I really wanted to make something for my babies' 1st birthday, and knew I had found the perfect present when I came across this tutorial from Dawn... fabric houses.
The houses, or barns, are made from plywood covered with pellon and fabric. One side wall and roof opens up to reveal a garden and the inside of the barn. They have handles on top of the roof so they are also like little suitcases, ready to carry important things.
These were really tricky at times to make and took a long time to finish. The tutorial says to use plastic for structure but I thought plywood would make them more sturdy... which it did but also made it very difficult at times to sew (there is a rumour that a barn was seen flying across the loungeroom with a crazy lady cursing at her sewing machine with its third broken needle... a rumour I choose to neither confirm or deny!). I used dowel wrapped in pellon to make the handle and handstitched all the detail on the outside of the barn and the garden using felt.
In the gardens there are paths, a flower garden, vegie patches and ponds.
My sister Truj helped me with the self cover buttons as these are something I cannot do no matter how hard I try. I was going to put regular buttons on the barns but I am so glad Truj helped me as I love the way covered buttons look.
So even though my babies are probably a little too young to really enjoy these, I figured they will sometime within the next year and they are something they will have and hopefully love, for a long time. Something their Mum made them for their first birthday.