raggedblossomhandmade

Archive for the month “April, 2012”

Upcycled Wrist Warmers

There’s a few tutorials out there for upcycled wrist warmers – this one includes instructions for lining them.

So I had a lovely stripey jumper that I just didn’t wear that often and I thought it was perfect for wrist warmers.

I already have a pair so I used one as a guide for the size. I lined it up and just added extra length on either end to allow for seams.

Next you need to try it on and mark where to sew to make a thumb hole. If you’re going to line them with other fabric you’ll need to allow extra width to account for the extra layer of fabric. I only just added enough, next time I’ll add more.

Also mark with pins down the side of the arm if the jumper is quite roomy. I made it noticeably wider here to allow for the lining fabric. It’s best if you do the pinning with the sleeve on inside out as I had to redo it after I took the photo!

Stitch where you have pinned it. I used the overlocker for the side seam but it really wasn’t necessary. A straight and zig zag stitch is fine. Then snip out the ‘V’ at the top, taking care not to snip the stitches.

Next you need to cut out the lining fabric. This can be a bit of trial and error due to the difference in stretch of each type of fabric. I used microfleece which wasn’t nearly as stretchy as the jumper and the first one I cut out was way too small. To get the measurement right I put the wrist warmer on and measured how wide it was when being worn – hence the difference you can see in the photo. Mark and stitch as you did for the outer fabric.

Next turn the outer fabric the right way out and slide over the lining fabric so the right sides are together. Pin and stitch the raw edges together.

Then turn the lining inside the outer fabric and stitch again about 1cm from the edge.

At the bottom end you will need to turn in approx 1.5cm of both fabrics and stitch them together.

The thumbs are the trickiest part. I cut off about 1cm of the lining and folded the outer fabric inside, covering the rough edge of the lining. I then handstitched the seams.

And there you have it! Lovely, cosy wrist warmers for the winter!

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Ethical Easter Chocolate!

This Easter I’m making my own chocolate – sugar fee, dairy free and fair trade (not to mention delicious!). My ingredients are sourced from Loving Earth who have a healthy, sustainable and fair trade philosophy. This recipe is taken from Chocchick – thanks girls!

Ingredients:

  • 100g Raw Cacao Butter
  • 6 Tablespoons Raw Cacao Powder
  • 2-3 Tablespoons Agave Syrup
  • Paste from 2 Vanilla bean pods (optional)
  • 1 Small pinch of rock salt (optional – use good quality sea salt to lift the chocolate flavour)

Ensure all utensils and the bowl are dry before the ingredients are added as water can cause the mix to separate.

Directions:

Place the raw cacao butter in a bowl over a pan of water on a low heat and melt gently (Bain Marie or Baño Maria in Spanish).

Once melted add 6 tbsp raw cacao powder and mix well using a metal whisk (wooden spoons don’t blend as well). Ensure the heat is low and add the Agave syrup and mix well. Taste the mix once melted and add more agave syrup if you prefer a sweeter taste. Just a warning though – it’s not the same kind of sweet as sugar and I wouldn’t add more than 3 tablespoons. Then add the vanilla bean paste and salt.

Once completely melted and blended remove from heat. Your mixture should be runny and easy to pour and can be poured or spooned into ice cube trays, silicone moulds or even plastic tubs to make fabulous raw chocolate bars.

I put my chocolate mix into my Gran’s milk jug for easy pouring (and just because I like to use it!).

I added almonds into some chocolates and organic sultanas into others. Place in the freezer and leave to set for about half an hour on in the fridge for around 2 hours.

Tap out and try not to eat them all in one go!

If you’re used to eating Cadburys Dairy Milk chocolate these may not be to your taste. However for any dark chocolate lovers like me – they are amazing!

Lucky Miss Maggie got her first taste of chocolate by licking the bowl…Happy Ethical Easter everyone!

Homemade Yogurt

Another getting back to basics recipe…making my own yogurt. This recipe is from Jude Blereau‘s book Wholefood for Children published by Murdoch Books and with her permission I am able to share this wonderful recipe.

My daughter and I have issues with dairy. I do like sheeps yogurt but it can be expensive so I wanted to have a go at making my own and it’s surprisingly easy. As Jude says ‘Good-quality yogurt contains live bacteria that break down many of the reaction-causing properties of milk and make it easier to digest.’

Ingredients:

  • 1 litre milk
  • 1 tbs yogurt (it must say ‘live cultures’ on the label)

1. Wash a heatproof glass jar and lid, rinse with very hot water and drain to dry.

2. Put the milk in a saucepan and bring just to the boil (82˚C on a sugar thermometer) – stiring occasionally. Remove from the heat and let the milk cool to 43˚C, or until it’s cool enough for you to put your finger in it and keep it there. Stir the milk a couple of times to prevent a skin from forming.

3. Spoon the yogurt into a clean jar and pour in a little of the warmer milk. (Don’t be tempted to add a little extra yogurt, thinking more is better; the bacteria need lots of room to grow and play.) Stir to combine well, then add the remaining milk and replace the lid.

4. Leave the jar to sit overnight, or for at least 8 hours, in a warm, but not too hot place, approximately 20-25˚C. (For example, wrapped and left next to the warm part of the fridge where the motor is, in an oven if it has a low temp setting. I ended up wrapping mine up in a towel and sitting it under and warm lamp we have – I felt like I was hatching chickens!)

The next morning you will have a lovely, thick, yogurt. Allow it to cool a little, then refridgerate. It will keep for about 6 days.

It tastes so pure and fresh, I love it! For a bit a sweetness you could add some honey or fruit.

You can also use a tablespoon of this yogurt to start your next batch, after 3 or 4 batches you may need to start with bought yogurt again.

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