DIY Reusable Cosmetic Pads, Sewing Edition

Some of you may remember the Reusable Cotton Wool Pads I crocheted back this January. I used them only for a very short time as I needed about twice the amount of lotion compared to store-bought, single-use cotton wool pads. Furthermore, the cleansing effect of the crocheted surface was pretty low on my skin.

However, I did not want to give up on the idea of finding a sustainable solution. My next approach are sewn cosmetic pads with one woven cotton and one terry side. And this is what I did:

First, I have cut a cardboard circle of 8cm in diameter.

This was my stencil to cut circles from woven cotton scraps, which then were pinned on the terry fabric (an old towel would also serve well) to cut the terry in shape.

Next, I sowed both circles together leaving a seam opening just large enough to turn them inside out.

As I was too lazy for an elegant finishing, I have sewn the last seam visibly from the top. I know this leaves room for improvement, but I first wanted to make sure the terry pads are worth the effort. Fingers crossed it will work out this time.

A DIY Tulle Circle Skirt, Maxi Length

Have you ever wondered why maxi length, DIY tulle circle skirt tutorials are really hard to find? I’m going to explain. But first, you should take a look at any DIY tulle circle skirt tutorial (just google it, there are loads of good tutorials!) to get an overall idea of what I did.

My idea was to get a ridiculously full skirt. I wanted to achieve this by layering 10 tulle donuts and add a visible, elastic waistband. The first problem was the tulle as such. For a knee-length circle skirt, standard-width fabric works fine. To achieve maxi length, you either have to sew together two half-donuts per layer (best idea with fine, soft tulle ūüėú) or find extra wide tulle fabric. As you can imagine, it took me a while to find something suitable. In the end, my aunt got me some (25 m) 2.8 m wide tulle from Paris.

I cut out quarter donuts from folded fabric, but I had to secure the folds with fabric clips to make sure the layers could not shift while cutting them. In consequence, it took me a while to cut out all ten donuts.

Next, I wanted to preassemble the donuts before sewing them together. This means, I first had to find a large enough space on the floor to lay out a circle of 2.3 m in diameter.

As the tulle layers shift easily on top of each other, I had to pin them together layer by layer, fabric clip per fabric clip. I may have taken a break after this step.

When I thought the worst part was over, I put the preassembled ten layers on the sewing machine. Sadly, even soft tulle puffs up enormously, so I could not see the foot and needle of my sewing machine anymore.

I ended up watching from the side and was sewing at an incredibly low speed to make sure I sew a straight seam catching all layers.

Adding the elastic waistband afterwards was almost a pleasure compared to any of the steps before.

However, I love this skirt and still would not change any part of it. Of course, four layers of tulle would have puffed up enough to make this an impressive skirt. You also may complain about the (intentionally!) missing layer of lining as you can still see my legs through ten layers of tulle, but I am totally fine with it. It is a bit hard to make sure the tulle does not get caught somewhere when wearing it, but it is well worth the effort. Now I am just lacking a bodice to make this my go-to evening gown. I might have something in mind already, stay tuned!

Sewing for WGT 2018

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This was my first Wave-Gotik-Treffen since I have moved to Leipzig and I have to admit, it also was the first one I survived without a vast lack of sleep. I even did not need to sew the last bits of my outfits during Wednesday night!

As my style is more or less futuristic/ minimal, I can always mix and match store-bought fashion items, sports wear and handmade garments. With the cropped linen sweater still in mind, I improvised a rectangular top from some black viscose jersey. It needs the viscose for drape and the jersey structure for weight. I copied the neckline from one of my favourite store-bought t-shirts. I wore it with a pair of sports leggings with mesh inserts.

My favourite garment this year was definitely the plastic half-skirt. I made it from a seat belt, a heavy buckle, eyelets, snap hooks and an ugly, cheap plastic tablecloth cut in stripes. It is super heavy, but nonetheless I styled it with my YRU Qozmo Hi 2 platform boots to make walking even more a workout. ūüėČ As the half-skirt is more an accessory than an actual garment, I wore black sports leggings underneath and a black laser cut sports body on top.

I try to see a lot of concerts during WGT, so I do not socialise too much over day which is why pictures of me taken by someone else are pretty rare. However, I have enjoyed the majority of concerts I saw. My top 3 concerts were Beinhaus, whose show is definitely a must-see with lots of scrap metal on stage, three people drumming on it and one of them screaming German lyrics over it, Jo Quail, an electric cellist and composer who plays intricate soundscapes that make my mind dive into it, and the solo concert of Einar Selvik from Wardruna where he also explained a lot about his approach to ancient Norse music and the historical instruments he uses.

Other remarkable concerts in my opinion were Boy Harsher, Mr. Kitty, Wardruna and Teho Teardo & Blixa Bargeld. As always, there was not enough time to see everything I would have liked to. At least, I am happy with my selection. And now it is time to think about the 2019 outfits.

DIY Body Lotion

After failing twice, I finally have succeeded in making body lotion! It is based on Karen Gilbert’s vetiver and vanilla body lotion, except that it is unfragranced and the macadamia nut oil is replaced by sweet almond oil. The consistency is just perfect and the lotion  has just the light scent of its ingredients. The perfect Christmas gift for my mum!

By the way, the first times I failed at mixing temperatures and using the wrong emulsifier. For the successful lotion, I used glyceryl stearate.

DIY Cocoa and Shea Body Butter

My Dad uses The Body Shop’s Body Butters for dry skin a lot. As it is hard to find a Christmas gift for him, I have improvised an all natural, fragrance-free body butter recipe for him. Maybe, he even likes it.

Ingredients for 200ml:

20g berry wax

75g cocoa butter

85g shea butter

15ml sweet almond oil

10ml vitamin E

Melt together the wax and the butters in a water bath, let cool for five minutes outside the water bath, then add the oil and the vitamin E while the mixture is still liquid. Pour into an airtight container, close the lid and let harden.

Enjoy!

The Soap Bubble

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I needed a new soap dish for my bathroom and wanted something more sustainable than a cheap plastic item. The most obvious solution might have been to buy a wooden or luffa soap dish, but that would have been too easy. Why not knit one?

My first idea was to knit a sphere from stainless steel wire, which turned out to be a bad idea due to a complete lack of elasticity. Furthermore, the wire I had chosen proved to be too thick. My next attempt was to exchange the wire by grey ITO Tetsu, a silk and stainless steel laceweight yarn. It was knittable, but still not elastic. Sadly, it did not want to keep its spherical shape, so I reinforced it with the stainless steel wire from my first try. Well, here it is, a knitted soap dish:

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An Industrial Lampshade for my Studio

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I am not very proud that the realisation of this rather simple lampshade took me 18 months. I found my inspiration on Pinterest, bought the material and did not work on it for quite a while. However, it is finished now and looks really good.

I followed the instructions pretty roughly and did not add any colour or sheet metal. It was really easy to form the steel hanger strap by hand, so the main work consisted of screwing it all together. Nonetheless, it was finished within about two hours. It only lacks a beautiful light bulb. I will fix that next time I need something bigger from the hardware store.

Funfact: I took the picture in front of the few white walls in this room. The other ones are painted deep purple as I cannot find inspiration in bright, friendly spaces.

DIY Toothpaste!

Now that I haven’t changed this¬†recipe for half a year, I think it is ready for publishing. Sadly, my toothpaste is not a real beauty, but it works perfectly. And you can make it free of mint, which is the very best part in my opinion.

You need:

50g sodium bicarbonate

1 tsp xylitol

1 tsp fine sea salt

liquid coconut oil

15-20 drops essential oil of your choice

Mix the dry ingredients together and add just enough coconut oil (about 2 tbsp) to make a smooth paste. Flavour with essential oil and use! Store in a mason jar or a sealable container of your choice.

It tends to be quite liquid in summer, but it works anyway. You may want to experiment with different¬†flavours. I’ve tried mandarin, cinnamon and a mix of blood orange and lemongrass already and could not tell which of them I like most. Enjoy!

Workbench inspired sideboard

When my boyfriend and me moved into our new apartment, we decided to get rid of most of our old furniture. This was a blend of teen bedroom furniture, cheap provisional solutions and huge closets we could not find a wall for. In the end we sold more than half of the furniture we owned.

As we now live in a quite rustic, yet bright apartment, we decided to give it an industrial touch. To make it look authentically and with the intention to buy the least amount of new furniture possible, we knew from the start we¬†had to accept a lot of boxes in our living room until we had found or built the perfect interior. We ended up with a bed and a bookshelf made of pipes, a second hand solid wood¬†cupboard, table and chairs, a second hand steel drawer cabinet, a DIY TV cabinet on huge wheels, a DIY solid wood closet and a more or less DIY kitchen based on Ikea’s Metod. The only thing missing was a sideboard for our living room.

For aesthetic reasons, the sideboard actually should be an old workbench that had been used visibly for many a decade. Sadly, after months of not finding anything suitable at a reasonable price, we gave up on that idea. We obviously were not the only people looking for old workshop equipment. We then collected the main features, a possible DIY version should have. These were a thick solid wood worktop, some aged steel front surface and an overall heavy-duty design.

As we already had built our Metod based kitchen, we knew that using the Ikea steel legs, its design was quite durable. A thick solid wood countertop from a nearby home improvement store¬†would make a perfect worktop. The most challenging¬†feature was the aged steel front.¬†In the end we bought new tailored carbon steel sheet metal, artificially aged its surface with salt and vinegar, stopped the process after a while with linseed oil and glued it to the doors with adhesive bond. To emphasize the industrial design, we bought three heavily used steel storage boxes on eBay and put them into the centre shelf. I’m pretty pleased with the result.

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