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Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Cooking for children

Finally here is the big-ish project that has been keeping me busy for part of the summer. Not that it is very long to make as such, but it was hard to find the time between naps, meals and playtimes with litte N. (cannot call her Baby anymore, she is 1yo!).

So let's have a look at what a present my niece and my goddaughter got for their second birthday:
  A cooking play-set! Including a tin of three different sorts of pasta, a herbs&spices tin, a box full of biscuits and mini-cakes and finally a mini-sponge to do the dishes once everything has been eaten and cooked :)
Making the labels

The herbs&spices tin
 I first bought the tin without any idea of what would come inside, then I thought about cinnamon sticks, maybe some of those star-shaped spieces etc. But my cousin J. had a fantastic idea: leaves! So we made mint, basil and bayleaves. Fairly easy to cut them, embroider a tiny bit and done! J. made the cinnamon sticks herself, they are all different. She inspired herself on a bag of real ones that we have in our kitchen. No need for any pattern there :)

The biscuits and cakes box
 Here I am giving you some links. I can unfortunately take absolutely no credit for any of the ideas ;). My own imagination only helped to choose the flavours of the mini-cakes:
- Banana and Kiwi
- Vanilla and Raspberry
- Strawberry and Chocolate
- Peach and Mandarine 
- Blueberry and Lavander 
I leave you to guess which one is which! (Just a quick remark: the beads are both sewn AND glued for more safety).

In the box, you can also see a doughnut (one is without beads at the mother's request), two round chocolate biscuits and two long-ish biscuits, those are called "barquettes" in French. To get to the websites where I got the ideas and patters, simply click on the words. 

 The Pasta tin
 There are many tutorials about making felt pasta. We (my cousin and I) made:
If you pay attention the pasta and the small herbs (leaves) are attached with a thread. The reason is quite simple, the girls are still quite young and putting things in their mouths. So it is just a question of safety really, as soon as they are old enough, their mothers will be able to cut the threads and the girls will be able to use the pasta individually.

And finally to fit everything in and play pretend-shopping (who knows, maybe even to go shopping with their mothers!) here is:
The shopping bag
This I can take credit for :) no pattern! I just asked my sister back in France to measure the small "Shoppi" bag that we've since I was a little girl and I worked from there. I made a few mistakes on the first bag (the blue one), but I hope I will be forgiven by the little one who gets it.
 The end measures are:
25cm x 25cm x 10cm (the sides are 19cm high).  The hole for the handles is 9,5cm large and comes 4cm underneath the wooden stick.
I did cut (after learning from my mistakes) a 70cm long and 29 cm large stripe of fabric (which by the way needs to be quite strong). Two sides bits 23cm long and 15cm large. Two wooden sticks 24cm long and 1cm diameter. [Note: all measures are now with seam-allowance). 
As you can see on the above pictures, I have turned my fabric twice all along. I did that on all three pieces of fabric so as to allow the inside of the bag to look clean and tidy in the end:
Here is what I did for the hole under the handles. I do not know if it is the best way to do it though... If anyone has suggestions I would gladly read them!
Then was just left to put the sticks in - which is not so very easy since they need to be in when sewing (I did not want the girls to be able to take them out later on!)
 Aaaaand Tadaaaaaaam:
 There we are, all done. The bags took about 2 hours each (all steps included) which isn't that much really. Now the question will be: how long will they last? ;)

Anyway, that is it for today. If both girls enjoy their play-set, then I know already what to make at Christmas! And I plan on making a similar set (including the bag, hers will be red). 

What do you think?Do you like it?


  1. This is a lovely present! So much work that you put into it!

  2. Thanks Katherine :) on the whole though it was not soooo much work. It did take ages because I did not have enough time to devote to it, otherwise I think it would have been finished within two days. Planning on doing some more for Christmas for my own daughter now, she loved playing with the set while I was making it.