A Vintage Rabbit Fur

16 Sep

I’ve recently amassed a collection of  vintage coats. Living in a temperate climate, I feel quite justified in doing so. Coats are such necessities in winter. Everything that you wear next to your body remains unseen save for your coat. A beautiful coat and a pair of beautiful boots are absolutely indispensable for a lady. And because that’s what most people will see of you in winter, that’s all the excuse a lady needs to have more than just one.

A recent audit brings my coat count to 6 coats-all vintage or preloved save one, which came from Malaysia, bought before I first moved here. My most recent acquisition came from the Adelaide Vintage Fair last week. I found this beautiful vintage rabbit fur coat on a rack and tried it on…and loved it!

Vintage Rabbit Fur

The previous owner told me it belonged to her mother-in-law and was made in the 50s, but despite that it is in beautiful condition inside and out. The fur doesn’t even need to be dry-cleaned-it smells beautifully fresh. The lining has no tears or holes in it, and it fits perfectly. It’s very hard to get real fur nowadays, and they are up in the thousands of dollars. I kept stroking it and tried it on and Wyld Man said I should get it. So I did. I felt so glamorous when I tried it on. But it’s such a pity the whether is warming up now and I won’t have an excuse to put it on!

Here’s a back view.

Back view

When I first touched it I could feel the difference between it and an acrylic fur-it’s beautifully silky and warms you up immediately when it’s on. And real fur almost always has piecing because you don’t really get large hides from small animals. So this really was the genuine article.

I also came across a genuine Louis Vuiton bag in good condition for $50, but decided against getting it. There was a lady across the table who had been ignoring the bag, but started looking at it when I picked it up, and the minute I put it down, she snatched it up and bought it. I think she might have been afraid that I would pick it up again. I don’t know if carrying a monogrammed portmanteau is really my style, even if I could have gotten a good bargain, so it wasn’t a great loss for me.

The North Adelaide Vintage Fair is held fortnightly on the second and fourth Sunday each month from 9am to 4pm at the Estonion House on Jeffcott St, North Adelaide.  Lot’s of interesting things there to see and buy.

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Vanilla Slice

2 Sep

Some time ago my lovely friend Bethany came for dinner and brought dessert. It was the beginning of an era-of vanilla slice. It was so delicious I stole 3 slices out of the fridge everyday while it lasted. And then I dreamed about it. And then I asked her for the recipe. I would have given a kingdom for that recipe. I worked up the courage to make it after a week or two of holding back-fearing it would not compare to hers. But made it I did, and several times over several weeks. And it was amazingly good.  The original recipe called for 1/3 cup of custard powder-however, I was concerned about the food colouring, so I made some changes. I substituted the custard powder for cornflour and egg yolks. The only difference between the two is that the recipe with custard powder produces a custard that sets more firmly. But this one still tastes pretty darned good. Below is a photo tutorial of how I make it.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups milk (500ml)
  • 1/2 cups caster sugar
  • 1/2 cup cornflour
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 4 egg yolks (700g egg)
  • 300ml thickened cream
  • 1 sachet/2 tablespoons gelatine powder
  • 1/3 cup boiling water
  • 2 puff pastry sheets
  • icing sugar
  • desiccated coconut
  • baking paper
  • 9 x 13 x 1 inch jelly roll pan
  • 2 baking trays

Makes 8-10 serves and for one jelly roll pan.

First preheat your oven to 200 degrees Celsius and line the pans and the baking trays with baking paper.

Line the pans with baking paper

Make sure that the paper is longer on the sides of the jelly roll pan-you don’t want the custard to flow under the paper.

Put the pastry sheets on the lined baking tray and prick well with fork.

Lay the pastry sheets and prick with a fork

This ensures that the pastry does not get too puffed up-you want it relatively flat.

Cook in the oven for 10 minutes-do not burn. You want it cooked but still pale  golden and not brown.

While the pastry is cooking, we’ll make the custard.

Measure out 1/2 cup of caster sugar

Then add…

1/2 cornflour

Now the…

2 cups of milk

Whisk the mixture over low heat.

Whisk whisk

Stir constantly. You’ll know it’s starting to cook once you meet some resistance. When it starts to gently bubble, keep cooking for 1 minute, then turn the heat off and continue to whisk till smooth.

Stir in the sachet of gelatine into 1/3 cup of boiling water till dissolved.

Stirring the gelatine into the custard

Make sure the gelatine is evenly distributed into the custard.

Now we add the vanilla extract.

Stir one tablespoon of vanilla extract into the custard. Very thoroughly.

I loooooooove vanilla.

Separate the yolks and beat. And then…

Stir the beaten yolks into the custard

Beat briskly.  Your custard will start looking like the store-bought one. Like this. However, be careful not to beat in the egg yolks while the custard is still hot-you don’t want the eggs to curdle.  Drip the yolks in bit by bit and whisk constantly.

Custard is nearly ready

Tastes delish at this point. People will start licking the stirring spoon at this point. Do not let it out of your sight! And don’t finish it by yourself!

Time to add the heavy cream.

Stir in the heavy cream.

I think it is possible to omit the cream if you don’t want it too heavy. Your custard will probably set a lot better and not be too squishy. But I haven’t tried it yet. I like decadence. In the form of heavy cream. Low-fat be damned!

It’s time to get back to the pastry sheets. Trim them to fit the pan, and put one layer in. Like this.

One down. One more to go.

Pour in the custard over the pastry.

Yummy custard filling

And then put the other pastry sheet, trimmed of course, over the custard.

Sprinkle LIBERALLY with icing sugar and desiccated coconut.

It's done! It's done!

NOT.

Chill overnight in the fridge. But I like to cheat. I put it in the freezer for 3-4 hours. This sets it hard enough to cut into slices.

And tada!!!

Food for the gods

I love vanilla slice. And so does Wyld Man. Thanks Bethany!

Vanilla Slice Recipe

  • 2 cups milk (500ml)
  • 1/2 cups caster sugar
  • 1/2 cup cornflour
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 4 egg yolks (700g egg)
  • 300ml thickened cream
  • 1 sachet/2 tablespoons gelatine powder
  • 1/3 cup boiling water
  • 2 puff pastry sheets
  • icing sugar
  • desiccated coconut
  • baking paper
  • 9 x 13 x 1 inch jelly roll pan
  • 2 baking trays

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celsius. Line 2 baking trays with baking paper. Lay pastry sheets on and prick well with fork. Cook for 10 minutes till lightly golden. Remove and let cool.
  2. Mix caster sugar, milk and cornflour thoroughly over low heat, stir constantly till it bubbles slightly. Cook for 1 minute then remove and continue stirring till cool.
  3. In another bowl, dissolve the gelatine in 1/3 cup of boiling water, and stir thoroughly into custard.
  4. Stir vanilla extract into custard, whisking briskly.
  5. Separate the yolks, beat, and stir into cooled custard.
  6. Trim the pastry sheets to fit the lined jelly roll pan and pour custard over one layer. Cover with the remaining pastry sheet.
  7. Sprinkly liberally with icing sugar and desiccated coconut.
  8. Refrigerate overnight or freeze for 3-4 hours. Cut into slices and serve.

**Update: I’ve found that using 2/3 cup of cornflour, and beating the egg yolks gradually while the pot is still on the stove and hot helps it set better. And a tiny bit more gelatine too.

White Nursing Cocktail Dress

17 Aug

Some time ago I went to Munno Para Spotlight with a friend and picked up a lovely fabric for 6 dollars a metre. It was a polyester spandex fabric with an off white background with sketchy black roses. I fell in love with the fabric and decided to make a dress with it for a wedding that I was to attend-which was last weekend. I wanted to make a cocktail dress, but had to think long and hard about what design would suit the fabric, keeping in mind that I also wanted to be able to breastfeed in it.  I decided to make a dress of this design.

Nursing Cocktail dress

The dress was to have an empire waist, princess seams, a crossover front with gathers, within which there was to be a hidden opening for nursing access.

Because this was a woven material with a tiny bit of stretch, but I wanted a form fitting dress, I decided it would be a good time to take my Gladwrap pattern and use that to make the pattern of this dress.

Gladwrap pattern

I traced around onto a new sheet of paper and cleaned up the lines. I made two test garments before I was satisfied with it. This was the finished pattern.

Gladwrap sloper

I discovered that I have a swayback, and forward shoulder. A swayback is when a person’s back curves inward more than usual, requiring a deeper dart in the back waist.

I wanted a dress that was fully lined, with a combined arm and neck facing. Here are my pattern pieces and fabric all cut out.

Pattern and fabric pieces

Above you can see the facing pieces has already been interfaced-I block fused the interfacing to the fabric before cutting it out. I used a fusible warp-knit interfacing which was really light, had some stretch, and was almost plush on the non-fusible side. It was perfect for this fabric-I also tried it on a twill and a crepe and it still draped beautifully without changing the hand of the fabric.

Warp-knt interfacing

I also interfaced the front bust crossover pieces, as it needed some structure and stabilizing for the nursing access. I marked the bust point on the piece and slashed it to 3 cm above and then overlocked the slash-like this.

Nursing access

I was also careful to mark all the important points with either notches or tailors tacks. The blue thread you see above marked the triple folds on the bust piece. The folds were done in such a way that it hid the nursing access in a pleat-see below.

Front shoulder and bust panels joined

Here I’ve made the folds in the shoulder piece and joined it to the bust panel. These need to be joined to the back shoulder panels. Then I stitch all the princess seams in the front and back but do not join them to the top panels yet as I need to stitch in the neck facing and lining first.

Front princess seams

Bust and shoulder panels

Next I work on the facing and lining pieces, joining them all together except at the side seams.

Facing and lining pieces

Here the join at the  neckline facing and lining get a little tricky. If you look closely, I made a slit in the center top on the front lining, thinking that it would be necessary to accomodate the crossover at the bust. I found later that the slit wasn’t necessary at all.

Next I joined the neckline facing to the front bust panels.

Joining the front to the facing

I graded the seam allowance to reduce bulk, then turned and understitched the facing and seam allowances together. After this, I sewed the bust panels to the princess panels, and then all the side seams.

I marked the nursing slit length on the lining and opened it up.

Nursing access in the lining

Here I inserted an invisible zipper, sandwiching the zipper between the right sides of the lining and the shell, and handbasting first. I don’t think its the correct way to insert an invisible zipper into a garment with the lining, as the zipper can get caught in the lining. I had to redo the zipper twice before I was satisfied with it. Next time I’ll set the lining away fron the zipper.

I had left the armhole edges on both the lining and the shell raw, so I did a rolled hem on the armhole  shell with black thread. I overlocked the lining armhole, and used the overlocker to cut away 1cm all around the armhole so that the lining wouldn’t show.

I did a rolled hem with a narrow hemmer on my machine for the hem. For the lining hem, I overlocked the edges to trim away any longerbits, and then I sewed some lace for a couture touch. I love that only I know that it’s there.

Lace on the lining hem

And finally….

Here’s a back view.

It looks a bit rumpled because it just travelled to Melbourne and back again. I wore it almost the whole day at my friend’s wedding.

Here’s a view of the nursing access.

Hidden nursing access.

The dress was an amazing fit. Using the Gladwrap to make a personal sloper is a fantastic idea. No need to keep making fitting changes or multiple test garments. I highly recommend making one.

Here’s a final picture of me at Claudia and Kaiwin’s wedding.

Silvia, Manchee, Claudia, me, and Chok Fung

Edited on 1/12/2014: I’ve published maternity and nursing patterns on Craftsy! Be sure to check them out!

Yellow Nursing Top

28 Jul

A few months ago I bought some yellow jersey material from an op shop. It was a very pretty yellow, just my colour. I make it a policy to snap up knit fabrics if I see them in opshops as knits are quite pricey compared to wovens. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with it then, but a few days ago I thought that I should start drafting patterns for knits. And I’ve been wanting a top for nursing-ones that have discreet access for breastfeeding. I came up with this design.

Design idea

It was to have an empire waistline, a wrap front with bust gathers, and a modesty panel behind with cutouts for nursing (see dotted line and gray shaded area). At first I wanted to make puffed cap sleeves  as in the picture, but when I made my pattern, I forgot and just make short set in sleeves.

I drafted the pattern from scratch using Winifred Aldrich’s close fitting jersey bodice block.

It's the one on the far left

I chose the option with greater ease (Aldrich gives you instructions for close fitting with maximum stretch, and another with more ease for less flexible material).

My personal jersey clost fit block with sleeve

I took some pictures of the drafting and pattern manipulating processes- but stopped halfway because the pictures weren’t that good. Here are some of them.

The back and the modesty panel for the front

This is the wrap front-I'm correcting the gape by slashing the neckline and pivoting it

That’s all I have of the drafting. I WILL take more organised pictures in the future…

Anyways,  that was a few days ago and I didn’t get to put the whole thing together till today. This is how it looks like.

Front view

Back view

That’s an awful lot of wrinkles. Methinks I have to do a narrow back adjustment, a swayback adjustment, and a forward shoulder adjustment. Or maybe it’s the way I’m standing.

Closeup

Below you’ll see how it functions as a nursing top.

Discreet nursing access

Instead of pulling the top up for feeding, this top provides full coverage.

I’m really happy with the way this top turned out-it looks completely store bought. It’s not my first time sewing a knit top, but it was the most successful. This was because I used  tricot knit interfacing strips to stabilise the necklines and armholes to keep them from stretching out of shape.

If anybody is interested, I can draft a custom nursing top pattern based on this or make you one. Just email me.

Quick Pencil Skirt

16 Jul

On Monday I bought a 2-metre piece of twill fabric at the opshop for 2 dollars. I knew that it was perfect winter skirt material. I planned to make a Vogue inspired skirt out of it, and after cutting it out, I found that I still had enough left for another skirt. This post will be about that skirt which I knocked up on the fly yesterday.

I wanted a quick pencil skirt with a slit-no zippers or closures-something with a stretch waistband that I can wear whether pregnant or not. I had some black stretch fabric lying around that I had bought from some opshop in some distant past, and some grey lining material that I was given. I quickly measured my waist and my hips-33″ and 38″. It is depressing to realise  that I’ll never be a 24″ again.

My plan was to just measure and cut on the cloth without any pattern. I wanted a rectangle of black stretch fabric about 3/4 of my waist measurement for the waistband, about 6 inches high and doubled over for strength and stability as per diagram below.

The blueprint

The waistband would go from my natural waist to my hipline, and the twill fabric panels will start from the hip. That way I needn’t add darts for the lower panels, since it would fit over the widest part of my hips without any closures. The lower panels are cut simply-my hips were 36+2 inches wearing ease=38″, so the front panel was 19″ wide with half inch seam allowances, and the back panels 9.5″ with seam allowances. The front and back panels taper downwards to 17inches and 8.5 inches in width respectively. The back panels I added about 1.5 inches in width starting from the middle centre back line for a split.

The cut pieces

I also cut a lining from the above twill fabric pieces.

Cutting into the lining

See Ma! No pins! I was really doing this on the fly. I was more excited about this skirt than the Vogue inspired one now-even though that one is all cut out.

First thing was to overlock all the edges.Most sewing machines have an overcasting stitch if you don’t have an overlocker, although if you do plan on sewing garments, you can’t beat an overlocker for a professional finish. I love mine.

To make the waistband, join the shortest edges of the two pieces together and form a tube. Use a narrow zigzag stitch, or overlock.

Form a tube with the stretch fabric

Fold the tube in half lengthwise, so that you have a double layer going all around your waist.

Waistband doubled up

The back slit needs to be done first. I neglected to take pictures-but here’s a walkthrough. Sew down the back seam as usual, but at the start of the outside corner, change the stitches to the largest straight stitch. Press open, and sew around the slit. Use a seam ripper and unpick the large stitchs up to the outside corner where the slit starts.

Now it’s just the simple matter of joining the two side seams together.

Repeat the whole process with the lining.

Attach the skirt to the waistband-pin at quarterly intervals, and stretch the waistband to fit the skirt as you sew. Use a narrow zigzag stitch. Now attach the lining with the same process, just be sure that the right side of the lining faces the inside. Use a blindhem stitch to hem the skirt and the lining, making sure that the lining is hemmed higher so that you don’t see the lining from the outside. Handsew the lining slit to the skirt slit.

Quick pencil skirt

Back view

Hmm..I didn’t do a very good job on the pressing. But I guess it’s not wool, since it didn’t shrink when I steamed it, and it’s not wrinkle resistant.

Closeup view

All in all, I’m very pleased with this skirt. It was a very quick job, and I spent only a dollar on the material. It will always fit me, and the pencil skirt is very flattering. It is also great for maternity wear too!

Go home and make one today!

Opshop Finds On My Birthday

13 Jul

Yesterday I turned 26. It doesn’t feel like another year has passed and that I’m a year older and only four more years away from the big three-O. In my head I still feel like a giddy 18-year-old. We had a quiet celebration with the family on Sunday night. The Wednesday before, Wyld Man and I had a special night out to celebrate both our birthdays-we’re both July babies. I got a Mileni bag as a present from the family, as well as a gift card at Suzannegrae.

Mileni bag

It’s a huge bag-I carried it around yesterday with one of the compartments with my stuff, and the other half with William’s stuff-nappy, squirt bottle, a bottle of water, nappy change mat, bib, hanky and a stuffed toy!

Anyways, yesterday morning I caught up with a playgroup mummy and she brought me to her favourite opshop! It’s run by the Uniting Church and is quite small, but I still managed to bag quite a haul. I got a few things for myself…

Opshop outfit

The tan crossover top was AUD1.75,  and the angora wool skirt was AUD3.  I especially love the skirt, with is a thick stretchy knit, quite warm and perfect for winter outfits. The only thing is that with tights, it tends to ride up unless I make a lining for it, which I shall.

I also got myself a couple of belts for 50cents each-I keep wearing mine out.

I got William a few things-lots of bibs and some little outfits like…

Marks and Spencer red striped 2 set

…for AUD3. And a couple of Wondersuits…

Wondersuits

…for a dollar each.

I also picked up 2 metres of a lovely winter weight wool twill.

Twill fabric

I’m in the middle of cutting it out for a skirt. I’ve decided to make another Vogue 8426-inspired skirt.

When I came home later that day, I had this given to me.

My Little Wyld Man's card for me

He’d even signed it!

Signed by William

Isn’t it the cutest little scribble ever?

And this was his and daddy’s present to me.

365 Day Cookbook

A friend on Facebook reminded me of how blessed I was to have my very own knight and prince.*Sigh*. Happy.

Custom Fit by Glad Wrap

7 Jul

Disclaimer: This Is Not A Glad Wrap Ad

I had a very productive day today. Did some laundry, some ironing, some tidying…and some gladwrapping. What did I gladwrap? Me. You see, in the sewing world, it is very useful to have dressforms to pin things on because you want to test the fit and hang of a garment. However, dressforms are very expensive, and sewing test garments all the time is rather time-consuming. The answer? Gladwrap yourself. The idea is to wrap yourself up in glad wrap with a few layers, mark the seam lines and darts and centre lines, cut off the wrap, lay it flat , and then use that as YOUR pattern for making garments to your measurements. So much faster. So that was what I’ve been up to today. I made a friend online who does patternmaking at TAFE, and we made a date to gladwrap ourselves today. So Mandy came over and we set to work. I came across this idea here.

Here’s a walkthrough: You need Gladwrap or any sort of clingwrap, a tight t-shirt, a permanent marker pen, scissors, brown tape, string and a patient friend.

Tape the waistline

I tied some string around my natural waist and used packing tape on it.

Mark the centre front line with tape

Sorry for the fuzzy picture. The centre front needs to be marked with tape. Same with the back.

Back centre line

Start wrapping around the whole body down to the hip and over the neck and shoulders till you get this.

Gladwrapped

Mark the bust points, the centre front and back lines…

Centre back line

Ignore the diamond shape lines on the back-they are supposed to be straight lines from the shoulder blades down to about 5 inches below the hipline.

Mark the shoulder seams, the neckline, the side seams and the armhole. Tape all of the above.

Mark the darts from the bustpoints straight down to about 5 inches below the hipline.

Like this

I’m feeling like I’m in a funky disco costume. But I can’t dance coz it’s too tight.

Here’s another view

Now we’re ready to get out of this …thing…

Cut cut cut

Cut down the centre front line-or the back centre line. Doesn’t really matter.

And voila!

Mini Me!

That’s an exact replica of my body shape which I will cut up into flat pieces to make body fitting dress patterns.

Here is the thing sawn in half

To make the patterns, the body wrap form must be cut into flat pieces. Cut along the waistline, the neck line, the shoulder and the side seams and you will get this.

Upper bodice and lower bodice pieces

Now I will proceed to slash the darts-this makes the pieces flat. If there is still some 3-D shape to the wrap, you will need to add more darts, or deepen the dart slash to flattern it. We found that because there was so  many layers of wrap, it was a little hard to ascertain that the pattern lay completely flat.

Slashed darts

The darts that were drawn in as straightlines at the back and the front has to be slashed open till the pattern lies flat like the above picture. Then lay in on a wide piece of paper and trace around. This is what you’ll get.

Personal block

Bear in mind that you can’t make a dress with the pattern here-it has no seam allowance, no ease. You can’t really move or breathe in this, unless it was a stretch material.

We actually made two wraps, and the one shown here is the first one. The first one had more layers on it, and therefore more stable and didn’t warp afterwards. The second one we didn’t use as many layers, so it’s starting to come apart-the gladwrap wasn’t as sticky as we’d thought it’d be. So if anyone attempts it, wrap at least 10 layers evenly all over the body.

I’m actually a little puzzled as to how the skirt block turned out. The front dart hardly opens, and the back dart looks odd. Also, I didn’t expect the armhole to look so….angular. Hmm. Well I’ll need to grade it up one size and make up a test garment to see how it’ll look. Stay tuned!

Edited on 1/12/2014: I’ve published maternity and nursing patterns on Craftsy! Be sure to check them out!

Homemade Curry Pizza

5 Jul

As a child and into my teens, I had loved pizza. Going to Pizza Hut in Malaysia was always a treat, and not one that happened very often. When I came here, Wyld Man and I sometimes ordered pizza from Domino’s and Pizza Hut, and sometimes we were fortunate enough to be at his mum’s while she was making pizza and we’d get invited to stay for dinner. However, ordering takeaway pizza, with extra toppings like jalapeno peppers (Wyld Man introduced me to its delicious heat and I’ve never looked back) for two people can get expensive pretty quickly, even with coupons. Wyld Man and I figured out that for the $4 extra we pay to add jalapenos on both of our pizzas it was cheaper to buy a jar at the store and put in on ourselves. And then I took the next step. I started making my own for a lot less, and I get to put whatever I want on it, however much I want. And it tastes better too! So I’ve been making pizzas for at least 5 Saturdays now.

The other night the boys had a gamer’s night and I made three pizzas to go around.I used a store-bought base, with canned herbed diced tomatoes, italian herb mix, and a secret ingredient. Curry powder. I had initially started with a basic tomato sauce base, but then there was one time that I was daring and thought I’d just throw some curry mix I had on hand on to the base. Wyld Man raved about it and now every pizza I make has curry in it.

This is what I used.

Ingredients

  • Cup Mushrooms
  • Diced canned tomatoes
  • Canned pinaepple pieces
  • Olives
  • Pickled hot peppers
  • Curry Powder
  • Italian herbs
  • Ham
  • Tabasco Sauce (I used Nzir chili sauce to substitute)
  • Grated cheddar and mozarella cheese and a store-bought pizza base

Ready made pizza base

I’m too lazy to roll dough-but I should. It’s cheaper. And would probably taste better too, once I get the hang of it.

First step, the diced tomatoes goes on.

Ardmona Rich and Thick Chopped Tomatoes with Mixed Herbs

In a pinch, you can use any canned tomatoes. But nothing too watery though. Spread about 2 heaping tablespoons onto the base.

Tomato spread

I usually score the pizza base into 6 segments because cutting a baked pizza without a pizza cutter can get frustrating. Pre-scoring the base saves me some headache. Oops- need to preheat the oven first. 200 degrees Celsius.

Next comes the Italian Mixed Herbs. Give a very generous sprinkle.

Big dash of herbs

Then, the curry. I had this on hand.

Karachi Chicken Masala

Substitute with whatever curry spice you have on hand.

Be very, very generous.

Sprinkle on some cheese at this point. When it melts, it will hold on to the toppings above. Otherwise, you’ll find the toppings slipping off.

Slight sprinkle of cheese

If I had tabasco sauce, I would put in at this point. But I only had Nazir’s.

Nazir's Chili Sauce

Slice some mushrooms..

Sliced cup mushrooms

…and some ham…

Sliced ham

…and sprinkle on the pizza…like this…

Attack of the Giant Mushrooms

Next, some olives to fill in the gaps.

Getting there...

There are olives, and there are olives. I bought homebrand once, and they were completely tasteless. These are so much better.

And then comes the pineapple.

Golden Circle Pineapple pieces

Pizza is never complete without some hot stuff. I usually use jalapeno peppers, but ran out. So I used…

Hoyts Hot Peppers

…instead. They are huge…

Big bad peppers

..so we do the chop chop…

Chopped wimpy peppers

Sprinkle randomly on pizza…

Pizza coming along nicely

Big dollop of mozarella and cheddar…

Cheese cheese

One last sprinkle of Italian herbs and curry powder…

And into the oven we go!

Lower oven temp to 180 degrees Celsius, set timer for 15 minutes. If you have a temperamental electric oven like me, and are using two trays at different levels, switch the trays after 15 minutes and leave for another 10 minutes.

The perfect homemade junk food.

Seriously yummy. Can’t wait for Saturday!

Vogue Skirt-Check.

24 Jun

Vogue 8246

I’ve spent the last 3 days making that Vogue 8426 -inspired skirt I blogged about on the previous post and took pictures today. From the start to finish, I told myself that it was going to be a mock-up/test garment/muslin instead of the real thing in order to test the fit of my drafting, and then to later make other versions of it if it was successful. However, I also wanted to make it a wearable muslin. I was quite determined to use fabric from my stash, and only to buy little incidentals like zippers if absolutely necessary. The path to the  end was frought with mishaps, with me miscutting the front centre piece NOT on the fold, and having to piece another bit of fabric to make up for it, then I discovered a hole in the skirt fabric, then after that, I couldnt’ insert the lapped zipper properly. Also, this was my first time inserting corded piping, so the results aren’t as uniform as it should be.

After reading about SewVeryPrairies’ skirt here, I thought and thought about how to draft the skirt. The front of the skirt was quite easy to draft. It was the back which had me puzzled for a bit. The bum-hugging shaping of the back of skirt has to be built into the 3 seams at the back, which ends in inverted pleats. This was what I came up with.

drafts and doodles...

It was quite successful-although for the skirt to hug the bum even more, I’d have to curve in the seams even more inwards. But I’m quite happy with my skirt as it is.

The materials I used were a dark grey crepe material, a silvery rayon? fabric, and bemberg lining.

Fabrics

Here are the pattern pieces laid out on fashion fabric ready to be all cut out.

Ready to cut.

I wanted my skirt to have piping details in the lower waist seams and on the side, but didn’t want to buy ready made piping-so I made my own. I started by cutting 1-inch wide bias strips with the grey fashion fabric.

Bias strips

Instead of buying cord for the piping, I used some regular knitting yarn.

Knitting yarn.

I used a zipper foot to sew the yarn into the piping.

Handmade corded piping

I was too lazy to take pictures of the process in between. But here are the photos of the finished project.

Front view

Back View

Side View

Closeup

The whole project cost me nothing-I used everything out of my stash, most of which came from opshops.

Not too bad for a mock-up. I’ll be making more soon.

My little man was very good-he just smiled at me from his little rocker as I hammer away on my sewing machine. How lucky am I?

Pencil Skirt-Vogue 8426

10 Jun

I have an itch to scratch. I want to sew. Want. Want. Want. I want need more winter skirts. Skirts in sturdy, thick tweeds and houndstooth. Pencil skirts. Skirts like these.

Gray high waisted pencil skirt

But I started having serious skirt envy when I saw this.

Vogue 8426 by Sew Very Prairie

Sew Very Prairie is a sewist/blogger who made this skirt for her boyfriend’s mum. What a sure-fire way to win over your mother-in law. Visit her blog for some sewing inspiration. She has made some amazing garments.

Back view

I didn’t think much of the pattern based on the envelope cover below. But made up in real life it looks stunning.

Vogue 8246 illustration

Here’s another view og the skirt.

Sew Very Prairie

I just loooove loove this skirt. It would go with just about anything. I love the seam details and the kick pleat in the back. So slimming. I would draft it myself though.  Vogue patterns can be very dear and upwards of USD15. And I do so enjoy the drafting process.

Sometimes I get an idea in my head that I just can’t stop thinking of. When I do get one, like when I did for my white jacket (which was a wadder), I become a bit obsessed with making it and finishing it. I’ve just realised how few skirts I have that would go with a big oversized jumper on the top. I do have quite a few skirts, but the suitable ones are denim and too casual, and the others are too light and print-y for spring. Some are too long and paired with an oversized jumper would look too frumpy-and I hate frumpy. And so does Wyld Man.

With the Little Wyld Man around though, it’s been a little bit hard to find the time to sew, and I need a longer stretch of time at the sewing machine. I need my sewing mojo. Where is it when you need it?