Playdough

Do your children like to play with playdough? At our home we do not use it so often, but when we take it out to play, the children get very engaged and play with it a lot. At the moment we are using store bought playdough, which we like from time to time, to also use many colors (at least the first day of playing with it). But in between I make batches of homemade playdough. It works pretty well, and our oldest also gets involved in the process of preparation, which she enjoys a lot. We use this recipe here (without the glitter, though I am sure that it will be a nice addition, but we will wait for that until I am sure that the youngest won´t taste it). It is a nice playdough that also lasts a lot, as it is cooked. The last batch we made lasted over three months. We then threw it away, not because it had developed mold or anything of the kind, but it had lost its consistence and was not holding its shape anymore.

Homemade playdough

Homemade playdough

The site where I got the recipe from is great for craft ideas. Some ideas for playing with playdough can be found here.

From this site we also tried the air dry playdough. It has a very nice texture to play with, but the next days we were a bit disappointed with it: only the thinner “scultures” really dry out, but they were breaking very easily. We never came to paint them and it was a pity. Anyway I think we will give it another try at some point.

Enjoy playing with playdough with your children!

Polka dots swing skirt

Probably my favorite garment that I have sewn for Sara so far is this skirt. It is a simple pattern for a lined skirt, but with a lovely cut. I really like it a lot. The pattern is from oliver+s and it is one that I will use for sure many times.

2013.06_FaldaSara_os_Swing1
2013.06_FaldaSara_os_Swing2

The Pattern review:

Pattern Description: Oliver+s swing set skirt: A gathered skirt with elastic casing and drawstring, fully lined

Pattern Sizing: Size 4T for a four-year old.

Did it look like the original photo/drawing once sewed?: Yeah

Were the instructions easy to follow?: Yes, they are very clear.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?: I like the cut and the fit.

Did you learn anything new from this sewing project?: Well, it has been the first lined skirt I have sewn. The way of inserting the elastic was quite clever.

Fabric Used: polka dotted denim

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: None.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?: For sure. I will sew a winter version soon, and surely further versions will come.

2013.06_FaldaSara_os_Swing3
To match the skirt I also made a bow hair tie for her, from the free pattern of oliver+s:
2013.05.30_DePaseo14

Upcycled dress

Still posting old sewing projects… This is an everyday dress I made from an old shirt of my husband. I was inspired by this dress here, which I found very beatiful. So I bought the pattern of Lillesol and tried to modify it accordingly, moving up the box pleat and keeping the dress sleeveless. I like a lot the cut of the dress and its drape. Sara is not very fond of it, so if it still fits next summer I will have to add an applique to spice it up.
UpcycledDress2

Using the button-up front of the shirt at the back is a nice add-on. I do not like so much making buttonholes, so it is a nice advantage of upcycling a shirt.

UpcycledDress1

Name puzzles

Sara is very interested in learning the letters. We do not push her, but when she shows interest we try to keep it. We have made for her a set of name puzzles. For the time being we just made a set with the names of the nearest family members. Each person has a match box with his/her photo on it, and inside there are the letters of the name, which have to be put into the right order to made up the name. We have to extend it to include the names of her friends as she is eager to know how to write them.

2013.03.23_Puzzles_Nombres01

When she was finished with a name she was putting the letters in the right order into the boxes. Very accurately:-)

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Following the Kindergarten theme: American indian blouse

Hi there!

Back from holidays and willing to start a new year (well school year). We will be having some changes over here during this course as I will be looking for a new job, which will probably mean also a change in our family’s schedules. But let us not rush into what is still to come.
Before getting into the new sewing projects for this fall and winter term, I will like to post these coming days some projects that I finished before the summer.

The first is a blouse I made already a couple of months ago, following the theme they had in the kindergarten. Every term after a month or so observing the interests of children, they discuss in a “children assembly” which will be the subject they will cover during the term. The children finally vote and decide on the topic. Last semester the topic was American Indians. In our local fabric shop we saw a fabric with the American Indian theme and it was just calling for us. How perfect it was to fit the theme of the Kindergarten!

We have also learned many things about American Indians at home during these months: about their houses (did you know that the tipi was only used by the Indians living in the Great Plains?), their clothing, religion and moral values …

Here is a map they made in the Kindergarten about the houses:
2013.07.12_Indians

We also got several books covering this topic from our public library. The one we liked most by far was: “Tipi und Tomahawk. Geschichten, Spiel und Spaß für kleine Indianer”. It is in german and I did not find an english version of it. But it is a great book with a lot of facts but including also recipes, children games, etc. We liked it a lot.

And now to the pattern: It is a Burda pattern for a girl’s tunic, appearing in Burda Style 06/2012:
Burda_blouse_062012

And here is the version I made:
2013.05_Burda05-12_shirt
I did not realize that I cut the sleeves upside down until I saw the photos! At least I was consistent with both the sleeves.

So let us move on to the pattern review:

Pattern Description: Girl’s tunic with long sleeves and a button-up front detail in a front insert with gathers underneath.

Pattern Sizing: I made size 116 cm for a four years old. It fits very well with some room for growing. It has already been in high rotation.

Did it look like the original photo/drawing once sewed?: Pretty much.

Were the instructions easy to follow?: The instructions were not clear. Some parts were really confusing. I tried to follow them exactly and at some points I did not understand how to proceed at all. With the back neck I was very unhappy. I finished it with bias binding as said, but I could not understand how to assemble it to the front in a nice clean way. So I ended having this bulky and horrible seam allowance up to the neck:
IndianTop
It is barely noticeable when she is wearing it, but it is terrible. How was it supposed to be is still a mystery for me, but I would put the bias binding after the back is joined to the front next time.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?: The explanations were very confusing. The construction of the neck was not clear at all, and it would also be useful if they explain better how to join the yoke at the middle point.

Did you learn anything new from this sewing project?: Yes, it was actually my first more complicated project. I learn to gather, to make the small button loops and to put sleeves.

Fabric Used: American Indian theme fabric

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: None.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?: Not completely. I like the design and the fit, but I would not do it again until I feel I can sew it without any directions. So for sure I do not recommend it for beginners.