24 May 2012

OUT Chapter 3: Sophie of Cirque du Bebe

One of my favorite Aussies here today, hooray!  Sophie of Cirque du Bebe.  When I discovered Sophie's blog I think I was instantly drawn to her because our love of all things striped-ness.  But she's good.  And thorough.  She has a great eye for fashion, but keeps it fun, like her kid's phone shirt, or her sophisticated women's shirt in a horsey print.  She's here today to share more of her fun creations.  Welcome, welcome, Sophie!

We only recently added this one to the bookshelf but it's a winner! For four year old boys, especially those who hear a lot of 'You've just eaten and it's not morning tea / lunch / dinner time yet',  the idea of a tiger being allowed into the house and encouraged to eat all the food, is very amusing. 

A little girl called Sophie and her mummy are sitting down to tea when they hear a knock at the door. 
'I wonder who that can be?' said Sophie's mummy.'

It wasn't the milk-man, just a tiger.

And waited patiently for his tea.

 Sophie offered him something to eat.

The tiger ate ALL the sandwiches.

And ALL the macarons. 
It's buns' in the original version but the tiger in this version is particularly fond of macarons. Who can blame him.

And when Sophie's mummy offered the tiger a drink...

... he drank...

...not one cup, but...

Then the tiger went to the kitchen and...

ALL the food in the pantry.


 The tiger was as efficient at emptying the house as a four year old boy. As parents of such a beast would know. And this four year old boy can't wait to play 'Tiger Tea Parties' as soon as possible. Obviously 'tiger' rules are much more fun.

The Tiger
I used the warm hoodie jacket pattern and for a fully lined jacket, it's quite a quickie. It's a good basic and a blank canvas to embellish with fun details like ears, piping etc. I added ears from the 'Cosy Winter Hood' from Oliver and S book Little Things To Sew and gave them more of a pointy shape for a tiger. The hood is made up of three pieces just like the cosy winter hood which makes attaching the ears a no-brainer. I have to say, I'm not big on animal print but I don't mind it as a weighty cotton, rather than fur.

The Tea
 Sure we make it 'for the kids' but we all know felt food is really for grownups! There's something about the feel and the colors that sure beats the plastic version that ends up down the back of couches. As a self confessed foodie, and now felt-foodie I'm always in the mood for macarons and there's a many good reason to reach for the plush kind. These are perfect for imaginative play and interactive too with a velcro center. You can pull them apart. Stick them back together. Swap the tops. And give them interesting flavor names like 'pistachio', 'lychee' and 'butternut squash'.  Whip up a batch for your kids, if they're worth it, or as a lovingly crafted gift. Don't forget to keep one in your handbag as a squeezable 'stress macaron'. There's lots of hand-stitching and maybe a few callouses but I promise they're worth it!

  • Pen and paper
  • Hand sewing needle
  • 1" wide velcro. A 6" strip of velcro will give you enough for 6 macarons.
  • Tacky craft glue
  • 6 perle embroidery thread in co-ordinating colors
  • 9" x 12" felt sheets (Here I've used a wool-blend felt and it feels great to touch and I suspect will be more durable than straight synthetic felt...maybe I'm just being a felt snob)
  • 9" x 6" sheet of stiff felt 
  • Scissors and measuring tape
  • Stuffing
1// The template is made up of 4 different sized circles:

  •  Large circle 3 7/8" wide
  • Medium circle 1 7/8" wide
  • Small 1 5/8 " wide
  • Tiny 7/8 " wide and drawn centered inside the medium circle.
You can find household items with circles that are roughly these dimensions like ramekins, lids, buttons etc. 

2// Cut out template, including the tiny circle from the center of medium one.
3// Trace template onto felt: 2 x large circle + 2 x medium circle.

2 x Small circle from stiff felt.
2 x tiny circles: one from each opposing side of velcro.

When all templates traced it will look like this (note the layout of the large circles on the felt sheet, they run down the length not the width).
4// Cut out pieces.

5// Thread the needles with two strands of thread and knot the end. Start one one side and thread in and out, from front to back, 1/8 " from the edge...

 ...continue around the whole circle.

6// Start to pull the circle closed and stuff it at the same time.
It's a bit of a juggle!
7// Pull the thread tight until the opening is as small as it can be and looks a bit like a sea urchin.
8// Still holding it taut, make a few hand stitches to keep it all in place.

 9// This is how stuffed it should be. We will make these lines disappear later.
10// Apply dabs of glue to the medium circles, to the sides where you can still see the pen marks.
11// Center stiff felt circle on top, and stick down.
12// Turn over and add dab of glue to center of circle.

13// Place velcro spot in center. You might have to gentle nudge the felt out to allow the velcro in. Leave to dry.
14// Now we're going to secure the velcro with hand stitching as well since these macarons are going to loved hard. With two strands of thread, knotted at the end, start from the back and poke up through the stiff felt and velcro as close to the edge of velcro.

15// Push need back down through the felt.
16// Bring back up through the velcro, approx 2/8 " along from first stitch.

17// Continue all the way around.
18// Tie off at the back. It will look something like this. Admire your callouses.
19// Now to attach this to the stuffed shape. With two strands and a knotted end, start underneath and push need through about 1/8 " from edge.
20 // Make a tiny stitch across.

21// Pull through the other side, catching a tiny bit of the stuffed felt as you do.
And repeat...back up through the felt...

Stitch across, back through, catch the stuffed piece and continue this pattern around. 
22// When you reach the beginning again tie off neatly at the side.

Does your macaron half look something like this? If so, repeat for other half. If not, email me...

23// To make the 'filling' return to your felt sheet. Using the length of the sheet, cut in from the corner at an angle and when you reach about 5/8 " from the edge, cut along and finish at the opposite corner just like you started.
24// Take two strands with knotted end and start at one end of your felt strip. Sew front to back along straight edge as you did with the large circles, 1/8" from the edge.
25// Continue along and pull into a squiggle.
26// Take the squiggle and press it flat around the edge of the velcro...

...wrap around until the ends of the squiggle overlap; this is the length you want.

27// Tie off at this exact length.
28// Attaching the 'filling' to the macaron half is the last step but the trickiest to show visually. With two strands and a knotted end, start from behind the squiggle and push needle through to the front.
29 // Re-enter the squiggle close to the first stitch, down through the felt, under and up through the velcro...

30// Back through the felt, under and up through the velcro. Continue around and tie off neatly.

31// Stick your halves together and...

 ...admire your happy little macaron!
✂ ✂ ✂
Well, that is one lucky, happy-looking tiger!  What a great mom you are, Soph.  Thanks for baking up a storm for us!


  1. What a lovely book! The felt macarons are delightful!

  2. Oh, my I am in LOVE! I mean, the book, the jacket, and the yummy looking macarons!

  3. What a lovely tea party and fun hoodie. :) The macarons are perfect!

  4. What a delightful story. It reminds me of the tiger outfit I made for my granddaughter a few years back - out of fake tiger fur. Never again. My sewing machine still screams at the memory. Thank you for your beautiful post.

  5. Sophie that is adorable!! I love what you made and I love the way you presented it! Too cute!!

  6. Love it all! Especially that the macarons have the little 'feet' on them!

  7. this is one of our favorites although I'm guessing your little Tiger didn't drink all of Daddy's Beer...I think that's my favorite line because it just wouldn't be put in a book these days

  8. Oh I love this so much! Once the weather starts turning cool again around here I think my little guy will need an animal hoodie like this. FANTASTIC!!

  9. This is so awesome! I love a costume that is so wearable . . . so when your kiddo doesn't want to take it off to go to the grocery you get fewer glares, lol. Adorable!

  10. so so cute! you make the coolest stuff Sophie


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