Sunday, 26 October 2014

New Vegan Products - October 2014

Ok so some of these products may not be new but they are newly discovered items to me!

I am loving this natural deodorant "Death by Lavender" by North Coast Organics. It's a little bit scratchy but softens once it is warmed up by your skin...and it works!
They just released a new offering "Al Sol" which i will definitely be trying after this one runs out.

Hubby brought this home for me, Dark Chocolate Almond Milk by Silk - delicious!!!

I am always on the hunt for new vegan protein powders to try - I have them in a smoothie every morning so they have to taste good. Dr. Mercola's Vegan Protein - Cinnamon I have bought three times in a row now because I love it and I find the flavor so versatile. I haven't tried the chocolate or vanilla but I'm loving the cinnamon. I also use their vegan dental floss.

Road's End Organics Dairy Free Penne & Cheese. This was pretty good for a vegan cheese product - as far as instant Mac n Cheese goes. I definitely think the kids will like it.
I added pesto to mine and ate the whole thing like the disgusting pig I am ;)

I keep looking out for gluten free Gardein products - there aren't very many unfortunately because my whole family loves the products and I have to east separately! I found these gluten free black bean burgers - they were pretty good I have to say!

I have only tried these two flavors so far but Miyoko's Creamery vegan nut cheese are AMAZEBALLS!!! Even hubby loved them and he hates all vegan cheese. I'm super excited about trying ALL the flavors. Just when I thought I was past my cheese addiction!

I was super excited when I saw gluten free vegan "chicken" strips by Simply Balanced (Target brand) but they were very disappointing. They are very soy tasting and very bland. The sauces were ok though. Good for an easy to put together meal but definitely won't be a staple. Back to the look out!

My husband bought a few different flavors of these instant gluten free vegan oats by Modern Oats and there were delicious. An easy instant breakfast! I added a small amount of blueberry agave to mine but I needed a bit more sweetness.

Ok this is one for the ladies. I was a bit weird about the idea of recycling menstrual pads but it makes sense on an environmental level alone. I got these ones from Bamboo Mama on Amazon and I just recently had my first experience using them. I was surprised how easy and ungross it really was. I just rinsed them as soon as I could and left them soaking in a bucket of warm water and oxy soak/nappy soak until I used the very last one and then sprayed them with stain spray and then put on a gently cycle and air dried. They were surprisingly comfortable too, definitely more so than regular pads. I felt a lot better for using them too - ethically speaking. Every little bit helps right!

Simple Apron

I've been going a bit nuts with the sewing machine lately. I'm only just learning but I'm enjoying it so much I want to make things all the time. And by "things" I mean simple projects to ease me into the craft! This simple apron pattern was given to me by a woman at a fabric store. It's a great first project and a great apron style for a man or BBQ. 

Simple Apron

Materials you will need

32" x 34" pieces of fabric (two - one for the front and one for the lining).
If you want to add a pocket at the front then you'll need some extra material, approx 20"-30" x 10", just double hemmed 1/2" along all four sides.
Ribbed ribbon - 60", 13" 2x 22" (obviously if you prefer to use fabric for the ties then just use the same amount of fabric as ribbon but thicker so you can sew and turn inside out)


Take the two 32" x 34" pieces of fabric and place them exactly on top of each other.
 From the top two corners measure inwards 10 1/2" and mark.
From the top corners measure down 10 1/2" and mark. Draw a line down connecting the two points on each corner and cut. 

If you are adding a pocket then you would want to sew it onto the patterned side at this point before connecting the lining. You can measure 11" from both the ends of the pockets and stitch down in those two spots to create three separate pockets. 

With pattern and lining fabric laid on top of each other perfectly and with patters facing in, pin down the sides and corners. Sew down the side and corner of the apron connecting the lining. Trim, turn in side out and iron flat. Turn the bottom and top opening hems in towards each other and pin in place, ironing flat.

Using the length of ribbon desired for the neck tie (I used 2x 22") place the end of the ribbon inside the hems where desired and pin in place. Sew the seams of the top and bottom closed.
Place the 13" piece of ribbon over the top edge of the apron and pin into place, tucking the ends behind.
Sew down the edges of the ribbon using a similar color thread.
Using the 60" piece of ribbon place across waist and in into place. Sew along both sides of the ribbon.
Finish the project by sewing the ends of the ribbon back slightly to prevent fraying.

Girlie Apron

This pattern I got from Fleece Fun, you can just go to her website and download it for free onto regular A4 paper and put it together. YouTube video here.

Girlie Apron

Cut out the measurements as per the pattern.

Take the two skirt pieces of fabric and turn up 1/2" twice  at the bottom and hem separately.

Place both pieces together, pattern sides out. Sew both pieces at the top raw edge. 

Pin the two top pieces together, pattern side in. Sew around neckline, under arms and sides with a 1/2" hemline. Leave the strap sections and bottom open.

Trim, turn inside out and iron flat.

Sew top half to bottom half so that the seam is on the inside. Trim and iron flat.

Fold over the sides  of skirt 1/2" twice and sew the two pieces together in the one hemline. 
Sides and top will be attached but the bottom side should be separate.

This is what your apron should look like now.

Attach a piece of ribbed ribbon to the back of the apron, covering the seam between the top and bottom pieces. Pin in place tucking under the end pieces.
Sew along both sides.

As you can see I did a very messy job but luckily its the back of the apron ;)

Tuck under the neckline pieces and feed in the ribbed ribbon ties. 
Attach the ribbed ribbon waist tie to the front of the apron, covering the seam between the top and bottom pieces.
Pin all ribbons in place and sew along sides.

Finish the apron by sewing the ends of the ribbons to prevent fraying.

Retro Style Apron

For this Retro Style Apron I used the Simple Skirt Apron and then added the top from Meesha TV.

Retro Style Apron

Measurements from the Simple Skirt Apron plus the extra pieces are two 10"x10"x10"x8" (one for  front and one for lining) and a piece for the neck tie (size will vary from person to person).

Start with the skirt part, instructions here.

Go as far as the pulling the pleats in and then stop.

Measure out a piece of fabric for however long you want the neck strap to be.
fold pattern side in and iron. Sew down with a 1/2" seam and trim. Turn in the correct way and iron flat.

Place the two top pieces together (pattern side inside) and sew a line down the three 10" sides leaving the  8" side open.

Turn inside out (the pattern should now be showing) and iron flat.
Sew the straps on in the desired place turning the fabric over at the raw ends to give it a nicer finish.

Sew top onto the back of skirt.

Take the two tie pieces and sew your seam down and angled. 

Trim, turn inside out and iron flat.

Attach the raw ends of the ties the waist a few inches in from the smaller piece if skirt fabric.

Sew into place using a similar colour thread.

Take the two waist pieces of material and fold and sew along the seams. Trim, turn inside out and iron flat.
Sew the front piece onto the skirt to cover the raw edges at the top of the skirt and to slightly over the edges of the ties, tucking the sides in for a neat finish.
Repeat with the second piece on the back of the skirt to cover the skirt's raw edges.
Trim all loose threads and you're done!

Skirt Apron

This apron is SO easy and will look like it took a lot of time.  It is also the base for a cute retro style apron. I got this pattern and measurements from Whitney Sews on YouTube. Her apron looks far more professional than mine but I like using ribbon.  If my instructions aren't very clear (and my lack of photos may not help that situation) please watched Whitney's video. She's very good at explaining it simply!

I like having the option to add the top part for a Retro Style Apron

Skirt Apron

What you need

15" x 22" fabric (this will be the front piece)
17" x 31" fabric (this will be back piece) - if you want lining you will need an extra piece.
2x 4.5" x 15" fabric - this is the front and back of the waist (if you like you can use interfacing and iron on - same measurements)
2x 9.5" x 30" pieces of fabric OR ribbed ribbon long enough to tie around you.
Sewing machning, scissors, pins, measuring tap, iron, thread (preferably a separate matching color for the ribbon or fabrics)


Taking the 15" x 22" fabric, iron a 1/4" seam around the two short sides and one long side.
Repeat again so you have a double fold.
Sew along the seams.
Repeat step with the 17" x 31" fabric.

Place 17" x 31" fabric pattern side up and place the 15" x 22" fabric on top, patter side up and make sure the raw edges meet. 

Pin into place.

Using a long stitch sew two lines along the top edge. Do not back stitch. Make sure you have long pieces of thread on either side for pulling. If you have a thick or heavy duty thread that will work well for this step.

Grab hold of the thread from the two top side threads.
Gently pull and keep pushing down the material so it bunches.
Repeat on the other side until both sides are bunched. 
Move the pleats around so the length of the waist reaches 14".
Once in the desired place sew another line of regular stitching across to hold the pleats in place.

Follow directions for EITHER Ribbon Tie or Material Tie.

Ribbon Tie - Take both of the 4.5" x 15" fabric pieces and fold down the center with the pattern facing in. Sew along the long edge. Cut off the extra. Flip inside out so the pattern is facing out and iron flat. 
Apologies for the confusing different fabric - I forgot to take pictures on this project.

Sew the two waist pieces on the front and back of the skirt, tucking in and sewing down the ends.
Place your ribbon directly in the middle and pin into place. Using the same color thread sew down the two long edges of the ribbon to connect it to the skirt. Sew the ends of the ribbon to prevent fraying. And you're done!

Material Tie - Place on of the 4.5" x 15" fabric pieces pattern side down so that one raw long edge meets the top of the skirt. Sew with a 1/2" seam allowance.
Take the two 9.5" x 30" pieces of fabric for the ties and fold in half along the long edge. Iron flat and pin if needed. Sew a straight line down the long edge finishing with an angle for a prettier tie. Trim the edges. Turn inside out and iron flat. A good trick with turning thin pieces inside out is to attach a safety pin to the end point and push through the middle.

 Sew the ties to the ends of the waist piece with the seam facing in. There will be a small pleat on the tie end.
Taking the last 4.5" x 15" fabric for the waist and iron a 1/2" seam down one long side.
Face the skirt down and make sure the ties are in the middle of the skit so they don't get sewed in. Place the waist piece on the skirt with the ironed seam facing toward bottom of the skirt and the non ironed edge in line with the top edge of the skirt. The fabric should be facing down (interfacing up). 
Sew along the top edge of the waist and two short edges with a 1/2" seam allowance, and trimming.
Flip the waist band inside out (so now should be facing the right side up) and iron.
To close the opening of the waistband in the back you can hand whip stitch or sew across.