Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Boiled fruit cake; I promise you this is delicious.

These mini fruit loaf cakes are for our Royal Wedding celebrations, the little round one will probably get eaten before then!

To make them you a need a large heavy based saucepan.
Into the pan empty a can of condensed milk (397g) and 125g butter.
Add 800g dried fruit - I used a mixture of sultanas, raisins, cranberries, chopped apricots, chopped dates, glace cherries - basically all the stuff I had lying around in the cupboard!!
Heat on low until the butter melts into the condensed milk, and then simmer for 5 minutes, stirring often.
Leave to cool a little.

In  a large mixing bowl put 225g self raising flour, 2 tsp ground spice and 1 tsp ground cinnamon, mix together.
Make a well and put 2 large beaten eggs in, followed by the cooled fruit / milk / butter mixture.
Mix quickly and pour into your tin.

If you are using a deep 7 inch tin it will take about 1 3/4 - 2 hours at 150 degrees.
These small ones took about an hour - until the tops are brown and firm and a skewer comes out clean.

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Speedy bunting :)

I finished making this bunting last night ready for the Royal Wedding fever.
(Although of course I'm planning to keep using it for many parties in years to come.)
It was pretty simple; I cut lots of triangles out of old curtain samples, using the pinking shears to avoid hemming.
Then I put 2 triangles back to back and machine stitched along 2 edges.
Repeat many many times!
Then pin all of the triangles along some cotton tape - fold the tape over to sandwich the unsewn triangle edge in side - and machine stitch all the way along.

Sunday, 17 April 2011

A summer top

 I've made this cotton top on my sewing machine, without the aid of a pattern, I think it's come out brilliantly!
 I used an existing top as a size guide, but this top is basically made of rectangles - a large one for the back, and 5 panels for the front. It is slightly shaped around the armholes, and it's slightly a-line overall.
I'm not sure about this steppy neckline so I might turn the corners under to make a curvier edge.

Friday, 15 April 2011

The drawstring bag is a wonderful thing.

Quick and simple to make, useful for holding practically anything!
The one on the left is upcycled from some vintage curtains I bought in the charity shop. I might use that to transport my gym stuff.
The right hand one contains felt tips and a drawing pad - another birthday party present. The drawstring is a colourful shoelace.

Monday, 4 April 2011

Sod the housework; I'm sewing!

 Today I made myself a summer skirt from some cotton I bought at Birmingham Rag Market. I didn't follow a pattern but it's turned out quite well. I might shorten it a bit more; it's hard to tell when you're trying something on with socks and boots instead of little flippy flops!

 And the shops are full of patriotism, ready for the Royal Wedding at the end of the month, so I decided to try and make a Union Jack applique.
I used some scrap fabric (some old curtain samples) and cut it with my pinking shears to save too much hemming and wundawebbing.
And I sewed the finished panel onto a bag.
The cream cotton is from a pillowcase I bought in a charity shop, and it's lined with one of my husband's old work shirts, so there's some upcycling for you too!!