A New Dress

As those who follow this blog have seen, I was very excited to sew my first set of historically inspired underpinnings back in the winter/spring. I did it mostly for the experience and to learn how to sew by hand. My sister challenged me to enter the chemise into our county fair and I actually placed in the adult division with it! I was so excited to receive a ribbon for my 100% hand sewn and finished dress. To see that project click HERE.

I have now officially started the next project in this stage of historically inspired sewing projects. Technically, this new project is inspired by a film that was inspired by a book which was published in 1908, but I’m considering the whole thing historically inspired.

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So without further ado, a preview of the fabric for this project:

The fabric is polyester imitation satin and organza because I don’t exactly have the pocket book yet for authentic silk. However, it looks almost identical and I am beyond enthusiastic about starting this project. The sash will be a deep royal purple, and the dress and overlay ivory. The inspiration for this dress is the ivory organza¬†and satin striped overlay worn by Anne during her concert at the White Sands Hotel (1985 rendition). The only striped organza I could find almost anywhere was in England and LA and it would take 2 weeks to get here…neither the time or the price fit into my design constraints, so crushed imitation organza seemed equally lovely ūüėČ

This will be an exciting project. I hope to post the finished results once I have reached that point. The plan is to have it finished in time for an upcoming Christmas Ball.

Wish me luck ūüôā

~God Bless!~

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10 Uses for | Baking Soda | That Will Change Your Life

As you are probably well aware, baking soda (sodium bicarbonate: NaHCO3) is a magical compound-when mixed with vinegar, it fizzes up and kids of all ages love to watch it go boom!

However, what you might not know is that baking soda has many more uses than basic volcano demonstrations.

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1. Toothpaste- replacement for regular toothpaste. I like using regular paste and oil pulling, but in a bind, 2tsp¬†of baking soda and a drop or two of clean peppermint essential oil mixed with enough water to make a paste works great! It’s a little salty to taste, but sure gets your teeth fresh and clean:)

2. Shampoo- I actually use baking soda and baking powder instead of regular shampoo. I like the way it makes my hair feel after I use it. Typically 2 TB of baking powder with 1 TB of baking soda does the trick. I put it in a cup and add warm water to make a paste/rinse. Then put it on my scalp and massage until there is a bit of a lather. Slightly diluted Apple Cider vinegar works as a fantastic conditioning rinse afterwards. Rinse your hair in moderate-cold water until the smell is gone and you can no longer feel the grainy texture of the soda. You can use straight soda or powder. The powder tends to thicken up hair and accentuate curls, while soda cuts the grease. As baking soda is abrasive, it is important to use this method 3-5 days apart or your hair will become extremely dry and tender.

It is important to be extremely careful with your hair and to make sure that if you do decide to use baking soda instead of shampoo, you condition, condition, condition, and massage your scalp. If you don’t, your hair will get dry and the blood flow to the hair follicles will stop, causing negative hair growth.

Conditioning treatments with olive oil, honey, avocado, or coconut oil work wonders for dry hair and scalps. Also a couple drops of rosemary, or peppermint, or lemon, or lavender essential oils make wonderful additions to any conditioner or shampoo. Just remember to rinse out any oils before about 30min.

3. Toilet bowl and surface cleaner- baking soda makes a toilet bowl sparkle! I was out of regular cleaner and pour a little sodium bicarbonate in the bowl and scrubbed with the brush. After a couple rounds of cleaning like that, the bowl was the whitest I had ever seen it. As it worked in the toilet, so it works in the sink basin, on counters, and applied dry to the carpet (let it sit then vacuum it up!)

4. Tarnish remover in silver and aluminum- be careful with this as excessive cleaning and polishing will do more than just remove the tarnish, but it works to really add a bright shine to the metals if done properly.

5. Bread Leavening Agent- if you ever wonder why there is baking soda in a baking recipe or why it’s called baking soda, this is why.

6. Baking Powder- baking powder we buy at the store is baking soda, cornstarch, and a powdered acid compound. But if a recipe calls for baking powder and you don’t have any, mix a 1:1: ratio of cornstarch, baking¬†soda, and

7. Antacid- completely dissolve 0.5 tsp of baking soda in water

– do not give to children younger than 6, someone who is pregnant, someone who is on prescribed medications, or someone who is on a low-sodium diet,

be sure to talk to a doctor before using this just to be safe:)

Рfor more information visit armandhammer.com

8. Itch relief from poison ivy, Oak, and sumac- mix with water into a paste and apply- be careful it may dry out skin

9. Deodorant- put a container of open top baking soda in the fridge, in a room, almost anywhere and it will deodorize the foul stenches lingering in the air

10. Drain cleaner- for those of you who LOVED the vinegar and baking soda experiment at the science fair, do the same thing down your sink drain and if there was a clog from natural buildup, it will (in most cases) clean itself out!

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Baking soda is truly an under-appreciated household item. I hope this helps inspire you to not fret the next time you are out of your go to product. Or possibly even save a little money if you need to pinch some pennies.

 

Historical Sewing|Chemise and Drawers

As I explained in my first historical sewing post, this skill¬†is something I have wanted to learn for very long time. I had done a preview of the mid-1800’s styled chemise and drawers a couple weeks ago and wanted to wait to give the project¬†revue until I had worn the clothing a couple times and tested the strength of the stitching.

Now that that is done, I can give a truthful analysis of the pattern, the technique, and the practicality of this project.

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To begin my historical sewing endeavors, it seemed logical to start from the inside and work out. So the first piece I made was a chemise, or lightweight under dress similar to and often used as a night gown.

I used the Simplicity Pattern 9769 as a basis for both the chemise and drawers. A couple modifications were made to the design due to personal preference. I used a lightweight, soft, off-white muslin. The entirety of the project is hand-stitched.

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Full front view

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Front drawstring adjustable neckline with overlap

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gathered banded, gusseted sleeves

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Back view

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The drawers I made are split, as is consistent with the time era. They are trimmed, at the bottom of the legs, with cream lace that I found at a thrift store. It was a bit of a challenge attaching the lace because it was about a centimeter short and getting the hem even was rather tricky. But overall, the fit was rather comfortable, and the chemise tucks in rather nicely to preserve modesty.

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Full side view

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Front view, gathered waist

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Lace trimming

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Un-tied drawstring back closure

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Inside back view of front waistband detailing

I was very nervous to start an entirely hand sewn article. However, it was a relatively simple pattern that didn’t take as much time as I thought it would. I probably spent about 10 hours max on both pieces. I used double thread for most of the seam work and it seems to be quite durable, I’ve slept in the chemise and there has been no fraying, ripping, or feeling it would fall apart. I am quite pleased with how this turned out.

If you are interested in completing this project for yourself, or would like to commission a set, let me know and I can share more details regarding these garments:)

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“To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven…a time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak…”

Ecclesiastes Chapter 3

Historical Sewing

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Stock-Image-Separator-GraphicsFairy21For many years now, I have had dreams of being a talented seamstress. I have been sewing almost my entire life, but it has only been in the last couple of years that I have really gotten excited about improving and making beautiful articles. The more I have been getting excited about sewing, the more I’ve yearned to learn about Civil War Era costuming.

As of this week,¬†I can finally say that I am a beginning costumer. After almost two years of procrastinating, for fear for messing up, I took the plunge. I can’t wait to share the details of my first project once it is completely finished. Until then,¬†this teaser will have to suffice.

God bless you in your endeavors today!

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Contact Paper

Recently I got my own kitchen. 
However, It needs a little TLC before I will feel comfortable stocking it 
and cooking more than simple microwave meals. 
One of the first projects that needed to happen was putting contact paper down in the cupboards. 
The reason I chose contact paper is because it is easy to put down and it provides an easier surface to clean than the exposed surfaces of the wood. It also looks nicer than the plain dingy brown.
 
The first step is to remove the drawers you want to work on

 
Next clear them out and make sure there are no large pieces of debris, rocks, or food

Above show the materials I used to clean the draws. I found bleach works well to get them clean, then after they are dry pine sol is good to condition the surface.

Wipe down the surface and be sure to not leave any grime. 
Thoroughly  clean it and let it dry completely.

The next step is to measure out the contact paper. Every surface is different, so I suggest making the length about an inch longer than you need as it shrinks once it is applied, and it can always be cut.

Peal back the corner of the backing on the contact paper and slowly, carefully remove it.
Center the paper and lay it completely flat on the surface. Make sure to press it down from the center to the edges, to ensure that there are no air bubbles between the paper and the surface. Air bubbles or left over grime will cause it to peal so it is important that the surface is clean and the paper is secure.
To clean, you can use kitchen wipes, surface cleaner, and it is for the most part water tolerant. 
I hope that this short tutorial will help inspire you if you need ideas for improving a kitchen that you can’t afford to renovate. The key to a smoothly running kitchen is clean and organized , not expensive or overly messy. Make sure items you use consistently are located in a practical location and always put away, washed, and in the same place after every use. Remember it’s always easier to do a little work everyday than a lot of work in one sitting. A clean kitchen will also keep everyone in better spirits. The kitchen is the heart of the home, and a healthy heart is a happy heart!
May you see God’s blessings today!

The Lost Art of Handsewing/ Embroidery

It feels as though many of the old art forms are starting to become more and more popular as the world becomes more and more gloomy. People are searching for cheap and beautiful methods to pass time and still be productive.
One of these amazing crafts is hand-sewing and embroidery. I posted a snowflake tutorial a while back, so let’s look at some more year-round embroidery ideas.

My favorite technique is called Needle painting. The purpose is to use a variety of stitches to make the image you are portraying seem as real as possible. I still have a long way to go, but I will share my journey as I improve, as well as some helpful hints on techniques.
To start off, here are some of my favorite designs from over the last couple years.

beginning stages of a sunflower. 
This was a fun sampler I found online.
There are so many fantastic resources for patterns and techniques.
If you check out the hand-sewing section of the resources page blog, 
you will see some of my favorite links to instructional and inspirational sites.
I hope this has peaked your interest in hand sewing and embellishment!

Fun With Crayons

A couple of months ago, for a home school lesson my mom was doing with my younger siblings, we made new crayons out of old broken crayons.
If you are anything like my family, after a couple of coloring pages, there always seems to be a broken crayon or two. I thought it would be a tutorial, on how to reuse the broken crayons. This is one way to save a bit of money and can reuse the materials that you’ve already purchased.
Step 1: 
Gather all the broken pieces in the bottom of the crayon bucket.
 Strip them of their wrapping and sort them by color.
 Step 2: 
Preheat the oven to about 200F.
Line a muffin tin (any size we used a standard) with tinfoil. 
Leave enough foil to cover the edges so that the wax doesn’t stick to the pan after you are done,¬†
and so that you can remove the new crayons once they are cool.
Place the broken crayons in the foil lining.

Step 3:
Place the tin in the oven and keep a close eye on it. 
The timing isn’t always exact.¬†
Sometimes it can take five minutes sometimes ten, sometimes more.
You just want the wax to be completely melted. 
Don’t let it boil because that will bring about air bubbles.

Step 4:
Once the wax is melted, let it to cool.
Don’t touch the new crayons until it is completely set.
After the wax is solid again, remove the tinfoil.
These new crayons can be used as soon as they are solid. 
 I hope you found this helpful. It is truly a fun project to do with little kids.
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