Wednesday, September 16, 2009

I pretty much stink at blogging and keeping up with it! So, anyway here is a pic of something a little different! How about knitting green in the green mountains?!?

My Aunt made this for my cousin's newly adopted dog (my Aunt's "granddog" ?!?).

Not especially green but cute and made using a loom knitter, which is a way to knit without needles. Great for those with painful hands.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Green Ironing, or not at all!

Well, if I'm going to be a blogger, I probably ought to start getting into habit of it! LOL! Almost a month since my last post. For shame!

Today's post is about ironing. How I hate it! But, I hate buying clothes with formaldehyde and with teflon in them which is how manufacturers make wrinkle free clothing. Hopefully, you too, are buying more natural fabrics, but if you find they are more wrinkly than you like, today I'm here with some tips to lessen the load at the ironing board!

The most important one is VINEGAR! Yup, good ole' vinegar, if you are going green in your home I bet you have already embraced vinegar for some cleaning or hair rinse or replaced something toxic you used to use with vinegar.

Guess what? Sometimes vinegar can keep you AWAY from the ironing board completely!

Hang your clean, dry clothes on hangers, and then just spritz them with a mix of 3 parts water, 1 part white vinegar, and, if desired, a few drops of your favorite essential oil, mixed up in a spray bottle. You can "finger press", that is: pull and shape parts of the clothes as needed. Like the button placket down the front of a button up shirt, or the pocket, or cuff. Just pull them with your fingers to ease the wrinkles out, as the vinegar dries most small wrinkles will come out. On the big panels of cloth, like the front sides, or the back, pull gently first on one bias (fingers on top left and bottom right for example) and then on the opposite bias. It really helps! Don't forget to smooth down the pesky bottom hems too, I find if I don't and if it is slacks or a shirt I don't tuck in when I wear it, then the hem usually folds up looking tacky!

If you must iron anyway, due to bigger wrinkles, or you work in an office where crisp collars are a requirment, use that same spray bottle as you iron instead of starch! Vinegar will help you make sharp creases where needed, also if you used essential oil in your mix, your clothes, and then your closet, will have a pleasant, but slight, aroma. Nothing wrong with a little aromatherapy side effect!

If you pick an EO that you find particularly soothing, (for me it is lavendar!), instead of hating ironing and feeling grouchy while you are doing the dreaded job, you will start to relax and, hey, a person with a steaming hot iron in their hands really is nicer to be around if they are relaxed!

Happy ironing, or not at all if the spritzing and fingerpressing does the job for you!


Saturday, May 16, 2009

Adjustable sizes when you sew for kids

Here's the whole outfit: twirl skirt, ruffly blouse, headband.
Tie on the back of the blouse to adjust fit.

Rib knit waist band (at least this part is organically grown, low impact dye, cotton!), with an adjustable drawstring.
The headband adjusts from a head size 4-5 yrs to 7-8 yrs, so it should fit her now and for at least another year. Unless twirling around in her new skirt and blouse makes her head swell from being so pretty!

Friday, May 15, 2009

I just finished a sweet outfit for my niece's 5th birthday. I hope she likes it! Unfortunately, I didn't find much organically grown/dyed fabric with cute prints, but at least it is all 100% cotton and no polyester. Not being sure of her measurements I made the waist band out of an organic cotton rib knit from my stash and added a drawstring. That is a great way to ensure a better fit if your aren't sure of the person's measurements, and to allow some growth in kids clothes so they last longer! Green in two ways! Frugal and environmentally sound because it makes the garment useful longer!

Another trick was the self bias tape neckline. Why buy bias tape that doesn't even match your cute fabric when you can make it yourself! It isn't hard at all! There are gadgets that help, Clover has them, and the abnotions coop in my link can help you get them at less than retail. We love less than retail! Sometimes less green is greener! (Groan!)

Self-matching (or complementary coordinating) bias tape can be used for a lot of things when you sew. Armholes on sleeveless blouses. Hems, matching or complementing, on blouses or skirts or pants. Binding on blankets, quilts, burp clothes for babies, bibs, and much much more!

Here's a link to an excellent tutorial on how to use the bias tape maker gadget:

Another great tutorial with a different way to lay out the fabric:

OR you can be even more frugal and make it yourself! Here's a link to a neat trick! You can use the above tutorial for cutting the fabric and use this, or a gadget, to fold the tape into the right shape:

If you want to spend a little money, Simplicity is just coming out with two great looking products, which I will review here in detail as soon as I get them into my hot little hands! One is an automatic rotary cutter that will cut varying width strips either on the straight grain or the bias. The other will fold the strips into single fold bias tape leaving you only that last pressing of the center fold to create double fold bias tape. Here are some links so you can take a look:

The bias tape maker --

For some reason, the Simplicity website is NOT Simple to navigate! So here is a link to more info about the new machine:

The rotary strip cutter:

And more info:

There is NO WAY I would (or could!) pay retail, but in the coop I am in, we can get them at a substantial reduction. So, once I get mine, I'll be back and let you know how well they do the job!

Back in a bit to post a pic of how I used self made bias tape for the neckline...
Hi! I'm Sarah and I am starting a business called Vermont Sweater Bums. I will be selling refashioned wool items, mostly longies and shorties for infants and toddlers. Getting going in this has led me to a lot of googling searching for ways to sew with less ecological impact. Lots of sewing techiniques involve synthetic materials and my goal is to find ways to sew that not only save you money but help to save the earth.

I'm also a certified doula and have a link to my doula blog here as well as to my Vermont Sweater Bums blog.

Its going to be fun getting to know you. PLEASE post your ideas and impressions and anything polite that you have to say about my blog!