Friday, August 15, 2008

Soft Toys

We are leaving in about an hour for our weekend reenactment. It is strange for me to not have some last minute project I need to hurry up and finish. I remember when we last went to this particular event, two years ago, we arrived around 9:00 at night since I spent all that day we were to leave feverishly trying to get David's frock coat finished!

With some extra time on my hands, I decided to make a few toys for the babies. When they were smaller it was easy to keep them amused with a wooden spoon, or bits of ribbon or a colorful blanket to lay on. Now that they are older they need more amusing things. :)

It has been hard to find much on toys for little ones during the 1860 era. I have had little luck coming across mentions of baby toys at all. I did see one painting that depicted a little girl holding a stuffed bunny so I decided to go with that, and also make a cloth ball.

The ball was supposed to have been a ball, that is. It came out looking more like a pumpkin. But it has cheery colors with blue and red check cotton and yellow linen. I sewed red wool felt squares at each end and a button on one of the ends. Judah likes the feel of buttons. I made sure to sew it on VERY well, so no fear of him choking on it. It delighted my heart to see him pick up his pumpkin when I finished it this morning and squeeze it and laugh. He really loves it! I was so pleased! It is stuffed with wool batt with a small sewed shut bag of dried beans in the middle, for a little weight.

The bunny is made of a very soft brownish-gray chennille fabric. (as for fiber content, don't ask, don't tell) :) I drew out the bunny shape and cut two, sewed right sides together, turned it, stuffed it lightly with wool batt, and stitched up the opening. So easy! It probably took me fifteen minutes to make it. I added an embroidered pink nose and french knot eyes and a fuzzy pom pom for a tail, made of cream colored wool yarn. So far, neither of the babies seem that interested in it.

So these new toys, along with a few books, which, if not from the period, are quite old anyhow and have some pretty colored pictures inside (Grizzly Boy and Bunny Bear and The Little Childrens Bible) make for a nice little selection of toys that they can play with. I also have a small bag of wooden blocks and a wooden rattle that is painted yellow on top with a green handle.

Finally, alas, do you remember poor Etta? She has been lying, poor thing, on my closet shelf these past months as the regency dress so fondly planned for her never happened. The pattern never quite worked for it, so she has been without covering. Today I finally made her a blue plaid dress, very plain, with a T-shaped bodice and a pleated skirt. With a bit of lace for a shawl and a cheerful red belt she looks much happier now that she is clothed. She is along with the other soft toys in the basket and I will either give her to a little girl who is in our unit or else, if she doesn't want her, keep the dolly in the toy basket for any little child to play with who might visit camp.

And so - must go check the cookies I'm baking to bring with us. I'll post pictures when we get back!



  1. Have a glorious time dear friend. I will be sending you a letter shortly, as soon as I get a moment to work on it :-)

  2. I can understand why you were so delighted and pleased when Judah like the ball you made for them. Little ones are so precious.


Thank you for your lovely thoughts!