Clowning Around: Part One: The Dress Pattern

How exciting, my 3-year-old daughter is going to be on a carnival float with her dance troop. They want all the little kiddies in circus themed outfits so I’ve decided to make her a pretty little clown outfit based on this quick sketch:

To post the entire tutorial on one go would prove to be too lengthy so I’ll separate it into parts. This is part one:

Making the Pattern:

I stood her on a chair and asked her to hold her arms parallel to the floor while I did a few quick measurements. (She’s tall like her Dad so she measures larger than the standard length for a 3-year-old).

I measured down her back and front, around her waist and what drop of the skirt I’d like from her waist downwards making notes of these measurements as I went along.

The Fiber Gypsy has a great little online chart with standard children’s measurements here which you may find useful.

Then I quickly sketched out the basic shape of each of the dress panels like this:

The aim is a 1950’s style fitted dress with a poofy skirt and sleeves – it’ll be the fabrics and embellishments I choose that make it “clowny”.

Then I sellotaped pieces of A4 paper together and began measuring out my pattern (course if you have paper larger than A4 sellotape wouldn’t be necessary)

There is no allowance for hems on the patterns I have made here so when cutting out fabric I shall allow around 1/4 – 1/2″ all around for my hemlines. If you prefer your pattern to include hem allowance you’ll have to consider this when drawing them out.

If you prefer, dressmakers tracing, pattern and carbon paper is available to buy at most good haberdashery shops. Personally I don’t see the need for such a simple project but for more complicated projects paper like this would be very handy indeed.

This is probably the most basic pattern in the history of all mankind but I really don’t see the point of over complicating things if there’s no need.

Boring Measurements Info:

This is all based on exactly what you see above – measured for my daughter and will of course be subject to your own adjustments, hopefully these measurements should give you a general idea of where to go.

Front Panel:

  • Across Waist: 5.5″
  • Down Chest: 6″
  • Skirt Drop: 10″

(The angle of the skirt was drawn by sight to give a rough taper)

You will need to cut out one of these pieces.

Side Panels:

  • Armhole Depth: 5″
  • Across waist: 3″
  • Down Sides: 6″
  • Skirt Drop: 10″

(The curve of the armhole was drawn by hand)

You will need to cut out 4 of these – 2 on one side and a further two using the pattern reversed.

Breast Panel:

  • 1.75″ Wide
  • 7.5″ Long at Longest Point
  • 6.5″ Long at Shortest Point

(The curve at either side was drawn by hand and the piece folded in half when cutting out for symmetry.)

You need to cut out one of these pieces.

Back Panel:

  • Across Waist: 5.5″
  • Down Back: 9″ (with a slight curve drawn towards the middle of the back)
  • Skirt Drop: 10″

You will need to cut out one of these pieces.

Sleeves:

Use the side panel pattern piece to draw the curve of the sleeve sides, cut straight along the bottom and a domed curve across the top

  • Across the Bottom: 11″
  • Width (from widest part): 7 1/4″

———————————————————————————

Now I have my pattern cut and ready I’m off to buy some fabric!

———————————————————————————

Clowning Around: Part One: The Pattern

Clowning Around: Part Two: Making The Dress

Clowning Around: Part Three: The Underskirt

Clowning Around: Part Four: Knitted Leg-Warmers

Clowning Around: Part Five: Knitted Armbands

Clowning Around: Part Six: Bow Tie

Clowning Around: Part Seven: Hair Ribbons

Clowning Around: Part Eight: Baton with Swirly Ribbons

Clowning Around: Part Nine: Full Materials Needed Breakdown

Clowning Around: Part Ten: Final Full Outfit Images

Clowning Around: Part Eleven: The Carnival Parade Goes Live!

(Please Note: This tutorial is presently still a work in progress and not all of the parts are available yet, please either bookmark the homepage or follow us through Networked Blogs, the WordPress RSS Feed, hit the email subscription box on the right column, or add us on Facebook or Twitter for regular updates. Thank You.)

———————————————————————————

Crafts for Kids: Crafty Cards

Why not introduce your kids to the art of card craft early with this cheap and alternative way of creating really special and unique cards for your family and friends for birthdays, christmas, weddings etc…

The school year is almost over so today my daughter and I made this Thank You card for her teacher.

What You Need:

  • Gluestick
  • Scissors
  • Coloured Card
  • Coloured Paper
  • Envelope
  • Cut-Outs from Greetings Cards (See below for details)

Optional:

  • Sequins
  • Ribbons
  • Beads
  • Tissue paper
  • Felt Tip Pens
  • Whatever you like!

Every time we have an event that means we get lots of cards in our house when we are finished with them instead of throwing them away or putting them in a sentimental keepsake box and forget about them we cut out pieces from them. Text that reads “Happy Birthday” for example, pictures of butterflies, flowers, boarders etc etc etc (from the inside and the back of the card too!) All these pieces go into a special box and when it’s someones birthday or whatever we can have a good rummage through and decide which pieces to use to make a card ourselves. (We also use these as gift tags on presents – it’s something my Mother and I used to do when I was a child and I still enjoy deciding which part of the card would make the nicest cut out as much as I did then.)

Card craft supplies kind of have the same kind of thing only you have to fork out your hard-earned for these pieces – and although they look much more professional our method is not only free but recycled and when people know your kids have helped make the cards they are generally much more forgiving.

How to Build Your Card:

Firstly measure the envelope that you are using and ensure your folded piece of card is just a little bit smaller than this.

Use a piece of card cut to size and fold in half – we used card that is coloured on one side and white on the inside.

Using a piece of coloured paper, we cut another piece to fold in half that is even smaller than the card itself to add as the insert. (This is where you will write your greeting message.)

Once glued in place we added a message to the inside just like a bought card would have from our card cut outs box.

The front of the card is really up to you, use the pieces of card cut outs (see how we used a piece of pink spotty card as a background and added pieces on top of that). Embellish the card as you like, just make sure it’s not too bulky that it won’t fit into your envelope.

——————————————————————–

We’d love to see your card creations, send your photos to us and we will include them in our gallery. You can email your pictures to us at

lilypchic@hotmail.co.uk

or add the Lily P Chic Facebook profile to your friends list, post your pictures and send us a note.

——————————————————————–

Twinkle Twinkle Little Star

Fabric Envelopes

Clear Out Time

Twinkle Twinkle Little Star

One of my daughter’s favourite nursery rhymes is Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, so today I thought it would be nice to make this cute little star mobile / hanger type thingy. We hung it up at her window at bedtime.

What You Need:

  • Paper
  • Felt Tip Pens
  • Laminator (Optional)
  • Hole Punch
  • String
  • Beads
  • Scissors
  • Pipe Cleaner

Get your children to colour pieces of A4 paper with abstract designs (both sides), or alternatively you can print off the patterned pages below and get them to colour those in (click on the small image to open a printable version in a new window).

Once the pages are coloured in, lay on cut out star templates, draw around them and cut them out. You will need one big star and several smaller ones of varying sizes and styles. Click on the pictures below to open a printable version of the star templates in a new window.

Once you have your stars all cut out laminate them if you have access to a laminator (if not, just skip this part).

In the large star punch a hole at each point and for the smaller stars punch a hole in one of the points.

Build up your mobile with the large star at the top piece – use the pipe cleaner to form a hanging hook and attach the smaller stars to the larger one with string alternating with beads for a really pretty and unique piece.

I used gold string and metallic beads for a glitzy effect but you can embellish with sequins or introduce the element of sound with small bells that can be picked up from most haberdasher shops.

——————————————————————–

We’d love to see your own star mobile hangers, send your photos to us and we will include them in our gallery. You can email your pictures to us at

lilypchic@hotmail.co.uk

or add the Lily P Chic Facebook profile to your friends list, post your pictures and send us a note.

——————————————————————–

Flying Fish

Ladybugs

Love Heart Pendent

Egg and Dairy Free Chocolate Cupcakes!

My eldest daughter is allergic to dairy and eggs, even the smallest amount can result in a nasty facial eczema which can be rather upsetting for her.

You can only imagine then how utterly delighted she was when I came up with this recipe through a fair amount of trial and error for totally egg and dairy free chocolate cupcakes (with butter-style frosting none the less!). My friends have told me that if I hadn’t said they would have been none the wiser.

So, to make a start on the latest section to the Lily P Chic blog ~ “Recipes” here’s my:

Egg-less, Milk-less and Butter-less Chocolate Cupcakes.

What You Need:

Ingredients (for around 12 cupcakes):

(For the cakes)

  • 1 and a half cups of Self Raising Flour
  • 1/3 cup Cocoa Powder
  • 1 tsp Bicarbonate of Soda
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 1/2 Cup Vegetable or Sunflower oil
  • 1 cup Cold Water
  • 2 tsp vanilla Extract
  • 2 tsp Vinegar

(For the frosting)

  • 1/3 cup Dairy Free Margarine
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 3 and a half Cups Icing Sugar
  • 3 to 4 tbsp Soya Milk
  • Food Colouring
  • Sprinkles / Silver Balls / Decorative Items etc

Equipment:

  • Paper Cupcake Cases
  • Mixing Bowls
  • Whisk (Hand or Electric)
  • Measuring Cups & Spoons
  • Bun Oven Tray
  • Cooling Rack

Method:

Pre-heat your oven to 375 degrees (gas mark 5)

Sieve all the dry ingredients for the cakes into a bowl

Mix gently and then create a well in the middle where you can add your wet ingredients (leave out the vinegar at this stage)

Mix everything together until smooth and silky. Add the vinegar and stir through until mixed evenly.

Spoon out equal parts into bun cases and pop in the oven for 25 – 30 minutes.

Allow your cakes to completely cool on a wire rack before topping with frosting.

To Make the Frosting:

Cream the dairy free marg, sugar, salt and vanilla until light and fluffy. Add the soya milk to achieve a smooth consistency. Separate the mixture into a bowl for each colour you intend to make, add a few drops of food colouring to each batch and mix well.

Spread a decent spoonful of frosting onto each cupcake and let your children decorate.

My baby girls first birthday cupcake cake!

A batch I took to the Mother and Baby group on my daughter’s first birthday to celebrate. the kids loved them (and the Mum’s did too).

Later today I’ll be using this recipe to make a large cake for my Mum’s birthday – Once it’s finished I’ll add some pictures.

——————————————————————–

We’d love to see your own cakes, send your photos to us and we will include them in our gallery. You can email your pictures to us at

lilypchic@hotmail.co.uk

or add the Lily P Chic Facebook profile to your friends list, post your pictures and send us a note.

——————————————————————–

Flying Fish

Make Your Own: Towel Cake

Fairy Toadstools

We’re having an Alice in Wonderland themed tea party!

Here’s the first of several crafty bits and bobs we’ve been working on to create the perfect setting.

Fairy Toadstools…

These are really basic but for our purposes, but have proven to be really effective and when you’re not so super focused on perfection the kids can get stuck in and really feel they have contributed to the finished pieces.

What You Need:

  • A selection of plastic bowls of different sizes
  • Measuring spoon
  • Spatula
  • Plain Flour
  • Cold Water
  • Table Salt
  • Strong Card
  • Newspaper
  • Scissors
  • Tape
  • White Paper
  • Poster Paints
  • Glue Stick

1) Measure out the flour and water in equal parts, add a good sprinkle of salt and stir well. (Check the consistency, it should resemble wallpaper paste. You can add more flour or water until you have achieved this.) Put to one side.

2) Create your toadstool “stalks” by rolling card into tubes and securing with tape. Your display will work best if these are each slightly different in width and height.

Messy Warning!

3) Coat strips of newspaper in the glue mix and layer over the bowls and tubes with this paper mache mix until they are entirely covered. Smoothing down as you go.

4) Finish off with a layer or two of white paper so that when you come to paint them you won’t have any ugly newspaper print showing through.

It’s best to leave these for several hours to dry – we waited 24 hours before painting them.

5) Once FULLY dried, gently remove the bowls from the inside by bending them away from the paper mache. You’ll be left with some relatively sturdy paper mache bowls which can then be painted.

(In our case, the bowls were too sturdy to get out without tearing the paper mache so we opted to leave them in there and bought some more from the supermarket on our next visit. In retrospect we could have used balloons and popped them once the paper mache had dried and then cut to the desired shape.)

6) Paint your paper mache domes red, we went for two coats.

7) Once the paint has fully dried, glue on white circles for spots and pop a dome onto of each stalk.

8) Use as a whimsical table centrepiece or a decorate piece in your magical fairy woodland.

Suggestion: Paint a zig zag cut piece of card green to create strips of “grass” to accompany your toadstools.

Suggestion: If you have the time and inclination a much more profession piece can be formed using chicken wire as a mould rather than card and bowls. You would also be able to create a toadstool in a single piece this way too.

——————————————————————–

We’d love to see your own toadstools, send photos of your finished pieces to us and we will include them in our gallery. You can email your pictures to us at

lilypchic@hotmail.co.uk

or add the Lily P Chic Facebook profile to your friends list, post your pictures and send us a note.

——————————————————————–

Flying Fish!

Versatile and fun fish to help your child with number recognition.

What You Need:

  • Colourful Card
  • Pencil
  • Felt Tip Pens
  • Scissors
  • Hole Punch

Optional:

  • Paperclips
  • Small Magnet
  • Laminator

Create your own fish template to draw around or use the ones below (click on each image to open a new printable version)

Cut out 10 fish, using the felt tip pens write numbers 1 to 10 on them. Include the corresponding amount of spots if you like.

Get your kids to colour them in.

Suggestion: Sequins and other such bits and pieces glued on would look great on these aswell.

If you have a laminator to make the fish more durable you could laminate them – it also creates a nice shiny finish. It’s not necessary if you cannot get hold of one however.

Punch a hole in the top of each fish.

Once the fish are made you can attach a paper clip to each one and using a small magnet tied to a piece of string play number fishing games.

You can use the fish in conjunction with rhymes to help your child with number recognition:

One, Two, Three, Four, Five,
Once I  caught a fish alive.
Six, Seven, Eight, Nine, Ten,
Then I threw it back again.
Why did you let it go?
Because it bit my finger so.
Which finger did it bite?
This little finger on my right!

For my daughter’s bedroom, I strung the fish together to create this fun and lively fishy bunting.

——————————————————————–

We’d love to see your own fishy creations, send photos of your finished pieces to us and we will include them in our gallery. You can email your pictures to us at

lilypchic@hotmail.co.uk

or add the Lily P Chic Facebook profile to your friends list, post your pictures and send us a note.

——————————————————————–

Clear Out Time!

It’s that time again when I realised dispite being overflowing with clothes, theres nothing in my baby girls draws that seems to fit her. She’s only gone and grown again! So, I have a good sort out and invested in some nice new summer clothes for her first birthday.

Yesterday evening I turned this lovely pile of old clothes…

Into this!

With nothing but a stitch picker and a pair of scissors…

I couldn’t believe how much ‘d salvaged. I have zippers, buttons, elastic, sequins, pockets, buckles, poppers, bias tape, ribbon and all this wonderful fabric which I’m sure I’ll do something interesting with when the fancy takes me.

I have plenty of birthday presents to wrap over the next few days so I may end up using some of it for beautiful and eco-friendly gift wrap:

Recycling is so satisfying…

Crafts for Kids: Handprint Keepsakes

Create quick and simple handprint pictures with your children that become treasured keepsakes.

What you Need:

  • Colourful Paper
  • Poster Paint
  • Paint Brush
  • Sequins
  • Glue Stick
  • Pen and Paper

What to Do:

  1. Pour some poster paint onto a plate or tray, paint the childs hand and get them to make a print on the paper (they have more work to do so you have a perfect excuse to ask them to wash their hands now if you prefer) .
  2. Allow them to decorate the rest of the paper by glueing on sequins.
  3. Write out the poem below onto a seperate piece of paper (or print it out on your PC if you prefer):
  4. Glue the poem onto the finished piece and once it’s fully dried it’s fridge worthy!

This is the hand

You used to hold

When I was only

(Childs age) months / years old.

Suggestion: Laminate the picture or frame it to preserve it and give to grandparents as a gift

——————————————————————–

We’d love to see your own handprint pictures, send photos of your finished pieces to us and we will include them in our gallery. You can email your pictures to us at

lilypchic@hotmail.co.uk

or add the Lily P Chic Facebook profile to your friends list, post your pictures and send us a note.

——————————————————————–

Make Your Own: Hand-Me-Down Quilted Patchwork Blanket / Throw

This simple to make yet gorgeous piece will be so special once it’s finished that it could end up being a family heirloom passed down generations, and even if it doesn’t you will be sure to cherish it for many years to come.


Kids grow so fast don’t they, how many times have you dusted off your daughters pretty party dress or your son’s best shirt for a special occasion only to discover it no longer fits them. Certain items of your children’s clothing inevitably develop sentimental value and it’s often heartbreaking when you have to give them al away.

Instead, why not make this beautiful hand-me-down quilted patchwork blanket and create what is sure to be a truly treasured piece.

What You Will Need:

  • Sewing Machine (or Needle & Thread)
  • Selection of your Child’s Outgrown Clothing
  • Card
  • Tape Measure or Ruler
  • Scissors
  • Toy Stuffing

Please Note: This project is designed to be a “work-in-progress” and is a piece you will often return to as your child grows.

How To Make It:

  • From the card, cut out yourself a square template that you will use to measure out each patch. Around 5″x5″ (12.5cm x 12.5cm) is a good size. Allow an extra 1 – 2 cm along the edges when cutting out the fabric for your hem.

  • Using the template cut out x 2 squares from each item of clothing you have – One square will be the front of the patch and a plainer section for the back. (Be creative when selecting your front patch piece. make use of pockets buttons, patches, lettering, seams, labels etc to make each patch as unique and as interesting as possible.)

  • Pin your pieces together reverse side up, sew around leaving a small 1.5 – 2″ gap along one side to turn out. trim the corners, turn it out – press the patch if needed and fill with a good handful of stuffing. Repeat this until you have a few patches complete.

  • Begin building the quilt by sewing the patches together, sealing the holes you left for turning out as you do so.
  • Keep going until you have used your batch of clothing and come back to the blanket when you have a new batch of grown out clothes.

In no time at all, your blanket will be large enough to use and you can still continue to add to it until it’s reached your desired size.

Suggestion: If the piece you want to use doesn’t yield enough fabric for a patch you can use a plain white cotton for the back instead.

Special Patches

The beauty of this blanket is that each patch tells a story, and fits into the timeline of your childs life, creating a truly unique and special piece:

Baby’s First Outfit

Christmas Outfit

Fist Day at School

Birthday Dress

Outfit from Granny and Grandad

Bib from First Proper Meal

Outfit Took First Steps in

——————————————————————–

We’d love to see the blankets you are working on, send your photos to us and we will include them in our gallery. You can email your pictures to us at

lilypchic@hotmail.co.uk

or add the Lily P Chic Facebook profile to your friends list, post your pictures and send us a note.

——————————————————————–

Next Newer Entries