Making Mr Dinosaur

Meet Mr. Dinosaur

I’m always being so serious. Mostly at work, but also with my crafting. Pretty much everything I make has to have a purpose or add to my wardrobe or be the perfect gift. I cant remeber the last time I made something just because. Well, until now!

Meet Mr. Dinosaur

I was browsing through simply sewing magazine because I have already received issue three and other than my embroidery I have not yet managed to make anything from any of the issues. I saw this pattern for making a toy dinosaur from felt and thought I would give it ago. I didnt have any felt in but something jumped into my mind. I had a couple of jumpers that had gone all out of shape that I never wear any more and they were the perfect colours for a really fun dinosaur! So I thought I would go for it!

Making Mr Dinosaur

The magazine came with patterns for both a large and small dinosaur. I opted for the small one and got cutting. As this was a “just-for-fun” project I didnt even bother tracing the pattern. Throwing caution to the wind I just drew the approximate shape onto the jumper using chalk and went for it. This was a huge step out of my comfort zone which involves meticulous tracing, lining up of fabric pieces, pinning and cutting cardfully with a rotary cutter. But it worked (and I’ll share a little secret with you it was kind of fun!)

Anyway, I havent really sewn much with knits before so I didnt really know how to properly set up my machine but I just went for it. at first the fabric was getting a bit chewed up but I adjusted the tension and then there didnt seem to be much problem. It was just a simple case of sewing the spots on and then sewing the 2 main body pieces together with the spikes inbetween.

He’s a bit scruffy round the edges, especially his feet but I think he turned out quite well for a quick project just for fun! and he can now stand guard over my sewing machine when I leave it out on the dining table when I’m not supposed too!

Mr. Dinosaur on guard at my sewing machine

Mr. Dinosaur on guard at my sewing machine

H.

myspace styke photo in my upcycled top from old jeans

Alteration Challenge

I feel that I am probably a little bit too excited that the Great British Sewing Bee has returned to our screens. In preparation for tomorrows episode I decided to give it a go myself by taking up last weeks alteration challenge. On the show the contestants were each given a denim shirt and asked to create something new out of it.

Well, I didn’t have an old denim shirt lying around but what I did have was an old pair of skinny jeans

old skinny jeans

So those would have to do.

Now all I needed to do was decide what I was going to turn them into, after a while searching pinterest and none of the hundreds of upcycling projects appealing to me I decided to come up with my own plan. I found a top of mine that has a nice shape to it and decided to use that as a pattern template.

Now it was time to begin…and in true GBSB style – start the clock! Oh yes, I was taking this seriously if they have to do it under pressure in the sewing room then so do I!

First step was to cut down the inside leg seam and along the crotch of the jeans to give me the biggest flat pieces of fabric available to work with.

Jeans cut along inside leg and crotch seams

Then I took my top and laid it out on top of the fabric and marked out where the seams needed to be for the front and back pieces. I cut these out leaving a good 3/4 inch seam allowance all round. The fabric wasnt quite long enough to have the front and back pieces as long as the original top – but so what! Crop tops are cool…right?

Use a top as a pattern template
Next I cut off the waistband

So now I had the front and back pieces for my top, I had to decide what to do about sleeves. I decided to use the remaining part of the jean legs. Only problem was they were a bit too narrow. However, in some beautiful coincidence it turns out that they were too narrow by the width of the jeans waistband so off that came and got attached to the side of the leg!

Attach the jeans waistband to the side of the leg

Now I had all the components of my top it was time to begin construction. First of all I began by pinning and sewing the sleeves onto the front of the top, right sides together and sewing with a 5/8inch seam allowance (although this is smaller than I had allowed for based on the original top I thought it best that the top be roomier than the original considering the denim-style fabric)

Pin the sleeve to the front piece         Front piece of top with sleeves attached

I then folded the sleeves over )along the original seam from the side of the leg) and pinned them to the back piece. I attached them with top stitching to keep the feature of the waist band.
Back of top with sleeves attached

Next task was to sew the front and back of the top together at the side seams. Now its beginning to look like a top!
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It was trying on time and guess what it fit! (kind of). THe sleeves were very baggy which I knew they were going to be given the way they looked compared to the original top so I tapered them at the shoulders and cut them both the the same length
sleeve sew from shoulder to edge to form a taper

I then hemmed the sleeves and neckline as well as the bottom. I decided to keep the cropped look as the way in which the jean leg had tapered gave it a nice loped bottom so it wasn’t to short after all.

finished top made from old jeans

Yes I know its a little wonky and the seams don’t quite match on both sides(I bet Patrick and May would have a field day on this one!)but I did it I turned a pair of old jeans into a wearable(ish) top and all in just 2 and a half hours!

and to prove I did wear it here is a terrible (myspace-style) picture as I had nobody to take it for me!
myspace styke photo in my upcycled top from old jeans

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