Blonde moment

And the silver spoon.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Making cloths

I needed a hobby. I am not supposed to talk about economics, for fear that my opinion may be taken as the opinion of my employer. I read the Wall St. Journal and I have a bachelors degree in economics, and when I comment to new people, I usually add the disclaimer that I do not have a very high degree in economics and I anything that I say is that of someone who has a little knowledge in the subject, but not enough to base financial decisions on. So, the state of the economy is not something you will find discussed here. I’m a few years out of college. I got married, which for women is a year long event as the wedding needs to be planned by someone. And now that Josh and I are to the point that we can do independent activities for a few hours in the evening, I have taken up sewing again.

My old machine almost died this summer, and it would cost $50 to get it fixed. I could buy a sewing machine for $100, and one with a hemming feature and a button hole in one step feature at that. So, Josh told me I could get a new sewing machine. New machine is pretty nifty. It’s a Brother machine, and their lower end model. I’m not interested in doing a lot of fancy embroidery or anything, so I didn’t need a serger.

I found some nifty fabric at Joann’s for $2 a yard. It is a lovely wool/linen blend; not suitable for the washing machine. But for $2 a yard, it was a great buy. It is a nice plaid that you would have seen in the 1970’s, so I think that I am cool. I bought enough to make a suit. Making a suit is a little more work then I thought it would be. The vest came out OK, but my husband put it in the washing machine, and so now it’s good for scrap. But, I remembered that I had never made a waist band before. So, I made a skirt and a pair of pants from an easier pattern so I could get the technique down. I finished my nifty new pants on Sunday, except for the hook and eye closure. I realized that I was out of hooks and eyes. Last night, I was about to start on the jacket, when I realized that I only had enough of the proper thread for a bobbin, and certainly not enough to finish the blazer. Furthermore, I thought about it for a minute, and realized that I have never put a collar on anything before. So, I started a short sleeved shirt. I will either finish it tonight or on Friday.

Well, now I have new pants, a new skirt, and a new shirt to wear when I go to California.

I find it rewarding to make my cloths. What is really nice about it is there are two patterns that never go out of style, straight legged pants and button down shirts. So, the only work is keeping up with fabrics. Suit and dress cuts change regularly, so that will be more expensive, but not as expensive as buying cloths from a store. On top of that, one can buy these pattern inserts so one can make maternity cloths out of “normal” patterns; not that I need to worry about that right now. Also, I can come up with a unique style of my own.

My other on again off again hobby is making soap. Yes, soap. Real soap. With lye. Again, this is just another neat thing to do. The big problem is using it all or giving it away. Most of my friends and family have gravitated towards the no color no scent soap, which is just no fun. I understand why, though. I don’t put detergents in my soap, or a lather agent, or drying agents or whatever. Also, it does not dry out skin like store bought soap. The big question people ask me about my soap (apart from commenting on the lye) is “Do you add glycerin?” Well, glycerin is a natural by product of the chemical reaction between lye and fatty acids in the soap making process, so yes, homemade cold process soap does have glycerin in it, but I do not add extra glycerin. Glycerin has been a big deal in the cosmetics world because it has moisturizing qualities. Supposedly, if you don’t put glycerin in your soap, it is rough on your skin. The big reason glycerin is a big deal is that soap manufactures remove the glycerin from their soap, sell it to cigarette manufacturers, and have to put a cheap imitation back into the product. No, seriously, that’s what they do. This is why the FDA does not consider what you buy at Target or where ever real soap. You use detergent on your skin. This is why manufacturers put glycerin in their product.

Now, I am a soap snob. Seriously. My skin is so used to my good home made soap that is nice and gentle on my skin that I take little bars of my soap with me when I travel. I have some nice, hotel sized, soaps that I take with me. So, when Josh and I go to California, I will be bringing my soapy goodness with.

Speaking of California, I will probably not be posting between November 24th and December 1st. I’ll be in California with Josh where we will be renewing our relationship with his dad and family.


  • At 1:08 PM , Blogger Jesse said...

    If you don't mind, do you have a soap recipe that you are willing to share? js


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