Thursday 25 April 2019

Joni Dress

With a week off for Easter and some lovely stripy material just waiting for me to do something with it, it was time to have a go at another of Tilly and the Buttons Stretch patterns.  This time I made the Joni Dress.

I did make it a little harder for myself by using a stripy material, but it was still pretty straightforward to make.  I spent an afternoon getting my pattern sorted and cutting out my material, then a day to sew it all together.

The hardest part was the neck line, but I got there in the end.  Matching up the stripes took a little extra time, but was well worth it in the end.  I'd also found some tiny pink buttons in my button jar which were just perfect for a little detail on the arms.
I only wish I'd thought to add pockets when I was putting together the skirt.  Tilly has a blog post about how to do this with any pattern which would have been perfect.

I can't decide if this can be a work dress or not.  The pink stripes are a little sparkly, so it feels like it wants to have more fun than just sit in an office.  I do know that I'd like to have a go at making it as a real party dress with velvet and sequins!  Maybe in time for Christmas?

Saturday 20 April 2019

Gorgeous Cakes - part 28

This week I made an Easter Battenburg and Easter Egg Brownies.  I've not made a round batternburg before - normally they are square, so that was interesting.  It also has ginger conserve between the layers of sponge, which is nice but a little over-powering and sadly no marzipan. 
It should have had almond flakes up the sides, but 'im outdoors doesn't like nuts and would have just picked them off - best not to bother.  
It did sink a little in the middle, but otherwise the sponges seemed to come out well.

I've made the brownie before, although I don't normally bother decorating them - they don't last very long.  It's an excellent recipe and makes a really nice gooey cake, which is exactly how brownies should be.  It should have nuts in, but as I said 'im outdoors doesn't like nuts so I just leave them out.   I'll be interested to see how they last the week.


Wednesday 17 April 2019

Frankie Baseball T-Shirt - amended

A couple of weeks ago I made my first t-shirt using a pattern from Tilly and the Buttons book Stretch!  I was really happy with how it came out but thought the neck was a bit high compared with what I normally wear, so I decided to have a go at modifying the pattern.

I found two t-shirts that I do wear and like, so using some rough paper cut out the new necklines based on them.  I then stapled the paper together and tried it on.  Happy that they worked I traced them onto my material.  I'd accidentally bought too much of this lovely spotty material which meant I could make the two t-shirts at the same time.

It helped that I managed to find a super helpful page all about how to work out the new length of your neckline.  With a little bit of maths I had the perfect length which meant I didn't have to mess about trying to work out what it should be.

So happy with this new neckline
Once again I'm really happy with how they came out.  The slightly deeper neckline is exactly what I wanted, so I'll be creating a proper new pattern piece so I can make it again.  I think the other one might need a bit of work to make it more boat like, but it still has potential.  

Sunday 14 April 2019

Gorgeous Cakes - part 27

Its at this time of year that I normally make a Simnal Cake, however there isn't one in the book so I've had to make so with an Easter Fruit Cake.
It was nice and easy to make, although the recipe asked for saffron to put in the icing - I missed that bit out and just used some food colouring instead.
And I imagine the mini eggs will go weird over time - their colour was already starting to run as I was taking the photos.  I'm sure they will still taste nice. 
It seems like a nice light sponge, so I'm interested to see how it lasts over the week.

Verdict:  Quite nice, but the eggs went weird quite quickly.  Had to be kept in the fridge.

Wednesday 10 April 2019

A Giant Knitted Bear

I've been knitting bears for a while now, but a couple of years ago when I gave my mum one for Christmas my little sister asked 'where's mine?'
I hadn't really thought she'd want one, but apparently I was wrong.  So when I found some Sirdar Alpine furry wool in the wool shop I got a couple of balls to make her one.
However this was just before last Christmas and I realised that this was a chunky knit wool!  The body was coming out massive, so I stopped to have a think before continuing.

Compared with a 'normal' knitted bear, he's a giant!
 It was after Chrismas before I continued on smaller needles.  Oh well I'd have it ready for her birthday in Feb.  And I would have too except it took a bit more wool than expected and the wool shop ran out! The wool finally arrived and I got the knitting finished, but then I realised the eyes I've got were too small so I had to order bigger ones.
I gave him jointed arms and legs rather than sewing them on, which worked really well.
I finally got him made up and gave him to her last week.  She was really happy and called him Bert.  And she said he was the perfect size because he is too big for her little dog Ellie to be interested in.  Perfect.

Sunday 7 April 2019

Gorgeous Cakes - part 26

This week I made a Banana Passion cake to take to my sisters to celebrate Mothers Day with my mum.  While reasonably simple to put together you probably only want to make this if you like banana cake.  
It was pretty moist and the texture was OK, but it was still banana cake.  Also the pink sprinkles had melted by the time we came to eat it, which was disappointing.
And now I know that my sister doesn't like banana cake and having tried this I'd say I'm not a fan.  There are better cakes in this book.  On the other-hand mum loved it, so I sent it home with her - no point wasting it.

Verdict: If you like banana cake this one is for you.  I won't be making it again.