Saturday, July 27, 2019

What I did for Plastic-free July

Not much actually, that I wasn't doing before:

  • Getting our dish detergent, laundry detergent and hair conditioner bottled refilled at a local Ecostore refill station.
  • Intercepting compostibles before the boy puts them in the rubbish and diverting them to the compost bin
  • putting empty, clean, bread bags (and other suitable plastic bags) in our reusable shopping bags so they can be used to hold fresh produce items.
  • emptying out our plastic-bag-lined indoor rubbish bins into the big rubbish bin (rather than lifting out the bags as well)
  • picking up bits of rubbish off the street and putting them into a nearby bin, if there is one.
  • avoiding buying stuff we don't need
  • eating vegan most breakfasts and lunches (the boy does the dinners and they are usually carnivorous)
  • Taking my own containers when I buy my lunch, or eating at the cafe instead of taking away
  • saving up for a set of period undies for TLM (who is not yet at the stage of needing them)
  • washing my face with bar cleanser
  • using cloth napkins instead of paper towels
  • trying to use handkerchiefs instead of paper tissues (unless I have a cold and need a LOT)
Next up I am deciding whether to replace disposable pens with pencils or with fountain pens and bottles of ink.

And I still haven't been able to satisfactorily replace my moisturisers with waste-free versions (as it's winter and my eczema-ry skin does best with the petroleum-based stuff with added urea). But I have had good results with basic mango butter + almond oil mixes which I buy in a glass jar. And I may try to do it myself so I don't end up with a ton of glass jars with plastic tops over time.
I also haven't had great luck with bar shampoo yet, but there are quite a few to try so it's only a matter of time (surely!).

A sewn, woven cardigan

I had it in my head that I really wanted a v-neck cardigan. A slouchy one that I can wear over a shirt, buttoned up, and then walk around with my hands in my pockets. Sort of like this one from Envelope -
I spent some time knitting one up from The Knitter, using leftover acrylic/alpaca yarn left over from the jumper I made for the boy. It had a column of Viking-inspired cables going up each side, front and back. Then I tried it on and it was a bit tight.

So I gave it to The Little Madam (now nearly 14 years old!) and resolved to make another one.

I went to the local yarn shop but I couldn't decide on a yarn. I went online and couldn't decide either. So in the end I bought some double-sided fabric on sale from the Fabric Store and used my Tamarack Jacket pattern to sew one up.

I did have to cut it down a lot in size. I probably should have used the cutting lines for a size 6 or 8 instead of for the size 10. After all, there as none of the thickness involved that the jacket is designed for.
As the fabric is reversible I wanted the finished product to be too. The red side is the "fun" view and the black side is the "business" view.
This is the black side out 

This is the red side out. after taking this photo I did fix the pockets so they are more symmetrical.

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

I fell off the green wagon on our weekend away

I thought that it was hard to minimise waste in HK. Well it turns out it's hard to minimise waste when away from home.

We stayed in a really nice little apartment in Christchurch - but it had no recycling bins let alone compost bins. I did consider asking Reception about it, and I should have. But after I had to tell them about the bed having a loose leg I felt like that was enough complaining for one stay!

At least we did not do takeaways, instead eating out a nice eateries or else buying small amounts of food from the supermarket to make our own food. But yeah, by the time we left we had also left a few uneaten bits and pieces that would have made great compost...

We also have a few more shopping bags than we really need now.

I shall pick up more litter to absolve myself.

Patchwork jeans

After cutting out my selvedge jeans pieces I thought there was enough fabric left over to make most of another pair of jeans. So I did. Though I did need to supplement with pieces salvaged from a pair of the boy's discards.

I used the Style Arc Sandra pattern again, but created a seam down the front and back of each leg (by folding each leg piece in half before cutting). I used the leftover selvedge denim to  make the inside front and inside back pieces, the yoke and waistband; and the boy's jeans to make the outside front and back pieces, pockets and belt loops.

The boy's jeans were a bit holey when I first got hold of them, and I'd originally made this long skirt out of them (which I liked, but didn't wear much).  The patches are from another, dark blue pair of jeans of his and a tartan-y piece from TLM's old jeans.
Something happened around the front pockets so that they are a tad higher than they should be  -but this is really the only thing that is slightly off. They fit really well. I think the softer denim at the sides helps these jeans to be comfy and have a bit of "give", compared to the selvedge jeans which are still quite stiff even though they have eased a bit with wear.

After taking these photos and wearing them for a day I shortened the hem just a little, about 2 cm. I have left the old denim raw at the hem but hemmed the dark denim bits. To me they are just about perfect!

I made myself a pair of selvedge jeans

I did it. I cut into my rigid Japanese selvedge denim and sewed myself some selvedge jeans (sorry no photos yet).
The sewing pattern I used was the Style Arc Sandra narrow-leg jeans, with the leg shortening and rise shortening described in my earlier post (about the jeans made with minimal stretch denim).

I made these additional modifications:

  • a flat bum modification in the back leg pattern, to reduce the amount of below-the-bum wrinkling 
  • redrew the legs so that the side seams are straight up and down, and the inner leg seams are moved to keep the leg width the same - based in this diagram on Pinterest (thanks Reyna Lay).

I decided to wash the denim before cutting into it. I can't tell for sure whether the fabric is raw or sanforised, but if it's raw and I wash it I'm sure the jeans will still fade nicely - just not as markedly as they do on unwashed raw denim.

Once I cut out all of the pieces I realised that I might have enough denim to make another pair as the leg pieces take up less than half of the width of fabric. Or I might make something easier to wear, like a skirt!

Apparently rigid denim jeans are supposed to fit tightly at first, and they should loosen as you wear them and conform to your body. So I made them tight around the hips.

I've started wearing these in, though they still don't have or hems. They might shrink in the next wash, or I might decide they are just too uncomfortable to wear and not worth finishing!

These definitely fit better than my last pair as there are less back thigh wrinkles, but its difficult bending down in them.  I followed the advice to do the squat and lunge while wearing them, and squatting is a bit of a strain.  Am I too old to be breaking in stiff jeans?