Wednesday, October 26, 2016

A round of thrifting and making and doing

Snow pants from the consignment shop.  Several books (mostly on $1 clearance) from the used book store. A $3 bag of books from the library book sale. Party decorations and gift wrap and cake with buttercream frosting, all homemade from materials on hand. Filling up our compost bin with leaves while the fall weather was still nice. Bending over the tops of my broomcorn stems, as the first step in harvesting them. Flipping over a quilt and using it upside-down as a bedspread. Simple things, and all very inexpensive.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Latex mache

I did an experiment recently to try the papier mache technique with latex paint and fabric in place of the flour/water mixture and paper.

For a base, I used a wadded sheet of paper. Over this, I put three layers of fabric strips saturated with paint, all in one go. Then I let it dry, cut it open, and removed the paper.

The result looks about the same as regular papier mache, although the fabric texture shows through. The difference is that it is more flexible and resilient, and a bit stronger. From making homemade piƱatas, I know that papier mache is stronger than it looks. I can tear the latex mache, but it takes some force. It is also much more permanent; papier mache tends to deteriorate and attract critters over time.

I'm not sure if I am going to use this technique for making Halloween costumes or not, but it is certainly an option.

Friday, October 7, 2016

Catching up

I got out to my favorite rummage sale. The pickings were not so great this time, but I found a pair of dress boots, that only needed some gentle scrubbing and some boot oil. I recently retired my one pair of dress shoes, and had been thinking about how to make a pair from scratch because I seem to only find shoes in my size by a direct act of God. (Mary Wales Loomis is the person to look up if you want to make women's dress shoes.)

Related to that, I found that Hobby Lobby carries Barge Cement in tubes. This is the contact cement you would want for gluing your shoe materials together.

Also at the sale, I found some children's winter boots. I recently took a winter coat that I had been given, which needed a new zipper, and cut it down to child size (before replacing the zipper). I took the layers apart to do this, to reduce the bulk that I was sewing through as I dealt with keeping the down stuffing contained, but later saw how I could have saved myself some trouble by keeping the lining more intact. For a pattern, I measured the child, added some inches for movement, a couple more for growing, and then a bit for seams. I more or less kept to the original shape of the coat, and just made it smaller. The main lines of a coat are relatively simple. With the coat done and the new used boots, we nearly have our children ready for winter. I think we still need a pair of snow pants.