Saturday, July 26, 2008

Personalizing Wrap Skirt

I have had several requests for a child-sized version of this skirt.  To be honest, I am not a seamstress, and really don't have a ton of experience sewing.  I don't have any little girls to sew for anymore, so I truly don't even know where to begin.  BUT, if you were wanting to create this skirt for a different size (like a child) this is probably the best way to do it....

This is how I enlarged my original instructions (that were published in Making It Home Magazine) a little to make a pattern for "fluffier" ladies.  I would imagine the same steps could be used for making a smaller version as well.

Here is the basic directions for adjusting the size of this pattern.

To determine the cutting radius of the waist (smaller arch) use the measurement of your waist, times about 1.5.  That gives enough wrap for overlap to make sure there is no exposure.  Then you do a little simple geometry to find the radius of a circle that will give you the circumference (for HALF of a circle.)  That is how you know how far to cut the waist from the center fold corner. 

Geometry:  Circumference = Pi (3.14) x Diameter

so 1/2 of the circumference (which is what you need) here is what you do:

First measure the waist of the person the skirt is for.  And substitute the "32" below with your number.

Example, let's say I am making a skirt for a 32 inch waist.  I am going to plug 32 into my equation:

32 x 1.5 = 48 inches Don't forget this step, or your skirt will not wrap!

-->  48 / 3.14 = 15.29 inches (round to the nearest inch.)

Giving you a cutting radius of 15 inches.

This gives you the radius of the circle (arch) to cut for the waist.  Take that number, and measure from the corner fold of the fabric and mark the arch.  This is the measurement you would use for this line/cut.

Now because this is a wrap skirt, and because you will measure yourself to determine where to put the button holes, this has A LOT OF WIGGLE ROOM.  This measurement will fit a range of sizes near and around a 32 inch waist.

Then for the bottom arch (hem/length of skirt) I simply measured from my waist to the point I wanted the skirt to go down to, and added an inch or so for the hem.  That told me how far from the inner arch to cut for the outer arch. 

OR add that number to the number you came up with for your waist-cut radius and measure from the same corner.  Either way you will come to the same location.

I hope this is of help.  Like I said at the beginning, I am NOT a seamstress, just a mom who took Home Ec in 7th grade, and knows a little geometry :-)

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Blackberry Elation

I tried an experiment last night...and the result was absolutely fantastic!!  But we couldn't call it "that really fantastic blackberry preserve cream sauce cake thing," so we had to come up with a name.....

Blackberry Elation


1 1/3 c flour
1 c sugar
1 tsp cream of tartar
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 c vegetable shortening
2/3 c milk
1 Tb vanilla
1 egg
powdered sugar

Combine dry ingredients in a mixing bowl.
Add shortening, milk and flavorings, beat 2 minutes with a mixer.
Add egg, and beat 2 more minutes.
Pour into a 9" round cake pan (greased and floured, or treated with the "pan-ease")
Bake in a 350 degree pre-heated oven for 40-50 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in middle comes out clean.
Allow to cool on a rack 5-10 minutes, and gently remove cake from pan. Cool.

Place on serving platter and dust with powdered sugar.

Creamy sauce:
1 8 oz. block of Neufchatel cheese (similar to cream cheese, but creamier)
1 cup (8 oz) of whipping cream
1/4 c sugar
1 tsp vanilla

In a mixing bowl, beat cheese and cream until fluffy.

Mix in the sugar and vanilla. Beat until soft peaks form.

To serve:

Cut a portion of cake, place on dessert plate.
Place about 1/4 c of cream sauce over the cake. Top with blackberry (or your favorite) preserves.

*If you have fresh sliced strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, etc....Place about 2 cups of fruit in a bowl. Top with some sugar, stir, and allow to sit a couple hours in the refrigerator. This will draw out the juices of the fruit and give you a wonderful sauce. This can be used to top the dessert, ice cream or anything else.


Scallops L'Orange

Scallops L'Orange

I don't have a photo for this, but I made it the other day and it is wonderful....I'll add a photo the next time I make it. (If I remember)

Scallops L'Orange

2 lb scallops

salt & pepper

2 Tb olive oil

3 Tb butter

1 orange, zested (will be about 2 Tb zest)

4 scallions, sliced

2/3 c. cooking white wine

1. In a dish, lightly salt & pepper scallops.

2. Heat oil in a skillet.

3. Cook scallops on medium high heat, until lightly browned.  Remove from pan and place in a bowl, and cover to keep warm.

4. Wipe out skillet, and then melt butter.

5. Add scallions and all but 1 tsp of orange zest. Saute about 2 minutes and add wine.

6. Simmer, stirring gently until slightly reduced.

7. Add scallops back to pan, gently stir until all is nice and hot again.

8. Transfer all to a serving bowl and top with reserved orange zest.

Serve and enjoy.  This is very light and only takes about 10 minutes to make!