Saturday, September 27, 2014

Dyeing a little...

Venturing into some scary territory this morning - and dyed my first woolen baby wrap!
A wool and cotton blend, the Didymos Juno Pfau!
(before dyeing - stock photo)

Also known as the 'Christmas Pfau' because of it's (usually) forest green-and-white color scheme, ugh, I just could not love it, even though it's wrapping qualities are legend...and heck, it was supposed to be my woolie baby wrap for the winter...anyhow, after gathering supplies for a few weeks, it took the plunge today! Despite my nerves a'jangling, it went through the wash, then into steamy hot water on the stovetop, all teal-ly with acid dye and vinegar...and tried hard not to mess with it (I've read these things felt so easily!) then rinsed it and washed it in Eucalan on the gentlest cycle my machine can do - and, voila! Oh my teal-ly blue green goodness! A woolie Pfau I can looooove! Mmmmmmm. Yummy. 2 tone, because the white threads are wool and the acid dye only adhered to those threads...and the result? Still shimmery and gorgeous. And wearable! (I have olive skin. Forest green? Uh, no. Teal? Yessssssssssssssssssssssss!)

Hard to photograph, I am showing it next to my Ocean (Aqua?) Pfau so you can see the difference in blues...
So, see? All the white chickens (okay, peacocks) all turned teal! No more white! I lurve it! 

If you'd like to know how to do this yourself, first read the great info on wool dyeing here and here.  Based on that info, I bought a giant 21 quart enameled canning pot from Amazon and 2 Jacquard acid dye 'pots' in teal from along with a big 'splosh' of white vinegar that I already had in the pantry.  Finish with Eucalan wool wash and enjoy your new woolie! :)

Friday, September 26, 2014

Fiberglass Cast Care and Do-it-yourself no-sew cast sleeve covers!

Ok, so I broke my wrist. Colles fracture. Mama of seven, ages 11 down to 6mos, with a broken wrist.  As if that wasn't difficult enough, the cast I have is made of fiberglass.  Roughly woven, extremely rough and prickly and fraying at the edges fiberglass.  What the heck?!
The doctor who cast my arm is an 'old pro' but maybe he never had to live in one of these casts - His only advice was to keep it dry, and okay, sure, that's a challenge in itself.  But, why did he not provide a covering? A sleeve of some kind? I looked online and found...nothing?!!! After it velcroed itself to my car seat material, pulled looping threads out of my skirt, and nearly shredded my baby's nicest outfit, and scraped his head, I'd had enough.  (Sure I'm grateful for it's wonderful lightweight state-of-the-art stiffness to allow me more freedom of movement while I heal, but seriously, what a turd.)

But isn't this a great cast now?! 'Lucky Break', get it? Hahahaha

So, here is my solution, and you can do it too!

What you will need:

  1. Very Sharp Scissors
  2. Ace bandage and/OR medical tape (the rip-able kind) (you will need both if you choose Ace bandage)
  3. Knit leggings (I used a white pair for a base color) and/or
  4. Footless Tights in the color/pattern of your choice or knee-high socks in a cool pattern

Step 1: Wrap your cast in an ace bandage or medical tape (the rip-able kind)
Cover the end of the Ace bandage with medical tape to secure - don't use the metal clips.

Step 2: Cover your wrapped cast in a soft sleeve.
I used a pair of girls seamless knit leggings size large* (12-14yrs 92% polyester and 8% spandex) from Target, 'lined' in fleece (which means it is fuzzy on the inside, not that it's two layers) My objective was to lightly 'pad' the cast, because accidently bumping my baby's head with my hard cast has made him cry. I don't care if it is thick looking - it's nicer. I lucked out that these are seamless, but maybe seamless is the new trend and easy to find? Well, whatever the reason, it makes my 'fancy' cast that much more fabulous, in my opinion.

Step 3: Finesse it! Show your style! ;)
I found white girls footless tights, also from Target, also size large (12-14yrs) with 3 sparkly butterflies on each leg. I debated getting leopard print or rainbow stripes, but ultimately, I want this to look like a cast. A nice, pretty cast.
A little snip snip and voila! A cast I (we) can live with.  For four more weeks.
This one is plain and purty.  Perfect for a little girl - or me!

This one is rock star awesome.  A tattoo sleeve! Oh yeah.  Loving it. Apparently I need a wardrobe of cast covers - Mmm hmmm! :D

Some notes of importance:
*Wrap your fiberglass cast in tape or ace bandage first or else you will snag the heck out of whatever you try to pull on over it. (good thing the legs of the tights come in pairs!). My cast is a bit fat because I chose to wrap first with the ace bandage. Wrapping first with tape would be slimmer but seems likely I will need to unwrap it for some unforeseen reason, and I want to be able to do that easily...

*Pull the legging/tights over the cast till the woven ankle edge exactly covers the end of the cast, NOT over the edge to touch your skin.  You do not want a elastic band restricting blood flow to your hand.  Trust me. Even if it feels ok, it will restrict just enough blood flow that your arm will start to swell and you will panic and start thinking about cutting off your cast yourself.  In a panic of sudden claustrophobia.  Or maybe that's just me. :) After an hour with my arm over my head after moving the elastic edges off my skin and up onto the cast's edge I felt better, but that was not a fun ride. I found this link to help me thru the panic. :)

*Cut the leggings/tights after you pull them on your cast with very sharp scissors. Make your determination of where to cut slowly and carefully. The material will (hopefully) not fray, poly knits are great like that, but you don't want to cut too much off right away.  You can always cut off more, but you can't add back what you've removed - like I wish my thumb hole was not quite so big, but, like I said earlier, these come in pairs, so if you need to start over, you can! I'm saving my spare for when this one gets dirty - which I'm sure it probably will.

*If you were covering a little kid's size cast, you could get a smaller size, but I needed these at least this large, even though they are s-t-r-e-t-c-hy, they felt barely big enough to pull over my cast.  I could have shopped the adult size leggings but then I'd have the pay the adult prices...and maybe also I'd have to sew it slimmer (nooo! I only have one hand! No-sew please!) If you need a cast cover for an adult leg cast, you will definitely need adult sized leggings and/or tights.

Hope you or your loved one heals up fast and that this has been a helpful post for you!
All the best,

About Me

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Mamazakka is Mommy blogger Autumn Sousanis; also-known-as Autumn Dunbar; and also-known-as "Mama" to six little ones, ages 9, 7.5, 5, 3.5 2 and a 3 month old! :) Busy,yes. A graduate of C.C.S. (Center for Creative Studies, School of Art and Design in Detroit) with my bachelor's degree in Fine Arts, I have finally found my calling as 'Mamazakka', maker of everything and anything that might improve your home, life and outlook. :) It's my goal to create things that truly meet Wikipedia's definition for 'zakka'; (here's an excerpt)..."cute, corny, kitschy is not enough. To qualify, a product must be attractive, sensitive and laden with subtext." Oh yeah! You betcha! Well, that's my goal, anyhow! I'm also known as an over-user of exclamation marks(!) and parentheses (can't help it) though I do try to keep my smileys to a minimum :)