with this.  Maybe one of my daughters might even call it "cool"?

So now the front looks bare, and that red/pink fabric is just crying out to be made into a heart.

I stitched it down with a zig-zag stitch.  (First time I've done this.... and it's simpler than I thought.)

I rather like this.

My new-found confidence with fancy stitches, leads me to experimenting with the pocket and some pink thread...

At this point, it's time to take a break....  and put the skirt through the wash to see if that hemline will fray up a bit....... Later, I want to add a flounce of fabric to the bottom.....  more to follow .....


Adding the flounce:

So I found an old silky scarf that I don't wear and chopped it in two length wise.  Then I started pinning.  I
started with the corner of the scarf above the hem line so it's not seen.

More pinning.  Pins going vertically downwards so I can sew over them later.

First piece all on:

Starting with the second piece of scarf.  Again the corner is lifted to above the hemline of the firs piece of the flounce.  I used a second set of pins, and the chopping board helps keep the pins in the right place.

And on.....

Okay - all attached.

 Time to turn it the right way out...

And I'm not at all convinced by the asymmetric look.  :-(

So - after the re-pinning:

I stitched from the top, and just ran over all the pins.

Then removed the pins and trimmed the excess material.

Gathered some of the trimmings into a funny rosette flowery thing.

And stitched it on too:

I'm quite pleased with the overall effect!  It is a fancy dress party after all!


If you have used this photo sequence to create your own funky skirt,  please consider making a donation to the Let's Do it for ME   fund.  Donate page here: Donate to Let's Do it for ME.  This group are raising funds for biomedical research into ME (Myalgic Encephalomyelitis - also sometimes called Chronic Fatigue Syndrome - although in reality it is much more complex than simple fatigue.)

Monday, 22 October 2012

Scruffy Ponies: A Picture Tutorial

These ponies are based on ponies that a great aunt of mine used to make when I was a child.  The pattern is not identical (my ponies are smaller) but I think they are a good tribute to the little herd of ponies she created for me many years ago.

The variations are endless.....  so start by choosing a fabric and tracing out the pony shape.  I just draw straight onto the back of the fabric. If you look carefully you will see that I have folded the material in two, and then folded the fold up again, so that I can cut the gusset at the same time.  

Then cut out leaving your seam allowance to the outside of the marked lines.  You will end up with two body pieces (full horse) and a gusset (which looks like 4 legs!).

I then draw the outline onto the lower piece as well - these will be the sewing lines.

The gusset (seen to the left in the picture above) is turned the other way out, and lined up between the two main outlines ready for sewing.

Leave an opening at the top of the neck.  Sew the top part of the body from the point where the gusset ends to the opening on each side.  Remember to back stitch at each end of stitching.

Next separate the leg sections, and sew one pair of legs at a time.

Your stitching will be running from where the gusset meets the body, over the legs to where the gusset ends on the other side.  Back stitch at start and finish.

Then the other pair of legs

Next the concave bits of stitching need the fabric snipped to prevent puckering when the pony is turned right way out.

I snip off the points of the toes too.

Next turn the pony skin right way out.

Ready to stuff.

Stuff quite firmly.

The legs will look splayed at this stage - don't worry.

Stitch up the opening, and choose fabric for the ears.  I use felt.

Ear shapes all cut out.

Fold ears in half and stitch on.

Next sort those splayed legs by taking a few stitches to join the legs.  Fold the gusset up in into the body beneath the stitches.  The excess material will give your pony a cute little fat belly.

Do the back legs the same way.

Now the pony stands up.

Sew in some eyes with thick black thread.

Wind your chosen yarn for the tail.  Leave it in loops as you stitch it to the body of the pony.

Then once the tail is secured, cut the loops and tidy up the ends.

Use two or three fingers to wind yarn for the forelock and mane.

And stitch into place through the loops.

Continue down the crest of the neck, adding bunches of mane as you go.

Once completed, cut the loops and frizz up the mane.

And  your scruffy pony is finished!

Showing off both sides!

I have photographed the outline pattern below - looks a bit messy as I damped it down to make it lie flat.

Please feel free to use this tutorial for making gifts for friends and family. This permission does not include the use of the pattern to make scruffy ponies for commercial gain.

If you have enjoyed using this pattern please consider making a donation to the Let's Do it for ME   fund.

Donate page here: Donate to Let's Do it for ME.  This group are raising funds for biomedical research into ME (Myalgic Encephalomyelitis - also sometimes called Chronic Fatigue Syndrome - although in reality it is much more complex than simple fatigue.)

Anyway, I have made a few more of these ponies and they are being sold both online at  MakeMe Crafts (within the toy section) and on an Invest in ME charity stand at craft stalls in England.

All proceeds are going to Invest in ME a charity supporting biomedical research into the illness ME.

Thank you for looking....