Tuesday, November 18, 2014


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Help Wanted Pictures, Images and Photos
 First off I want to say I love finding things I can save money on and do myself.  I make my own baking mix, fish fry mix, dressing mixes, spices mixes, hot cocoa mixes, etc.  So you might think I am a little over the top.  I do save money,  and I know exactly what goes into my mixes.
Ever read the labels on the back of boxes of food?  I cannot even pronounce some of the ingredients, or know what they are.  It also feels good to be just a little independent of these different products. 
I began this journey of making things when I was living off grid and could not just run to the store 1 hr away. Some old timers in the area suggested I make some products myself.  Most of these people have been making their own products for years.  

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Recently I was put on an all natural diet, and had to read labels on hundreds of food products. I found so many products that were unavailable to me now.
This got me to thinking about what is in the laundry detergent we buy. I read the back of my cheap laundry soap and the ingredients says: Contains anionic and/nonionic surfactants.  WHAT IS THAT?? 
I was also getting concerned about the spiraling laundry soap prices?  They keep coming up with new and improved,  with a nice new price.  For us on a  lower fixed income, prices are not looking good in the department of washing our clothes.

Now if you have allergies to the fragrances etc. you have to buy Free Laundry Soap.  Would you believe this is even more expensive.  Unfortunately I happen to be one of those unlucky people.

After lifting the lid one day on the rinse cycle to add some softner, the load was full of suds. Did I mention that I only use 1/4 a capful of laundry soap.  The soap is staying in the clothes. Now I know that anything against your skin can be absorbed (lotion hormones are proof of that).  The problem was what alternative did I have?

My youngest daughter, Mary, called me one afternoon so excited to tell me that she had made some laundry detergent.   How did you do that, I asked.  She preceded to tell me how simple it was.  She made the liquid kind in some 5 gallon bucket with a lot of stirring.  Now that I am older, all that stirring did not sound like fun.  Therefore I dismissed it as an option for me.

Then on a frugal internet site, I found a recipe for powdered laundry soap.  Now this was something I was interested in!  I had to try this one and see.

 1. I found out that you only need to use 1-2 Tablespoons per load depending on how dirty the clothes are.
2. It was inexpensive to make. 
3. It does not have a lot suds and it rinses out of your clothes
4. YOU WILL GET SUDS IN RINSE until the store bought soap is eliminated from the clothes and machine.
5. Store bought detergents are not soft because of the detergents not rinsing out in the rinse cycle, therefore the reason for having to buy fabric softeners.
6. Homemade laundry soap leaves the clothes softer.
 7.  Takes very little time to make and you have enough to do several loads for pennies.
8.   You know what you put in the soap and you are not paying for fillers.
9.  The laundry detergents for those hi-efficiency washers is made of the same ingredients.  NOTE:  since I do not own one I would do more research on this, as this was a comment on one site I was reading.
10. The satisfaction of making it yourself.
Regular "Powdered" Laundry Detergent
1.   1 bar of Ivory natural soap, or Nels Naptha, or Castile, or Zote
2.   1 cup of Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda
3.   1 cup of Borax
4.   1/4 cup of Sun Oxyclean (optional)
5.   1 cup of Baking Soda (I add this for the very hard water we have and it works)

Sensitive Skin "Powdered" Laundry Detergent
1.   1 bar of Ivory natural soap-or zote soap-see update below
2.   1 cup of Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda
3.   1 cup of Baking Soda 

   Grate the bar soap on a grater.  Just wash grater and use for food again.

 This next step is optional.  If using Ivory it tends to float, so processing it smaller helps it to dissolve better.

Using a food processor grind the grated soap.

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It should look something like this.
5.   Use a large bowl or a container you to stir the rest of the ingredients in.

I used a empty washed coffee container decorated with a computer printed label.  The label I got from photo bucket under laundry clothes line.  Clear contact paper is securing the label to the  container.

Sorry for the picture!  The finished Regular "Powdered" Laundry Detergent will look like this. I used a coffee scoop which is about 2 tablespoons. 

This is the finished Sensitive Skin "Powdered" Laundry Detergent.  I used an old 1/8th measuring cup (which is 2 Tablespoons I got from a yard sale).

I have used this Homemade "Powdered Laundry Detergent" and I am very pleased with the smell, softness and how clean my of clothes come out.

NOTE:  I did find with the Ivory bar soap that I had to use a little warm water and swish it about  (after I made the powder without putting the Ivory in the food processor).  I have hard water here,  this may not be a problem where you live.

UPDATE:  Just wanted everyone to know that I have been using the "Homemade Powdered Laundry Detergent," and I love it!!  With my hard water the whites seemed a little dingy, so I just used 2 scoops of the laundry soap and it worked fine.  The clothes are much softer now that the store bought detergent is out of them.  Hope you have time to try it!

UPDATE: I started using zote soap and love it.  It has a great smell and dissolves much easier than Ivory.  

Thursday, July 24, 2014


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I am really enjoying my new CS6000i computer sewing machine.  photo 002_zps2085eec0.jpg 
The only problem I heard of from this sewing machine was that it is so light weight. They like the fact that it is light weight but it does not stay put on a working surface. Solving this problem was as easy as a roll of non-slip drawer liner that was purchased at the Dollar Tree for $1.
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My machine came with a walking foot. I have never used one of these and always thought it was for quilting. Upon some investigation into sewing with knits I came across this blog Pretty Prudent with instructions on using a walking foot to keep stretchy knits from puckering when sewed. This blog was very helpful. As for the twin needle PRETTY PRUDENT talks about I had also seen it in Nancy Zieman's book 10-20-30 MINUTES TO SEW page 72-73.
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After consulting my sewing machine manual to attach the walking foot correctly, I was ready to start sewing the knit top.
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I completed the knit top as seen in the picture above. The walking foot worked great. With the twin needles it gives a regular stitch with a zigzag stitch underneath.
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It was great on the tie detail of this top. I did thread the right needle wrong the first time. I can see the error on the top, wonder if you can?
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The pattern used was a retro pattern that was purchased on ebay.
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Now to tackle more sewing projects. Hope you will also try the walking foot on some of your projects and check out The Prudent Pretty Blog with some very helpful instructions for sewing with knits.  

Friday, July 18, 2014


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My honey got me a new sewing machine.  My other machine I had for about 15 years finally just stopped sewing correctly.  The one the the church gave me quit working correctly too. 
When I got married it wasn't  a week before I had to buy a sewing machine.  It was a used sewing machine but it was perfect as far as I was concerned. I was only 19 years old at the time.  Some 44 years ago and 4 sewing machines since then. A sewing machine is essential to my well being so to speak.  Creating things, makes me a very happy person.

"Now for my 2 little projects."
We are headed to a week-end of camping tomorrow. There were two things I needed for my vintage motor home.  A bag for plastic bags and a sturdy bag for the smaller #10 dutch oven. 

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 The first was a plastic bag holder. I chose a vintage material I got out of my stash. It matched the color scheme that I had in my motor home. It did not match the theme especially but I liked it and it will serve it's purpose till I can find one that will.

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My dear hubby has been trying his hand at dutch oven cooking while camping. We started out with a smaller dutch oven and then we got a larger one. I had a large denim bag I had made a few years ago, and it fit the larger dutch oven. I now needed a smaller bag. So the second little project is a denim bag.
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I had a piece of denim in my fabric stash. It worked perfect for the smaller bag. Both bags have a drawstring top. This makes the bag easy to put the dutch ovens in and close up.

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I  really am enjoying my new sewing machine and learning the different things it can do.  The machine also made doing these little projects a pleasure.

Friday, July 4, 2014


The top that I made got to her on time to go to the doctors office and get her cast of her wrist.  The shoulder is taking a little longer to heal.
The doctor really liked the top and how easy it was to put on and take off without disturbing her shoulder injury.

Will make some more but a little slimmer for her when her sling is gone. 

Monday, June 30, 2014


All in all a very productive day.
I finished my MIL's blouse top and got it sent off today in the mail.
The V neck line looked pretty low on the gown I made.  For an evening lounge gown that is ok.  For wearing as everyday clothing I decided to add a piece to the inside of the V-neck.
I made 2 microwave potato bags.  One smaller size and one larger.  If you are interested in making your own microwave bag pattern click here .  If you need instructions for sewing and how to use these bags safetly click here .
Then I made two of my simple aprons that I wear most of the time to cook in. 
Below is a tutorial on how to make a simple apron.  My aprons I make from a pattern I made myself to fit my body size.  Most aprons seem to tie around my hips instead of my waist.  I have used this apron pattern over and over through out the years.

After cutting out the body of the apron, I turn all the edges under 5/8 inch "twice" all the way around.
For the neck ties I used homemade bias tape for this particular apron.  Pin it at the edge of the top of the apron.
This is a picture of the two top ties pined to the apron.
Pin the side straps also and pin.
Sew all the way around the apron on the edges of the seams as seen in photo.
Just in case the seams do not secure the straps, sew at an angle forwards and backwards over the straps.  I know that these aprons will be repeatedly washed so I will go the extra to make sure every thing is secured.
I made one more apron only I had enough material to cut out straps to match this apron.

Now I have 2 new aprons to use.  It will be fun to have different ones to use.