My first batch of real soap – Follow up

Here is a follow up to my Making Soap post. If you missed it click here.

Here is the picture of the fresh soap that I made all by myself straight out of the mold. I made this way back in March and then was silly enough to put this in my garage to dry out, but didn’t think about the humidity so I moved the soap to my sewing room. It took much more longer to dry out that I had considered until I put it my sewing room.

Here is the before picture. Fresh soap just out of the mold. So nice and pretty. Smells fabulous as well.

Fresh soap

Fresh soap

Here is the cured product. There was, as you can see, discoloration from the colorants I used. I didn’t pay attention to what I used I just used what I had. There were two that came with a kit that I had purchased. In the kit that I had purchased the soap was in different colored layers and not mixed like mine.

Making Soap Follow up

Final Product

I have to say for a first time batch of soap I am impressed with myself. Nothing exploded, I didn’t burn my hands or fingers off, I didn’t poison anyone and the soap stayed in the mold. I can always work on my colors and make more soap experimenting with colors to see what works and what doesn’t. I am leaning toward more natural colors to expand my skills on.

Making Soap Followup

Not bad for my first batch, I must say.

So over all I have learned that making soap isn’t has hard as you think. I learned that even though you need to be careful of the chemicals that you use, if you use them safely, the process is amazing. To think that oils and lye can make a fabulous bar of soap that keeps you clean and smelling good and takes care of your skin. This is the real reason why I wanted to make soap in the first place. The bars of “soap” that you buy in the grocery store just isn’t the same as what I have made and so much better for my skin.

Over all, I will definitely be making more soap. I want to learn more about what oils do what so that I can make soap specifically for my skin and my families skin. My husband and daughter have some skin conditions that I think I can help with by making my own soap.

This first batch is pretty ugly but works and smells wonderful. I have some fragrance oils that I want to use and then possibly get essential oils for a more all natural/ organic/ homeopathic soap. Maybe…one day.

 

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Swiffers are cool – DIY

Have you seen the swiffer? Swiffers are cool. I have seen across the internet these nifty swiffer thingies. Reusable, green and cheap if you already have the fleece. Cheap even if you don’t have the fleece because you just need small pieces.

So I just measured around the swiffer and added four inches to each side. See the picture below.

First step

First step

The second step was making sure that I had enough allowance around the swiffer head.

Second Step

Second Step

The picture below is the new reusable swiffer cloth in action. It sweeps up quite a bit.

Swiffing in action

Swiffing in action

EEEWWWW!!! Look at all the grass and yuckiness that was on the bottom. Gross. I can’t believe that gets all tracked into my house on a regular basis.

Double Ewww!!

Double Ewww!!

I have to say that you do still have to have a broom and dustpan. This really just pushes all the dirt around into little piles around where ever you want them. And then throw the swiffie into the laundry.

That is what I call mine, swiffy.

What about you?

 

 

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Making Soap – Follow along

Making soap again…I have this fascination with making soap so I finally made my own batch, from scratch.

I had posted earlier about rebatch soap here.  I had stated there that I was kinda scared since you had to use lye. But I threw my nerves to the wind, waited until all the kids and dog were in bed for the night and took it upon myself to make my own batch of soap.

As you can see from the photo below that there is a lot of stuff that you need to make soap. I had been gathering supplies and materials for weeks prior to making my first batch.

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All my soapy supplies.

I even bought a little 2 lbs wooden mold so that I wouldn’t have to use a shoe box and learned how to line it with freezer paper.

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It is teeny weeny but just right for my first time.

I didn’t take pictures of the process, it was kinda involved and since it was my first time I wanted to devote my full attention to the making of soap. But here is what it looked like after made and poured.

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Completed soap, just poured.

The next day I unmolded the soap and got ready to cut it into slices.

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Just pulled the soap out of the wooden mold.

It smelled really good, but really strong. I was wondering at this time if I had added too much fragrance oil. I was following a recipe. But I made some changes too.

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Peeled the paper away from the soap.

There was a crack on the top and soda ash as well. I found out that the crack came from over heating and the soda ash is what it is and can be cleaned off.

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Minor crack and soda ash on top of my soap.

I sliced everything about 1 inch thick. It looked like banana’s and chocolate to me, but the fragrance is chocolate and lavender. I know, kinda weird but it smells good.

IMG_7436

Banana and Chocolate soap? Nope, Chocolate and Lavender.

Here are a couple of slices. I like the swirl…I hope it stays and the colors don’t fade or change. I hear that they do that sometimes.

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My first slice of soap.

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Second slice, but I don’t know what the white lines are….?

The soap has to cure 4-6 weeks to be able to lose the water weight. I will post pictures once the soap has cured. Fingers crossed.

 

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Summer Shorts – Part Two – DIY


If you missed part one of the Summer Shorts post click here to check it out. So to pick up where we left off…

Halfway there

Halfway there with our summer shorts

This is where we should have left off. The fabric was cut, edges serged, leg seams sewn and the crotch seam was sewn. Now we just have to hem the legs and sew the casing and add elastic. Now I forgot to take pictures of hemming but what I do for my girls is just take the serged edge and roll it up once and iron it flat so that it all lays nice when I sew it down. Like the picture below.

Hemmed Legs

Hemmed Legs for the shorts

Once the legs are hemmed then you fold down the casing and measure an inch from the serged edge to the fold for the casing. I sew right along the edge of the serging and I also add a tag or a scrap of fabric so that it will mark my back.

Measuring the casing

Measuring the casing

Once everything is ironed flat and pinned down I sew leaving about an inch gap near the back. You want it big enough to thread the elastic through.

Ironing and sewing the casing closed

Ironing and sewing the casing closed

To measure the elastic I take a bit of elastic and just wrap it around the child’s waist and see how comfortable they are with it. You don’t want it to tight but comfortable. You can also take the child’s waist measurement minus an inch and use that to measure out your elastic. Putting a big safety pin on the end will help you thread the elastic through.

Adding elastic

Adding elastic

Once the elastic is through pull both ends out and scrunch the fabric toward the bottom. You want plenty of room to sew the ends of the elastic together.

Pulling the elastic tight

Pulling the elastic tight

Sew the ends by overlapping. You can butt the ends together and zig zag but I have never been very good with that. I always overlap. A zig zag stitch is what I have always used for sewing elastic together. It works for me. It is a bit bulky but for play shorts the kids don’t care.

Sewing the ends of the elastic

Sewing the ends of the elastic

Now work the elastic back into the casing and flatten everything out around the opening. Then sew the opening shut just like you did with the casing matching up the stitch lines.

Sewing the opening shut

Sewing the opening shut

Voila!! Your shorts are now completed and the kids can wear them out.

Completed shorts

Completed Summer Shorts

completed shorts

Wearing our Summer Shorts out for a stroll.

 

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Summer Shorts – Part 1 – DIY

Summer Shorts the most important and most fun item of clothing that can be had for kids. I do my best to make sure that my daughters have fun, modest shorts for summer. They love the fact that I let them pick out their own fabric as well. We usually get quilting fabric because that seems to be the most fun. I have made shorts using this pattern with t-shirts as well. Those turn out pretty well too.

In this post I am going to show you how I make my daughters summer shorts.

pattern for shorts

pattern for shorts

In the above picture, I have copied a pair of shorts that belonged to my son when he was about 24 months. I just kept grading the pattern up for all my kids making adjustments as needed.

final cut of the shorts

final cut of the shorts

This picture is of the fabric cut out and I serged all the edges before sewing the pieces together.

matching inner leg seams

matching inner leg seams

I then matched the inner seam at the legs. If you look at the picture you can see where the front and the back of the seam above the leg seam doesn’t match. That is because the seam on the back side is the front and the seam laying on top is the back seam. That seam is a little deeper because you need room for the derriere.

inner seam

inner seam

Here is a closer picture of the seams and how they all line up.

turning one leg

turning one leg

Once the inner leg seam has been sewn you then flip one leg so that the fabric shows the right side.

slipping one leg into the other

slipping one leg into the other

You need to slip the leg that has the right side out into the leg with the wrong side out. So right sides are facing each other. Matching the seams and edges.

Matching the inside seam

Matching the inside seam

This picture shows one leg tucked inside the other leg with all the seams and edge matched up.

Pinned the inside seams

Pinned the inside seams

Here I pinned the seams so that you can see them better. I then sewed the crotch with an extra line of stitching on the back side for extra security.

Halfway there

Halfway there

At this point you are almost done. Come back in two weeks and we will finish these up and you can see how they look.

If you have any questions let me know in the comments below.

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Soaping – Rebatch Soap – DIY

I have wanted to make soap since I was a teenager. I had a hippie phase that I went through and so made my own perfumes, body products and other things that were all natural. I really wanted to make these items from all natural resources and I wanted to learn how to extract essential oils from plants to make my own perfumes with. Soap was included in that and I wanted to learn the traditional, old fashioned way.

Life then happened, I got married, had kids, had to work a job and I lost touch with those interests. I never did learn to extract the essentials oils from plants, but I do know the theory. I never did make soap the old fashioned way either. I still do some body products just for me.  Soap did scare me because it is made with lye and lye is extremely caustic. That is what put me off of making soap.

Skip forward about 20 years or so and I have come around full circle back to those interests that I had as a teenager. This time with more practical reasons. Me and my daughters have very dry skin. The soap that you would buy in the stores are detergent bars and aren’t as healthy for your skin as you would like to think. For these reasons and because I never really lost the interest in making soap I have found a shortcut of sorts.

There is a website that I love called Brambleberry. You might have heard of it. Here is where you can find all sorts of goodness. But here is what I found. Rebatch Soap. I purchased this kit and it has everything that you need to make this soap. The difference between rebatch and regular (cold-process) soap is that the soap is already made using the lye.  All you have to do is melt it down and add your fragrance and colors and additives. This has been a way for me to try my hand at soaping with out using Lye.

Here is the melting rebatch  in a double boiler

Here is the melting rebatch in a double boiler

This is a large pot of boiling water with metal canning rings on the bottom. There is a glass bowl with the grated soap base on top. I have the water boiling at a med-high heat.

Melting Rebatch

Melting Rebatch

The above picture is of the rebatch melting.

Supplies needed

Supplies needed

While I was waiting on the rebatch to melt I gathered the rest of my supplies. My Fragrance oil, The colorant and the mold. The kit that I purchased had everything that you needed in it. So the fragrance oil that came with my kit is Heather and Hyacinth with a blue colorant. The 15 bar soap mold I purchased at Wholesale Supplies Plus.

Second batch

Second batch

I forgot to take pictures of me adding the fragrance and colors, but once completed and put into the molds here it is.

Heather and Hyacinth soap

Heather and Hyacinth soap

The above soap was made with the Basic Rebatch soap base from Brambleberry with the kits liquid colorant and the fragrance Heather and Hyacinth.

Barbershop Soap

Barbershop Soap

This soap above is made with the Luxuary soap base and colored with the Cappuccino Mica which is from Brambleberry and scented with the fragrance from WSP (Wholesale Supplies Plus) called Barber Shoppe. I like this fragrance because it is a men’s fragrance. I am hoping that my husband will like it.

I wish there was a way to smell these soaps. They smell sooooo goooood. I have been using a small bar of the Heather and Hyacinth soap on my hands since we have a dog and I am cooking all the time it seems like. I like it because it doesn’t dry my hands out as much as other soaps that I have bought from Wal-Mart or Dawn dishwashing liquid.

Do you have any experiences of making your own body products? Tell me in the comments below.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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My Sloper and the Blouse – DIY

I am working on my sloper. (The most evil of things.) It is still a work in progress and I have a love/hate relationship with it. I can see so much potential not just for my sewing skills but how I look in the clothes that I love and would love to have.

I was taking an online class with Burdastyle. It was a tailoring class, it gave some very basic information on how to draft a sloper for a bodice, skirt and how to copy pants. The last assignment of the class was to make a garment.

These are what inspired me.

Grey Peplum Blouse

Grey Peplum Blouse

or this one

Blue Peplum Blouse

Blue Peplum Blouse

(I found these on Pinterest. Here is the link for the Grey Blouse and here is the link for the Blue Blouse)

This is what my final blouse looks like. This is made with the measurements and pattern of the sloper that I drafted from this online course. Just so you know my sloper fits just fine. I could tweak the sleeve a bit though.

Front of Rose Muslin

Front of Rose Muslin made from my sloper pattern.

I have a broad back, which I think I fixed. And I have issues with my sleeves. Which I thought that I fixed too, on my sloper. But then I made this.

I made this all Saturday. I drafted the pattern, cut it out, traced the pattern onto my fabric, cut all the fabric out and put it all together. I didn’t finish until midnight.  And this is what it looks like. I am not happy with this garment.

It is just awful. It is partly because I was in a rush, and partly because I didn’t plan out my steps very well. Or made a good choice in the fabric.

Back of Rose Muslin

Back of Rose Muslin made from my sloper pattern.

Side of Rose Muslin

Side of Rose Muslin made from my sloper pattern.

It is just all bad. No matter how you look at it. But I am bound and determined that I am going to make me a cute peplum blouse and it will look good on me too. Fingers crossed.

Leave me any comments and thoughts on mine or your slopers. We can commiserate together about how evil slopers are.

 

 

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Red Lunch Bag – DIY

My son has wanted a red lunch bag for so long. I wasn’t going to make him one but since he has lost his quite a while ago it was time. Red is his favorite color and he lucked out that I am a sewing mama! I have to say that I have wanted to make one of these for a while but there wasn’t really a reason to make one until now.

So starting off…

Pattern pieces

Pattern pieces

Click on the above picture and you can see my pattern pieces and measurements. I ended up lopping off two inches from the side panels so that would be 6 x 10. I eyeballed the bias binding since I already had it on hand and the hook and loop tape as well.  As you can see there are three layers. I had my outer layer which is Duck cloth, my inside layer which is an insulation layer. I found this at Joann’s and it is like polyester batting with super thin sheets of foil on the inside of that. The third layer is the vinyl cloth. I wished that I had oilcloth but didn’t have any, I did have however, an iron on matte vinyl. So I used that instead. You just follow the directions given on the package.

Rounded Edges

Rounded Edges

Before doing anything I had to round the edges off on the end that would be my closing.

Held together with bobby pins

Held together with bobby pins

I wanted everything to stay together but didn’t want to make holes in the vinyl. The bobby pins worked O.K. By the end I was using the binder clips and they worked great. I wished I had used them from the beginning.

Binding the inside seams

Binding the inside seams

My next steps were to sew on the hook tape onto the front and up the side seams so that I could plan to bind the top edge, but before doing that I wanted to bind the inside seams too. I didn’t want them to be showing and ugly looking even though it is on the inside and is just for my son who doesn’t care.  Before binding the outer edge I partially bound the inside seams. I ended up having a hard time in getting all those layers through my machine so decided that I would just do part way, bind the top and then once everything was done glue down the rest using Fabritac.

 

The outside front binding

The outside front binding

Then I bound the front edge. The sewed the bottom seams.

Handle folded and ironed

Handle folded and ironed

At this point I made the handle and attached it. I took my long piece sewed down the long edge, flipped it inside out and ironed flat.

Handle folded again

Handle folded again

Then I folded and sewed just the middle to make a bit smaller grip. I really like the handles like this. It works because if they were any wider they would just end up crumpling up and your hand and getting wrinkly. Now they are smaller so fit in your grip and still look nice. No wrinkles.

Flap with handle

Flap with handle

I mostly eyeballed everything. I don’t tend to mark where everything is supposed to be because it doesn’t usually work out for me when I do that. I always do something that is  off just a bit. Keep with me and you will see what I mean.

Had to remove two inches

Had to remove two inches

As I was getting ready to sew up the last of the side seams I came to realize that my flap wouldn’t have closed over the top once completed. I had to remove two inches from my side panels.

sewing up the back/flap

sewing up the back/flap

I put the clips on to hold everything in place. There was still fabric that wiggled around and I had to really manipulate the layers but finally got everything just right. Those binder clips are awesome by the way.

side view of the back/flap

side view of the back/flap

I then sewed up the seams and then glued on the bias tape to the inside edges and let it dry. Once dry I flipped it all out and there you have it.

Finished closed

Completed Red Lunch Bag

Inside binding

Inside binding

Finished side view

Red Lunch Bag finished side view

Finished standing open

Red Lunch Bag finished standing open

Ok. Do you see it? Take a minute and look at the bag, do you see what I ended up doing? I, some how, ended up having one side taller than the other. I have no idea how that happened. See what I mean…something always happens.  At least this is for my son and he thinks this is awesome.

Thanks for hanging out with me for such a long post. If you have any questions let me know in the comments below.

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Miniature Teddy Bears



I think that these miniature teddy bears are the best birthday gifts. My daughter has been invited to a birthday party and we were trying to come up with good birthday gifts to give.

I have had this miniature teddy bear pattern for years. I got it a long time ago when I was younger. I think that they are adorable.

Teddy Bears

Blue fleece and Yellow lemon fabric were the fabric choice for these.

I had a whole stack of cute novelty fabric that I thought that my daughter would choose from. So she chose the blue fleece and yellow lemon fabric.

Lemon Teddy Bear

Before stuffing the bear it is in pieces.

I really took my time going around the curves. And taking the time to stuff really good.

Blue Fleece Bear

I love the buttons.

In order to hinge the arms and legs I used buttons and upholstery thread since it is thicker and stronger than normal thread.

I used the same upholstery thread to sew the buttons on for the eyes and embroidered the nose with regular embroidery thread. Such a cutie.

Leave me a comment down below and tell me what you think!

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Camo Bowling Shirt – DIY



My husband had been wanting a Camo Bowling shirt for a long time, I figured Christmas would be a great time to finally make it for him. The Man, that is what I call him, has loved the bowling shirts or panel shirts since watching Charlie Sheen in Two and a Half Men.  I have to say that those were awesome shirts. And since I sew he thinks that I should make him more clothes than what I have.

This was his idea to make a shirt that had a panel of camo in it. He loves camo and was very happy that he finally got his camo bowling shirt.

I wanted to put up a kind of DIY on how I put it together when I realized that I didn’t take enough pictures for all the steps. So instead I am going to post how I made the paneled front.

Front and side panels of shirt

This is the pattern piece laid out and cut out of the fabric for the shirt front.

The above picture shows the front pattern piece of the shirt that I cut into thirds. I figured out where I wanted the panel to be and how wide I wanted it. I cut straight down. If you look closely you can see the fabric poking out from underneath the pattern. I did not add seam allowances to the pattern pieces but measured seam allowances as I cut.

Front of shirt cut out of fabric

The fabric has been cut and laid out to match seams to sew.

Once I had everything cut out I then laid it all out to match up the seams and sew the pieces together to create the front of the shirt.

Front of shirt

Here is the front of the shirt ready to be sewn together with the rest of the shirt.

At this point the rest of the shirt was ready to be put together.

Here is the completed shirt.

Completed shirt

I had to add a half inch just because he likes his shirt fronts a bit longer than what would normally be so the above picture shows it just a bit shorter than what he has now. I just took the hem out a half inch and it worked just fine for the front. I kept the back the same.

What do you think? Leave a comment below and tell me.

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