Wild Things - A New Safari Mask Sewing Pattern

Wild Things - Safari Felt Animal Mask PDF Sewing Pattern from Willow & Stitch

Are you ready for the kids to go totally wild?  Want to take a safari without ever leaving home?  Watch your backyard become the African savannah or turn the living room into a water hole with these lovely dress up masks.

This Wild Things Mask Sewing Pattern features patterns for Lion, Tiger, Giraffe, Zebra and Leopard masks.  You can even make the Leopard into a Snow Leopard for a mountain adventure. 

Wild Things - Leopard Felt Animal Mask PDF Sewing Pattern from Willow & Stitch

I'm so pleased with this pattern.  I think the designs are my favourites so far and I've put a lot of extra effort into the pattern and tutorials.  I've come up with a better (and easier) way of sewing the eye holes, and added whole sections explaining each technique used to make the masks.  There's information on how to resize them to fit dolls (or newborns), printing guides and notes on materials to use.

Wild Things - Snow Leopard Felt Animal Mask PDF Sewing Pattern from Willow & Stitch
Wild Things - Tiger Felt Animal Mask PDF Sewing Pattern from Willow & Stitch

The patterns are just as easy to follow as ever and are perfect for beginners.  They're quick to sew and make a perfect gift or stocking filler.  I think that practically all of the children Ella's class have gotten a couple of these masks for their birthday this year!  I had a particularly amusing / gratifying experience this last weekend when I took Ella to a 'Superheroes' party for one of her school friends (you can see pictures of her freezer paper stencilled Wonder Woman costume here) - I looked around the room and realised that about half of the kids were wearing masks that I had sewn and Ella had chosen to give to them for their birthday's.  It made me giggle and warmed my heart!

Wild Things - Lion and Zebra Felt Animal Mask PDF Sewing Pattern from Willow & Stitch

Anyway, back to these little wild things; we had so much fun shooting these pictures.  I can tell that these masks are going to get a lot of play time.  The leopard and snow leopard were particular favourites with my little testers. Anything that ROARs was a big hit too of course!  (Any excuse to make a lot of noise really!)



Wild Things - Giraffe Felt Animal Mask PDF Sewing Pattern from Willow & Stitch

As with all of my other PDF Mask Sewing Patterns this one contains bonus printables of all of the masks.  You can print these at home onto card then let the kids colour, paint or decorate them however they like.  Whey they're finished you simply cut them out and thread them with elastic.  It's one of our favourite rainy day activities and is also great as a birthday party craft activity.







To celebrate the pattern release, I'm offering free copies of not only this pattern but the ENTIRE collection of Willow & Stitch mask patterns to two lucky readers.  One here and one over on Instagram.  You are welcome to enter both giveaways as many times as you like.  Good luck!

Making Flower Crowns - and a Fairy Birthday Party

Handmade Flower Crowns

I've been dying to have a go at making these gorgeous flower crowns ever since I saw Siobahn Rogers' beautiful crowns on instagram.  So, when my big girl announced that she wanted a Fairy party for her 6th Birthday it seemed like a good opportunity to give them a go. 

Handmade Flower Crowns

Given that it's the middle of winter here I didn't have a massive choice of flowers at the market, but I managed to find some pretty pinks and yellows and some lovely native Australian greenery to go with them.

I didn't think that Ella's party guests' attention would stretch to making the crowns from scratch so I wanted to prepare as much of it as possible in advance.  There is a great tutorial here on Siobhan's website.  I bent the wires into shape and made loops at the ends through which they could be fastened with ribbon and I trimmed all the stems and arranged the flowers into little bunches so that the girls could choose 5 or 6 to wind onto their crowns. (This was the point at which I began to regret the whole exercise...!)  Anyway, finally, about 2 hours later I had enough bunches for all of our little fairy friends to make a themselves a crown.  

Handmade Flower Crowns
Handmade Flower Crowns

We even had a few bunches left over which I popped onto the top of the birthday cake.  I'm going to be doing this for every little (and big!) girl's birthday cake from now on.  It was quite incredible - the cake went from being very ordinary to amazingly special in about 10 seconds flat!

Just put a flower on it.

Just put a flower on it.

A happy little Birthday Fairy in her Flower Crown.

A happy little Birthday Fairy in her Flower Crown.

As one of the party games we had about 50 balloons which we filled with confetti and silver stars. We gave each of the children a pin and let them go nuts.  Literally.  It was complete madness.  The balloons lasted about 10 seconds, vanishing in an explosion of pops, bangs, glitter, confetti and delighted squeals.  

Confetti Filled Balloons

I had thought I might get some cute photos of children being showered in confetti.  Wrong. What I actually got was 10 seconds of insanity.  When I looked up from comforting the poor kid in the corner who turned out to be terrified of balloons popping, all that remained was a few shrivelled pieces of rubber and an almighty mess.

Confetti Filled Balloons - the aftermath
One of our little fairy's handmade birthday presents - her very own fairy garden.

One of our little fairy's handmade birthday presents - her very own fairy garden.

I really loved this project, it made me wish I was 6 years old so that I could run around wearing flower crowns every day. We'll definitely be making these again, particularly now that I have all the supplies, perhaps we'll go for a nature walk and try making one out of wildflowers next time.

Handmade Flower Crowns

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An Awesome Kids Clothes Week / Halloween Giveaway!

In celebration of Kids Clothes Week (where the theme this season is 'Disguise') and with the imminent arrival of Halloween, I thought it was a good time to hold a giveaway.  I'm offering a full set of my PDF Felt Mask Sewing Patterns to one lucky reader!  The winner will get the Woodland Creatures (Owl, Bunny, Fox and Fawn), Fairytale (Unicorn, Princess and Knight) and Superheroes (Iron Man, Captain America and Hulk) Pattern sets.  

Felt Mask PDF Sewing Patterns | Willow & Stitch

These sewing patterns are super quick and easy to sew and all come with bonus free printable masks - great for a rainy day colouring / decorating activity.  To enter simply comment on this post, follow me on instagram or like the Willow & Stitch Facebook page!  Or do all 3 and get bonus entries! The winner will be drawn at random on Monday 26th October.  If you miss out or if you simply can't wait to get your hands on them then you can find them in my Etsy shop here.

In the meantime I'm going to go and get cracking with my Kids Clothes Week sewing!  I'm very excited to be a KCW Contributor this season.  If you missed my guest blog posts you can find my post on 'Disguised Details' here, and two silly posts on making the most of KCW and finding the time to sew here and here!

Are you taking part in Kids Clothes Week? What will you be sewing first?

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Our Favourite Playdough Recipe


Today was a playdough kind of day.  Everyone was a little bit grumpy, everything was turning into an argument and we were on a downwards spiral.  So we made playdough, and as is often the case, everything began to turn around.  The kids love measuring out the ingredients, choosing colours and scents and kneeding the warm dough.  The kneeding is like a kind of therapy, It slows your heart and deepens your breathing. And then of course there are the endless play possibilities.  

This is our favourite playdough recipe.  It's quick and easy and makes beautiful silky soft playdough which will keep for months in an airtight container.



2 cups plain flour

1 cup salt

1 tablespoon cream of tartar

1 tablespoon of oil

2 cups of water

Add all the dry ingredients to a saucepan.  Add the water and heat, stirring continuously until the mixture begins to thicken and pull away from the sides of the pan.  It can get to be a pretty good arm workout but continue to heat and stir for another minute or so.

Tip contents out onto the work surface, allow to cool a little and kneed until smooth.



Colour:  If you want to make only one colour, you can add a few drops of colouring to the water at the start.  If you want to make a couple of different colours then add the colouring to the dough once it has cooked and you have portioned it.

Scent:  I love adding essences to playdough to make it a truly sensory experience.  This time we added a teaspoon of coconut essence, but try adding lavender oil for a calming experience, or a tablespoon of coco powder (although that does increase the chance that the little ones are going to try to eat it!)

Sparkles:  Add a tablespoon of glitter to the dough.  Ella's favourite version of playdough is blue with silver sparkles - unsurprisingly she calls it 'Elsa playdough'.

Do you have a favourite playdough recipe?  Do you go for a cooked or no cook recipe?  Have any fun variations?

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A Problem.. and a Solution


So, this is my problem.  You all know the score.  You make dozens of felt masks and end up with a massive pile of offcuts that are too small to do anything with because you're incapable of throwing stuff away. Right?  No? Just me then… Oh well, that's fine because I've come up with a very nifty and frankly awesome way of using them up!

felt confetti

Cut them into small circles and use them to make gorgeous confetti garlands!  I know.. I'm a genius! And so modest too… *ahem!

Anyway; To celebrate this wonderful discovery and all of the new masks in my Etsy store, I'm going to give away one of these fantastic Rainbow Confetti Garlands! All you have to do is share my page and sign up for the Willow and Stitch newsletter (see sidebar).  The winner will be selected on Sunday 8th February. I promise not to bombard you with emails and will only send out a newsletter when something really exciting is happening (I'm anticipating every couple of months). Plus, if I start to bore you then you can, of course, unsubscribe at any time.

The Garlands measure approximately 2.5 metres in length and have extra long cotton at each end for fastening.  They make beautiful nursery decorations or hang them over a window, mirror or mantle piece, or anywhere really that could do with a splash of fun and colour.  If you don't happen to win this one then they are for sale in my Etsy shop for $19.95 AUD.

Link to my Etsy Store here and in the sidebar.

Thanks for visiting!

rainbow confetti garland

My new Etsy Store is open! Roaaarrrr!

I'm still working on setting up the pattern shop for this website, but in the meantime, I'm very excited to say that I've got an Etsy store up and running!


These super cute little animal masks are up for sale and I hope to soon have the patterns for them up too so that you can make them yourself if you would like to. I'm also planning to have instructions on how they can be made without a sewing machine so that you really will have no excuse!

I'm starting small (literally) while I get the hang of this new software for pattern making, not to mention all the other things that I need to learn about, but I've got some very big ideas so I hope you'll hang in there and keep coming back to see what I'm up to.

I can't tell you how happy I am, to feel like I'm finally on my way to doing what I love, on my way to living my dream and doing the thing that I've been wanting to do since Ella was born 4 years ago.  There have been a lot of late nights recently, and a lot of anxiety and insecurity of course, but more than anything else just an overwhelming feeling of excitement and satisfaction.  I have spent way too long wishing for a change but not making the effort required to enact that change. Of course there is always the fear of failure, but really, when it comes to things like this the only failure is to not try.  Perhaps I won't succeed, perhaps I'll decide that this isn't what I want to do after all, but at least I'll know that I gave it my best shot. There will be no regrets and I will be free to follow another dream.

The strangest thing is that I've discovered that I actually LIKE the fear which has been holding me back all this time, I really do like it - it's exhilarating - it's like jumping off a cliff - because it really is true that you can't experience one extreme without the other; yes there is fear but there is also elation, and it's wonderful!

Thank you for stopping by.  Go and do something that you're afraid of!



I love these sun catchers. Ella started collecting 'lovely' leaves and flowers on the way home from the park this morning.  We added some paper bark from the tree outside our house and a few more flowers picked from the garden.  We arranged them between two laminating sheets and passed them through the laminator. I think they look rather pretty, especially when the sun shines through and shows up all the veins in the leaves and makes the petals glow.