Thursday, April 24, 2008

Homemade Playfood - Pancake Breakfast

This project was one of my first attempt at homemade toys…I made a playfood breakfast set for my daughter’s third birthday.

If you do much sewing, you probably have a small collection of fabric scraps that are too small to be of little use for other projects. I have many, and now, most of them find their way into playfood or other toys (either on the outside or as stuffing).

This playfood breakfast includes three pancakes, two sausages, two eggs and a slice of watermelon. I also made a griddle (that is a grill on the opposite side) so that my kids would have somewhere to cook the food.

Pancakes – any tan colored fabric would work, just serge or zigzag over the edge. I believe these pancakes have a circle of an old washcloth in the middle as stuffing…any fabric would work to stuff them, though. You could also add a darker sploitch of fabric and a little square of white or yellow on top of one of the circles prior to finishing the edges to represent syrup and a butter pat.

Eggs – for this one you need white and yellow fabric scraps. The yolk is zigzag sewn on the white (I used a tiny amount of stuffing under the yolk), then the white fabric is shaped, then serge or zigzag over the edge.

Sausage – use a long rectangle of brown fabric, sew the long edges together, then turn inside out to create the cylinder. Hand-sew one end closed, stuff and then finish off sewing the other end of the cylinder.

Griddle/Grill – For this I used two rectangles of gray flannel (old pajama pants, I think). After backing one with two layers of an old washcloth (the size of the inside rectangle), I zigzagged on the black lines for the grill. Then I put the gray pieces faces in and sewed around the outside, leaving four inch gaps on both ends for the handles. The four-inch holes give you a place to turn it inside out as well. After turning it right-side-out, I zigzagged two lines around the interior of the grill/griddle. This left a tube around the outside. I used a pencil to stuff this tube with fabric scraps around both sides of the grill. Finally, I made the handles (two semi-circles each, sewn together, turned inside out and stuffed), tucked them into the holes at each end and secured them with a straight stitch, then a decorative zigzag stitch.

Watermelon – this one was the hardest for me, since it isn’t flat or a tube. I sewed the red semi-circle to each white semi-circle, then I zigzagged the black seeds on. Next I put the two semi-circles red side in, and sewed along the straight edge. Lastly, I sewed the green “skin” on with the watermelon inside out, leaving an inch or sew to turn it right side out. After stuffing it with random fabric scraps, I hand sewed the inch closed. This similar method could also be used for cantaloupe or honeydew melon, apple slices, oranges, or pear wedges.

(One general tip – when I was stuffing this watermelon, I just used an assortment of fabric scraps. The day after giving it to my daughter, my then 13-month-old son dropped it in the toilet. I had no choice but to wash it…very, very well. When I did this, some of the colors from the stuffing fabric bled out on to the white portion of the watermelon. I now know that I need to stuff with fabric that won’t bleed any darker than my outside fabric. It’s fabric playfood…I should have expected that it would need to be washed at some point.)

I didn’t have any patterns for these, so I just made my own out of paper, then transferred to the fabric. When it comes to playfood, most of the shapes are so simple that you can just sketch them out yourself. I will have plenty more playfood posts in the kids are really into it right now.

Here are some of my favorite playfood links (Some are for purchasing playfood, but I just use them for ideas. Many of them are made with wool felt, which is great for playfood…but I still use my scraps most of the time, because it’s free.):

Have fun!

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