lundi 24 août 2015

Some Cuisine : Black Sesame Cake

I went back to my local organic supermarket recently and was intrigued to find some black sesame butter.

As I had already tried - and loved - black sesame ice cream, I thought "Hmm...Why not?"...and so it came back home with me!
And here's my first try at cooking with it - a black sesame cake! And guess what? It's also vegan-friendly!
I made it totally from scratch, so I tried to write the proportions, but I'm not sure they're perfect - there's a bit too much flour, making it a bit compact for my taste. Anyway, here it goes :

  • 140g flour (a bit less flour - something like 100g - might actually be better);
  • 1 pack (11g) baking soda;
  • 60g brown sugar;
  • 2 very ripe bananas;
  • 100g almond butter (or any other, like cashew for example) + black sesame butter (I put something like 2 tbsp almond and 1 tbsp black sesame because I was not sure I' d like it if it was all black sesame);
  • about 10cl liquid (I used coconut water because that was all I had available, but almond milk, soy milk or rice milk would be fine too).
Mix the flour, sugar and baking soda together.
Squash the bananas - if they're ripe enough, a fork should do the trick, no food processor needed.
Add the bananas and butters to your flour/sugar/soda mixture. Then add the liquid until you get the same texture as muffin dough.
Transfer to a baking pan lined with baking paper and put into the oven at 180°C.
Let it cool, then...enjoy!

You can also make a non-vegan version if you replace the bananas with 2 eggs, part of the butters with regular butter (but still, keep the black sesame...otherwise it would take out all the fun!) and regular milk instead of almond or soy milk, and maybe a little more sugar (I didn't put much of it because I was using bananas and they're already sweet). And do feel free to change the proportions if you want something a bit lighter or a different taste!

lundi 10 août 2015

What's been on my sewing table...

I haven't been posting a lot here lately, but believe me (and you would know if you follow me on Instagram ;) ), that was not for lack of sewing!
It's not always fun to be unemployed, but I must say that having more spare time is a change for the best...all the more so when it allows me to be more productive in terms of sewing! However, what I've sewn lately is more suitable for cooler weather and I haven't had the opportunity to take photos of me wearing those garments, so proper posts about these will come later.
So here's what I've been up to lately : 
I've made this Sencha blouse ...

Embroidered neckline...

And fun vintage square buttons!

 And this Chataigne skirt, which I think will be a great match for the above top...

Admittedly, the right side may look a bit plain...

But look at this wrong side! Sacred hearts, polkadot bias, lace-trimmed lining, oh my!
I've also ordered fabric for a Bombshell Swimsuit, which I may (or may not) start this week or next week...

And I'm also planning to make a Negroni shirt for my man.

And also, in other words, this is post #100! Woohoo!

vendredi 24 juillet 2015

Finished : An unplanned Moneta

Here's another sewing project which wasn't part of my plans for this summer/year, but it still happened!
Sorry for this unglamorous grocery bag! Although, I hadn't noticed until now, but it's got stripes, like my dress - and in that crappy artificial light, you could almost think the stripes on the dress are the same color as the bag's! So...not so unglamorous I'd say!
This is Colette Pattern's Moneta, made in a cotton jersey I got at Toto for something like 3€.
It's going to be nice to wear in this hot weather, but let me tell you folks...this fabric was a BITCH. As it's super thin and shifty, it took me hours to try and match stripes on my folded fabric, until I finally decided to cut it flat. As I thought it would be too much trouble to try and lay the skirt's pieces on my fabric and keep the stripes matchy, I decided to just cut two gathered rectangles. Even that, though, was not easy ; as I couldn't match my stripes at the selvedge (no matter how hard I tried!), I tried to make them match at the fold and in the middle of my fabric, by sticking random pins in the middle of my fabric (see picture below).

Can you spot the pins?
The final garment is a bit short compared with what I'm used to wear, and I think there is a thread tension problem around my sleeves and skirt hem - the upper thread - or should I say, one of my upper threads (how weird is that, seriously?!) - looks like it's too loose. 
Ugh, that's an ugly hem...

But I like it anyway, and I hope it's going to last the whole least! If not, I can still redo my hems!

mardi 14 juillet 2015

Outfit Along : all done!

You've already seen my here's my (almost) finished cardi!

This is a Hetty. Nothing particular to say about the construction. I put loads of markers to mark the lace repeats and everything went fine. As I often do with Andi's designs, I just added one lace repeat so the length fit me better. It took some time to finish because of the heat wave - not the kind of weather that makes you want to knit!

I used these gorgeous black glass buttons which I got on A Little Mercerie. They're beautiful but quite fragile - I broke one as I was sewing it, thankfully the lovely lady who sold them to me added 2 spare buttons just in case. I'll try to be very careful, but I hope they'll stand the wash!

And may I say, I think Hetty really pairs perfectly with a dress that's meant to show off a bit of skin!

lundi 13 juillet 2015

Finished : Dolores the 3rd

Yeah, I know. You're getting bored. Thing is, I can't even promise you this is the last Dolores I'm sewing. We'll see!

As you can see, this is totally unplanned sewing. So much for trying to be organized!

Anyway, back to business. As I wanted it to be slightly more fitted in the bust area, I actually cut a size 10 at the top (just kept the sleeve length and neckline at my usual size 12), graded up to 12 at the hips, and then tapered back to 10 around the hem.
And I think it works quite well!

It looks pretty casual in this pic, but I think it could totally look more stylish with a wide belt and black flats. That would totally be an outfit I'd wear to a job interview!

Look at this stripe-matching!

Only trouble I had was when finishing the neckband. My fabric was very thin, and no matter how much I pressed it, it kept curling back when I pulled on the neckband to make it match the dress's neckline. I finally solved this problem with some knit binding bought from my local fabric shop, which I sewed on my neckline and then turned to the inside. And once again, I didn't use the band to finish the arms - just turned the hem under and stitched it with a twin needle. I like it better this way.

And here's one more dress, stylish and easy to wear, in my closet!

lundi 6 juillet 2015

Outfit Along : Finished dress!

For the Outfit Along 2015, I chose to make a mashup between Colette Pattern's Lily (it's currently Colette's Pattern of the month, so head over to their website if you want to grab a copy for 15% off!) and Tilly and the Buttons' Picnic Blanket skirt.
As I didn't have to underline my fabric, this dress was much quicker to make than my first version!
I used the pattern I had tweaked after my first version, but it was too I had to take the bodice in at the side seams by 3cm (1.5 on each side). I still think it could stand to be a little tighter, but it looks OK this way and at least my dress is not uncomfortably tight!
I used a black stretch cotton sateen for the bodice and pockets, and a watermelon print cotton for the skirt and flaps at the neckline and pockets.

I added a notch at the neckline flap and made halter straps instead of regular straps.

My zipper would be more invisible if I had bothered to give it a press...but one part of it is black on black, and the other is hidden in the skirt's gathers. Soooo can we say it's *almost* invisible?

This pic gives a better view of the pockets. I used the original pattern piece but made my pockets 5 cm shorter so they're not so deep. Even though, they're still roomy enough to contain my phone and keys! 
Here's my faux waist stay. I even made a facing of sorts to hide the zipper edge and center back seams.
And here's the hem!

I've just finished knitting my OAL cardi, but it's still waiting for its buttons and reinforced button bands. I hope I get them soon enough, and I hope the temperatures are going to drop's currently far too hot to wear a cardigan, even just to take a picture of it!

jeudi 2 juillet 2015

Finished : Red Miette

You've probably already seen this one in some of my Me-Made May pics, where I was actually wearing it without the buttons...But I've actually finished it now! It's been a little bit too hot in June for me to post pictures in which I wear it, but I still have some to show you : 

The pattern is the well-known Miette by Andi Satterlund, which I decided to make again because I had spilt some red wine on my first version.
I've made a few modifications :
-I moved the darts because I didn't like their placement on my first version ;
-I did simple 2x2 ribbing ;
-I moved the top button hole to get it aligned with the others;
-I added one repeat of the lace pattern to make it a bit longer (did the same on my first version)
I used some black glass buttons which I ordered on A Little Mercerie, and stabilized my button bands with gros grain ribbon as explained here by Lauren.
The yarn I used is Drops Loves You 5. Although I like the fact that it's eco-friendly (it is made from recycled cotton) I'm not a huge fan because I find it rather coarse, and my finished cardi feels a bit stiff...I hope a few washes will make it softer!