Saturday 31 January 2015

Making a sewing kit for your pre-schooler

Something that warmed the cockles of my crafty heart this morning was watching the Microbe's intent little face as he fed a huge plastic needle through the pre-punched holes of a little sewing kit that I'd made him. He wasn't very well today and it was a perfect activity for a sick boy on a rainy day.

He had his very first go at sewing at Christmas, courtesy of a Mister Maker hand-puppet kit and it struck me the that 3 1/2 is an ideal age to start gathering together your very first bits and pieces for sewing.

After a quick sift through 8,000 candy-pink kits on the internet, I decided that it would be more fun, and probably cheaper, to put together my own customised sewing kit for him, tailored to his interests.

Behold - the sewing menagerie!

I made these little animal kits just by cutting out shapes from scraps of felt and punching holes around the edges using a leather punch. Luckily I had a little stash of felt at home, but I noticed that Poundland also sells multi-packs of brightly-coloured A5 sized pieces. The stuffing is salvaged from a bit of left over quilt wadding, but you could just as easily use offcuts of yarn as stuffing.

The yarn in his kit is from Poundland. Not the nicest quality acrylic, to be honest, but it's ideal for this purpose and you get 3 balls for £2. I re-wound a selection of colours into tiny balls and have also supplemented it since with a handful of brightly coloured Lion Brand Bonbons. (These are the world's cutest and tiniest sample-size yarn balls, discovered thanks to my highly enabling friend, Charlotte!)

The other thing I've added to his kit, thanks to a great suggestion from a friend, is a few sheets of plastic aida with large holes. You can leave them blank or draw shapes on these using a sharpie, for a child to sew along. At some  point I might add some large-holed buttons too, so he can play with sewing those on. As for needles, you can get sets of children's plastic needles for around £1 on eBay or Amazon.

So far all of our bits and bobs are residing in a little cardboard box - but a lovely friend of ours has bought him this fab little animal-themed sewing box, which looks absolutely perfect!

So - if you know any tiny people that love to craft, I'd definitely recommend spending a happy afternoon putting together a little kit like this. Applique templates online can be a good source of ideas for simple shapes that will work in felt.

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