Twig + Tale toadstool village pattern hack

Let’s give it a go in English this time, since Twig + Tale is a New Zealand based pattern design company and their patterns are bought, sewn and hacked by enthusiastic sewists all over the world.

As part of the T+T inspiration team, the pattern of the toadstool village was gifted to me. In return, inspiration team members sew the pattern, sometimes hack it and photograph the results of their creative endeavours for T&T to use. So far I’ve sewn the pathfinder vest with animal add-ons (a wolf!), the dragon wings, two English oak leaves from the newly released euro leaf bundle. And most recently I put a lot of effort (and tons of hand stitching) into my hack of their toadstool village pattern.

After seeing the adorable toadstool by @Elsebesjes at O’s preschool, I figured I could not not live with a toadstool that was uninhabitable. So I decided to open it up, having an actual functioning fairy door in a hollow stem. I was equally excited to finally have found a use for the scrap of very thick felt that I had laying around for at least ten+ years now.

Basically, I used the T+T toadstool village pattern size Large to cut the fabric pieces, but after that, I ignored further sewing instructions and figured things out on the go. Here’s my go:

First of, go out for some inspiration:

This Amanita muscaria (or fly agaric, ‘vliegenzwam’ in Dutch) served as my inspiration for the colours and the organic shape of the cap.

Second, cut the pattern pieces according to the Twig and Tale pattern for the toadstool village size Large. And added:

  1. a toadstool ring from the same thick creamy felt, a little longer then the length of the top of the stem (since it has to wrap around the stem). 
  2. an extra base (sort of like the flooring of the interior) that is a little bit smaller in circumference then the bottom (outer) base. The difference in size is approximately the thickness of the felt you use for the stem, which wraps around the inner base and onto the outer base.
  3. you don’t need to, of course, but I wanted the gills to be a little more defined. So I cut a layer of batting for the downside of the cap (1 cm smaller in circumference). 

I used a scrap of an orange felted lambswool sweater from the thrift store (the rest I previously used to make a vest for the kids from), and needle felted from the centre outward with bright red (and burgundy) felt wool. Then I added some lighter shades of wool (yellow, peach and off-white) towards the margin (edge) of the cap. Then I embroidered the scales (dots) using french knots.

I attached the top of the cap to the bottom, using a ladder stitch. Stuffed it with wool only to find out that I ended up with some extra fabric on the top part…. I figured I would turn this ‘mistake’ into a dormer window. I cut a piece of the thick felt in the shape I want for the dormer, appliquéd some windows on it and sewed it in.

Then on to the base of the toadstool. Since I wanted it to firmly stand up, also when played with, I needed something heavy on the bottom that would not add too much volume as I wanted the shroom to be inhabitable. Since our kids no longer put their toys in their mouths, I decided it was ok to use a scrap of lead. I made sure they would never be able to touch it with their hands as it would be completely covered and hidden between the thick felt base plates, so I cut it in a circle shape just a little bit smaller than the smallest base plate and I sewed it in between base plates.

Make sure to cut out windows and the door and decorate the stem while it is laying flat in front of you (so much easier!). I’ve used a blanket stitch around all exposed edges of the stem, including the inside of the windows and the door. Instead of embroidering, I used fairytale felt for appliqué details to the stem.

After I decorated all I wanted (or basically all I could think of at that time), I decided it was time to join the 2 sides of the stem, turning it into a hollow tube. Unfortunately I can’t find any pictures of this step (below you’ll find some up close pictures of the finished product to show the seam at the back of the stem). Subsequently I attached the base plate to the stem.

Now it is time to measure the length needed of the ring and sew the ring onto the cap. So the cap can function as a lid. And then your toadstool can start looking for some sweet tiny inhabitants!

C and O received the toadstool including 2 small wooden Ostheimer animals as a gift (to share) from Sinterklaas.

Time to play play play!