Thrifty cleaning cloths

this started as a way of reducing waste and saving money but then i realised these actually clean way better than any store bought sponge or cloth. Its like cleaning and buffing at the same time and they are almost free! 

Basically you cut an old towel up into squares removing the edge binding (too hard to sew through). Then Find some cotton in your stash or cut up some old sheets. Match them together right sides and sew around them leaving a gap to turn it back through.

Turn right side out and sew the gap closed. Done! About 5mins a cloth. I added a loop to one incase i want to hang it in the bathroom or something. 

You get about 18 per towel. These are great for glass, the fridge, the car. They are great for cleaning the inside of your car windscreen as my partner told me that windex isnt good when you have condensation. Turns out this is true and the best thing to clean them with is either news paper or a towel. Then when your done just throw them in the wash and use again and again. If you want to get fancy you can top stitch but i broke my needle twice trying to do it so now i just leave them as they are.



Let me tell you a story about my work

Its no secret that i have a deep hate of my job. I do infact have a deep hate of nearly every job i have ever had. The reason however may suprise you. Its not the job that i hate. Its the culture surrounding it.


In my current job i have been pulled up on my clothing about 4 times in 3 years. The first time was fair game as i was wearing jean shorts (3/4 length) as i previously worked in a university which didnt care what i wore. I now work in a government department so they were unacceptable. The second time i was told I couldnt wear high heels (i was wearing kitten heels, no higher than 1inch or so) because it was a OHS risk. Now i work for the library and 90% of the staff are female and you guessed it, wear high heels. Some MUCH higher than my kitten heels.

The third time i was pulled up was when it started getting unfair and bordered on bullying. I was pulled into a meeting with my manager and told that the director was not impressed with my outfit. I was asked to wear a cardigan or cover myself up some how. At the time it was casual friday and i was feeling really good about my outfit. I wore black flats, a knee length black business skirt and a green and black top with thick black straps. Hardly revealing. I was so upset i went out at lunch and bought a cardigan to pull over the top.

The fourth time i was just plan angry. I was again told that my outfits were too revealing and not appropriate for the office. Our building is secure and no public is aloud. I work in a team of 6, three of whom work on a different level. My area literally only has the three of us in it, as its the library the only people i see day to day are borrowing books and thats maybe once a day. This day i was wearing a tailored business dress. Not low cut, thick sleeves to the edge of my shoulders, not tight, came past my knees. I suggested i wear a burka. The thing that annoyed me more was that my coworker who did work in a larger team came to work in pants and a grubby tshirt everyday…no one said a word to her and my manager since then wears very low cut tops, 4inch heels and mini skirts so small you can often see her knickers, again no one pulled her aside.


I have a deep objection to my having no work but having to ‘look busy’. Or worse when they invent jobs for me that dont need doing in the first place. This is a total waste of my time. If i have finished my work, asked colleagues if they need help, ususally finished their work for them, and there is literally no work left, why can i not get on with my own projects? Surely its just as productive as cleaning sticky marks off the side of shelves. Unfortunately im cursed that i can use a computer really well, type really fast and am so good at learning that i often teach myself everyone elses job too and have literally run the library on my own for several days when the flu sweeps through. Im putting myself out of a job. I have tried working slower, leaving work for other days but then i get yelled at for leaving work. The biggest issue is that most of what i do is non deliverable, ie no one knows that i have done it. There is nothing to hand in, nothing to deliver. I fix things, reorganise things, create things that others later take credit for ๐Ÿ˜ฆ I actually wrote a full set of procedures for my job when i started after i realised no one else knew how to do it. Then two years later when i cycled back to that job they asked someone else to train me, on my own procedures, then when i pointed this out they told me that she had written the procedures not me when infact all she had done was save them to the intranet.


I am constantly told that people dont like my work because i dont put in the effort. The work they are referring to is not my own which i can do in my sleep, it is of course when they send me an email saying. can you put these figures in a chart with these headings, formatted like this. I do what they ask then get told that that isnt how they wanted it and i should have put more effort into creating a presentation…Im sorry but if you give me a set of instructions on how you want it done then thats how im doing it. If you say create a presentation with these figures then i will use my skills to do so. Some of my best work was when i was bored and decided to create projects on my own. People loved them, until they find out no one asked me to do it then they decide it cant be used because the proper protocol wasnt followed. In other words, it wasnt their idea. A good example of this was when my director drew me a picture with headings of what she wanted. I made it and sent it to her. She showed it to her boss who didnt like it so she blamed it on me and said that it wasnt what she had asked for, i still had her original sketch. It was exactily what she had asked for.

Are you starting to see why i hate my job. I am always told how impressive my resume is. Then they hire me and dont use any of my skills. So i sit around at home and try and work out how my skills can make me money without someone hovering over me telling me how to walk, talk and dress. So far everything i have come up with i am told im great at but i cant make alot of money at it. Writing stories, heck im darn good at selection criteria and everyone i write it for not only gets the job but gets praised for their selection criteria. Is that a career? lol

I love to design and work with my hands so my latest venture is to create sewing patterns. I can create a really fun pattern that i get total control over the creative process. Bliss. Im working on the first draft atm and i will post on here for free when im done in the hope you will try it and let me know how you go ๐Ÿ™‚ Help me find a job where my outfit isnt inappropriate and i dont have to be cheerful to idiots who earn three times as much as me yet cant work their email. Sigh.

Bucket hat

Childcare is getting real. Im so bummed i feel like i was given a baby for 9 months and then i have to give him back ๐Ÿ˜ฆ Im hoping that i can eventually go part time but it will depend on my work and in the past colleagues have been denied part time changes. So i have been sewing for my little man. First up was a bucket hat. I used Charlie + S pattern. The pieces worked well but the instructions leave something to be desired. I had made a similar reversable sailors hat for him before he was born so i knew the theory but these instructions had me stumped when it came to sewing the caps in palace. As you can see my first attempt failed, badly…

photo 1 (3) photo 2 (3)

My second attempt worked but im not a fan of how they attach the second cap. I think i will use the other method which means sewing two different hats then sewing them together and turning right way out. Much more straight forward. Unfortunatley its a little snug even though its the 6-12month size, but Rue does have a big head so i will make another in the next size up too.

photo 3 (2)

Other than that i love bucket hats. Was thinking of adding a chin strap incase its windy and maybe some air vents in the top so his head doesnt get too hot.

The quilt

Now that christmas is over i can share the bastard quilt. So named because it was way too big for me to manage. It turned out better than i thought but not as good as i wanted. My sister loved it though.

photo 2 (10)

You cant see it very well in this pic but the point of this quilt was the free motion image in the center. It turned out great but is kind of hard to see so next time i will make it darker and more bold.

photo 3 (7)

This was the image i was aiming for. As you can see its quite a bit different and i think it would have worked better as a single size quilt so i could focus more on the design and less on finding enough fabric to fit it.



I am never making a queen size quilt again! Ugh. I have been quilting this thing for weeks and still have a full half to go. My wrists are hurting from moving it around and i think i might use up another spool of thread before im done. Plus i woke up this morning to find the dog had peed on it!!! Thankfully it was on the edge that had some overhang so i cut it off and ill have to wash it before i gift it. Needess to say the dogs spent the rest of the morning outside.

Watching little man and he just nearly flipped back the other way (front to back) go little man!

Im also doing well on a quilt for myself. I found it in a quilting mag and had to give it a go. This is my quilting area, not a bad view on a stormy afternoon.

photo (3)

Amish Puzzle ball

I was almost angry at BD this week. He sold one of his cars and told me he bought a PS4 and a heap of games with the money then he was going to get a huge speaker system and install them in our bedroom…i was 90% sure he was joking but he just never cracks so its sooo hard to tell. He kept insisting that he was getting the speakers and that i had to be home to accept his PS4 delivery. Still pritty sure he was joking. He kept the ruse going a whole week until he said to come outside and help him carry the speakers in. And he turned up in a new car! Turns out he had sold one car and traded the other and gotten himself a safer car for us to travel in. He is such a sweet heart! I dont know about cars but its a pritty shade of blue and us a vrs? Lots of power so a great hoon car for him but also safer than his last two cars which were old and not great for long distances. Such a good man i have ๐Ÿ˜› Even if he does yank my tail once in a while.

Anyway i was posting last time about the simple life and Amish. Well then i found this pattern. Its an Amish puzzle ball. It was really fast to make and only took me an afternoon. Pattern here.

Rue loves it. Shoved it straight in his mouth lol Basically all you do is cut 12 of the outer shape and 24 of the inner. Then sew two inner to one outer, stuff it with stuffing then sew them together. Simple.

photo (2)

Quilt in a week

I actually could have finished this in a day but, well, i have a 4month old baby lol This is for my step brother who became a father on the weekend. I meant to make it a few weeks ago but never got around to it. I went for simple. Squares, polyester batting which i already had and some backing leftover from Rues quilt. Im sorry to say that when i was quilting it the fabric bunched on the back. Not sure if i will give it to them now…I also ran into a few hurdles. When i was sewing the rows together i realised that some rows were one square short. I couldnt work out why until i realised that when i was laying them out on the floor the dogs were jumping on them so i was piling them up to one side, but the later rows i was piling up next to the other piles and forgot that that meant i was one square down because the piles were piled on their last square…does that make sense? Then when i was quilting it the needle bent and snapped! I went slower after that and avoided the edges which were thicker from excess batting. Not my best work but still a cute play mat.

photo 1 (1) photo 2 (1) photo 3 (1)

Quick change pants

IT has been decided that these are a litte loud and are now clown pants. Next time i will make the legs out of plain fabric and use pattern for the yolk (top of bum). So these are reversible and are basically two pairs of pants sewn together. The pattern was really simple to follow except when it came to turning them the right way which really hurt my brain. Once you sew the tops together they are inside out. But for the life of me i couldnt work out how they would go right way. I read the instructions and held my breath. It worked. Still no idea how. They also have a 5/8 seam which i thought was over kill. Its like an inch! I made the 3month size but they come in two lengths, 3month and 6 month. I went for the 6month and they are way too long which is why they are folded up.

jgu nhg

Washi Dress

I have wanted to make this dress for a while but i have never made clothes for myself from a pattern. My experience extends to harem pants and a circle skirt both of which were just one seam and some elastic. The second thing that stopped me is that even though the dress goes up to size xxl my measurements were a few inches out in each area. I emailed Rae who made the pattern and her assistant got back to me and said there were some tutorials online that would show me how to increase the size of the pattern. I decided to take a chance and bought the pattern. Turns out it was pritty easy to make it bigger as i just increased it by the same increments as the other sizes, eg so an extra 1.5cm for most areas. Then i made a muslin which is basically a very rough version of the dress. It fit perfectly, which was actually a bad thing because the back has shirring so it should have been too big without it. So i adjusted the back again and took the risk of not making another muslin and just jumping in.

It was actually pritty straight forward. Once i stuck the pattern together i traced my size onto some brown paper ( came in a roll from the newsagent for $5, i think it was meant to be trendy wrapping paper). Then i cut my pieces and started sewing. My first hurdle came with the shirring. I knew the theory, i wound my elastic onto the bobbin and used some scrap fabric to test. It didnt bunch up. I went to youtube and found that i had to tighten the bobbin tension. On a top loading machine you do this by taking the top plate off.

photo 3

Mine had a small screw i had to undo first but then it just slides off. Then you need to remove the bobbin case. On the front you will see two screws. One will usually be marked green. Give this screw a half turn to the right to tighten. You can wind it further for tighter, or more bunched shirring.

photo 2

I put it all back together and it still wasn’t right. So i watched another video and found that she put her bobbin in before replacing the bobbin case. There is a little notch right where my finger is in the last image. If you put the elastic through that before replacing the case and top plate then thread the elastic through as you would a normal thread. Now it worked. I found i could do about four rows before i had to wind the bobbin again, the pattern called for 6 rows. Once i finally finished the dress i tried it on and was dismayed to find that the shirring was waaay to high! It should have been down below my bust but i had done it between my shoulder blades. I couldn’t live with it, it made me look like i had no torso. So i spent the evening unpicking it. To do this i also had to unpick the side seams down to the pockets.



I was undecided about the sleeves at first but decided that in summer i tend to get very sunburnt so a little shoulder cover would be good. Im glad i did they are really cute.



Next projects:

Quick change pants

Cloth Photo book

MCN and sewing

I have made the leap into using MCN’s or Modern Cloth Nappies. I use the Bambooty easy one size. I have about 5 of these and 3 of another brand. Besides being cute designs i honestly dont think it takes any longer to use these then to use disposables. You put a liner on and clip it on baby. Then every two days you throw them in the wash then hang them out. Easy. I think the idea that they take longer to use came from the old terry towel ones which you had to fold, pin, soak, scrub and then wash. Yes they are quite expensive but the over all cost is alot less than disposables. Each easy one sizeย costs $37 but i wait for the sales and got mine for $20 each. A box of disposables is $28 (Woolworth Select) and i go through a box every two weeks. In the life of nappy wearing apparently you can save over $5000 by using cloth. I still use disp for outings and over night as they are more absorbent and smaller to put in the nappy bag. I am aiming to get alot more but will wait until they are on sale ๐Ÿ™‚


With my new sewing machine in the mail i was thinking about movies i could watch for inspiration. And you know what…there are very few movies actually about sewing, or really any craft. The only one i can think of is How to make an American Quilt. Any other movie that has sewing in it its as a minor part and usualy only one scene. With so many movies about cooking i was surprised about the lack of craft ones. Can anyone point me in the direction of one?