Daughters and dinosaurs

hand printed dinosaur sweatshirtDaughters and dinosaurs. If mainstream toy or clothing retailers were to be believed the two just don’t go together. Just like boys and butterflies. I could rant about the subject awkwardly, but the campaigners at Let Toys Be Toys do it much more eloquently. The collective message that products marketed to children send is a powerful one and can affect their choices, interests and aspirations.

With this in mind I was particularly saddened by Marks and Spencer’s Natural History Museum branded/endorsed range that was limited to clothes for boys. This irritation became my inspiration for the Just Add Detail tour of the Ziggy top pattern.


The challenge for the tour was to take the basic Ziggy pattern which has plenty of options for customisation and add your own detail.

I made some small dinosaur stencils by cutting them out of a sheet of acetate with a scalpel and sponged fabric paint over them to create an all over dinosaur print on the cut out pieces. Whilst I do not believe that dinosaurs need to be ‘pinkified’ for girls I let S choose the colours for them, and (as if to prove the influence of marketing on children) she picked pink, white and gold.

dinosaur fabric stencilling

The other detail added to my version were sweatshirt style cuffs and hem. As my sweatshirting fabric wasn’t particularly stretchy and S’s head is pretty big I also cut the neckline a few sizes larger. The top has a straightforward construction so was a quick make.

The new jumper was an instant hit and inspired an archeological dig in the back garden and a large amount of roaring.

If you’d like to see what else can be done with the Ziggy pattern check the details of the tour here or visit the sites below directly.

20% off Ziggy

There is 20% of the Ziggy pattern for one week only to coincide with the tour.


17 thoughts on “Daughters and dinosaurs

  1. You are my kind of mom and I love the dino sweatshirt! I have a truck loving girl so I totally understand the gender bias in clothes and toys. Usually I just ignore it and buy (or make) whatever I want 😉

    1. I try not to spend lots of money of fabrics – so I’m always looking for ways of turning inexpensive fabrics into something more special.

  2. These are STENCILS?! So awesome! I loved dinosaurs as a little girl and still do, so I’m really glad you were able to make something so cool for a dino-lovin’ girl! I want one just like it! 🙂

  3. I love this! I dislike how clothes and toys are super-gender-specific for little ones. It limits children before they even have a choice. Good for you, and good for your daughter!

  4. I’m all for gender neutral clothes and toys. I’m glad my girls have never had a thing about pink. Phew!

    Love your Ziggy. If they sold that in M&S I bet it would sell REALLY well. Interestingly, they sold a really cool blue sweatshirt with wolves on in H&M just before Christmas in the boys range. I bought one for my daughter (and nephew) and have since seen other little girls wearing it too.

    1. I saw that sweater on my friend’s son – really cool. Sadly for me S is now requesting pink things (she has none so I will probably have to oblige). She also says she loves frozen despite that fact that she has never watched it. I put it on once and she ran out of the room demanding cbeebies because the film was ‘boring’.

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