Wednesday, January 27, 2010

A pram for my boy

So I wrote a big long post wondering why we* are so comfortable giving dolls and prams to girls, but not to boys. But I decided it was too wordy and too long and I was having trouble articulating my thoughts.

So all I will say is that I have been thinking a lot lately about the toys my children play with and how I - and others - influence them with the toys we give them.

All this thinking started with a pram given to my girl for Christmas. When she is not busily pushing Horse here and there, my boy happily pushes Bug around the place. So when my sister offered me another pram, I happily took it for my boy. My girl's pram is pink so I thought I would change this one for my boy (or am I worried what "we" would think about my boy pushing a pink pram..???) so I replaced it with red and blue train fabric. My boy loves trains, as does my girl.

Then clearly on a parenting and sewing high, we went to get some jobs done and the kids took their prams. It was a fun but short trip... and we didn't get the jobs done! But I guess there is plenty of time for jobs.

*we: as in a big general "we". Of course there will be exceptions to the general we. I hope I can be one of them.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

My Little Tulip

My girl is wearing a Tulip Dress, made from Nicole Mallalieu's new pattern. This dress is really sweet, with pleats on the front and back of the skirt, giving the dress its "tulip" shape.

The pattern is really detailed, with lots of techniques not often included in children's clothes. Nikki has done a brilliant job of explaining these techniques, together with step-by-step instructions, sewing tips and a heap of photos and diagrams.

Stay tuned to Nikki's blog for more info on when the 'Tulip Dress' pattern will be available.... it's very soon! And if you'd like to win a copy of her new pattern, Nikki's having a giveaway....

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Homemade Backpacks

I like the idea of the kids having their own bags when we go out. I know this means another two things to count (and another two things to possibly lose!) but I think it will be worth the effort. The plan is that the kids will be empowered to pack and carry their own bags, and be responsible for looking after their own things. That's the plan anyway!

I used the Toddler Backpack pattern from Made by Rae after seeing the pattern and some very cool truck fabric over at Angie's place. I told Angie I loved the trucks and she sent me some. Sweet her... lucky me!

I used denim as the base for the backpacks and laid out a heap of fabrics for the kids to pick one for the front. My boy chose the trucks and my girl chose purple on green 'Pets and Bones', a super cute print from Thea & Sami.

The instructions were easy to follow but they are a lot of work to make. Even though I used a heavy denim and added extra structure to the base, they don't hold their shape very well. I saw that Karen has also made one and is going to add interfacing next time, which would help.

This project challenged my "when to make, when to buy" thinking in terms of time and costs.... especially when my boy let out a very loud squeal of delight at a $5 Thomas the Tank Engine backpack in Coles.... hmmmmmmm!

Edited to add: Karen has used interfacing and template plastic and purse feet to help with the structure of the backpack. Check out her hints here....