My activity card of the week talked about doing dress up with your child. As you may have noticed she’s got quite a bit of dress up stuff already and plays with it on a regular basis so I didn’t think that really needed encouraging but I did have a think about what else she could use. I hadn’t got very far in thinking (though did consider fairy wings) when I remembered I still had a whole bunch of felt left from making button snakes and the rainbow felt (I still haven’t made her any felt food) so plugged felt dress up into Pinterest to see what would come up. A lot is the answer to that but one consistent thing was face masks. This was the one I liked the look of – she’s already got a fox tail (a present) and this seemed simple enough to draw from scratch and was made of colours I had. I drafted, cut out and hand stitched it together yesterday and while she did think it was a cat most of the way through she quite likes it. The base idea will work quite well for making other animals too – clearly a cat should be next.
I’ve written up how I went about making it below (though I’ve some modifications to my base template to make if I do another one).
How I made it:
Orange felt (I used about 2/3rds of an A4 sheet)
White felt (I used about 1/2 of an A4 sheet)
Black or dark brown felt (just a wee bit)
1/4″ (12mm) elastic
Paper for the template (an A4 sheet is good) and a pencil or pen
Matching thread (I used ordinary sewing thread doubled up)
A sewing needle (or use a sewing machine)
Using the original image as a guide I made a quick small scale sketch of the mask:
From there I sketched out the full size mask on paper (the full width fits in the short side of an A4 sheet and it’s about 1/3 the height), cut it out and tried it on the Hobbit’s face. The eyes were a bit to far apart and the mask a bit deep at the nose. The width was good though so I folded this template in half and traced around it before making some modifications to the eye placement and depth. I then sketched the whiskers separately.
Folding the felt in half I cut out two of the main mask in orange, four of the whiskers in white and two half circles in dark brown or black. The mask is reversible and the double layers help stiffen the mask a bit. (If you had thicker felt you’d only want one set.) I also bent the mask around her face and cut out a piece of 1/4″ elastic to fit the rest of her head.
Check the placement of the pieces and make any adjustments. I should have tried the mask on her face here as the eyeholes could do with being a bit bigger – they clearly need to bigger than you’d think.
Start with the eye holes and stitch around the edges of the two orange pieces stitching them together inserting the elastic as you go. I worked by hand with a running stitch but machine stitching would work too.
The elastic is inserted about 1/2″ on the top tufty bit below the ears. I added a bunch of extra stitches to make sure it stayed put. Before stitching the second end in would be a good time to check the fit – I didn’t and ended up tying a knot in the elastic to make it stay on.
Change thread colour and sew on the nose with one piece on each side. Mine is sewn on in black thread because I didn’t have any brown. Then change to white for the whiskers again sewing them together around the orange mask.
Repeat with the other whiskers and it’s all done.