Month: December 2016

Christmas Dress 2016

As usual at the last minute (about a week before travelling from the US to Australia with a newborn) I decided that I wanted to make a new dress to wear on Christmas day. At least this year some sense of reality prevailed & I started off with a decision to make a simple dress with a nice patterned fabric. However, as is usually the case with my sewing, this project’s complexity quickly escalated as I started making alterations to the pattern design. I started off with Vogue V8723 which is now out of print. Originally I was going to make it as is from the pattern, but then I thought ‘wouldn’t it be nice if that bit of trim at the top of the dress went round the entire time & formed the straps?’, then I thought, ‘Australia is hot, maybe I’ll lower the neckline significantly & make it a summer dress for a hot day’. This resulted in an afternoon of re-drawing practically all the pattern pieces to accommodate the changes. At the end …

Cranberry Curd Tartlets

I’m a sucker for a good lemon tart, so when I saw this NY Times recipe for a Cranberry Curd Tart I just had to give it a go. I tried a couple of different variations of the curd & pastry but still haven’t found a combination I’m completely happy with. First off I made the curd exactly as specifed & used the shortcrust pastry I had in my freezer (made using this Jamie Oliver recipe  – I find it’s always handy to have a tart case or some pastry in the freezer). For me the curd was too sweet & the tartness of the cranberries didn’t come through as I’d hoped. For my next try I halved the sugar. This time was better, but I think I took a little too much of the sugar out. If I was to make it again I think I’d try 3/4 of the sugar. In the second try I also changed the pastry to more of a gingerbread. I used the same Jamie Oliver recipe but replaced …