Sewing our Sanity

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Snow White Puppet Show Dress

Dear Monica,

Natalie very much likes to dress up, especially as a princess.  We are going to Disney World soon and I knew that she would want to dress up at the park.  But you can really only wear one of those cheapy dress up gowns for so long before they get annoying.  A while ago on Pinterest I saw how Jan had turned the Puppet Show dress by Oliver + S into Snow White's dress, so I made one for Natalie.

I followed Jan's tutorial to make the pleated sleeves.  I just wish that I had serged the edges of each sleeve pieces before I sewed them together, as they will ravel a bit.  But she loves it so much that she I couldn't even iron it before she put it on and kept taking it and trying it on as I was making it,  just to be sure it fit.  

As I was making the dress, I was contemplating what I would do for buttons.  I originally thought I would use two blue buttons and 5 yellow buttons so they wouldn't be too noticeable but that just seemed predictable and boring.  And I kept thinking there are 7 dwarfs and the dress needs 7 buttons.  Again, I turned to Pinterest and used this tutorial to make my own buttons out of Shrinky Dinks.

I absolutely love how they turned out and they really make the dress.  I didn't have the circle punch, so I just traced a spool of thread and I used a Sharpie instead of the Zig markers the tutorial suggests.

Here is a before and after of the buttons.  I used a circle that was about 1.5" in diameter and the button shrunk to about a half inch in diameter.  

And I added Snow White to the sleeves.

And now, she has something that she can wear all day at Disney and not be uncomfortable in.  She is one happy little girl.  



Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Raspberry Kisses, Gluten Free Meringues!

Dear Emily,

It really has been a long time! I love your skirt. I looked at that book,  Gertie's New Book For Better Sewing, and it looks like a great source. I am interested to see what else you make.

Remember these? Raspberry Kisses. So easy to make but way too delicious so I don't make them often.We had company for dinner, one of whom happens to eat gluten free. These meringues were a perfect ending to dinner tonight.

All you need is this

 eggs, cream of tartar, sugar, raspberry gelatin, vinegar, and chocolate chips
(the complete recipe is at the end)

 Beat the egg whites and cream of tartar until the whites are foamy. I beat them a little more than necessary, they are nearly to the "soft white peak" stage.

 Next, beat in the sugar and gelatin. Beat until the sugar is disolved and the mixture forms stiff peaks.

 Stir in the chocolate chips.

 Well, more like fold in the chips.

 I used a cookie scoop and placed the blobs four to a row on my baking pan. They do not rise or spread out so there is no need to space them any farther apart.

Bake at 250 for 30-35 minutes.

Raspberry Kisses
3 egg whites
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
3/4 cup sugar
3 1/2 tablespoons raspberry gelatin
1 tablespoon vinegar
1 cup chocolate chips

Beat egg whites and cream of tartar until foamy. Mix the sugar and gelatin and gradually add to egg whites, beating until sugar is disolved and stiff peaks form. (I have never been able to get the sugar to disolve completely and they always turn out fine) Beat in the vinegar and fold in the chips.

Drop by teaspoons onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat, such as a Silpat. They will not rise or spread out so they do not have to be spaced too far apart.

Bake at 250 for 30-35 minutes. They will be a little moist on the inside, if you prefer them drier, leave them in the oven a little longer but watch that they do not start to turn brown. Store in an airtight container.

We have always wondered how they would taste with other flavors of Orange and chocolate are great together. Strawberry? Great with chocolate, too. Grape? No. Lime? Yuck. Lemon? That might be good.


Sunday, February 3, 2013

Pin Tuck Skirt

Dear Monica,

Wow!  We haven't posted anything since Thanksgiving.  I have been absolutely busy and I know you have too.  I spent so much of December as one of Santa's little elves and then most of January was spent getting the house back in order after all the hustle and bustle of the holidays and settling back into a routine.

Now that things are settling down, I have had some time to sew.  And I am going to sew for myself!

A while ago, I bought myself a copy of Gertie's New Book For Better Sewing.

It is full of lovely vintage inspired patterns and wonderful tips and techniques to sew yourself some very beautiful clothing.  Gertie also gives you some ideas for how to modify the patterns to put your own style into each design.  I started off my new wardrobe with a skirt.  I followed Gertie's directions for modifying a pencil skirt and adding pin tucks.

I love how it came together and I really enjoyed getting to try out some different things.    Like boning!  I sewed Rigilene boning to some hair canvas so that the waistband would stay put.  I wish I had a dress form to put it on so that I could take some detailed pictures for you.  I lined it with some blue polyester lining and used blue hem tape for an added bit of fun.  I got the pin tuck foot set for my Janome and sewed 7 rows of pin tucks at the hem.  It fits perfectly!  Gertie gives wonderful directions and advice for fitting patterns and tailoring to get the perfect fit.  I think I have been avoiding making things for myself because they never really fit.  But not anymore.  I have purchased some lovely fabrics for myself with the plans to make a few dresses and other pieces for my new wardrobe.