Sunday, 16 March 2014

Having a Whale of a Time

My Mum has always sewn and I think that is where some of my passion/obsession comes from. This makes her the best and worst person to sew for. She knows the time and effort that goes in so appreciates it, however there is always something in my head that says that I cannot just "bodge" it. I like to make different and fun things. She likes humpback whales so when I saw a humpback whale made out of jeans I knew I was going to have to give it a go. Many patterns for soft toy whales are quite "cartoony", I loved the face that this one had definite humpback whale features, I am not saying it is anatomically correct but it gives the right effect.

I found the pattern on an excellent blog. The blog states that "if you love tidy and neat sewing then please monitor your blood pressure".  This is a great disclaimer. There is no pdf or printable template with these instructions. The photos and instructions are really clear, as are the relative size and shape of the pieces. I think it would be difficult to give specific sizes as people will be using different jeans made of different types of denim. I decided to make the top and bottom pieces fit on an A4 piece of paper. I found half way through this that it was too small to get good seams. Part of my problem was that the jeans I was using were slightly elasticated so the stretch made them more susceptible to fraying, which resulted in holes at the seams. I drew up a bigger pattern with an extra 3cm all round,  this would allow bigger seams and I made the throat area a little deeper. I love the detail in the throat, I made it a little deeper just so I could have a bigger seam in the creases. The pattern itself explains that you should take in and adjust as you go, so if in doubt it is best to err on the side of caution and take in. I love the details in this design with the top stitching and details on the fluke being in the coloured thread that you get on a pair of jeans.

I stuffed the whale and used a ladder stitch to close the turning gap. I used a button instead of fabric for the eye because I liked the sewing/recycled connection. I added the eye after stuffing which is a tip I got from Melly and Me as it allows you to add details after seeing the "face" shape.

My denim whale, pattern by Mevrouw Walvis

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