Sunday, November 28, 2010

Baby shower cake

I made this cake for a baby shower at work. I used 2 white cake mixes and added red food coloring to a portion to create a pink swirl. The cake took about 1 hour to bake. I bought baby blocks at AC Moore and placed pink roses around them. Everyone loved the cake!
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Saturday, October 2, 2010

My Elizabethan dress is finished!

I knew that time was running out to finish my costume in time for the Maryland Renaissance Festival, so I spent one weekend in September sewing my butt off! First, I had to attach the sleeves to the bodice. After that I handstitched the burgandy trim around the neck.

Next, I gathered the skirt as much as I could. It was so thick I was worried the my sewing machine wouldn't go through all the layers of the skirt and bodice. Attaching the skirt and bodice was easier than I thought--my little sewing machine is amazing! It's a Kenmore from JCPenney and it cost less than 100 bucks.

I was so excited because now it actually looked like a dress! The only thing left to do was finishing a few details. I added the shoulder rolls and the buttons to the sleeves. I ordered a hoop skirt from to complete the look. Once I could try it on with the hoop skirt, I hemmed the burgandy underskirt and the dress.

Here I am at the Renaissance festival!!

I completed my look with a large ivory cross on a gold chain, which my grandma gave me years ago. I decided to go with the frizzed look with my hair. The night before I separated the front section and made about 15 pin curls. In the morning, my hair looked really crazy when I took out the bobby pins. I patted the curls down and pinned them in place.

For the back of my hair, I decided to make a caul or a "muffin cap" in the same blue fabric as the dress. This type of headpiece can be made out of basic cotton or linen for a peasant costume and silks or brocade for a noble woman's dress. I found instructions online, which said to cut out a circle about 16 inches in diameter and a strip of fabric 3 inches wide for the band. I gathered the circle all the way around and then attached the band.

Everyone loved my dress! I received so many compliments from people of all ages. My favorite moment was when a little girl who was about 4 years old came up to me and curtsied. I asked her what her name was and she said, "Belle." She was so cute!

I can't wait to wear it again on Halloween!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Elizabethan Costume

My big sewing project for 2010 is an Elizabethan dress. Here is the pattern:

Now, it's not going to look anything like this picture, because I picked out a different color scheme--navy blue, gold, and burgandy. I started buying the fabric in January or February and have been working away on it since then. I plan on wearing it for Halloween and the Maryland Renaissance Festival this fall. This dress is my second attempt at a very complicated historical dress--two years ago I made a Marie Antoinette costume.

So far, I've completed many of the pieces for the dress. The bodice has taken the most work so far. Here is a picture of the front of the bodice. I decided to leave off the lace detail on the front because I really liked the pattern on the blue fabric and I couldn't find any lace that looked good.

You can also see the grommets that I put in to lace up the dress in the back. It was my first time putting in grommets! It was really easy to do, just a couple of practice runs and I was a pro!

On the inside of the dress you can see all the lines for the boning. The bodice is actually three layers thick--blue outer fabric, creme inside lining, with duckcloth (like canvas) in between. It's a little hard to see in this picture, but I'm clean finishing all the seams with a zig zag stitch, so the fabric won't fray.
The skirt was the next part of the dress that I worked on. I sewed together 6 panels of fabric to make the skirt--it's going to be huge!!

I still have to gather the skirt around the waist and attach it the the bodice. This weekend I worked on the sleeves. I sewed some creme cord in loops to create button holes along the wrist.

Although it might seem strange to have sleeves made of a different fabric from the rest of the dress, many wealthy women in the Elizabethan era had interchangeable sleeves for their outfits. The sleeves were separate from the bodice and had grommets so they could be tied together.

The shoulder roll is going to act as a transition between the colors on the sleeve and bodice. I am also going to attach some burgandy trim to cover up the seams.

I still have a lot more to do, but hopefully it will go fast now that I have all the pieces assembled!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Red, White, and Blue Cupcakes

I made these chocolate cupcakes for the USA/Ghana World Cup game and for the Fourth of July. Even though they looked good, I must not have put enough magic in them because the US team lost...

I used the brush striping method to make red and blue stripes. On some of the cupcakes, I used tip #4B to cover them with stars. I used tip #1M on other cupcakes to frost them with a swirl.


Friday, July 2, 2010

Happy 4th of July!

Just in time for the long weekend, I found these instructions for making a 5 pointed star in one easy snip. You can even change the proportion of the paper to make stars of various sizes. This is definitely going to come in handy at some point!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Cake Decorating Class - Week 4

In the last class, we learned how to make the official Wilton Rose (among some other things). I made seven roses to put on top of the cake. To make the center rose sit a little higher than the rest, I piped a large circle of frosting in the middle of the cake to form a base. This base also made it so the roses around the edge would tilt slightly. After placing all the flowers, I filled in the holes with green leaves. I made a shell border around the base using tip #21 and put green and white dots all over using tip #3.

Cake Decorating Class - Week 3

In the third week of class we learned how to make lots of different things--teddy bears, clowns, and various types of flowers. Although one of my classmates was able to combine all of them into one Grateful Dead-esque cake, I took the safer route and decorated a bunch of cupcakes.

Cake Decorating Class

Last month, I took a cake decorating class at AC Moore. I knew some of the basics, including the shell border and cursive writing, but I wanted to learn a bit more. The Wilton cake decorating classes are really great! For around $30 (less if you sign up during certain promotions) you get 4 classes that are 2 hours each. You also have to buy the supplies, but they tell you exactly what you need and how to use it.

Here is a picture of my first cake!