Sunday, June 30, 2013

We are back....and some DIY toiletries....

My laptop had been giving me major problems this past month - problems so bad that it was unusable. I was barely able checking my emails on hubby's computer (which he is using all the time) each night. While I was moving it around a few days ago I dropped it on the ground, and then incredibly, it started working like before again! I still don't know what caused the problem but I'm backing up everything in case it decided to stop working again. Oh how I love and loathe technology!

I have been doing a little bit of sewing and will post those projects soon. In the meantime, I have been trying to figure out how I can further reduce my carbon footprint and live a less toxic life. My preschooler will be going to some summer day camps and one of the location is about 30 min brisk walk from my house. It's actually not that far but since there are major construction happening in my neighbourhood, I'll need to take the long way around which takes about another 12 minutes more than necessary. I think in the mornings when he is going to that day camp, I'll try to push the stroller (with my toddler sitting in it) while my preschooler is standing at the foot rest at the back. That will save me a car trip and will be a good workout for me. I think I'll use the car when I pick him up at noon because it'll be way too hot to do that trip again for everyone. I don't want the kids or myself to get a heat stroke.

I have also been using my homemade toothpaste for a few weeks. I think it's working out great! I noticed that my teeth appeared whiter even only after 1 week of use. I checked many DIY blogs and it seemed that most recipes are 50:50 Coconut oil and Baking Soda. I also added drops of Peppermint and Spearmint essential oils to get that fresh taste in my mouth. The toxins in the commercial toothpaste has really scared me after I read about them on the Environmental Working Group site. I go to that site very often, not only to read up on the hazard levels of different commercial ingredients, but also to copy the ingredients of those that the site approve of to make my own concoctions.

The only drawback (and it's an annoying one) is that my sink is a bit plugged by all the DIY toiletries I'm using. They are all based on Coconut Oil or Olive Oil. I'll try to use a Vinegar/Water solution to spray everything down every night and see if that helps.

Next I'll be making the DIY deodorant with what else but what I have stocked up already - Coconut Oil and Baking Soda and Lavender essential Oil. I'll also be making the DIY Insect Repellent with Citronella essential oil and sunflower oil. Will report on the effectiveness of those soon!

Friday, June 28, 2013

Technical problems.....stay tuned....

My computer has been giving me problems.....will be fixed soon.....stay tuned for more rants and hack job sewing projects.....

Saturday, June 8, 2013

New Homemade Organic Face/Body/Hand lotion

My family and I have been using my own homemade organic Face/Body/Hand/Feet Butter for a long time. The previous formulation had beeswax in it and it is a bit heavy for the warmer seasons. So I did some trial and error and made a new formulation. This batch is more 'lotion-like' and works very well with the pump bottles. And it's sooooo easy to make!

1. 3 parts Organic Virgin Coconut Oil
2. 1 part Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1. Melt the 2 oils in a double boiler over medium heat.
2. Once everything is melted, remove from heat. Use a stick blender to blend the oil mixture until the mixture is luke warm.
3. Pour the mixture into a glass mason jar, put the lid on and put the jar in the freezer to cool.
4. Take the jar out of the freezer after about half a day. Leave the jar at room temperature. The mixture will soften gradually and will be ready for use in a few hours.

You can leave the lotion in the jar or pour it into a pump bottle with a funnel for ease of use.

The main step I find that works for me is to freeze the mixed oils in the freezer instead of letting it cool down on the counter. I find the consistency is much better after it was frozen and thawed.

This lotion is much easier to apply all over the body than the previous body butter with beeswax. And I love the coconut scent all over my body and face. I don't even need to add any essential oils as a fragrant. I think I might include this as a X'mas gift for friends/family this year!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Refashion: Shrunken Men XL tee to Toddler sleeper/pajama

My toddler never keeps her blanket on when she sleeps. It's always kicked off which I guess is normal for kids. The weather is warming up but the nights are still a bit chilly. So I had to make her some new 1 piece sleeper/pajama. I say 'new', because the old ones I made her had zippers in the front. My toddler, being cheeky and clever, always managed to unzip it the zipper and then proceeded to take off her diaper and all her clothes. That's the opposite of keeping her warm!

So I  had to 'design' some new 1 piece sleeper/pajama that zips up at the back. I looked through my refashion pile and found this Men's tee that is too short on my hubby:

Then I dug out a long zipper from my stash and started my quick hack job. I folded the tee in half and marked out where I wanted to cut (I measured my toddler quickly while she was lying down for about 1 second) and started cutting.

After some quick and crude sewing, here is the result:

I added a 'storm-flap-like' strip (with self fabric) to the inside of the zipper so that it doesn't scratch my toddler when she is sleeping on her back:

Not a very pretty sewing project but I had only 45 minutes to do it from start to finish before she went to sleep so I consider the quick and crude hack job a success! :-) She has been wearing it for a week and she hasn't been able to take it off yet. Mission accomplished!!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Me Made May'13 - May 24 to 31

Sorry I'm late with this post. I was going to write it on the night of May 31 but I have been really really tired lately and I decided sleep was more important. Perhaps I have been battling some oncoming illness - who knows? The weather had been all over the map - cold and windy one day and then hot and humid the next. Anyways here are the outfits for the last part of the Me Made May'13.

May 24:
Top: Me Made wool/acrylic mix kimono jacket (see this post)
Bottom: Me Made jeggings (McCall 5273)

May 25:
Top: Me Made sweatshirt tunic (see this post)
Bottom: Me Made stretch cotton woven slim jeans (see this post)

May 26:
(NOTE: I forgot to take a picture so here it is on a hanger)
Dress: Me Made poly stretch knit faux wrap dress (see this post)

May 27:
It was still cold today but I couldn't wait to wear my summer dresses. So I wore this sleeveless dress with leggings.
Dress: Me-Made poly stretch knit dress (see this post)
Cardigan: same Me Altered thrifted cotton knit cardigan
Leggings: Store bought leggings

May 28:
I thought it was warm this morning but boy was I wrong! However it did get warmer by noon.
Top: Me Altered Men shirt to ladies top (see this post)
Bottom: Me Made stretch cotton shorts (Vogue 8041)
Cardigan: Yea the same old Me Altered cardi again!

May 29:
Dress: Me Made poly knit dress (see this post)
Cardigan: what? The same cardi again? I need to make more cardigans!

May 30:
Top: Me Made knit top (Simplicity 3532)
Bottom: Me Made stretch denim shorts (Vogue 8157)

May 31:
Dress: Me Made cotton voile dress  (New Look 6615)

Oh it's been fun! Thanks Zoe for organizing this. I have learned a lot about what I have in my wardrobe. I think I'll try to pay more attention to what I wear in the morning from now on. I do have a lot of clothes for the summer!

Monday, June 3, 2013

Pattern Review: New look 6697 dress

I have always love the look of wrap dresses. But I don't like the fact that the bottom of the dress can easily become fully open with a mild gust of wind. So faux wrap dresses are more for me. I thought this New Look 6697 knit faux wrap dress pattern in my stash looks promising. So I made it up quickly with some stretch poly pink floral knit from my stash. I made View E in size 12.

The dress sewed together pretty quickly. It was definitely one of those easy and great for beginners type patterns. My dress ends up having a very low neckline - just like the photo on the pattern envelope. I have to wear a slip under the dress anyways so I don't mind so much. I don't really think the dress compliments my body shape. The flowy skirt doesn't highlight my slimmer hips and I think the cap sleeves make my broad shoulders even broader. And the midriff seam emphasizes my thick mid-section. So I look very broad from top to bottom. I think it looks okay with a black cardi to break up the top though. I guess I'll just have to wear a cardi with it all the time.

Conclusion: Very easy and quick to sew faux warp dress. Too bad it's not very complimentary for my body shape. But I'm wearing it anyways! :-)