Monday, January 27, 2014

Dress-up doll revival!

 None of the readers of this blog (my English blog) know what this doll is. If you are my Japanese blog reader from ancient time, there would be a very small chance that you remember this little girl. I made this doll for my daughter when she was only two years old (Wow, that was six years ago!). I expected that my girl would start playing dress-up dolls soon just like my sister and I did when we were little. And I thought I made this doll so adorable so she is going to be a very good friend of my daughter's for long time.

 Nina seemed to love this doll for a short while and even named that Amy. Then soon she failed to meet my expectation. I was pretty much disappointed, as you can imagine. Since then this little one had been sleeping in Nina's toy box like princess Aurora in the Sleeping Beauty.  Nina has never wanted to play with any dolls like Barbies and baby dolls. She loves stuffed animals but just cannot consider dolls made of plastic and rubber pretty. (Do they use rubber to make those dolls? Well, what ever they use.....) She says they are just spooky.
Look at this! Nina was such a little girl only six years ago! (You can find the post about this doll here.)

Lately, we had a chance to wake up the doll Amy. Nina was invited to a friend's sleepover birthday party and she was asked to bring a doll to play with. She still didn't want to take a plastic doll (actually she has some of them but they are hidden under the bed).  I thought of this homemade doll and Nina recalled she had that one for long time. She says this doll isn't spooky because this is not made of plastic. It is soft just like her stuffed animals. She even renamed it "Nina Jr.". She asked me if I could make a set of PJ's for the sleepover.

Nina drew the design of PJ's she wants.

I made patterns.

The hand sewn PJ's are finished!

Then finally Nina started enjoying to play a dress-up doll! She drew more designs she wants me to make. I love to work on a small scale so I enjoy making clothes for our new friend Nina Jr.

An everyday shirt and a pair of jeans.

A long, long dress.

Nina made a closet with an empty soy milk carton. Also invented tiny hangers made with straws and paper clips.

If you had a girl in Nina's age (she is eight), does she play dolls in a tiny corner of a huge room? We have plenty of empty space in our living room. And she likes to play in that little space only when she plays doll. Funny.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Origami Drawstring Pouch Tutorial

Happy New Year Everyone! I am so glad I can start the new year of this blog sharing this delightful tutorial. I have made two more different sized pouches as you can see in the photo below. The front flower print one is the pouch I already showed in the last post. The middle one is a little larger. I used a solid linen for this which I trimmed with a cotton lace. The largest one is in the back. It made of a fun dog print which is my daughter's favorite.

Materials you will need are ::

[Small Pouch / Finished Size 12cmW x 8cmD x 13cmH]
1 Square Fabric / 46cm(18") x 46cm(18"), 2 Cords / 34cm(13.5"), 2 Beads which have holes large enough to string the cords you have.

[Medium Pouch / Finished Size 13cmW x 9cmD x 15cmH]
1 Square Fabric / 50cm(20") x 50cm(20"), 2 Cords / 36cm(14"), 2 Beads which have holes large enough to string the cords you have.

[Large Pouch / Finished Size 16cmW x 10cmD x 19cmH]
1 Square Fabric / 60cm(24") x 60cm(24"), 2 Cords / 42cm(16.5"), 2 Beads which have holes large enough to string the cords you have.

These measurements are just FYI to get an rough idea what you will have finally. You can use your fabric square in any sizes actually. That means this project would be so great to use up fabrics in your stash. Or you can use fabric napkins or silk scarves you won't use anymore. (A good thing about using those items is you don't need to hem your square.) I made the small pouch with a piece of fat quarter fabric. So if you've been saving prettiest fat quarters in your stash, it is the time to use them!

A large pouch will be perfect for carrying craft supplies for kids, a lunch box, your crochet project, and so on! I crocheted the strings with fun color and wrapped the ends of strings with little felt circles.

The medium size pouch has an elegant touch of lace tape on its flaps and pockets. This can be used as a neat cosmetic pouch.

The V shaped pockets hold small belongings nicely.

The bottoms of these pouches have three layers. Even you use light fabric, it gets steadier. When you use thicker fabric like this linen (this linen weighs a little heavier than quilting cotton), the bottom feels nice and strong. (I don't recommend too thick fabric for this project. This linen would be the heaviest I would use except I am going to make much bigger bag.)

You can find the tutorial with lots of photos here. Soon you will find out how easy and simple it is. I hope you'll enjoy making your own beautiful pouches. Feel free to ask in your comment if you have any questions.  Happy new sewing year!!!

By the way, I cooked "Japanese new year's day brunch dishes" spending two last days of 2013. I usually go to Chicago to get some ready made food from Japanese super market. But this time we were too busy to go shopping in the big city so I needed to cook everything using ingredients I can get here in South Bend. It was tough and I couldn't make all I wanted. And also they didn't taste perfect as I expected. But I think it was good enough and I will be better next time.

We are having a big snow storm since yesterday. We have about 12 inches snow on the ground and the temperature will go down to -17°F tonight! We already know School will be closed tomorrow. (It was supposed to be the first school day in 2014! I want Nina going back school pretty bad :p) But the trees are sooooo beautifully covered with snow. Everything looks like in the winter wonder land. I noticed that I sort of like having a little snow storm (amazing!). I hope you all have a good start of the week and stay warm. Thank you for reading.