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Hi I’m Pauline, this blog is where I share all the latest Funky Friends Factory News, Giveaways, Competitions plus LOTS of toy-making tips & tutorials to help you sew the cutest soft toys EVER!

Recycled Denim SEWING COMPETITION winner announced!

May 3, 2021 | Blog, Competitions & Giveaways

It’s time to meet the winner in the fabulously popular Funky Friends Factory Denim Toy Contest, but first here’s another batch of entries to inspire your ongoing denim sewing adventures! And if you haven’t ever sewn with denim – scroll to the end of the post for tips and tricks for sewing toys from recycled denim.


Check out these
GORGEOUS denim toys ~>
and the winner is announced
below too…


Digger Dachshund was the most popular pattern for entries in the denim contest, but that doesn’t mean that any two were similar! Check out this pair… Ange Angela made her “Toy Story” themed Digger Dachshund with a leash fashioned from the side seam of a pair of jeans. This toy’s name, fittingly, is “Levi” 😂.

Digger sewn in denim by angeangela


And this next Digger Dachshund Pattern by Susan Weimer is totally unique. His name is “Wrangler” and he’s TINY! He can fit in the palm of your hand. I’ll let Susan share the rest of his details:

Dachshund pattern sewn in denim by Susanweimer

Click HERE to purchase the Dachshund pattern.


The Melody Memory Bear pattern was another really popular pattern for the denim contest. I like Angie Robertson‘s idea of using denim for the accent fabric and a shirt for the body. Plus, there’s a cute label from the jeans on the back of the bear.

memory bear sewn in demnim - angierobertson

Click HERE to buy the Melody Memory Bear pattern.

Memory Bear Sewing Pattern


Olaf En Mireille Leurs made a family Keepsake using the Gregory Gorilla Pattern and two pairs of jeans. Read her fun description!

Gorilla Pattern sewn by Olaf

Click HERE to purchase the Gorilla pattern.

Gorilla Sewing Pattern


Denim makes great dog toys, as you can tell from the enlarged Plattie Platypus present Anel Carlson made for her daughter’s new puppy. So cute! I hope that platypus provides years of service. 😊

Denim dog toy sewn by Anel CArlson

Click HERE to purchase the Platypus pattern.


Here’s a pup of a different sort. Emma Boulton’s version of Puppy Pete was made from jeans and a shirt. Emma notes that Pete has a working back pocket to hold his puppy snacks.

denim dog toy sewn by Emma boulton

Click HERE to purchase the Puppy Dog pattern.


Sarah Kilshaw is a long-time denim toy fan, as you can see from this big stack of fun toys. And she sews them BY HAND! Those are some strong fingers she has! How many Funky Friends Patterns do you spot here?

Denim toys sewn by Sarahkilshaw


And the WINNER is…?

Yeeeehar!!!!! The random number generator has spoken, and the winner of a Funky Friends Factory gift certificate is…

Karen Cronje

Karen used the Calico Signature Bear pattern for her entry. She used a pair of jeans for the main fabric and some felt and cotton accents for highlights. 

memory bear pattern sewn by KarenCronje 


You win a Funky Friends Factory Pattern GIFT VOUCHER valued at $50!

Gift-Voucher-50 dollars


The competition may be over, but you may be keen to up-cycle some denim to make a homemade, re-cycled toy yourself? 

Here are some TIPS for sewing with DENIM fabric:


Tips for sewing with denim
The adorable version of Trixie Triceratops above
was sewn by Sarah Kilshaw!!!


If you have never sewn with denim, there are a few things to keep in mind in order to prevent damage to your sewing machine…

⚠️ First up, make sure to use a sewing machine needle that’s specifically labeled for Jeans or Denim.  Here are a few examples.


Denim needles



⚠️ Next, if this is your first time sewing with denim, you need to watch out for BULKY SEAMS. The best approach would be to avoid tracing your pattern pieces over any bulky seam lines at all. To do this – lay the denim flat and only use the parts that don’t have seams.

⚠️ For the more ADVENTUROUS – if you like the look of the denim seams (and other features like studs, pockets etc) and want to try INCLUDING them into the toy, there are some easy ways to avoid problems. Sewing over a bulky seam too quickly or with the wrong needle can jam up or even break your machine, so I recommend hand cranking your machine over any seams….


Alternatively, you can buy an inexpensive “seam jumper” tool like the one pictured below. It will help your machine sew through the bulk.


Don’t forget to check out the 3 previous blog posts on this topic for more fun pics of denim toys! 

Have fun sewing some homemade denim toys!

Pauline McArthur
Till next time,



  1. Michele L Walser

    What a wonderful denim toy contest, Pauline McArthur! Thank you for your generosity!
    Thank you, too, for your sewing denim tips. You are amazing and your patterns bring so much joy to everyone who see them!

    • Pauline

      Aw thanks Michele, I wish everyone could be a winner!!!! 😀

      • Lorna

        Congratulations Karen! Very well deserved 🎉😊

    • Kathy Cuthbertson

      I love sewing denim toys and I really enjoyed seeing everyone’s fun makes for the competition. You are all winners for joining in and seeing how adorable a denim toy can be . Congratulations Karen on winning!!!

    • Valerie J Garrison

      Congratulations to all those who entered this contest! They are all winners to me because they sewed and submitted an entry for it. Such cute creations!

  2. Angie Robertson

    Hi, the melody bear is my finished item, so either someone has stolen my picture or it’s a simple mistake on the name

    • PatternFan ClubAdmin

      Hi Angie,
      Sorry about that! Looks like it was a copy/paste error as the image title name was correct. It’s fixed now!

    • Pattern Fan Club Admin

      So sorry about that, Angie. Looks like it was a copy/paste error. It’s fixed now!

      • Angie

        Aw no problem, just wondered if someone had been using my pics for whatever reason, loved the competition and loved seeing how denim had been used. Can’t wait to see the new design/s

  3. Emma Boulton

    I was inspired by all the great entries . It was the first time I had used denim for a toy . I now want to put denim pockets on everything. Who doesn’t like having a pocket , I think they are a must have for everyone

  4. Gail Anderson

    Well done to Karen. Your bear is beautiful. 🥰

  5. Jean

    Well done to Michelle and congratulations. I love Pauline’s toy pattens. And your interpretation is beautiful.
    Carry on Sewing
    Best wishes Jean

    • Pauline

      Thanks for your lovely comments Jean!!!! 😀

  6. Christa Doman

    Ah this is such a great blog for grannies like me.

    Well done!!

    • Pauline

      And for non-grannies, like me too! LOL

  7. Dayna

    I didn’t get the chance to make something for the denim contest but I still enjoyed seeing all the cute entries. Thanks to everyone. They were all cute.

  8. Lorilyn W

    Congratulations to Karen C. Your little bear is precious! And to all who braved entering the denim contest….every one of these toys turned out creative and wonderful!

  9. Sharen Gibbons

    Congrates to you Karen C it sure looks nice

  10. Linda MacDonald

    Congratulations to all the winners 🏆

    • Pauline

      Thanks Linda!!!

  11. Karen Cronje

    Oh my goodness!! Thank you Pauline! I am over the moon and so, so happy and grateful to have won this competition. Thank you for your great patterns and generosity with all the competitions and free patterns you make available to us. I can not wait to use my voucher to add more FFF-friends to my FFF-family. To all my fellow FFF-Pattern Fan Club members – thank you for your kind comments – you are all winners in your own right, and all the entries were just super cute and beautiful!!
    Happy sewing everyone!

  12. Karen Cronje

    Oh my goodness!! Thank you Pauline! I am just over the moon, so, so happy and so grateful for winning this competition. Thank you for your great patterns and generosity with all the competitions and free patterns you make available for us. I can not wait to use my voucher to add more FFF-patterns to my FFF-family. To all my fellow FFF Pattern Fan Club members – Thank you for your kind comments. You are all winners in your own right and all the entries were super cute and beautiful! Happy sewing everyone!

    • Pauline

      YAY! So lovely when someone wins who is a super – fan!!!! 😀


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