Saturday, April 13, 2013

How to make a summer beach dress in 10 min

Have you been to the mall lately? Summer clothing is coming out and it seems dresses and skirts are big for women this year. The light dresses with fun colours that I have noticed.

Now, I have to start off with I am cheap when it comes to clothing... But I also don't want to work too hard to make clothing (sometimes). So here's my summer dress that cost me $2 and 10 min to make!

Let me show you how it's done.

First grab a top that fits snug/comfortable on you.

Then lay it on the fabric double sided with right sides together.

Cut along the top while gradually going outwards down to how ever long your toes goes until. You can draw lines too... if your too scared to cut. (I sure was)

Next sew the top of the shoulders together right sides together. (When sewing a stretchy fabric remember to slightly stretch the fabric so it doesn't wave. (I only took this photo after being finished the dress... So your looking at the centre seam is what connects the shoulder together)

Next sew along the edge of the dress. (I have a surger, but it would work just fine if you zigzaged the edge)

Finally double fold the arm holes and sew along the edge.

I like leaving the bottom unsewn as it won't fray and leaves a wispy feeling.

Sometimes I cut the bottom at an angle and sometimes I cut the front shorter then the back in a 'u-shape' Can you see the u-shape?

This was by far the most fun project I have made as it was incredibly fast, cheap and fixing a need that I had... the wanting of a light summer beach dress!

Happy sewing and thrifty living!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Eating local: What to ask your farmer?

I was surprised to find out how many local food options there are here. I live in a small city 86,000 people and there are 3 local farmers markets starting up in May. A farm that does organic beef and chicken (and treat their animals kindly). Right beside the beef farm is a produce farm and I must add its HUGE! There is a Cheeseworks farm close too!

The point of me telling you how many local foods/farms are around my little city is if you google 'local produce' 'farms' or a synonomous term, you too might be just as surprised as I was! 

That is just what I found doing a quick search

So of course now that our home is almost 100% organic foods we headed out on a search for farms that we could purchase from almost year round. Our family spent 2 days going to farms and learning how the farmers care for their animals, produce and workers. We also pet and met a whole lot of animals! All the farmers seemed so open and proud of what they were doing: Building a community of healthy natural living!

We are changing to local foods because of...
Safety: I wonder how safe or natural it is to use pesticides on foods. They spray produce during each stage of growth and in turn absorbing a toxic chemical that kills every other thing on that farm except the one growing produce. Pesticides are chemically engineered to kill everything but that one plant. There is no way that could be good for me or my family's health so we have gone organic and are purchasing many foods locally.
Environmental Impact: Buying local increases local farming which has decreased significantly within the last 20 years thanks to the large corporations and manipulation. Large companies that are Genetically Modifying foods seed spread (like normal plants do) and contaminates other natural farmers crops. Once they are found with these crops that now have the genes from the GM crops they are sewed and put out of business. The next part of environmental impact is that these foods are being picked before they are actually ripe (about 1-2 weeks) and chemicals are put on them to help them travel great distances. Pollution is also another thing to consider as many foods are put through a large corporation then travel by plane from one truck to another truck to your grocery store.

We spent about an hour talking to each farmer. We wanted to know at the very least if they were:
  • local
  • organic
  • humanely raised
  • sustainably raised
  • grassfed
  • pastured and/or free range
  • “free” of X
  • sprayed
  • fertilized
Here are some questions my future hubby and I came up with to ask them.

  • What do the animals eat?
Organic food, grass, including hay and alfalfa in winter (for cows), bugs, grass, outside things, as well as either local or organic grain (for chickens). Does the feed include corn and soy? If yes, are they genetically modified?

  • Where do the animals live?
Regularly outside or on pasture
  • Do you use any medication, antibiotics or hormones?
You do not want any of these in your foods

  • How do you fertilize?
Organically, composted cow manure, sustainably, fish oil, anything that sounds like it started with the earth or an animal. It's ok if a farmer says they are not certified organic if they have full organic practices as the product will be significantly cheaper.

  • How do you manage pests and disease?
“Grown inside” or chemical free” “crop rotation” or “we don’t spray” are probably some of the best answers, but “integrated pest management,” “we spray as seldomly as possible,” “zero day to harvest rated sprays,” are also on the right track.

If you want to get to know your farmer then ask these questions:

How was the growing season last year/this year?
How did you get into farming?
What crops are coming up next, seasonally? Are they growing on schedule? Any complications?
How do I store X unfamiliar food that I’m purchasing from you?
What’s your favorite way to prepare X?

Now go and Google farms in your area. You might be surprised how close some are to you! 

Happy natural healthy living!