Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Frou Frou!!!!


In the absence of any real inspiration, we once again, retreated to our dolly textile archives and revisited another fun technique: frayed edges. We combined with an earlier theme: denim to come up with something we thought would be fun for summer. So get your dollies ready for some south of the border fun! One-two-cha cha cha!!!!

You can fray almost everything, but I love recycling old garments so once again, I cut up an old pair of my dad's jeans. The denim is thick but after years of washing, the fabric is now soft and supple. Normally you need a holding stitch to stop the fray, but denim doesn't unravel so much, especially the way we intend to use it. 

Caught Up In the Fray!

The garments we use as a base are very simple, very basic. Again, the embellishments here is the real story! This is time intensive, so pick a lazy day when you have lots of free time on your hands to create your trims and embellishments. 

Before you begin....With denim, there are two colors of threads in the weave. My light blue remnant has blue running vertically (aka: the warp) and white running horizontally (aka: the weft). You will need to chose which color you want for your fringe.
1. Start by measuring and cutting even strips of denim. In this case each strip is !-1/4" (3cm) wide. 
2.Cut as many strips as you will need depending on how many rows of fringe you will need.
3. Begin fraying each side of the strip you have just cut. Though optional (you can use a pin) a seam ripper is helpful in pulling away the cross threads. 
4. Once the cross threads are pulled up, I remove them by pulling them away with my fingers.
5. You will do this on both sides of the strip. I then fold the strip over so that the fringe at the bottom of one edge meets the top of the fringe on the opposite.



6. Make your basic garment. Pictured here is the basic straight skirt. 
7. Begin in the back at the bottom, pinning the middle (or fold line) in place. Then stitch by hand. Let the center of each strip overlap in the back. With so much going on, texture wise, those frayed edges adds to the movement. 
8. Fold over and press.
9. Repeat until you have just the look you want. 

For my first skirt, I added the fringe from the hem to the waistband. I didn't measure the placement of each row because I wanted a an irregular alignment. However, if you want something more uniform, you can always measure and mark the placement line for each row of fringe.

What is that she's wearing at the top? I started to make a simple tank top but decided to go all the way with my Spanish them by creating a simple camisole with fringe at the top and bottom. If you fray the edges as I have, the end result will be very irregular. You can visually correct that by adding a layer or two of fringe, tacked to the inside of the camisole. Take a look at our initial post on fringing HERE. She's also wearing a swing jacket with denim "roses" at the cuffs, as a corsage on one shoulder and "rose" bottoms down the front. The next project show you how...

Rose Garden
I made another camisole, this time with removal "rose" puff sleeves. The sleeves are actually small tube with several clusters sewn on. 
1. Cut a small square of denim to fit the doll's arm. Fray each end. A single, underarm seam is all that is needed.
2.Cut circles. They don't have to be perfect. In fact the imperfection will make them more interesting.When you begin to fray the edges you will discover that where there are curves, it won't fray as easily. That is ok. You just want to fluff up the edges enough to soften the cut edge.
3. Fold each circle into quarters. 
4. Pin then sew the first one on the sleeve at the point.
5. Take another frayed circle. Fold into quarters and sew the midpoint to the midpoint of the previous circle.
6. Continue adding these quartered circles until there are enough to cover the sleeve.
If you want, you can tack each sleeve to the camisole where it meets under the arms, or treat them as removable sleeves.


And now...getting back to that jacket...This is a basic jacket with straight sleeves, each trimmed with these poufs of denim roses. I used smaller circles to create the buttons. 

Feather Weight

I found this on the craft pages of Pinterest and thought they were so interesting. These are fabric feathers! Again, they are made by removing enough of the cross threads to create the illusion of feathers. Before you start, you will need to figure out which direction each color thread moves in and which color you want for the feathers. I chose the cross thread (white) which I felt had a softer, fluffier look.


1. I roughly cut leaf shapes out of the denim. 
2. With my seam ripper, I begin lifting away the cross threads. 
3. On each side remove the cross threads. With my smaller "feathers" I can remove them simply with my fingers. 
4. Work from one side to the other side, pulling the cross threads away until you arrive with a strip down the middle that is about 1/8" (3mm). 
5. If you want an even look to your feathers, you can always trim them into the exact shape you want.
6. Now that I have a variety of feathers, I can begin to embellish my garment.
1. And so I begin with a basic sheath dress
2. I pin on feathers until I have just the look I want. 
3. Hand stitch each one partially down the middle (about 1/3-1/2 the length of each feather) so that they can "flutter."
And voila....my completed dress. I made "gloves" to match out of longer tubes of denim where the edges are frayed.

And here's what it looks like from each angle.

Fancy Pants
Of course I could have stopped there, but by now, you know me.... I could have made a gown and added feathers but instead, I decided on a pair of "cha cha" bell bottom pants, instead. 
Again, I started out with a basic, bell bottom hiphuggers that I frayed at the hemline. It doesn't matter if it is uneven because the feathers will cover everything.. I made enough feathers to achieve just the look I wanted. For her top, it is a basic bodice with a square neckline. I made small "feathers" to add to the hem of the sleeves, which repeat the design of the pants.

Okay, let's hear it.....One...two...cha cha cha!!!!!


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12 comments:

  1. April, your timing is perfect for me! I want to make a dress for one of my BJDs, with a cotton fabric with print. But I feel it needs something extra. Frays will be just perfect! I love that you recycled an old pair of jeans for these creations, it looks awesome. ☺️

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    1. Thank you so much Linda for your lovely comment. I started to post some looks created from print fabric but at the last minute I removed them because that is another story! When the print is frayed, it adds a completely new dimension to the original look of the fabric that I find fascinating. Happy to know you enjoyed this post.

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  2. These creations are absolutely perfect and amazing. Thanks for the tutorial.

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    1. Thank you Dlubaniny for your lovely comment and your visit. Once I had the notion to do this project, it was quite fun to see the results. Big hugs.

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  3. I'm in love with these blue amazing creations <3

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    1. Thank you, Aya. And the most remarkable thing is, these are very simple looks to make! Big hugs.

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  4. I started reading this post last week and you know what happened? I clicked on the first link, then I followed a link that I found there, got side-tracked and forgot to leave a comment.
    Overall, I like your creations. What a great way to recycle old clothes. I like the idea of making feathers out of denim, you could use them to decorate anything. And different denim colors could give different effects.
    Wish you a lovely new week ahead!

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    1. Thank you MC. I love recycling old fabrics. When I stumbled across the technique for making fabric feathers, I thought about all of the possibilities that one could use them for. So without the expense, you can create whatever you need in the color or look you want. What I didn't have the time or space to show...how different types of fabrics will yield different effects. That, along with fringing printed fabrics, is the subject for a future post, I think. Thanks for stopping by and have a great week ahead!

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  5. Bonjour April.(je ne sais pas pourquoi mon commentaire n'a pas été enregistré, puis des fois mon nom apparait, ou des fois mon nom n'apparait pas .... c'est à ne plus rien comprendre.)

    Comme tu le sais, je prends toujours plaisir à lire tes posts en fin de journée. Et j'ai beaucoup aimé celui-ci. Merci de nous faire découvrir cette nouvelle technique. C'est très bien réussi. Il faudrait que j'essaie aussi, un jour, lorsque je retrouverai l'envie de coudre, car pour le moment j'ai des idées, mais j'ai du mal à me remettre à coudre.
    Maintenant le modèle que je préfère, c'est difficile de choisir car tout est très beau. Mais j'aime particulièrement le pantalon, son look ample au niveau des mollets, c'est de toute beauté. Merci beaucoup pour ces idées.

    ***(Maintenant je me demande si mon commentaire va paraître, car j'avais laissé un long commentaire la dernière fois, puis il n'apparait pas .... je n'ose pas traduire en anglais, si non je risque de tout perdre .... )

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  6. What a wonderful tutorial! Great work, April, as always! I love the jacket with puffs. My number one here.

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  7. Wow these are amazing! I always want to give your tutorials a try :D

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