Ever have a bored young'un meandering about while you're sewing? Ever want to make something with them at those times, to engage their imagination and keep their fngers busy for a bit? Maybe this will work for you! Of course, you can do it any old time, and you'll both love it just as much! Depending upon the age of your child, pick & choose which parts they can help with and which parts you'll have to manage. It's easy to scale.
J and I made this creature-double-feature a few years ago - I think he might have just turned 9 at the time. He was kicking around tumbleweeds in my studio, kvetching about being bored.
Here's what we did:
- I asked him to draw a funny alien creature.
- Once he was done, I gave him big pieces of blank newspaper* that I use for shipping and asked him to draw each part of his creature much, much bigger on the paper.
- I added seam allowances to his drawings, and then he cut them out.
- I traced the pattern pieces onto scrap fabric that he picked out, and we took turns cutting these out. I did the more intricate cutting.
- While I started sewing the body and legs together, I asked him to cut the eyes and teeth out of felt. (Be sure to leave an opening in your pieces for stuffing.)
- I sewed the face pieces into place on one side of the head fabric, then sewed the head pieces together.
- We turned each section rightside out, and I set him loose with the pieces and a bag of stuffing. I also showed him how to use my point turner to get the stuffing into the tiny nooks & crannies. (Then you can get back to your own project for a little bit. "Oh, it's not full yet...keep stuffing.... little bit more.... keep going.")
- Once his creature was stuffed to the gills, I sewed the openings closed and stitched the pieces into place on the body. Some were hand-sewn b/c the stuffed body was hard to work around.
- That's it! Sounds easy enough, yes?
*You could also use posterboard, newspaper or kraft paper to make pattern pieces.
I didn't want this project to take a long time for me or for the attention span of my son, so I opted to shortcut steps by keeping the legs and head roughly stitched from the outside. I also knew the details in his feet or the horns on his head would be lost if I had stitched wrong sides together and turned it rightside out. Honestly, I think it looks more adorable b/c it IS so goofy looking with its odd stitching and piecing. Give it a try!