Sunday, August 22, 2010

Simplicity 2360

I finished my "real" rendition of Simplicity 2360, which is a pullover dress with an elastic waist. My muslin is in this post. Here's the pattern:A couple of things I did differently on this version: first, I made this one with short sleeves, rather than the sleeveless version, which I like, but it makes the bodice less fitted; I actually like the fit of the bodice better on the sleeveless one. Second, I narrowed the skirt pattern so that the skirt finished 2 inches less wide at the hem. Third, I made the elastic shorter, thus tightening up the waist, which was very much needed. Finally, I made no sash. Frankly, I ran out of fabric because I incorrectly sewed the bodice pieces together, and of course, I had already surged the seams. So instead of ripping out, I just cut new pieces. I think the dress needs a belt or sash, so I'll look for a suitable white fabric in my stash, or order more of this Kaffe Fassett rayon online. Right now, I'm wearing it without one:

Here's the back:

I can explain the boots! I wore this to work on Wednesday, and it was a rare rainy day - I wore boots and jean jacket with the dress, and the boots were so comfortable, I just never changed out of them into my "work" shoes.
Overall, the dress is extremely comfortable and easy to make. I was thinking of doing a fall version with three-quarter sleeves out of a wool challis, but I think it is time to put this pattern away for awhile. I like it, but enough is enough and it is time to move on!
Parting Shot: The Crab Dress on its way to the Outer Banks. We stopped in Sussex County at a Plantation home where The Carpenter had recently restored a 200 year orangery - which is basically a greenhouse for citrus trees. He did a great job, but yes, I realize I'm partial!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Crack Cookies

It has been brought to my attention that my blogging of late has been somewhat . . . sparse. Or non-existent, even. VickiW has described it as "criminal". Two things are going on: work (not only is it busy, but I spent last week in our Illinois office), and The Carpenter. Of whom I am deliriously happy. Unfortunately, my happiness is getting in the way of sewing up the real version of Simplicity 2360 with the fabulous pink Kaffe Fassett rayon I ordered. I have been working at it a little at a time, and finally tonight I got it done. I'll probably wear it tomorrow and I'll get Aimee to take a photo so I can post it here. It turned out well: I just love it when a project comes together exactly as you imagine it. (Unlike my last post. )

But to entertain you in the meantime, I absolutely must share with you the recipe for the Crack Cookies. These are just peanut butter chocolate chip cookies, but when I took them to work, my co-workers sucked them up like a Hoover Deluxe. My friend Lynne and I renamed them the "Crack Cookies" because you can't eat less than three and they are devilishly awesome. To be extra evil I shared the recipe with everyone at work:

Crack Cookies

2 sticks of butter
1 cup peanut butter (smooth or chunky, your choice)
1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/2 cups of self-rising flour
1 package of chocolate chips

Using a mixer, beat the butter and the peanut butter on medium speed until smooth. Beat in, a little at a time, the sugars. Add the egg and vanilla and beat until smooth and creamy. Beat in, a little at a time, the self rising flour. Mix in the chocolate chips.

Drop by rounded tablespoons full on a cookie sheet and bake for 11 to 12 minutes at 350. When you take them out, they won't look done, but just leave them on the hot cookie sheet for 30 minutes to finish cooking and thoroughly cool.

Notes: you don't have to make these cookies all at once. The dough will last up to a week in air-tight container. If you make the cookies from chilled dough, you will probably want to increase the cooking time to about 14 minutes. I used Peter Pan creamy peanut butter because it is the best; it has more sugar in it than most peanut butters, and thus it is the most yummy. Also, I use self-rising flour because it saves me some steps of measuring, but if all you have is all purpose flour then just use that and add 1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder and 1 teaspoon salt. And one last thing: these cookies are so much better the next day after you make them. That one day delay transforms them from merely peanut butter chocolate chip cookies to the Crack Cookies.

And that's how you make the Crack Cookies.

Parting Shot: The Carpenter and me at Hatteras on the ferry to Ocracoke Island. And yes, the Crab Dress went too. More photos to come.