A few days ago, I wrote about the intention to re-make my fish plushies. I turned a handful of sketches into sewing patterns, which I then simplified for more efficient sewing specifically for denim fabric.
I usually make plushie patterns and test them on separate days. I feel like my heart needs time to process what my mind has created.
Anyway, today is the sewing day. I looked around my stash, and, found a small piece of grey denim1—twice-reclaimed.
From it, I cut 2 sets of shapes from the simplified fish plushie pattern.
The pattern cutting on different denim grain direction yielded a very different result. It is true of most fabric, but, the effect on a stiff fabric like denim, is even more pronounced.
- On grain – with tail fin attached to body
- stiff to touch
- stands up on fins
- Cross grain – tail fin separated from body
- weight controlled
- soft to the touch
- stands only when leaning against the wall
Armed with these observations, there are many changes to be done. Sigh. Pattern making always feels like a never ending cycle of improvements and change of minds.
The first softie (on grain) sewn has a disappointingly angular face. Okay, it may be desirable for fashion models, but trust me, this fish has no desire to be one.
By the way, I clipped the allowance using my usual method—2mm away from the seam with my pinking shears.
So, On the 2nd (cross grain) fish plush, I tried something different to smooth out the jawline. I clipped the inner seam allowance a lot closer to each other, one cut at a time, using normal scissors. That was time-consuming.
The result was hardly worth it.
I knew then, it’s not just the allowance. It’s the stuffing I had to work on.
I’m keeping the angular look on file in case anyone commissions a stuffed stonefish.
After the 2 prototypes, I found out the shapes different denim grain directions creates. Also, the various options of eyes and lips are fun to play with, and often to hilarious result.
Going from here, I would need to rethink the curve of the face, whether by construction or fabric manipulation.
- What happened to these grey jeans?
It was a pair of grey jeans, first slashed below the bum to create a pair of frayed denim cut-off shorts. As expected of any shorts reclaimed from a pair of skinny, it was much too tight for comfort. The then-shorts were traded for a bigger, more comfortable pair. The remaining fabric from the jeans’ leg was then upcycled into a pen roll for my art supplies. Eventually, the collection of pens, pencils & brushes grew so big they had to migrate to a big drawer. Again, I ripped it apart to make into these soon-to-be-stuffed animals. ↩