Tag Archives: world book day

World Book Day 2017 :: Amelia Jane and Mary Poppins

World Book Day is upon us and this year we have a Mary Poppins and an Amelia Jane.

Charlotte decided early on that she wanted to be Amelia Jane as she really loves those stories. She reads them over and over again. Amelia Jane really is a naughty doll! Charlotte has modelled herself on the most recent incarnation of Amelia Jane. She worked out that she had the right dress and tights in her wardrobe and that all she needed were some red shoes (thank you ebay) and for me to put her hair up in pig tails.

Amelia Jane inspiration for World Book Day 2017

I made her a couple of felt bows for her hair (curse that glue gun) and gave her some rosy cheeks and the apparently very important freckle, placed very specifically on her upper right cheek!

Emily took a little longer to decide on her character of choice, but eventually settled on Mary Poppins. Admittedly she loves Mary Poppins as she has seen the film a gazillion times, but she’s only 6 so I’ll forgive her for not having read the book!

Emily’s costume was also thankfully quite straight forward. She wore a school summer shirt, along with a black skirt and tights. I made her a felt bow tie (curse that glue gun again) and a felt hat headband.

#worldbookday costume for Emily #marypoppins #marypoppinshat #hatheadband #feltbowtie #gluegun

A post shared by Little Black Duck (@victoriapeat) on

The headband was made from three circles of felt, layered with decovil light in the middle for stiffness. I then made a little tube of felt which was topped with a smaller circle of felt. I constructed it partly with some hand stitching and partly with that blasted glue gun (I truly managed to get glue everywhere). The hat was then topped with a ribbon band, a folded bow and a little flower (from the Easter supplies at Wilko). I even managed to squeeze her short hair around a little hair doughnut….just!

They look the part don’t they?

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Free Pattern :: Royal Cape

Did you see the Royal Cape pattern that I designed for issue 19 of Love Sewing Magazine? Well, I am pleased to say that my Royal Cape is now available as a free download.

Royal Cape FREE downloadable pdf

This Royal Cape can be made from relatively inexpensive velour or velvet and can be made up quite quickly. Your free pattern features two different lengths depending on the look you are going for or the age of child that you are making for. In the picture below the shorter length is being worn by Emily at age 4 and the longer length is being worn by Charlotte at age 6.

These capes are great for World Book Day, Halloween, Prince and Princess dress-up parties or just a great addition to your dressing up box.

Royal Cape FREE downloadable pdf


Materials Required:

:: Velvet or velour 140cm wide for cape
Short :        100cm
Long :        130cm
:: 25cm Velvet or velour 130cm wide for collar
:: Iron-on interfacing
:: Trim 3m for Short Cape, 5m for Long Cape (ric-rac or braid is perfect)
:: Clasp

Tools Required:

:: Paper scissors and tape or glue (to assemble your paper pattern)
:: Sewing scissors
:: Walking/Teflon/roller foot for your sewing machine. Not essential, but the pile on velour and velvet can have a tendency to make the fabric move about
:: Point turner or bone folder
:: Iron and pressing cloth

Download and Assemble the Royal Cape Pattern

Download your Royal Cape Free Pattern. The pattern download features layers so that if you like, you can print out just the size you need. Make sure that you also check the Pattern Information box too as this layer includes the collar and interfacing pattern pieces.

When you print out your pattern pieces make sure that you print them actual size and don’t scale or fit to page. There is a test square on page 1 if you are not sure and want to check before printing all of the pages. The pattern pages are designed to be printed out on either A4 or US letter.

Assemble that pattern pages so that they resemble the diagram below

Royal Cape Tiled Pattern Pieces Layout

Cut Fabric

:: Cut cape from 4 layers of fabric. Fold cut edge of fabric to cut edge and then selvedge to selvedge. Position pattern piece so straight edges are along folded edges of fabric see pic below.

Cutting Plan for Royal Cape

:: Cut 2 collars and apply interfacing to one collar

Making Up

:: Apply the circle of interfacing to the wrong side of the neck opening, see pic below. This will help to stop the neck edge from getting out of shape. during construction and wear.

Apply Interfacing to Neck Opening

:: Cut a straight line from the outside edge to the neck opening/hole in the
centre. Trim the paper pattern along the dotted line and use as a guide to cut the curved lower edges of the cape opening, see pic below

Cut front opening of cape

:: Neaten all cut edges of the cape with an overlocker or using a zig-zag/overcast stitch on your sewing machine.

Sew the Collar

:: Apply interfacing to one collar piece, then with RST sew the two collar pieces together around the outside edge. Clip seam allowances, see pic below. Turn collar through to the right side, press, then baste the raw edges (which are at the neckline) together.

Sew collar and snip seam allowances

:: Position collar on the right side of the cape, matching the CB of the cape to the CB of the collar, see pic below. Sew with a 1/2” seam allowance. Snip seam allowances and press to the wrong side of the cape. Understitch seam allowances to cape.

Attach collar

:: Turn under a 5/8” hem around all edges of cape, including the remainder of the neck edge. Top-stitch in place.

:: Apply trim to the outside edges.

:: Attach clasp at neck edge.

Happy Sewing!

Royal Cape - Shorter length

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Royal Cape

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World Book Day 2014 :: Room on the Broom

Today is World Book Day…hurrah for books. My girls love books and Charlotte is a great little reader (proud mummy)

To celebrate World Book Day Charlotte went into school dressed as a character from a book. For some time she was going to go as Sleeping Beauty but just before the weekend she decided she wanted to go as ‘The Witch’ from ‘Room on The Broom’ by Julia Donaldson, illustrated by Axel Scheffler. I was so pleased as she has loved this book for such a long time and we love the animation just as much (can’t believe they missed out on an Oscar!)

Room on the Broom by Julia Donaldson, illustrated by Axel Sheffler

So over the weekend we (well, mostly I) have been making a plait, a bow, a cauldron, a cape and a skirt to re-create the look. Here’s how we got on…

Two Witches from Room on the Broom


The skirt was based on the Lazy Days Skirt free tutorial from the Oliver + S blog. I made Charlotte’s skirt quite long and used my pinking shears to create the points at the hemline.

Luckily there was enough fabric to make a skirt for Emily too as she was rapidly becoming put out that Charlotte was getting an outfit and she wasn’t. Her skirt was finished with a simple turned hem as I figured she could then wear it again and again.


The cape was super easy and super cheap. The fabric came right out of the sale section. All I did was cut the metre in half lengthways (so I could make on for Emily too), sewed a channel along one short edge, threaded a wide ribbon through and secured it in place with a few stitches so that it wouldn’t slide out of place. Perfectly witchy!

Long Ginger Plait

I went to RKM wools in Shrewsbury at the weekend and just inside the door I found the perfect ball of wool for £1.49. Perfect for making a ginger plait! I made three long sets of strands, clipped them with a sandwich bag clip thingy at the top to hold them in place and plaited away until it was nice and long.

Long ginger plait work in progress


For the bow I found some yellow fabric with white spots. I decided to get out a red sharpie and colour in the dots so it matched the witch’s bow (madness!!). The sharpie bled a little but it looks more authentic don’t you think?

Bow Dots

I used the Super Easy No-Sew Bows tutorial from Sew Sara, which did exactly what it said on the tin…super easy and no sew!

Bow Work in progressBow Detail

Pointed Hats

These both came from fancy dress shops. Yes, I say shops because I bought a hat for Charlotte and then very quickly realised that Emily would want one too so a second hat it was! I used the glue gun to secure the long ginger plait to the back of the hat

Broom Sticks

Thanks to the terrible storms we had the other week the garden was awash with plenty of sticks to make a couple of brooms. Out with the glue gun again and some string and the job was done (and the garden was tidy!)

Broom work in progress


I have not done paper mache since I was at school and I honestly don’t remember it being quite so messy and taking so long! The cauldron was one of those things that you start and really wish that you hadn’t!

I mixed up a pot of glue from flour, water and a pinch of salt, sat the balloon on top of a measuring jug and started pasting away with strips of newspaper (bought specifically for the job – oh, the digital age!). Charlotte helped with the first layer but we used far too much glue and all the newspaper strips started sliding off the balloon! Luckily we rescued it just in time so we didn’t have to start over.

Cauldron work in progress

I left the first rather claggy layer to dry over night and well into the next day. A couple of layers later and it was shaping up quite well. I gave it a trim around the edges and then Charlotte and I got out the black paint. I poked a couple of holes in the sides of the cauldron, threaded a few loops of string and covered it with a felt handle.


Charlotte drew pictures of the items that the characters from the book threw into the cauldron…a bone, a cone, a lilly and a stick

Cauldron Contents

Crooked Nose

A quick trip to the fancy dress shop for crooked noses and the look was complete, although Emily has refused to wear hers all day (I would too…mighty uncomfortable!)

Crooked NoseDid your little ones dress up for World Book Day? Add a link to the comments section if you’ve got any pictures online


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New Look Site

I’ve gone for a new cleaner look for the blog, so sorry to have shocked you if you’re dropping in for a read!

I am working on my new website (eeep, very exciting) so I thought I would update the blog to match. There will be a few tweaks to come but hopefully nothing to drastic and distracting.

This week I am also working on a costume for Charlotte as it’s World Book Day on Thursday…
World Book Day preparations

…any guesses as to which character she’ll be going as?


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