Many months ago Lil decided that she wanted to have a princess party when she turned 3. I love Lauren Child (Charlie and Lola is big in our house) and bought Lil a copy of The Princess and the Pea on Book Depository a few months ago to put away for her birthday.
The book is absolutely delightful. I couldn't resist making her a toy set to go with it. I left the project until too late though and it didn't turn out exactly how I had pictured it in my head, but is still very cute.
It was all very straight forward until it came to actually making the princess (something I should probably have made first up!) Choosing fabric for the 12 mattresses was just too much fun though - I love sorting through my fabric stash and coming up with different fabric combinations! I used left-over quilt wadding for padding. They are a bit thinner than I would have liked, but still work fine. The problem came when I didn't have the time or creativity to devise a princess pattern myself (I can design clothing patterns, but am hopeless at softies!!). After a bit of googling, I came across this awesome idea and was all set to scan a pic out of the book and print it onto iron on transfer paper, then we started having printer troubles and I was finding it difficult to buy transfer paper for a laser printer.
Two nights before we left for Sydney, I was getting a bit desperate and remembered the Ruby Lou Doll pattern I had seen for sale on Sew Much Ado. It wasn't what I had in mind but she is very cute and Lil loves her!
The problem was, that she was a bit too big for my pre-made mattresses!! I took a bit of length off her body and legs, and she is still a bit tall...lucky for me, 3 year olds don't notice things like that ;)
I made her a little pillow and sewed a little pocket to one of the mattresses to house the "pea" - which ended up being a green marble I stole from one of the kids games!!!
I made the princess a crown by drawing a crown shape, cutting it out of two pieces of felt and sewing together around the edges. Then attached velcro to each end to hold it together and make it easy to take on and off. Cool things about the princess...her body is made of a scrap of fabric left over from my little sister's grade 10 Leavers Dinner dress and her skirt is made from fabric I cut from a ball skirt I wore on New Years Eve 2000! I planned on making Lil a matching skirt for dress ups, but ran out of time, so will do it sometime soon.
Of course the set wouldn't be complete without something to keep it in so I made bigger version of the "Peek-A-Boo" Toy Sack out of some Heather Ross, Princess and the Pea fabric I have been hoarding.
I love the little red shoes peeking through the window :)
Phew - glad it was a success!!! There were a few times during the process that I was ready to chuck it in and head to the shops to buy her a present but I'm glad that I stuck it out and it turned out really cute in the end. Lil loves it. She doesn't get the story properly yet, we haven't had a chance to sit down and play with it and the book is a little "old" for her right now. When she opened the present, one of the first things she asked is, "but where is the king?!!" - hmmm...maybe for Christmas. There is a bit of room left in that toy sack ;)