Posted on Leave a comment

Quick Drawstring Bag Tutorial or How to Reuse Your SubEarthan Cottage Soap Wrapping

I wrap my soaps in fabric because it looks nice, it allows the soap to breathe (read here for why), and because it feels better than plastic. I often wonder what happens to the wrapping. I’m sure there are some that toss it. I know of one person who collects the fabric for quilts. For those of you who, like me, don’t want to throw away something that could be useful but don’t know what to do with it, I have a tutorial for a drawstring pouch, just for you.

This is done with the wrapping from one of my soaps, but you could make it in any size you like.

Materials
Cloth wrapper from soap (roughly 8×11 inches)
Jute string from soap (about 29 inches)
Thread

Tools
Needle or Sewing machine
Safety pin or Bodkin
Scissors
Iron

First, iron your fabric flat. Then, fold down a long edge about 3/4 of an inch to one inch and press. This is for the casing. It doesn’t have to be super precise.

Sew a straight seam along the bottom of the flap to form the casing. All the sewing can be done by hand or machine. I have no time or patience, so I choose machine. Fold your material in half with right sides together like a book.

The fold is at the bottom of this photo.

Next, starting just below the casing seam, sew down the side and across the bottom. I use anywhere from a 1/4 to 1/2 inch seam allowance for this. Again, it doesn’t have to be precise.

With scissors, clip the bottom corners, being careful not to cut your stitching. You could probably skip this step, but it helps the corners look square and crisp. Turn your bag right side out.

Now it’s time to thread the string. Tie one end of the string to a safety pin, large paper clip, or attach a small bodkin. This makes it easier to work it through the casing. Thread it through the casing, safety pin first.

Once you get the string to the other side, remove your safety pin or other tool and adjust the string so that the ends are even.

Knot the ends together once or twice to keep it from coming out.

Ta-da! It’s done! Perfect for organizing your purse, storing jewelry or other small items, or as a small gift bag.

Or holding your favorite bar of soap.

Tutorials are always a little complicated to write because it’s easy to overlook small steps in things you do frequently. If something is unclear, please ask. ūüôā

If you have any other creative uses for a SubEarthan Cottage soap wrapper, I would love to hear it!

Posted on Leave a comment

Mini Tutorial- Altering Pants

Earlier this week I mentioned quickly taking in some pants at the waist. I was always afraid of adjusting pants, but with my fluctuating post baby body, I needed a way to have pants that fit without lots of shopping. It may not be 100% perfect, but it works for me.

First, try on your pants to determine how much to take in. You’ll be¬†stitching¬†at the side seams, so you’ll want to divide that amount evenly between each side. You can either actually measure or just pinch and guesstimate like I did.

Now, you’ll sew your new seam starting with the max amount at the waistband and tapering out to the seam somewhere around the middle to end of the pocket depending on what you need for fit and how the pants are structured. I didn’t want to change the shape of the legs, so I just did a gradual taper of probably 5-6 inches. Repeat on the other side.

Some things to keep in mind while sewing:
Keep the waistband even at the top
Use a denim needle for thicker materials
Taper all the way out so you don’t end up with a weird little pleat
Avoid stitching over belt loops.
WATCH OUT FOR METAL RIVETS. Seriously. I’ve had needles break and hit me in the face without hitting something metal. Use extra care if your jeans have metal details around the seams.

This tutorial was based on one I saw on another blog, but I can’t find that blog now. If you know the one I’m talking about, please let me know. I would love to link back to it, and the blog probably has tons of other awesome tutorials I need to see.

Posted on Leave a comment

My Hero: A Mini Tutorial

My son is really into superheros right now.¬† He started asking for a superhero costume yesterday.¬† Given that he’s three and impatient, I needed something quick and easy.¬† Here’s what I came up with:

 

 

I took one 2x mens t-shirt and cut it straight down the sides, removing the sleeves.

 

 

Then I cut off the front panel, leaving the neck band and a 3-4 inch curved section attached for the

front.¬† That way there’s no ties so he can put it on himself.

 

 

Finally I cut the front panel into three long strips.  One got holes for the eyes and tied around his head for the mask.  The other two I sewed together at one of the narrow ends. I tied it around his waist for the sash.

 

The mask is getting a little stretched out, but he likes the bigger eye holes, so that’s working out well.

 

Now he’s wanting a Batman costume, too, so I’ll need to locate a black t-shirt soon.¬† I’ll try to remember next time to take pictures of the process and post them for visual reference.

 

You can see more of my little superhero pictures here:  http://www.facebook.com

/SubEarthanCottage#!/album.php?aid=2033991&id=1287314704

 

Posted on Leave a comment

Easy DIY Talc-Free Body Powder

With all the concerns in the news surrounding talcum powders again, many people are looking for a talc-free alternative to their favorite body powder. While you can purchase talc-free powder, making it yourself is simple, allows you to customize it, and is super inexpensive. Better yet, you probably already have everything you need.

Body Powder Recipe

Ingredients:

3/4 cup of Cornstarch

1/4 cup of Baking Soda

10-ish Drops of essential oil (optional)

Make it:

Combine the cornstarch and baking soda in a bowl or jar. Give it a stir or shake to mix. If you’re using an essential oil, add it now, then stir or shake some more to distribute.

Use it:

I keep mine in a jar and use a fluffy makeup brush to dust it where I need it. It works great as an all-over dusting powder, deodorant and shoe deodorizer. You can also dust a little in your hair in place of dry shampoo. For that, I like to put it in my hair at night and then brush it out in the morning.

Customize it:

The basic recipe is 3 parts cornstarch to 1 part baking soda, so you can use that 3:1 ratio to make as much or as little as you need. 

Add more or less essential oil based on your preference. You can also use your favorite perfume to make a coordinating dusting powder.

If you find this formula too drying, reduce the amount of baking soda, or omit it all together.

Not a fan of cornstarch? Try using arrowroot. I personally haven’t tried it, so if you do, let me know how it works.

For babies, I recommend just plain cornstarch as baking soda might be too harsh. If you want to scent it, add a couple of drops of lavender essential oil. Essential oils aren’t generally recommended for babies under six months, so take that into consideration.¬†

If you like using this as a dry shampoo and have dark hair, you can add a little bit of cocoa powder to the mix to make it less noticeable if you don’t get it brushed out completely.

Re-purpose a shaker jar, such as a spice or Parmesan cheese jar, rather than using a brush or puff to dispense.



Find more of my tutorials here: Tutorials.

Welcome

Thank you for visiting SubEarthan Cottage. To see behind the scenes and find recipes and tutorials, be sure to check out the blog. To shop SubEarthan Cottage handmade products, visit our shop.