Wrap Skirt tutorial and Valentine’s Nonsense – DIY #9

So I done goofed. This year was not my first Valentine’s Day in 3 years. It was actually my first in 4 years! And what a day it was: I went to the winter wonderland up in the countryside, where the Mad Hatter and the white rabbit were waiting. We decided to stay in, dress up, and have a home cooked dinner.

The Mad Hatter’s trademark colours are red and black, and I wanted to match his outfit. Since red is a nice Valentine’s Day colour, I chose to make a red outfit. Unfortunately, I didn’t own any red dresses, and there was no way I was going to drop $40 on a new dress I’d only wear once. I did, however, find a red t-shirt that fit fairly snug, and thought it would make a cute cutout top. How about, I thought, we cut the top, and make a detatchable skirt, like the one April made.

And then I started looking through videos, and found this video about a convertible skirt. These skirts are similar to the infinity dress, which can be worn in many different ways. So I thought about making a similar one; it’s basically a wrap skirt that goes around twice, with a keyhole in the center of the band to accound for the extra wrap.

But then, a whole bunch of things went wrong…

  • I bought sheer ribbon, thinking it would work. It did not.
  • I found the perfect red fabric, but not the perfect complementary fabric.
  • Logo removal methods didn’t work on the shirt.

 

So here is the final decision on the outfit. First, we will make the skirt. Note: this is not a formal pattern. If anything, it’s an experimental blog. Now let’s dive in!

dsc_0100Materials :

Fabric of your choice

Scissors

Sewing machine

Matching thread

dsc_0102Step 1: Measure the fabric around your waist. It should be enough to wrap around twice. When in doubt, round up. Remember, it’s easier to take in a garment, than to let it out.

My measurement is about 30 inches (76 cm) around. So the minimum amount of fabric I need is 76 x 2 = 152 cm, or 1.52 m. To be on the safe side, I bought 2 meters of fabric.

dsc_0103This is where I started to fail… I bought satin. ($4/m) Satin is delicate, frays easily, and shows mistakes. You can try ripping out seams, but the holes where the needle pierced it will show through. In the future, I will use jersey, or a soft knit fabric that doesn’t fray and show holes. It’s a good thing I bought extra, because a lot of the selvage ends had to be sheared to remove stray fibers.

Step 2: Make the band.

Decide how wide you want your band. I want mine to be about 2.5 inches (5 cm) plus half an inch for seam allowance. So the width of the fabric I cut was (2.5 + 0.5) x 2 = (3) x 2 = 6 inches. Hooray for BEDMAS!

As for the length, I just used the length of the remaining fabric. Each cutout strap was 6″ (15.24 cm) x 2 m. You can adjust the length of the straps later.

straps

*Looking back on this project, step 4 was unnecessary. I think I meant to sandwich the top of the skirt between the two pieces, and cut it open so I could roll the hems? I don’t remember.

Step 3: Attach the skirt to the band.

Yeah. I got lazy and just sewed it on flat, as thought it were a ribbon. To ensure the skirt fit me properly, and to give it a bit more body, I made rough pleats with my fingers to gather any excess fabric. Below, I’ve pinned a ribbon, to give you an idea of where the strap was sewn. (I forgot to take a picture of this step. >_< )

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Step 4: make a keyhole in the center of the belt. Glue the edges of the keyhole so it doesn’t fray.

To determine where the keyhole should go, I held one end of the skirt, wrapped it around my waist once, and marked the position where the belt crossed.

Instead of hemming the skirt, I treated the raw edges with FrayCheck, to keep them from unraveling. This helps maintain the flowiness of the fabric, and saves on thread.

Finished! Sigh… Perhaps in the future I’ll revamp this skirt, into an easier-to-follow pattern. More like Fail-entine’s Day, amirite? ^_^….’_’… T_T

Here is the final product, side by side with my Mad Hatter’s dashing suit. He said it looked good, but I know I can make something better. I paired this outfit with the heart earrings from last week’s blog, and black stockings.

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Date not included. Perhaps one day, I’ll make another skirt like this.

 

Hm… I should’ve made this much shorter. I think I’ll refashion it into a wrap dress.

dsc_0131For the top, I took a fitted red T-shirt I no longer cared about, and cut a square neckline. Unfortunately, I couldn’t remove the logo on the front, so I ended up cutting a low back. Yikes! This low back, plus the square neckline, meant the top couldn’t stay up on its own. So instead, I opted for a technique I used in a Pikachu costume way back when, and wove a ribbon in the back. This created a cute lace-up back. I hope I’ll get more chances to wear this style in the future.

I tried to curl my pigtails, but they failed miserably. Do you ever get that? Like, you’ll be putting on eyeliner and one eye will be Beyonce, and the other side will be Jay-Z? Or one side of you is original, and the other side rips off jokes from iiSuperwomanii?

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Strawberry Rose

After getting dressed, the Mad Hatter took me by the hand, and opened the door. We sat beside each other and ate spaghetti with bacon alfredo sauce. Yes, we tried the Lady and the Tramp thing. We decided it’s best left to doggies, who can make anything look cute.

We made the fondue after we finished eating, so it would be fresh. In the past, Shoonie and I have made chocolate cups by melting chocolate, painting containers with the melted chocolate, and letting them harden. The chocolate fondue stayed nice and liquid for a long time by comparison. We dipped strawberries, marshmallows, bananas, and even bacon! The bacon was sweet and salty, aka delicious. But the bananas were still my favourite.
Spaghetti: $0.99
Butter: $2.99
Whipping Cream: $3.69
Parmesan cheese: $3.00

Chocolate Chips: $3.69
Strawberries: $2.00
Bananas: $0.59/lb x 2 = $1.18
Bacon: $5.00
Marshmallows: $3.69

Fabric: $4/m x 2 = $8.00
Ribbon: $1.25

Megabus tickets: $70

Time spent with the Mad Hatter: Priceless

The moral of the story is, you don’t need lots of money to have fun. All you need is good friends, good food, and good times. Here is my belated present to you, dear readers: an entry from this month’s 30 Day Challenge.

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How was your week? Did you celebrate Valentine’s Day? Friends’ Day? Cousins’ Day? Write midterms? How do you like to celebrate? Comment below!

Pika, so happy~

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Strawberries – Amigurumi #33

Summer may have ended, but the delicacies can be enjoyed year round.

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This was inspired by Shan, my other cousin. When Korilakkuma was just a head, Shan was entertained by throwing the head up in the air. She commented that the size of Korilak’s head was the perfect size for a stress ball. However, she didn’t really like strawberries unless they were dipped in chocolate. And so…

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Dark chocolate-dipped strawberry with a white chocolate drizzle. Yum! It feels nice to make something that isn’t Pokemon-related. And Arceus knows I need more colour in that dA gallery.

I don’t think she reads this blog, so this will be a present for Shan, when she comes over for Thanksgiving. Meanwhile, I need to decide what to give Fei. I hope Shan and Shoonie will get along. Don’t worry, Shoonie, I have a present for you too. 😀 (Even if you already know what it is)

Here is a “dummy berry” I made, to experiment with the shaping. It looks nice in mother Raichu’s garden, even on a rainy day.

 

Strawberries are cute, tasty, and versatile. They can be eaten alone, in sweets, in salads, and sometimes even as pasta sauce! It’s true, I once made strawberry pasta. It was… interesting. Twiggy was the ginuea pig. Hey, twiggy piggy! 😀

Why not wear strawberries on your nails? I followed Bubz’ tutorial, back when I could keep my nails nice. And look who else got the idea to make a(nother) strawberry this week! Maybe great minds think alike.

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Rilak vs. Korilak: Decisive Battle! Referee: Umbreon

You can make any food into a stress ball. How about a pumpkin, for Halloween? Or a slice of pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving?

Do you like chocolate-covered strawberries? Or do you prefer strawberries and creme? Comment below!

Pika, so happy~

Canada Day Pudding Party!

Edit: use only unsweetened milk for this recipe! Remember, marshmallows are just puffs of sugar. If you melt them into pre-flavoured milk (like chocolate milk) your pudding will turn out way too sweet. Use only unsweetened cocoa, or a tiny bit of your favourite flavour extracts.

Happy Canada Day!!!

I’ve been cooking up storms lately. And we can’t have food without dessert! Since today is Canada Day, here’s a light dessert to follow up your poutine, or provide a sweet complement your Tim Hortons’s coffee. (Man, our mainstream cuisine is unremarkable…)

Nailed it!

Nailed it!

One of my favourite types of dessert is pudding. (Custard, for people outside North America) Since I was a Pichu, I’ve tried all kinds of store-bought pudding brands, from the sugary sweet Snack Packs to the rich, $5 4-packs found in the dairy aisle. My favourite go-to homemade dessert is custard pudding, or creme caramel. I’ve made it for guests, and they always rave about it. Aunty Waggie makes it the best.

Let’s begin the summer with some super easy 3 ingredient pudding from ochikeron.

Matcha is green tea powder, and one of my favourite flavours when mixed with milk. Green tea mochi ice cream = yum num num. Sadly, I don’t have matcha powder, but I do have cocoa powder. Ergo, chocolate pudding, here I come!

IMG_20150630_215945244Ingredients:

3/4 cup milk

50g marshmallows (approx. 6 jumbo size)

1 tbsp. cocoa powder

Directions

Mix the powder with a bit of the milk. This will make it easier to incorporate.

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Add in the rest of the milk and marshmallows.

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Cook on medium-low heat, stirring constantly. The mixture doesn’t need to boil, it just needs to be hot enough to completely melt the marshmallows. You can help the marshmallows melt faster by cutting them into pieces.

IMG_20150628_175708133

Taken while making vanilla pudding

When it looks like this, you've got it!

When it looks smooth like this, you’ve got it!

Once all the marshmallows are fully melted, pour mixture into molds.

pour

Chill in the fridge for at least 2 – 3 hours, and then dig in!

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Obby~

Makes 2 small servings.

Final Verdict

ASDFGHJKL;’ IT’S SO GOOD!!! The pudding is smooth, creamy, and not too sweet. According to the package, 4 marshmallows = 30 grams, so I used 6 marshmallows + 1 to make sure the pudding set. In the video, ochikeron added a lot of marshmallows and got very obvious foam on top. When you add more marshmallows, the foam is more likely to separate. The pudding also ends up thicker and less “jiggly.”

I wonder how this pudding would look in a glass dessert dish, topped with whipped cream. If I have to describe the taste and texture in relation to a store-bought pudding, this felt like a milkier version Danone’s dark chocolate “Danette” puddings. Taste wise, this chocolate pudding tastes exactly like a Fudgesicle. This gives me an idea for later in the month, when it REALLY gets hot out…

You have to be patient with this pudding: make sure it stays in the fridge for AT LEAST 2 hours. It won’t set if you keep poking at it! Due to its softness, the pudding separates from the mold fairly easily. That doesn’t mean it transfers well…

plop

Plop.

Serving sizes are very small, creating less than 1/2 cup servings after the mixture settles. This is the type of dessert to make when you have only one friend over, or you and the sweetheart don’t feel like going out. That would be a cute date idea: make these together, let them chill in the fridge while you eat dinner, watch a movie, and take them out after the movie to enjoy while chatting. You’re welcome, Internet.

*You can swap the cocoa and milk for any other flavours of your choice! The original recipe called for soy milk, but I used skim milk. If you want a creamier pudding, try heavier milk. How about strawberry flavoured milk? Use your imagination! I do not think this will work with condensed milk, because it is too sticky and heavy.

And of course, you can make plain vanilla pudding by simply omitting the flavour agent. Marshmallows are already vanilla flavoured, so there’s no need to add vanilla extract. Serve with fresh berries; who needs marshmallow dip?! I theorize that this white pudding would taste great if made with almond milk.

Nailed it!

Since it’s Canada Day, how about some maple syrup flavoured pudding? Skip the artificial stuff you use on pancakes and grab some 100% pure maple syrup. Or just buy some maple candies and decorate your pudding.

What other quick and easy recipes should we try? Did you make any cute patriotic snacks today? Comment below, and have a Happy Canada Day!

Pika, so happy, eh~

Panda Cotta! – Dessert Days #5

Those who follow my Instagram will know that I’ve been on a cooking kick lately. In other words, nobody knew that, because my account is private.

Anyway, what’s the point of cooking meals without dessert? I give you: panda cotta!

Yummy panda pudding

Yummy panda pudding

This dessert is called panna cotta. I don’t speak Italian, but I believe that means “cooked cream.” Indeed, this dessert is made using cream and milk. I’ve been meaning to try this for so long, but many lactose sensitivity tummy aches have kept it away. This is a quick and easy Mother’s Day treat as well; mi madre enjoyed it! She ate it without the chocolate sauce.

I will post a link to the video recipe at the end, so I won’t repeat it here. It’s courtesy of the very talented Laura Vitale. I found this recipe while binge watching her videos, and in the suggested videos I saw runnyrunny999’s take on this dessert. He made chocolate panna cotta, and when he took it out of the mold, chocolate flowed beautifully over the panna cotta. Oh man it looked righteous.

I like both Laura and Runny, so I figured, “por que no los dos?” (Yeah, I don’t speak Spanish either…) Unfortunately, we didn’t have any chocolate, so chocolate panna cotta will be for another day. I’m also not a fan of frozen strawberries, because they’re so sour. And so this variation, combining plain panna cotta and chocolate syrup, was born. I call it, Panda Cotta.

Let the gelatin bloom in water.

Let the gelatin bloom in water.

First, make the panna cotta. This process reminds me of the coffee jello. And coffee jello reminds me of summer days, when we spent the day out and came home for dessert. I think I will inform K of this post.

Fair warning, plain gelatin smells gross. ;w;

I didn’t have half-and-half or whole milk, so I used thick cream throughout, with a hint of skim milk to thin it out. This feels closer to Runny’s recipe, in which he used milk and cream. With thick cream, you need to stir frequently, or else it forms a skin. Don’t worry if you notice a skin forming; it’s nothing a brisk whisking can’t fix.

stirMaking panna cotta reminds me of making custard pudding. You don’t need to boil the milk, you just need to simmer it until the sugar dissolves. And the bloomed gelatin may smell funny, but it pops out pretty nicely. Kind of like a gummy candy.

I filled two dessert bowls, in order to use up as much of the cream as possible. I refrigerated these overnight with plastic wrap pressed into the surface, to make sure they were properly set.

set

Both recipes called for strawberry sauce, but I don’t really like frozen strawberries. Besides, we didn’t have any strawberries. ^_^; I do however like chocolate syrup. We had Nesquick syrup on hand, so that’s what we’ll use.

unmoldNow, all that’s left to do is unmold!

It didn’t take much to unmold the panna cotta, though you can see the edges where the knife ruined the smooth texture. They don’t transfer very well either, so make sure they land in the right spot on your first try. As expected, they feel like custard pudding, or even jello.

Time to decorate! Hm… I should’ve used the flat-bottom bowls to mold. They would’ve turned out smoother, with a flat face to pour the syrup. These portions are a little too big for one person. Next time, I’ll use the smaller, flat ramekins.

nailedit

Now just take a picture for Instagram, and we’re finished!

Final verdict:

Plain panna cotta is nice and creamy. It has the texture of jello but melts in your mouth, leaving you feeling like you just ate vanilla ice cream.As you can guess, adding the chocolate syrup tastes like vanilla ice cream with chocolate syrup. Maybe that’s why the madre ate it plain. (She prefers plain vanilla ice cream)

I think this is the Italian take on custard pudding, using gelatin instead of eggs. Again, I would make the portions smaller. This dessert is very creamy and fills you up. Not to mention I got lovely lactose sensitivity afterward. >_<

And that ends this blog. Here are the video links, as promised:

Laura Vitale’s (Laura in the Kitchen) Panna Cotta Recipe

Runny’s (runnyrunny999) Choco Panna Cotta

Anime North update: Looks like I’ll be cosplaying Katara after all. Have decided to cut my hair next year, so Oliver will come next year as well. Am going to try making an Appa plush bag to take necessities. Worst case scenario, I’ll just fit pockets on the inside of Katara’s dress. Don’t expect to spend a lot, since mainly looking for accessories and such. Heard there’s a Doll Market and was hoping to find ami eyes, but from the official site’s description it’s mainly for BJD dolls.

What other foods would you want to see “pandafied?” Comment below!

Pika, so happy~