Jennifer and I are always on the hunt for new projects to occupy our time - usually late into the night after the kids are asleep! A good portion of our inspiration comes from the wealth of books available to the home crafter. One of my favorites is blogger and author Alicia Paulson of Posie Gets Cozy. I've made many of her delightfully charming softies for myself - I mean, my kids - and they currently adorn a prominent shelf in my living room bringing handmade beauty and whimsy to our everyday.
Jennifer recently mentioned that Alicia had a project featured in an adorable book titled Softies: Simple Instructions for 25 Plush Pals. Of course, I was all over it. The project consisted of a simple dress pattern that is meant to be decorated, lightly stuffed, and strung up as a garland. We love our garlands - and our dresses - so this was right up my alley. Fortunately I had all the materials laying around and quickly set to work.
Originally I had planned on adapting the project to be easier for children in the thought that we could offer something similar as part of our workshops. However, once my creative wheels started spinning I just couldn't hold back from going full throttle - hand twisted wire hangers, stuffing & embroidering and all! This would be a fantastic project to do with your children, and is one that would be conducive to both more elaborate craftsmanship as well as simple and sweet children's handiwork. I'd recommend picking up this book for some great inspiration of softies you can make at home with your kids - sewing machine not required, and most are completed with a few very basic hand stitches.
I needed a way to display my dresses and am a big fan of bringing nature into the home in any way possible. I had found this twisty stick on the beach on our recent trip to Cape Cod and lugged it all the way home - much to my husband's bewilderment. I knew it would find its calling! A quick coat of metallic champagne spray paint and it was ready to go. I twisted the hangers out of the recommended 20 gauge wire and made them varying lengths to properly space out the dresses.
Confession: This dress silhouette happened to resemble one of my most favorite children's sewing patterns - and the one that I recently used to make my daughters' flower girl dresses for my brother's wedding. Naturally, I felt compelled to make a matching mini dress for my display, complete with the same hand beading on the matching Peter Pan collar!
For the child friendly option, I simply cut one layer of the dress instead of two and provided a bunch of trimming options for my daughter to choose from while decorating her dress. We didn't hand sew anything, but rather glued, and we were both very pleased with the end result! I ran a quick thread through the top and secured to her wall with some washi tape. Sweet and simple! And those little fairies hanging from the embroidery hoop on the left? One of our projects for our upcoming July 30th Open Craft hours! Hope to see you there!