Archive | August 2013

Tasty but not so pretty macaroons

One of my Make and Do aims for 2013 was to learn to make macaroons. I absolutely love them and always treat myself to some when I go to Westfield in Stratford. This is my first attempted and I followed this recipe, the recipe was nice and easy to follow and I did all the steps including banging to make the foot.

Here is my first batch:

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And from the side:

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I used pink food colouring (not that you can tell) and strawberry flavouring…and I have to say they taste delicious, unfortunately they just are not very pretty. One of the things I love about macaroons is the prettiness of them and the bright colours, how has mine turned out orange? I then decided to give it another go:

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I think these were a little more successful, they are much smoother on top but still look orange despite the pink food colouring. I am using a gel based colour and the mixture looked lovely and pink:

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I did the icing vanilla flavour and it goes beautifully with the strawberry of the macaroon, so really it is just the colouring I’m not so happy about. I am not going to tick the macaroons off my make and do aims yet because i really want them to be pretty as well as tasty…does anyone have any advice about the colouring?

P is for Power Girl

My aim of getting three letters on the superheroes alphabet sampler is now two thirds complete because today I completed my second letter, her she is…power girl:

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I also took a step towards completing on of my now craft Make and Do aims for 2013, I attended my first swimming lesson. I have signed up for the 12 week course for nervous swimmers so hopefully I’ll be able to look back on 2013 as the year I finally learnt to swim!

Paperdolls – Nearly a Year On

Back in September last year I started knitting the paperdolls jumper by Kate Davies. I loved the design but wow is it a challenge! My progress on it has slowed down somewhat and the last time I blogged about the jumper was way back in April when I started working on the skirt of the dolls.

I always take the jumper to the knitting group I go to each month but doing the colour work means I only get about two rounds done there, therefore my progress has been very very slow. I have now added a few more rounds to the jumper and this is how it is currently looking:

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Here’s a close up of those pesky dolls, very pretty but very slow going:

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I have now decided that I am going to try and get the jumper finished by the 18th September (this year!), it will then be perfectly completed for the winter and will only of taken a year to get there.

The Flamingo Skater

Since buying the flamingo jersey at the sewing meet-up I have been desperate to make it into a skater dress by kitschy coo. The fabric is just lovely it is ridiculously soft and the pattern has just enough interest without being too crazy to wear for work.

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I couldn’t be happier with the finished result. This is my first ever project with knit fabric and despite some initial handling issues (it is ridiculously easy to unintentionally stretch is as you sew) I was amazed at how straightforward it is and unbelievably quick! The pattern comes with step by step instructions with photos or a short list for more experienced sewists, I’m not embarrassed to admit I needed the full on step by step photos and they helped me tons!

The only alteration I made was shortening the bodice by one inch, the dress sits on your natural waist and is very flattering. I am particularly pleased with the fact my flamingos run in a straight line up and down over the bodice and skirt section:

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And I’m also very happy with how my neck turned out (though I unpicked it once because when I flipped it the first time I had my poor flamingos standing on their heads):

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I choose the three quarter sleeve version and this means I have enough fabric left over to make a top, probably a Renfrew. Now I have finally got around to using knit fabric I can’t believe I waited so long!

Crochet Blanket – Eighteen Stripe

Due to the hot weather my crochet blanket too a bit of a back seat for a while…somehow having all that wool on my lap was more than I could bare. Now that it has cooled down a bit I have picked the blanket up again and added another few stripes. Today I add the eighteen stripe:

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It is actually getting pretty hard to show all of it on one photo, goodness knows how I’ll get the whole thing in when it is finished.

I tried standing on a chair and photographing down onto the bed:

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But it still doesn’t show the whole lot! Hopefully I can continue working on it now the evenings are cooling down and get towards it being finished before the nights get cold.

My Week with The Tiny Seamstress

As you may have realised my blog was somewhat overtaken by the Tiny Seamstress last week, she is my wonderful ten year old niece and every summer holidays we spend a week together. It provides me with the opportunity to spend some time with her and do a variety of different activities that I would never do without her.

Our first day was participating in the Meet-up organised by Claire at Sew,incidentally. I was initially a bit concerned because although we do a craft project each holiday together (last year we fixed up her Ted) it was going to be quite sewing focused and she would be meeting lots of people I (never mind her) had never met before. She was quite unsure to begin with and asked that we went round the fabric shops on our own. I purchased the following three fabrics:

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The top is flamingo jersey, this will become a skater dress, ever since seeing them popping up on a variety of blogs (particularly Lladybird’s) I have been wanting to make one. The other two fabrics I just like, there destiny is yet to be decided. The Tiny Seamstress however came into her own over lunch, she is such a social little thing and was happy chatting away about blogging, sewing and The Apprentice to the people at our table. She also go into the spirit of things with the fabric swap and came away with a variety of fabrics for us to use later in the week. I also came away with a pattern:

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I loved view two (which confusingly is the one on the left) but I’ll have to play with the sizing as it is for a 31inch bust.

On Sunday I arranged for us to do something neither of us had ever done before…we went to a trapeze lesson! It was truly exhilarating, I was very concerned that I would not be able to hold onto the trapeze but I actually managed to do this (filmed by the Tiny Seamstress so please excuse the shakiness):

That’s right, that is me on the trapeze! The Tiny Seamstress was much better though and managed to get caught by another person on the other trapeze. It was amazing and The Tiny Seamstress has already asked her mum if she can have trapeze lessons…the answer was no, and despite my muscle ache for three days following the lesson I would love to do it again!

We also made the clothes together that The Tiny Seamstress has already blogged about, including her Batman Skirt, which I would love to have my own version of.

We then went roller skating on Thursday:

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I haven’t been on skates since I was fifteen (that is now sixteen years ago) and The Tiny Seamstress found it hilarious when I landed on my behind! Finally on Friday we headed up to Lincoln to The Tiny Seamstress’ Nan and Pops (my parents) for a summer party, where she wore the Batman Skirt…it was an exhausting week but I loved it, The Tiny Seamstress is great fun to spend time with, she is a fantastic niece and I feel very lucky to have her in my life!