Tuesday, 3 April 2018

Little stitching projects

Did you have a good Easter? I meant to post but got sidetracked by my PlayStation. (Why yes, I am a middle-aged woman, not a 12-year-old boy, thank you for asking...) Anyway, before Easter I quickly ran up little bags with bunnies on and filled them with chocolate eggs for the members of both my teams at work, then popped them on each desk before anyone got in. On Good Friday itself I made 10 washable makeup wipes.

Both projects were very quick and easy. My aim was to keep familiarising myself with my sewing machine, to get better and better at straight lines and working close to edges. Yup, the basics. I suspect I'll be doing pretty basic things for some time to come yet, though I have got hold of some stitchable Swedish tracing paper and am planning to remake the 1960s top from last month with a full bust adjustment. The makeup wipes were made from two different fabrics, a smooth cotton and a brushed cotton, and top stitched to finish them off, so I did get to practice a different sort of straight stitching, and making neat internal corners. I still get a little nervous when clipping corners. I worry about clipping too much and making holes in things.
I'm no eco-warrior, but I have been trying to cut down on my plastic use/waste generation, and the wipes are part of that, frivolous as they might seem. I'm hoping they'll last longer and so be less wasteful than cotton wool pads or prepackaged wipes (though I only use the latter on holidays or when camping). I felt pretty bad about the number of plastic bottles I was getting through on holiday - though I wasn't prepared to risk drinking the tap water in India; everyone said that was a bad idea and I didn't fancy getting a tummy upset just as I had to catch a cross country train. But visiting historic sites and seeing plastic bottles discarded everywhere (the hill below Daulatabad fort was a sea of bottles, it was really shocking) made me really aware of what a problem they can be. So I've resolved to do better at cutting down on my plastic use. We get our milk in glass bottles from the milkman and our veg in a cardboard box from Riverford. Maybe the wipes will help me reduce my plastic usage a little... If you can recommend a makeup remover that doesn't come in a plastic bottle that would help loads!
The other thing Pete and I did at Easter was tackle a bit of our appallingly messy garden. It's now not as embarrassing, though it's nothing to write home about. I ordered some seeds from Fothergills this morning; hopefully by June I'll have lots of pretty home-grown flowers cheering up the garden, and home-grown Thai basil and coriander cheering up my cooking. Anyone else looking forward to a summer in their garden?

12 comments :

  1. The treatbags are very cute, and I'm sure they were appreciated. I crochet my cloths for dishwashing, but just buy towelling ones to wash my face. No clue on a product that doesn't come in plastic-even the tubs of Ponds cold cream are in plastic now. I'll be interested to hear what people come up with.

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    1. My workmates have kept them, even the blokes. A few of them are keen roleplayers, so I might make them magical-patterned zip-up dice bags.

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  2. It's good to see you're getting to grips with the sewing machine. The bags were such a lovely idea, I'm sure your colleagues were thrilled to bits. We have a shop here which used to have their own brand products in glass bottles and pots. But they're local to Belgium and Holland. And I'm not even sure they haven't switched to plastic now ... xxx

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    1. I can't think of anyone doing glass bottles here... perhaps Neal's Yard. At this rate I'll try making my own.

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  3. What a great idea! Watching back in time for tea really makes you realise how our generation is used to a disposable consumption driven culture. Small changes are the way to big changes

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    1. Yes, I've tried to make little changes over the years - switching to fair trade tea, that sort of thing. Shops don't make it easy though when everything comes in plastic.

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  4. You are on a sewing roll, those little gift bags are lovely and I love the idea of washable make-up wipes, seeing the size of plastic bottle mountain at the recycle plant in Goa is truly terrifying.
    In the good old days when Body Shop wasn't part of L'Oreal you used to be able to take your empties back and get them refilled.
    I use Lush's sold shampoo, conditioner and deodorant bars which are all zero waste. I wash my face with soap and water and use Superdrug's make-up remover (which comes in plastic, sadly!) but I've used olive oil in the past which isn't bad.
    My garden's an absolute tip - my excuse is that it's so waterlogged at the moment I'd need a dinghy to get up it. xxx

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    1. I remember being able to get things refilled!

      I tried a shampoo bar from a small business once and it was terrible, but then I wasn't keen on their soap either. I should get my act together and give the Lush ones a go. I use bar soap anyhow (and the ones I got in India as souvenirs are palm-oil-free too). Can't see the point of generating plastic waste from washing my hands...

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  5. Those make-up wipes are such a great idea and what a thoughtful and lovely gift your little bags were. It is great that you are getting so much use out of your machine. I can't think of a cleanser that comes in a glass bottle but I get the moisturiser from Aldi (Caviar - it's brilliant) and that comes in a glass tub. Could you try to make some? I think that I have some recipes somewhere. I will try to dig them out. I am at home looking at my embarrassing garden and have another one to go back to on Friday. I am determined to get stuck in about them both this year. Being in a garden is really good for de-stressing and growing stuff really cheers me up. At the moment I will settle for a garden without snow though. :) Xx

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    1. I saw them being made by a few people online (can't remember any specific blogs) and decided to have a go. The wipes work really well; the brushed cotton side is really gentle.

      I love being in the garden too. It's sunny here today, so I'm hoping to eat on the patio tonight, cold or not.

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  6. Wow! Aren't you the stitchin' magician!
    How fun with the little goody bags & reusable wipes!
    The kabaadiwallah buys our plastic bottles- I'm sure they go to some big pile at the end of town.
    My garden looks scruffy this year as I have no proper seeds & had to make due with whatever volunteered as the weather warmed up.

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  7. We have fantastic recycling here, one of the few things our council is good for! with the vast majority done locally at 2 huge plants so I don't feel so bad at using stuff that is in recyclable containers. I still remember when you could buy stuff in Boots at the pharmacy counter, they mixed it up for you and it can in brown glass bottles.

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