Saturday, February 28

Hello Kitty

Well what can you say when a gorgeous 8 yo says 'Mummy can you make me some pjs?'

You say of course sweetie, now I've not bothered before this to make pjs much - but it was cold one night and her brother had flannel pjs that fitted him from last year, Miss K however seems to grow inches every year and hers were too small.

Did I have a pattern for flannel pjs - umm that would be a no.  Did I have enough flannel for them … again a no :(   I did however happen to have a car at my disposal, so I made the run to Spotlight, because well its the only place near me that might have the requisite requirements.

Hmmmm, well it appeared that Kwik Sew were on special 2 for $10 - so excellent there, also scored a knit top pattern for moi.   The pjs pattern is Kwik Sew K3604 - size from xs (4-5) to XL (12-14) so I should get a few more years from it yet … whats the bet she doesn't want pjs next year lol!!

Fabric - Hello Kitty it was - the other flannel available at Spotlight was less than inspiring and not nearly as good a quality - luckily Hello Kitty was on sale.

So for a grand total of $31 for fabric and $4.50 for the pattern (you get an extra discount if you are a VIP)  we have a swish pair of pjs.

Now how did the Kwik Sew pattern go together - like a dream as always, I've never ever had a problem with a Kwik Sew pattern, they fit true to size, excellent instructions - I do not however think much of the downgrade of the paper for the pattern sheets :(  But I traced out the size 7/8 for the miss.  This required 2.65m of fabric.

Yes I know it would have been cheaper to buy a pair but

a) they wouldn't be as cute - and Hello Kitty bought pjs would probably have cost more
b) they wouldn't be pattern matched
c) and K asked me to make some.

Back to the pattern - it only has a 1/4 inch seam allowance which was a bit of a pita as my overlocker seams a smudge wider.  So I sewed on the machine and then on the overlocker with a 3 thread stitch.  Everything went together well, though as I didn't have K home and guessed, I probably should have gone with a longer rise on the pants, as they sit more on her hips than waist, everywhere else is a pretty good fit.  She is tall but very slender.

I managed to fussy cut the pocket pretty well - Hello Kitty checks were off grain.  Managed to match the centre front and again match Kitty and by happy accident seems that Kitty matched on the back leg.

Pattern took about 2 hours from tracing to finishing, and that was with the pattern matching and being interrupted by Cherub's.  So a relatively quick sew.

All in all a great pattern and a great price.  I was chasing a Butterick dress pattern but at OUCH $21 I put it back.  I'll wait till I see them on sale.

Sunday, January 18

Strawberry Shortcake

My DD has a boyfriend, his brother lives in Hawaii with two precious twin girls.  And so of course since it's their birthday soon, they need a birthday gift.  Delivered by hand by my Sarah as they are visiting and having a holiday in Hawaii before another frantic year of Uni.

The twins are chalk and cheese, one likes pretty and girly, the other a tomboy, but I've made them similar in that they use my stash of strawberry shortcake.

The short set - is the Clover Shorts which I'm sure you've heard me say before I adore, they look feminine but practical and they offer full coverage over little bottoms.

The top is a purchased one, as I ran out of time, but I added an appliqué and sweet little hand embroidered daises, to tie into the red shortcake fabric

Apologies for the unironedness (is that even a word??)  Sarah was excited to show her boyfriend and it sorted got scrunched lol!!

And then for twin no. 2 who loves girly and dresses.  I made the Tie Dye Diva Big Bow Dress.  I've not made this one before, cause I have a huge stash of patterns and I forget what I have. I was going to make a skirt and top and I had the skirt in mind, only to find it started at a 3 and I needed an 18mth size.  So I rethought it very quickly as I only had a few hours.

It makes up into a lovely dress, though I did change a few sections.

Firstly I changed the ruffle to a 2 inch strip so that I could just roll hem it - and I gathered 3 full width strips of the fabric on my overlocker - there was a wee bit of wastage, but time was of the essence.

I also changed the bodice construction - in the original pattern, you make the front and back separately and then place the bow between the two side seams and stitch it up - I really don't like that, as you have to match it evenly at both the top of the seam and the waist and I find it bulky.  So I joined both my front and back at the sides seams on the outer and the lining and stitched around the neckline/underarms and then I trimmed and turned it through,  then I unpicked some of the main fabric side seam and inserted my bow (which I gathered up, rather than leaving it flat, I think it looks better)  and then resewed the side seam.

Then I made the skirt in one piece, sewing up the side seams and adding the ruffle.  Then I joined the bodice to the skirt on the outer fabric, turned the inner fabric under and then topstitched from the outside, so all the seams were enclosed.  I also topstitched the ruffle.

I think it looks lovely and it will be a dress I make again, as it's quick, easy and very cute.  The bow can be worn either back or front and the ties at the shoulder make it adjustable for size.

Saturday, January 10

Peanut Butter and Chocolate

So I'm not a fan of them together actually, but Mr Cherub loves them - they are his favourite sweetie.

So his gorgeous daughter Sarah brought some home from her boyfriend's mama who had visited Hawaii recently and so of course trawling through Pinterest I found this cheesecake cake.   I think it's a super idea, cake with cheesecake how could you go wrong.

Terrible photos taking in a rush on the iPhone but that's what happens sometimes.

Anyways adjustments to the recipe.

I made my devil's food cake recipe, it quick, its easy and I know it works every time.  And I think its the right amount of sweet.  I find a lot of the US recipes a bit sugary, but if you don't have your go to chocolate cake recipe, I reckon the one that it comes with looks pretty good.

For the cheesecake, I made half a batch in a 20cm round tin.  Which I lined with baking paper and then cooked in a water bath at 160 for about 35 - 40 minutes, so it still had a wee bit of jiggle to it.  Then I let cool on the bench for 1/2 hour before putting it in the fridge.  It really needed more fridge time and cracked a little on assembly, not that you can tell.   I also just used normal cream as I didn't have any sour  cream in the fridge and i used 2 eggs.  It worked out fine.

I had buttercream as always in the fridge so I just added some peanut butter.  The chocolate ganache I was sure had seized but it just needed a bit more cream and a bit more heat - i used the microwave and then it was done, it was a bit warm when I applied it and well some of the peanut butter cups just slid right on off lol!!   But a stint in the fridge and it was good to go - nice and shiny and slick.

Apparently it was pretty darn good to, though rich, which is nothing less than expected lol!!  I didn't add as many peanut butter cups as the original which although they look amazing, might have been a touch of overkill.  I think the ratio of cheesecake to cake looks good and although its a bit lopsided, that's what happens when you need to rush, should have started the day before, I'm pretty sure I'll use this technique again - stay tuned for a lemon meringue version.