Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Cake Pops!

What's more fun than cake on a stick? Oh, I know. It's cake on a stick and then dipped in chocolate!

I first tried these several years ago, but without the sticks, so they were just cake balls. Then along came Bakerella, (I love her, btw) and I'm not sure if she added the stick or what, but she pretty much made them famous. She even went on Martha Stewart and made them.

I am a show off, what can I say? I wanted to make something impressive to take to our church's Trunk or Treat, so I decided on these.

To make them, you'll need:

1 cake, baked and cooled - 9 x 13 is perfect

1 tub of frosting (or an equivalent amount of homemade)

Almond bark or candy coating discs (I used orange ones from Wilton's and chocolate Almond Bark)

Lollipop sticks


Start by crumbling your cake into a big bowl, like so:

Then add your frosting and mix it up well. Note: You don't have to have a whole cake. This would be a perfect way to use up cake leftovers. Just add frosting a little bit at a time to get it to the right consistency.

Then roll them into balls, whatever size you want is fine. Mine were probably about 1 1/2" in diameter and I liked that size. Place them on waxed paper and pop them into the freezer for an hour or two. At first, I put them in the fridge, but I found that they softened up too much, too quickly. So a trip to the freezer made them all better.

Then the fun part! Melt your chocolate however your package tells you to (I used the microwave) and stick a stick in them. Dip it in the chocolate and swirl it around to make sure you get it good and covered. Let the excess drip off and then stand them up in the styrofoam to let them harden.
The final thing I did was to put some of the coating in a zip lock bag and snip off a tiny bit of the corner and pipe some swirls on the top. Oooh, la, la! They are fancy now! I actually had wanted to make jack-o-lantern faces out of fondant, but 1) I only bought one package of orange coating and it didn't make that many and 2) I had sewn Superman's belt, Alice's apron and run six miles that day and was ready to just be done already. So the swirls looked great and were fast and easy.
Voila! Cake pops!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Jeans Into Tiered Skirt

My six year old is going to a birthday party tonight and she needs a gift. My plan was to go to Walmart today and get one for her to take, but then I went into my laundry room and saw the three pairs of jeans that have been sitting there for two years, just waiting for me to make something with them. An idea to save me $20 was forming...

I started by cutting the legs and crotch out of one pair, like so.
I chose some pretty lightweight courderoy to make the skirt out of. I used the whole width of it for the first tier, so it measures 19 x 7, cut on the fold. Then I used two pieces of 24 x 9 for the bottom layer. In retrospect, it would've looked better with a fuller bottom layer. I should've done the whole width of the fabric for each of the two pieces, but with the same 9 inches in length that I did use.

The next step was to sew the two short edges together on the bottom layer and then hem it. I did a basic rolled hem. I avoid iron and pinning at all costs, so I've gotten pretty good at just rolling and sewing as I go. This is about 1/4" folded up and then folded up again. If you want to iron and pin, be my guest. Do the same thing with the top layer of fabric, on the top edge if your fabric has a top and bottom to the print.
Next, I needed to gather the top edge of the bottom layer, so I turned up the tension on my machine and used the widest stitch I could to baste it. Then I was able to pull on the bobbin string and adjust it to the width I needed it.

I found the middle of the top layer and pinned the seam of the bottom layer to it to keep it even. Then I was able to shift around the bottom until the edges lined up and it was all even. Then I used my serger to sew the two pieces together. Make sure you have the right sides together.

If you don't have a serger, just zig zag it and then go back over the edge with an overcast stitch to finish the edge.

Then you'll need to line up the outside edges and sew the skirt into a skirt. Here we again have the serger or overcast option.

Then sew a basting stitch on the top edge of the top layer and pull it in so that it will fit around the bottom of the jean body.

I finished the bottom edge of the jeans with my serger, but again, you could use a zig zag or overcast stitch if you don't have a serger.
Use lots of pins to attach the skirt to the jeans and be careful to make it level all the way across. I ended up picking some of it out and straightening it out. Oh, how my disdain for pinning comes back to bite me sometimes.

Finally, I made some cute clips out of fabric yo-yo's, using this tutorial. I covered the alligator clips with ribbon and then glued the yo-yo's to the middle. I love them!

Unfortunately, I don't have anyone to try the skirt on right now since Jenna, my 6 year old, is at school and I won't be home when she gets home and goes to the party. I tried to get Jack to try it on, but he just wouldn't!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Superman Felt Applique

This is my buddy, Jack. His is three and boy, through and through. I made him a superhero cape for Christmas last year and he wears it all the time. He decided that he wanted to be Superman for Halloween this year and rather than spending a ton on a cheap costume, I wanted to make him a shirt that he could keep wearing after Halloween was over.

I starting by drawing a design on paper and cutting it out. I cut red and yellow felt into the shield design first and then pinned the design to the red felt. I tried using an X-acto knife to cut out the cutouts, but then realized that it was easier to just use super sharp sissors.

After it was cut out, I used Tacky Glue to glue the two pieces together. I don't know if that was really necessary since I was going to sew them together anyway, but it made it not slip around at all and I didn't have to pin it.

The last step was just sewing it to the shirt. Easy peasy.