Sunday, September 29, 2013

Pattern review: Oliver + s ice cream social dress and tunic

So, the little girl needed a new dress to wear to Aunt Roommate and Uncle Tom's wedding.  Right?  And I really wanted to make one because I'm crazy and didn't have anything else to do.  Haha.  I looked through my patterns and decided to finally try one of the Oliver + s patterns I picked up on clearance at Creative Crafts last year.  They were only $4.50 each (normally around $15)!  I'm kicking myself for not buying more, but oh well.  I only had the larger sizes pattern, so I guessed on sizing it down to around a 2T, and made a tunic to check the sizing first.  I love, love, love the tunic.  I used some leftover fabric of some dresses and bloomers I made last year, and it is really adorable with some jeggings.  Little girl will wear this one a lot she looks so darn cute in it.  I adjusted the pattern a little with the dress, and tried color-blocking with a couple Kona solids (tangerine and pomegranate maybe?) and a print I got from Joann's.  I had made some bloomers last year out of the same pink, so we lucked out there.  Little girl loved her dress!  She calls it her "aunt roommate uncle tom wedding dress".  Bit of a mouthful.  I wish I had pictures of the little girl wearing the dress, but I don't think it would ever get blogged about if I waited for that.  Plus, it gets a few more berry and watermelon stains on them every time she wears it...

Stella wore the tunic in family pictures (the day before Charlotte was born), so I have some terrific photos of it.  We love Marci for family photos.  She can get real smiles and personality out of kids like no one's business.  And she has a fun blog.  Here's a few photos from that session:

Oh, the cuteness.  It's a bit overwhelming at times. 

Here are some more details on the pattern: 

Pattern:  Oliver + s ice cream dress sizes 5-12.  Blouse and dress with a button and loop closure and sweet v-notched neck. 

Size I sewed:  About a size 2

Material used:  Fabrics from my stash for the blouse and from Joann's for the dress (sorry, I don't remember what the dress print was called.)

Notions needed:  A button. 

Appropriately rated:  Rated advanced beginner, but I had no trouble at all with it, and I would consider myself a beginner. 

Comments: This was the first Oliver + s pattern I made and I've fallen in love!  I felt like I could learn how to sew from this pattern.  It turned out terrific, and I learned a few techniques from it that I'll apply in other projects.  I'd only sewed with Butterick and McCall patterns up to this point, and it felt like angels were singing the whole time I was sewing.   I would definitely recommend this pattern!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Mad for plaid (week 3 challenge of Project Run & Play)

Hi there!

Since I tend to complete most of my sewing when I have a deadline and the little girl could use a couple more winter dresses, I decided last minute to join in on the Project Run and Play fun. (As in, fabric shopping Monday, washed the fabric Monday night, cut and sewed the dress on Tuesday.)  This week's challenge was "mad for plaid".  Perfect for a Fall/Winter dress.  It took an hour of searching at Joann's because I was hoping for something heavier than a quilting cotton, but I ended up loving the fabric I got.  I used the Oliver + S Seashore Sundress sewing pattern, but only had the pattern for the larger sizes, so I used my best guess to size it down to around a 2T.  The pattern was terrific!  Easy to follow and with lots of helpful tips.  I think the results look professional :)

Here it is!

Little girl saying "hi"

The fabric was DS Quilting Collection Croquet Plaid from Joann's.  The shirt is from Gymboree. (I'm still too nervous to work with knits.)  The buttons were also from Joann's and I sewed them on with some blue thread for a little pop of color.  Here's a closeup of the fabric and the one place where the plaids matched on a seam.  I didn't think about the princess seams and the plaids not matching until I had cut out most of the pattern pieces.  Oops.  Thankfully, it wasn't too noticeable.

I made a little bow hair pretty to match.  So adorable. 

And the dress was fun to play in! Going down the slide...

Torturing Tin-tin the kitty...


And just being cute. 

Thanks for stopping by!

Here are some more details on the pattern: 

Pattern:  Oliver + s seashore sundress sizes 5-10.  Cute little sundress (or jumper in this case) with a dropped waist ruffle on the side front and across the back and hidden pockets in the ruffle. 

Size I sewed:  About a size 2

Material used:  DS Quilting Collection Croquet Plaid from Joann's (quilting cotton)

Notions needed:  Two buttons and thread

Appropriately rated:  Rated beginner, and I agree.  The only skills needed were gathering and buttonhole making, and the gathering was well explained. 

Comments: This is the second Oliver + s pattern I've sewed and they are terrific!  So well written and you end up with a really professional-looking garment.  The patterns are pretty spendy (I got this one on super sale), but I can always count on ending up with a garment I love. 

Friday, September 6, 2013

Favorite Zucchini Bread Recipe

I pretty much grow zucchini in the garden for making zucchini bread.  I'll sauté some every few weeks, but I'm the only one who likes summer squash in our family, so I'm not very motivated to find non-zucchini bread recipes.  Zucchini bread, on the other hand, is a family favorite.  I would be happy if no one else liked it, but I'm not that lucky. 

The little girl loves it!
More zucchini bread, please!

Uh oh... she dropped the last bite on the floor!

I love my recipe, it's from my Great-Grandma Stella and it always turns out moist and delicious.  It's not terribly healthy, but we only eat it three months out of the year and how can you mess with perfection?

Here's the recipe:

Zucchini Bread

1 1/2 c. sugar
3/4 c. oil
3 eggs

2 1/2 c. flour
3/4 t. salt
1 t. soda
2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. cinnamon
1/4 t. ginger
1/4 t. orange extract
1/4 t. vanilla
1/2 t. lemon peel

2+ c. finely grated zucchini

Preheat oven to 350. Grease and flour two loaf pans (about 9" x 5" and I use one glass and one metal pan since that's what I have).  Cream the sugar, oil and eggs together.  Add the rest of the ingredients and blend well.  Finally, add the zucchini and blend.  If you use a little more zucchini, closer to 2 1/2 cups, then the bread will be more moist.  If all you get out of your zucchini is 2 cups, then that will work, too!  Split the batter between the two loaf pans and bake for about an hour or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.  A glass pan will take a little longer than a metal pan unless the metal pan is really heavy and dark.  Run a knife around the edge to help it come out easier.  I let it cool in the pan, but that's mostly because I'm lazy.  Just invert the pan and rap the bottom with your knuckles to get it out of the pan. 

I love to spread butter on a slice while it's still hot from the oven.  Yumm...

Happy baking!