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Saturday, 31 March 2012

Mother-Baby bag

End of September 2011 my baby was then one month old and I thought it was time to start sewing again, especially since I had ideas. One of those ideas was a mummy-baby bag that would allow me to go around with one bag instead of two (my hand-bag and the baby's stuff). It did take a lot of thinking and sewing, so I did not manage to finish it very quickly. I had started using it already in October, with the safety-pins holding the top parts together but it only was completely finished only this week (6 months later)!!

I used:
* some fabrics from Ikea (they have some lovely stuff), the outer fabrics is quite thick and strong.
* two zippers
* two decorative buttons
* various pieces of fabrics which I had left from other projects

The bag:
* two parts separated in the middle
* two straps (one to carry accross the shoulder - one to put around the pushchair handles)

Just some pictures to show you the process:

 Et voilà! Going out made easier with one bag for two persons :) 

P.S: about the straps, I made the mistake of putting them diagonally, I thought it was more logical (balancing the weight) but using it I realised it was not such a great idea. It was too late though, I didn't fancy undoing all the work to change this.

Sunday, 25 March 2012

A Facebook Page!

I know I have already posted about this, but I don't know what the reactions were... No idea if anybody went to have a look or not. So just in case you missed it, here is again the link to a Facebook page: De Fil en Aiguilles . Lovely things for the whole family! Go and have a look!

Friday, 23 March 2012

Baby N.'s spring hat

I made a hat for my baby girl. Spring is there now and the fleece hat is just too warm to be worn on most days. I didn't really like any of the hats I have seen so far so I decided to make one myself... Some people like the fabric I have used, some others (most actually!) do not like it at all!
I realised after making it that I did not take any picture of the process, ah well for once it is ok. I just layed down her fleece hat on a sheet of paper, drew the contours, thought a bit and then got on cutting and sewing.

After trying it for a whole afternoon, I realised that it kept going upwards and actually covering Baby N.'s face. So on the same day, once she was in bed, I made two folds on the neck part so as to make it tighter there. It worked! She will not wear it very long as it is very adjusted to her current head-size, but at least at the moment she has a cotton hat to protect her ears from the wind (it is just Spring, not Summer yet!). 
What do you think about it?

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Another hairclip

After seeing this Totoro (Yencamade), I decided to try making one at some point... Lacking time, I still haven't been able to but soon I probably should get going as I have been asked to make it a birthday present. The recipient of the present is a big fan of this particularly loveable character from the film "My Neighbour Totoro". To make her patient for this I tried to make mini-Totoros to fit them on a hairclip (no idea whether she's going to wear it... almost 19y is maybe a bit old for that but who knows!). Printing out a pattern from there but shrunk it first. Embroidery and details are easier to make before assembling the front and back pieces. In theory the two pieces are assembled front to front and then turned inside out, but considering the size I had to find another option. I also fixed the nylon thread on the inside with some glue so that it would not move afterwards.

The mini-totoros look more like cats but well... I blame the miniature work ;)

It does not really look great on short hair but it gives an idea of the final look.
What do you think?

A little bunny

I love browsing the web, always discovering new blogs, new ideas (often too many!). Here is one which I found particularly nice and had to try out. My fabric isn't that nice and I used only one colour, but it was mainly to experiment it a first time and decide whether I would later make some more or not. The answer is: mooooore!!! (bunnies and therefore fabrics needed).
 The size is not the original size, I like making everything smaller (easier to send by post I suppose). I just hope the recipient of this little bunny will appreciate it. Oh no!! I only just now realised that I have forgotten to put a ribbon around its neck as I had planned to do! I will have to try to remember taking one with me when I go to France.
 If you have the occasion, take a look at this blog, you will find very nice things: Sew much ado.

Monday, 19 March 2012

Guest post from H. from Germany

And another guest post... well, almost! I am writing the post but the work was my mother-in-law's, H.
We just moved house and have two cheap chairs which we wanted to throw away. Indeed the cushion is fixed on the chair and not washable, so the lovely original white has gone to a sort of ugly dirty something... Plus I still need to glue the wood properly to stop falling over every time I sit on those chairs!!
Anyway, H. decided to make us a little surprise and took from my "remain box", the remains of the fabric we used for the patchwork cushions. Here is what she came up with:
 The cover does adapt to most chairs as the ribbon can be pulled so as to narrow the fabric around the seat. And that means now that we get to keep the old chairs, they look a lot better!

Vielen Dank H. :)

Thursday, 15 March 2012


Got recently a very good oppotunity... that means loads of work to do in the next years but also a lot of fun and creativity:

Lime Sponge Cake

Yesterday was my husband's birthday so I made a cake. I have from my mother a delicious Orange Cake recipe, but made it often enough to suggest a change: make it into a Lemon Cake. My husband suggested lime instead, so his wishes being orders on his birthday, that is what I did.

Here is the original recipe and in bold characters the modifications I made yesterday:

* 330 gr of sugar
* 115 gr of butter
* 115 gr of flour
* 2 eggs
* a tea-spoon of baking powder
* 2 oranges [6 limes]

How to make it:
* Mix together 115 gr of sugar and 115 gr of melted butter until it looks creamy.
* Add one after the other the eggs, lifting the dough so as to let air come inside, it makes it nice and soft after baking.
* Add the juice of half an orange [two limes] and the grated skin.
* Add 115 gr of flour and the tea-spoon of baking powder.
* Butter a baking form (I usually use a round one) and pour the mix.
* Shortly pre-heat the oven and then bake for 30 min (keep an eye on it though already after 20 min) at 180°C (Th.6)
* While it bakes mix the remaining 115 gr of sugar with the juice of an orange [4 limes].
* Take the cake out of the form (gently!) while still warm and pour the mixed juice (after mixing it well with a small spoon or fork) on the surface of the cake. While cooling down it will absorb the juice+sugar.

 And since I had no time to cristallize some lime skins to decorate the cake, I coloured some white marzipan and shaped it.
Et voilà! A lovely cake for a lovely man
 I dare say it was a big hit! We both loved it and I was totally amazed and happy !!! So proud it worked out so well. I was afraid that it would be a bit weird since I had never baked with limes before, but it worked out absolutely great! I definitely recommand you having a go at it. The orange version is delicious too and I think I will try making it with lemon as well some time.

Now just for the fun I bought some "green" cheese for dinner: yummy!
"Wasabi Gouda"

Monday, 12 March 2012

A Facebook Page

For those who can speak French (and the others who are not scared of browsing on a foreign webpage), my sister sent me the link to a new FB page which is producing lovely creations: De Fil En Aiguilles . One just need to ask and some lovely clothes or accessories can be made for the whole family.

I just thought I'd share :) 

P.S: more posts coming soon I promise, some things are on their way.

Monday, 5 March 2012

Cherry cake with Meringue topping

Finally back online! The moving-house went really well but things are still a bit chaotic at home. Therefore I do not think I will be able to post regularly for a little while still. Nevertheless I have material for a couple of posts. One which I can write now while Baby N. is taking a nap, the others will come later.
February, March, April... so many birthdays to celebrate! And finally a kitchen and some time... So on Friday I prepared a cake for my mother-in-law with a recipe sent to me by a friend who lives in the Netherlands (that's so cool to have acquaintances pretty much all around the world!). The german name of the cake is:
Kirschekuchen mit Eischneedecke
And here is the recipe:
 (for a standard round baking form)

*3 egg yolks
*1 sachet of vanilla sugar
*200 gr of flour
*100 gr of sugar
*100 gr of butter
*1/2 a sachet of baking powder
*A pinch of salt

Mix everything and then roll out the dough in the baking form. Bake at around 180°C for 15 - 20 min (until golden brown).
Cherry filling (to be prepared while dough is baking, that is, if you don't have a child that needs looking after!)
*1 large glass of cherries without stone
*1 and 1/2 sachet of vanilla pudding powder for cooking
*sugar (at will)
Strain the cherries above a sauce pan and set them aside. Keep a small quantity of juice in a small bowl. Use the cherry juice and fill up with water to get  1/2L. Bring the juice to the boil and in the meantime mix the remaining (cold) juice with the vanilla pudding powder, then add the mix to the boiling juice, heat and stirr until the juice becomes clear and dark (in the beginning it will be milky). Add sugar to taste, then the cherries and leave to cool down until the dough is baked. Pour onto the dough and bake for about 15 - 20 min.
*3 egg whites (the ones from the dough's yolks which you will have store some time in the fridge before using them)
*150 gr of sugar
Add a pinch of salt and whip the eggs until they are very stiff. Then little by little whip in the sugar. Then add on top of the cherries and bake again at 150°C/180°C until it looks golden brown.
I don't know if that is perfectly normal but the meringue went down a bit when cooling down. The top part remained nicely crispy though.
 Make sure that the cake is really cooled down before you remove it from the baking form otherwise the cherry filling will still be liquid. Bon appétit!
And pretty much like every time I attempt a new recipe, I misread something... this time it was the quantity of vanilla pudding powder!! I used half a sachet instead of one AND a half! No wonder it was not getting solid. It all ran out of the form... I was pretty disappointed but apparently it still tasted great. The other thing I learnt was that I should not put so much sugar with the juice, just a bit (or not at all) is enough. That is what is called "learning by doing" and WHAT A SHAME! it does mean that I HAVE TO try it again!

Incidentally: to make sure I would be able to bring something edible to my in-laws, I made those:

Puff-pastry (not home-made) onto which I rolled some sugar, then folded twice on the length, sprinkling some more sugar, cutting, shaping, baking for 6-8min, then out again to turn them over, sprinkling again some sugar, re-baking, leaving to cool on a rack. Et voilà!