Monday, January 26, 2015

Romantic Raspberry Danish: an Entenmann's Copycat Recipe

It was my parents' anniversary this past week. 20 YEARS!!! That's a really long time!

I wanted to do something nice for them for their anniversary. I decided to make them breakfast, so that they could get up and have a nice meal without having to worry about putting it together themselves (for once!). However, this posed a problem because I actually have to leave for school at 7:00 in the morning, meaning that even if I did find time to make a meal, my parents probably wouldn't be up to eat it!

So I looked for something that I could make ahead and that would still be nice and fresh and tasty in the morning, and that would be special for my parents--that is, though I have several delicious breakfasts in my arsenal, I wanted to surprise them with something new.

Does anyone remember these Entenmann's pastries?

Entenmann's Raspberry Danish
Probably not--but they used to be a breakfast staple in my household when I was little. My dad would pick them up from the grocery store to have as a special treat. Then Entenmann's discontinued them. My family was discussing them wistfully the other day. Lightbulb!

I ended up finding this recipe from Rate. Bake. Create. that looked pretty much exactly like what I was looking for: a pastry dough topped with icing and raspberry jam. I need to give tons of thanks for this recipe because it was the only one I found that had everything I was looking for--it was easy, basic, no cheese impinging upon my raspberry jam, and it was ABSOLUTELY DELICIOUS.

Plus, it was pretty fun to photograph because of how curious this piece of pastry looked.

Look, it's Santa's sleigh!
An edible sundial!
And here it just looks really really yummy.
Here's the recipe and pictures!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

What do I think of Vogue Patterns' new spring 2015 collection? Not much.

I got home late last night, unhappily resigned to sitting down at my dining room table until 1:00 finishing the chem homework due the next day that I had put off in favor of sewing, when I checked my email.


Unfortunately, my enthusiasm waned when I actually arrived at the website :(

I had high hopes for Vogue. After a couple of shockingly mediocre collections, their fall 2014 series included several notable gems, such as this mouthwatering Mizono blouse, and this funky DKNY dress, and, my personal obsession, this Ralph Rucci coat, which I wasted no time in making up for myself.

But this time around, I'm afraid my friends, there are once more slim pickings.

Here are some of the better patterns I found. 

Kay Unger dress
This one, V1432, looks so plain in the styling that I almost missed it! Look at this line drawing! 

Isn't that seaming on the bodice so cool?! But if I were to make this dress, I would definitely be using alternating fabric for the strips on the bodice, because on Vogue's rendition you can't even see the detail! 


This Tom and Linda Platt jacket, V1435, looks relatively interesting, until the model turns around and you realize that the gentle draping that makes the back look so delicate and elegant makes your front look enormous and absurd because your dog ate the bottom half of your jacket! Oddly, I don't think I would mind the drapey silhouette if it were waist-length in the front as well; but something about the uneven hem seems to make her breast look saggy and her tummy look prominent...(which doesn't even make sense because the jacket doesn't even approach her stomach! It's just not good.)

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Vogue 1419: My Winter-White Winter Break Coat

It's done! After over two weeks of working on this coat over my whole winter break, it's finally done!

I'm really proud of this coat. For one, it's the first Advanced/Plus Difficile Vogue Pattern I've made! More substantially, it really pushed the boundaries of my sewing knowledge. It's probably the most meticulously tailored garment I've made so far. I learned a lot of new sewing techniques, like bound buttonholes and welt pockets (see my last blog post for detailed pics/tutorials!) And I think, for all the work it entailed, it turned out really well!

Here's the pattern I used--the oft lauded and blogged Vogue 1419 Ralph Rucci coat. I (like a lot of us), fell in love with it on first sight. Here's the line drawing so we can admire it more.

Isn't it cool?!?! The coat has no shoulder seams! It has a front panel and a back panel, and then there's a piece that goes over the shoulder and a side panel/gusset that connect the front and back to form a sleeve. Aren't those some awesome style lines? And the silhouette--a flared skirt, flared sleeves, and nipped-in waist--is very flattering.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Bound Buttonholes, Welt Pockets, and Other Perilous Details

I had a weird experience the other day.

I was at my grandmother's house and she had a department store catalog on her sofa, so I was flipping through it absentmindedly when a perturbing trend stood out to me.

Wrap Coat

                                Open Wrap Coat

...this looks like a glorified robe!


Oooooh look, it's a button!!!

Are we seriously at the point where even ridiculously-priced department stores are so cheap that they don't even want to put proper closures on outerwear?!?!

Hence, the very simple reason I have spent the last week sacrificing my time, my eyesight, and my fingertips to my latest sewing project: If I don't make myself a coat with respectable buttonholes and pockets, there's no way I'm ever going to find one in a store!

I'm currently working on Vogue 1419, a Ralph Rucci coat pattern that features nearly every painstaking and exquisite detail available to a coat--particularly, mitered corners, bound buttonholes, welt pockets. All of which are a little tricky and nerveracking. In general, I think anything that requires a seamstress to cut into an already-assembled garment without being able to preview the final look is guaranteed to be tricky, not to mention nerveracking! (P.S. Take a look at the finished coat!)

Now I've never done any of these techniques before, so I'm teaching myself as I go along and my coat isn't quite done yet. But I thought I'd post on the techniques I've been learning so you can see what I've been up to lately!