Ahoy me hearties!

Wednesday, 23 January 2013
Who would have thought that throwing a birthday party for a four year old would be so much work? Especially when it was a joint party with two other friends so we were able to share the load.  I think I've been spending far too much time on Pinterest and I became overloaded with awesome ideas - and being an overachieving crafty type I then tried out too many!

We decided to have a pirate themed party, which of course required pirate costumes.  For the birthday girl I made her a girly version of a pirate costume:


I made the top from some white broderie anglaise cotton that I had in the stash leftover from a previous project, using Kwik Sew 3665 which I've used before and so it sewed up in about 30 minutes.  It looks pretty and summery so it will have a life beyond the pirate costume:


Kwik Sew 3665 girls top

And because this is Anna we're talking about, she had to have a twirly skirt for her version of a pirate costume, so I made a quarter circle skirt from Burda 11/07 #134 - sure it's just a simple circle skirt but it was easier to trace a pattern than to do the maths to draft my own circle skirt!  The polyester I used has been sitting in my stash for a long time and probably should have been chucked a long time ago because it was so nasty that it made my machine spew forth cotton and skip stitches when stitching. It's a relief to get it out of the stash - the scraps went straight into the bin!



I also made a little red cotton vest from a vintage pattern, Butterick 6489 by making the jacket pattern without the cap sleeves, which she wore for about  30 minutes on the day and refused to put it back on even for photos, so that was a good use of my time!




Since us mums did all the work in getting the party done, we decided the dads could also dress up and be in charge of the party games.  In an attempt to embarrass my husband as much as possible, I made his costume matchy matchy with Anna's.  I took one of his old white business shirts and cut off the collar and cuffs, and then sewed some narrow elastic around the sleeve edges to puff the shirt sleeves up.  I made him a matching red vest from Burda 1/2011 #148 which is actually the bolero vest from the snake charmers costume in the magazine - I never thought I would use one of the crazy carnival costume patterns in Burda but I guess there is a first time for everything. 

Burda 1/2011 #148
Worn with an eye patch and black bandanna, a red sash around the waist plus a pair of his black shorts, this is how he looked:


Unfortunately for me not much fazes my husband and he wasn't embarrassed in the slightest - in fact when I told him I wanted to take his photo for my blog he grabbed that scooter and hammed it up for the camera!

But the sewing and craftiness didn't stop there, damn you Pinterest and all those over the top parties I pinned in earnest! I made 30 eye patches from felt and elastic for the guests:


Then I made 30 'telescopes' from cardboard tubes painted black with bits of corrugated cardboard and gold paper strips with drawn on screws glued on (although I think some of these were used as swords on the day):


And then I also made 30 drawstring bags made from a really cute cotton poplin in a pirate print bought from Spotlight to keep all these things in:


'take a bag and join our motley crew'

I think it was worth the effort though, the kids seemed to love them and I hope that the little kits live on in some one's dress up box for a while yet instead of the usual mountain of rubbish that gets thrown out right after a party.

We had some pretty cool party food too:

very cool pirate cupcakes, not made by me though!
honeyed popcorn clusters in cups and jelly cups
a birthday cake for each of the birthday kids to save tears at cutting time
My sister made an awesome birthday cake for Anna, totally out of theme but it's what the birthday girl requested:


Of course 30 kids plus their parents wouldn't fit in my modestly sized back yard, so we hired out some space at a local park which meant we had to lug so much stuff there.  We had a jumping castle to help burn off some of that sugar, had a pinata to bust open and a treasure hunt which turned out remarkably well for a bunch of 4 year olds!  The weather caused a bit of stress, with a heatwave on Friday followed by gale force winds on Friday night but Saturday turned out just right, with the temperature cooler and the rain holding off until after the party.

So now it's back to some regular sewing - thank god birthday parties are only once a year! Although this weekend we're off to a 40th birthday party out in the country and it's a 70s theme - let's see if I can find a totally cringeworthy outfit for my husband and see if that embarrasses him!


  1. Wow. That's one awesome party. It's great when everyone gets involved.
    You really did a top job on every aspect of this party.

  2. Wow, you're impressive. When it's my daughter's birthday (she's nearly Anna's age), I make a cake, some sausages and sandwiches, and then open the garden door and let them do their worst. I suspect she'd love a themed one - especially if the theme is dragons or dinosaurs.

  3. OMG!! You Rock!!! I totally get the Pinterest feeling, it's fantastic and dangerous at the same time! Your costumes are super, and I love the idea of the "loot" bag kits, much, much better than silly plastic stuff.

  4. She must have been thrilled. It looks like an awesome party. What a great mom you are!

  5. What a fantastic looking party! Great job! I really like your favors and favor bag. Such a neat idea to make something reusable for the kids. That picture of your husband is very funny!

  6. Wow, you're amazing! I have all these fantasies about doing things like this, but when it comes to actually following through with it, I fizzle out before I even start! Your hubster looks hysterically adorable in his getup, BTW.

  7. Everything there is so awesome and so adorable! You are a fabulous crafty mum :) Whilst the children may not seem to totally appreciate all your effort at the moment, I'm sure they'll look back with fondness - my mum also went to much effort for birthday parties when I was little, and I remember them and loved them.

  8. That's adorable--daughter and daddy! OK, where is your costume?

  9. So fun!! Such a great idea to have a joint party. The costumes turned out too cute! And I love all the little favors, great job!

  10. Oh wow! How can she be four already?

    Well done on putting such a brilliant party together.

  11. What an incredible party! The costumes are great and the party packs must have been a real delight for the kids. I'm very impressed.

  12. You are amazing and now the bar is set, what are you going to come up with next year. Love both outfits and the favours are tops, fantastic party.

  13. Oh how I love a themed birthday party!!! And you've absolutely gone to town on this - so awesome. Great work on the sewing and the baking!

  14. Awesome, and I'm sure at four Anna will remember all the details in years to come. Mine do.

  15. What a fabulous party! I am very amused by your husband's action shot. And seriously, who EVER thought that one of those Carnaval costumes would ever get sewn.

  16. Anna must have had a great time at the birthday party. Time is flying and she is growing up before our eyes. Love the pic of your hubbie!

  17. Holy cow Kristy, you went above and beyond for that party!!! The costumes are adorable! and making all those eye patches and telescopes and bags, I think you're up for mother of the year!!

  18. What a fun birthday! How do you get the energy!?