28 July 2013

Wanderings on the web

Summer in a bowl
A few things I've run across lately....

A scientific approach to making your favourite type of chocolate chip cookie.

The most amazing food blog that I've read in ages.

A genius (if extreme) method for finding your style. If nothing else, it's highly entertaining to read about someone else doing it.

What I'm eating for breakfast these days. Except I use raspberries.

A music video about geek girls. I played RPGs growing up, read scifi/fantasy, and got a B.Math in Computer Science. I am a proud geek.

Chic bicycle adventures to take around the world.

Photographs and artwork by Allison Gryski. © All rights reserved.

18 July 2013

There was one with polkadots.

When there's not much time for sewing projects, I tend to stick to the highly functional ones. A book bag for library visits and a zip pouch for spare toddler clothes are two recent-ish projects.

Book Bag

The book bag is a lined tote with a pocket on the inside. I love the cute gnomes and woodland creature fabrics available in Holland and they paired well with a classic red and white spotted fabric.

Book Bag (inside out)

For the zip pouch, I used some exotic fabric from a bundle of fat quarters and some tiny white on blue polkadots for lining. It really should have been wider, but I wanted to work with what I had on hand and all my zippers were short. It's just big enough to fit one change of clothes for the Wee Lass, but I will probably make another one when I have a chance to pick up some longer zips.

Zip Pouch

I don't tend to sew from a pattern, so I just made both of these up as I went along and using materials that I already had. Given my time constraints for crafty projects, having a good stash of stuff has been invaluable. I try to keep a nice variety of ribbons, elastic, zippers, snaps, and embellishments around so that I don't have to delay a project by going shopping for supplies. This can also lead to some delightful serendipity. I am so pleased with how Zoe's slightly wild blue-green hair turned out and it occurred largely because I didn't have any leftover yarn in a more conventional colour.

Photographs and artwork by Allison Gryski. © All rights reserved.

08 July 2013

And then we made a Dolly.

Zoe the doll
The Wee Lass and I made a fabric dolly together. She's very interested in my sewing machine and frequently asks to do a sewing project. We used tea to dye some linen from a thrifted shirt (we needed only a small part of one arm of the shirt for this dolly).

I drew a pattern on paper based roughly on the shape of her bunny (amusingly, also made from a thrifted shirt) and then traced around it to add seam allowance. I made the arms a bit fatter (easier to flip and stuff) and added thumbs. We sewed up the arms and legs together and stuffed them full of "fluff" as she calls it. I added felt eyes and a mouth with some embroidery thread before sewing the body up and attaching the arms and legs. I attached a little loop of embroidered trim so we could easily clip the dolly to a bag or the stroller if she's coming out on adventures.

I added yarn hair, based on a simple tutorial that I found online. Since our dolly didn't have a perfectly round head, I found it worked better to start the "scalp" at the hairline and then spiral in, rather than the reverse. I wove in the loose ends of the braid to fill any gaps and secure it. I just added a little bit of long yarn hair to make pigtails and bangs, rather than covering the whole head.

This type of "flat" doll is quite approachable for a novice sewist and lots of fun to involve a little one in the process. Next time the Wee Lass requests a sewing project, I think we'll make her dolly a dress.

Photographs and artwork by Allison Gryski. © All rights reserved.