Posts Tagged ‘home made’

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In between peeking at the Wimbledon men’s singles final anxiously, I finished the ring pillow for my sister’s wedding and also marzipan-ed the cakes today.

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The pillow is just a small paper-pieced hexagon design, with velvet ric rac around the edges.

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The middle bit of ric rac is there to tie the ring on and can be removed afterwards should my sister wish to keep the pillow for a teeny tiny chair somewhere! (The rings are ours- quite appropriate as today is our 6th wedding anniversary)

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According to Pam Corbin, aforementioned (many times over) author of the River Cottage Cakes handbook, marzipan is not only easy to make but ‘a thousand times nicer’ than the bought stuff. I can’t argue with a thousand times, really, and had a huge jar of ground almonds courtesy of an Asian supermarket in Glasgow, so I went for it. It calls for brandy, orange liquor or whisky. Well, there was no question: whisky all the way. A short debate over Laphroaig vs. Auchentoshan later, the Auchentoshan won out and I can indeed concur with Pam that it is much, much nicer.

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And really satisfying. It has to dry out for a couple of days before the royal icing goes on, and then they’ll be ready.

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It’s such a long process (the fruit was started in its marinade 18 months ago!) that it’s no wonder these cakes are reserved for the most special of occasions. Oooh it’s all getting quite exciting! Next up: cake decorations…




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Wedding fever continues apace and today, in very fitful bursts of standing-up sewing and in between nursery runs and nappy changes, I made the boys’ bow ties. It was not the most tricky of dressmaking tasks, but I’ve put together some step by step photos anyway as even though simple, it was quite satisfying!

To make one bow tie, I cut two pieces of fabric measuring 21x12cm and matching fusible interfacing to make the bow (no seam allowances required for these). I cut one long 40x2cm strip with small seam allowance down the long edges. I also cut a little 7x1cm strip, similarly leaving a small seam allowance down the long edges.  You can see four bow bits in the photo below because I made two bow ties.

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I ironed on the interfacing, dotty fusible side against the wrong side of my fabric, and folded it lengthwise towards the middle as below, then widthwise also towards the middle (it has sprung open in the photo but you can see the fold lines, and the finished fold in the second picture)

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This resulted in a neat little book-like rectangle and I machine stitched the edges down. I did the same with the second rectangle.

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The long neck strip was folded in half widthwise, right sides facing, and the long side sewn up to make a tube. I turned it inside out (faffy: you can buy special instruments to facilitate this, which might be worth it) and pressed it flat, seam to the edge. I then attached hook and loop tape, taking care to make sure they were on different sides so they match up when the bow tie goes round the neck. I did the same with the small rectangle, minus the hook and loop tape.

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The bow pieces were then sandwiched together with the folded edges  facing each other. I pinched them to make a nice bow shape and held it in place with a few hand stitches.

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I placed the bow on the table, and then put the the long strip on top of it at the centre of the bow, with the longer loop bit of tape facing away (so if the bow tie is on its tightest setting the excess is tucked against the neck and not left flapping out)

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The smaller strip was then wound round the long one and the bow to keep them together and it was secured with a few hand stitches, thread doubled for strength.


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All done!

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Very sweet photos of the full ensemble should follow in two weeks’ time -barring any jam-related disasters or toddler refusals to wear hand crafted bow ties of course…

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