Moving with the Times – How toys have changed over the years

I was busy sewing away one day and it dawned on me, technology and fashions move so fast these days. However, there are some things that don’t change as fast, or at all it would seem.

I’ve made thousands of soft toys, all completely unique, all designed to stand the test of time. The thing that helps to make each soft toy unique is that I buy lots of smaller amounts of fabric to be in the wonderful position to have enough to make only one of each animal from each fabric.

How is this do-able?

Easy – fashions change! Every time I go to buy new fabrics, I do a little research into ‘up and coming’ trends and colour palettes to help me make my choices. I don’t always get it right, like anything relying on trends. But it is fun to keep trying!

The exception to the rule?

The thing I have noticed is when I search ‘traditional’ toys or ‘modern’ toys and even ‘contemporary’ toys – not a lot has changed over the years in regards to what toys would be given to which sex…

For example:

‘Traditional” toys – boys get trucks and blocks, girls get dolls and prams.

‘Modern’ toys – boys got bigger better blocks and fancier trucks, the girls dolls got prettier and more unrealistic.

‘Contemporary’ toys – the race tracks for the boys cars are very impressive and mostly made from wood instead of plastic, the dolls where more handmade and less plastic but with more accessories.

Breaking the Mold?

When I started making soft toys, I too mostly kept to these stereotyping. But I’ve started to notice a huge shift recently.

Boys like playing with butterfly soft toys just as much as girls, and often choose more delicate fabrics when picking larger toys too. Girls are loving that there are dinosaurs soft toys with more feminine fabrics and that dinosaurs are not ‘just for boys’.

So when you are selecting a soft toy for someone you know – will you keep with “tradition”? Or will you break the mold?


gnome handmade soft toy butterfly
Gnome Fabric Butterfly Soft Toy
Pink Deer handmade soft toy dinosaur
Pink deer fabric handmade soft toy dinosaur