New knit dress – M5752

Yesterday was a good day sewing, hosted by Sharon (thanks Sharon).

Our weather is still warm but not humid anymore, and it’s autumn. This knit dress is a Palmer/Pletsch classic fit that has some really good reviews on Pattern Review, so I used this blue printed knit bought at Lincraft (50% off) in February ($6).

I didn’t try to match the print because this is a toile dress. As you can see below, I used a dark blue fabric as the midriff stay. The midriff gathers requires two layers over the midriff stay, so i only used one layers of gathers.

Now that I’m getting more practice at adjusting patterns, I will keep ploughing through the new patterns I bought last year. The great feaure in this pattern is there is a whole section dedicated to adjusting this pattern. Bonus for anyone who is making this up without any help or reference material.
Lots of the previous reviews mentioned the fact that as some points, you are sewing through more than six layers of fabric. The reason for this is that the front piece doubles onto itself, so the picture above shows where I’m cutting the pattern back, so there’s less bulk in the front bodice.
The midriff gathers also requires two layers over the midriff stay, so I only used one layers of gathers.

So this dress has:
– sway back adjustment

– dropped the back skirt hem to cover my rear
– full bust adjustment – c cup
– roll shoulder (2 cm)

– waist adjustment to fit the size 12 for my waist.

I’ve also made the short sleeve version in a zebra knit now.

B5333 – dress toile

This time I did 3 things when making up Dress C.
  • I adjusted this pattern with the changes from the first toile that I’ve now got a fresh set of working pattern pieces so the adjusted patterns remain untouched until my body shape changes – again.
  • I followed the pattern instructions so that I got the hang of finishing the neckline properly. If you have this pattern, I added the skirt once the bodice was finished properly ie, do point 9 after point 15.
  • I used an invisible zip and enclosed it with the bodice lining.
The inside of the bodice has no seam finishes because it’s lined. The upper bodice was lined with white shirting fabric so I didn’t need to match the zebra print from the inside.
Here’s how I had to check the bodice fit without my sewing buddies 😦

This shows how the shoulders are now sitting on my shoulders without fear of them falling off, and I can still wear ‘engineering’ underneath. There are two small darts under the bust.
Here’s the sort of side view.
So this version has:
– sway back adjustment
– dropped the back skirt hem to cover my rear
– full bust adjustment – c cup
– shoulders moved in by 3cm closer to my neck
– split the bust dart into two smaller darts
– roll shoulder (2 cm)
– waist adjustment to fit the size 12 for my waist
– dropped the upper body piece by 2cm to take the midriff seam line under my bust.
Once I tried on the skirt, I removed 2.5cm from the back seam. It was really big – even on me!

Fitting B5333

The shiny woven purple fabric is again being used as the toile for this top. This fabric is light weight and has no stretch.

I like the design fit of this top and it can be extended to become a dress. This is a really neat feature that I just love. This picture was my first sneak peek at how the pieces fit together to form the front.

I spent a couple of hours adjusting this pattern while we were away a few weeks ago. So the technical adjustments include:

– sway back adjustment
– dropped the back skirt hem to cover my rear
– full bust adjustment – c cup
– roll shoulder (2 cm)
– waist adjustment to fit the size 12 for my waist
– dropped the upper body piece by 2 cm to take the midriff seam line under my bust.

The photo below shows where the side zip goes. I’ve used pins at this stage.

These first photos show where my way of checking that the single layer actually fit on me. At this point it does fit me but needed some tweaking at the midriff. I had a bit too much in the front skirt piece so I positioned a couple of pleats to match the bust point dart. The darts were side bust darts were also 2cm too high (doh) and needed to be shorter by 2.5cm.
Here’s where I should have stopped. I pinched out some fabric from the front midriff where the bust points are to make the waist fit better – ahh. I now need to do this top again, however, that’s why it’s a toile.

I didn’t follow the pattern neckline finish because I was testing out the fit of this top. I will follow the neckline finish for the next attempt.

This top does feel comfortable especially with the lined upper top and midriff piece. I have now brought the shoulder line closer to my neck because they felt like they were about to slip off my shoulders. I’ve also lowered the armhole so it eliminates the lines and doesn’t look like it’s cutting into my arm. As you can see, I don’t have Michelle Obama’s arms.

The bias binding was used to bring out the purple in the fabric. I’ve finished this toile and it’s going to be a weekend top.

Easter flaounes 2010

This year I made these flaounes at home.

DH helped me roll out the dough using a pasta maker. I gave this job to him because I needed a hand and he loves any technology, and the pasta maker is something he’s been wanted to use for a while.
My right hand was jarred 4 weeks ago when I cycled from St Ives to West Head so my wrist is now taped up, but I still kneaded the dough for this recipe.
Last year I made about 90 flaounes that it took ages to eat and give them away so this year my Godmother gave me a locally produced Greek cook that had a recipe for 60 flaounes. This recipe is by Dimitra Papilos, in the from home to home fund raising cookbook, St Raphael’s Greek Orthodox Church, Parish of Liverpool and Districts, 2009.
Cheese mix ingredients (prepare the mixture the night before)
5 medium pieces haloumi cheese, grated (I used 1 pieces of haloumi from Woolies)
6 cups cheddar cheese, grated (I used 3/4 pack of a 500 gm tasty chees grated from Woolies)
1kg kefalograviera, grated (I used 800 gm)
1 cup fine semolina
1/2 self-raising flour (I used plain flour and added 4 T baking powder)
2 sachets yeast (I started the yeast in 1/2 cup luke warm milk)
2 cups chopped fresh mint (I used 1/2 cup fresh mint from my garden)
2-3 dozen eggs (I used 8 eggs in the mixture and freshened it up with 2 eggs before I used the cheese mix).
extra eggs for glazing (I used 1 egg)
1kg sesame seeds (I used 300 grams of sesame seeds)
I also added half of the mahlepi and mastica required for the pastry.
Use a laundy size plastic tub for this because it’s a large amount of ingredients. My bowl was a real struggle to use.
  1. In a large dish, add all the cheese. Then add the semolina, flour, yeast and enough eggs to make a wet but firm mixture. Set aside in a cool place over night, but cover it with a towel.
  2. If you like sultanas, add some in the preparation stage or just add a few as you assemble the flanounes.
  3. You can now make the pastry. I made this the night before after making the mixture, but most Greek mums make this on the day. I work full time, so this was a handy option.
Pastry ingredients: (Prepare the pasty the night before)
3kg plain flour (I used the flour for bread)
5 cups self raising flour (I used 1 cup)
6 cups luke warm milk (I used 4 cups)
3 cups vegetable oil (I used olive oil)
1 pkt mahlepi powder
10 grams crushed mastica
Again, use a huge plastic bucket/dish. These are massive quantities.

  1. Prepare the pastry by adding the sifted flours together with the oil, luke warm milk and spices. knead together until soft and pliable.
  2. Cover and set aside to rest and rise.

Day 2:

  1. Clean and clear your kitchen ahead of time because you need stacks of room.
  2. Preheat the oven at 200C (my oven overheats so I used base heat at 190C).
  3. Blanche sesame seeds in boiling water and drain through a fine sieve.
  4. Before commencing, add the fresh mint to the cheese mix.
  5. For the glaze, beat some eggs and to that add some of the sesame seeds.
  6. Break pieces of dough into portions and roll out on a clean floured surface to form a round shape. (This is when we used the pasta maker to take the pressure off my shoulders and hands).
  7. Add a heaped spoonful of the cheese mixture to the centre of the pastry and fold the four edges together, leaving a small opening in the centre.
  8. Glaze with the egg and sesame seeds.
  9. Place onto a well greased baking dish and cook in a hot oven at 200C. (This is where I used baking paper on a scone slide, and didn’t need to grease and re-grease the baking dish).
  10. Continue until all the pastry and mixture is finished.
This recipe was always made by Mum when she was able to cook. She used this as a way to bring the family together. On occassions, she would even have extended family members help out when assembling this recipe. The mystery has always been in the preparation and I hope you enjoy the preparation journey of this recipe.