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The ‘Tall & Skinny Shimmy’ Challenge Soap

November’s challenge over on Amy Warden’s Great Cakes Soapworks was to (attempt to) recreate what Amy named the ‘Tall & Skinny Shimmy’. This technique is also called the wall pour or segment filling, and has been perfected by Tatiana Serko, an amazing soaper who created the tutorial video for the challenge. I’ve seen this design before and always wondered how it was done, SO there was no doubt in my mind as to whether I’d be giving it a go this month.  Here’s the design she created for the tutorial:

Tatiana's Tall & Skinny Shimmy
Tatiana’s Tall & Skinny Shimmy

I recently bought a shiny new tall & skinny mould, and this challenge marked it’s first outing. This was the first problem. Turned out the mould holds more soap than my regular mold. I kind of thought it would, but checked on the website where I bought it to make sure.  Unfortunately, in my haste, I looked at the wrong listing, and so had the wrong volume in my head. Luckily I’d had a sneaking suspicion that that figure might be incorrect (just by looking at the mould – which is LONG), so I prepped two batches of my masterbatched oils, just in case.

I decided (once again) to use a fragrance I’d not used before. Not as crazy as it sounds – I used a blend of Patchouli & Sweet Orange essential oils, both of which I’ve used separately many times without any problems.

I added the fragrance blend to the oils, then added the lye and mixed gently with a whisk until the soap was fully emulsified, but no more. In her tutorial, Tatiana said that she doesn’t use a stick blender, and simply lightly hand mixes her soap. With some trepidation, I decided to do the same, and split the soap into seven, colouring each portion a different shade, and mixing thoroughly by hand.

Prepped colourant
Prepped colourants

I then set up my mould as per Tatiana’s instruction.  I placed two pencils parallel to each other on my work table, on either side of my mould.  I put one side of the mould onto one of the pencils, so that there was a tilt to the mould, and then poured the first colour down and along the side of mould that was NOT on the pencil.  I then moved the mould so that the other edge was sitting on the other pencil (and the mould was therefore tilted lengthways the other way) and poured down and along the opposite side. I did this with all seven colours, alternating the side each time. The soap was very thin, and had barely reached trace – I think it perhaps could have been just the tiniest bit thicker – note to self for next time…

Anyway, of course, it turned out I didn’t have enough soap made up to fill the mould, so I quickly separated out another three portions of the second batch, added colour, and continued to pour. The pouring was fast and fraught, and I didn’t get the opportunity to take any photographs – sorry!

Once the pour was complete, and the mould was full, I swirled to the top and put it to one side to harden up.

Tall & Skinny Shimmy in the Mould
Tall & Skinny Shimmy in the Mould

As it was poured at such a light trace, it took a while to harden up sufficiently, but three days later I felt confident enough to take it out of the mould:

Tall & Skinny Shimmy in the mould
Ready for cutting

I was REALLY apprehensive about cutting this one, I didn’t have the time (or the ingredients) to make another one, so I was hoping it wasn’t a complete disaster. As it was, it’s not too bad. I did get a little bit of a shimmy, but there’s no doubt that the pouring left a lot to be desired!!

Tall & Skinny Shimmy (kinda)
Tall & Skinny Shimmy (kinda)

I think had I had the correct volume of soap from the beginning, and just had the seven colours to pour, I may have had more luck – it’s clear that my scrabbling for more soap towards the end caused issues with the design at the top.

Another issue I had was that the silicone liner was so tall and long, it didn’t stay flush to the sides of the mould – the sides bent into the middle, and so while pouring down one side, I had to use my other hand to hold the other side of the silicone mold away from the middle, which was a bit awkward.

I’m really happy to have been able to give this one a go, and will probably try it again at some point in the future – thanks Amy!

Thanks for reading – I’ll be back soon with a post on my holiday soaps.

18 thoughts on “The ‘Tall & Skinny Shimmy’ Challenge Soap

  1. Looks fab Vicki! Hope you didnt get too nervous about cutting☺️ Is that the really long mould from moulds shop uk? x

    1. Ha ha, thanks Carolyn, you’re very kind but it’s really no that good at all lol. Was fun though… Yep, that’s the moulds shop one, and I’ve just realised today that I looked at the wrong listing for the volume – oops, will go back and edit the post.

  2. Vicki:
    I really like the colors and you did a great job thinking on your feet to mix up more soap and finish it.
    Those liners can be a pain sometimes….I tape mine to the wood mold with masking tape – about 1/8 inch on the liner, the rest on the mold – all the way across. It helps to free up my hands, but I get a bulge in the liner in places and the tape doesn’t always stay put. Then I have to stop & peal it off at some point so I can finish the soap. But anything to keep my hands free helps!

    1. Thank you Sly! Great idea to tape the sides of the silicone – wish I’d thought of that before I started!!

  3. What I love about your soap is that it doesn’t look like everyone else’s. You have beautiful colors, a nice shimmy design, and you salvaged the batch in such a way that we never would have known had you not told us! Kudos to you for doing a 5 lb batch!!

    1. Hahahaha thank you Amy, really appreciate your comments. I was so pleased to learn how this technique was done – thank you!

  4. It is not a regularly shimmy, but it is gorgeous nonetheless!

  5. Thank you so much Yvonne, more practice required I think, but next time I’ll use a shorter mould!!

  6. Gorgeous colors – lovely design! Now I really need to try this technique so pretty!

    1. Thank you! My execution needs a little bit of work, but I loved giving it a go. Good luck for your attempt 🙂

  7. I love how unique this turned out! Great job!

  8. Love it! Will be trying this! Thanks for sharing.

    1. Thank you! And yes, do give it a go – there are videos of the technique on YouTube 🙂

  9. I love the way the colors mingle and flow together! Great job!

  10. So it’s not a regular shimmy, it is still a beautiful soap and your color combination is great. nice job!

    1. Thanks so much 😀

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