Anthropologie Inspired Top

I was trawling Pinterest the other day looking for inspiration for a new top and I scrolled across this top that I had completely forgotten about.Anthropologie top

I absolutely love this top, the huge cowl neck and the gorgeous little ruffles, but, sadly, it is no longer available to purchase, so I set about making my own version using a couple of cheap long sleeved tops that I picked up from Kmart.Anthropologie Inspired Top - OneCrazyMummy

The short story is that I took two long sleeved tops, hacked some pieces off of one, stitched them onto another and made a funky new top, complete with a cosy cowl neck and a pocket. For more in depth instructions, see below.original tops.png

I cut 35cm off the bottom of one top, the choice of how much to cut was two-fold, I measured the length from the neckline of the top to where I thought the cowl would sit if I rolled it over, that gave me about 30cm, the other reason was that it was around the narrowest part of the top, which made it easier to fit to the neckline.matching neckline

The front of the neckline was the same length as the front of the piece that I cut off, but the back was much shorter, to overcome this I gathered the back half using a long, straight stitch, make sure you fold and mark the centre before you gather so that you can spread the gathers evenly across the neckline.gathering the back

Pinning the new neck piece to the top was tricky, because it went against the rules of keeping the right or the wrong sides together. So, the new cowl neck goes inside the top, with the right side against the wrong side of the top, confusing, but trust me, I thought about it for at least 5 minutes. I stitched the cowl neck on using a straight stitch, you can get away with this because you don’t need the garment to have any give around such a large neckline, if you were to try this with a t-shirt or higher neckline, you would need to use a zig zag or a stretch stitch, otherwise you would pop the stitching the first time you tried to pull it over your head.  For the seam allowance, I used the original neck seam as a guide, making sure that I stitched just to the other side of the overlocked seam allowance, so that it didn’t pop through to the right side of the cowl neck.Stitching the neck on

And stitched. If  you roll the cowl up you can see the original neckline and the seam, but it rolls to where it sat originally and hides the raw edge of the cowl. It can be rolled down over the arms, but it is a bit tighter than the original and tends to roll up when you lift your arms. Quite cute like this, but time to add a little ruffle action.Cowl only

I used the sleeves from the second top to make the ruffle and pocket, cutting 30cm off the bottom of the sleeves. Cut one sleeve open at the seam to make the pocket, then trim off the bottom 5cm to take off the hem. It will be a little wider at one end than the other, this is fine. The other sleeve gets cut into a continuous strip of fabric, much like if you were making continuous bias tape, cut into the tube at a diagonal, aiming for about a 5cm width, don’t worry if it gets a bit wonky.Chop the Sleeves

Stitch the strip to the top corner of the pocket, make sure it will be on the side that it in the middle, depending on where you want your pocket. Stitch a piece of thin elastic about 3cm from the top of the pocket, stretching as you go so the top of the pocket gets the gathered effect too and then stitch a long (about 4mm) straight stitch down the middle of your strip and start to gather, don’t go too overboard yet though.ruffle and pocket prep
Stitch the pocket to the shirt at the bottom using a stretch or narrow zig-zag stitch, I stitched this seam so that I could fold the pocket up onto the t-shirt and hide the raw edge. Fold the pocket up and the edge under a little and stitch the edge against the side seam of the shirt. Then take it to the table and do a little play with the ruffle layout.

Ruffle alignmentI say play with the ruffles, because you need to have a little look at it, as you can see I got a little pulling across the middle and at the top of the pocket and the ruffle line on the bust is not quite right. A little repinning and we are all good.

Keep your stretch or zig-zag stitch and stitch the central seam of the pocket from the bottom up, then carry on stitching up the middle of the ruffle (over the top of the gathering stitch) to the top. Pull out your gathering thread and Voila! You are finished.

Final show offAs an added bit of fun, I discovered that the cowl can double as a funky little hood, love it!

As always, let me know what you think and send through any of your own makes in the comments.

Enjoy, K x

Jelly Ice Rinks

My eldest daughter turned 5 this week. Hip hip hooray!!

She was a very lucky little girl in that Disney on Ice happened to be in town this weekend and I did a lot of planning in advance. We ended up having her birthday party at the Ice Arena, our local ice rink, and then having a group of 19 friends (including parents, who paid for their own tickets, I’m not a millionaire) trek to Disney on Ice with us, it was an epic day.

As with most parties hosted by a venue, they supplied lunch, party bags and entertainment, the only thing I had to make was the cake….

I was struck by a little conundrum here, what type of cake do you make for a skating party? I have personally made three frozen cakes already, two for this birthday girl and one for a friend’s daughter, so that option was not on the cards…

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My third Frozen cake was a little uninspired…

Our trawling of pinterest came up with about 50 cakes, all of which used fondant, which is entirely too fiddly for me, and she couldn’t really decide a theme to go with. She did quite like the look of a couple of jelly cakes that we saw (which I would link, but it was from reddit, so I can’t credit the creator), so we came up with a variation, Mini jelly ice rinks.

 

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If you want to copy these little beasts, you will need:

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  • 2 x packs Tiny Teddy biscuits
  • 5 x packs of base jelly (Berry Blue)
  • 3 x packs of top jelly colour (Blue Heaven)
  • 20 x 300mL plastic containers (cheap take out style container)
  • 1 x pack shredded wheatmeal biscuits (basically the biscuits with the lowest sugar content that I could find)

Enough workspace to spread out your cups

(These quantities made 21 jelly cups and an extra bowl of jelly for us)

Instructions

  1. Blitz the biscuits in a food processer to crumbs, then distribute across the cups, about 50mL or 2.5 tablespoons per bowl should be enoughimage 4

 

  1. Mix your first colour of jelly and pour gently into the cups. This was where I discovered that the biscuit pieces would float (and that I was 3 packs short on my first jelly), if you have the time to do this in three stages, I would recommend just adding enough jelly (probably two packs) to cover the biscuit crumbs, letting that set, and then adding the rest of the jelly on top. I stuck with two stages though, which was fine. The containers had a mark on them at the 150mL mark, so I could easily add about 100mL of jelly. Pop the lids on and stick them in the fridge to set.

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  1. After a couple of hours, bring those babies out of the fridge, mix up the next Jelly flavour and pour it on top, then stick them back in the fridge.
  1. A few more hours and they are done.

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When party time came, we gave the kids their jellies and stuck out the tiny teddies in bowls and they went crazy poking them in the jelly.  They all seemed to have fun with it.

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I’d love to see pictures if you try this recipe, and any variations on the theme as well

 

Cheers, K xo

I can totally make this for a four year old’s birthday party right?

Like just about every other child between the age of about one and maybe seven (I have no way of backing up the second part of my claim), my daughters are obsessed with Frozen. As I am one of those parents who uses my children as an excuse to act like a child, I have no qualms about admitting that I can quote practically all of the film and belt out “Let it go” with the best of them, my husband and I also do a pretty good duet for “Love is an open door”.

My eldest (daughter, not my husband, although most women accept that their partners are their eldest child) has also asked to join the ranks of children having a Frozen birthday party, despite my many other suggestions over the course of about three months.

Being a sightly cruel parent, when I saw these awesome geekout cupcakes the other day, credit to Nomokis, I asked her if she would like these Frozen cupcakes.

EXTERMINATE! by nomokis

After her initial excitement, I confessed that they were Dalek cupcakes, now she says she wants Dalek cupcakes for her birthday… So, yea or nay? Let me know in the comments if you think I can get away with it.

Quilt Cover Hack

Does anyone else suffer from quilt migration syndrome? You know, when you’ve had the quilt in the cover for a few nights and it starts sliding down inside the cover so you end up with about 30cm of quilt cover with no quilt in it? Super annoying.

Fortunately, I haven’t suffered from this particular condition for a few years now as I came up with an ingenious way of keeping my quilts in place which also makes it easier to put the covers back on. It will take an hour or so of your time initially, but, trust me, it will be worth it. See my technique below

You will need

 

Your quilt covers
Your quilt (N.B. instructions are for a queen size quilt)
12mm wide elastic (the width doesn’t really matter, but this is what I have on mine)
5 large buttons (maybe only 3 for a single quilt, definitely 5 for a queen though)
A sewing machine (optional)
Needle and thread

The Process

1.       Decide which end you are going to stitch your buttons too, make sure it is one of the top ends. Fold your quilt into quarters and stitch the buttons on the folds and at each end, this should mean you have five evenly spaced buttons at one end of the quilt. If you like switching which end of the quilt you have at your head end you could stitch buttons on at both ends.

2.       Fold your quilt covers into quarters and mark the folds. Stitch loops of elastic onto the quilt. I used about 5cm of elastic to make my loops, but it depends on the size of the buttons you have. This is obviously a lot easier if you have a sewing machine, but you can do it by hand. In my experience, it is easier to use a zigzag stitch with elastic and to cut the elastic after you stitch it.

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3.       Store your quilt covers inside-out, then, when you are ready to change your cover, put your elastic loops over your buttons, reach your hands inside the quilt cover, grab the corners and shake that thing silly. The cover will slide down over the quilt, leaving only the bottom corners to be tucked in and the fastenings to do up.

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I don’t know how many times I struggled with my quilt covers  before I did this, climbing into the wretched things with the quilt to try and line it up inside, shaking every which way to stop them from rolling in the cover, swearing when they migrated after a couple of days.

Let me know if you try out my little trick and tell me if it works for you.

Enjoy! K x

Cranberry and Coconut mug cake

 

I’m going to try not to be one if those food bloggers who makes you scroll through two decades of anecdotes before taking you to the recipe, so wish me luck!!
Mug cakes have recently come into vogue as a quick, easy and portion controlled snack, here is the one that we had for our after school snack today.
Cranberry and Coconut mug(or ramekin) cake
4 Tbsp Self-raising flour
2 Tbsp Caster Sugar
2 Tbsp mashed banana (break about 5cm off the banana and mash in the cup)
2 Tbsp Coconut oil
3 Tbsp Milk
2 Tbsp chopped dried cranberries

(see below recipe for a few explanations and tips)

Instructions
1. Mix flour and sugar together in large mug or ramekin (I made mine in a ramekin so that I could share it between 3 of us).
2. Place banana in ramekin and mash with a fork (doing it in the pot means you don’t have to get any other dishes dirty, bonus!)
3. Add coconut oil and mix well, it can get pretty firm, so mix well enough to get out most of the lumps
4. Stir in milk and cranberries

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5. (Optional) Shake on a few sprinkles for a confetti look

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6. Cook in microwave at about 750W (70% in my 1100W microwave) for 2min
7. Devour!

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Make sure you get the biggest piece!
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Miss- so-very-close-to-being-5 was pretty chuffed with our efforts 

Just a couple of notes….
I used banana instead of egg in this recipe, the alternative is to have 2 Tbsp of beaten egg, and that is not something I usually keep portioned out in my kitchen. However, as a savvy baker, I know that you can substitute an egg for a mashed banana in recipes. I this case, I simply used part of a banana instead of a whole, fortunately, it worked (not always the case when I make up recipes…).
Vegetable oil is also commonly used in cake recipes, but it is my personal choice to avoid it where possible, simply because it upsets my tummy. When recipes call for oil, I use coconut oil or sunflower oil. You could easily substitute the coconut oil for sunflower oil and toss in a tablespoon of desiccated coconut if you still wanted the coconut flavour.

Leave me a note in the comments if you like it and have any requests for variations and enjoy!