Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Easter favourite Bakes

Fat Bunnies Cut-Out Cookies 

400 grams plain flour ( Judy always ask for american conversion: About 3 cups)
2 teaspoons baking powder 
150 grams of  sugar ( about 1 cup)
200 grams  (2 sticks unsalted butter) cold & cut into chunks 
1 egg 
3/4 tsp vanilla extract 
1/2 tsp  orange extract 

Preheat oven to 180 C (about 350F). Combine the dry ingredients and set aside. 

Cream the sugar and butter. Adding egg and extracts slowly. Gradually start adding the dry ingredients mixed, beating just until combined.

The dough is not wet and should feel crumbly. Knead it together until you can start rolling it.

Roll on a anti stick surface to about 1,5 cm and cut into your bunny shapes. 

Rach's tip: Normally most cookies dough require a 30 min chilling time. Don't have that time, cheat by freezing the cookies already cut into shape for 5 min.  Bake for 10-12 minutes and use a cooling rack.

'Fast like a bunny' mini loafs

1 and 1/2 fresh biologic yeast tablet (about 22 g)
75G (Half cup) of sugar
1 egg
75 ml (Half cup) of vegetable oil
1 tsp salt
500g flour

In a mixer or a blender, blend all the wet ingredients. With the flour in a bow, make a hole in the middle and add the liquid slowing, mixing well until it forms a dough. Roll into small balls and leave resting for 40 mins. Bake pre heated oven 180C till ready about 25 mins.

Rach's tip:To make the bunny ears, just before baking, snip  twice with your scissors and with a tooth pick make two holes for the eyes.

Another big favourite in my house is cupcakes topped with chocolate nests.

The cupcake recipe is normally carrot but can be any you fancy. 

To make the nest "Brazilian way":
In a bow, add half cup of Cacha├ža -Brazilian national spirit. Vodka works just as well. Put this in the freezer. It will not freeze and get very cold.
Melt slowly your favourite chocolate, 30 seconds at at time on the microwave, mixing very well and letting the heat dissolve. Put the chocolate still warm in a piping bag and pipe over the very cold spirit, making the shape of the nest as you go along. The nest will firm immediately. Decorate each nest with some chocolate eggs. Delicious.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Freehand Cutting Dressmaking Workshop with Chinello (GBSB)

Hey friends,
April already been incredibly fun regarding to sewing activities. Last saturday started with me meeting with my sewing club at London:Walthamstow market for our first club outing.  My stash only been fattened by 4metres of fabric thanks to the fantastic selection of the man outside Sainsbury.

It is so much fun to sew with like minded girls. Club is doing really well that we are now oversubscribed and cannot accept any more members at the moment. My shopping trip was shorter.  I needed to meet Kerry and head to Chinello's workshop. 
Chinello wizardry on Sewing Bee wow me. Her unexpected method of cutting patterns directly on fabric made a really interesting subject to learn and when she announced her first workshop on twitter I couldn't resist.

The workshop details: "This workshop focuses on a stylish peplum top (or made longer, a beautiful dress to impress), you will learn how to transfer your measurements directly unto the fabric and dart your garment pieces to take the body's contours. This organic method of dressmaking will give you great fabric handling skills, confidence to start stepping away from commercial patterns or even using your new skills to enhance your favourite patterns. "

At first it's was hard to get my head around not having a template to trace but once I started to visualise what each measurement marking means it, the whole process made a lot more sense. The day went really fast and many times I was completely confused, which it's totally normal for me. I am highly energetic and excitable, always chatting and walking the room. 

During the workshop I meet Rachel and next to me was a lovely girl but my name holding skills is so poor, hopefully she will read this and say hello. I want to see her gingham peplum so fingers cross she will start a blog.

One of the biggest revelation was how close the underline methodology from Chinello's free hand cutting to the way I learned pattern design in Brasil (Methodo Iole). Both are purely based on personal measurement but free hand cutting is so much more organic. No fancy rulers, no pattern notches, just press (crease) in place and off you go. That's what I mostly confused during the day because when you sew without instructions, the instinct is to sew pattern based on notches and markings. After a fab night of sleep on my new bed, it all made sense.  All those clues were there but in a different language. 

The whole day was so fascinating. I need to do some homework and make a few more to practice so I don't forget what I learned. Chinello is a talent sewist and was a pleasure to meet her and learn from her. 

I will avoid over-sharing the method we worked on but basically you fold the fabric working with your front and back on top of each other, populate all your measurements regarding the design you want to make (We took 16 measurements of ourselves) and cut the back measurement on both layers. Separated the front and back, and then recut only the front. Then was to cut the circle skirt. The  cutting took most of the workshop time leaving only 30 mins to sew. I wasn't going to sew there. I was tired and my brain need digesting of all the information. At home I could review my markings against my notes before I sew and overlock the edges.
To sew at home was incredibly easy. I finished the dress in one hour. Dress? Well, we had to share fabric and in the interested of fair share we got the same amount. To avoid making my mini dress smaller, I tried a rolled hem with contrasting thread on the overlocker. We were told we could either repeat the process for facings or use binding. I closed my V neck and armholes with red pokadot bias. I'm thinking I could add either a contrasting fabric band or to shortener into a top but to be honest I liked in a tunic length as it is. The bust darts look almost like a princess seam.  Shame is hard for you to see due the african wax fabric print.
Chinello provided all the material for the class, tea and biscuits. I teased her about homemade cakes because she is also an avid baker. 
Working in inches on the day made me quite slow too, why when we change our 'normal' metric system all the instructions look a lot more scary... 
I wasn't sure how to style this make but didn't deliberate it. Since I was wearing those leggings when  sewing, I grabbed the first pair of shoes and coat and went of the door for the pictures. I'm not sure how much I will wear this but the skills learned will definitively last.
On tuesday I met the girls to watch the final. I really wanted Chinello to win. 
Who was your favourite?

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Swishing Betty with a giveaway

Hello everyone,

Let me introduce you to my Betty Dress from Sew Over it. I'm loving that Lisa is making her classes patterns available to all since not always possible to attend classes or some of us would prefer to make them at home.

Betty is a intermediate dress, with a fitted bodice and full skirt: swishsy. You can get the pattern here.

I sewn with a very light weight cotton and the drape is beautiful. The print is very delicate and didn't shown well on the pictures.

Views of the pattern:Cutting layouts were clear and easy to follow. The information regarding sizing and fit  was adequate. I based mined on flat pattern measurement and checked against the sizing chart. Great! For your reference: size 12 UK (with fitting modifications)

The instructions were clear and easy to follow. I followed most of it based on the illustrations and the dress finishes quite neatly. Next one I would finish the facings with contrasting bias. I just want the inside of my clothes to be prettier and prettier.

Only thing it’s missing: Betty is crying for side pockets.

Personal fit modifications: Removed 1 cm from bodice centre front from size 12, move that 1 cm to the side seams. Lengthen the pattern, dropping the darts. Front /back bodice were dropped by 3 cm and the dress finish on my high waist.Removed 1,5cm from centre back- but didn't add that extra on the side seam.

The pattern is delightfully easy to sew and to wear. 

To celebrate the launch of the Betty Pattern I have one to give it away. For a chance of winning, tell me what fabric would you use to make the Betty!  Sell me your vision. Open internationally to all my readers. Pls make sure you can be contacted. Giveaway closes Friday19 April at 8 PM UK Time (GMT) Twit @houseOFpinheiro for extra entry

Monday, April 07, 2014

Cris & BurdaStyle 10/2012 #101

Hello friends,

Today Cris is sharing her version of my Da Bomb coat. For those that don't know Cris, she is my best friend, Brazilian. We met though a local sewing class in 2009 and I share all her makes.

The funny thing is that if we place ourselves in a sewing spectrum we are quite different. I'm a #fabricaddict with an unruly stash. Cris only buy one fabric at a time for specific projects. I like complex projects, challenging patterns and trying new things. She likes to sew easy projects, that she could finish and wear it. I love blogging but if I don't nag her and take a few pictures to share what she makes, all her makes stay hidden. Yim Yam of sewing! 

Just shows that there are so many approaches to love sewing. You can see some of her previous makes: V8560, Burda 8123, Burda 7735. The burda 7735 coat killed her sewjo and It took more than 6 moths to get her sewing again! 

We sew a lot of small projects together. A great excuse to spend the day chit-chatting!
Most of this project we made it together as she never used bias before. She even told me off because I didn't have a tutorial of 'how to add bias on clothes' on the blog. Ok Cris, I will write one just for U!
The pattern is the belted wrap coat from BurdaStyle 10/2012 #101, note I made #103. She traced size 38.  The pattern offers 3 lengthens and she made the collar a lot less dramatic closing with a brooch.  The fabric choice was inspired by mine and its also a blanket. Her is a fleece she bought at Primark. 

So warm and cosy. 
I personally think this length ask for a hood. Easily drafted! The only seam she followed my advice for a felt seam  was the collar and overlocked the rest. She likes it fast! Looks neat. 
The belt is from one of my coats as she is searching for something suitable. She isn't sewing one!
Cris loved this so much she will now try to make it again all by herself. Go Girl! Ps: The rest of my sewing club is also looking for blankets to make this coat. I cannot wait to have a picture of all of us wearing it.