Tag: How To

Tie-Dye Summer Dress

I did some tie-dye last year and wanted to do some again.  Instead of just another t-shirt I went for a summery, embroidered dress. It’s white, and somewhat see-through.  So I would want to dye it a darker colour anyway.

It’s from H and M but actually cost about £40 which seemed kinda expensive for something I had a good chance of ruining but it was 30 degrees and sunny, so I went wild.  Obviously the temperature has since dropped to about 15 Celsius since then but that’s British summer for you.

Possibly at some point the weather will actually get warm enough again for me to wear it?

Tie Dye Top Tips

  • Only use natural fibres, like cotton.  I think you can get special dye for synthetics but they don’t take the dye as well .
  • Wash the clothes before you dye them.  They put a water resistant coating on clothes, called sizing for some reason, which keeps them looking nice and prevents mold.  But it also stops the dye penetrating.
  • After you’ve done, use scissors to remove the elastic bands.  This is much easier than trying to pull them off and there’s less chance of the dye running.

What I did

I used Dye-Lon dye, and followed the instructions on the back.  That being to mix the dye in 500ml of warm water, and dissolve the salt in 6 litres of warm water.  Then mix together.   I used a light pink in one bucket, and a dark pink in the other.  As well as tie-dying, I wanted to an ombre effect.

I then got a bunch of elastic bands and attack the dress.  I somewhat randomly grabbed little sections and elasticated them.  I did do a boob check, to make sure I wasn’t going to end up with targets on my breasts, and I tried to get a mixture of large and small sections.  Once you’ve done about half the dress it becomes pretty hard to visualise what the finished product will look like.

I held the dress under the warm tap for a few moments to dampen it again.  Then I dunked the top half of the dress in the light pink.  I left it in there for over an hour, swishing it around every so often to make sure it would dye evenly.  Then I pulled it out, turned it upside down and dunked the bottom half into the hot pink.  Again I kept that in for about an hour.  I didn’t want a hard line between the two colours so I wiggle it around in the darker pink a bit to get a blurrier line.

After taking it out, I poured the bucket of dye in the drain outside.  Then I ran the dress under water and gently squeezed the water out.  I kept the light pink section at the top at all times, so the darker pink wouldn’t drip down onto it.  After rinsing a few times, I used some scissors to carefully cut the elastic bands off.  Then I threw it into the washing machine, by itself to wash off the remaining dye.

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

How To Make Green Chai Shortbread

Soooo I’m very into my green tea these days!  So when I found this recipe for Chai Shortbread I got quite excited.  I don’t ‘do’ black tea though so I substituted in T2 Creamy Choc Chai, which is green tea.

Ingredients

  • 150g Margarine
  • 160g Caster Sugar
  • 1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 300g Plain Flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 tbsp Creamy Choc Chai- finely ground
  • 30-50g Chocolate chips (I just eyeballed it, and also ate some so I don’t have a firm grasp of the amount)
  • Optional- extra chocolate to melt on top

I found the trickier part of making the Chai Shortbread was getting the Chai tea fine enough.  The Creamy Choc Chai has some bigger chunks in it, as would any Chai I assume.  I sieved it, pressed it with a spoon, chopped it with a knife, and hit it (gently) with a hammer.  As you might expect using the knife was the most effective!

Chai Shortbread

Recipe

  1. Cream the margarine and sugar, then mix in the vanilla extract.
  2. In a separate bowl mix the flour, salt, and beautifully ground Chai.
  3. Mix the two together.  At this point I added my chocolate chips.  Then smushed (technical term!) the mixture together with my hands to make a ‘log’ about 20cm long.  It’s pretty crumbly at this point and fell apart a bit.  And some of the bits that fell of somehow ended up in my mouth…
  4. Anyway, wrap the log in cling film and put in fridge for 1hr.
  5. Pre-heat your oven to 180C/350F, and put some baking paper on a tray.
  6. Cut the log into discs about 1.5 cm thick.  Then put in the oven for abut 12mins.

It was quite tricky to cut the log into discs…as you can see my chai shortbread pieces are slightly misshapen.   And mine got a little too brown but they still tasted yummy.

Chai Shorbread

 

Save

Peg Bag

How To Make A Peg Bag

Well it’s the post you’ve been waiting for, this is it people, it’s how to make a peg bag!

The weather FINALLY turned decent (it had torrentially raining for days).  I was able to put a few loads of laundry in and use the washing line.  It was an exciting time for us.  But I realised we needed a peg bag.

What You Need

  • Fabric- I used 4 fat quaters, because I lined mine.  Without a lining you could get away with 2.
  • Coat hanger

What You Do

  1. Position your coat hanger at the top of your fabric and draw a line along the top of it.   The cut along that line, leaving some extra seam allowance.  Then figure out how long you want the bag to be and cut the fabric to that length, again leaving some extra seam allowance.  I did this in my main fabric and lining fabric.  This was the back
  2. I sewed those front sides together, leaving a gap of a few inches in one corner so I could then turn it right side out.  I didn’t bother to sew this up yet, just pinned it closed.
  3. I used the remainder of those fat quarters to make the top of the front.  Again I followed the curve of the coat hanger for the top.  The amount I had left went about a third of the way down which was perfect.   Again I sewed them right sides together, leaving my gap in the top right corner.
  4. And I used my other fat quarters for the bottom of the front, pretty simple just a rectangle for the bottom two thirds of the front.  And sewed these right sides together, with a gap bottom right.
  5. Then I put the coat hanger on the top piece again and marked on where the head went so I could leave a gap for it.  Then I sewed the front pieces to the back pieces, right sides together. The front is just left open for easy access to the pegs.
  6. Then I ironed it, and inserted the coat hanger.  And done!

With hindsight, a neater way to do it would have been to create the lining in one piece and the outer layer in one pieces and then attaching them. Also I should have ironed the fabric first but there we go.  Still it took about an hour to make, it’s pretty, it’s got dinosaurs on it, and it’s actually practical.  Win, win, win, win!

Save

Microwavable Rice Pack

rice-pack

collages5

It’s bloody freezing right now, and I’m forcing myself to go outside and walk to the gym. It’s sheer madness I know.  It has forced my hand though to get on and make some microwavable rice pack because it’s cold and I’m aching.

I bought a fat quarter of fabric for £2.85, and a 500g bag of rice for 88p.  I already had a little bottle of what I thought was lavender essential oil but was actually lavender massage oil.

I cut the fat quarter into a piece that was 32 x 58 cm (I just eyeballed the size I wanted).

I folded it in half longways right side together.  Then I sewed closed two sides, and about a third of the way along the third side.

I turned it inside out, so right way out really.  Then poured in the rice, and a few drops of the lavender.  Then I hand sewed the open side using my terrible version of slip stitch.  I was worried that my hand sewing wouldn’t be strong enough and rice would explode everywhere but so far so good.

I put mine in the microwave for two mins and it came out very hot, so I think 1min 30secs might be better.  I did notice it didn’t keep it heat as long as a hot water bottle, although if you spend four hours trying to pose with it and take pictures for your blog then what do you expect?

How To Make Healthy Cereal Bars

I like eating, and snacking, and am simultaneously failing to lose weight. For some reason…

The cereal/energy bars in the supermarket are rarely as healthy as you think, especially when you look at how much sugar is in them.  I, nerdily, looked at the nutritional values of 23 cereal bars and tried to find ones with less than 150 calories, 5g fat, and 6g sugar, and more than 3g protein, and 3g fibre.

Continue reading “How To Make Healthy Cereal Bars”

Tie-Dye

Collages

I’ve had some dye and t-shirts in my I-bought-this-to-do-something-but-haven’t-got-all-the-bits-yet-and-then-I-sort-of-forgot pile for a while.  So with three days off work I decided to get my act together and give tie-dyeing a try. Continue reading “Tie-Dye”

Almond Milk

Almond milk is a hip alternative to cows milk- good if you’re vegan or lactose intolerant.  And you can make it yourself.

Almond Milk

Almond MilkSimply get some whole almonds and soak them overnight.  They will soak up the water and swell a little.  Then drain and rinse, and put in a blender with more water (obviously the more water you use the thinner it will be, I had to add more water half-way through to make it more milk like). Blend, blend, blend. Then sieve.  I just used a regular sieve but you could add cheese-cloth to get all the almond bits out.Almond Milk

Then drink.  Easy to make.  Shame it taste so horrible!  It was fine on my porridge though but…my almonds cost me about £1.30 for 100g, it made about 250ml of milk.  Almond milk costs about £1.50 to £1.80 for 1L. If I bought larger quantities of almonds it would be cheaper but I still think it is actually more cost effective to just buy the milk.  Cows milk is about 80p for 1L so I think I’ll be sticking to that.