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.

Sunday, November 30

Sweet Innocence Testing

I tested this delightful number for Annastasia from My Treasured Heirlooms

I made the size 6 width with an 8 in length for my slender 8 yo.  I didn't have to adjust anything else.  I would possibly make it a titch longer when I made it again as she seems to be growing taller every single week at the moment.

The pattern was easy to put together - I made it up in under a day for both pieces.  The longest amount of time was taken with the ruffles of course, you could probably reduce some time using a ruffler foot but I did it with standard gathered ruffles.

Missy showing off, she does love to model what I make for her.

The dress comes in a few different variations.  This is shown sans peasant dress as we live in sunny Queensland.  The dress is too low with the crossover to be worn at the front, but it works well backwards for a unfrock.  The peasant dress comes with several sleeve options and also a tiered version if you want a super fully one.   The overdress comes in 3 varieties as well, lots of options and a good range of sizing.   There are also pants available but again its a bit warm here for them in summer. 

Size made - Size 6 width, 8 length
Fabric used - Tilda range
Sewing difficulty - from confident beginner who is happy to gather.
Would I make this again - yes