The user for my toy is my friend Elisabeth. She is senior at NYUSH, and she really likes a lot of those typical health foods like kale and spinach while I think a lot of them are pretty gross. She has a tanktop with a list of leafy greens on them. Whenever I see stuff making fun of kale, I send it to her, so I thought it might be funny to give her a kale toy.
Since I don’t actually eat kale, I wasn’t too familiar with how it looks. I started out by doing several sketches of kale and then showing my friend. I asked her which she thought looked the most ‘kale-like’ and based my design off of that.
I also looked up lots of different craft work including kale. I even found a stuffed kale, similar to what I want to accomplish. However, I thought that the stem was too wide/large to really capture the essence of how kale looks. Actually seeing what a finished product looked like helped to cement my decision to go for a more 2 dimensional kale leaf rather than widening the stem to make room for the stitches and stuffing. I decided I mostly wanted to focus on the ridged leaves.
I also found embroidery of kale, which I thought was really beautiful. I originally wanted to try embroidering around the edges of my leaves in order to create the ruffled effect, but I didn’t have time to learn both sewing and embroidering. In the future, I’d like to see how embroidering the leaves compares with ruffling the fabric.
The first time I tried to create layers, it didn’t go well. The pattern I made for the leaves was alright for sewing flat, but there wasn’t nearly enough fabric when I tried to create the ridges. In the next iteration, I made the leaves way bigger, and I’m pleased with that result. I think in the future, I can experiment with even larger leaves. If I had more time, I also think that it would be fun to knit a bowl, create several more leaves, and serve it as a salad.