Sunday, 22 July 2012

Radio silence

I haven't really done anything noteworthy as of late, which is why there have been no posts. Today I'm going away to visit friends and family for a while, and I hope to have more to write when I get back!

Sunday, 15 July 2012

Sunday chili

Of course I forgot to take pictures when my cousin was here, bummer. I also forgot to take my camera along when I went to my cousins for a party yesterday, hopefully i's something I'll get used to as I blog more.

Today I'm spending a lot of time in the kitchen. I've made paneer for the first time in my life, hopefully it's as good as the kind you get in Indian restaurants. I've also made some bread, and a chili! It might have been the strongest chili I've ever had, but it was delicious. It wasn't very photogenic but at least my chilli peppers were!

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Right now

My cousin is coming for dinner with his girlfriend tonight, I hope I'll remember to take pictures. I've made strawberry parfait for the third time since I discovered the recipe. It's the most delicious thing ever - strawberries, whipped cream, egg yolks and sugar all mixed up into an ice cream.

I've spent all day tidying up at home, so I thought I might just as well snap a few pictures, while it's reasonably pretty.

Sewing basket, I hide all my fabrics and works-in-progress under a cloth.
Corset laces peeking out.

Clutter on top of a bookshelf. The sunglasses in the candy jar is a favourite detail.
I'm very fond of the little Japanese doll as well.

From top to bottom: Soap, Tarot cards and a beautiful box containing a nifty little thing
for crimping the ties of old fashioned pillow cases. Highly useful I know.

My kitchen garden. Tarragon and thyme on top of an old margarine box.
I managed to kill my first plants so these are still just shoots.

View from hallway into the room. The closets all along the left wall are very useful.

Finally, the bed. With an adorable owl, and a poster that I love.
The walls are pretty bare unfortunately, they're made of some kind of
super-concrete that regular nails won't go through.

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Corset update

Despite being happy with my mock-up, I was really quite frightened when it came to actually cutting my beautiful white coutil. It looked so perfect just lying there, and I was suddenly convinced that I'd mess up something terrible if I tried to do anything with it. Eventually I managed to pull myself together and do it. I think it went well.

As you can see my sewing area is far from ideal, but it works.
So far I've sewn all but two of the corset pieces together, while I was matching and pinning pieces to each other I watched a TV-programme called The Edible Garden, which is great and really inspiring (even though I, you know, have no garden). I've been wanting to watch it for ages but I get so restless when I watch things on my own without anything to occupy my hands. If you're interested it's available on youtube, here's the first part. Alys Fowler seems like such a lovely person, I wish she was my friend.

I've always loved those pincushions, this one was a gift from my boyfriend!
 The part I'm not looking forward to is the grommets. The ones I used for my mock-up feel a bit loose and I don't know if that's something that the thickness of the coutil will take care of or not. At least I have a working pair of hole-pliers now, my mother lent me hers after I bought a useless one for myself. Hers was inherited from her grandfather I believe, they sure knew how to make things back then.

Oh, and I made pickles yesterday, to make up for the elderflower disaster. The recipe said to leave them in the jars for a minimum of two days before opening them, but that sounds like rather a short time to me. Maybe I'll open one jar just to have a taste and leave the other one for a bit longer. Have a picture:

Aren't the colours gorgeous?

Monday, 9 July 2012

Darn it

I must have done something wrong with the elderflower champagne, it had moulded when I went to get it! Such a pity, and the only elders that are still blooming are in other people's gardens. I think I'll have to make some sort of plum squash when the plums finally mature, to make up for drink lost. Or cherry, there are some cherry trees down by the railway station that I've been monitoring closely for a while now.

At least I'm wearing a pretty dress!

Saturday, 7 July 2012

Birthdays and otters

Grattis is Swedish for "congratulations"
My boyfriend turned 25 yesterday, yay. We went to visit his gran who gave us cake and sent us home with two litres of delicious strawberries. I'd made a gift card for a t-shirt of his choice and he ended up choosing this fabulous otter t-shirt from the Etsy shop Zen Threads. Eco friendly too!

The buns I made the other day were good, but not everything I'm looking for in a cinnamon roll, I think I'd better just stick to my grandmother's recipe!

Friday, 6 July 2012

Pattern giveaway over at A Few Threads Loose

Yep. There's a pattern giveaway going on over at the great blog A Few Threads Loose. I've yet to win a giveaway, but I'd be really happy to win this one! You get to choose two digital patterns from the Etsy shop Mrs.  Depew Vintage and honestly, I want them all. A Few Threads Loose has earlier held a lingerie sew-along together with the equally great Ohhh Lulu, which I think I'll have to utilise later on, when the corset is finished!

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Student living

This is my kitchen. When I moved in here it was one of the things I felt most apprehensive about, I love both cooking and baking and I really wasn't sure I would be able to do a lot of anything with this little stove. I have to say though, it works surprisingly well!

When the oven's on, the larger hotplate ceases to function, and my landlord seems to think this is okay so it's something I will have to live with. Apart from that, it's actually fairly reliable. When I cook food in the oven, I can usually trust the cooking times given in my recipes. Cakes are a little bit trickier, but I'm mostly able to wing it. Today I'm trying out a new recipe for cinnamon rolls from a lovely bread book my mother gave to me, called How to Make Bread. I've only tried one other recipe from the book so far, but the result was absolutely divine so I have high expectations for this!

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Elderflower champagne

I love elderflower cordial. My grandmother's old house had a really big old elder growing against one wall and we always used to collect the flowers to make our own. I miss those times, and since the elders are in bloom around my house at the moment I figured I'd do something with them.

Cordial is nice, but lovely blogger Miss P wrote the other day about her recipe for elderflower champagne and I just had to try it. I went out and bought the things I would need and collected some flowers today. It will be quite some time before I get to know if this was a good idea or not, but it sounded too god not to try!

I really love using the things that grow all around us. Later this year I'll make something out of the plums that grow around the house (not in my garden, unfortunately I'm not blessed with one of those yet) and maybe I'll try to make a Swedish delicacy, rose hip soup!

Monday, 2 July 2012

Madeleine mini bloomers

It's time for another post, no?

Once I'd finally managed to get my corset started, I really got a taste for sewing. This happens every time I make something to be honest, but a lot of the time I can't start something new at once because I don't have the materials at home, and I end up losing my sewing mania. So this time I decided that I needed to make it possible for myself to start something new at once!

Picture borrowed from The Coletterie

I'd been looking at Colette Pattern's Madeleine Mini Bloomers for quite some time, wondering if they'd look as cute on me as they did on the model in Colette's promotional picture. Finally, I decided that it didn't really matter, because the pattern was free and I could make it with fabric I had at home. Having no printer, I went to the local library to print the pattern. This was something of a mistake, as I ended up paying four times more than I would have needed to if only I'd bothered to take the 10-minute walk up to my university library. I'll keep that in mind next time.

The pattern printed perfectly, thank god, and was reasonably simple to cut out and tape together. It took a long time and was a little bit fiddly, but the pattern-matching arrows were very helpful! I decided to make my first pair of bloomers up in a striped fabric I have loads of at home. It used to be a pair of curtains, or possibly several pairs, and I've already made a skirt and a simple bag out of it. The pattern pieces fit together beautifully, and the only really tricky part was pressing the curved seams, as I don't have a tailor's ham yet.

There are two channels for elastic in the waistband of the bloomers, and one channel for ribbon in each of the legs. This felt a bit daunting at first, as I still hadn't got the hang of sewing perfectly straight seams. However, it turned out my sewing machine had a nifty little seam allowance tool that I quickly grew to love. This will certainly come in handy when I sew my corset!

The bloomers were very quick to make, I started them in the evening and finished them next morning. They look super cute on me, though next time I make them I might raise the waistline an inch or two, because there will be a next time! These bloomers are the perfect at-home clothing, and I even feel comfortable enough in them to go outside in them (just to have an ice cream in the sun and going to the laundry room mind, I wouldn't wear these for going shopping...).

My bloomers! Striped cotton fabric and white satin ribbon, super cute!
I usually wear a loose top over them and it's a very flattering look! I'm considering making a baby doll top to go with them, inspired by Lena Hoschek's sleepwear.