Category Archives: Homemade

The Great Apron Project Begins


Decisions, decisions!

Hi all! When I was in Atlanta over Memorial Day, I went to Whipstitch Fabrics. While I was there, my sister and my mom convinced me to buy a stack of (really really great) fabric to make aprons for the Skillet Festival; the Brooks County Skillet Festival will be held on September 17, 2011 in my beautiful home town of Quitman, Georgia.  Hey, any excuse to buy more fabric, right?  I’m going to be participating with my friend Andrea, sharing a booth space as vendors.  She knits (and I have the awesome expandable produce bag to prove it!).  I’m going to be making aprons, potholders and other food related sewn items!  I’ve got lots of ideas but not an unlimited amount of time.

Yesterday was Day 1 of the Great Apron Project.  I spent hours yesterday going through the new stuff and my old stuff trying to make sets.  I’m going to make some hostess (half) aprons as well as some full ones.  I love the look of the hostess aprons, but I know aprons are mostly about functionality.  I’ll try to find a great way to balance that.

Closeup of the apron strings when tied

So, here’s my first attempt at an apron! I am going to tweak the pattern just a bit, but it turned out really well in my opinion! It’s a variation on a Heather Ross pattern from Weekend Sewing.  I took her pattern and made it reversible.  I like the clean finish of something that’s lined, and this is like two aprons in one!

I’m going to be working on some with embellishments like ruffles, embroidery and appliques.   Please let me know if you have a special request! I’ll do my best to make sure I have what you want!

Finished product

Check out http://www.skilletfestival.com for more information.  It’s going to be lots of fun: great local food and handmade items for sale and fun events you won’t want to miss.

-Where else will you get the opportunity to throw a skillet (that won’t land you in hot water)?

-How many of you will be able to say they finished the Iron Man? (Come run the Cast Ironman 5K and say you did!)

And best of all, you’ll be supporting the local economy just by coming out, having some fun, and enjoying some food and music!

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Homemade Cost Savings: Laundry Detergent & Spray Starch

Like most people I know, I’ve been trying to figure out ways to save money around the house.  In addition, I also try to minimize the amount of chemicals I use.  I really like Seventh Generation and some of the other eco-friendly, non-toxic brands, but they aren’t exactly easy on the wallet.  So, here are two ways you can save some green while being green!

Make your own laundry detergent:

I have done this recently; and I’m about to make my second batch.  It works well thus far!  I used this recipe from a great blog called Homestead Revival.  They have two versions; I used the Fels Naphtha version because that’s what I could find in my area. 

It’s easy to make, and one batch lasts as long as a regular bottle of laundry detergent (if not longer).  I priced the ingredients today at my local grocery store.  All the ingredients for three batches of the recipe were less than $10 with washing soda and borax left over, too!  Compared to $8.99 for a bottle of Seventh Generation laundry detergent at my local Publix, that’s a no-brainer for me. 

I use one tablespoon sized scoop (not exact) in each load.  I actually use a plastic scoop leftover from a container of baby formula.  Try not to breathe the mixture in very deeply.  The borax can make you cough.  I think you’ll be pleased with the outcome of this recipe.  I am!

Make your own spray starch:  

Mix 2 Tablespoons of cornstarch with 1 cup of cold water.  Take care to make sure there are no lumps of cornstarch remaining in the liquid.  The mixture will be cloudy, and this is okay.  If you like, add one drop of your favorite essential oils to give a slight fragrance to your ironed items.  Pour this mixture into a spray bottle and use as you would any store-bought starch!  How easy is that? 

Before making my own starch, I’ve been buying Niagara brand spray starch in the pump bottle as pictured below.  I like this brand of store-bought spray starch.  These pump bottles are the best I’ve found!  I washed out several of them and kept them for reuse for my homemade starch, as well as homemade shampoo & conditioner.  

Homemade spray starch is so inexpensive, too!  Comparatively speaking, Niagara spray starch costs approximately $3 per bottle.  Most municipal water costs less than/around one cent per gallon; corn starch costs approximately $.12 per ounce.  That means you can fill that same 22 ounce Niagara bottle for about 25 cents!!

I hope that these ideas encourage you to think outside the “big box” and consider other easy projects which can help you save time and money in your home!

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Filed under Homemade