Pattern Review: Playhouses

Kwik Sew Ellie Mae Playhouse Pattern

Kwik Sew Ellie Mae Playhouse Pattern
(courtesy of Kwik Sew & The McCall Pattern Company)

Back in January, my mom found a pattern for a very girlie playhouse. She thought both Izze and her cousin would love to play in this since they like playing in their outdoor playhouse. This version would be great to play in on those bad weather days or when kids are sick and can’t go out but want to play. This pattern is made by Kwik Sew and can be found in their special section, Ellie Mae Designs, pattern number K108.

What’s needed besides fabric, thread and a sewing machine is a square card table approximately 34″ x 34″ (86.36 cm x 86.36 cm), foam core board, ribbon, velcro, and fusible web and felt or fabric that you want to use for the appliqués. I didn’t do any appliqués on Izze’s playhouse.

Izze's Playhouse

Izze’s Playhouse

The base of this playhouse was an old blue and white pinstriped sheet. I also used some left over fabrics for the two of the ruffles and the door and window frames. the green and purple fabrics used for ruffles and shutters, as well as, the  fabric for the door and curtains were the only new fabrics used.Every piece of fabric is a print, no solid colors were used since at a distance the pinstriped base and the red and white striped ruffle blend into a solid from a distance.

Playhouse

Playhouse

The windows in the the playhouse have curtains. I used some fat quarters that I have had sitting in a box for years. I finally got to use them. For tie backs, the pattern calls for ribbon but you can substitute the ribbon and cut out extra of the rectangles used in the window frame and use that as a tie back and can use velcro for a closure. That way, it is easier for kids who are really young and haven’t mastered the ability to tie.

Playhouse Box Closed

Playhouse Box Closed

The part I love about this pattern that it includes a pattern to make a box to store the playhouse in when not in use. When the playhouse is in use, it is placed on top of the card table to act as support to hold the roof up.

Inside View of the Box

Inside View of the Box

I strongly suggest when making the box that you hand sew the upper corners to keep it in a box form. Or maybe use grosgrain ribbon instead of satin like I did. With the satin ribbon, I found over time with kids opening and closing the box and even the ties double knotted, it continued to slide making the opening wider and wider. After having the corners sewn together by hand, we didn’t have this problem anymore.

Train Station Playhouse

Train Station Playhouse

In April, it was my nephew’s birthday and Grandma’s idea of a train station theme station. Grandma and Grandpa got him a CTA worker uniform. I originally wanted to do a CTA train on one side and Thomas the Train on the other and if time allowed a Metra train on the back but due to time constraints, I had to literally do this all in a weekend.

CTA Train Worker Uniform (Courtesy of Lynn G.)

CTA Train Worker Uniform
(Courtesy of Lynn G.)

Blue Line Train

Blue Line Train

I used solid colors with this playhouse, mainly primary colors with the addition of  black. I tried keeping things simple and a bit like a cartoon and/or Sunday comic. Grandma and I had to rush to Jo Ann’s fabric store for last minute supplies since I had to make shortcuts to get this playhouse done. For the windows on the train, I used iron-on fabric patches and reinforced them with stitching in grey a 1/4″ (0.635 cm) from the edge. To keep the edges from fraying and to give the train a little detail, I used matte finish black fabric paint. According to the makers of Tulip fabric paint, it just takes four hours to dry.

Red Line Train

Red Line Train

The two panels that have trains on them each display half a train car. I ran out of iron-on patches so I cut out wheels and the part between the wheels on the train out of some black fabric scraps and did the same type of stitching at the windows and sealed the edges with black fabric paint. As I was walking to place the panel in the picture above, I accidentally bumped it and smeared some of the paint. I then came up with the idea of making it look like what our red trains look like. Dirty. Don’t get me wrong they aren’t all that way but occasionally you get one that could use a good scrubbing inside and out.

Back View of Train Station Playhouse

Back View of Train Station Playhouse

Train Station Front

Train Station Front
(Photo courtesy of Lynn G.)

I put two windows in the back of the playhouse since they would be obscured by the trains if I put them on the sides. I opted for no curtains so that saved time. Plus, I don’t recall stations here having any curtains either. Also, to add to the design of the station, I used iron-on letters for the sign on the front. I also did a satin stitch around the sign to give it a frame. I was originally going to do this where all the fabric paint is used but I didn’t have the time to do all that especially on the train cars.

Playhouse Box

Playhouse Box
(Photo courtesy of Lynn G.)

Once I had the train station made and all the loose threads clipped, I made the box for it. I wanted something to go with the train theme. I found clearly by accident Chuggington Train fabric. Both boxes are made with a velcro closure. I just love that the box is part of the playhouse and helps with storing it. I thought putting it in a bag instead of a box but bags tend to get lost. The box is definitely the better choice.

Birthday Memory Keepsake

Birthday Memory Keepsake

Since one of the train had to be dirty looking. I had posted on Facebook that this problem had happened and a friend of mine suggested that I take markers to the birthday party and let the kids sign it. It made a simple playhouse into a memorable keepsake. It also gives what we used to see and sometimes still do on our trains here … graffiti.

Overall, this is a great pattern with easy to follow directions and as you can see you don’t have to make it exactly like it is on the envelop of the pattern. I will soon be starting on a third playhouse for Izze’s cousin. She loves dinosaurs and it’s going to be all dinosaur themed fabric. And I’ll have pictures of that one as soon as I can finish it. I need some extra fabric for a ruffle and for the box. I’m really looking forward to making this one.

Comments

  1. Loved the house and the train. The graffiti touch on the train was perfect,everyone had their chance to add to the memories…I bet your darling daughter and Nephew enjoy playing in them. Can’t wait for the dinosaur theme one……

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