Saturday, 25 June 2016

Educating Rita - to Sew

 My lovely neighbour, Rita, asked me to teach her to sew.  She was one of the few people who actually sewed at sewing club.  She started by making pyjama bottoms and moved on to making a top (see left) out of the left over fabric.  I suggested a top as she can learn various techniques which she can use for other things. The top has facing and interfacing, slit sides and will be bound at the armholes with bias binding.
Rita's mother was trained in tailoring in Italy when she was a girl and she, like my mother, made lots of clothes for her children.  Consequently, Rita knows some things about sewing, for example, how to hand sew a very neat hem, but she wants to know more.
In between lessons, she made a pin cushion., beautifully stitched and finished with buttons on both sides.
The next project is a covered foam cushion for an outdoor bench.
Watch this space to see the finished pyjamas and the cushion.

The beautifully made pin cushion.

Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Liberty's Take on the Great British Sewing Bee

One view of the African dress
Clever use of two fabrics.
The 'grass' underneath it is
made of tape measures.
 Liberty's sale is now on.  It's an excellent opportunity to stock up on Tana Lawn at half price - lots of 1 metre pieces for £12.95.  Guess what? I DIDN'T BUY ANYTHING! Hubby checked my pulse when I came home.
Why didn't I buy anything?  Because the night before I was looking for something in my fabric cupboard and I was shocked at how much fabric I already have. Just didn't find anything at Liberty that I felt I had to add to it.
Nevertheless, going to Liberty is my idea of heaven. I love the building, the displays, the clothes, the home furnishings and most of all, the fabric department. Sometimes it's enough just to look.
What I did see, was the Liberty interpretation of two of the dresses from the 'Eastern' week on GBSB - the African dress and the Mondrian dress (which I remember from my youth).  Both were lovely and worth seeing.
Last week I bought the Mondrian pattern and plan to make it - sometime.  If I do, it will be in the solid, bold colours of the original.  Still, the Liberty one is fun.

A different take on the Mondrian dress.
The Liberty fabrics are fun.

Another view of the African dress.
I loved the wax printed fabric used on GBSB
but I also love this.

My lunch  A teeny, tiny crab and fennel salad with avocado mayonnaise.
I could have eaten three of then! Delicious.

Wednesday, 8 June 2016

Another Easy Mid-Week Meal - Pasta with Bacon and Mushrooms

Hubby did a whole day's training in Media Law yesterday and I went out with a friend for lunch.  (Yes, I know.)
I never know if he will be hungry in the evening these days, but I feel he deserves a decent meal after a day's work.  It doesn't matter if he eats a little or a lot. I've done my bit.
Bless him.  He was hungry and had seconds.  This is  a lovely recipe for tired people as the pasta is restorative.
I can't remember if I have blogged this recipe before or not, but it's a good one.  It takes 20 minutes max and that's only because I am slow.
(I could never be a chef or even a short-order cook.)
If you are cooking this for non-meat eaters, omit the bacon and use a dollop of pesto in the creme fraiche or stir in some chopped brie which will melt deliciously.

Measurements for this recipe are flexible and I kind of use my eye rather than measuring spoons and cups, pound, kilos or ounces. I will try to be more accurate with this but if you want to use more or less of something, then do,  It will still be good,

Ingredients for 2 people:
6 to 8 ounces of pasta (fusilli or bows work best)
3 or 4 slices of bacon, cut into pieces.
4 ounces of mushrooms, cut in half or sliced
1 or 2 sliced spring onions
1/2 a small tub of creme fraiche (or more if you want more sauce)
salt, pepper and a hint of cayenne
parsley to garnish

Cook the pasta according to package directions. (About 10 minutes in boiling, salted water.)
Meanwhile, fry the bacon pieces in a little oil, then remove from pan and put to one side.
Add a knob of butter to the pan and cook the mushrooms and spring onions for 5 minutes.
Put the bacon back in the pan and add the creme fraiche.
Add the seasoning.  You may not need salt.
Stir until the creme fraiche is heated through and add the drained pasta to the sauce.
Serve in bowls or on plates and garnish with a little chopped parsley.

P.S.  I AM sewing, just not blogging about it.  I will try to do so soon.