Sunday, December 18, 2011

Toadstool Fairy House

When I was pregnant with my second son, several people said, “well, you’ll just have to have a third!”

Really? I hadn’t realized that there was a requirement that everyone have at least one child of each gender. Personally, I really like boys! I wouldn’t mind having just boys… maybe even three or five of them (if my energy and ability to support children financially were somehow to grow substantially). And besides, you never know what your boy is going to be like. He might like girly things, and I’d be okay with that too. 

Of course, now that my boys are more vocal about their preferences, I’m learning that biology has a much bigger role to play than I’d originally thought. How on earth did my older son learn that sticks can be weapons? And why does the baby generally ignore dolls even though he’s very fond of people’s faces?  

Conveniently, I really like a lot of things that are typically thought of as boy things. Building, digging, exploring, finding bugs and frogs, and all manner of other things are the reasons I had children in the first place. I also strongly dislike many of the stereotypically girly things, like princesses and the color pink. 
There are very few things I feel like I’m missing by not having a girl. But this toy made me pine for that girl. (Note: I think this is more gender-neutral than many toys, but my boys aren’t so into relational play… unless it involves destroying something). I found this toy on the blog IkatBag and I had to make one. Blog author Lier offers the pattern for sale here: .

I modified the pattern slightly. First, my fabric store didn’t have any red fabric with white polka dots, so I decided to use red canvas and applique some white dots. I wish I had persevered in my fabric search because I’m quite sure that it would have been less time consuming to drive to another state to find red and white polka dot fabric. I also discovered that canvas frays a great deal, so I hope the dots won’t fall off too quickly when my bestie’s daughter starts playing with it. 

The pattern suggests brown cloth for the underside of the mushroom, but I went with off-white instead… because, you know, I thought it was important for the toadstool fairy house to be accurate and the amanita muscaria has light gills. The pattern author’s suggestion to sew the gills before cutting the hole in the center was a wise one that I wish I’d followed.

The pattern creator offers this stipulation: “items made from these patterns are only for personal use and for gifts, and not for sale for profit,” which seemed entirely reasonable as I was downloading the pattern (I’m a big fan of being explicit about intellectual property). After I finished the toy and re-read that, though, it cracked me up. Perhaps other people are more efficient seamstresses than I am, but there is no way on earth that I could charge enough to get a fair value for my time. Let’s just say that this is not the one-sitting project that I wrote about several posts back! Overall, I’m pretty pleased with it, even though there are a few wonky parts.  I’m also pleased that I’ll be able to move on to the next project now!