Posted by organicneedle in Etsy, organicneedle, organicneedle bags, organics, projects, sewing
By random drawing, test piggies winners have been chosen. I will be sending out my goods this weekend. I drew for the bag first and then with the leftover names drew for the cloths. Beth and CT will be bagging their soap shards and Heather & Cat will be sloughing away their winter layers with the cloths. In about 2 weeks they will all report back and let us all know if they survived the experimentation.
I have been using my soap bag for about 2 weeks so far…and I’m digging it. The washcloth is also a big hit for me, but I am very curious to hear everyone’s thoughts.
So ladies…go enjoy yourselves a nice relaxing bath and get to work!!!!
Posted by organicneedle in Etsy, organic cotton, organicneedle, projects, sewing
Need to slough off that layer of winter skin? Well…while trying out my soap bag I discovered something…..the organic cotton mesh makes a nice sorta loofah-like washcloth. Hmmmmm. I will be making myself a few cloths and perhaps adding them to the Etsy collection. Anyone interested in trying one out? You know my give-away rules. Leave a comment and be prepared to wash and tell. I’ll be sewing up two extra for the daring & exfoliant deprived.
Posted by organicneedle in organicneedle, organics, product review, random rants, sewing
I have had these super vibrant soft organic cotton Harmony fabrics for a few months now…with overly ambitious plans to create baby blankets with them. As I was was prepping the material I realized that I wanted to wear them. So…I stitched myself up a little magic. I LOVE these not only because the patterns just make me smile, but they are also soooooo soft. (I sometimes find wool scarves a bit rough on my precious skin.) So tough luck babies…these are for the Mama. Well…I may have a few over at Etsy for anyone else craving a little splash of color this winter.
(Yes…my photos definately need a professional touch. I swear I could be standing on the sun and still not get enough light.)
Posted by organicneedle in Etsy, handmade holidays, organicneedle, organicneedle bags, organics, sewing, tea/tea bag
Yes…I was meaning to spend this week giving you more glorious examples of much better and more artistic things to buy this holiday season than the ol’ Walmart crap, but what can I say? My little tea bags seem to be all the rage. Trust me…I am in nooooo way complaining…just not able to assist in the art selections at the moment. Just go to Etsy…you will find something you will like. If you are too lazy to browse their vast variety of goodies…just buy everyone you’ve ever met an Organicneedle tea bag or two. All the cool people are doing it. You do want to be cool, don’t you? 🙂
Posted by organicneedle in blogtastic, recycling, sewing
Yes…I have officially made September the month to nag everyone into clearing up those “gonna do” sewing projects. Today let’s focus on two easy and extremely practical project…bags.
I have the world’s easiest little T-shirt recycler project. Take an old T-shirt & sew the bottom and the sleeves shut. Cut a little hole behind the neckband large enough to thread a hanger through and waaaaaaalaaaaaaaaa. You have just created the perfect storage bag for plastic bags, rags, clothespins, pantyhose, or whatever unmentionables you need to organize in your closet. (We’re not here to judge people…just to sew. Okay…you can judge a little.) Anyone can do this one…and it is really practical and helps to get those closets organized. And it doesn’t even have to be pretty. Definitely on the Cat-With-Narcolepsy Skill Level.
Now if you are looking for something to venture outside the house with…let’s talk shopping bags. Since I design and sew mainly by trial and error, error, and then more error…and not so much with those pesky easy to follow patterns, I have opted to take my usual cheap way out and find other people’s really cool easy to follow instructions and steal…I mean highlight them.
Some of the clearest instructions I have found were over at Wild Onion. She shows you how to convert a T-shirt into a bag with some great, very clear, step by step photos. A little more challenging than the closet hanger bag…but still very doable.
Gosh golly…I bet you could find some really cool vintage T-shirts at a yard sale or consignment shop and sew together a set or two for your friends for the holidays. A set with their favorite bands? Come on…who wouldn’t want the complete Def Leopard shopping set? How about making a pile of bags and using them as your gift bags for your other homemade goods? Pour some sugar on your friends and get sewing. Where on earth did I put my good hair-teasing comb?
Posted by organicneedle in handmade holidays, organic cotton, organicneedle, organicneedle bags, projects, sewing, tea/tea bag
I am finally ready to put my tea bags up on Etsy after thinking over my test piggies’ comments and making some design tweeks.
*First I made the bag a little larger. It is still small enough to fit nicely in a mug, even a travel mug, but now has a little more room for loading and cleaning. (Thanks Arduous!)
*The second change was I added a small wooden bead over the cording to allow the bag to be cinched closed to prevent any tea leaves from escaping. (Thanks Joilie!)
Price wise I am thinking $4.50 per bag, or 4 for $15. They are actually quite a bit more labor intensive than a regular produce bag.
I am still working on a simple pouch that could hold the bags and some tea. I have some great organic Harmony fabrics that are beautiful and would make for a very nice gift presentation. Trying to keep it simple to keep the cost down. My goal is to make organic gifts practical for any budget. Not always easy.
Posted by organicneedle in family, handmade holidays, projects, sewing
That’s right. I’m talking about the holidays already. Here’s the deal. What happens every year? You think..”Oh it would be so great to get out of the consumerist grind of big box stores and actually make authentic gifts that come from the heart.” Yes..you think this. On Dec.22nd, 23rd perhaps? Well…NOW is the time to start creating a holiday strategy that works for your ideals.
First…take the handmade pledge yourself. After all…do you really need another automatic banana peeler from Aunt Babs?
Second…make a list of people you want to create for this year and start planning. Be realistic!!!!!!!!!!!! If you have 400 people on your list you will NOT be crocheting each a matching maroon pant suit no matter how dedicated you are.
I have created a wee list of the world’s easiest and well appreciated handmade gifts just to get our little jingle brains a movin’.
1. If you have a garden you have one of the best tools ever to make someone feel special…a taste of summer in the winter. Check out Crunchy’s Jam recipes, or ….Chile’s Blueberry Pickles. Whatever you’ve got…there is a way to preserve it. I know anyone I’ve ever met will be getting 3 dozen zucchini breads this year. And of course…if all else fails…chuck it in vodka. Nothing lubes the yule tide cheer like a little homemade limoncello. The bonus here is once you jar these babies up you can put your feet up and knit yourself up something snazzy while everyone else is doing the joyous gift scavenge,
2. Knit a scarf…really basic…you can even make your own pattern. Use organic cotton yarn, or bamboo… which is very silky. Most basic craft stores carry both now. Go in and give a good feel up before buying! There are even some natural animal fibers that might make things interesting. ANYONE can knit a scarf, beginner or expert. Check out Aboutknit.com for pointers.
3. Napkin Set- fancy or whimsical. Sooo easy to sew these up. You can use any material that works for the recipient. It is the gift that not only says I care enough about you to help you wipe mustard off of your face…but it also encourages people to put down the disposables in the least naggy way.
4. Lunch Set – How about a few sandwich mats or bags? Reusable drawstring snack pouches? You could even sew up a little matching lunch tote if you really like the person.
5. Shopping Bag Set…Tote bags are very easy to make. Depending on your skill level you can even go a little fancier by adding pockets for cell phones, coupons, money. Even if you give a conventional gift, how about creating a nice little tote for it. A reusable handmade bag beats the snot out of one time use wrapping paper any day. For more bag ideas check out Heather’s Make-A-Bag.
A yard of fabric, a ball of yarn and a little of your time can go a long way in showing people how much they mean to you. And hell, if you truly are all thumbs, or simply have more people on your list than you can sew for, then let someone over at Etsy do the homemade jobbies for you. We promise not to tell.
Posted by organicneedle in family, product review, recycling, sewing
Oh…the lunch box. A few years ago I did my research and found that Thermos brand was supposed to be one of the less chemically brands of soft lunch boxes. Now they are not so sure. The new word on the street is they are made with PVC and perhaps, just maybe, a tad bit of lead. So…back to the research lab for a PVC, phthalate, and lead free cold food transporter. This is what I found. (Crocodile Creek has a ton of really cute designs and can be found on Amazon for about $15 and free shipping.)
Yes…yes…there is a sewing project in here somewhere. Now that I have managed to find a perfectly normal looking lunch box that won’t actually poison my child, how can I manage to further ecogeek up his day? By rummaging my fabric pile and creating reusable everything. The Green Peace bag I didn’t make, but did add little handles out of leftover elastic banding to make it easier for my son to carry. Once my lunch bag – now his snack bag. The Buzz Lightyear pretzel/cracker pouch, a basic drawstring bag, was the pant leg of a pair of unsaveable PJs. The Spider Man cookie pouch was from torn swimming shorts. (I use the ready made pocket for Mama Notes. Yes…I am totally one of those moms.) No I won’t be selling any of these on Etsy because of copyrite laws, blah blah blah. The blue and orange sandwich bags are just basic hemmed scrap squares sewn together. I did not even line these with any sort of plastic or vinyl because I made enough to be able to machine wash them after each use. So far they have done their job as sandwich wranglers quite well. I will also be making some cloth napkins out of a few old plaid dress shirts. You could use the same basic square napkins to wrap up sandwiches and double as placemats.
Again…as with the Back Up Band…these are all really easy, beginner level sewing projects that anyone can do and everyone has the materials cluttering up the house. If you, or your kids, take your lunch, take a moment and see what disposables you could replace with cotton reusables. Even if you are all thumbs when it comes to sewing you may just impress yourself & your offspring with what you create. Just try not to sew yourself to the actual lunch box. That might not be quite as impressive.
Posted by organicneedle in blogtastic, plastic, projects, sewing
Now this one is a big feat for me. A few months back when Crunchy started calling for pads I made a sincere attempt to create my own pattern and produce something cycle worthy. What I produced resembled a strap on dog bed. (At least I know I have a backup career as a designer for lazy pets should the need arise.) So…the project got tossed into the Jabba-like heap known as the sewing basket.
Fast forward a few months. Now I have ventured into the land of the Diva and am overall quite happy. There are days, however, when the Diva …well…acts like a Diva and I need a little reinforcement…a backup band if you will. It seemed silly to have to buy disposables to back up the thing that was supposed to replace the disposables…so I got off my lazy needle and took a good look at a sample pad Burban kindly sent me. Rummaged through my repurposable bag of stuff, more on that later this week, and found exactly what I needed: one crib wee wee pad, 100% cotton baby blanket, & pack of sew-on-snaps. I traced the outline of the pad onto the wee wee pad and the back of the cotton blanket. Sewed the two together. I then cut and hemmed a rectangle long enough to reach around the ol’ underoos from the same blanket material. Sewed that baby onto the back. Sewed on the snaps and walaaaaaaaaa.
Now these are suitable for Diva backup performances or a ditty kind of day. For the big show, I would adjust this by adding a layer or two of toweling.
I still am a turd and haven’t sent any actual pads to Crunchy because I am assuming I need to use all new materials for strangers who-diddly-whos. (I, of course, have tons of cotton fabric but no brand new wee wee pads to offer.) Now that I have cracked the diabolical pad code…I will be sure to buy one next time I am in the baby aisle and stop being such a wiener. This is an easy one. Add booking a backup band to your project list. The earth and your who-diddly-who will thank you. Although I have come to realize, with a just a touch of bitterness, that neither are particularly great at sending Thank You notes. Ingrates.
Posted by organicneedle in projects, sewing
The school year is upon us and the teacher in me is feeling the urge to be productive! Now…I am what some people, who shall remain nameless…but live with me & I didn’t give birth to, may call organizationally challenged. I prefer to think of it as extreme multitasking. It’s a skill. The problem is when too many tasks are floating about not a whole lot seems to actually get done. Also…trying to be a reuser and a declutterer at the same time doesn’t often help matters. So…in an effort to be a better business woman and further my efforts to declutter and squeeze the most out use out of everything before shipping it off I have decided to tackle the beast of beasts…the sewing basket. (I use the term basket lightly…entire house would be a more accurate description of the vessel that contains my sewing projects.) My plan/your challenge comes in two parts.
Stage 1. Get those clothes that are actually salvageable back into circulation. Mend, darn, rebutton, bedazzle… whatever it is that needs to be done to make those things wearable again. (Do it before fall/winter shopping. All summer I had been nagging at my husband that he needed a new pair of shorts. Guess what little ol’ Needle found in the heap…at the end of summer of course? Brand new shorts that were missing a button.) I will also be reclaiming into the land of the living the following: 1 very cool skirt, 2 pairs of super hero PJs, 1 pair of very expensive dress pants. Do a realistic evaluation & say farewell to what can’t be saved. Move the duds into the great fabric afterlife….the rag bin.
Stage 2. Get moving on those..”I’m gonna make my own….” projects. Whether it be shopping bags, produce bags, girly pads, macrame bras, etc. Actually do it and clear out that heap of materials. Having plans for great projects is great, but when I get too many on the back burner it gets overwhelming and just becomes a Jabba like pile with no purpose but cluttering up my house and annoying He Who Shall Not be Named. Since I have a ton to do, both personal and professional, I have made myself an actual schedule…including a list of what is being used for what. One major project per weekend. This past weekend I FINALLY made a few girly pads out of an old cotton baby blanket and a wee wee pad. More information than you probably need or want coming tomorrow. Next weekend I will be focusing on my son’s lunch & snack bags. And of course…I have 101 Organic Needle bag plans.
Now…I am not one to hand out challenges. Quite frankly life is usually challenging enough without your computer telling you you got more to do. But I may just have one for you today. See that heap of clothes in the corner…the “sewing pile.” Make September your Get-Your-Crazyass-Projects-Under-Control month. In addition to sharing every stitch I make ad nausium with you, I will also be highlighting other’s really nifty so-easy-anyone-with-fingers-can-do sewing projects throughout the month to try to inspire you… and myself. Get cracking. You may just discover that old matching windbreaker suit with bedazzled flame embellishment that needed a crotch reinforcement has has come back in style full force. Just make sure your macrame bra doesn’t clash. You don’t want to be tacky!