Sunday, July 28, 2013


Hello again! Not a ton of sewing this weekend, mostly because I spent most of Saturday making this:

Brian doesn't like to make a big deal about his birthday, but the one part he does enjoy is the cake, so I do it up big every year. I don't subscribe to the idea that adult birthdays are limited to minimalist white sheet cakes with sprinkles. I mean, you never get too old for R2-D2, right? He absolutely loved it and pronounced me the best wife ever.

I really enjoy coming up with a concept each year and making it happen, usually making a giant, delicious mess along the way. I made one 9" round (cut in half and stacked) and 12 cupcakes. While the cake was cooling, I made marshmallow fondant from scratch. It's about 100 times more delicious than regular fondant, but man, is it a sticky, sticky mess. The kitchen looked like a powdered sugar bomb exploded by the time I finished.

I don't think R2-D2 quite tops this Tron one from a couple of years ago, but I'm still pretty happy with it.

While I was looking for the Tron picture, I found this Lego cake, which came back from the brink of disaster. The layers weren't level, so the top cracked and I thought, no big deal, I'll just use frosting like caulk. As I was frosting everything together, the air conditioning broke (at the height of summer in Florida), so the apartment just got hotter and hotter and the frosting started to melt. After 20 tense, sweaty minutes, it was business in the front..

..and a party in the back. Yes, that is a spice jar and toothpick propping up the back of the cake. You can't make this shit up. This picture still cracks me up.

This transformers one was the first time I made marshmallow fondant, but I don't remember it being such a pain. This one was strawberry flavored and particularly delicious, and obviously, from before the trainwreck that was Transformers 3 was unleashed on the world.

Hope you all had great weekends, filled with deliciousness.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Striped Sorbetto

Hello again! Today I have a Sorbetto top to share. After seeing just about every sewist in the blogosphere make a gorgeous version of this pattern, I had to give at go too. Colette has some super cute patterns, but I've been a bit scared of them because they are drafted for a C cup, and I'm, um, significantly smaller. But between the free pattern and and 50¢ remnants from Fabric World in my stash, this seemed like the perfect project to experiment with a small bust adjustment.

And it wasn't nearly as hard as I thought it was going to be! I used this excellent tutorial by Megan Nielson and it dramatically improved the fit. Before this I tended to deal with my small bust by cheating and using the smallest sized dart. This did help, but the bust was usually still a bit too big. I really should have tried an SBA sooner. Sometimes I'm stubborn.

I also made some other adjustments that are pretty typical for me: I lowered the armholes by 3/4",  added in more waist shaping, and added length. I just cut the longest size instead of properly lengthening, and think I would add another 1/2" to 1" to if I made it again.

It was also my first time sewing stripes, and that wasn't as fiddly as I thought it would be. The front came out pretty well, but the sides are slightly off because I didn't account for the dart. Oops. Lesson learned.

I'm still learning my fabrics, but I think it's a voile. It's pretty lightweight and just a tiny bit sheer. I had two remnants from my trip to Fabric World last year. I experimented with a bunch of different layouts, but try as I might, I didn't have quite enough fabric. My solution? Piece it together, not on the back center fold or anything conventional. Nope.

Instead, I pieced it together on upper back, across my shoulder blades. Seriously. And it worked! I painstakingly made sure the seam was at the edge of a stripe, so it's practically invisible.

The bias binding is store-bought, but matches remarkably well. I think next time I might try making my own bias tape.

Overall, it's not too shabby for under $5 and a couple weekends. I had a lot of trouble with the pleat in the center, but that was totally my fault. It helps to stop, take a breath, and actually read the directions, you know? Oh, and then after you do that, make sure everything is lined up properly. Third time's a charm. Sigh.

I also would have had this finished sooner except after I finished I decided the armholes were still too high. I had to rip out and redo the bias binding but it was totally worth it. High armholes digging into my skin is one of my biggest problems with RTW and I'm not going to stand for it in items I make myself!

Also, sorry these pictures are pretty terrible. It's been raining every day for weeks now. While the rest of the country is in a heat wave, we have had maybe 1-2 sunny days since June, so I finally gave up and took the pictures indoors. My husband was more interested in getting back to the news from Comic Con than being my photographer. Not that I blame him - the Veronica Mars trailer from Comic Con is out and looks amazing!