Thursday, 7 February 2013

Dolls clothes patterns

I've got a parcel of outgrown clothes to post to my sister, but want to include a little present for her children too.  I'm thinking some form of stationery for my 5 year old nephew, which I'll let C choose, a toy that Isobel no longer plays with for the baby nephew, and an outfit for my 2 year old niece's doll.

However.... I don't have any dolls clothes patterns!  Here are a few that I found on the internet:

A whole selection of patterns if you want to buy them.  Minerva Crafts have a huge selection.
Simplicity Sewing Pattern - Doll Clothes Sizes: OS (ONE SIZE)
Sew Essentials also has a large range of Kwik Sew patterns that you can download, but a bit more expensive.
Clothes For 18 Inch Doll Kwik Sew Sewing Pattern No. 3965. One Size.

The best that I've found though, in terms of being both free and incredibly simple - because my niece is only two and I also want to make them quickly - are here on the We Wilsons blog.  

I can't wait to get started (though I've a ton of work for my Scout role to do first!) and will post on here again in the next day or two and show you how I got on.

All pictures here are from the websites I've linked to in the text above them.

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Quick and Easy Craft Ideas for Toddlers - Sticking

I'm sure that I've mentioned this on here before, but it's such a great activity, so easy and yet allowing them to practise so many skills that I'm going to put it on again.
What you need: some paper - preferably allow them to choose their colour; some glue - you can use PVA and a spreader or a glue stick (I like to vary it so that they get practice at both); some scissors - zig-zag ones make a change; old newspapers, catalogues or magazines - our theme for January was "plants" so we had out the plant catalogues.
What to do
Get the children to choose their paper colour and decide which way up it will go.  This is a useful TEACHING POINT - you can introduce the vocabulary of landscape and portrait.

Give them a catalogue and depending on their age and ability or inclination, or whether you are focusing on cutting skills or sticking skills, they either cut out whatever pictures take their fancy, or you do.  
Once they've got a good selection of pictures, encourage them to work out where on the paper they are going to stick them.  This is another TEACHING POINT - you are encouraging them to think through their art work before they launch into it.
Then they get sticking.  Depending on their age and experience you'll have a few different teaching points here too - do they put the glue on the paper or on the picture to stick?  Does the glue go on the back or the front of the picture?  How much glue do they need?  Should the glue go in the middle or around the edge?
It's so much fun and they love the results.

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

What to do with limes

I have five limes sitting in my fruit basket.  They've been there for a couple of weeks and are definitely now past their best.  I needed one for a recipe, but this particular supermarket only sold them in packs of 6.  For some reason we aren't drinking much G&T at the moment, so the limes are just sitting there.  So a quick web-search has revealed the following uses for my limes:

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Get a case of Corona, put a wedge of lime in the top of each bottle and drink.  I'm liking this one, though I'll need to drink a lot of Corona to use up 5 limes!

Squeeze the juice and freeze it to use in future recipes.  Very practical.  I'm liking.
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Slice and freeze, ready for when we are back on the G&T in the future.
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Yoghurt, mint and lime marinade - for any meat.  (from Jamie Oliver's The Naked Chef): 1 pint natural yoghurt, 2 handfuls of chopped fresh mint, zest and juice of two limes, 1tbsp coriander seeds (crushed), salt and pepper and a couple of tbsp olive oil.  Mix together all the ingredients and smear over the meat - leave to marinade.
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Refreshing drink - slice the limes, add a cupful of white sugar.  Mash the limes and sugar until all the sugar has dissolved.  Leave to stand for ten minutes.  Top with 6 cupfuls of water and a cupful of ice and serve in tall glasses.
Coconut Lime Pancakes
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Pancakes with lime and sugar instead of lemon and sugar.

I'm loving these ideas!

Sunday, 3 February 2013

Simple crafting - coats for teddies!

 It all started with the little "Goldilocks and the Three Bears" house that I (cough - Mrs Santa) made for Bug.  Daddy Bear has on a green waistcoat.  Suddenly Bug decided that Teddy - the love of her life - needed to put on the waistcoat, but it wouldn't fit!  I offered to make Teddy his very own waistcoat, and she was delighted to be able to choose the colour.  She also insisted that it needed to have a button.  So Teddy has a red waistcoat.  It wasn't long before C brought me Bunny (I knitted Bunny for him when he was just a bump).  Bunny needed not only a long purple waistcoat, but also a hat.
The method is very easy.  Use felt, it comes in a variety of colours, is very forgiving and doesn't need any hemming.  Use the teddy to design your pattern, fold over the felt when you cut it so that it's the same on both sides.  Cut the shapes you need, and then stitch any joins, using a co-ordinating thread.  Sew on any buttons you want, and use narrow ribbon to make a loop to fasten the button.  It might not look as though it will appear on a catwalk any time soon, but your toddler will love it - and the fact that they can ask for it and it will be complete in just half an hour suits even their impatience!