Thursday, 21 March 2013

New sewing machine!

When I went over to my parents for Christmas, they proposed that I give my sewing machine to my lil' sis who wanted to start sewing too, and instead get money for a better machine. Sounded good to me!
So I took a little while to look up models and reviews, and finally settled on the Janome 525s (I knew Janome to be a good brand, and the 525s seemed to be a well-loved mid-range model).

Here it is:

So far I've only used it for straight and stretch stitches, but I'm really happy with those, so here's to many years of a happy working relationship! ;)

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Elegantees Hope dress

I did not make this (still beyond my skill level), but just got it in the post. I ordered it from, who helps survivors of sex trafficking by giving them a sewing job. Good cause fashion, the best kind!

And the dress is very nice too:) Would be suitable as maternity wear if that's what you need but otherwise does not make you look pregnant (phew!). And could be worn to different types of occasions...

I ordered it in January and got it in March (as it was handmade in Nepal), but that's fine by me as I can't wear it yet anyway (it's still snowing here... at the end of March!).

Saturday, 16 March 2013

Donna Hay's Egg and Bacon pies

Well... pie, I only made one (the BF wasn't hungry... He usually gets up and has breakfast way before me in the week-end... I just like sleeping in).

Here's the recipe.

I lined the tin with 4 pieces of streaky bacon, and added a mix of 2 eggs, some milk, salt and pepper and some herbes de Provence.

I planned on adding cherry tomato slices, but it was pretty full and I didn't want the egg to go overboard. Maybe next time!

Waiting in anticipation:

And here it is:


Monday, 11 March 2013

Chicken noodle soup

I made noodle soup for scratch:) I started with a recipe my lil' sis gave for "cold-fighting Asian soup" (since the BF has a cold/flu thing at the moment, I thought I'd try it...).

So the recipe goes like this: "boil some water with some lemon, ginger and miso soup, add small pieces of chicken and carrots, and a bit of chilli to clear up the nose!" Sounded yummy and, well, useful!

Of course I can never leave a recipe alone, so I added a few bits and bobs from the fridge and pantry...

My version used:
about 2L water
1 carrot
half a red bell pepper
a quarter fennel
2 small shallots
2 red chillies
4 packs dried miso soup (48g)
1 pack chicken soup base + flavouring oil (that came with the noodles)
a generous helping of ginger
3 packs of noodles (individual portions)
some oyster sauce
some soy sauce
about 300g chicken, diced into small pieces
4 eggs
lots of lime juice
a dash of Chinese 5 spices
some fish sauce
some toasted sesame oil

Yes I know that's a lot of bits and bobs but I tend to be enthusiastic about making food I like!

So basically I just diced the veggies, put them in boiling water, added the soup bases, spices, and noodles... Then the chicken, more spices and the eggs at the end.
Little tip for the eggs: beat them and spread them around the soup. I just cracked them above the pot and then I had to try fish around for them to break them into smaller pieces and make sure the yolk was cooked :S

So how did it taste? Really good, like proper Asian soup!

So I served some to the BF with a spoon and chopsticks, and the first thing he did was change the chopsticks for a knife and fork, and CUT THE NOODLES IN THE SOUP!!! *sigh*

Ah well, at least I made plenty so I can freeze some for later (hopefully that freezes well).

Saturday, 9 March 2013

Tracing a pattern off a top

After making a top from a pattern that turned out way too big (in class), I decided to try and make a pattern from one of my best fitting tops. Here it is, in possibly the grainiest photo on the internet:

So I laid the top flat, and pinned some tracing paper onto it...

Then traced the seams...

Drew some alternate necklines...

Lengthened it so I could make a dress out of it too...

Then cut it, folded it in two and checked it against the top again to correct the seams a little...

I did the same thing for the back, and I had a pattern!

For the sleeves, I traced the front and back on paper separately...

Then joined them and retraced them on some new paper (this worked because my sleeves had some gathering, I'm not sure it would have worked otherwise).

Then a band for the high neck version, and I was good to go!