|please note hair and clothing during FB.|
Our home is always a flurry of fake productivity in the form of crafts. In our kitchen roughly a quarter of our pantry space is dedicated to paper, pens, coloring books, googly eyes, glue sticks, markers, crayons (melted and otherwise), foam mosaics, wooden figures, plaster bobbleheads, and the like. Then in the basement – which we recently finished – there is a “guest” room that is roughly the size of two bedrooms and has two closets, a sewing table, two sewing machines, a work table overflowing with computers and files and project ideas, an ironing board, and the remnants and preparations of thousands of craft ideas that I have either cooked up and never finished or tried and abandoned with little to no success. It’s safe to say that any break from school includes a crafternoon, or two,maybe three. It’s also likely that said crafts will be ambitious, messy, overwhelming to the entire house, and somewhat popular with the littles.
Over Fall Break I had my hidden craft surprises and one that I let the children choose. The second half of that statement actually reflects the extent to which I will go when I am bribing my children in a fabric store.
Our surprise crafts were the frosting and chocolate cookie haunted house, the wood bead spooky creatures, and a foam haunted house. These came out of The Halloween Box.
But on a frenzied afternoon at JoAnn’s I happened upon a 99 cent pattern sale that I had to look through. Had to. So, I told the boys to also look through the patterns and find a craft they might like to make during Fall Break. They picked Simplicity 5310, McCall’s 6052, and McCall’s 6481. I did say ambitious, right?
I bought all three patterns but when the rubber hit the road and I actually made the boys cut their own patterns and hunt for their own fabric scraps (in my scrap bag that is daunting) they narrowed their scope of work to McCall’s 6481. This pattern aids in the creation of a zoo of stuffed toys that look an awful lot like Angry Birds, thus the appeal.
The wood bead craft took only an hour. I like crafts to take at least two hours because you spend a half hour preparing and another half hour cleaning up. So, you better get the most out of your Fall Break, right?
But the Angry Birds took all night long. The boys cut their own pattern pieces and selected their own fabric. I had some concerns about Mason’s choices at first. But you know what, he has an artist's eye and it all worked out famously. This pattern is a bit fiddly for a novice sewist. It was hard for my children to do much more than the body pieces and the stuffing. I was left to close the birds and sew details like the eyes. I would recommend making this in fleece or felt. My kids just used what I had which made for some tricky materials to run through the machine.
The two boys attacked the project differently. Cooper's was the most ambitious. He got the cutting done much faster than Mason. Mason took at least an hour deciding what fabric scraps to use and then chatted the entire time he was stuffing the bird. Topic? What to name it.
I don’t understand why this pattern made such small animals. The scale could be bumped up probably 50% and make for a really great pillow or stuffed animal. Were I to make these again, I would absolutely take the pattern to a copy store and ask for an enlargement.
As for my sewing during Fall Break, I prepared for the holiday rush season for Cutie Petutie Originals http://www.cutiepetutieoriginals.com/ and then sewed Vogue 1261, New Look 6977, and two of Simplicity 2911. For reals, that’s a lot of sewing. I’ll be writing about all these patterns and showing pictures of the finished awesomeness on my sewing blog.