Thursday, April 13, 2017

Poppy Skirt

Visiting New York in 2013, I arranged to meet a volouteer guide through Big Apple Greeter. Amazing experience. 
I was essentially on my own during the day as my husband was at a conference, and Angelina, my Big apple Greeter, took the trouble before I arrived to engage with me by email and find out EXACTLY what my interests were. From a starting point (on the online form) or "history, culture, architecture", we ended up shopping for fabric, visiting Ralph Lauren's flagship store, visiting the Frick, thrift shopping, and having my hair cut by "Celebrity Stylist, Antonio Soddu":

But more importantly, Angelina took me to B&J Fabrics, where I found this:

I decided on a straight-ish skirt pattern, using the Easy Pleated Skirt pattern from So Sew Easy via Craftsy. The pattern is designed for softer fabrics than my cotton fabric, so I wouldn't use this pattern again unless I had a softer, more drapey fabric.  

Now, where did I stash that fabric? What?! Your stash isn't kept in window-faced A4 expandable envelopes?

How it turned out:

Pockets in red fabric for contrast:

Raw fabric edges finished with bias thanks to stash of bias from Grandmothers' sewing box:

Nice job on the invisible zip:

Funnily enough, my favourite designer also had a skirt with a poppy design fabric:

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Beauty-ful biscuits (cookies)

We've all see time lapse videos of flood icing on cookies (biscuits for the Australians and Europeans reading this), such as this one. Oh, it looks so quick and easy! It's probably a great hobby if you don't have children, or pets, or a house to clean, or meals to cook.... (Having made the dough the night before [maybe 15 minutes work], baking and decorating 20+ cookies took me about 3 hours.)

Never-the-less, I thought I'd give it a go, as I was holding a fundraising movie afternoon screening "Beauty and the Beast" and wanted something special to present to guests... Here's the results:

Fortunately any deficiency in icing technique can be more than overcome by the generous application of decorations (such as these) readily available in most supermarkets:
I used The Decorated Cookie's sugar cookie recipe, and a royal icing recipe from Taste. I whipped the egg white until frothy first, added icing sugar to the desired (flooding consistency) then removed about a quarter of the icing from the bowl, and added more icing sugar to make the icing thicker. I used the thicker icing to pipe an outline, then flooded the outline with the more liquid icing, adding decorations both before and after the flooding.

Wrapped and ready to go: