Friday, November 18, 2016

Sewing a holiday wardrobe. Well, a holiday dress!

When I spotted this knit rayon on the "marked down" table at Spotlight I immediately loved the colours and know what I wanted to do with it - a pillowcase maxi. Specifically a pillowcase maxi to wear on a trip to Fiji. Something that was soft and cool and packed well.

There are a number of tutorials on the web - I followed this one and this one. Naturally I had to complicate things by only sewing one side seam. Accordingly I had to cut then bind the other armhole (otherwise you'd just end the seam below your armpit, as you do on the seamed side).

Ever since Meggipeg mentioned it in her blog, I've been paranoid about pattern placement , so I knew I had to offset the pattern so as not to inadvertently lead the eye when you don't want it led (ie don't place a blossom smack bang over a breast - unless that's your thing, of course!). I hope I got it right:

And I found a hat to match!

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Monkey Magic Yoga Pants

How fortuitous that I enrol in yoga and Spoonflower launches its sports lycra fabric.
And how fabulous is the Monkey World fabric design? See for yourself (please click on each photo to experience it in screen-filling glory):

The fabric design rewards close inspection, with delightful details:

Floating plates of cakes, blue shoes, cake stands and a gilded box.

Thank you to Meggipegg who lent me her Megan Nielsen leggings pattern.

It's funny how you go to so much trouble with pattern placement on the front and sides, only to realise when you've sewn them up that you have double monkey butt.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Mini Pecan Pies

When you really want pecan pies but want small ones!

Choose a shortcrust pastry recipe. I tried Delia Smith's (lard and all) and Smitten Kitchen's (scroll down to "A Great Savory Tart Shell"). They both work. Delia's is more economical, without the egg, and can be made with all butter instead of butter and lard. I made a couple of pans of mini cases; once I rolled out the pastry straight away, cut and fitted it into the pans, then rested it before baking. The next time I rested the pastry first, then rolled and cut it. The second method was slightly more effective.

Use a a mini muffin pan to bake the mini pie shells. Don't have the right sized pastry cutter? Use a glass. Pick one with a rim slightly wider than the size of the mini muffin pan:

The pastry cases spent a week in the freezer before being filled and baked again. Don't bake them too well the first time - leave them very pale:

I used a recipe from for the filling, but as I was filling much smaller pastry cases, I made less filling. For 24 pastry cases you will only need:

17g unsalted butter, chopped
50g brown sugar
50ml golden syrup
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
80g pecan halves

Fill cases with nuts, top with melted and mixed filling, and bake for no more than 10 minutes in a 180 degree oven:

Friday, March 18, 2016

Birthday card for a Star Wars Fan

I'd seen these on the interwebs and thought it would be fun to try. I used cardboard, my printer, and a short (bracelet length) glowstick. I set up the text and the lightsabre hilt (copied online) in Photoshop, printed and folded the card, cut a slot for the glowstick, and fastened it in place with stickytape.

Ta da! (Photos taken in the light and at night for full effect.)