mlsdesigns: (cocktail)
We both woke up this morning not really in the mood to go out, and the weather forcast was not at all good, so we decided not to go to the reenactment. We might still go tomorrow, but probably not, we're really enjoying a do-nothing weekend for a change!
Since we weren't going out, I got to do some play sewing :) I've been looking at lots of sewing blogs lately, especially vintage inspired ones, and have been taken by a bit of a refashioning bug, and not having any costuming deadlines has let me spend some time making modern clothes! I've so far turned a thrifted man's button down shirt into a summery skirt (of course, it was stupidly cold and rained the day I wore it to work this week!) and another one into a tunic top, although it still needs something to give it a bit more shape through the underbust.
Today I threw myself into apron making! I found several pretty patterns and tutorials on the web, and made these two this afternoon... )
Tomorrow I shall be wearing one of the aprons while I attempt to whip up a batch of Mars bar brownies (Milky ways to those of you over the pond) and then I expect I'll also do some more dressmaking, I still have several shirts to cut up, not to mention several patterns for skirts I want to try :D

Ho hum.

Dec. 28th, 2010 01:22 am
mlsdesigns: (hood icon)
I was thinking of trying to resurecting posting everyday, but I'm not at all sure how well it will turn out!
I mentioned yesterday that we're having a Georgian evening party on Thursday, we have lots of friends coming and are planning a relaxed evening soiree! Everyone is coming in kit, and are instructed to come in 'undress' to facilitate relaxing and raucous fun :D We're going to have 'tea' after people arrive, at 5 or so, with tea and coffee, mulled wine and apple juice, and cakes and biscuits and things. Then we will drink and chat and play games and gamble, till about 9 or 10 when we will have 'supper' before people leave.
We're hoping to have a truly Georgian supper spread, using recipes from period receipt books, as we do when we make food for balls, but this food will all be done by us, and will be supper dishes, like the Victorian savoury course, and will be a bit like a modern fork buffet I think.
So far we have planned: soup (it's cold outside! and it'll fill people up if they're feeling hungry by then) 'a pretty dish of eggs' (hard boiled eggs, cut in slices and browned in butter, with slices of onion, also browned in butter, with a sauce poured over) 'a nice whet before dinner' (except ours will be with supper! slips of toast with anchovies and toasted cheese) a platter of cold meats; 'a boiled salad' (cold cooked winter veg in a mayonaisy salad dressing) 'mushrooms in loaves' (mushrooms cooked in a veloute sauce served in the cutest little tiny bread rolls we got in France!) and 'a delicate ragou of chicken' (which may end up as turkey, since, as you can imagine, we have rather a lot left!) and, not sure if it counts as sweet or savoury, and they didn't seem to mind, 'potatoe pie' (a pastry tart filled with a mix of mashed potatoes, butter, sugar, eggs and spices)
Then we will also have an apple tart (none of your unholesome preserves here!) macarrons (also from France) stewed plums and fresh exotic fruit from the hot house (AKA the local supermarket!) We shall also have dishes of bonbons and chocolates, and for a centre peice we have even gone to the expence of hiring a Pine-Apple!
While we were in France we saw the most beautiful little Buche de Noel, swiss rolls (jelly rolls I think you call them in the US) decorated with pastel coloured butter cream icing with piped flowers and leaves to decorate. We're thinking of having a go at making them for the 'tea', although it may be a disaster!
Clare will hopefully be wearing her new waistcoat, if I can get it finished in time (it still needs a back!) and I started making jumps when we went to France, from the same fabric as Clare's waistcoat fronts (I just have enough left from the yard I bought to make a reticule I think!) They're nearly done, I just need to finish binding one armhole and do the other, then ribbon ties and it's done. It's silk, lined with linen and interlined with fluffy (pink!) wool, for warmth and a bit of structure, because I want to be able to wear it without stays, and don't want to look too bulgy in the bust department!! I had hoped to get around to making banyans for Mummy and Clare because they will both be wearing boy's clothes, but there's no chance I'll manage now!
mlsdesigns: (me and boo)
I still can't shake this wretched cold, and now it's settled in my chest and I can't stop coughing :( I've been trying to sew some, and succeeding in a small way. Yesterday and today though I've been preserving!
Our next door neighbours brought us some of their home grown raspberries, so yesterday I made cordial with the fruit (yummy!!), and then turned the pulp, which would usually go into the bin, into some 'black butter' and some fruit cheese, basically both like jam, but thicker and more solid. The butter is an 18thC nursery food, using the leftovers from making jelly for the dinning room to feed the children and servants! Fruit cheese is even thicker and set in molds so you can turn it out to serve on a cheese board (lots of people have heard of membrillo, a quince cheese from Spain, this is the same idea,) it's another very old recipe again using the leftover pulp. Quite green really :)
we also had a punnet of strawberries in the fridge form the supermarket. I made them into cordial too, needless to say it didn't make much! But the pulp was sitting there this morning, saying 'I'm sure I could be useful for something!' ... But still being in the cordial making mood I turned all the sad old lemons in the fridge into lemon syrup for lemonaid, and I had such a big saucepan full I decanted a few big ladlefulls into the strawberry saucepan to see if the smears of red round the edges would make it a nice pink lemonaid colour. It did, but it wasn't very pink, (not pink drink worthy anyway!!) so I dumped the jelly-bag full of strawberry pulp into the syrup and left it to steep like a giant Psychedelic tea bag while I bottled the lemon syrup. The strawberry pulp made the pink lemonaid a fabulous pink colour, and it now tastes of strawberry too! So I think next time I have some stawrberries sitting in the fridge that need using, I'll make strawberry lemonaid with them instead of just cordial, it'll go further!!
Well, I suppose I've procrastinated enough for one day, I better get to swewing I suppose!
mlsdesigns: (puppy)
Well, as expected, no sewing today!
I baked some coconut cupcakes before I went to the pub to do lunch. Then we went to another local pub for lunch. While eating, Gemma's evening chef called to say his daughter was sick and he wasn't going to make the evening shift, so guess who got to take over?!
So I got home after lunch at about 3:30, fell into bed with a splitting headache, and woke up to go out again at 10 to six. I got home about half an hour ago :(
Tomorrow we're going to a friend's to help eat her last turkey (good riddance I say, he was a nasty thing!) at 3, for which we're taking vegies and pudding, and we'll stay for dancing, so who knows if I'll get round to sewing? I want to make some nuttela cupcakes tomorrow, so at least that will cheer me up!
mlsdesigns: (puppy)
I've not been feeling too good this afternoon/evening :( After work at the pub I went into town on the bus to get thread (It took nearly 3 hours just to get 4 spools of silk thread! No one sells it in Loughborough, 10 minutes away, so I have to go to Leicester, 45 minutes away!) Once I got home I was soo tired I went upstairs for a nap! I did get lots of sewing done at the pub though, and on the bus, so now the front lining pieces are4 all finished and the back of the bodice is all together, and then after supper while we re-watched a couple of episodes of Glee I sewed the panels together for the back skirt.
We have some friends coming for tea tomorrow before dancing, so today I baked a cake that I will frost tomorrow - it's a toffee-fudge cake, I'm still trying to decide what kind of frosting to do ... I'm not sure what else we will do, usually we go crazy over tea, but I'm a bit tea partied out at the moment!we have had so many tea parties lately!! It may just be a cup of tea and a piece of cake this time! There are only 3 of them, not like usual when we have over a dozen, so I guess we don't need as much :)
I just hope a good night's sleep will sort me out, I'm getting to bed early anyway!
mlsdesigns: (Default)
While I was waiting for Clare to bring her bottom back to fit the waist of her breeches (she went to get buttons for her coat) I got on with my frilly neck thingy, so here, to tide you over till next week, are some photos )
Today has gone very well, I even managed to bake! I made 2 batches of cookies, peanut butter chocolate chip oatmeal, and dark chocolate cranberry. I baked half a tray of the cranberry and a tray of the oatmeal, the rest are in the freezer to take with us to bake fresh :) I've got some raisins soaking in tea to make a tea bread/fruit cake as well.
Well, I think I hear silence, Clare must have finished the button holes, means I can use the machine to make the eyelets for the back of the breeches waistband, then that's all the machine sewing done!
mlsdesigns: (pink regency)
Nothing much happening, Mummy and Clare helped me to strike the set this morning, we went out for lunch, came home and I napped the afternoon away! I ade meatballs with BBQ sauce and mashed potatoes for dinner while Mummy made blancmange and jelly for her party tomorrow. Tomorrow will be busy busy busy! People are coming at 3:30 and we have cakes and scones and sandwiches and things to make before then, Mummy wants party games too, so we need to sort out a pass the parcel as well!
I need to style a wig for Sunday too, one of the men at dancing wants an 18thC wig for the ball in Bath and I said I'd style one for him, the ones I did for school for Amadeus worked out well, hopefully this one will too, I got a slightly different wig this time, so we'll see which works out better, and if he likes the one I did for school better we'll swap ;)
All this means I doubt I'll get much sewing time in this weekend :'( But I do have next week, although I keep forgetting to factor in time to finish Mummy's breeches!!
Ooh, also, I'm super excited about giving Mummy her presents tomorrow!!
mlsdesigns: (Default)
Last night's ball was so much fun, but boy am I tired today!!! I don't think I've been this stiff and sore after a ball in ages! But any way, there are some photos under here )
It's half term this week, so I should be able to get lots of sewing done, but tomorrow I'm going shopping with Gemma and we're going to the cinema to see Valentine's day as well, then home for supper and Gleeeeee!!!

Phew!

Feb. 12th, 2010 09:24 pm
mlsdesigns: (hood icon)
No sewing today :( But last night I finished sewing the hood onto the cloak, so now it just needs hooks and eyes and ribbons, which I'll do tomorrow.
But this afternoon was filled with baking a cake (to be iced tomorrow) preparing the vegetable pie (still have to roll out the pastry lid) and working on the white soup, which will be finished tomorrow. My mother made the trifle (also from Jane Austen's cookbook) and my sister crystallised some rose petals for me for decoration. Busy busy busy!!!
mlsdesigns: (plaid and bonnet)
I didn't get much done today, but then, I didn't think I would! The waist band is sewn on and pressed, I need to sew some cotton tape on to line it, then I can fit the skirt. I' planning to pin the skirt seams and pin it to the waistband to do a fitting before I sew anything, at the moment the skirt is just 2 trapezoids without curves for the hem or waistline, I want to see where they need to be, since I messed this step up with the petticoat!
I did do some baking today, I thought I might :p I made a batch of vanilla cake and split it in two, I added candied strawberries and chopped white chocolate to one half and fresh pairs and a streusel topping to the other.
Photobucket
The strawberry cake is on the left with melted chocolate and more strawberries on top, the pear cake has lemon icing drizzled over. The chocolate should have been a drizzle too, but the bag I was using as a piping bag burst and I got chocolate everywhere!!!
mlsdesigns: (puppy)
I spent today baking, normally fun, but not when it's this much! I did 2 double batches of brownies and 45 cupcakes, which I iced and decorated with fondant toppers, which I foolishly decided to colour red and black, two of the hardest colours to do, so much kneading :(
Photobucket
The toppers are held on with gold and silver candle holders, 40 of them :) I did 2 extras to give to the friends who are looking after Emmy for the weekend, and 3 for us for tea :)
In-between making the toppers and frosting the cakes my dancing friends came round for a cup of tea and a chat, they brought the straw samples from Timely Tresses that I had sent to another friend, and they are very lovely, now I have to try and decide which colour I like best! Once the cakes were frosted it was time to get supper, after I fixed my cardigan to wear to the party (it was too big) it's now time for bed! So no sewing :( But I did try my 1830s dress on, apart from being HUGE I think it'll be a very good starting point for my 1820s bodice.
mlsdesigns: (eat cake)
So since yeteday was Saturday, I was baking!! I decided I needed to try and find a moister chocolate cake recipe, so I used Ina Garten's chocolate cake (from the Barefoot Contessa) And because I don't like to do just one type of cake I made some snickerdoodle cupcakes from bakerella.com but first I spent all of Friday trying to decide what frostings to make! In the end I went for caramel frosting for the snickerdoodles and whipped mint chocolate ganache for the chocolate, with mint butter-cream filling. Anyway, now I've made you hungry by talking about cupcakes, I better go the whole hog and make you feel even worse by showing you the cupcakes!!! They're under here )
I love Saturday baking :D
I did get some photos of my new dress at the ball last night, just waiting for my other computer to start playing nicely so I can upload them!
mlsdesigns: (foam moustache)
So, since I no longer have to be on a crazy low fat diet for my gallstones I've been making up for the last few months of no cakes and cookies by baking crazy cupcakes :)
I can't wait till Saturday now, I've decided Saturday is baking day :) I never seam to manage to do much sewing on a Saturday anyway, and we have dancing on Sunday so the cakes will be at their freshest :)
Now to do the washing up, then it's time to sew, I have some ideas for my new ballgown and can't wait to get started!
mlsdesigns: (eat cake)
It's my best friend's birthday today, and we're going out this evening, but as part of her present I decided I would bake her a cake, and boy does it look yummy!! It turned out so tall! I did 2 layers of chocolate cake with a white chocolate ganache in the middle, and covered the top and sides with chocolate fudge icing. We are going to be so FULL!!! I'll try to remember to take a photo to show you, most of my cakes end up a bit flat, but this one is massive :)

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