Washing Fabric

Washing kids clothes should be simple. That’s why I like to sew with fabrics that aren’t fussy so you can wash with ease and they lower impact on the environment too. Generally, all of the fabrics I try to use both for myself personally and in my shops can be washed in cold water with phosphate free detergent, tumbled dry with low heat or hung to dry outside in the shade.

Many of the fabrics in my shop are organic cotton and will soften wonderfully over time so no need for chemical softeners! The low impact dyes are friendlier to our planet though they will fade slightly over time. If you like the softened vintage look of the colours great! Keep washing as usual. If you like vibrant brand spanking new colours I have some tips to help keep them that way and withstand repeated washing.

If you have been sewing for any amount of time, you’re likely familiar with the dilemma of whether or not to prewash your fabric. In addition to getting any shrinkage out of the way before sewing, pre-washing is great way to set colours and minimize bleeding. Prewashing can be achieved with normal wash settings, with or without detergent and tumble dry on low or medium heat. As for ironing, it’s really not necessary to press most fabrics if you pull them out immediately and give a good shake and lay or fold flat. I even find taking my stuff out before completely dried saves me ironing. Although if you are adamant about crisp clothes it’s fine to use regular cotton settings with steam. I usually have my iron set to the hottest setting (cotton or linen) for everything without issues.

 

Keep in mind it does help to use more water (or wash in smaller loads). More water means clothing has more room to slosh around, less friction and the wash cycle will be gentler on natural fibers. Turning clothes inside out also helps. Below are a few more tricks to extend the vibrancy of printed fabrics.

Salt: Save the expensive pink Himalayan salt for cooking iodized table salt will do. The chloride in salt will help seal the colour to prevent fading. You can use this method with new fabric or finished garments to help retain their color. Keep a jar of salt next to your washer and toss in a spoonful with the rinse cycle. Some even say that salt can actually help restore the brightness of dull pieces.

Cold water: Washing your fabric in cold water not only keeps money in your pocket but it can also aid in preserving bright colours.

Vinegar: Not only are your fabrics not going to fade but you are also going to get a clean washer. Add 1/2 cup of white vinegar to the rinse cycle. The vinegar with freshen up the fabric and help the colors maintain their vibrancy. Before the first wash you can also soak your dark fabrics in water mixed with 1/2 cup of vinegar and a couple teaspoons of salt to help set the dyes.

Baking soda: Oh this stuff is magical and cheap! With so many uses throughout the house you’ll wonder why you had a cupboard filled with chemicals and artificial scented cleaners. I keep a box of baking soda in every bathroom as well as a jug of vinegar. So add a box to your laundry room. Add 1/2 cup to your wash cycle and give it a spin and help your fabrics maintain their brightness. For stains wet the garment with cold water and sprinkle the soda directly onto stained areas. Wait a couple hours and gently rub baking soda into the garment with more water and then throw in the wash as usual. When I tried this the whites in the print appeared bright as new!

Alcohol: DOES NOT WORK! Whiskey belongs in an Old Fashioned and not on your kids’ clothes! We heard from somewhere that alcohol is the secret to removing stains, well, they were wrong! It didn’t do anything. There may be times when it works or on certains types of fabric but I tried on my son’s shirt and it did actually remove the stain but it removed the colour and print as well it looks almost like a bleach spot. I may still try this trick but honestly why waste good alcohol.

 

Who knew that simple household basics could be so useful in the laundry room.So have a look through your cabinets and toss away (carefully) those harsh chemicals and stock up on some jugs of vinegar and boxes of baking soda and put some money back in the bank.

What kind of environmentally products do you use in your house? Any other laundry or stain removal tricks please feel free to share.

xo

Deanne

Be My Handwarmers

My boys spend a lot of time outside and often come in with chilly feet and hands and handwarmers are such a great thing to give them so that they can warm up in a jiff. You can toss these little guys in their pockets or in their gloves as they make their way to school. Or in their boots after they get off the ice as we often do with our boys.
Since February hosts Valentine’s Day I thought it would be extra special to give our diy a love theme. You can make and give to loved ones or just keep for yourself around the house. This is such a quick and easy diy that you can even involve your kids. I know my oldest liked cutting out my patterns and putting the different hearts together, while my youngest helped me funnel the rice in.

On top of these being great for warming hands they can also be really good for cooling too. Make a few extra and toss them in the freezer for when you need a little cooling action. They are perfect for kids as they don’t get as cold as an ice pack and are more engaging so chances are they might leave the cold pack on longer. This craft can also be turned into many other things, such as closet or herbal satchets to use around your home, decorations, beanbags and probably lots more, but today I am going to show you how to make heart handwarmers.

This project can be done with or without a sewing machine. I stitched mine on my machine but you can handstitch your hearts for that added love.

What you’ll need:

fat quarters, charms, scraps of 100% cotton

thread

rice

pattern (get it here)

other sewing notions-needles, pins, pinking shears

Directions:

  1. Print out the pattern and cut out your hearts how you see fit. You can cut your heart fabric pieces out using pinking shears to cut back on the fraying and to give a fun finish or leave as is and they will fray over time.
  2. Place small heart on one big heart and stitch down with ¼” seam. You can pin your small heart to your big one or in my case I use a glue stick and tack the middle down–just don’t put too much near the outside edge as you don’t want to gum up your needle.
  3. Place 2 big hearts wrong sides together and start on one of the straight edges to stitch ¼” around, leaving a 1”-2” opening. You can use a zig-zag stitch or a shorter stitch length. Make sure to backstitch at starting and finishing points.
  4. Fill your heart up half to three-quarters full with rice.
  5. Close up opening with a little gluestick or pins and stitch your opening closed either by hand or machine. Remember to make sure the rice doesn’t get close to your needle or you may break the needle.
  6. Heat up in your microwave for 20-30 seconds for warm results or store in your freezer for a cooling option.

 

**Make sure your handwarmers aren’t too hot before handing to little ones. And ALWAYS adult supervision is advised at all times.**

Thanks so much for stopping by! Feel free to post pics of your finished handwarmers. Or if you turned your heart handwarmers into something else let us know – we would love to hear your ideas. 🙂

xo

Deanne

Forest Floor Blog Tour

Howdy! Today is our stop on Bonnie Christine’s Forest Floor Blog our. I was so excited to be part of this event as we already stock a few prints from this collection in our etsy shop.

It’s been a crazy and exciting last few days for us as we’ve been sewing like madwomen for the Winnipeg Folk Fest handmade village. I made some gorgeous meditation cushions and they fit right in with our booth display. They’re perfect for the kids to have a sit and enjoy some people watching

The cushions are stuffed with fabric scraps and they work great due to the nature of the scraps they are quite heavy cushions making them great for sit upons. I love the fact that I found a secret place to stash my scraps as I accumulate bags and bags of the stuff.

I made an applique from Luna Rising Shadow  and paired it with AGF chambray and then just did a simple stitch all around.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Be sure to check out the other participants of this tour, the full list of links is here. Yesterday the tour made a stop at Sweet as Honey (Sarah’s little skirt for her daughter is so cute!) and tomorrow you can see Heidi at Hands Occupied for another creation from this collection.

Do check out the entire line of Forest Floor Fabrics here on the Art Gallery Fabrics website. You’ll also find Bonnie’s other (uhhmazing) fabrics collections there.

Have a great summer and check in daily with Going Home to Roost for the full line up of Forest Floor Blog Tour participants!

xo

Deanne

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