Kids Clothes Week
Like so many small people out there, this kid loves a dress-up. I’m always being lobbied to make her a costume of some sort, and occasionally I relent. But it pains me to see lovingly made costumes spend most of their time mashed up in the corner of the dress-up trunk – so when she wanted to match her tiger toy, a beloved old family friend, I tried to think more laterally and make something she could wear all the time. While still meeting her tiger-taming needs.
I settled on pants, and turned to a favourite kids’ pattern, the Mini Hudson from True Bias. I’ve made these a few times (including these daisy ones) for my kids – they’re an easy and quick make. But how to turn them tiger? The blindingly obvious thing would have been to choose a tiger-print fabric, but although I’m fond of kids in animal print, I’m not generally a fan of tiger print – too… orange?
Instead, I decided to go with the stripe/teeth theme by working with some stash fabric and a printing stamp (and hoped the kid would roll with the rather loose interpretation of a tiger costume!).
I chose a fabric from my stash with lots of stretch – a blue cotton terry knit from Fabric Bonita on Etsy (so many good knits to be had in that shop…). It’s a pretty thick weight cotton, but is super soft and stretchy. And it looks like denim (but much more comfortable for tiny tigers).
I wanted tiger teeth/stripes/whatevs running down the legs, and I made these using a simple rubber block stamp and some mustard coloured fabric paint. It was pretty similar to lino cut printing – a standard project embraced by most school art teachers.
The opaque fabric paint I used was from Pebeo’s Setacolour range. The colour intensity is great and it printed onto the fabric just as I hoped. So far the vibrance is holding, but ask me again after six months of constant washing – I suspect it will gradually fade. And the stamp was a basic rubber block – which can be carved into to make beautiful illustrative stamps. One day. For this project I sliced a big dirty tiger triangle, then inked it up with an art sponge and pressed onto the fabric with even hand pressure. Simple. Quick. Done.
I aimed for the stamp to be sewn into the seams and I’m pretty happy with how it worked out – I like how it disappears into the seam with the mustard double stitching.
The burning question of course is whether these trousers would pass the tiger test. Luckily small people come with big imaginations, so she took me seriously when I told her pants like these are worn by big cats across the world when it gets a bit chilly at night. Before I knew it she was prowling on the ground and totally stuffing up the knees of her new pants – which I’m taking as a sign of success.
Happy Kid’s Clothes Week everyone!