Colette Jasmine revisited

I decided this week to remake the first pattern I made successfully – as in, actually wore! – the Colette Jasmine.

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I definitely had beginners luck the first time round, especially with my fabric choice, which was a slightly sheer vintage flower print with a bit of stretch.  It worked without any alterations, which was very encouraging.  I was even fortunate in not stay-stitching the neckline, as I liked the lower v-neck when it stretched.  Told you I had beginners luck!

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This time I used another vintage print which I bought as a bolt, with it’s original label still attached.

I lowered the neckline by an inch at the front (to get that stretched out effect) and attached the sleeves flat so I could serge the seam edges.  I also took it in a little at the waist and hips.

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I love this top.  The bias cut gives such a flattering line.

It was fun to go back in time – and here’s the first version I made in 2012.

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And the winner is….

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Chosen by puppy power, congratulations to Kerry, who won the vintage pattern bundle.

Thank you so much for your kind wishes on my blogiversary, even from those of you who didn’t want the patterns!

I must admit, I thought I would love sewing from vintage patterns when I began sewing three years ago – but I just don’t.  I’ve had a couple of successes, but I’m too lazy to make all the alterations.

I’m so happy these patterns are going to such a good home.  I hope you enjoy choosing which ones to make!

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Piiiiiiiig!

Tiny niece Greta loves Peppa Pig, so I’ve been doing some Peppa knitting for her second birthday.

A toy Peppa – the pattern is from Woman’s Weekly –peppa_pig_knitting_dottie_doodle

A Peppa jumper.  I used a pattern from the Sublime Children’s double knitting book, and found a chart on flickr here .

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It was too hot at her party to try on the jumper, but she seemed to like it.  “Mine” she said.

And she loved her toy.  I wish I could wear a pink tutu on my birthday!

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Peppa even got in on the candle blowing!

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The fabulous Muddy Puddle cake is by my sister, Jo.  It was delicious!

Chocolate Malteser and cherry trifles

I love making trifle when we are entertaining.  So easy, can be made the day before, and delicious!

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We had some friends staying with us in January, and I decided I didn’t want any more leftovers (weird, I know, but it was just after Christmas).  So I made some individual trifles, and they were wonderful.  Something about having all the layers to yourself, and they look so pretty.

This is my recipe for eight individual trifles in glasses which measure 7cm across and 9cm high.  The joy of this is the amounts are just a guide.  You can use different sized glasses, more or less of each ingredient, and they will still taste good.

You will need (roughly):

  • chocolate cake.  I used two small fairy cakes per glass
  • jar of cherry jam (I used about half of it)
  • jar of cherries in brandy, or use a can of stoned cherries plus some brandy
  • 750g custard
  • 150g plain chocolate
  • 500g double cream
  • Large bag of Maltersers (230g)

chocolate_malteser_cherry_individual_trifle_dottie_doodle Cut the fairy cakes in half, spread with jam, sandwich together, then cut into pieces.

Put into the bottom of the glass, pushing down a little.

Drain the cherries, keeping the brandy liquid.  Place the cherries on top of the cake, then pour over the brandy.

If you’re using canned cherries, drain and discard the liquid, or keep a little to mix with the brandy.  Spoon some brandy/cherry juice onto the sponge.

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Chop the chocolate into small pieces.  Heat the custard and add the chocolate, stirring until it melts.

Allow the chocolate custard to cool completely, then spoon into the glasses.

chocolate_malteser_cherry_individual_trifle_dottie_doodleWhip the cream and spoon on top.  At this stage you can put in the fridge until you need them.

Add a few Maltersers to each glass, and enjoy!

Blogiversary, and a giveaway

This blog is three years old!  I’m amazed.

I’ve just been looking back at my first posts, and it’s funny to see which clothes I never wore and which got worn to death.  My first successes were a white Colette Jasmine and a Vogue 1247 skirt in navy batik.  The failures were mainly flower print dresses – it seems to be a bad idea to make things I would never buy!

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One flowered dress that I have worn, and continue to wear, is this one which I made from a vintage pattern.  The pattern was a gift from a lovely customer called Felicity, who sent me her mother’s collection of sewing patterns.  I ran a series of giveaways here, and the patterns went all over the world.

Felicity got in touch with me again recently to say she had found a few more patterns, and would I like them?

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Well, would you?!

I thought we could do this Pattern Pyramid style, where the winner keeps the patterns she likes, and runs a giveaway for the remainder.  So you do need an active blog to enter.

To enter, just leave a comment on this post saying which is your favourite decade to sew from.  I’ll pick a winner by random selection on Wednesday 22 April.

Thank you so much for reading.  I love being part of this amazing community!

Make + Review – Hexa-go-go by Tacha Bruecher

I’ve been wanting to make a quilt from my many, many bags of scraps for ages.  But I use my sewing machine for work, and for making clothes, and I don’t really want to spend more time on it.

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It was a chance remark from sewing friend Sue about hexagons that made me wonder if I could handsew a quilt – or part of it anyway.

A bit of research on Pinterest, and I found the book Hexa-go-go has plenty of hand/machine sewing quilt patterns.

I’ve sewn a few hexagons before for small projects, and picked up a some useful tips at my sewing group from a demo by Very Kerry Berry.  Using a Sewline glue pen, rather than basting the fabric onto the templates is much quicker, and there is no shame in buying paper templates!  Using these short cuts leaves more time to do the  fun stuff, like choosing the fabrics and sewing.

Tacha Bruecher begins the book with an extremely comprehensive section for beginners, including cutting out and quilting the hexagons, quilting with friends and the different types of stitches.  And what to do when things don’t look right.

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For my first project I used her pattern for a needlecase to make this pincushion.  The hexagons are sewn together in a rosette, then appliqued onto the background.  I added the border strips by machine.  The fabric is Liberty and vintage Laura Ashley – some precious pieces I wanted to make the most of.

I made this one quite big – it’s 20cm square.  I find smaller pincushions just get lost on my table.

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For my next project I have my heart set on this beautiful flag quilt.  I’ve started to sort out my fabric, and I’m going for a dark red with some red/orange, with dark and mid blue for the background.  I’ll have to buy fabric for the ‘white’ parts.  Maybe soft grey?

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It’s a lovely book.  I like the mix of hand sewing and machine sewing in the patterns.  I’m sure that when I’ve done the main part of the quilt by hand I’ll be very happy to get on the machine to finish it.

Ten go baking at River Cottage

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This year we are celebrating Mr D’s 50th birthday and nephew James is 21.  So on Good Friday we took a group of family and friends to River Cottage for a Baking Bread course.

I haven’t made bread before, mainly because I thought it involved lots of kneading – which looked like hard work!  But we didn’t have to knead anything for longer than 5 minutes.

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James with the foccacia dough – sometimes a bowl just isn’t big enough!

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We made pizzas to go in the wood fired oven – this is Hugh’s kitchen on the TV.  Mr D looks very proud of his pizza – he says it was just a small snack.

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We made Hot Cross buns for Easter.  These are mine!

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Most of the day we were in this wonderful barn, each with our own cooking station.

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It was a fantastic day and Joe, our teacher, was excellent.   We were given masses of information, but lots of breaks and snacks too.

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We all came home with three breads – foccacia, a basic loaf, soda bread and four Hot Cross Buns.  So when those are gone (they’re mostly in the freezer) I feel confident I can make some more!