Monday 12 October 2015

A Little Girl Gift Idea

It can be really hard to find age-appropriate, yet fun and unique gifts for kids these days, huh!  Well, it was my niece's 11th birthday last week.  She's a keen ballerina, loves her art and is such a beautiful little thing.  Daddy had a great idea about getting her some clothing and letting her decorate it herself with fabric markers because she adores drawing and colouring.  Well, I just loved this idea, especially as it gave me the perfect excuse to pick up some of the Colour Me Fabric designed by Hayley of Welcome to the Mouse House for Michael Miller, which I've been looking for a reason to buy for the longest time.  I follow Hayley on Instagram, and have watched as she's created these fabrics.  I was so excited when I discovered them at a fabric store here in Australia.  In case you're wondering, I picked them up at Craft Depot.
Anyway, what to make!?!

I pretty quickly decided I'd make the birthday girl a basic elastic-waisted skirt, just because it would be fun to colour and wear her creation. I chose the paisley design for that.  I loved the idea that she could choose certain parts to colour, or she could colour the whole thing, or she could do it bit by bit with the skirt evolving with every wear.  
I also found this ballerina design which I thought would be lovely for her, but maybe a little too young for her to wear, being a tween and all.  So, in the end I grabbed a metre of the ballerina, and a metre of the paisley designs, and off I went.
After some thought, I decided that I'd make a cushion cover from the ballerina fabric for the birthday girl to decorate and use in her room.  I'm so glad I did, because she  loved this pillow and snuggled right into it.  And as we were having a family lunch to celebrate the birthday girl over the weekend, I thought it might be fun for the girls to all do some colouring after lunch together.  And it was perfect. From the 1 metre of paisley fabric, I managed to squeeze out a skirt for the birthday girl, and one for Bethany.  Then I divided the metre of ballerina fabric into a little skirt for Hannah and a 50"square cushion cover. I forgot to get a pic of the cushion, but it was a basic square with a zip in one side to allow the insert to be put in and out for washing.

For the skirts, I simply used the fabric width, cut to the right length and added a couple of inches for hemming and waist-band.  I sewed the side-seam and hem, then folded the top down 1/4", then another 1" and sewed around to create an elastic casing (leaving a 1" gap to insert the elastic).  I threaded the 3/4" elastic through, sewed the gap shut, and done!!  These skirts literally take about 15 minutes from start to finish.
All that was left was to grab a cushion insert and some fabric pens.  I found both of these at Ikea.  The cushion insert was the perfect fit, and was only $5, and the fabric pens were great for just over $5.  It's worth shopping around for the fabric pens, as the ones I initially found in a craft shop were $16.  What a big difference, huh!
So, the birthday girl loved her gift, and all 3 girls enjoyed some craft time together, which is always a good thing.  The two bigger girls spent time comparing colour choices and helping each other decide which parts to colour, and Hannah had a ball being included with the big girls, and getting some extra help from the adults around too.  Oh, and just a tip ... we slid a piece of cardboard between the front and back of the skirt to stop the pens from seeping through and marking the other side of the skirt.
Daddy took some great shots of the girls hard at work...
Here's the birthday-girl's artwork so far!
And here's Bethany.  She's such a perfectionist with her colouring!
Oh, and little Hannah looked so cute concentrating hard on colouring a ballerina's hair blue!
And here's where they were up to by the end of the day ... Hannah had some help from her doting great-aunts.  I think adults can have just as much fun with this as kids!
So, I think this is a keeper of a gift idea for a little girl.  And I think it's the perfect excuse to stock up on some of the Colour Me fabrics for my stash ... you know, just in case a quick little girl gift is needed any time!