Wednesday, 6 November 2013

In homage to the Molly Chicken blog


Firstly, thank you so much for all your entries to the Hoop-la giveaway! Jule was the winner, as determined by my jabbing finger as I scrolled the computer screen up and down (it's a highly technical procedure). I've just visited Jule's blog, to see where the hoop will end up and was delighted to discover evidence of some insanely wonderful piglet baking (no actual pigs involved) - I think I may make my husband a birthday cake in January just like this one! Serendipitously, in a freak matching-blog-post-whirlwind, my post for today contains a fabric pig-in-mud. If ever there was a hoop winner that was meant to be, it is this one! Jule, please get in touch with your mailing address and I'll pass it on to Kirsty, so that she can send the chalkboard hoop out to you.

Unfortunately, due to being out-foxed by a series of frustrating practicalities, half-term fun only really started for us when the week was nearly over, on Friday. However, luckily my son had an inset day on Monday, so we were able to make up for some of that. He initially asked to spend the day baking, but when faced with a request from his parents' already-bulging cheeks that it be savoury, not sweet, he went off the idea and refused to succumb to requests to make us stilton and broccoli cornish pasties, no matter how much we pleaded with him. Instead, we settled upon some sewing and he came up with the idea of making a crocodile version of the mice that I'd first started making for him six years ago, around the time when he first started school. The original Mousey-in-a-bed pattern was created by the, now defunct, Molly Chicken blog and you can find it here. Molly Chicken was one of the first blogs that I read regularly and it still feels such a shame that it's no longer tended to. Whenever I use this pattern I always wonder what the author of Molly Chicken, Lyn, is up to now.

I've returned to the Molly Chicken Mousey-in-a-Bed pattern regularly over the last six years, as it's incredibly quick and easy to make (I love felt for that) and can be changed to suit a child's own tastes. I once created a Pig-in-a-Bed-of-Mud based on it, and another time, a Ladybird-Wrapped-in-a-Leaf, so I was more than happy to have a go at making a Crocodile-in-a-Swamp-Bed with my son.



He was so pleased with how this turned out. We spent a long time referring to books to try and get his shape right and my son eventually suggested sewing down the ears to make them into eye-covers instead, which worked brilliantly and makes it look much more crocodiley.


He used a mixture of machine and hand-sewing. And I was excited to see that the alphabet on my machine, which I've always shunned, actually turned out beautifully when used on felt.


My son is slightly bored by the prospect of a straight stitch (and a mother insisting that it's really all that's needed) when faced with a chart of over 100 more interesting potential stitches, so he came up with the idea of sewing down the layers of wavy felt he'd cut using a similarly wavy stitch.



My son's room is invariably an absolute mess, but he does often create 'displays' of things within the chaos. This is what greeted me when I went into his room later in the day. The mice have mostly lost their beds down the back of the radiator, but it's nice that he still has so many of them.

If you have a spare half-hour and know a child (any child!), I'd implore you to have a go at making one of these mousey-in-a-bed creations - they seem to stand the test of time, appeal to all ages of children and are easy and satisfying to make (and if you don't like working with felt and have bigger bears to accommodate, you could always try my Three Bears' Sleeping Bag Pattern - it takes a little longer as it's constructed in a different way, due to using fabric, rather than felt, but it's still a relatively quick make).

Florence x

15 comments:

  1. Your son is brilliant - the eyes and the waves really make this a treasure!

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    1. Thank you so much, Quinn - my son loved reading your lovely comment.

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  2. What a cute little croc - brilliant!

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  3. Yep, those were genius design choices! And I've been looking for a little fun something to put in the post for my cousin's little girl - mouse in a bed it is. Thanks! Also, I use the same interior decorating style as your son for my whole flat (little displays amongst total chaos); perhaps we should come up with a name and call it a design movement? x

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    1. I love that - that's so funny. I was really messy as a child myself, although I don't recall making such sweet displays in amongst it. It's lovely to think of you doing that too, even now - I'm wondering what that particular movement would be called?

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  4. Oh my gosh, these are SO CUTE! I love all the little animals! I'm going to have to stitch up a few of these for my little nephew! Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Do - you will love it! They are so quick and easy to make :)

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  5. like you, I'd love to know what Lyn is up to, Molly Chicken was one of my favourite reads. I'm hoping she's still sewing but just not got the time to write about it.

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  6. I don't even have the words to say how much I love your son's creation (and the pig, and the ladybug, and the mice! oh my goodness...) I don't normally comment here, but I just couldn't remain silent. The creativity of using the wavy stitch to create the waves astounds me. All of the details are phenomenal. He is seriously one talented fellow, and I hope someday that my daughter (who turns two this month) will want to make projects like this with me!
    ~Natalie

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    1. Thank you so much for your lovely comment, Natalie. My son sat in bed with me on Saturday morning and read through all these lovely comments and he was delighted by your croc-appreciation - thank you - it made his day. I'm sure your daughter will love doing these things too! x

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  7. Wow, that boy is seriously creative, I'm very impressed. I do happen to know a little man who would ADORE a small creature in it's very own bed. It would make a very nice festive gift I think.

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  8. Croc is adorable! i know several children that would pounce on such cuteness. I was also a big fan on the Molly Chicken blog, always a must read. Thanks for highlighting Jule's pig post. My daughter would love that cake.

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    1. Now all we have to do is try and keep the pig cake in our heads so that we actually remember it when it's birthday time...that may be the hardest part for me! x

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Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a message - it's always really lovely to hear from people.

I now tend to reply within the comments section, so please do check back if you've asked a question or wish to chat.

Florence x

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