I’ve listed two “new” vintage fabrics in the shop, but wondering if anyone can help with giving more information about them. I love second hand materials, but not having all the details is a bit frustrating. They are:
I’ve burn tested them, and they tend to burn quickly. The burned edge seems more melted than ashy, which leads me to believe they are a synthetic or a synthetic blend. Here’s a video of the beige burn test:
The violet fabric burns in the same way.
I’m also not sure if there is a name for that type of tiny stripe pattern. Up close you can see the lines, but from a distance it almost looks solid.
In order to have high quality finished products, it’s best to prewash your fabric. Without this step, your finished product can shrink and look uneven or lumpy when it is eventually washed. It’s not a good idea to just toss your fabric into the wash, though, as it comes out a stringy, tangled mess. Luckily, there’s a few different ways to make prewashing your fabric painless.
Overlock the cut edges
If you have a serger or overlock machine, serge the cut edges before washing. You shouldn’t have to worry about the selvedges as they won’t unravel. This is my favorite method. I usually just leave the thread tails long and they don’t unravel enough to be annoying.
Use your Sewing Machine
With a sewing machine, you can sew a quick zig-zag or similar stitch along the cut edges to prevent fraying. Even a straight stitch would probably work, although I haven’t tried it. You will probably need to back-tack or knot the ends to keep it secure through the wash.
Pink the edges for a painless prewash
If you have pinking shears, cut the fabric with the pinking shears along the cut edges. The edges will still get fuzzy, but shouldn’t unravel.
One bonus of using one of these methods is it’s easy to know at a glance which fabric from my stash was prewashed.
I know probably 90% of the people reading this are thinking “Duh!” because it’s such an obvious fix. The other 10% are wondering why they didn’t think of that, much like myself when I first learned the trick.
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I’ve been writing a lot about aromatherapy lately. It’s definitely something I find useful in my daily life, from incense to essential oil roll-ons to relaxing scented bath salts. While you can make a many aromatherapy products yourself, not everyone has the time or wants to invest in the essential oils to do that. Today, I wanted to spotlight the aromatherapy products I have to offer at SubEarthan Cottage.
First are the soy wax melts. Unless otherwise noted, these are made with soy wax and pure essential oils. For safety, I recommend using a lightbulb wax warmer rather than a tealight warmer.
Finally are my soaps. Unfortunately I haven’t had as much time to make soap lately with my chemo treatments. My last Kadcyla infusion is tomorrow though, so hopefully I’ll be back in the soap kitchen soon. Here are the soaps I currently have available.
It’s my birthday on Saturday (yes, April Fool’s, I know, lol). If you use coupon code April2023 you’ll get 20% off your entire order at SubEarthan Cottage. Valid on regular and sale-priced items through April 3, 2023.
And, since birthday’s are weird without cake, here’s my favorite allergen-friendly chocolate cake recipe.
This is a simple chocolate cake recipe that is super easy. It is dairy-free, egg-free, and if you swap the wheat flour for a gluten-free flour blend, it's gluten-free, too! To make it gluten free, I like Bob's Red Mill 1 to 1 gluten free blend because it already contains xanthan gum. If you use a different gluten-free flour without xanthan gum, I would add about 1-1.5 teaspoons of xanthan gum.To top, make a simple buttercream (with shortening and non-dairy milk to keep it non-dairy) or use your favorite store bought frosting. You could also sprinkle the warm cake with dairy-free chocolate chips, let them melt a little, then spread across the top for a rich, chocolaty treat.
Prep Time10 minutesmins
Cook Time35 minutesmins
Keyword: 9 x 13, cake, chocolate, dairy free, easy, egg free, gluten free, one bowl, simple
Servings: 292×2 inch servings
9 x 13 rectangle pan
3CupsFlour see recipe summary for gluten-free adjustment
2tablespoonsvinegarwhite or apple cider vinegar
1cup vegetable oilany light flavored liquid vegetable oil is fine
2cups cold water
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit
Grease the 9 x 13 inch pan, either with shortening, butter, or cooking spray
Combine the first five (dry) ingredients in a large mixing bowl and mix until evenly blended. Alternatively, sift them together into the bowl.
Add the remaining (wet) ingredients and mix until thoroughly blended. You can use a spoon or an electric mixer.
Pour the batter into the greased 9 x 13 inch pan.
Bake at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the middle comes out clean.
I frosted this cake with buttercream tinted blue, then used gel food coloring to paint the faces. I then piped buttercream for the eyes, facial features, outlines, writing and trim. I clearly am not a trained cake decorator, so I can’t really say which tips I used or any other details.
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I generally try to avoid anything that seems gimmicky. The whole Black Friday, Shop Small Saturday, Cyber Monday all seem crafted to make people feel like they must buy all the things NOW. Being a small business owner, though, I wanted to address the “Shop Small” thing.
All those cute memes you see about small business owners doing a happy dance with every purchase, the care that goes into creating and packaging a product just for you, and the direct impact your purchase has on an individual or family? They’re all true, for me at least, and for the other small business owners I know. I celebrate each and every sale. I make sure to package every order with care and a handwritten thank-you. Every sale goes towards helping my family directly.
That’s not to say that big business are bad or don’t help their employees or don’t appreciate our business. Not at all. I’d be lying if I said the big blue Amazon truck never stopped at my house or I never shop at Walmart. They absolutely have their place, too. But, if today or any other day throughout the year you are able to make a purchase from a small business, know that we thank you for your support and are celebrating. Probably with a happy dance, although I refuse to post video evidence.
If you’re not in a position to make a purchase from a small business or what they offer just doesn’t fit your needs, there are other ways to offer support. Sharing their information with others that might like what they have to offer is one way. Letting them know what you like about their products is another.
Spread the Love
If you are a small business owner or know of an awesome one, please leave a comment with the shop’s info so that I and my readers can check them out, whether it’s Shop Small Saturday or some random Tuesday. Artists and authors are welcome, too. I would love to have a list of small business to refer to and to share with my friends and family.
I, Charity Sloan, am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. Any purchases through those links will result in my receiving a small percentage in commission.
Prices are the same whether you click an affiliate link or a non-affiliate link, so you will not be charged more. Thank you for your support!