Sunday, July 27, 2008

Yummy Euro!

After a hectic and slightly stressful week, I had a lovely delivery...some new Euro fabric. I have a feeling some of it will be part of a Feliz dress. I can't wait to get my Feliz pattern. Maybe I should hassle my dealer...errrm kind, lovely friend over at Crafty Mamas.

The mail is probably being slow again. Part of what made my week stressful was that a package that I sent to New Zealand took twice as long as normal to get there. It arrived on Friday which was a huge relief to both me and my friend!

Rainbow Redondo

This skirt is one of my all time favourites. It was one of those light bulb moments when I decided how I would dye this skirt. I made four of these for the market on Saturday and sold three. I have an order for another in a size that was already sold.
The batch I made for Saturday has violet waistbands and purple thread for the rolled hem. Now I just need to find some time to list my remaining one on Etsy...well, maybe I will wait until after the Spring Fair at school on August 23.

Lemon Meringue Pie recipe

Sorry it has taken me a while to post this recipe. The recipe is only for the filling and meringue. If you need a pastry recipe let me know. I just used a butter shortcrust recipe for the pastry. It was weighted and pre-baked before the filling was added. I used a 9" pyrex pie dish.

The recipe is from the Argo (US brand) corn starch box. It's no family secret! LOL If anyone knows where to find organic corn starch (flour), I would be grateful to know as I'd love to use organic instead.

Pre heat oven to 375 F

½ cup corn starch (corn flour)

1 ½ cups sugar

2 cups water

5 egg yolks lightly beaten

½ Lemon Juice

1 Tbsp Grated Lemon Peel

2 TBS butter (this would be an American tablespoon, so 15ml x 2)

5 Egg Whites

2 tsp Corn Starch

Mix ½ cup cornstarch, 1/1/2 cups sugar, water and egg yolks in saucepan over medium heat. Stirring constantly, bring mixture to a boil (about 8 – 10 minutes),reduce heat and continue stirring for one minute until very thick. (This part is VERY important. You absolutely have to keep cooking it until it boils and for a minute afterwards. This is where I went wrong the first time. I was afraid of overcooking and hence my filling never thickened properly.) Remove from heat, stir in lemon juice, lemon zest and butter until smooth

Pour hot filling into Pie crust

Beat egg whites in mixer at high speed until soft peaks form, gradually add ½ cup sugar and 2 teaspoons corn starch, beating until still peaks form(tips stand straight), about 3 minutes

Top pie by spooning meringue over hot pie filling making sure meringue touches edge of pie crust to seal. Use the back of a spoon to swirl and draw up peaks. (Mom says this part is important too. The hot pie filling ensures the meringue sticks to the top of the pie. If the lemon filling has cooled a skin forms then the meringue doesn't adhere properly. I guess if you were having issues coordinating the meringue, covering the lemon filling with plastic wrap would prevent a skin.)

To bake place pie on oven rack in bottom third of preheated 375 F oven. Bake 10 minutes until peaks are lightly browned.

Cool at room temperature for 30 minutes.

A few other random comments. I used the meringue recipe here. I liked it ok and I never have issues with meringue, but I have to say that I have a preference for Italian meringue. It is one in which you make a sugar syrup which is then poured onto the egg whites as you are whipping them. I like the texture and there are two added pluses. One, an Italian meringue is very stable, and two, it is also food safe if you know of anyone who shouldn't be eating raw egg.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Lovely Lemon!!!!

lemon meringue
Originally uploaded by sarabean
Before sewing, cooking was my obsession. I had a friend ask me for a lemon meringue pie recipe and it sparked the notion that I too should make one. So I perused my books and embarked up on my latest cooking challenge. What I ended up making was lemon soup in pastry bowl with a meringue island. The meringue was beautiful, pastry good, but the filling....soup. I was perplexed because both my mom and my mother-in-law do an awesome lemon meringue, how can I not???

So this time I consulted the expert before embarking upon my next lemon adventure. I rang my mom, and I got her recipe. And as you can see, NO soup!!!!!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Just because

Just because I felt like sewing, I made Moo this skirt.
It was inspired by a couple of things. One is the rainbow Paula pants that I make (check out my Etsy shop). And the other thing was a skirt my friend, Milly, made. She gave me the pattern, and I was actually going to use it last night, but I didn't have enough material. So instead I just drafted this up and winged it. Not too bad for a first go if I may say so myself! Moo just loves it, so what else really matters?

And just in case you were wondering what the kids are holding in their hands...MY NEW LABELS!!!!
Will's even excited about them!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Brightness on a cold winter day

These four shirts became 6 shirts. The other two have gone home. The other two had to happen because I used the wrong pen to mark pieces and each of the shirts has tiny black smudge marks on it, so I can't sell them...well, not as first quality. It was entirely frustrating to find black smudges on all these cut and marked pieces as I pulled them out of the bucket. Thankfully I had some spare prewashed material, so I could cut the extra two shirts for the order. Anyway, I do love how they turned out, and hopefully I will find them homes.

AND I don't think I've mentioned that I am doing a screen printing workshop at Prints Charming. If you haven't come across these very talented ladies before, please have a look. I LOVE their designs and use of colour. Very inspiring!!!

Monkeying Around

My best friend had her third child a month ago. I was all excited and embarked on this project right away, so the pants have been sitting around finished for a few weeks, but I just hadn't had a chance to do the top. Well, last night, I did it! I love the outfit, but am not sure the pants are going to fit. They are a size 62 and are very wide. Both the pants and the shirt are Ottobre patterns from 01/04. The pants are made from a Moda sock monkeys print. The shirt is a cotton spandex knit. I hadn't made a lap sleeve tee before, but it was really easy unlike the challenge of making the pants. I put in my first ever fly zip on the pants!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Jule Hoodie

There is a story about this Jule top. It was supposed to be all velour like the top in a previous post, but I ran out of velour. I was in a huge panic as this top was for an order (thankfully for a friend). Coincidentally I had been eyeing my La Zagala pink poplin as a match for this velour. I've had it for ages, and like all Euro fabric, it takes me a while to decide to cut it. It's like I have to know it's going to be worthwhile or I won't go near it with a cutter. In the end I was so happy with the result. You can see the back here.

I also made another Jule top in purple velour with Ottobre "Jump" pants to go with it. Now I just need to post it to New Zealand.

Last night instead of sewing I made a cake. It was the easiest cake, and it was delish and beautiful. It was the Tropical Crush Cake from Belinda Jeffery's Mix and Bake. I made it in two layers and used the icing with the recipe. Even the kids ate some of it. We went on a play date today. This friend of Moo's live out at Galston which is NW Sydney. They live on a large block of land and have views over the valley. It is so nice and tranquil there albeit cold at the moment. On the way home I stopped at a roadside stall and bought some potatoes. I had no potatoes at home, but was making a beef casserole for dinner which just has to be served with mashed potatoes. Galston has lots of small farms, so you find lots of roadside stalls. In spring/summer there are always strawberries out there. YUM!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Insa of Hearts

We had a birthday to celebrate. It was for a little girl that we've known since she was born. I was inspired to make this skirt by a top that she already has. I used Farbenmix's Insa pattern, and the fabric was cotton poplin that I had machine dyed. On each panel of the overskirt I appliqued hearts. In some of the hearts I've sewn a button and at the top of the the ruching I've also sewn a tiny bow button. I really love the Insa pattern. It has lots of room for embellishment, but is so nice just simply done.