Let me just say at the outset that I am never going to make a dress out of pashmina shawls again. The fabric is so loosely woven that it’s next to impossible to cut straight, it frays if you look at it funny (I had to zig-zag every single edge to keep it from unraveling entirely), and it snags at the slightest provocation. Unpicking seams takes forever and leaves gaping wounds in the fabric, the weight of the skirt alone appears to be pulling the fabric itself out of shape, and I have no idea how I’ll wash this thing if it ever needs cleaning. Never again. Never. Again.
Anyway, back to a time when I didn’t know all this…
Hey, everyone! I know it’s been a while since my last post, but I promise it’s not because I’m dead or anything– it’s just that I’m waiting for photos to come back of the My Fair Lady embassy ballgown, and until they do I feel bad starting another series of posts about the new dress I’m working on. The photographer says they should be processed shortly, so until then I’m just going to work on stuff without posting so I’ll have a whole bunch of new posts later!
Sorry about this, and I’ll post something new soon!
Due to a recent blizzard I had an unexpected day home from work. As I watched the snow fly outside my window, I was seized with the irresistible impulse to bake bread. But what kind? I thought about trying my Cinnamon Babka again so I could actually eat more than one slice, but it needed an overnight rise and I wasn’t feeling patient. My Hokkaido Milk Bread was okay, but it was never perfect and I was really in the mood for something more savory. As always, I turned to the internet, searching for a bread recipe (preferably no-knead) that could be out of the oven in a few hours.
I found this one. It’s fabulous. It’s so easy. It takes about 4.5 hours, start to finish, and my husband and I ate almost the whole loaf in one sitting. I actually like the flavor just as much as the famous no-knead bread recipe from the New York Times, probably because it’s essentially the same recipe only with hot water and a fraction of the rising time. And it still has a great interior structure, a nice crispy crust, and that fresh-from-the-oven texture that you just can’t replicate with storebought bread. I’ll be making it a lot this winter, I know.
When I asked my daughter what flavor of cake she wanted for her fifth birthday, she told me “chocolate with cookies and raspberries,” so what could I do but comply? Not a huge project, but it was impressive (and tasty) enough that I figured it was worth writing about.
The cake is my standard chocolate cake, divided into three 7″ round cake pans. I didn’t have sufficient time for my usual whipped frosting recipe, so I threw some frosting together out of what I had on hand– it was a bit denser than I prefer, but still tasted good. There wasn’t really enough of it to properly frost the cake, but that’s where the cookies came in!
Instead of hosting a Christmas party this year, we decided that it would be simpler and therefore more fun to host a post-Christmas brunch. For some reason a brunch just seems less stressful than a full evening party– maybe it’s the fact that the foods are easier to prepare, maybe it just seems more casual… in any case, that’s what we decided to do. Of course, “casual” doesn’t mean “starving,” so of course I had to come up with an appropriate selection of sweet and savory goodies. And one of the first things I knew I’d be making was monkey bread.
Happy Holidays, everyone!
So the outfit is finally finished, and I got to wear it to a Dickens-themed ball! I know, I know, Dickens was really 1840 and later, but since the ball specifically featured Mr. and Mrs. Fezziwig from A Christmas Carol, and since the Fezziwigs were portrayed in the book during a flashback to Ebenezer Scrooge’s youth (presumably in the 1810s or so), I felt comfortable using it as an excuse to wear the dress. So there!
I used the last few pieces of dupatta fabric (literally there are only a few square inches left!) to make a long strip, which I wound around my head with some gold net to make a turban/fillet type hair accessory– I added some fabulous ostrich plumes for a finishing touch!
Okay, so I’m back from New York, my laptop is up and running again, and I have a big pile of fabric to show off from my shopping trip!
Fine, so it’s not particularly exotic-looking in light of the huge selection that was available in the literally dozens of tiny stores I visited (okay, only two dozen or so, but that’s technically accurate), but it’s a decent haul.
Seven yards of 60″ wide 100% cotton broadcloth, three in white and four in ivory, to make an 1860s petticoat, the underlining of an 1860s ballgown bodice, and a 1910 underskirt.
Three yards of 60″ wide metallic gold English tulle, to make an over-tunic for one or more Edwardian evening gowns made of sari fabric.
One yard of burgundy cotton broadcloth to line the bodice of a Regency open robe (not pictured).
Five yards of dusty rose polyester matte-ish satin (it actually drapes beautifully, somewhere between bridal satin and charmeuse, and is not horrifically synthetic-looking), to make a 1910 afternoon gown.
Four yards of 60″ wide ivory English tulle, to make the overgown for a My Fair Lady embassy ballgown. I’m waffling on whether I should’ve gotten white instead, but we’ll see.