Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Wedding Gown - Part Three

The bodice is nearly finished and is a blank canvas awaiting lace!

A close-up of the inside neck edge, showing the bound armscye seam, and the satin facing that I used to finish the neckline.

Back, with lace pinned in place to hand stitch, and button loops.
Bodice front, ready for hand work.
It's finally looking like a dress! Finish work still to do, lace at the waistline, and flowers and rhinestones!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011


This soup was perfect for lunch with fresh baked bread, on a cold winter day!
Broccoli Cheese Soup

1/4 cup Butter
1 half Onion, chopped
2 cloves Garlic, minced
Broccoli for 4 servings
32 oz. Chicken Broth
1/2 lb. Shredded Cheese
1 cup Milk
1/3 cup Cornstarch
1/2 cup Water
Salt to taste
Cayenne Pepper to taste

  • In a medium size pot, melt butter over medium heat. Cook onion and garlic in butter until softened.
  • Stir in broccoli, and cover with chicken broth. Simmer until broccoli is tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Reduce heat, mix in milk.
  • In a small bowl, stir cornstarch into water until dissolved. Stir into soup; cook, stirring frequently, until thick.
  • Add shredded cheese, heat and stir until melted and combined. Add salt and cayenne.

This recipe is adapted from

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Wedding Gown - Part Two

Bodice front, inside, showing twill underlining, boning casings:
A completed sleeve.
The back, inside view:
And the bodice pieces ready to assemble and try on.
This was just before realizing that my carefully planned and fitted pattern was not going to smooth out along the side bust, after assembly, as I had counted on... Well, the challenges and problem solving are one of the reasons I enjoy sewing, so back to the pattern! Thankfully I had enough satin and underlining to cut a new front after resolving the problem and carefully picking apart the existing pieces. I ended up converting the center-most waist darts and the side bust darts into a princess seam, and leaving the second waist dart as a design feature and another place to fit the waist area. It was worth the extra effort, to be pleased with the end result! Next is fun detail work:
A pile of satin covered, fabric backed buttons, button looping, boning, lace, and horsehair braid!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Wedding Gown - Part One

This is my beautiful lace from Britex in San Francisco. It is Alencon lace from France--a bit of a splurge! I almost put it down, but my Mom said I should go ahead and get it since it was definitely my favorite, and I'm only making myself one wedding gown! We figured the quantity carefully, just enough to go around the neckline and waist, and a few motifs extra. It started as a double sided strip that I carefully cut apart.

Here is my final bodice muslin (about the forth or fifth!)

Playing with the lace on the neckline of my muslin.

My starting sketch. The final dress looks much like this, with a change of trim around the waist.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Having Fun With Food!

Some recent kitchen endeavors:

My first try at sourdough! I got the starter from my husband's mom, took it home and fed it and, after a couple of informative phone conversations with my sister-in-law, a little reading-up and some mixing, was able to bake this airy loaf, with a crisp, glossy crust! It is fun and rewarding to be so successful with the first attempt. We made whole wheat waffles this morning, using our starter--yum! That's my starter in the corner of the photo. I'm seeing all kinds of sourdough projects in the future...

I baked a three-loaf batch of my mom's Honey Wheat Bread. One plain loaf, six sandwich rolls, and a loaf of cinnamon bread.

And a batch of granola, mixed up after getting my "Everyday Food" magazine in the mailbox. This turned out really well, and was so quick!

And this one's not a kitchen project, but the other task that my husband and I have been tackling bit-by-bit is getting our garage cleared out and organized! We're making progress, and I'm no longer feeling overwhelmed by 'The Pile'!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Happy 9th Birthday!

Here are a few photos of the cake I made for my little sister's birthday, my most challenging decorating endeavor to date (makes me really appreciate the talent of a couple of my family members!)

The materials:

The hardest part-frosting an unusual shape!

The finished product:

And the happy birthday girl!

Her excited exclamation and beaming face made it all worth the effort!
My mom sent me this link, How to Make a Horse Cake, for the instructions.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Vintage Linens

I have had a weakness for vintage linens since high school. I used to collect regularly but I curbed that when I realized I was running out of room to store them, and I didn't have immediate plans for my own house! Today I washed up my most special pieces in a solution of Oxyclean and hot water, and I am very pleased with the results--they came out bright and beautiful, with no sign of the age stains I had noticed on them.

These particular pieces where embellished by my great grandmother, who passed away before I was born. I have been saving them since a family member passed them on to me sixteen years ago! I plan to use them in our home after I am married--it will be nice to put something so pretty and special to use!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Been Away Awhile...

Hi Friends!

My life is in the process of very exciting change, which is why I've been away from my poor blog for five months now!

I am marring the man I love and admire, in September! Needless to say, I've had a few things on my plate, besides blogging!

I don't know how often I'll be posting but I thought I'd at least explain my absence, and promise pictures of my wedding gown, down the road.

In the meantime, take a peek at this blog: Melissa Blackburn, a wedding gown designer who also fits and fabricates each of her creations! A recent find and an inspiration to my creative and detail-oriented soul!