Sunday, August 30, 2009

Uh-Oh, and a fix for the Uh-Oh!

Yesterday my DD took the scissors to her gorgeous hair. She cut it pretty short on the fringe - unfixable really. The bit missing off the back and sides just blends in. School photos are this week, on Wednesday, not really enough time for it to grow back. :( So scissors are banned without parent supervision for two weeks.

Today I made her up some headbands to help the lack of fringe. She picked the fabrics and I made the pattern up, based roughly on a RTW one that she has, it is a hand me down from a cousin and she loves it. It also looks gorgeous on her. So do the new ones!


Baby Love

No - not for me! But for me to spoil - or at least make things for :)
I saw a gorgeous set made from the New Conceptions Baby Essentials pattern, and just knew I really should get mine out and make. So I did. Twice. Both the same, but oh so cute!

I also made some soft and fluffy burp cloths, using a free pattern on You Can Make This. They are a great shape and really straight forward to sew. And a great way to use up the flannelette I have left over from making pj's, plus it is super soft on baby's face. I used cotton towelling for the back, so they are nice and absorbent.


Monday, August 10, 2009

Soapy Delight

I un-moulded my soaps yesterday afternoon. The Sunshine Soap was still a bit damp on the top, almost like it had sweated a little, but it appears to have dried now. They have both settled in colour which I am very happy about.

Here you can just see the slight swirling of the white and yellow soap.

Now, I needed somewhere to store my soap whilst it cured. I have no space inside the house that is suitable - airy, dry and out of the sun. Here is where my darling husband steps in! We had the shell of an old microwave sitting around, so DH drilled a hole in the back, and inserted a fan to circulate the air and help the soaps to dry more evenly and hopefully a bit quicker and harder.
The fan runs off of our 12V network (see more on hubby's site here, under Renewable Power:, and hubby has installed a LED on the front to show when the fan is on or off.

It also wafts the gorgeous scent of the drying soaps around under my verandah :)


Sunday, August 9, 2009

Soapy Goodness

I have been itching to make some more soap since my DH made me some soap moulds way back here
but I never quite got there. So after receiving a soap book for my birthday, I made sure that I went through and picked out the recipes I was really interested in. I bought the oils and fats that I needed and set to it this weekend. Both of the recipes I used were from "The Handmade Soap Book" by Melinda Coss.

First up was Pink Lavender & Lime Soap. It was my first time using an animal fat - dripping for this recipe. I will pass judgement on the use of the animal fats once I have used a bar of soap containing it. As I was weighing the lye, it looked slightly odd - like it was too much. So I looked at the recipe to confirm, and that is what it stated (turns out that it WAS too much - making the soap lye heavy. I am unsure exactly what properties this creates to the finished soap, as it was only 16g too much. Important note - ALWAYS run your recipe through a lye calculator first!! Turns out many of the recipes in this book are lye heavy, so I went through and recalculated every recipe and pencilled the changes in. Luckily I worked out the correct amount before doing my second batch).
I also used colour for the first time - wheee - that is so much fun lol I added bentonite clay beads to the soap to give it slight exfoliating properties. It was bright blue going into the moulds. Hopefully it will subdue somewhat.

The pink is the clay beads.

The next batch I did was Sunshine Soap. It used lard as one of the fats. That stuff does not smell pretty when melted! So it may very well be the last time I use that - unless of course the soap that results is the best stuff ever! lol
I used a fragrance oil called Sea Salty Breeze for this soap, and the yellow colouring as it suggested. Now, why I didn't use blue or green colouring to match the scent, I have no idea "duh". But that is why it is called learning I suppose. Anyways, I took a small amount of the un-coloured soap out of the pot, as I wanted to have a go at swirling it in. When I added the colour I nearly choked! It looked like pumpkin soup! Argh - not a good look. Fingers really tightly crossed that it fades well. It also looked a little chunky as I poured it into the mould, so I suspect that I traced it slightly too much.

I will update with their progress out of the moulds very soon! Off to check them.


Saturday, August 8, 2009

Boxy Bag & A Scarf

Ever since seeing a tutorial for a boxy bag, I have wanted to make one. Only problem was, I wanted no visible inside seams. So I started with this tutorial to get the rough measurements, as I wasn't really up to working them out myself. I did the outside and inside in two pieces, so I have a seam at the bottom. This made it easier to sew the zip in, and also to do the lining.
I used fusible wadding/fleece to help strengthen the bag and help it to hold its shape. That proved to be a challenge in itself!! I sewed the zip on and unpicked the zip 3 times, as the fleece kept pushing my sewing off track, and my stitching would just drive off the side. Argh! Finally I sewed it on and it was perfect! Until I turned it over, and I had sewn the zip in upside down. So the inner fabric was going to be the outside. So I unpicked it AGAIN! 5th time lucky, I got it in perfectly. And the second half of the zip was a doddle after that lol
I put in a handle and a tab at the opposite end. I hand stitched the turning opening in the lining, as I am proud to say that I am finally getting better at it! :)
The fabric was a remnant from SL that is soooooo soft! It is like a heavier cotton, though not as heavy as a drill. It sews beautifully and I love the circles. The inside is also a remnant of cotton from SL.

Close up of the hand sewing :)

This scarf is finally finished! It was an UFO from a preious post, and I finished it a few weeks ago but have only just got around to taking photos. It is so warm and soft. I found the pattern here
I love the stitch design, though it does look better in a finer yarn and a single colour. But I followed a pattern from start until finish and it worked!