Sewing for 2013

January 22, 2013 § 1 Comment

Plans for 2013 will be a bit light on the ground, I’m afraid. I plan to be travelling for around 6 months from March until late September and I doubt that my little machine will make it in to my luggage allowance. Maybe I’ll take up knitting. But, come September/October, I’ll be back on Kiwi soil, along with my mother’s overlocker, her two computerised (don’t know if this is the right way to explain them. They have screens) Bernina sewing machine, one of which I plan to steal, and her MASSIVE pattern and fabric stash. Heaven! I really didn’t know how good I had it until it was gone. Should have listened to the Counting Crows.

Since I won’t have much time to sew this year, I don’t have very ambitious plans. A couple of skirt, finishing some dresses and making a few basic tanks. Here are the deets;

Now that I have a printer that actually has ink in it, I’m keen to try my hand at the Sorbetto. I have two fabrics at home that would be perfect for it. I picked them up at the Turkish bazar in Aarhus and I have no idea what they are. They have a bit of weight to them and drape really well. I edited (very crudely) the line drawing to get a visual of what they will be like.

red sorbetto yellow sorbetto


The red one, I plan to lower the neck line and shorten the length to make a “crop top” to wear with high waited skirts and short. Not sure whether I will keep the front panel or not. The yellow one, I will add some lace or ricrac to the front panel – just something to make it a little less plain.

The two skirts I plan on making, both come from Butterick 5015. One will be in the plain skirt with darts (G), probably out of the houndstooth wool my mum sent me. I was going to make the Burda skirt that I mentioned there, but since Mum had also sent me this pattern, I thought I may as well make use of it. The second skirt, will be out of a bright blue wool crepe, also from Mum, and will either be the plain wrap skirt (D) or the draped one (A). Wool crepes drapes well, so we shall see. Both will be in the shorter length and I’ll add pockets at the side seams since there is a back closure.



I’ve also promised to sew a copy of a knit dress that Bif’s mother has worn to death. It’s a really simple kimono sleeve, only-has-back-and-front-pieces sort of dress. Once I have it cut out, it shouldn’t take long at all.

AND! If I have done that faster than planned (HA!), I would like to make a dress for a wedding I have to go to in Italy in July. I’m thinking something out of cotton, since it will be stinking hot by then or with a nice flow-y, chiffon-y skirt. I can dream of something like the dress below, while whizzing through the rest of my plans.

So, five items (possible 6) to sew in under 6 weeks. All very simple. By the end of this week, I plan to have cut at least one pattern out and have it ready to sew and to have all of my UFO sewing finished. There are only three of these, mostly just re-hemming or adjustments in fit, including the dress I made for Bif’s mother at Christmas (the bottom of the zip stuck out weirdly). Have I mentioned that I hate hemming? It’s always the last thing I have to do on a project but it always takes me around a week to get it done, or in this dresses case, 3 weeks around a suddenly busy schedule. But! It will be done by the end of this week! No time for procrastination!

For anyone interested, this is what it looks like outside my window at the moment. And I was worried I wouldn’t get enough snow this year!


Til next time!


20 minute meal

January 22, 2013 § Leave a comment

Though these are more “summer” recipes, it’s what we had on hand. Anyway, half of the world is basking in the warmer months at the moment, so this is in homage to the very warm (or so I have been told) summer that I am currently missing, and pining for, in New Zealand. I haven’t written amounts because I find these two are really up to personal preference. Like chilli? Add more. Like garlic? Add more. The pasta recipe can also be changed by adding chopped sun dried tomatoes – my personal favourite. Didn’t grab any photos, unfortunately. Bif was hungry!

Spaghetti with Garlic, Oil and Chilli and Cherry Tomato Salad

For the pasta:



Olive oil

Chilli/chilli flakes

For the salad:

Cherry Tomatoes/Sweeter large tomatoes



Olive oil


Cracked pepper

  1. Finely chop the garlic and chilli.
  2. Boil a pot of water and salt for the pasta. Add the pasta when the water is at a rolling boil.
  3. Heat a small pan with oil (enough to cover the amount of pasta you are using) to a low heat.
  4. Meanwhile, chop the tomatoes and season with the oregano, salt, pepper,basil and olive oil. Tastes similar to the topping of bruschetta.
  5. Add the chilli and garlic to the warmed pan and cook in the oil without letting the garlic brown. 2 or 3 minutes is plenty to let the flavours sink in to the oil. Set aside until the pasta is cooked.
  6. Once the pasta is cooked, drain and add the oil mix to the pasta. Mix together.

And voila! A nice quick dinner.

Til next time!

Paunnet Birthday Giveaway

January 5, 2013 § Leave a comment

Hello there!

Just a quick post to let you know that the lovely Anna, over at Paunnet, is giving away a Deer and Doe pattern in honour of her birthday today. Just pop over, wish her a Happy Birthday and be in to win!


Christmas Trees on the Run

January 5, 2013 § Leave a comment

The last piece of Christmas sewing was a table runner for Bif’s grandmother. She had specifically asked for something hand-made and the only thing I could think to make was something Christmas-y. I searched the interwebs for Christmas table runners that were a bit different and stood out, but most of them had backing or were set on to something. I struck gold when I found these two images;

By combining the two, I got this; a forest of trunkless Christmas trees

long table runner

I cut out four different sizes of trees, with a curved base so they didn’t look so stiff. I don’t remember the widths, but the biggest tree was 20cm tall, the second 17cm, the third 15cm and the smallest 10cm. I cut them out of two different fabrics, though if I would have done more if I had had the fabric on hand. I cut out a white cotton to sew on the back as well so the edges wouldn’t be visible.



The basic process was as follows;

  • Sew cotton and main fabric together, right sides facing, leaving a small gap at base to flip the tree inside out. Flip the tree  inside out. Iron.
  • Stitch around the right side of the tree, sealing the gap at the base.
  • Do this for all the trees and then arrange them in an order you are happy with.
  • Stitch them together, following the lines you have sewn on the outside to hide the extra stitching.

Simple, right? I imagine this would also be pretty easy to do with other shapes like this one. Maybe adding some interfacing would help it stay more stiff as well. We live and we learn.

Til next time!

Shortbread Galore

January 4, 2013 § Leave a comment


As an add-on to all the other gifts we gave Bif’s family, I decided to bake a bunch of Shortbread biscuits and put them in jars I had bought, along with some “burned almonds” (almonds with sugar burnt around them). As a kid, we were encouraged to make gifts rather than buy them. My grandparents loved it and my Opa (granddad in Dutch) always loved getting the biscuits we made. Along this track, my mum found out that making shortbread was by far the easiest with 4 sets of sticky fingers. This recipe is about as close as I can remember it to be and they tasted pretty accurate. I managed to get 72 out of one batch of dough.


heart and star

Shortbread Biscuits 

From The Telegraph website

200 g caster sugar

500 g plain flour

250 g rice or corn flour (rice flour makes more crunchy biscuits and corn flour give a more melt in your mouth result)

500 g salted butter, softened

  1. Preheat the oven to 170 degrees.
  2. Cream together the butter and sugar in which ever mode works best for you.
  3. Sift in the flours and caster sugar gradually, mixing quickly after each addition.
  4. Knead gently until the mixture is combined and smooth.
  5. Split in to smaller batches and wrap in cling film. leave in the fridge for 3o min. This makes it easier to roll but is not necessary.
  6. On a floured work top, roll out the dough to about 5 mm thick. This could be harder than thought and the dough may split a bit at the sides, but you can just push it back together.
  7. Cut out shapes and place on a baking tray with baking paper
  8. Bake for 15 to 20 min ( mine only took around 12 min so make sure to check them around 10 min) and allow to cool for 10 min before moving.

The Telegraph also has a bunch of flavour variations.


And the finished product! The Danes loved them, though I doubt their waist line did with all the butter. What is Christmas for if not to eat unhealthily?

Til next time!

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