jeudi 11 décembre 2014

Some cuisine : Potato and camembert gratin

Hi all, got a little recipe for you today!
Here's a dish I like to make in winter. You know, when you want to eat things that are light and fresh (just kidding). I've been tinkering with this recipe for a moment...and I think I just got it right yesterday evening, so here it is :

For 2 persons (or 4 if you want to serve it as a side dish) :

  • 1 onion
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 4 potatoes
  • 1 apple
  • 1 camembert
  • 20 g butter
  • 1 shot glass apple juice
  • 1 leaf of laurel
  • salt
  • pepper
  • nutmeg
  • caraway or cumin
Peel and dice the potatoes. Peel the garlic clove. Put in a saucepan, cover up with water, add the laurel and some salt, then boil till soft. Drain the water from the potatoes.

Peel and dice the onion and the apple. Spread them evenly in a dish that goes in the oven. Put the potatoes in that same dish, mix (as much as possible, without squashing them) with the onion and apple. Cut the butter in small bits and distribute it evenly in the dish. Pour the apple juice evenly the dish. Cut the camembert in small bits and scatter them over the dish. Add pepper, caraway/cumin and nutmeg, to taste (no salt, as the camembert is already quite savoury). Put in the oven for 30 min at 180°C.
Serve hot, with some salad on the side if you want. I used some lamb's lettuce yesterday evening.

Previously, I would do this recipe using a whole glass (ie 25cl) of cider, instead of 1 apple + a shot glass of apple juice. But the alcohol contained in the cider gave a bitter taste, and the whole thing was rather watery. However, the apple+apple juice combo gives just the right amount of sweetness and it's not watery at all anymore!

mardi 25 novembre 2014

Finished for FESA : Aiken

Hi all, I finally finished my Aiken!
Here's the front...

...and the back.

I must admit it took quite a time, though. As a matter of fact, my first version was too big all over (as I tend to knit quite tightly, I thought it better to go with 5.5mm needles instead of 5mm as advised on the pattern...bad idea for this one!) so I had to start all over again with smaller needles.
I stupidly forgot to pick up stitches from the back to create the front when I started version 2. I made my front as a separate part, so some sewing was involved.
I only partly followed the instructions to adapt the pattern according to row gauge, but I got something I like in terms of length.
Although I had to start it all over again, it's quite a fast knit - version 2 was made in a little less than 3 weeks!
I haven't blocked it yet but this is already my second day wearing it, and I'd love to make an Aiken dress now! Anybody got tips on how to make a sweater longer and fit it to accomodate hips and buttocks?

samedi 1 novembre 2014

In project for FESA : Chataigne skirt

Hi folks,

Just started muslin-ing my Chataigne skirt, for which I used Estelle's tutorial. And damn, was I right to make a muslin!

When I made the Chataigne shorts, they fit me right a way and no adjustments were needed. However, the skirt is super tight and will definitely need some adjustments, especially as I intend to line it. Nevertheless, I really like the overall look of it and I think it will be great if I manage to make it fit right!

the front...

the side...

and the back.

My last FESA project - the Aiken sweater - however, is not running as smoothly as I expected and looks a little too big overall. Not the pattern's fault, though - it's pretty quick and simple to knit. I started again with smaller needles and hope I'll be able to finish it - and my skirt - before the deadline...Fingers crossed!

dimanche 19 octobre 2014

Finished for FESA : a Goth(ish) Moneta

...or the dress that took a long time coming!

No mirror picture this time, I thought I'd take advantage of the natural light coming from my bedroom's window. I still prefer to see picture of worn garments, but at least I managed to get something that's not blurry and gloomy-looking! 

This is Colette's Moneta. The bodice is plain black jersey from Mod'Tissus (local fabric shop), the skirt was made with this lace print jersey :

Source : Place des Tissus
Not many alterations there, just raised the back neckline to make it more office/special professional event-appropriate (I also love the original back neckline, though!) and made the skirt 5 cm longer (only to shorten it in the end because I thought the dress looked frumpy. Duh). However, depending on the fabric, the next version might need an armhole/neckline adjustment to prevent it from gaping.
Everything went quite smoothly until I got to the shirring part. I first started using a normal foot + narrow zigzag stitch, but the shirring looked uneven as fuck. Then I tried gathering with the "string technique" (which Lauren explains here) and my gathers looked OK, but I thought it would look super bulky as I had to sew the elastic on top of the gathers. Finally, I rummaged through my sewing machine's notions compartment and dug out this roller foot. In addition to that, I did lots of matching marks on my elastic and skirt waistband...and eventually got something correct!

As if that was not enough to slow me down, I also broke my twin needle (that's what happens when you forget to check stitch settings) on a Sunday, and therefore had to wait one more week till I could buy a new needle.
Which I broke, too, the week after (fortunately this was at the end of the hem).
Then I thought my skirt was too long, so I bought a 3rd (and a 4th, better safe than sorry...) twin needle (which I didn't break, yay!) to make a shorter hem.

And finally, I got something I like! 

However, in spite of these little problems, the dress itself was really an easy make and it's very comfy! Chances are I'll make more than one!

vendredi 19 septembre 2014

Perfect cigarette pants : Burda vs Cynthia Rawley

So...this may (or may not) be part of my FESA 2014 plans, but I'm currently on the lookout for the perfect high waisted late 50s style cigarette pants pattern. I already have one pattern that might be a likely candidate (Gertie's B 5895), but I sort of got the fit right for the length and I'm afraid to mess everything up if I try to make it longer (don't know if that sounds very clear) I'd rather start afresh with a pattern originally designed to make proper pants (as opposed to capri/pedal pushers length).

I have already ordered the fabric to make them (a black stretch corduroy from Les Coupons de Saint-Pierre) but I still can't decide on the pattern.

So, which one of these 2 contenders is going to win?

On the left, Burda

Pros :

  • Rather cheap, print-at-home pattern, so no need to wait,
  • Don't know what they'd look like in real life but I like the Brigitte Bardot styling, this is what I'd like to emulate.

Cons :

  • I've never sewn from a Burda pattern ;
  • I'm scared of having to add seam allowances and of their reputation about sizing.

On the right : Cynthia Rowley for Simplicity

Pros :

  • They're not looking that vintage-y to me (or at least not in the way i'd like them to) but i see great potential in them;
  • I like where the waist hits (higher than natural waist).

Cons :

  • I know it's a designer pattern, but 11$ sounds expensive for a Big 4 pattern, plus I'd have to pay for the shipping and wait till they get in my mail box...
  • There seems to be a pleat at the front and I'm not sure what it would look like on me...
So, which one would you choose ? Unless you'd suggest another pattern?

vendredi 5 septembre 2014

FESA is back !

Sarah's Fall Essentials Sewalong is back! Basically, FESA consists in making warm, cosy and easy to wear garments for Fall, and as there are several categories you can choose to make any garment you like and as many as you like...which means that pretty much any sewist can join in with whatever she (or he) is making between September 1st and November 30th! Pretty cool, isnt'it?

The only thing I managed to me make last year was Wearing History's overalls, which did not turn out so great...but at least I see now what I must do to make them better!

This year, however, I feel like I could be more productive during these 3 months (yayyyyy for learning to knit!), so here are my plans :

  • In the "Fabulous Frocks" category, a "Goth-ish" Moneta, which I'm going to make in a lace print over beige background jersey for the skirt, and plain black jersey for the top (version 3, with the 3/4 sleeves) ;
  • In the "Chic Chemises for Cool Climates" category, Andi Satterlund's Aiken sweater, most likely in Cascade Lana d'Oro (in color 1036 or 1058 H, not sure yet)
  • In the "Fashionable Foundations for Frosty Weather" category, a Chataigne skirt (following Estelle's tutorial for turning Deer and Doe's Chataigne shorts into a skirt), in a brown wool mix I have in my stash
Well, that makes three garments, let's see if I'll be able to make all of them!

Interested in FESA? Then pay a visit to Sarah's blog Rhinestones and Telephones if you want to learn more about it and join in!

jeudi 28 août 2014

Refashioned skirt with a Mexican twist!

Hi folks, here's what I did during the holidays!

I had to go back to work, but here I am, pretending it's still summer...

Alright, just a refashion is not much...except if you count that it's not just any ol' refashion. Actually, it was also my first try at embroidery!

My first inspiration was Mexican style embroidery, but I also looked at old school tattoo style drawings of roses to get them the way they look.
And of course, this project wouldn't be complete without a fail : I actually inserted the zipper the wrong way and the zipper pull is on the inside of the skirt. Bummer. Fortunately, it does not prevent me from pulling it on and taking it off, so I can wear it all the same!