Saturday, 23 January 2016

Sustainable Makings; Bag the Bread

My first official make for 2016 is a useful make, and one that's been helping us to dramatically reduce our waste. It's also something I've sewn!!

Hmmm Mysterious...

A few weeks ago I started following Tammy at Gippsland Unwrapped. Tammy is on a mission to live sustainably and encourage others to do the same. If you'd like to be encouraged, I highly recommend reading her blog.

We've started buying meat straight from the butchers in our own containers, we've also started buying some grocery items in bulk, which go straight into our own containers too. Each time we successfully buy something waste free, we feel pretty darn good about it.

One small part of my tea towel collection
The one thing that got me to pull out my sewing machine and making again, was Tammy's handmade bread and produce bags.

The question was, what to make them from? It turns out I had a collection of about 30, very lovely, cotton and linen tea towels, and I wasn't using even half of them.

I dusted off the sewing machine, and attempted to sew some straight lines. I don't know that I was entirely successful staying on the straight and narrow, but they did turn out ok. 

So far, despite the wonky sewing, they've been working a treat. I'm pretty sure they keep the bread much fresher than plastic. This isn't based on science, merely me keeping the bread in them and then using said bread.

They've been met with great enthusiasm by both our local and chain bakeries. In fact we've become something of a legend at our local bakery, with the story of 'the family with the bread bags' spreading quickly.

Bagged Bread

The produce bags, I made out of our old kitchen curtains. Channelling my inner Julie Andrews, I think I secretly always wanted to make something out of curtains. The hills are allllivveeee... My apologies for getting that one in you're head.

The most awesome thing about making these was, I just had to thread some ribbon through the part where the curtain rod is supposed to go, and voila, instant drawstring!

My first curtain bag purchases;
onions and dates
Not terribly difficult things to make, however they've really made a difference to not only how we buy groceries, but also how we view the items we purchase, particularly heavily packaged items. 

Not that long ago, us humans used to live much more sustainably. I remember putting out glass milk bottles for the milko at my grandparent's house. We recycled and mended clothing (don't even get me started on clothing) and there was not a plastic bag in sight. It's quite scary to realise what a throw away society we've become, and how quickly too.

I must say, I am also extremely excited about how my husband has completely jumped on the band wagon. 

I'm now planning on gearing my making towards sustainable and environmentally friendly practices. My next challenge? A waste free, 5-year-old birthday party, stay tuned.

Have you ever made something that helps you to reduce your waste?

Tuesday, 5 January 2016

2016 Handmade Challenge?

I know I know, I barely scraped through by the skin of my teeth last year, however this year, I'm changing the rules. Make 12 things, don't bother making a list at the beginning, just get making.

By the end of the year, have made 12 things that you want to make. I'm pretty sure I can accomplish that. I'm pretty sure I made about 30 things all up last year when you count all those that were not part of the Handmade Challenge.

I've even started already. My husband has some pretty ratty scarves lying around (not handmade), and since I didn't get to make him one last year, that's the first project I've leapt into this year. I have a list of things to make as long as my arm already and I'm excited. Ah the new year and the new possibilities.

I have some patterns and kits I bought last year that I never got to and I have a Craftsy crochet course waiting for me too. I'm looking forward to that and giving you all a review.

Don't worry, if it looks like it's getting too easy, I'll throw in another challenge to spice things up and get the creative juices flowing.

What are you looking forward to making this year?

Saturday, 2 January 2016

2015 Handmade Challenge - all stitched, knitted, glued, baked and crocheted up

Honestly, really truly honestly, a couple of weeks ago, I thought I had failed. There was no way on earth I was going to pull it off, get through Christmas, and celebrate my little lady's 2nd Birthday. Yet here we are.

12 things, 12 months... just

Looking at the 12 things that I made as part of the challenge this year, I do feel a little deflated. How could I have only just managed to pull it off? Well you have to remember these weren't the only things I made in 2015.

Don't forget my Fluff and Fuzz mini challenge in the middle of the year while I waited for Sophie's second open heart surgery. There were also 3 birthday parties and birthday cakes to make, slippers for dads in hospital on Fathers Day, beanies for premature babies, items for my handmade business and more!

Just some of the other things I made in 2015

For the actual challenge, below I have made a list in order of completion (from what I can remember, I've not checked thoroughly!)  See the individual posts for the whole story, and links to the original inspiration;

Crochet Cake - This kit was a Christmas gift. Being a novice, I had some troubles with this one, however I made it. It's still technically in one piece, but has been 'well loved'

I like my cake with less fluff

Crochet Pear - I liked making this one but haven't attempted another and don't know if I could!

Original from Mollie Makes / My Pink Pear

Easter Egg Cosies - I loved making these. They were quick, easy, and a lot of fun. I would make them again.

It'll be Easter again soon

Love Heart Piñata - The piñata was a hit (pun intended), not as pretty as the original inspiration but mine was for a birthday party not a fancy wedding.

I heart Piñatas

Royal Icing Cookies - I was a bit disappointed with how these turned out. I'm not really interested in trying again and will leave this to the experts.

They still tasted yum

Tea Bags - Weren't as easy as they looked, however the kids still love playing with them. 

A spot of tea

Girls Cardigan - I enjoyed making this one, it took quite a while but i was pretty impressed when it all came together and looked like a cardigan. It's so soft and my daughter loves wearing it, bonus.


Child's Apron - I was scared of this one, however it turned out almost perfect!

My first sewing project for 2015

Christmas Tree Skirt - I didn't really complete this the way I had wanted, it also turned out quite large. At least I did it. I may make some alterations for next Christmas.

Tis the season

Card Table Tent - From Bat Cave to 'Imagination Cave'! I love that the kids can make whatever they want of this.

Use your imagination

Three Bears House - Without a doubt, this turned out to be my favourite. I loved being able to create my own fairytale house and I will most certainly make another one day. I just need to wait for inspiration to strike.

Bolero - I made it, enough said. Mine looks horrible when comparing it with the original. I will wear it though.

Perhaps a flower would help...

Right now, I feel free! Free that I can make whatever I want, free to make anything and everything. Now where will I start...

Happy making for 2016, did you play along in 2015? How did you do?

Friday, 1 January 2016

Hello Bolero - Challenge Complete!

It's done! By the skin of my teeth with about 5 hours to spare, I completed my bolero and my challenge! I took pictures as I neared the finish line. My little lady had a birthday party on the 30th so hence two missing days!

Sunday 27th December 11:06 am - still in pieces

Monday 28th December 4:25 pm - edging begins

31st December 2:35pm - over 1cm of edging to go

31st December 6:34pm DONE!!

I won't be making another of these boleros. As I have previously mentioned, I was not a fan of this pattern at all.

Terribly confusing and I feel poorly set out. I had to make too many assumptions and I'm not entirely sure why. Making up, it said, sew the pieces together. Call me needy, but I do like a little more direction than that.

I won't deny it looks lovely and it's very light, made from Bendigo Woollen Mills Glacier 100% cotton and is the perfect Spring / Summer Bolero.

Stay tuned for a complete challenge wrap up tomorrow. In the meantime, Happy New Year and thank you for your support throughout the year. 

Did you achieve your goals for 2015?