Mr Cool was just invited to his first kindergarten friend’s birthday party. And this was just no garden-variety kindy friend. It was his Lady Friend’s party. I was a little bit excited because not only was it a fancy dress party but it was a little girls party. This meant I got two excuses to be creative – to make a costume for Mr Cool and a little girl present.
Initially, Mr Cool wanted to go as a dinosaur (which he already had costumes for) but with his tendency to do a very life-like dino-roar and the images I had flashing through my head of him scaring the wits out of a bunch of 3 and 4 year old girls – I tried to talk him into going as something to go along with the fairies and princesses that the girls would be dressed up as, like an elf or a prince. My attempts were very unsuccessful. That kid will not do ANYTHING that HE hasn’t decided upon which meant I had to try a bit of ‘the power of suggestion’ and put on Disney’s Robin Hood – you know…the one with the foxes. I love it, he loves it and when I suggested that maybe he could go as Robin Hood and quickly added “But we’d probably have to find a bow and arrow”, he jumped at the chance! Phew! Dino-crisis averted.
This is how he looked in his homemade Robin Hood ‘dress’ and his costume shop bought hat (we also got his bow and arrow from the costume shop too). The belt was a cheapy that we made a new hole it to fit him and he refused to wear the shoe covers that I had made.
Onto the present…I asked the Lady Friend what she wanted for her birthday. She said “Barbies and a dollhouse”. I was not keen to get her a Barbie. Don’t get me wrong…I LOVE Barbies. They were my favourite thing to play with when I was young. I had about 25 Barbies, 4 Kens, 2 horses, 2 cars, 1 bus and a mountain of clothes and accessories. Most of which had come from the flea markets that my mother sold at every week. I remember getting boxes of accessories for a dollar. This is probably where my love of thrifting/flea markets and bargains came from. My dad had made me a dollhouse from a box pallet from the warehouse that he was the manager at. It had been contacted and had four ‘rooms’. I loved it! Back on track…so I’m not one of those people who is Anti-Barbie BUT I did buy MaryMary a Barbie for Christmas and she ended getting the exact same one from someone who lives a different country!!! I didn’t want this to happen again and I am aware that some parents really don’t want their little girls to be playing with Barbies…I just thought it was risky for both reasons. So I thought a good compromise would be a travel dollhouse (her parents would no doubt want to buy her a real dollhouse) that could fit Barbie or any other doll in it.
I found a great online tutorial from the UK Lass in US. It turns out I had the same tutorial in a book I own but this online version was much more easy to understand and follow. I had to adjust the size of the pattern a bit because I really want to make sure Barbie would fit in it and started cutting and sewing.
It nearly drove me crazy and we (yes, Jon too) were handstitching velcro on until just before we left for the party.
This is the finished product.
The roof and felt were new materials but the walls of the outside of the house came from a dress that I had thrifted just for the material. I had contemplated putting felt flowers on the house but this was a great timesaving way of making it look like there was a flower garden surrounding the house. The straps are also made from upcycled fabrics. I didn’t realise that I had sewn my button loops on the wrong side, so I had to find buttons that didn’t stand out too much and because the house was a lot taller than the pattern suggested, I found that I needed to add the velcro to the sides to seal it properly which is why we needed to hand sew. I only realised we needed it after I had finished and was trying to close the dollhouse. Jon was trying to tell me it didn’t need it but I didn’t want Barbie falling out.
The green grass material was left over from the Robin Hood material, the back and side walls were from some fat quarters I had in my stash and the inner roof was upcycled (same as the straps). I machine appliqued some felt flowers and a pond on the green to make a cute little garden for the dolls to picnic near…mmm..maybe I’ll need to make her a doll picnic rug to go in there.
I have made multiple notes on where I did some things wrong this time so that when I make another, it’ll be easier on myself and my poor little fingers. NEVER EVER again will I hand sew the rough side of velcro onto anything!
The little Lady and her family seemed to like the present (her Grandmother the most) and after a trip to the shops, Mr Cool fell asleep in the car, stayed asleep on the couch til we moved him to his room (so his little brother would stop touching him), woke up at about 8:30 for two pieces of toast and some milk and promptly went back to bed. Being Robin Hood must be very tiring.