Ladies, if you haven't heard about environmental friendly reusable menstrual products, please read posts on Cloth pads & cups...

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Green Idea 3 - How To Make Your Own Deodorant?

There are many harmful ingredients in products we use daily but we generally don't pay enough attentions. I am slowly switching out things which I find harmful ingredients in them. I have been able to use home made soap for body & hair, home made laundry detergent & dish washing soap, and now I am going to switch to home made deodorant.. :)

I found this simple recipe to make our own deodorant and I am going to try it:
(I mix 1 part of baking soda with 1 part of corn starch (rather than 6 parts).)

What are the potential harmful ingredients one may find in commercially available deodorant? Aluminium is one of them and it is absorbed through the skin and accumulates in the body.

Read more about this here:

Bye and have a good weekend.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Cloth Pad Story 3 - 70% can't afford sanitary napkins

Dear All,

I came across this article yesterday about a study in India revealed that "Only 12% of India's 355 million menstruating women use sanitary napkins.".

Excerpt from the Article:
"NEW DELHI: Only 12% of India's 355 million menstruating women use sanitary napkins (SNs).
Over 88% of women resort to shocking alternatives like unsanitised cloth, ashes and husk sand.
Incidents of Reproductive Tract Infection (RTI) is 70% more common among these women.
Inadequate menstrual protection makes adolescent girls (age group 12-18 years) miss 5 days of school in a month (50 days a year). Around 23% of these girls actually drop out of school after they started menstruating.
The biggest barrier to using a sanitary napkin is affordability. Around 70% of women in India say their family can't afford to buy them."
Details below:

Due to the study , there are a few initiatives being taken:
1) Menstrual hygiene week  launched
"NEW DELHI: Chandrakanta carefully went through the literature and colourful pamphlets at a stall that gave out information on sanitary napkins. Curious teenagers shyly heard the counsellor at the stall sharing information on menstrual hygiene. Some others came forward to buy the small packets of sanitary napkins on offer at a special price of Rs 10 each.
Chandrakanta pointed out that it was a real challenge for them to convince women to stop using cloth and instead shift to sanitary napkins to prevent infections during mensturation. "

I am concerned about this statement of "to convince women to stop using cloth"...  :(  I think it should be "to convince women to stop using dirty cloth".   They shouldn't be sending the wrong message of using cloth is not right!

2) Free sanitary napkins for poor students in Delhi govt schools
" In a novel initiative, Delhi government will soon make available sanitary napkins free of cost to girl students from poor families in all schools run by it to ensure that their attendance do not suffer due to hygiene-related issues. Officials said the initiative is being taken to address high levels of absenteeism by girls students from poor families."

While it is good that there is awareness that the poor women in India need helps, but is Disposable Sanitary Napkins the only ANSWER?   In poor places, clean water supply maybe an issue, using cloth pads may not be easy for the girls, is there a sustainable way to resolve this? 

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Bag Project 8 - Lunch Bag 3

Another lunch bag...  :)   I promised a friend that I will make a lunch bag for her and it took me a long while.  Finally, I did it...

Exterior fabric ready to be sewed together

I paid great attention to folding the corners and joining the pieces making sure the sewing lines matched up.   
Quite happy with the result.  :)

Tutorial information is available from my older lunch bag post 1 & 2.

Material used:
1) Both exterior fabrics came from:

The lining has a small piece of b) above joined with Natural colour cotton I bought from Nagoya (a few RM for a meter), i.e. the hidden part inside is actually cost effective material.  :)  Cost saving....

2) Like lunch bag 2, strap is from: - thick strap from Cotton mix

Another seller of bag straps, many colours to choose from: polypropylene like material (thin but cost effective), this is the type of strap I used in my first lunch bag.

If you have a bit of budget, straps with design from:

3) Batting/Fleece
I used fusible woven interface/stabiliser for the external material which I bought from a shop in PJ Old town.

For lining, I used the batting I bought sometime back from Chinese website, non fusible.   Very tight material and the bag could stand by itself:

I also have batting from:


I found that when I used fusible batting, the fabric will crumple after awhile.  I think it is due to some parts of the fabric loosing its grip on the batting.  Maybe it is just the way I ironed wasn't right...  Haven't found a solution yet.. :(

The fear of crumple was the reason why I attached the batting to the lining instead of exterior fabric.  At least it won't affect the look of the bag if the lining crumples...  :)

4) Lace
I have a small lace stash and I never find a way to use them though I did try.   Finally, this time, I managed! :)
They are from:

Bill of Material for my future reference :) :
1) Olive Fabric - 1FQ
2) Alphabet Fabric - About 1/3 Meter
3) Batting - About 1/3 Meter
4) Straps - 38 cm x 2
5) Lining - About 1/3 Meter
6) Bag string - About 32 cm (x1 or x2 (like lunch bag 2) )

I still have 1 lunch bag in my to-do list...   will take awhile before I start again...

Bye now...

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Bag Project 7 - Reversible Bucket Bag (2)

:)  a big smile on my face...

I have completed the reversible bucket bag inspired by MyBotang's Reversible Bucket Bag - Sew along.

Here are some useful notes:
1) I made the fabric flower using the following tutorial:

2) Two types of binding  - Straight or Bias
I always wonder if I could make binding tapes cutting along the straight grain of the fabric.  Finally I understood now.  Thanks to Sew,Mama,Sew (see page 141 of the instructions) .  If you are binding straight edges, then cutting the fabric along the straight grain is fine.  However, if you are binding curve edges, then we need to use bias binding.  Here is a tutorial for making bias tape:

3) How to make sure when binding edges, we actually sew on both sides of bias tape?  
I have to unpick 2 times this round as the sewing didn't catch one side of the bias tape.  :(   So, finally I read the instructions carefully..  We need to make sure the bias tape is taller on the wrong side of the fabric and then sew close to the bottom edge of the bias tape on the right side... then you will catch both sides quick easily.. :)   See point 4 of page 143 of the instructions.

Bye now and have a good weekend...

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