13 July 2011

seersucker shirtdress

I finally made a Lisette pattern! This is the Traveler dress, view A. I didn't alter a single thing, cut it out and made it exactly as the pattern instructed. And it's PERFECT. This is probably the best homemade garment I've made so far. It fits me perfectly, is super comfortable, and is very flattering. It's even cute without the belt because the shape of the dress is so nice.

I used an inexpensive gray stripe seersucker that I got at Joann's. I can remember my grandma had a shirtdress exactly like this. Except hers had shoulder pads because it was the 80s.

The pattern is lovely and straightforward, and includes some really helpful tips along the way. I learned some new things, such as the clever way of finishing the top of the patch pockets with a pintuck. It's also interesting that this collar is all one piece, so you don't have to bother with a collar band. Genius.

It came together quite quickly--I was able to do all the sewing in one afternoon + evening. My buttonholer attachment was being fussy so the 10 buttons seemed a bit intimidating. But the buttonholer cooperated in the end and I attached the 10 charcoal buttons to finish it.

I'm excited to try the other patterns. The Portfolio tunic might be next.

10 July 2011

summer bounty

Yesterday's haul out of the garden. We are drowning in summery goodness.

Piles of fresh produce are the mother of invention and I have been trying out new recipes in order to keep up with the inventory around here. Matt's Mom brought us blueberries, ranier cherries, bing cherries, and peaches last weekend and despite munching on these goodies all week, I realized yesterday morning that I still had a pile of fruit nearing over-ripeness. Must save the fruit!

So I made a crisp. I almost went with my old stand-by crisp topping (melted butter, brown sugar, oats) but decided to try something new from Rustic Fruit Desserts. I used the almond crisp topping and oh. my. goodness. It's just butter + sugar + flour + toasted almonds but it could not be more delicious. I was nervous because Matt doesn't normally like nuts in his desserts (I know, crazy), but even he pronounced it awesome.

This week we've had so much rain that the tomatoes are splitting open on the vine. I dashed out to save them and then put together this watermelon tomato salad from the August Martha Stewart (sorry can't find the recipe on her website, must not be up yet). I didn't bother with making the basil oil, instead I just tore up some basil leaves. A little goat cheese, lemon juice, and a drizzle of olive oil. Quite tasty.

And this was my lunch yesterday, which was so pretty I had to take a picture. This is uncommonly healthy for me. I had a bowl of crisp for dessert to make up for it.

Now I need to figure out what to do with all this yellow squash. Matt tells me his Memom always made fried squash cakes and called them "croquettes." I'm thinking about this recipe. Paula Deen and fried food--can't go wrong. Any favorite squash recipes?