Wednesday, March 11, 2015


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My ironing board cover for the small ironing board was looking pretty bad. I use it to put things on like wonder under, stitch witchery and interfacing. I did not want to spend money on new material or use up a larger piece either. I had this really cute material that was given to me. It was not quite wide enough. So put on my thinking cap and came up with an idea to make it work.
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I cut off some of the length to add to the sides. To do this I determined where I needed extra width on the ironing board.
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Here is a close up of the pieces I sewed together to make the piece of material wide enough.

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Place the ironing board upside down on the material centering it as best as possible. Make sure that you have enough material all around that you will need to form a seam for the elastic.
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Start gently pulling up the material around the front. Pin the material to the front sides to hold it in place.
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Trim the excess off just above the pinned area.
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Remove the pins and let the material lay flat. Trim the curved edge at the front of the ironing board just like in the picture. It does not have to be perfect as you will be turing this under anyway.
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Now turn under a seam and pin it to the front of the ironing board so that it will not move as you work your way down the sides of the board.
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Trim the excess material leaving enough to turn under a seam.
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This is what it looked like at the end of the ironing board.
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Trim the material leaving enough to turn under a seam that will go over the end of the board, similar to the one that you see on the board.
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Remove the pins and remove the ironing board. ZIG-ZAG the edge or turn under a 1/4 inch seam. Then re-pin a seam allowance that will allow your elastic.
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Sew around the edge of your ironing board cover.
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Leave an opening to be able to insert the elastic. I use a safety pin to work my elastic through the seam.
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I have a TRICK that I use when running elastic in a long seam. Inside the seam is a small safety pin with elastic. When I want to work the elastic down the seam I pin a diaper pin through the safety pin in the seam. That way my safety pin does not work its way back from the starting point while I am adjusting the elastic.
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After the elastic is all the way through it should look similar to the picture above.
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Put the cover on the board. Centering and adjusting so that the pattern in you material is where you want it.
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Turn your board upside down.
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Grab both pieces of elastic and start pulling until the cover is very snug on your board.
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Carefully tie a knot without letting your elastic become lose.
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I like to tie a lot of knots after the first one just to be sure it does not work itself loose.
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Now I am ready to start sewing again.

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.