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Tana Lawn Tunic

I didn’t actually need another tunic top but I have been possessed by a sewing demon and I simply cannot stop buying fabric especially when I came across this.
Liberty Tata Lawn.
It was in Abakan a Manchester fabric shops At first I thought it was some strange kind of silk. Maybe even a synthetic fibre. It was so fine and was covered in lovely design of what looked like pomegranates.
Abakan is a rather grim no nonsense shop which sell huge heaps of synthetic fabric by weight. For sure they have a small craft fabric department but since the disaster of the endlessly creasing Tabard Dress I am right off craft fabric. To find something so lovely and so obviously suitable for shirts was rather a shock.Which led to a quick bit of research.

Liberty Prints & Fabrics

I can tell you that Liberty is an amazing fabric shop in London. But also a huge part of British design history. In 1875 Arthur Lasenby Liberty  opened Libertys the shop selling ornaments, fabrics and objets d’art from the east. By 1884 Edward William Godwin  a distinguished architect joined the team and Liberty’s started making clothes. By the 1890s Arthur was working with English designers connected with the  Arts and Crafts and Art Nouveau movement and his fabric designs had become massively popular. In the 1920s, Liberty began to produce small floral prints known as Liberty Prints. They were printed on one of their most famous fabrics Tana Lawn, still a Liberty best-seller.
In 1924 the mock-Tudor flag ship store store was built. It was designed by Edwin T. Hall it used, timbers from HMS Hindustan and HMS Impregnable. In proper Arts and Crafts style it was built using authentic and original Tudor techniques.
By the 1940s Liberty was firmly established as the supplier of must-have silk scarves.
Come the 1950s and 60s, an Arts & Crafts revival meant even Libertys old designs were still cutting edge. Art Nouveau designs were redrawn and coloured to make them more appealing to modern designers. They were used by all the great names.
But back to me and my fabric revelation.

Tana Lawn

is extremely high quality cotton. This was taken form the Liberty website….
Taking its name from Lake Tana in East Africa where the original cotton grew, Tana Lawn cotton is unique. Made from specially selected ultra-fine long staple cotton and finished without the use of crease-resisting chemicals or irritating allergens, the result is a famous masterpiece of fabric technology: fine, cool, comfortable and durable, with brilliant reproduction of colours and prints.

Fabric & Purchase Details 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

While Abakan might be a little bit grim they  sell at a discount. Tana lawn normally retails at around £22.00 a meter I got mine for 12.00. If you cant get to Manchester they have an online store. They don’t stock the whole Tana range – for that you will have to try Liberty or other shops.

As far as I know Tana Lawn boasts no organic or fair trade credentials but it was bought locally from Abakan in Manchester and buying locally and keeping fabric shops open are both very important to me.

It is 100% cotton. I prefer to use natural fibres because on consideration they are the greenest, biodegradable option and, even better, they don’t shed plastic microfibres when washed. Just in case you need it, here is a quick  intro to synthetic, regenerated, combination and natural fibres here. And more reasons why I prefer natural fabrics over the others can be found here.

Design & Pattern
McCalls M6102 1 hour dress. Really easy. You can see my patterns here.

Fixtures & Fittings
None needed

Made With
It was  cut out with all metal scissors from the C. Booths Hardware Shop in Huddersfield, sewn together using organic cotton on a wooden reel and made using plastic free sewing supplies (you can find them here).

Sustainable Rating
Natural fibres
Fabric was bought plastic free – no packaging
Supporting a local fabric shop
Homemade by me
Made with plastic free sewing supplies

Weighs In At g.

Why the weighing? Well this item of clothing is counted as part of my fair share fabrics project. This is a self imposed rationing system. I use no more than my global share of fibres and they have to be sustainably sourced. Whats a global share? 11.74 kg per person of which 3.8 kg is natural fibres. As I don’t like synthetics I try to stick to 3.8 kg of natural fibres.

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Choir Boy Shirt

I have been making cotton tunics for a while now and while I love this very easy to make garment I fancied a change. I OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAwanted something with rather more space to move. The tunic pattern has fitted sleeves which can be a bit grabby under the arms if I wear them with a T shirt. Plus the body while not fitted has no extra space. I have to be careful when removing my tunics. I am not always careful tending to yank them off to the cracking sound of splitting stitches.

So I thought I would try me a gathered shirt with some raglan sleeves. A raglan sleeve is a single piece of fabric that extends from the collar of the garment over the shoulder and down to the underarm.

There is no seam around the shoulder rather that the seams attaching the sleeve to body run diagonally across the front and back of the shoulder. This results is more room in the underarm area allowing a greater ease of movement. Which is why it is often used in sports wear. And considered less formal than a fitted sleeve.

Fabric & Purchase Details

I bought some grey lawn from the Button Box in Huddersfield Market. This is more like a muslin it is softer more crumply and looks like a looser weave. I don’t know where it was originally made and it boasts no organic or fair trade credentials but it was bought locally and buying locally and keeping fabric shops open are both very important to me.

It is 100% cotton. I prefer to use natural fibres because on consideration they are the greenest, biodegradable option and, even better, they don’t shed plastic microfibres when washed. Just in case you need it, here is a quick  intro to synthetic, regenerated, combination and natural fibres here. And more reasons why I prefer natural fabrics over the others can be found here.

Design & Pattern

I found this pattern in a charity shop. New Look 6133.  It seemed to fit the bill give or take a frilled collar. I made it longer so it was more smock like. I cut the neck lower  and rather than a draw string, I  gathered the fabric and sewed it into place and attached a thin collar.

I tried it on. I looked like a choir boy!

I had to add pin tucks underneath the bust to give it some shape. Then rather than gather into cuffs I added pin tucks to the billowing sleeves to give them some shape too.

Fixtures & Fittings
Needs none

Made With
Cut out with all metal scissors from the C. Booths Hardware Shop in Huddersfield, sewn together using organic cotton on a wooden reel and made using plastic free sewing supplies (you can find them here).

Sustainable Rating
Natural fibres
Fabric was bought plastic free – no packaging
Supporting a local fabric shop
Homemade by me
Made with plastic free sewing supplies

Weighs In At 132g.

Why the weighing? Well this item of clothing is counted as part of my fair share fabrics project. This is a self imposed rationing system. I use no more than my global share of fibres and they have to be sustainably sourced. Whats a global share? 11.74 kg per person of which 3.8 kg is natural fibres. As I don’t like synthetics I try to stick to 3.8 kg of natural fibres.

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November

So… whats happening in plastic-free November?
My new blog theme and some new plugins
A guide to a #plasticfree festive season
How to use those leaves to make seed compost
Try trailing the plastic awareness game?
Updates on the #plasticfree compostable wardrobe
Take Action – sign the petition asking UK retailers to stop selling plastic cotton buds

Latest …..Google Verification!

And then there is Google verification. WHAT DOES THIS EVEN MEAN?!!! for years now Google has been asking me to verify my site then refusing to accept my attempts to do so. In fact I think it was trying to add my access-code-to-my-header-page<what//the$%6&R.U.asking4> that messed up my last site and led to the recent theme change.
But because I am really STUBBORN and refuse to be beat, I installed this plugin
Google Analytics for WordPressThis Google Analytics for WordPress plugin adds and enables Google Analytics tracking code on your website.Version 1.1 | By praveenchauhan1984 | View details.
So, I am now verified with Google. Is that a good thing? I have no idea! I just add it to all the other Google mysteries that haunt me. Like why I have 2 Google ranks for the same site and how my Google stats never match my WordPress.

Other Blog Business

Another day another theme. My blog was loading so slowly. I tried everything but I think the actual theme was badly compromised – by my own ignorance. I was using Flagman – Retina Responsive News WordPress ThemeVersion: 1.01 By ZERGE. Flagman is Responsive, Retina Ready, WordPress theme.
It was great program, really easy and intuitive to use and a great introduction to fancy themes. All faults were as a result of my own cak handed incompetance.I loaded the wrong stuff, made changes, and at one point even managed to delete all my work. I generally bodged and buggered around till I damaged it in some fundamental way which of course I lacked the skills to recognise and correct. So I decided to start again with a new template. A free one from WordPress Themes. I was planning to reload and return to Flagman but actually I rather like this new look and new theme.

DiscoveryVersion: 2.3 By Template Express a highly customizable, fully responsive and Premium design WordPress Theme. With a focus on simple customization, Discovery allows you to add your own logo, header, featured areas, social media links and much more with a click of a button. This multi-purpose theme has a premium quality design that can fit the needs of any website.Blah blah…

It needed quite a lot of tweaking but the end result is a much speedier load.

However it lacked certain features I had come to enjoy in my paid for Flagman theme. One was the blog map showing all my posts. Useful for readers to navigate their way around the blog and for me to remember what I have written about.

Thanks then to this cool little plugin
WP Sitemap Page Add a sitemap on any page/post using a simple shortcake you paste in a page or post Version 1.6 | By Tony Archambeau.
You can see my site map here…

While searching I found this – a page view count that you can add to show how popular posts are. “the Page Views Count Plugin. Use the Page Views Count function to add page views to any content type or object created by your theme or plugins. Version 1.4.0 | By A3 Revolution” . So as of this month I can see how many visits each post is. Nice. The only page it doesn’t work on is this one which it says is massively popular. Much as I would like to, I really can’t believe I’ve had over 19000 veiws!

Other blog related posts are
Building My Blog – notes on how the blog has developed over time
Does Size Matter – how popular am I and does it matter?

Christmas christmas

Too early for the C word? I know Halloween is hardly over but you need to plan ahead in the plastic free world. For example if you want to make a reusable advent calendar you need to start collecting loo rolls or get sewing. Or at the very least order online. You will also need to get some biodegradable sticky tape, think about making fantastic home made candied peel even some sweet mincemeat. See how to plan a plastic free Christmas here

Then there is the office party (groans!). Given the choice between washing up in the tea room sink, and disposable cups, the answer may seem obvious. However at the end of the night when the black bin bags come out that decision may seem rather environmentally unfriendly.  So we put together some plastic free party tips here.

Leaf Mold

Another C word and one of our favorites. Yes it’s composting. Hooray! You can use all those Autumn leaves to make seed compost. Instructions here

Playing Gmes

The Auroville community in India are tackling plastic waste through education.

“Last year, interviewing experts was part of our research phase for developing a memory style card game which we have decided to call ‘kNOw PLASTICS’. The game educates children about the impact of plastics on animals, the environment and us. If you know of any schools, organisations or teachers then we would be very happy if you could connect us or test the kNOw PLASTICS game. Follow the link to find out what this would entail.

Party Frock? OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Not quite but here are some shorts what I have made!

And a choir boy shirt
And a frumpy corduroy skirt
a new post on patterns! Get those ruffled shirts!

And an update on my Fair Share Wardrobe

Sign Up

Call To Action Switch The Stick Sign Up

Switch The Stick is a campaign and petition to get plastic cotton buds out of the drains and off the beaches. It has been organised by  Michelle and Natalie (both can be found in the Plastic-Free U.K. directory). They  are asking UK retailers to stop selling plastic cotton buds by the end of 2017.

cotton-buds-personal

According to Switch The Stick ” Waitrose and Johnson & Johnson announced they’d make the change to paper, and the Coop and Marks and Spencers sell paper-stem buds. Now we need to make sure the others do the same.

Tesco, Sainsburys, Boots, ASDA, Morrisons, Lidl, Aldi, Superdrug and Wilko are currently reviewing their policies on cotton buds … which is why we need to show them how many of us support the switch to paper!”

They already have over 11000 signitures. If you havn’t done so already do add your name. It’s so easy to change this and millions of fish will thank you
The petition is now on 38 degrees (new link here)
lots more information about Switch The Stick, can be found here 

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Tabbard Tunic Top

This is a simple sleeveless dress with bust darts to add a bit of shape. It looks rather like those old pinafores people used to wear hence the name.

It is easy to wear – either as a comfortable tunic when worn over a tee shirt and leggings or a cool dress for those hotter days. This Summer I hardly need say I have been wearing it as a tunic, over leggings, with a cardigan!

I would be very pleased with it if it wasn’t for the fabric…..

Fabric & Purchase Details

I bought this material locally from the Button Box in Huddersfield Market.  . It is 100% cotton.

I prefer to use natural fibres because on consideration they are the greenest, biodegradable option and, even better, they don’t shed plastic microfibres when washed.

Just in case you need it, here is a quick  intro to synthetic, regenerated, combination and natural fibres here. And more reasons why I prefer natural fabrics over the others can be found here.

Notes On This Cotton – Craft Fabric

kate

It is a silky fabric that creases easily. I mean really easily. I wear it for seconds and it looks like crumpled paper. I am not sure it is a dress making fabric. It was sold in small bales folded on a cardboard board. In a section of the shop called craft fabrics. I think they are mainly used for patchwork and quilting. Is this cotton somehow different?  Rose & Hubble fabrics are sold the same way and the stuff I used for my loon pants worked out fie.  I thought with washing it would soften it as has happened with my loon pants. These are made out of Rose & Hubble cotton. They are now so soft I don’t need to iron them. Actually I never ironed them and while they looked rumpled I could get away with it. Not a chance of that with this top! Still as stiff as a board, needs ironing before I can wear it. Even with my low sartorial standard I feel I have to do at least that. Once on, it creases immediately.

As time has passed it’s tendency to crease has annoyed me more and more. As has the constant ironing.

Pattern New Look 6558

Fixtures & Fittings Cotton bias binding round the neck and arms sold by the meter at the shop.

Made with…

It was cut out with all metal scissors from the C. Booths Hardware Shop in Huddersfield, sewn together using organic cotton on a wooden reel and made using plastic free sewing supplies  (you can find them here).

Sustainable Rating

Natural fibres
Fabric was bought plastic free – no packaging
Supporting a local fabric shop
Homemade by me
Made with plastic free sewing supplies (you can find them here)

Weighs In At

149 grams Why the weighing? Well this item of clothing is counted as part of my fair share fabrics project. This is a self imposed rationing system. I use no more than my global share of fibres and they have to be sustainably sourced. Whats a global share? Share out all the fibres made by all the people on the planet and it works out, (very roughly), 11.74 kg per person of which 3.8 kg is natural fibres. As I don’t like synthetics I try to stick to 3.8 kg of natural fibres. Here are the figures in full.

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Offset Tunic

Bought some lovely organic cotton cambric from Offset Warehouse an online fabric store that sell greener than green fabrics.

Such as this lovely patterned cambric that is

  1. made from organic (uncertified) cotton
  2. hand woven and printed by hand using wooden “hand-blocks”.
  3. The dyes used in the printing are azo-free
  4. The weaving and printing is done in a cooperative and certified Fair Trade by the WFTO.
  5. As it is a hand-made product, the process uses virtually no energy or water!
  6. can be washed in washing machines.

I prefer to use natural fibres because on consideration they are the greenest option, they don’t shed plastic microfibres when washed and, even better, at the end of a long and useful life, I can compost them.

Just in case you need it, here is a quick  intro to synthetic, regenerated, combination and natural fibres here. And the reasons why I prefer natural fabrics over the others can be found in detail here.

More Information

Weave/Knit Type Plain, Woven
Thread Count 46 x 46
width 119cm 47″

Packaging

I had been assured that the packaging was plastic free and it almost was. The fabric came wrapped in tissue paper in a cardboard box but the box was sealed with plastic tape and the invoice was attached to the front in a plastic bag. Sigh!

Pattern

McCalls M6102 1 hour dress. Really easy

Fixtures & Fittings

No fixings needed.

It was cut out with all metal scissors from the C. Booths Hardware Shop in Huddersfield, sewn together using organic cotton on a wooden reel and made using plastic free sewing supplies  (you can find them here).

Sustainable Rating

  • Natural fibres
  • Organic
  • Fair-trade
  • Homemade by me
  • Made with plastic free sewing supplies

Weighs In

At 157g.

Why the weighing? Well this item of clothing is counted as part of my fair share fabrics project. This is a self imposed rationing system. I use no more than my global share of fibres and they have to be sustainably sourced. Whats a global share? Share out all the fibres made by all the people on the planet and it works out, (very roughly), at 11.74 kg per person of which 3.8 kg is natural fibres. As I don’t like synthetics I try to stick to my fair share of 3.8 kg of natural fibres. Here are the figures in full.

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The Fulsome Foolish Skirt

We were planning to visit Seville for the Feria, the big flamenco party. To say it is dreey would be understating. I spent a lot of time wondering what I could possibly wear. The flamenco dresses I had seen looked very elaborate featuring different fabrics, trimmings and all manner frou-frouery. Needless to say I possessed nothing like that. Then, while meandering through the Indonesian markets, I came across some very lively sarongs. They were highly patterned strips of fabric featuring a bold use of color and frantic patterning. If, I thought, I was to make a skirt out of such sarongs, it would look extremely ornate. Not frilly but with a general air of exuberance that would make it suitable for a flamenco night out.

So I bought some. They were amazingly cheap but I was assured they were made from Indonesian cotton. They are not. They are synthetic fibres. I didn’t realize this till I got home, tried to iron them and they melted. I was annoyed. Not only did I have to spend hours scraping away at the iron but I don’t like wearing synthetic fabrics. I’m sure you know that synthetic fibres contribute to micro plastic pollution. When they are washed, they shed tiny, non-biodegradable, synthetic fibres into the drains. These are then washed out to sea where they are now polluting the oceans and being eaten by plankton.

Still I thought I could still make the skirt, wear it for the Feria, and never, ever wash it. After all how much demand would there be for such a lively skirt in my daily life? So I copied a pattern for a circular skirt from the internet, sewed it up and tried it on. It hung nicely but it was full…. very full. Draped over my Rubenesque curves it looked rather tent like – by which I mean a big top. It might have worked if I had made it from a different fabric. Something with less pattern and nicer colors. Lord knows what I was thinking but dominant tints were bottle green and aquamarine blue covered in hot pink and purple flowers. It looked funky in the market place as a sarong; it looked insane as a swirling skirt on a wide berthed middle aged woman. So much so I will not be featuring a photo of me modeling it.

So I now have a huge and very ugly skirt which I can never wash and never wear. But as I can’t bear waste so I am keeping it as a permanent pattern for future huge skirts I may wish to make. In fact I used it as the base for my Japanese Fish Wrap Skirt.

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Weight 243g. This counts as part of my fair share fabrics project– a self imposed rationing system where I use no more than my global share of fibres and they have to be sustainably sourced. Whats a global share? 11.74 kg per person of which 3.8 kg is natural fibres. As I don’t like synthetics I try to stick to 3.8 kg of natural fibres.

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August – Soft Fruits & Fun In The Sun

Well Summer has turned and Autumn approaches. It’s time to begin harvesting and gathering in the frumity. No idea what frumity is but  I guess it is akin to a hey nonny nonny and fertility symbols. So pencil in the weaving your wicker man, plan future blackberrying and and get yourself down the PYO farms where the strawberries and raspberries will be ripe. The joy of #plasticfree soft fruit is beyond words.

There are some useful links here …. and I plan to make this raspberry extract next.

Extracts

Yes, I accidentally got into extracts and flavoured spirits just last week. I am very pleashed with the reshults, occifer….

If you want to give them a go,  lavender is now flowering and can be used to make  floral vodka (think Vladimir Putin in a dress) or flavoured extracts which can be used to…. cant think how else to put this….. but flavour stuff.

But you can use other stuff too. Check here for inspiration on the exciting homemade extracts!

Sun? What Sun!

Don’t forget if you are going out berry picking to slap on your homemade sunblock lotion. If you are lucky enough to see the sun this year that is. Here in Huddersfield it is, and has been, grey and dreary.

Good job I know how to make #plasticless  self tan.

Holidays

Stayvaction? In the U.K.? Check out these windbreaks

Backpacking? You might want to look at the plastic free travel guide.

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Extracts

Did you know that simply by steeping herbs, peel and fruit in alcohol you can make extracts? I discovered this quite by accident when researching what to do with an excess of leggy lavender from a rampant bush. I found a post about lavender vodka and because I refuse to follow recipes, I used far too much lavender.  Rather than a delicately flavoured beverage I ended up with a murkey liquid which, lucky for me,  turns out to be an extract.

Make Your Own

Extracts are strongly flavoured plant extracts. They used to flavour drinks and food. They are a great way of using up a glut of something and preserving it for use later in the year. They are incredibly easy to make and have to be the easiest way of preserving.

The alcohol used is usually vodka and the general rule of thumb seems to be to buy mid range. Too cheap and the nasty flavour intrudes, too expensive and it is a waste of good vodka. Some recipes also suggest rum.

The method is the same.

Take the herb put it in a jar cover it with vodka and leave in a cool dark place remembering to shake occasionally. Time steeping varies with the herb and the recipe.
Once done you strain off the liquid through a sieve and them some fine cotton.
Here are some steeping guidelines.

  • Lavender – flowers steep for 4 weeks
  • Vanilla use the beans steep for two months.
  • Mint leaves one to two months.
  • Citrus Extracts use the rind of the fruit but not the bitter white pith. Use organic unwaxed fruit. steep for 5 to 6 weeks.
  • Cinnamon bark (sticks) steep for two weeks.
  • Berries  6 to 8 weeks or longer.
  • Apparently extracts will keep for  3-5 years.

    Interesting articles
    Three main reasons for using alcohol 

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    Plastic Free July – what’s happening….

     

    This month of course is Plastic-free July.

    What is Plastic Free July 

    The aim is to cut your consumption of one use plastic, for one month – July. It is a great way to challenge you relationship with plastic. We have done it for a few years now.

    Plastic Is Rubbish Support Group

    This year I set up a Plastic Is Rubbish Facebook group where people share plastic free tips. It’s a great resource.

    Ecosewing? Saturday 16th July

    The first ecosewing and pampering experience ever probably – sounds like fun!

    Fun In The Sun

    Going on holiday? Read our plastic-free travel guide, get a SteriPEN and make your own sun block!

    Other Projects

    Check out our other ongoing projects and see what our plastic free buddies are up to here….

    The MSCUK plastic challenge is over for this year. Well done to everyone who did the full month. It has been great to see this project get bigger every time. Hope everyone managed to raise lots of money.

    Sad to have missed it? Dont worry there is always next year.  Read more about it here.

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    June

    The Plastic Challenge takes place every year in the U.K. in June.

    It is organized by the Marine Conservation Society (MCSUK).

    The MSCUK is a UK charity “that cares for our seas, shores and wildlife”.

    The MSCUK “have a vision of a world where plastics don’t end up in our seas and on our beaches, where they persist and impact our marine life.”

    So they challenge you to give up single use plastics for a month (June), and get sponsored whilst doing it. The money goes to support MSCUK projects which are many and very worthwhile.

    You can read more about it here

    Rest Of The Year

    Happy Christmas

    This month we are Voting in the Blog Awards U.K. Making sweet mince for pies Petitioning Tampax to stop with ...
    Read More

    November

    So... whats happening in plastic-free November? My new blog theme and some new plugins A guide to a #plasticfree festive ...
    Read More

    September

    First an apology. I have moved house and my internet provider didnt move with me. Not through want of asking ...
    Read More

    August – Soft Fruits & Fun In The Sun

    Well Summer has turned and Autumn approaches. It's time to begin harvesting and gathering in the frumity. No idea what ...
    Read More

    June

    The Plastic Challenge takes place every year in the U.K. in June. It is organized by the Marine Conservation Society ...
    Read More

    January

    In this post you can read about News & Events To Do...This Month To Do...Next Month News & Events A ...
    Read More

     

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    Spring Clean

    The astronomical spring (Northern Hemisphere) 2016 began on Sunday, March 20. It will end on Sunday, June 1. We celebrate by building a big wicker man and ….. no those days are over. Just a few charred photographs left to remind me. All we do now is have a jolly good spring clean. And here’s how to do it plastic free….

    In this post you can read about

    • Chemical Cleaning
    • Mechanical Cleaning
    • Buy Or Make Chemical cleaning product
    • Mechanical Cleaning Aids

    For cleaning products I use a combination of bought and what I have in the cupboard in conjunction with a bloody good scrub… i.e. both  chemical and manual cleaning

    Chemical Cleaning 

    Uses the power of chemicals in a solution to remove soils. Soils in this case refers to stains. You can read how alkaline dissolve fat and  why vinegar works here.

    Mechanical Cleaners

    These are the tools used to loosen, collect  and wipe up up dirt such as brushes mops and scouring pads. Often used in conjunction with chemical cleaners of course.

    Posts

    Essential Oils

    Essential oils have gone from being an obscure aspect of botany to an all round marketing ‘good thing’. Almost every product you buy from washing powder to shampoo trumpets that they contain ...
    Read More

    Cleaning Products – Chemical – Buy or make

    For cleaning products I use a combination of bought and what I have in the cupboard in conjunction with a bloody good scrub... i.e. both chemical and manual cleaning. Chemical Cleaning uses ...
    Read More

    Sponge Cloth Biodegradable

    Oh joy - just sourced some plastic free sponge cloths. I love these things. Sponge cloths are extremely porous and great for wiping up water. Plus they dry really quickly. I love ...
    Read More

    How to Scrub Plastic Free

    Although I use natural cleaning products like soap, bicarbonate of soda and occasionally Ecover cleaning products, I prefer not to. Cold water and elbow grease clears most things. I know I sound ...
    Read More

    Buckets – metal

    Unlike cheaper plastic models, metal, industrial strength, hardworking galvanised products will give you years of service. We work in the building & landscaping trade and use these in preference to anything else ...
    Read More

    Sweeping Up

    When it comes to sweeping you cant beat a nice wooden brush with natural plant fibres. Why? Natural fibres have less flick than synthetic fibres which means less muck spattering. They collect ...
    Read More

    Antiseptics & Disinfectants

    This post talks about Microbes Antiseptics Disinfectants Alcohol Bicarbonate Of Soda Vinegar Hydrogen peroxide Soap Essential oils This is an area where you want to do your own research and decide what ...
    Read More

    Bicarbonate Of Soda

    I don't know if you can use it to put out burning cakes but bicarbonate of soda is rather wonderful. This one product can replace hundreds of plastic bottles on your shelves ...
    Read More

    Dirt, pH balance and chemical cleaning

    In this post you cad read about Soils (Dirt) Alkaline Acid Cleaning Dirt, stains and even rusts are all known as soils in the cleaning world. That is as in soiled rather ...
    Read More

    How to wash the pots plastic free…..

    By Hand...Sigh Washing up liquid and I use Ecover in a refillable plastic bottle. I know the bottle is plastic but kitchen? glass? This is a case for reusable plastic if ever ...
    Read More

    Washing Soda? Bicarbonate Of Soda? Or Both?

    The trinity of green cleaning – washing soda, bicarbonate and borax. Often mentioned rarely explained! Let's take washing soda and bicarbonate of soda first. Why because they are related. Both can be ...
    Read More

    Washing Soda

    Sodium carbonate (also known as washing soda, soda ash and soda crystals) is the water-soluble sodium salt of carbonic acid. It is alkaline. Pure sodium carbonate is a white, doorless powder with ...
    Read More

    Soap

    I use soap to wash my body I don't like using soap on my face so I cleanse with oil and water. instead of shampoo. washing the bath and other household cleaning ...
    Read More

    mop and bucket

    I am something of an old pro when it comes to scrubbing. In my youth I was the cleaner of casinos. I swabbed down the gaming area, restaurant and croupiers changing rooms ...
    Read More

    Pot & Bottle Brushes

    There I was happily scouring away when I realised it was taking longer than usual to shift the burnt remnants at the bottom of the pan. When I checked out my little ...
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    Washing Up Liquid Soap

    Soap Flakes I did try to use soap flakes to wash up. I did not find it pleasant. Yes it cleaned the pots but everything was so slippery that it was a ...
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    Buy

    Being committed to local shopping I prefer to buy that way whenever possible. I would encourage you to do the same. One of the joys of living plastic free is mooching round the local shops seeing what you can source.

    If you can’t buy local, please do check the links in the posts.  They link direct  to the suppliers.  Do consider buying from them and support their online businesses.

    If you can’t do that then I have put together and Amazon catalogue. Yes I know…

    Amazon is a very dirty word at the moment and I thought long and hard before suggesting them.  Heres why I went ahead….. No we are not entirely happy with Amazons recent history. However these links are for 3rd party sellers, we have always found the Amazon service to be good and their packaging usually compostable. In the absence of anything else we feel we can recommend them.

    Mop & Bucket

    8 Litre Galvanized Mop Bucket 3x General Use Mops & Brushes Cotton Mop Heads 15/16" Size 14 Hand & Power Tools Lily and Brown Cotton Mop with Handle
    8 Litre Galvanized Mop Bucket
    £7.99
    3x General Use Mops & Brushes Cotton Mo…
    £9.34
    Lily and Brown Cotton Mop with Handle
    BM02 Pure Yarn Cotton Mop 225g with Handle Sealey BM05 Pure Yarn Cotton Mop 340g with Handle Silverline 509117 Pure Yarn Socket Mop
    BM02 Pure Yarn Cotton Mop 225g with Handle
    £8.88
    Sealey BM05 Pure Yarn Cotton Mop 340g with …
    £11.68
    Silverline 509117 Pure Yarn Socket Mop
    £3.01
    13 Litre Galvanised Bucket
    13 Litre Galvanised Bucket
    £7.06

    Dustpan & Brush

    Faithfull BRBASS11 Stiff Bassine Hand Brush Silverline 794337 11 Inch Stiff Bassine Hand Brush HARRIS VICTORY COCO HANDBRUSH -94101-
    Faithfull BRBASS11 Stiff Bassine Hand Brush
    £1.94
    Silverline 794337 11 Inch Stiff Bassine Han…
    £2.94
    HARRIS VICTORY COCO HANDBRUSH -94101-
    Harris Victory PA359H 12-inch Coco Broom with Handle HBC Broom Head - Plain Stock, Filled Natural Coco 10" Harris Victory PA357H 10-inch Bassine Broom with Handle
    Harris Victory PA359H 12-inch Coco Broom wi…
    £3.62
    HBC Broom Head – Plain Stock, Filled Natura…
    £6.29
    Harris Victory PA357H 10-inch Bassine Broom…
    £3.48
    Groundsman 13-inch Bassine/ Cane Broom with Handle Lily and Brown 12-inch Natural Soft Coco Broom Faithfull Pine Handle 48In X 15/16In
    Groundsman 13-inch Bassine/ Cane Broom wit…
    £8.39
    Lily and Brown 12-inch Natural Soft Coco Br…
    £6.98
    Faithfull Pine Handle 48In X 15/16In
    £1.44
    Silverline 993059 Broom Handle Bracket Metal 26 - 29mm (1-1/8-inch) Diameter Town & Country 48-inch x 15/ 16-inch Threaded Wooden Broom Handle Town & Country 9-inch Medium Head Deck Scrub
    Silverline 993059 Broom Handle Bracket Meta…
    £4.13
    Town & Country 48-inch x 15/ 16-inch Th…
    £4.99
    Town & Country 9-inch Medium Head Deck …
    £7.00
    10" Heavy duty bassine bristle hard yard broom head Town & Country 12-inch Soft Broom Head Metal Hooded Dustpan
    10″ Heavy duty bassine bristle hard yard br…
    £7.49
    Town & Country 12-inch Soft Broom Head
    £6.99
    screw head
    Metal Hooded Dustpan
    £10.95
    2x Metal Hand Shovels Large size Hand & Power Tools Harris Victory Metal Dustpan Metal dustpan and handbroom with natural bristles, red
    2x Metal Hand Shovels Large size Hand &…
    £8.45
    Harris Victory Metal Dustpan
    £9.00
    Metal dustpan and handbroom with natural br…
    Metal Long Handled Dustpan and Brush Strong Lobby Large Industrial Metal Dust Pan and Broom Rolson 60690 300mm Metal Dust Pan
    Metal Long Handled Dustpan and Brush Strong…
    £34.99
    Rolson 60690 300mm Metal Dust Pan
    £7.50
    post

    Chiffon Shirt

    ffbb5a956a143c87b32d93c5e9ea24c8For the Feria the week-long party in Seville, I made a chiffon top. I know – get me…. in chiffon. I wanted something see through to wear over my vest and bombazine skirt that would look sort of dressy. I wanted something like this.

    I had a practise run with white lawn which was partly successful. Now I was ready for the real thing. I bought some silk chiffon from Ebay. Other than it is natural fibres, there is nothing particularly sustainable about this but it was cheap, it was seen through and if it all went wrong I would not have spent too much.

    Below is the top I made. It was fine for the Semana. Easter week is marked with big parades, penitents in gloomy Klan outfits incense and weeping virgins. Gloomy black was just right.

     

    featured bobazine skirt 2

    It is not going to work for the Feria. In the last week everyone has started on their outfits. The shops are full of fantastic frocks, people are staggering through the streets laden down with lace, flowers and shiny jewels. There are tasselled shawls fans and fedoras every where you look. They don’t do minimalism

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    This is what people are planning to wear and that is the plainest dress I could find.

    I can get away with black, I cannot do without trimmings

    So the last few days has seen me desperately titivating my outfit.

    They sell cotton crochet yarn very cheaply here so I have knitted a frilly collar through which I have threaded some lace and ribbon. I have attached this to the chiffon top.

    I prefer to use natural fibres because on consideration they are the greenest, biodegradable option they don’t shed plastic microfibres when washed and, even better, at the end of a long and useful life, I can compost them.

    I have also bought some fancy tights.

    Hope this will see me right!

    Sustainable Rating

    Buy

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    I bought this fabric on Ebay. It came packaged in a plastic bag.

    It cost £15.00 and I have some left over.

    The cotton cooler was made from cotton bought from the Chinese Grocery in Macarena, Seville and knitted using metal needles bought in plastic packaging.

    The ribbons and lace are all synthetic fibres.

    More

    This counts as part of my fair share of global fabrics – a self imposed rationing system. You can read about it here #

    And  can see what else I have made, here

    See the rest of my wardrobe here.

    Find other clothing related posts here