Vintage Blouse

This month, I decided to join a sew-along. I thought it would be a good way to stretch my new skills. Over at Seamstress Erin‘s, a bow blouse challenge is taking place and I gave a try. I chose a reproduction 60’s pattern from Simplicity. The only other pattern I had ever tried from that pattern company was the disastrous sheet dress I made as my first garment project. It all went surprisingly well this time. I chose to go a size up from the usual– 6 to 8–in order to get a looser fit. Cutting and pinning took an absurd amount of time, as usual, but sewing it was a piece of cake. It took the better part of an afternoon. And to be fair, it only took that long because Bright Star and Jane Eyre both happened to be on TV while I was sewing.

IMG_0403The most tedious part of sewing: cutting out the pattern.

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The point at which I realized I had not bought the zipper…

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Simplicity 2154: Secretary Blouse

  • Size: 8
  • Fabric: Flower print light cotton(?) with metallic detail
  • Lining: No, this project used facings.
  • Notions: Tiny black rosebud for neck detail, grey zipper
  • Adjustments: None.
  • Would I recommend it to other sewers: Absolutely. It was super easy to put together. I’m planning on making another one in a lighter fabric.
  • Techniques used/learned: rectangular facings, attaching a collar, invisible zipper.

Passionfruit Meringue Pie

Passionfruit is my absolute favorite of all flavors. You don’t usually see it in pies, but I am determined to make it a thing. A friend and I came up with this recipe and “tested” it three times. You know, for science.  It’s a special twist on the traditional lemon meringue pie . A little tart, a little sweet, and the buttery, flaky crust balances it all out.

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Passionfruit Meringue Pie + crust tutorial

Crust

  • 1 1/4 C of all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp of salt
  • 1 Tbsp of sugar
  • 1 stick of butter
  • 1/4 cup to 1/2 Cup of ice-cold water

It is very important that both the water and butter are super cold. If the butter is all melt-y, your crust will not be as flaky in the end.

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Filling

  • 1 Cup sugar
  • 5 Tbsp cornstarch (thickener)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 Cup milk
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 1 Cup passionfruit pulp ( I used the Goya brand, found in the frozen food section of supermarket in a Hispanic neighborhood)
  • 1/2 lemon

First things first. Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees. Pre-bake the crust using some kind of blind weight, like beans, over some foil for about 15 minutes, until golden edges appear. We used a pot as a weight. Don’t knock it till you try it.

Lower the temp to 350 for baking the pie.

In a saucepan, whisk together the sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Slowly mix in the milk until the cornstarch dissolves. Mix the egg yolks in a separate bowl. Let the milk mixture come to a boil gradually.

Being careful not to cook the eggs, mix about a cup of the milk mixture into the eggs, then pour this mixture back into the saucepan. Add passionfruit pulp. Let simmer while whisking for 3 minutes. Remove from heat and add butter. Whisk with a squeeze of lemon juice to brighten it up.

Meringue

  • 5 large egg whites
  • 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1 Cup sugar

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The meringue was hand-whisked. You pretty much whisk the egg whites and cream of tartar over a pot of boiling water (no direct heat!) and add the sugar gradually until you get this marshmallow-y and delicious white goop.

Take the pre-baked pie shell and fill it with the thickened passionfruit mixture. It should set pretty nicely. Smooth the meringue over the top and bake for 20 minutes, or until the meringue has a nice tan.

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For the Night is Dark and Full of (T)errors

I am proud to say that I went all out for Halloween this year. After more than a year of planning and postponing and sewing on and off, I finally finished my Melisandre costume. I have to say, I went through a lot of drama along the way. The sheer number of hurdles that this project presented should have put me off of costume making, but now that the finished product is in front of me I’m determined to make a costume every year. I posted earlier that my goal for next year is to be skilled enough to make a civil war era dress. I feel a lot more confident about that goal now!

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You might notice there is some bunching where the bodice and skirt meet in the front. One of the many issues that plagued me as I was making this costume.

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