Wednesday, June 22, 2011

BurdaStyle Meetup

On Saturday I went to my very first sewing/blogger meet up. Originally we had planned to have a meet up in celebration of Burdastyle Day with fellow Sydney sewists, but sadly I wasn't able to attend. Luckily, the girls arranged a second meeting, to which I happily went along.

Holly, Passiona and I had a grand old time discussing sewing projects, sewing blogs and all things fun and creative at the aptly named Stitch Bar.

I had never been there before, but I have a feeling I may be about to become a regular. This dimly lit basement bar is decked out in vintage haberdashery - from the old singer machine tables, to the walls papered in pattern layouts and notion definitions - it was the perfect setting.

Even the entrance is designed to look like a sewing studio - clever!

As this was my first time meeting another sewing blogger, I unleashed a million and one questions at poor Passiona, who very patiently answered them and gave me much to think about in regards this blogs format. Is that a blog Re-Vamp I smell in the air?

As promised, I also have a sewing update for you. As I mentioned in a previous post, I have started taking a sewing course at my local community college. Its for 3 Sundays in a row, and we had to take a project that we would like to work on.
I was really excited and I chose an original 40's Du Barry pattern that I had been dying to make for some time.
I knew it was going to be a challenge, but that's certainly not something I usually shy away from.

Mid way through the first lesson I started to get the impression that my teacher wasn't too thrilled with my pattern choice! It seemed that while the rest of the class were all working on their first patterns and had chosen simple A-Line skirts, I had chosen a 3 piece skirt suit with tailored jacket, from an unmarked pattern, oh, and did I mention it was about 3 sizes too small?? oops.

My poor teacher had to show me how to grade my pattern as well as re-size the proportion etc. etc. The poor woman, I bet she didn't know what she was in for when she saw me coming.
Later that day I mentioned that I might like to take her pattern making class - she just about fell over!

Ah well! maybe another time...

Anyway, I am really really pleased with my progress. I made THREE muslin's for my jacket, but now the fit is perfect!

This is the last muslin I made in green corduroy. Please excuse the quick snaps, I took them before I ran out the door to work.

I'm nearly finished the shell of the jacket in its final fabric, a lovely red wool and then all I have to do is line it (all) something I have never done before - Wish me luck!

Hope your all having a lovely afternoon!

Monday, June 20, 2011

The Bee's Knees and Cake Pop Tree's

Its official, I LOVE cake pops! Although mine didn't turn out quite as pretty as I had imagined them, or as perfect as bakarellas, I like to think they had a little quirky charm of their own (a cross between a bumble bee and pikachu from pokemon?) and they tasted simply delicious!

I opted to dip them in candy melts rather than melted white chocolate, as I had read that it would result in a smoother finish and would be easier to dip, and I'm really glad I took that advice. I had no idea what to expect in a candy melt, and as they are not readily available in my area, I had to buy them online at Baking pleasures (Bakers Heaven!) and was really surprised to find that they are very much like white chocolate, and tasting similarly of caramel buttons. They also come pre-coloured, so you don't get that bitter food colouring taste when trying to achieve vibrant colours.

I used white chocolate melts (cut up in quartres) for the wings and black squeeze icing for the stripes and face.

They were fiddly to decorate though, and I even had to buy cone shaped Styrofoam to dry them! perhaps next time I will just dip them in coloured melts and then role them in fun, colourful sprinkles.

My cake pop drying tree's!

Fiddly as they were to make, there was nothing fiddly about eating them, I can tell you! They practically flew into my mouth....

Unfortunately, and maybe somewhat due to their "quirky charm", I didn't win the bake off. There was some steep competition though, and my colleague and ballet/fencing buddy was awarded the most delightful, for her very delightful rainbow layer cake! Well done Karlie!

If I was feeling at all bitter about this, I was very quickly sweetened up with a tasting plate of all the baked goodies.

Not bad for a weekday, is it?

I'll be back tomorrow with an update on my sewing classes and quick snap of my first muslin.

Bye for now!

Friday, June 10, 2011

The Bee's Knees

Aren't these cake pops just the cutest things you've ever seen?! But before you go getting any idea's, No, I didn't make them (Bakerella, queen of cake pops did) - But I plan on it.

Next Friday at work we are having a Bake-Off for Australia's Biggest Morning Tea. I haven't been with the company long enough to have experienced one of these bake offs yet, but apparently they mean serious business!

There are 4 awards: Most Decorative, Most delicious, Most delightful (taste & presentation) and the Encouragement Award.

Of course I'm aiming for the Most Delightful award, But seeing as this will be my first attempt at making cake pops there is a chance that instead they may look a little less like Bakerellas delightful bumble bee's, and a little more like these guys -

Sorry to whoever's cake pops these are (winner of the Encouragement award I'm sure), I admire your attempt!

The cake pop is a relatively new idea to me, and judging by the blank faces that look back at me when I talk about them, they seem to be a relatively new idea to Australia! Or am a living in a cake pop-less bubble world?
A quick google search will tell you that the rest of the world is onto this trend, and for good reasons. For those who, like me a week ago, don't know what a cake pop is, its a small bite of moist cake goodness on a stick. You take a cake, crumble it up, mix it with some frosting (YUM!), roll it into balls, stick it on a stick and dip it in either melted chocolate or candy melts.

How have I missed out on this so far? Have you ever made/eaten a cake pop? Is it difficult?

I have broken down the cake pop creation session into three parts. Wednesday night I plan on baking, crumbling, mixing, rolling and refrigerating. I assume the pops will be easier to dip if they are as solid as possible? Thursday night I plan on dipping and decorating. Friday I plan on transporting the pops to work..... (mental picture of me squishing my delightful pops on the bus, HORROR!)... I think I will take a cab.

In other news, I start my dressmaking class this Sunday and I am SUPER excited! The last sewing class I took was in high school and that was nearly 6 years ago. I enrolled in a five week intermediate class at Sydney Community College, with a focus on fit. We've been asked to bring in a pattern for something we would like to sew and the material and we will be shown how to correctly fit the pattern to ourselves etc.

I wanted to work on something that was entirely new to me to make sure I get as much out of these classes as possible. So I plan on making Option I, from this 1940's Dubarry Pattern -

Isn't it to die for!? and I'm going to make it in just those colours too. I have the perfect soft wool for the jacket in a lush red that I've been saving for such an occasion.

I've noticed that the pattern says Easily Made on the front, but I've never make a jacket, or lined anything, So I'm not convinced!

None the less I am very excited to start on it and I will keep you up to date with its progress and any amazing tips and tricks I learn along the way.

That's all from me today - Have a lovely weekend, and for those in Australia, have a lovely long weekend, yippee!
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