Thanks to Kelli Stewart for this great guest post on a creative way to may tights for a worn out doll. She is amazingly creative and works wonders with a sewing machine. Finally a use for those odd socks that mysteriously lose their partner in the wash!
Caring for the ones you love
My Daughter Emily has a baby doll that she says is her sister that she named after herself. The doll is much loved and was starting to show how loved she was. Embarrassed of how ratty she was looking, I would tell Emily that her doll would have to stay in the car instead of coming with us, “so she wouldn’t get lost when we were out”. But nothing gets past her.
A sales clerk asked my Emily the typical questions you ask a three year old. “What’s your name, sweety? How old are you? Do you have any brothers or sisters?” Emily answered them all.
“Yes, I have a big brother named Nathan and a little sister named Emily.”
Puzzled, the clerk asks, “Emily? isn’t your name Emily?”
Quick as a whip, Emily replies, “Yes, it is. Her name is Emily too. She’s one. But Mom thinks she’s too dirty looking to take out, so we left her in the car.”
Horrified, the sales lady shot me a look.
“It’s a doll!” I mouthed. With no uncertainty, I realized I was indeed a neglectful parent to Emily, my doll daughter. She needed a going out outfit ASAP. I sewed her a dress and made the real Emily shorts to match her sister.
My Emily is five now, and still loves Emily Rose (the Rose addition came later after many confusing conversations!). Emily Rose is looking pretty good for a favourite toy, but I thought it’s time to sew her some tights to keep the fabric part of her body from wearing out sooner rather than later.
One bobby sock later, Emily Rose has Pantyhose!
Iron a crease in the sock so you have a 1/2 way guideline.
Turn the sock inside out.
Put the heal of the sock where the bum is.
Pinch where you want the crotch (I made Emily Rose’s lower so it was at the top of her legs… the bean bag stuffing isn’t what it used to be, and this hides it a bit). Mark it with a dot.
Flatten out the sock as shown.
Draw equal sized legs.
Make a curve part at the toe line. The toe of the sock will become the toe of the dolls socks.
Sew with a stretch stitch.
Cut close to the stitch.
Sew again with a zigzag stitch over the cut edge to keep it together.
I want to thank Kelli Stewart for another great post. Being a kindergarten teacher, this one really strikes a chord with me. When parents ask me how best to prepare their kids for school my first answer is talk to them. Give your children plenty of time to play with real toys (not devices), use their imagination, explore and problem solve through everyday experiences and their own play. Take time to talk about their discoveries and the world around them. Don’t solve their problems for them. Let them figure out the challenges they face during play (eg Why won’t this tower stand-up?). Language skills are the foundation of learning and being comfortable with language concepts is the first step in developing literacy and numeracy skills. Finally, never speak “ill” of math. So many parents will say things like “I wasn’t good at math either. He/she is just like me.” Please don’t plant the seed of doubt or fear of math in your child before they ever start. Math is actually based on patterns and relationships between numbers. It is a system that really makes sense when you get it, but can feel like learning a foreign language when you don’t. Set your child up for success by speaking positively and making math a part of their world. Great work, Kelli!
What a fun and easy way to help your kid learn math? I suggest getting the help of a bucket full of leaping amphibians.
Emily’s Favourite Math Teacher
Froghoppers from VikingToys is a fun game where you press the back of a frog to make it jump into a bucket. It is a lot of fun for the whole family for under ten bucks. I love it for that alone, but I have to say, that it has made teaching math words way more exciting!
Left Out of the Conversation
When my son was in preschool, we went to our first parent teacher interview. When we asked if there was anything we should be working on with him, she said that he could improve in his math skills. Aside from practicing counting, she said that one way we could help him advance was to be really mindful of using conversational math to describe the world around him.
“I’m sure you do this already… You know, counting stairs, dividing objects into equal groups, talking about adding or subtracting two more fruit in your basket as you’re shopping, that sort of thing. Even playing dice games.” she said confidently. That was the moment I realized I do not describe my world in mathematical terms EVER. Nathan and I would climb stairs to the beat of a song. We split things so they were fair. Fruit quantities were described more like this: a banana, a couple of bananas, a bunch of bananas. And could we play a math game? Sorry, no dice. To be honest, we had more Megatheriums come up more in conversation than Math.
With Emily, I knew I had to make a conscious effort from the beginning to talk math. Knowing myself, I knew that wasn’t going to happen naturally. That’s when the frogs came in.
Our favourite frog game
With the help of dice (we steal the dice from another great math game: Double Shudder!), we roll a couple times to find out how many frogs to add to the frog family (adding) and then roll again to see how many are leaving (subtracting). Smiles and subtraction seem to go hand in hand. As we “Minus one, two three…”, the frogs go flying! I’m not too worried about Emily actually learning her addition and subtraction, but it is a great way to introduce the words “plus” and “minus” while having some fun.
We even cut out lily pads and divide the frogs into equal groups. Emily is super social, so she is very content to put the frogs into groups (her ideal). The frogs are also great for counting, making patterns, sorting into colour groups, and are exceptionally good for launching across the living room!
Who would think that a frog would be such a good teacher?
Thanks so much to my dedicated followers. I am finally starting to feel better and am hoping to be getting back to regular posting very soon. I have been suffering from post concussion symptoms since my fall over a week ago and unfortunately, despite feeling much better, screen time and reading still seem to trigger symptoms. I am struggling to be patient, but know that rushing it only sets the recovery back. I am so thankful that Kelli Stewart has once again joined my blog as a guest writer. The little play pants she made her daughter are adorable and what a great way to upcycle her dad’s shirt! Thanks for helping me out Kelli!
Upcycle Men’s Dress Shirt into Play Pants
I used the sleeves off my husband’s old dress shirt to make a pair of play pants for my four year old. The best part about it is that half the sewing was done for me!
Cut the sleeves free from the shirt and lay then on top of one another with the sewn edge on the same side.
Measure your kid from the ankle to the waste. Add an inch and a bit to the measurement for the waist band (the width of your elastic and the hem edge).
Use this measurement to measure up from the edge of the cuff of your sleeves and cut the sleeves straight across.
Use a comfortable pair of your kids pants to make a pattern for the crotch cut, leaving a bit of room for the seam. Copy the crotch cut from the backside (the bum), so there’s room for your little one’s derrière. Normally, the front and back are different, so the pants are closer fitting. My girl has a bit of a toddler tummy and since they’re just play pants after all, I didn’t worry about making the front and back different!
By the look of things, my girl is enjoying the extra room in the crotch! Try doing that in a pair of pants from Old Navy!
The crotch should be cut from the side of the sleeve without the seam. Before you cut, make sure you leave extra room at top of the pants for the elastic and the hem. If I am sewing pants, I like to add a little more to the top to make a higher waisted pant to save me time pulling pants up in the future!
With the pants cut, all you have to do now is sew the crotch together, sew the hem for the elastic and thread the elastic in… done! Instant play pants!
The cuffs at the bottom can be worn down as a longer pant or rolled up with the button done up on the outside as flood pants. How cute is that?
Note that the sewn edge of the shirt is on the outside edge of the pants. Sew the crotch and the elastic and you’re done! The legs are already sewn for you!
The cuffs can be rolled up with the button done up on the outside as flood pants.
The cuffs at the bottom can be worn down as a longer pant.
Today marks a first for my blog and I am so excited to introduce my very first Guest Blogger! Kelli Stewart is a great friend and neighbour. Her idea for a DIY covered wagon is simply genius and she offered to share the steps with us. To find out how to make your own covered wagon to protect your little one from the sun…..check out her post!
A little less town, a little more country…
My prairie princess and her new covered wagon.
I made our Town and Country Radio Flyer into a covered wagon for $10! It’s great for keeping the sun off of little passengers and it’s a lot of fun– a play fort on wheels! Detachable covered wagon kits can be anywhere from $70 to $230, so before you hand over a wagon full of money, think about making one yourself!