Vintage Sewn Toys - retro and safe

Toys.  I just like the sound of the word.  It evokes a time of fun and innocence and I love seeing a child enjoy a toy.  As my own girls have grown up I have become more aware of the dangers that can lurk around the edges of the toy world.  Small parts, toxic paints and bad habits are sometimes part of the mix.  With baby Z, I rely on my daughter to give me direction for the kind of toys she wants around.  My one exception is my own small collection of vintage sewn toys I saved from my daughters’ childhoods.

As I am writing these words I realize that you are thinking, you saved toys?  Aren’t your girls pretty much decades beyond that stage?  Um, yes and yes.  In my defense, I got rid of a lot of stuff also.  All the vtre1trendy stuff, the glittery stuff and the electronic stuff is long gone.  But some things are worth keeping and I am glad I did.

This alphabet book is something I am very glad I saved and in fact, it was in my daughter’s closet until her last move.  She said that Zara could play with it so I popped it into the washer and dryer and it came out just great!  I opened it to the R and S page, rabbits and swans.  I had made a quilt for Emily’s school from the same block pattern so I wanted to do a little something different for Shelby.  I have seen new patterns on pinterest with this same idea but they paint the letters.  I pieced all of these from fabrics which showed the letter.  The fabrics look vintage and I love that.  The pages are only fabric and I suppose if I had it to do over, I might have backed them with something.

vtre2The alphabet book is not the only toy I made and saved.  Nope, there is this farmyard collection of barn animals.  I got the pattern from a Family Circle magazine and used an opaque projector in my classroom to project the images onto huge sheets of paper and draw the pattern.  I couldn’t figure out that grid system to expand a pattern.

I adore these animal puppets like nobody’s business.  They are all from corduroy or fleece plus felt.  I had these out for both girls and then saved the barn with the puppets in my sewing room.  When Z was born, I went looking for them and lo and behold I found them.  I have repaired and aired them but haven’t washed them as I am a little nervous as to what will happen to the felt.  What do you think?

I had done so much work making the pattern that I made a second set of these puppets for the son of a friend but I don’t imagine they are still around.  If you have ever worked with the heat of an opaque projector, you know why I kept them.

I still have the pattern for this mouse house.  I remember keeping the pattern in case I wanted to make another in the distant future.  Instead I did itvtre3 better, I kept the mouse house!

I am still in love with these little creatures.  Truth be told, I think I had more fun making them than Emily had playing with them and for sure more than Shelby.  OK, I have actually played with these myself.  Hey!  There’s a little house, a Dad, a Mom and a child.  And they’re all mice! I even remember the plaid sundress I had made myself which is the base fabric being used here.

Contrary to what it looks like here, I am not a hoarder but I am sure glad I kept these toys from the past.  I also kept wooden blocks and Duplo which were unearthed from above the garage, cleaned and are having a new life at Emily’s house. They debuted with a play group of her friends as there were some children older than Zara.

We also have some books which are being read again.  It’s fun to own or create some toys which are worth keeping.  If I had it to do over again, I might have let the girls have way less Happy Meal toys and focused more on what would last.

And those happy meal toys? They did get us through a few tough drives!

Vintage sewn toys make me Sew happy!

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Is this my only post about sewing toys?  No, I am working on fabric letters for baby Z.  Check it out here.  You’ll even get to see the alphabet quilt!


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