You don’t have to have a green thumb to “grow” Handsewn Food! Your sewing machine and bits of felt and fabric are all you need to create delicious joy for your little ones. Let’s get cooking!
First, we need a kitchen! Debbie Williams, a contributor to the eHow blog, wrote a well-illustrated tutorial for a Chair Slipcover Kitchen with lots of charming details. It’s an easy-to-sew, easy-to-fold-and-store project that would make a terrific gift for a child or a frequently visited Grandma. Of course it would be perfect for your house, too!
The supply list is long, but full of things you either have on hand or can easily buy at your local fabric store. Debbie suggests off-white cotton twill or canvas for the base and your choice of fabrics for window curtains, a backsplash and side pockets. You’ll also need paper-backed fusible web for the no-sew parts of the kitchen. Notions include hook and loop fastener, seam binding and stove knob buttons. Be sure to pre-wash all of your fabrics. Your Slipcover Kitchen is going to enjoy a lot of use and little hands often leave sticky spots when they’re “cooking”. Fusible web adheres best to pre-washed fabrics, too.
Your kitchen will be made for a specific chair. Since they’re all different, think about which chair will work best before you start. Debbie’s measuring and cutting instructions are excellent and include plenty of details. Read through, measure, then measure again before cutting for the best results. Remember to add a 5/8” seam allowance to the pieces that will be sewn together or hemmed.
The oven door folds down to reveal a yummy pie. Instead of the black fabric Debbie used for the oven window, clear vinyl would make a charming, realistic window. You may want to create appliques of other “baking” foods that can be attached inside the oven door with hook and loop tape. Your little chef would love that!
The curtained window, stove backsplash and side utensil pocket are super charming details. If you have leftover fabric from your own kitchen curtains, make them to match. The side pocket holds toy size utensils, and you could stitch up a child size potholder and oven mitt to attach to the other side. Click here for Debbie’s tutorial.
Once the kitchen is ready, we need food! Rebekah of the Lemonwood Clock blog was inspired by several posts about Handsewn Food and decided to make her own. Her tutorial offers PDF patterns, lots of instructions, suggestions and inspiration that will make your felt “cooking” scrumptious.
Handsewn Food supplies include lots of poly felt “squares” along with fiberfill and matching threads. Start by reading through the tutorial and making a list of all the foods you want to sew. Next to the foods on the list, write in the felt colors you’ll need and tally the colors to create a shopping list. You’ll find everything from veggies to fruit to bread and cheese in the tutorial! Most foods require two layers of felt for stability and some are stuffed. Keep that in mind for shopping.
Again, I love the detail! Bacon and eggs with stitched veins of fat, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, pancakes with a syrup puddle and butter pat and so much more. You may want to add details with hand embroidery and enjoy these as a take along project. Start with a small pantry of “edibles”, then keep adding for birthday, holiday gifts or just because. Click here for Rebekah’s tutorial.
Be sure to visit the links to more Handsewn Food that Rebekah included in her tutorial. The food she found on the Made Everyday blog, above, is super fabulous. Have fun “cooking”, explore, design your own food and above all, make it fun!
About the Author
Annette Millard began sewing at the age of three, made her first dress at ten and is always happiest with needle, fabric and thread in her hands. Annette feels very privileged to have spent most of her work life in the sewing industry and loves teaching, making her own handmade wardrobe and writing about sewing. She spent over ten years as the newsletter and web site content writer for the Pacific Northwest's largest locally-owned family of fabric stores and is now thrilled to have the opportunity to share her passion for sewing with the Sewing Secrets community.