Hi everyone! I found the most perfect sewing project to teach toddlers all the different colors! It is the Little Artist Palette, a pattern by Swoodson Says. My 3 year-old (who actually just turned 4 last Monday) was learning the colors by the time I made this (last December) and it helped immensely! She loved (and still loves) to play with it all.the.time.
When Stephanie put out a testing call I missed it. Well, I actually answered it but it was too late, she had already picked her testers. A few days later I got the most lovely response from Stephanie offering me the Little Artist Palette pattern in exchange of a blog post! (Nonetheless all opinions are my own!) Wasn't she sweet? She got a new fan immediately! :)
I loved making this fun project and specially loved to see how well loved it still is (now after several months) by my kids. It is a success!
The pattern is an easy project even with that round thumb hole - it is the trickiest part. Just go slowly and steady and you're good.
The patterns suggests fabric fleece for both the palette and the color blobs. I used a beige medium-weight cotton twill for the palette and felt for the colors since I couldn't find fleece in so many colors.
The pattern assembly is super easy - only four pages!
Cutting all the colors blobs is what takes you longer but you can do it quicker by cutting two at the same time (just fold the fleece/felt).
I couldn't find colored velcro at my local fabric/craft shops (it was only black or white) so I decided not to add the little velcro squares to the color blobs.
This little girl plays with it by just placing the right color on top. Since I used a poly felt (it is stiffer than the wollen felt) it actually just sticks to the other blob with no need for the velcro.
The pattern was made for 6 colors but I wanted to add more of the basic learning colors so I was able to fit 8 colors in there. And I actually think there is space for two more, under the blue and red blobs.
One think I noticed when I first read through all the instructions (before I started the project) was that the palette didn't have any pocket to keep the colored pieces together. Well, I don't know about your kids but knowing my kids that could only mean one thing: those colored pieces would get lost easily... So I added a pocket! Here is a quick tutorial on how to do it.
How to add a pocket to the Little Artist Palette pattern - a tutorial
You will need:
- a piece of fabric that is 5x6'' (width x length)
- a 4'' strip of velcro
How to make it:
Make steps #1 and #2 before the step #5 in the instructions.
1- Start by cutting your pocket piece. Fold your 5x6'' piece. Place it on top of the palette piece, matching the upper edges. Cut the upper edge along the curve, so that the pocket piece is curved as the palette pattern piece.
2- With right sides together, stitch both short edges of the pocket piece to both of the palette pieces, with a 3/8'' seam allowance. Understitch those two seams. Stitch the hook and loop strips of the velcro tape now (not seen on the images above), about 1/4'' from the understitching line.
Follow along with the pattern instructions until step #12. Proceed as follows (taking into consideration all the remarks on step 12):
3, 4- Stitch around the palette pieces (right sides together) until you reach the pocket. Pivot and sew one side of the pocket. Backstitch and cut the thread.
5- Stitch the other side of the pocket.
6- Pivot and keep stitching all around, making sure to leave a gap (according to the instructions) for stuffing.
On step #14, when stuffing, the pocket should be placed close to the palette's back piece, so put the filling between the upper palette piece and the pocket.
I can't believe this little lady just turned 4 last Monday!... Why do they have to grow up this fast?... She is still the most loving, adorable person in the whole world. :)
If you are homeschooling or already getting started on your Christmas gifts (wait, did I actually said Christmas?!) this is a must-sew. It is a great pattern, both a toy and an educational tool, and the best thing is: the kids will love it!
Make sure you check Swoodson Says shop to check all the other patterns available. There is a super cute fabric toy camera and a kids backpack - perfect for this back-to-school season! -, along with a few free patterns!