Oh March, you held so much promise. Now you’re gone, sigh. Share a nostalgic moment with me, and reflect back on March, won’t you?
I made a new sunglasses case:
I sent off some lovelies to Mag-Big in Portland:
I shared three easy ways to hem:
Using bias tape
And no hem at all!
I put up some new goodies in my shop.
And I made a new pillow:
Whew. It’s been a month, that’s for sure. James and I are off to Tahoe tomorrow despite my overall feeling of lethargy. We’ll have to be up and ready for action by 7am to catch the Ski Bus, so I’m packing my Yerba Mate and my juicer. It’s supposed to snow the day before we get there, so I hope it’s a powder day!
Are you doing anything fun this weekend?
If you are going shopping at the Goodwill, make sure to pick up a calendar! At the GW, every day is it’s own special discount day, so a quick glance at the calendar lets you know whether to bring your grandma (for the senior discount day) or browse the sweater section.
Also, all items are tagged with a certain colour to track their time in the store. Weekly, Goodwill discounts a certain colour tag to 50% off. And on Sunday, they switch to a new colour, so you’ll have the best selection of 50% off goods on Sunday.
For my birthday, I received a bunny pillow case from James and Emily. Unfortunately, I didn’t have any pillow forms that were big enough to fill the case, so I was forced into the realm of DIYDS (Do It Your Damn Self). Here is a little tutorial on the art of pillow forming.
**Note** I am an advocate for thrifting and recycling, but used pillows is a line I don’t cross. You never know how old the pillow is or what little dust mites and mold have been growing in there. Gross. So make an exception and get yourself a new pillow.
I love shopping in my own closet, and I happened to have two small pillow forms that I had been saving for a completely different project! Score! If you don’t have any pillows, you can find bamboo or corn fiber fill at your local fabric store. Both of these are very soft, luxurious and environmentally friendly.
The perfect fabric for this project is a clean thrifted sheet. You’ll have plenty of fabric left over for other projects, and *bonus* most sheets tear straight. Although they may not be printed straight. Or hemmed straight. So to straighten things up, cut a slit at the edge of your sheet and tear off the hems. Measure from this line, adding 1″ for seam allowance. You can cut a slit and tear at the measurement. Easy peasy!
I wanted my pillow to be 18″ X 18″ so I added 1″ to each measurement, so I cut out two 19″X19″ squares.
- First, mark one side that will be your ‘opening.’
- Pin the two pieces together, leaving a 6″ opening where you placed your mark.
- Beginning on one side of the opening, sew all the way around, stopping 6″ from where you started.
- Using the opening, turn your new pillow case inside-out. Use your fingers to poke out those corners.
- Now it’s time to gut your old pillowforms. Tear out all of that fiber fill, and stuff it into your new pillow case.
- Make sure to shove the fiber fill into the corners. If you want a nice, plump pillow, stuff it to the brim.
- Poke the last fibers into the pillow, and pull the pillow corners on either side of the opening taught. The fabric should naturally fold at the appropriate seam line.
- Carefully pin the opening together.
- Slipstitch that baby closed! Now stuff it into your pillow case of choice!
Hooray for projects completed! Are you working on anything?
Cold, wet weather means cups of tea, bunny snuggles and picture revision! I’m so proud and excited to show you my two newest creations, now available in my etsy shop…
The cummerbund skirt was made from a hideous dress complete with shoulder pads, green velvet buttons down the front, and a huge green velvet collar (always sexy). Now it’s this cute skirt:
I made this Grey Lace and Jersey Dress from a 7xl man’s shirt and some lace. It has a fun circle skirt and a cute lotus on the shoulder:
I’ve also replenished the vintage section Found and Untouched in my shop, and added these three beauties:
I’ve always loved juices, but I have become increasingly addicted to them. My addiction happily coincides with my drive to get as healthy and fit as possible before our wedding.
If you’ve never tried a veggie juice and think they sound weird, think again! Juices are great for you because they deliver a punch of nutrients that can be immediately absorbed into your blood stream. They also make eating raw bitter greens (which are great for you) a lot easier, because you can mask the flavor with the sweetness of carrots and apples.
Juices give you the same amount of nutrients as eating the whole raw vegetable without filling your belly. You can always tell when I’ve had a juice because the next day my complexion is visibly brighter. I’ve been having a big green juice at least once a day for the past two weeks, and it almost looks like I have a tan! Here are my favorite sweet veggie juices:
Amy’s Morning Juice: Kale, Celery, Apple, Lemon, Cucumber
Sweet Greens: Kale, Parsley, Celery, Spinach, Carrot
The Works: Beet, Celery, Sunflower Sprouts, Kale, Spinach, Parsley, Apple, Carrot, Ginger
Sweet Treat: Carrot, Apple, Ginger (try adding Beet as well!)
Being an avid thrifter, I’ve seen a lot of stains. Some are gross and make me want to vomit, and some are very manageable. When I unfolded my beloved plane fabric, I saw that there were several tiny brownish spots on part of it. I cut out my dress and sewed it up anyway, because I knew I could get these “age spots” out. Here are a few tricks from the masters:
Martha Stewart says that if you soak anything in water for long enough (i.e. days and weeks) even the most stubborn stain should disappear.
Ann Wood uses Woolite.
Me? Oh, I use something a wee bit environmentally un-friendly…
First I put on my gloves, because this mixture can be really hard on your hands. I get out my biggest glass bowl and pour in a slosh of Ecos Liquid Detergent and a cup of Oxiclean. Then I fill the bowl with hot water and give it a good stir. Next, I fully submerge my garment, and poke at it occassionally throughout the day. The mixture will cause the garment to rise to the top, so I have to check on it and resubmerge it every so often. Sometimes I soak it for 24 hours, depending on the stain.
*Note: This method is great for whites and colours alike. It takes out all kinds of stains, but Oxyclean isn’t for delicate fabrics. If you have a stained delicate, I would listen to Martha or Ann’s advice.
I know Oxiclean isn’t the best, but if it gets stains out of something that would otherwise be thrown away, I say go for it. I’ve also seen a similar product made by the eco-friendly company Seventh Generation, so I’m keen to take a look at it and test it out just as soon as I’ve finished this pottle of Oxiclean.
How do you get out tough stains?
I just ran across some pictures of our trip to Tahoe in December. James and I went on a lovely hike and ran across this beautiful lake.
Needless to say, we spent the day sunbathing in our ski gear.
These roots reminded me of a tarantula.
James and I have a trip planned for Tahoe on the weekend after next, I can’t wait!
Oh, and this is my 101st blog post! Woohoo!
I’ve been thinking a lot recently about the blog post “Noted: Tracking Your Used Clothing” by Chapelle Ellison. If you haven’t read it, you should definitely head over to the Etsy Blog and take a look. There are also some pretty stimulating comments.
Among other appaulling figures, Ellison notes:
“..An article in GOOD reports that only a shocking 15 to 20 percent of clothing donations are resold in U.S. thrift shops. The rest is either sold to become industrial wiping rags, recycled into insulation, or shipped to other countries. While the most desirable vintage items are sold to Japan, Africa receives the bulk of our secondhand clothing, making it one of the continent’s top imports…”
First off, why does Japan get all the vintage goodies? Haha, but jokes aside, these facts have been running through my head for the past several days and I can’t get over how much clothing we consume as a nation. Growing up in LA, disposable fashion was presented to me as a great way to clothe yourself; I was a frequenter of Forever 21 and Anchor Blue. I went through clothes like no other, and I look back in horror. Ellison states that Americans only keep 21% of the clothing we buy each year, and I can certainly attest to that statistic as an adolescent. It wasn’t because I was opposed to used clothing (well, maybe a little…) it was more that I was uneducated about what an impact my materialism was having on our environment. The amount of things we ship to and from nations on this planet is ridiculous (not to mention the amount of fuel used in the process). I read an article once in some magazine that called out for a Michael Pollan of clothing, and I couldn’t agree more.
I started this year as “A Year Of Nothing New” as a challenge, but now I see how important recycling clothing is. My year needs to shift into a lifestyle change, because we (as a nation) simply can’t continue consuming at the rate we do. Be the change you wish to see in the world…
On with the hemming!
When I worked at Hart’s Fabric, I found that customers were familiar with the uses of double-fold bias tape, but single-fold was a mystery to them. When I learned it’s use, it transformed my sewing life, so I would like to share it with you.
I am by nature a lazy seamstress (if I am sewing something for myself). It’s not because I don’t love to sew. It’s because my brain is so full of ideas and projects that I want to sew as quickly as possible so I can move on to the next thing. This results in skipping steps, taking shortcuts, and overall lazy sewing. The easier and quicker the better. Plus, my mother always told me that if I grew my hair long enough it would cover my closures and I could just use safety pins (instead of buttons or zippers). So you can see where I am coming from!
Single fold bias tape makes hemming a snap. The tape is cut on the bias (basically diagonal), so it stretches and goes around curves with ease. It makes a handsome finish on circular skirts and dresses, and it’s easy as pie, so let’s get started!
Single fold bias tape looks like this. Both sides are folded in to make a long strip. I make my own, but you can buy it in little packages or by the yard at your local fabric store.
- Get out your single fold bias tape and unfold one side. Fold in the end of the tape about 1/2″
- Pin the tape to the right side of your garment, with the folded side of the tape facing you. Line up the unfolded side of your tape with the edge of your skirt, making sure to use a pin to secure the fold.
- Go to your machine and stitch in the crease of the fold of your bias tape all around the skirt.
- When you come to the end, make sure that the end of your bias tape overlaps the original folded bit you started with.
- The reverse side of your seam should look like this.
- Time for the trusty iron! Iron your seam flat.
- Then flip your garment over and fold the bias tape up. Iron and pin, making sure that the fabric of your skirt peaks out just a bit at the seam.
- Sew along the edge of your bias tape, all the way around (make sure your bobbin thread is a good match to your garment colour)
- Voila! Here is the hem from the inside and outside.
I made this dress from the same thrifted plane fabric that I used to make my sunglasses case!
What will you hem?
Yesterday I went to my local grocery store, and noticed a rather large sign announcing the Plastic Bag Ban in Santa Cruz County. Hooray! As of March 20th, businesses can no longer give out one-time use plastic bags, and must charge 10 cents for a paper bag. In celebration, I’m offering 25% off all market bags in my Etsy Shop. Now I’m off to sew myself some more cute bags so I can be extra sure to have them wherever I go.
Coupon Code: BYOB2012