Lucky Sew and Sew

Motherhood.Adventure.Slow Fashion.Sewing.Womanhood

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Sunday, 22 October 2017

Great Foster Bake Off - Week 7 - Italian Week

I cannot tell you how excited I was for Italian Week! As soon as I heard what the theme would be I knew that we would have to make a pizza. It'a fun to make, there's skills to learn and it's fun for the kids to decorate and get stuck in too.



Logan didn't feel up to participating in the actual baking this week (although he enjoyed the eating!), but Rori loved getting stuck in with the sauce and the dough. I used my own recipe for the sauce which was simply a large can of sieved tomatoes, garlic, salt, olive oil, fresh basil and red wine vinegar. Rori helped to peel the garlic cloves and crush them, and also to pick the basil from our plant and rip it into small pieces. I love it when Rori joins in like this, she's really hands-on and loves to taste all of the ingredients. She attempted to eat a raw garlic clove and was munching on basil too.



Once the sauce was cooked, we made the dough. We used this recipe from BBC Good Food and it's really quick and easy to get together. The only change I made was to use plain flour in place of the strong bread flour, and I didn't think it made any difference at all. Rori is a great kneader and got really stuck in. The dough doesn't need a lot of kneading and if you're after a thin base like we were, there's no need to prove the dough either.

I doubled the dough recipe and yielded 3 large pizzas and one calzone.

We went for a yummy pineapple and veg topping, while the calzone for my Dad, was filled with veggies and chorizo.



We cooked the pizzas on a pizza stone in the oven. The oven was on it's highest setting and I let it heat up for a good half an hour before beginning to cook the pizzas, and the stone was heating in the oven at the same time too.



I brushed a little oil onto the stone to prevent any sticking, rolled the dough (which i had seperated into 4 equal balls) one ball at a time, lifting the flat circle of dough onto the pizza stone. I then cooked the base in the oven without any toppings for around 4 minutes, then added the sauce and toppings and cooked for a further 6 minutes.  I pre-cooked the base a little first as I wanted to ensure the base was cooked thoroughly in the middle before loading on the toppings. The result was a lovely thin and crispy pizza each time.

I wouldn't hesitate to make these pizzas again. Making your own dough from scratch really isnt much hassle and being able to add your perfect toppings is brilliant!



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Friday, 20 October 2017

My Dream Coat! Oslo by Tessuti

I feel like I've finally started kicking off my Autumn/Winter sewing. About time right, I mean it is the middle of October!

We have a trip back to the UK later this month and I am in need of a new winter coat. I decided it was about time I took on a sewing challenge and so sewing my dream coat seemed like it would be the perfect project.




When I happened to stumble across the Oslo Coat pattern by Tessuti, it was pretty much love at first site. I love the simple, tailored feel of the coat, and the gorgeous shawl collar is definitely a bit of me. I've been eyeing up coats exactly like these online and they are in the range of about £200-£300. Which, for a coat, isn't that much I suppose but not something I could justify right now. You can't guarantee the type of labour that's used in the production of fast fashion, and it was just not something I wanted to spend my money on when it would weigh on my conscience so heavily.



Fate stepped in when, just after I had started planning my dream coat, Fabworks had a weekend sale on their wool and I managed to bag 3m of my perfect fabric for £18! I bagged this French Navy Twill for the main fabric of my coat, and also bagged my lining too - this Sapphire Satin Twill. The navy twill is a medium/heavy fabric, and is perfect for the crombie style coat look that I wanted to go for. I chose this lining as I wanted something with a good handle, that wouldn't move around too much when sewing. I went for the sapphire rather than the ink blue as I wanted to have a little contrast in the colours, and for the lining to stand out in it's own right. I am really impressed by both fabrics and would definitely recommend them - especially the lining. I want to buy some of the lining in every colour to be honest - it was so easy to sew with, amazing quality and so cheap too! Only £3 a metre.



The pattern was simple to use and easy to follow. I've never made a fully lined coat before (let alone any type of coat!) and I came into this project with a note of hesitation. I didn't want to get my hopes up too much in case I messed it up! But, with a lot of patience and some help from the Tessuti blog when it came to the lining, hemming and bagging out the coat, the sew went without any hiccups, surprisingly! Bagging out the coat, and sewing the hem was the only time I really had to pause and figure things out. But now that I've done it once, I feel I could do it again without any hesitation.

I stuck the pattern together in one evening. I cut the fabric (main and lining) in another evening. The sew took place over 3 days. I estimate in total that it took roughly 10 hours from to start to finish (including constructing the pattern, ironing the interfacing, the main sewing and the button holes etc.), and for a project of this scale, I think that's a good amount of time to invest for an item of clothing that should last for many years to come. Slow fashion at it's finest.



So to tally up, the main fabric was £6 p/m and I purchased 3 metres. The lining was £3 a metre and I purchased 3m. That's only £27 on fabric! The pattern is 10 australian dollars which works out about £6. I bought good quality interfacing which was around £10, but I still have about half left so we'll call it £5. The buttons came from my stash.

Therefore the total cost for the coat looks like this:

- fabric - £27
- Pattern - £6
- Interfacing - £5

        Total cost: £38

Now, I'm pretty darn pleased with that! What do you think of my new coat? Have you got plans to sew any winter staples?











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Tuesday, 10 October 2017

Great Foster Bake Off - Week 6 - Pastry Week

The weeks are rolling around so quickly, I can't quite believe it's week 5 already!

We weren't really that prepared for week 5 and to be completely honest, I'm really surprised we managed to bake anything. But a pleasant surprise it was as this weeks bake is my favourite one yet!

When pastry comes to mind, I can't help but think of a pastie. Pasties are the ultimate food! So I thought I would combine my love of pasties with my favourite soup - Leek and Potato - and come up with this yummy recipe.

I used the shortcrust pastry recipe from BBC Good Food, and then I sort of just made the filling up as I went along. These really turned out so delicious, and they were scoffed up in minutes. Logan and Rori loved them so much, I think I've found their new favourite meal, which is great as pasties are so versatile and you can fill them with whatever you have in your cupboards.

The pastry was SO simple to make, it literally took 5 minutes to mix all the ingredients together! I'll be using this recipe again for mince pies at Christmas for sure.

So, here's the recipe for the filling if you'd like to give them a go!



Leek and Potato Pastie Filling

Makes enough for 6 pasties

Ingredients:

- 4 small potatoes, peeled and sliced thinly
- 1 large leek, sliced
- 2 stock cubes dissolved in 200ml water (veg, chicken or beef will work)
-  knob of butter
- 100g cheddar
- 2 tsp cornflour mixed with a bit of water
- salt and pepper

Method:

1. Heat a knob of butter in a large frying pan on a medium heat. Add the sliced leeks and fry gently for a couple of minutes. 

2. Add the sliced potatoes to the pan, along with the stock. Simmer for around 20 minutes until the liquid starts to thicken.

3. Season with salt and pepper. Add the cornflour mix and stir well. When the juice has thickened up nicely, sprinkle in the cheddar and stir.

4. Allow to cool slightly before filling your pasties!













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Monday, 9 October 2017

Get Spooky With It

I thought I'd best introduce our newest festive design - The Spooky Bra.

Autumn/Winter is my favourite time of year, and Halloween in particular. Logan's birthday is at the end of October and so we usually get into the festive spirit with a Halloween party and lots of dressing up.

I bought this Halloween print fabric a couple of years ago and didn't get round to using it (ahem - lost in stash), so when I came across it recently I decided I would make myself the ultimate festive attire - a spooky bra! I popped a photo of it on my Instagram account and to be honest I wasn't quite sure how it would be received...but my followers loved it!

I've made it available as fully customisable - so you can pick to have it nursing or regular, and with or without the cage straps.

It's been going down a treat so far and I've been sewing up spooky bras all week! It is a limited edition though, so it won't be around forever. You can check it out in the shop here.










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Friday, 6 October 2017

Great Foster Bake Off - Week 5 - Pudding Week

Just a quick post this week. After seeing week 5 of the Great British Bake Off and seeing the decadent and delicious melting-middle chocolate puddings, I knew that would be our bake this week!

We found a really easy and simple recipe from Nigella - Molten Chocolate Babycakes.

We whipped these up one lunchtime. The kids pretty much love baking anything with lots of egg cracking, and lots of chocolate bowls to lick. This recipe pulled through on both of those fronts and not only that, it's a really quick and easy bake too.

We served ours with vanilla ice-cream which cut through the rich chocolate nicely. The recipe makes 6 servings, but BE WARNED, they are generous portions and we couldn't finish ours! Although, we did pop leftovers in the fridge and ate them the next day which was still extremely yummy and truffle like once cooled.

Gooey middled, rich chocolate, hot and sticky. The perfect bake.

Here's the recipe, enjoy!

Molten Chocolate Babycakes

serves 6
You will need 6 individual pudding moulds or ramekins, buttered.

Ingredients:

50 grams soft unsalted butter (plus more for greasing)
350 grams best dark chocolate
150 grams caster sugar
4 large eggs (beaten with pinch of salt)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
50 grams plain flour (or Italian 00)


Method:

1. Unless you are making these up in advance, preheat the oven to 200ºC/gas mark 6/400ºF, putting in a baking sheet at the same time. Lay 3 of the moulds on a sheet of doubled baking parchment. Draw round them, remove, and then cut out the discs as marked. Press them all into the base of the tins. 

2. Melt the chocolate and let it cool slightly. Cream together the butter and sugar, and gradually beat in the eggs and salt, then the vanilla. Now add the flour, and when all is smoothly combined scrape in the cooled chocolate, blending it to a smooth batter. 

3. Divide the batter between the 6 moulds, quickly whip the baking sheet out of the oven, arrange the little tins on it and replace in the oven. 

4. Cook for 10-12 minutes (the extra 2 minutes will be needed if the puddings are fridge-cold when you start) and as soon as you take them out of the oven, tip out these luscious babycakes onto small plates or shallow bowls. 

5. Serve these with whipped double cream, the same unwhipped in a jug, creme fraiche, creme anglaise or ice cream.








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Monday, 2 October 2017

We've Joined the Ninery Team!

I'm excited to share the news that a select collection of our products are now available to purchase through Ninery!

Ninery is an online shopping platform and Shopzine which is going to be your one-stop shop for all your mum-to-be and new-mum essentials.

As well as being able to buy pretty much your entire maternity and breastfeeding wardrobe on Ninery, there is also going to be a dedicated 'Bra Hub' which is really exciting. I for one know how tough it can be to hunt down and find a decent fitting, up-to-date maternity or nursing bra, and now you'll have all the most amazing options at your fingertips! There's some amazing brands and we're super proud to be among them.

Go and take a look at Ninery and see what you think,but a word of warning - your bank balance will not be safe!





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Friday, 29 September 2017

Great Foster Bake Off - Week 4 - Caramel Week

I'm actually pretty proud of us that we've managed to keep up with our weekly baking sessions. So far we've had great fun and this week was no exception!

Caramel week. To be honest, I was a little intimidated by the idea of making sugar caramel, especially with the children, as it needs to be heated to such a high temperature and sugar burns are no laughing matter.

Luckily I managed to track down a recipe that used condensed milk and golden syrup instead to make a caramel. Although I'm sure this isn't a 'true' caramel (it was a very similar method to making fudge which I did last Christmas), it was a better option for me when taking into account I'd be baking with a 2 and 4 year old.

We used a recipe from the BBC website, which you can find in the link here, and I'll post it below too. It was a really simple recipe, quick and easy to follow. Lots of bits for the kids to get stuck into and most importantly, it made up a delicious treat too!

Therewere a few issues along the way, but none big enough to impact the final outcome. Our shortbread took longer to cook, but I suspect that may be my oven. Also, the caramel did go rather grainy, however once it was placed on top of the shortbread and then covered in chocolate, you couldn't really notice.

Next week is Pudding week and we're super excited for that bake!





Here's the recipe:

Millionaire's Shortbread

Prep time: Less than 30 mins
Cook time: 30 mins to 1 hour
Makes 20 pieces

Ingredients:

For the shortbread:
225g plain flour
175g unsalted butter
75g caster sugar

For the topping:
150g butter
1 x can condensed milk
100g golden syrup
350g chocolate

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 150C/300F/Gas 2. Line a 23cm/9in square cake tin with baking parchment. 

2. Combine the flour and butter cubes in a food processor and pulse until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. (Alternatively, you can rub the butter in by hand.) 

3. Add in the caster sugar and pulse again until combined.

4. Tip the mixture into the lined cake tin and spread it out evenly with the back of a spoon. Then press the shortbread down firmly with your knuckles so that it is tightly packed in the tin. 

5. Bake the shortbread for 30 minutes or until very light golden brown. Set aside to cool. 

6. Meanwhile, for the topping, heat the butter, condensed milk and golden syrup in a saucepan, stirring occasionally until the butter is melted and the mixture is smooth. 

7. Increase the heat and bring the mixture to the boil, stirring frequently. The caramel will thicken and turn golden-brown. Set aside to cool slightly, then pour over the cooled shortbread. Allow to cool completely. 

8. Melt the chocolate in a bowl set over a pan of simmering water (ensure that the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water), stirring occasionally. 

9. Pour the melted chocolate over the caramel and set aside until the chocolate has cooled completely. 

10. Cut into squares and serve.


I'll leave you with a few snaps of Logan and Rori, mid-bake!







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