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How to make clothes for your Sylvanian family

The charming animals which make up the Sylvanian families collection can provide hours of entertainment for the younger members of any family. But all that play can lead to their tiny clothes being lost, worn through or damaged. An easy (not to mention economical) way to bring freshness to any toybox is to make some clothes at home. What better way to ensure that the rabbit family will be smartly dressed for the badger’s wedding? A child can be encouraged to be creative by planning accessories and adding individual touches to the end product.

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How to make clothes for your Sylvanian family

  1. Skirts are fairly easy for children to make with a little supervision and do not require a pattern. Measure the height of your Sylvanian from waist to feet and add 1cm (0.4 inches). Cut out a rectangular piece of material using the height measurement just taken for the length of the skirt and tripling it for the width.

  2. Fold the long edge of the rectangle over by 1cm (0.4 inches) and sew it all the way along to make a waistband. Thread elastic through it and gather the material along it. Use your toy as a guide to determine the length needed for the waist elastic, then cut and sew the two ends together. Leave a slit in the back of the skirt for the Sylvanian’s tail.

  3. Waistcoats are also simple and need only a rectangle of material with two holes cut out for the arms. A stretchy material would be good for this purpose, like felt, which doesn’t fray.

  4. Cloaks, which also double as aprons, are another way to perk up a outfit. Take a piece of ribbon or thin strip of material and sew a square of fabric onto it in the middle. Tie the ends of the ribbon together around the neck or waist of the animal.

  5. If you prefer to use a pattern, you can use existing clothes to draw one yourself, or there are some available on the Internet. Cut out the pattern, pin it to the material, cut round it and sew the pieces together using either a sewing machine or simple needle and thread.

  6. If sewing is not your preferred method for making clothes, but you are handy with a pair of knitting needles or a crochet hook, there are a number of patterns available which are useful for using up the end of that ball of wool.

  7. Customise the outfit by encouraging your child to add any old lace, ribbons or buttons you may have lying around at the bottom of a sewing box.

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Things You'll Need

  • Tape measure
  • Scissors
  • Material/wool
  • Sewing machine or needle
  • Thread
  • Pattern (optional)
  • Pins (if using a pattern)
  • Knitting needles or crochet hook

About the Author

Based in London, Lisa Naylor has been writing and editing since 2000. Making the jump from being a commercial lawyer, she started as a staff writer at new media magazine "The Industry Standard" and then moved on to be a writer and sub-editor for The European Lawyer Ltd's books and magazines.

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