Book Review: The Knight Craft Book and The Princess Craft Book by Laura Minter and Tia Williams

KnightCraft_Cvr PrincessCraftlCvrI must admit, i’m not the biggest fan of craft books for children as I tend to find that they recycle ideas. However, these two books intrigued me because I wondered how they could actually think of enough things to make for each book. So I agreed to look at them for a review.

I have been astonished by these books. In all honesty, I don’t think the covers do them justice because they are little gems. These are not books full of crafts to do with the children, rather they are books which enable you to make your children’s dreams of becoming a Knight or Princess come true. Packed with lots of ideas, simple tutorials and excellent patterns you’ll find 15 projects in each book.

Over the past couple of weeks I’ve been making things from both books. The bows and arrows and shoebox catapault have been brilliant hits from the Knight Craft Book. However, I have to say, I think the Princess Craft Book is a goldmine of projects which are incredibly versatile. The patterns contained are second to none and I’ve been really impressed.

A horse #sewing #craft #worldbookday #costume

A photo posted by Claire Thornton Walsh (@clairevictoriawalsh) on

For World Book Day we have a dress up as a Shakespeare character day and my daughter and god-daughter have both decided to be a horse. I’m thinking Richard III horse but alternatively they could be Bottom from Midsummer Nights Dream. My daughter is a massive horse fan so I knew her costume wouldn’t be wasted. The Princess Craft Book has a brilliant tutorial and pattern for making a ride on horse. I used the pattern and tutorial for the head to make their head-dresses. That’s the fantastic thing about these books; the patterns can be adapted. If you want any sort of cape, armour, crown, tabard then you needn’t look further.

Knocked up this horses head for a head-dress. Recipient exceptionally pleased. Result! #sewing #craft

A photo posted by Claire Thornton Walsh (@clairevictoriawalsh) on

I’m seriously impressed with these books, not only are they great if you’re trying to create costumes, there are loads of other activities, many which can be adapted to do alongside your kids. If you’re a museum education officer you’ll also find them a goldmine of information. They have clear step by step instructions, excellent patterns and are exceptionally good value at just £6.99.

If you enjoy making stuff for your children then you cant go wrong with these. You can get hold of The Princess Craft Book here and The Knight Craft Book here.


Review; Clothes Plasters

It breaks my heart to throw away perfectly good clothes for a tiny hole when they can get a bit more use. I have been searching high and low for nice funky patches for the kids clothes and these are the first ones that I have found which fit the bill properly. I love sewing and making things, and really enjoy customising Fifi and Toddler Boys plain T-shirts and jogging bottoms. Again, these clothes plasters have proven themselves well worth their weight in gold and I have had several comments on how nice they are.

I know that one of the things that puts people off applique patches is the need to sew them on, however you only need to iron these ones on! Absolutely no effort at all then to transform a baby grow, T-shirt or patch up some ripped knees. Can you tell? I’m ever so impressed!

There are so many fab designs to choose from we were lucky as we got sent 2 boxes by the lovely Jennie who produces them. I know there will be something just right for you. Just don’t let your children choose from them as you may be there a very long time (Fifi spent about 20 minutes umming and eerring) I have even started using them to customise my own jeans. You can get hold of some here. Do make sure you check out the website as there are quite a lot of nice potential Christmas gifts.

Blooming heck; some thoughts about sewing

I have been sewing on and off for years and years. I think I first started when I was about eight. Back then I wasn’t very successful, I was much better at knitting. However, in recent years I have really begun to get bitten by the sewing bug. I like the fact that it can be fairly instant. It doesn’t take more than about 30 minutes at most to knock up a simple bag, bib, pyjama bottoms. Instant results and the satisfaction that your child is not wearing something produced by another child. I also love the fact that you can produce something uniquely individual to them, something that mirrors their tastes, styles and lifestyles.

I have found that sewing is something that, if you are self taught, you can really improve through practice: looking at how to do things on blogs, studying how clothes you have bought yourself are constructed and through reading. Although it’s creative, it’s also accessible. Believe me, if I can do it, I am sure you would be able to.

Where to start? Well, DO NOT under any circumstance attempt to make some baby bloomers. These are incredibly hard to get right. I would suggest a really simple bag, or some Pyjama bottoms (mastering how to make these will save you a fortune over the years), a simple shift dress or pinafore dress is fairly easy. And if all else fails, have a go at making some simple rag dolls. It sounds silly but make sure you use fabric that you like, this will increase your satisfaction by ten times! I’ll try and write a few tutorials for these over the next few weeks and maybe a vlog.

New Year Sewing Projects

Having gone around a few of the sales I have come to the conclusion that there is not much out there in the way of reasonably priced, nice clothes for little girls. Therefore, this year I will be making a lot more of her clothes. Sewing baby clothes is surprisingly easy to do, I also have been saving up my old clothes in order to re-cycle them. Below are a few free patterns that I intend to use, I’ll show the results shortly, but if you have a child of a suitable age why not have a go yourself?

The Pinafore Dress

The T shirt Dress
The Retro Dress