DIY Lindsey Thornburg Cape

In the middle of working with lots of lamé, been dreaming of one of these lindsey thornburg capes.

image courtesy of

They are priced at $1000 which is way out of my budget, but Pendleton offers the exact same blanket weight fabric by the yard here.

image courtesy of Pendleton Woolen Mills

McCall’s has a similar cape pattern.

image courtesy of McCall's

The Pendleton Fabric would total about $275, plus another$30 for a high quality silk lining, and maybe another $10 for a nice button closure.  I really want to do this, will probably have to wait for some Christmas funds.

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Halloween Costume Part I

The past couple weeks, I’ve been working with my almost 4 year old on his Halloween costume.  He loves role playing and fighting bad guys, so this is a big deal for him.  I tried to steer him away from Ironman and Spiderman, to something slightly less commercial that’s rooted in Norse mythology.  We settled on Thor, the god of thunder.  I do realize this is a Marvel comics image, this was the image that resonated with Robby the most.

I found a pattern that I could use as a template for Thor’s helmet and boots.  

I ordered all my fabrics from  For the helmet, I used silver tissue lamé.  It’s constructed with lamé for the outer layer, quilt batting on the inside, and black linen I recycled from a sling I had used all throughout Robby’s baby years.  *sniff*

For the wings, I’m going to draw my own wing template, use lamé for the outer layers, and some heavy interfacing.

On a side note, how awesome are these styles for Spring 2010?  If I have any leftover lamé, I might have to sew myself some shiny shorts.

image from Refinery 29

Ok, back to the costume.  The boots are made in the same way, with velcro to hold them closed, and an elastic strap to keep them on the foot.

My sewing machine is a vintage New Home from 1967, I inherited last year.  I love this machine, it makes the most awesome clickety clackety sound, like Edward Scissorhands.

Here’s the cape fabric, it’s a crushed panne velvet.  

It’s SO soft, I want to make a long gypsy skirt out of this!  That’s what I’ve got so far, I’ve got 8 more days to Halloween, so I’m busting it out every night so I can finish in time. It’s been quite an investment and time and money, I chose to make this costume because Robby is REALLY into dress up.  I wanted something beautiful, that he could wear over and over again, and could pass on to his little brother.  I liked the idea of Thor, because I end up playing pretend with Robby, and I’d rather be Loki than the Incredible Hulk, Venom, or Wolverine.

When I finish the costume, I’ll be sure and share it with everyone!

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Cable Sweater

Lest you think I’m just churning these projects out, this sweater has been done for about a year.

It’s the High Neck Cable from Blue Sky Alpacas.  I used the Suri Merino, and a size 7 needle.  In retrospect, I should have gone up a needle size, it would be perfect with a little more ease.  And, I need to add the buttons.  It’s good enough for now though.

The yarn is so soft and luxurious, it’s a blend of suri alpaca merino, and merino wool.  Surprisingly, it doesn’t really shed, and it’s nice and warm, perfect for a brisk fall day.

Gah, my posture is terrible.  The jeans are vintage sailor pants I’ve had for ELEVEN years.  Lordy, I know I’m getting old when my old clothes are coming back into style.

More sweaters to come!!

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Wiksten Tank Top

A few months ago I bought the pattern for this tank top.  I loved the simplicity of the design, and how it looks up to date, but classic at the same time.  It was a fun pattern to sew, it used french seams, which is a lovely detail, and has a nice curved hem, and a flattering scoop neck.

I used a white tencel woven fabric I ordered from Denver Fabrics a couple years ago.  I actually used most of it for curtains.  It’s my Sound of Music moment 🙂  The fabric has a lovely drape and is washable, which is really important for me, having two boys and all..

I love the little pocket on the front, the fit of this tank top is very Alexander Wang to me.

Check out Jenny’s blog, amazing inspiration, and such a talented designer!

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Cooking: Tiramisu

Technically, there’s not any cooking, just alot of mixing and arranging.

I used the following Cooks Illustrated recipe, published in the November 2007 issue.  The only thing I did differently is use Maker’s Mark bourbon instead of rum.  This is such an amazing, decadent dessert, it’s not over the top sweet, and has lots of layers of flavor, coffee, bourbon, chocolate, eggs, sugar, cocoa.  Yum yum.  This recipe does use raw eggs, so you should take precautions to ensure the shell doesn’t touch the yolk.  There is always a risk of food poisoning when eating raw eggs, I have heard that mixing the alcohol in with the eggs kills salmonella, but you never know.

First, I brewed a 2.5 cups of strong coffee, my ratio is 4 heaping tablespoons of Starbucks Pike Place to 4 cups in the coffee pot.

Then I mixed in the espresso powder.

And 5 tablespoons of the whiskey.  Don’t drink the mixture, it’s a wee bit strong.

In bowl of standing mixer fitted with whisk attachment, beat yolks at low speed until just combined. Add sugar and salt and beat at medium-high speed until pale yellow, 1 1/2 to 2 minutes, scraping down bowl with rubber spatula once or twice. Add remaining 4 tablespoons rum and beat at medium speed until just combined, 20 to 30 seconds; scrape bowl.

Add mascarpone and beat at medium speed until no lumps remain, 30 to 45 seconds, scraping down bowl once or twice. Transfer mixture to large bowl and set aside.

In now-empty mixer bowl (no need to clean bowl), beat cream at medium speed until frothy, 1 to 1 1/2 minutes. Increase speed to high and continue to beat until cream holds stiff peaks, 1 to 1 1/2 minutes longer.

Using rubber spatula, fold one-third of whipped cream into mascarpone mixture to lighten, then gently fold in remaining whipped cream until no white streaks remain. Set mascarpone mixture aside.

NOTE:  Get the crunchy ladyfingers!!  Cakey ladyfingers will fall apart completely. Working one at a time, drop half of ladyfingers into coffee mixture, roll, remove, and transfer to 13 by 9-inch glass or ceramic baking dish. (Do not submerge ladyfingers in coffee mixture; entire process should take no longer than 2 to 3 seconds for each cookie.)

Arrange soaked cookies in single layer in baking dish, breaking or trimming ladyfingers as needed to fit neatly into dish.

Spread half of mascarpone mixture over ladyfingers; use rubber spatula to spread mixture to sides and into corners of dish and smooth surface. Place 2 tablespoons cocoa in fine-mesh strainer and dust cocoa over mascarpone.

Repeat dipping and arrangement of ladyfingers; spread remaining mascarpone mixture over ladyfingers and dust with remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons cocoa.

Wipe edges of dish with dry paper towel. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate 6 to 24 hours. Sprinkle with grated chocolate, if using; cut into pieces and serve chilled.


2 1/2 cups strong black coffee , room temperature
1 1/2 tablespoons instant espresso powder
9 tablespoons dark rum
6 large egg yolks
2/3 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon table salt
1 1/2 pounds mascarpone cheese
3/4 cup heavy cream (cold)
14 ounces ladyfingers (42 to 60, depending on size)
3 1/2 tablespoons cocoa , preferably Dutch-processed
1/4 cup semisweet or bittersweet chocolate , grated (optional)


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handknit maxi skirt

here’s my latest creation! it’s a skirt knit out of a cotton/bamboo/linen blend yarn, i picked up for a song at my favorite yarn store.  i love the maxi skirt trend, it feels casual and feminine, without the hassles of shorter skirts.  i knit this skirt on a size 7 needle, and the fabric is drapey and moves really well.

it’s a bit on the heavy side, but the waist tie holds it up really well. it sits around the hips and is fitted at the top, and flares out at the bottom.  i think i’ll be able to transition this into cooler weather, with tights, boots, and a long cardigan with a belt, maybe?  anyone?  bueller?

it’s machine washable, which is a BIG plus, since i can’t go a day without getting food/spitup/slobbers all over me.

i didn’t follow a pattern, just determined gauge from a swatch, then cast on an appropriate number, did a waistband, and then increased every 7 rows, and did about 6 inches of garter rib at the bottom, if anyone’s interested in my calculations, i’ll post them!

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testing the waters

jumping back into blogging after a two year hiatus!  new blog, with a renewed focus on creating, and how my process is informed by fashion, art, and whatever inspires me.  oh and i’ve got two kids, so maybe some random stuff about motherhood and work, because that’s what i spend most of my time doing.

my first post is one of the sewing projects i recently finished, anna maria horner’s evening empire dress.  i’ve been dreaming about this dress since i first saw it on her blog, and for the past year, i’ve eyed my fabric stash thinking about how i would put it all together.  about 3 months ago, i started cutting and piecing everything together, and here it is!

i used some amy butler and joel dewberry fabrics and i also added pockets. it’s a comfortable dress, but a bit stiff, due to the quilting cotton. one of these days, i’d like to try using a jersey knit, in shades of blue and gray, an idea i got from Carey over at corks and caftans.

my 3.5 year old is a very willing photographer, it’s so interesting to see how he sees things.

i’ve got a backlog of projects to share, both knitting and sewing, so i’ll be posting them as i get pictures. the pace of crafting has slowed with children, but i try to set aside a few hours every night to work on my projects.

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