Are your kid’s stuffed animals and dolls appropriately dressed for the coming cooler seasons?!
Last year, I found my way to a nearby fabric store and discover a 50 yard wall of fleece. Dozens of bright hues and patterns called to me. I had to find a project so that my girls and I had a good excuse to buy some colorful combinations. Last fall, we made a number of DIY no-sew ponchos for the girls that were such a hit, I ended up crafting a few for some neighbor girls. Since then, we’ve had loads of fleece scraps overflowing from my sewing cupboard.
Fleece is an awesome fabric for kids projects. It doesn’t fray and cuts quite easily, so your kids can use scissors that are relatively dull. (My razor sharp sewing sheers could probably lop off a little finger so I’ve always been hesitant to let the kids cut their own fabric.) Fleece is also a bit stretchy allowing it to stretch over heads and be forgiving if arm holes aren’t cut quite right. One of my girls suggested making a fleece poncho for her doll to match her own and so, our fleece fashion house was born.
A number of times since then, we have pulled out the huge bag of scraps to make fleece fashions for our “friends.” We’ve even had full playdates centered around our new favorite DIY project. We ask the other little girls to bring over their favorite dolls and stuffed animals and together, we craft cozy clothes for them.
Ponchos are the simplest. You just need a square of fleece fabric. Fold it in half two times, round out the cut edges and then snip off the folded corner. Open it and you will see a “donut” shaped piece of fabric that will become the poncho. The kids can measure if the hole is big enough and fit it over their animal or doll, cutting to adjust as needed. Fraying the edges is a fun added detail.
Fleece is not expensive so I just let the kids cut and experiment. They have learned so much through practice, trial and error. Cutting strips of fleece and weaving it through small holes in other pieces creates nice detailing or belts. A simple rectangle that is frayed becomes a hula skirt.
To make a wrap shirt or dress, start with a long rectangle. Cut arm holes out just right and left of center, or where you measure arm holes need to be. cut a small hole at the waist just under one of the arm holes. Then, angle the other front side into a long strip that can be threaded through the hole and tied in back with the other piece.
If you aren’t following these written guides, take a look at some of your own clothes with your kids. They can see and imagine the shapes of the fabric that come together to create their clothes. It’s an amazing exercise in spatial thinking and creativity.
There is no right or wrong. Just have fun with it! I would love to see your kid’s DIY Fleece Fashions so please tag me on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram if you try it!