You are currently browsing the monthly archive for May 2009.

Thanks for all your input on my summer blouse.  I know I’m my own toughest critic so it is really nice to gain some perspective.

I sewed all through the weekend and it was lovely.  I can’t reveal most of the things I made until about a month from now but I did steal some time to make myself some slippers yesterday evening because, unfortunately, my knit Mary Janes are already riddled with holes.

Slippies!

Slippies!

The pattern is again from Weekend Sewing.  Both the outer and lining fabrics are from Japan.  Erin sent me the so cute navy fabric and I bought the animal outline print.  I suspect both came our favourite shop in Obihiro; Rapport.

Peek-a-boo!

Peek-a-boo!

I used some lace instead of rick rack for the trim.  I really think these may be the sweetest things I’ve ever sewn

Heel

Heel

Unfortunately there are two problems.  The first is that I used the leftover felted sweater scraps from the great stocking project of aught-eight for the sole and foot bed and while the foot bed is darling the heel is a very fuzzy brown that resembles a skinned teddy bear and doesn’t quite match the sweetness of the upper.  On the plus size, that’s an easy enough problem to remedy since the sole is hand stitched on in the final step.  This is also a huge bonus if I wear through them.  The other, more dire issue, is that even though I made the largest size, a nine/ten, and I am a nine they are pretty snug.

Sweet!

Sweet!

I really, really enjoyed making these.  As they started to take a 3-D shape I totally felt like a Daniel Day-Lewis-style cobbler.  Plus they only took around two hours – way less commitment than knitting a new pair.

I’m leaving for my big trip in less than a month and while I’m still freaking about squirrelling away money for hotels, meals and spending I am really getting excited.  Especially since I was researching yarn stores in Seattle last night and discovered that Cookie A is giving a sock design class when I am there.  Robyn is calling today to try to get me in and I am praying that it’s not full like her class earlier in the day at another shop.  Wish me luck!

I am off to work so all you lucky Americans please have some shortcake and iced tea for me.

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I kept true to my vow of more sewing with a project that’s been popping up everywhere; the Summer Blouse from Heather Ross’s amazing Weekend Sewing that I treated myself to a few weeks ago.

Such a romantic setting

Such a romantic setting

Pros:

  • It’s very comfy.  Michelle and Alex gave me this fabric for my birthday last year and it’s got a nice stretch.
  • Even though I worked on this obsessively yesterday I really took my time with the details and redid things if they looked crappy contrary to my usual slovenly process.
  • There are no collars or buttonholes or many other little details to slow you down.

    Im laughing at Bowie sticking his head in a drainpipe.

    I'm laughing at Bowie sticking his head in a drainpipe.

Cons:

  • The print is a bit much here, I think.
  • Despite my best efforts at taking my time, my machine was stitching a little wonky and I only had dark brown thread so it still looks a little amateurish.  C’est la vie I guess.
  • The pattern needed a lot of mods to look decent on me and would need a lot more to be super wearable.  The sleeves are freakishly long, the body is pretty short and wide and the neck is really high.  I redid the sleeve hem a few times, eventually cutting off about an inch and a half and doing a wide hem and they’re still long.  I have them rolled up three or four times here.  I ended up unpicking the wide hem recommended in the pattern and doing a very narrow hem to make it an acceptable length but next time I would add at least another two inches.  The original neckline looked crappy on me so I simply used my french curve to cut a scooped line and reattached some of the bias binding.  This would have been a major headache if there was a collar.
  • The contrasting bias binding took me hours.  I hate making my own bias binding.

In conclusion:

  • I don’t think I would make this again because it’s not very flattering on me but if I did I think I would splurge and by a cute Liberty Tana Lawn print like the one used in the book, or this adorable one model Jess Yarnmonster used or this one that I’ve been coveting like crazy.  I used to think Liberty prints were very Laura Ashley circa 1992 but I’m definitely coming around.

On the stupid snow day we were kind of bored with (luckily) no where to go so we made our own fun and peppermint patties.  I printed this recipe off something like seven years ago and just never got around to making them.  I’m simultaneously kicking myself for neglecting it and thankful that I haven’t been gorging on these for all those years.

First you make the sticky, messy peppermint filling and cut it into rounds.

Mess central

Mess central

Then you melt some chocolate chips and dip them in.  We were knee deep in melted chocolate so there are no pictures of this step but through the magic of the internets voila!

Mmmmmmm

Mmmmmmm

They are a bit rich and sweet but that’s fine by me because it prevented me from stuffing my face with them.

Also!  Another important food update!  A while back I asked for your best pizza crust recipes.  I got very few responses so I’m guessing you either buy it premade or are on the hunt too.  Hunt no more!  This crust from Pizzaria Bianco is so amazing.  It’s also in this month’s Martha Stewart Living.  Here it is as a tart base with blue cheese, apples and walnuts.  I seem to make the best meals when I have four things left in the fridge.

See how golden?

See how golden?

I also love how it makes four crusts so you pop three in the freezer and have some super quick meals in your future.

In non-food news I’m trying to get back on the sewing train.  I’ve been a bit blocked by the (totally unfounded) feeling that I have no workable fabric and the (completely valid) terror that I will run out of notions when there is no fabric store within two hours of here that I know of.

I started out nice and slow with some easy peasy cafe curtains to block Bowie’s view of our neighbour’s dog taking a crap in our front yard and flying into a fit of excitement.

Look ma no snow!

Look ma no snow!

The fabric is Branching Out by Anna Maria Horner and when I received it I hated it. The colour is just off somehow.  Online it’s very pretty but in real life it’s got a taupiness or something that is a little weird.  Plus, it had a hole right in the middle of my piece.  Fabric.com was very good with replacing it but now I had five yards of this.  Here in smaller doses I don’t totally loathe it, though.

I’m in a salty mood so I’ll keep this brief.

1)  Today is May 15th.  I should have asked Bowie to hold up a newspaper but here are some photos from ten minutes ago.

WTF?

WTF?

No seriously - WTF!?!?

No seriously - WTF!?!?

The good news: I don’t have to go to work because school was cancelled.  The bad news: the apocalypse is upon us.

2) I ran out of recycled yarn.

Pioneer interuppted

Pioneer interrupted

Awesome Ravelry user ilovemath has come to the rescue, luckily.

I’ll be in the kitchen eating my feelings.

The Lace Ribbon Scarf is finished and contrary to every other scarf I’ve ever made it’s looooong.

Thats 94 inches of lace my friends

That's 94 inches of lace my friends

Once I had memorized the pattern it was actually a pretty enjoyable knit.  The Artfibers Hana is lovely but man did it bleed when I soaked it!

Springy!

Springy!

I took some modelled shots but I scrapped them because to be honest I’m getting sick of seeing photos of my newly acquired double chin.  This has also led me to wander away from 365 already.  I miss the unintentional exercise that living in a city and not owning a car brings.  I also really need to curb the boredom-induced baking and snacking but it’s a tough habit to break (especially when I enjoy sweets so much).  Gah!  Thanks for listening to my moaning!

The grocery store here is closed on Sundays but yesterday I found myself running a little low on supplies but still needing to make a meal.  As I’ve mentioned before, my self-generated recipes mostly fall neatly in the dud category so I am both intrigued and repelled by the idea of not using a recipe. It would seem, however that I’m on a bit of a roll because this tart was super delicious.

Why yes that is a huge slice

Why yes that is a huge slice

It would be perfect for a holiday brunch.  I know most people don’t have smoked cheddar hanging around their fridge but I had a tiny piece left over from an easter recipe so I threw it on top.  It adds a bacon-y smell and flavour that is totally amazing.  But really if you don’t have it I’m sure this would still be great.  I used a 9 inch round cake pan because I don’t have a tart pan.  If you do have a tart pan you may need to shorten the cooking time a bit.  As always please do let me know if you try it!


Whole Wheat Crust

1 cup all purpose flour

6 tbsp whole wheat flour

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp sugar

1/4 cup butter

5 tbsp ice water


Combine dry ingredients.  Cut in butter to form course meal.  Mix in water until just combined.  Form a disk and wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Roll dough into a circle slightly larger than your pan.  Slide onto pan, form a double crust and crimp edges.  Prick bottom, fill with pie weights (I use dried beans) and bake for 15 minutes.  Allow to cool.

Filling

2 potatoes, sliced into 1 cm. disks

salt to taste

pepper to taste

1 tbsp olive oil

1 cup feta

4 eggs

1 cup milk

1/4 tsp cayenne

dash nutmeg

1 package frozen spinach thawed and drained

1/8 cup smoked cheddar

1/8 cup sharp cheddar

Preheat over to 350 degrees.  Boil potato slices in salted water until just tender.  Drain and toss slices with olive oil, salt and pepper.  Layer on bottom of pre-baked pie crust.  Sprinkle with even layer of feta.  Beat eggs and whisk in milk, additional salt and pepper, cayenne, nutmeg and spinach.  Pour over potatoes in crust.  Bake for 30-40 minutes or until centre is firm.  Remove from oven and sprinkle with smoked and sharp cheddar.  Return to oven and cook until cheeses are melted and slightly brown. Serve with sour cream.