Sunday, November 21, 2010

Pendrell blouse - the next blouse pattern.

I just finished a(nother) top for work, using the freakishly easy Simplcity 2594. Seriously, only four pattern pieces. Everything went to together well. The nicest neck facing I've ever done. Absolutely my best yoke/ lining ever. I made the v-neck version, but I redrafted the neck to be a nice, quite deep, round neck. It's lucky it worked out well, because I bought the fabric to make four versions of the same pattern in one go.*

Anyway, stumbling about the internet, I came across the Pendrell blouse. That's it in the picture above (being modelled by the designer). Pattern due out soon. I love it. Super flattering princess lines (pain to sew, but they look so purty), and drapey sleeves. And no fastenings. Made up in something soft and drapey it's exactly the kind of thing I wear to work.

* I got a bit overexcited. A cotton print for the wearable-muslin (done); silk satin on clearance at $8/m; red viscose jersey; and a natural linen/ rayon blend. The first two for work, the second two for play.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

State cushions

I have long loved these embroidered state icon cushions from Uncommon Goods. Always lamented the fact that they only come in US states (and only ship to US states too). Just occurred to me this morning - why not try my hand at designing a nice, cheesy WA version? My must-includes are the yacht that won the America's Cup, the Bell Tower, Tim Winton, whale sharks, a kangaroo paw and the Argyle diamond mine (with a pink diamond, of course). What would you include?

Monday, November 15, 2010

Pandan cupcakes with palm sugar icing

totoro cupcake 2

(That isn't actually a pandan cupcake at all. It's a freakin' awesome looking green tea cupcake with pistachio icing. But it's about the right colour, and I forgot to take photos of mine).

I (uh, I mean 'we') got a KitchenAid for the nuptials. I've not been much one for baking figuring I wasn't too good at it. Really, it was a case of lacking the right tools. I've only turned out two batched of cupcakes so far, but they've both been shop-worthy. The first batch was plain old vanilla with chocolate icing.

For the second batch I got creative. We honeymooned in Penang, pretty much so we could spend a week eating. I adore Pulut Tai Tai, and was pleased to discover the palm-sugary-pandanish deliciousness of cendol. I figured those flavours might work in a cupcake, but couldn't find a recipe.

I fudged a few things together, using the Hummingbid Bakery vanilla cupcake recipe as a base (minus the vanilla). I blitzed a cup of milk with seven pandan leaves, strained the milk, and used half a cup in the recipe (the rest is frozen for another day). It wasn't enough to colour the cupcakes green, but they definitely had that beautiful pandan scent. For the palm sugar icing, I added a quarter of a cup of grated palm sugar to the Hummingbird Bakery vanilla frosting recipe, and went easy on the milk (the dampness of the palm sugar means the milk isn't so necessary). Had an excellent rich toffee/ wine scent. All together it was very, very moreish. Definitely better than standard vanilla.

Because I hate the hassle of icing individual cupcakes, I'll probably just make a big pandan buttercake next time, but I can see pandan-palm-sugar baked goods becoming my sigature.