Saturday, October 25, 2008

Little Undies

From this... this... this!

From dodgy old top to nifty pair of little undies!!

The transformation took just over one and a half hours. I was following a pattern from the net and it caused me all sorts of grief. Just little things like sewing up the soakers before attaching them to the main piece - the recommended tight zigzag left me with a pretty ruffly edge. Just a pity I wanted a nice flat edge. I spent so much time unpicking. In the end I ended up not sewing the soakers together, just sewing them straight to the main piece.

This was my first time doing cuffs/legbands and a waistband of this style (I'm sorry, I have no idea what the technical terms are!). You can tell this by the fact that I sewed them on inside out...sigh... I realised after the first leg, but figured it was just a trial pair so it didn't matter. If I'd known how long it would take me to sew the remaining leg and waistband on, I would've gone to the trouble of unpicking the first legband and fixing it. And why it did take so long to sew on the second legband and the waist? Coz I sewed the waist into the leg...and had to unpick...sigh...

I did a second pair (this time out of an old Supre dress!) that turned out much, much better!

And they only took me just over an hour to complete :)

And how do they work? Well, they are designed to contain a wee, I guess you could say. If he has pants on over the top, the moisture will wick through to the pants. But that's kinda the point. We want to know when he has weed when he wees, not when we go to change a nappy. I want to make a few more of these, I will put a water-proof layer in some for times when we just don't want wet pants - in the car etc... At the mo, the little guy is still in nappies when we go out, and some of the time at home, but I think I will tune into him a lot better if we ditch the nappies more often. Besides, these little undies look so much more comfy! And cute :)

Friday, October 17, 2008

No More

I have a desire to live a more simple life. To consume less and create less waste. To use products that have more than one use and that have a long life-span. I dream of self-sufficiency but am taking little steps. Earlier this year, I challenged myself to give up one thing a month. I may or may not ever achieve self-sufficiency, but every month does bring me a little bit closer.

In April, we gave up buying white bread. I cheat and use a bread-maker, but I am making all our bread now. We probably go through more bread now than we did when we purchased it, because home-made bread is SO yummy! I make a plain white loaf, a garlic & herb loaf, pizza dough, and I've done a couple of others like banana bread.

In May, facial wash was the thing to go. I've never been a high-maintenance type of person. I rarely wear make up so I decided I didn't need to buy and use a facial wash on a daily basis. Now I use good old-fashioned water. And a face-washer. My skin feels great. As well as avoiding the cost, there is the packaging, and all those unpronounceable ingredients which aren't exactly good for you.

June, shampoo and conditioner. Now, I guess at this point, some of you may be thinking that I must be getting pretty smelly! This couldn't be further from the truth. I do still wash and condition my hair, just, well, not with products marketed as such. I use bicarb to wash and apple cider vinegar to condition. I got this idea from an online forum where there was a challenge to do this for six weeks. I didn't know how we'd go (my partner did this with me). The result? We haven't looked back. Our hair is clean and shiny and looks great. And no, it doesn't smell like vinegar.

July was flavoured yoghourt. I only used to eat the vanilla stuff. My partner enjoyed fruity flavours. We decided if we wanted fancy yoghourt we had to make it ourselves. We haven't done that yet, but we have changed to buying Greek-style natural yoghourt in 5L buckets! One day I aim to make even that myself, but that day is not today...

August was a bit of a cop-out - no more herbs/spices in fancy packaging. This means a trip to the food co-op where you can by them in whatever quantity you want and take them home with you in your own container. The savings on herbs/spices when you don't have to pay for packaging is amazing.

In September we ran out of paper towel. The stuff you use in the kitchen. So I said, ok, no more buying that. It really isn't that hard to use a cloth. Or a rag. In fact, it's really quite easy. They are stronger than paper, you can use them for whatever grotty purpose you wish, and then just throw them in the washing machine. Simple.

This month we ran out of talcum powder. Well, my partner did. I hadn't used the stuff since I found out I was pregnant (my son is now 8 months old) as I wanted to minimize the number of unsafe things that I used. But anyway... this month it's no more talcum powder. We have refilled an old powder container with cornflour and are using that. It works great.

So there you go. A brief run-down on what we've said 'no more' to so far this year. Keep your eye out for a new installment of this each month.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

My Sewing Room & A Previous Project

Ok, so it's meant to be a study. But, well, there's no-one studying in this house :) So it's my sewing room, craft room actually. I have tried scrap-booking, card-making, knitting, crocheting and now it's sewing. I had to spend a bit of time tidying the place up before I took this photo as I have supplies for each craft.

My machine is an old Janome on loan from a very kind Aunty. I don't have a manual for it, I've had no training in sewing, so I'm kind of flying blind. But I'm getting there. And some very helpful on-line tutes have helped me out a lot.

I used this tute to make some shoes for my niece's first birthday. I was so impressed that I kept doing little dances of joy while I was making them. It is a great tute as it assumes you know nothing about sewing and tells you to do things, like ironing, that others don't. I had never ironed anything during the sewing process before. It made it so much easier.

It's not the best pic, but anyway... here it is: the shoes, and a matching headband.

A Potty Cover

Let the record of my sewing begin! I made DS a cover for his potty so his little bottom and legs don't get cold. May seem a strange project given it was nearly 30 degrees here today, but the nights are still cool so I figured he'd appreciate it. Besides, its all soft and cozy :)

I got the pattern from here: Do-it-yourself EC: Baby Bjorn Little Potty Warmer/Cover

It was pretty easy to put together and as you can tell from the pic, he thinks it's pretty great! I think I may need to make a couple more, perhaps a little bit more fancy next time round.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

my first post!

Hi and welcome to my blog. I have ummm'ed and errr'ed over whether to have a different blog for different things but have decided to have a single blog to cover everything. 'Everything' will, in time, cover the journey to my dream straw-bale home, my attempts to reach self-sufficiency, my ideas and thoughts as a parent, and more. But, for today, it will begin as a record of my sewing.

Indeed, it is late, my first 'real' post may have to wait until tomorrow.