Sally Dress Modification

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I’ve had this pattern for a while and finally decided to use it this week, spurred on by the current heat wave, to create a light and airy summer dress for Little Boo.

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The fabric is this lovely seersucker elephant print, bought from the fantastic Miss Matatabi. Seersucker always makes me think of my own childhood, and sunshine, and ice lollies….. The elephants aren’t huge so from a distance on a running (or scooting!) child it looks summery, pale, chic- then when you get closer the fun element becomes clear.

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Boo wore this for an early morning scoot with some fresh lime leggings….

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… then whipped them off when the sun came out in full force – ta da!

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As the post title suggests, I did make a few changes on this dress. The most glaring is probably the omitted pockets (a major feature of the Sally dress normally). I decided not to add them as Boo still wears her modified cow geranium dress I made last summer with its huge pockets, and I was in a rush to get this done! My version only took a couple of hours to make which is quick for me. I also straightened the outside line of the shoulder straps to make them a bit slimmer. Finally, I made this in between size 4 and 5 ( I just wasn’t sure it would fit over Boo’s big head!), but it does slip down (but not off) her shoulder a little, so I would make a 4 next time. The pattern must be a little more generous than the geranium.
I have to say I absolutely love this pattern now I have finally used it- the lack of closings makes it a really quick sew, and the lines are really simple. I’m already planning my next creation…

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Lazy Lavender Cupcakes

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Lazy days, lazy sunshine, lazy fun and lazy cooking – what a great way to spend your summer!   With their subtle aroma of lavender, these cupcakes manage to relax you with their delicate flavour, and are so simple to bake that you could make up a batch right now to enjoy with your afternoon tea.

I’ve been noticing lots of lovely crafts and recipes popping up using lavender recently, and decided to make good use of some of the beautiful plants growing in my neighbour’s front garden at the moment.  The bees are in nectar heaven, but Big and Little Boo are not so keen on their visiting (there are ALOT of them, and Big Boo did get stung by one on holiday) so helping mummy to collect lavender was a brave task which was rewarded by helping to make these cakes, as they are so simple they are child’s play!

imageAll of the recipes I found were either biscuits (I can cook a good cupcake, but my biscuits never seem so great) or called for lavender to be infused overnight with milk. I’m sure this does develop a much stronger lavender flavour, but I am rather lazy and impatient too, so if I want to make lavender cupcakes, I want to make them NOW. With this in mind we simply made up our favourite basic cupcake recipe, and added about 2tbsp of lavender flowers.  Guess what? They worked a treat, beautiful, light and subtly flavoured and scented- enough to be noticed but not overpowering.

If you fancy a go, here is the recipe we used:

100g sugar (I used half and half but caster sugar is fine, or granulated if you don’t have caster)

100g self raising flour

100g butter

2 eggs

Good vanilla essence, just half the lid.

2 tbs lavender flowers, removed from stalk Some of mine were still fresh and some had dried but both seemed to work)

imageWe mixed the sugar, flour and 1tbsp lavender in the mixer first to pound the lavender a bit and distribute it. Then we added the softened butter and eggs (which Little Boo loves to crack) and finally mixed in the rest of the lavender, saving some of the fresher flowers to scatter on top of the cakes once the mixture had been spooned into it’s cases.

imageThey were cooked at 180 degrees for 19 minutes (that’s my oven for you), left to cool then promptly devoured – the only part of the process that wasn’t lazy!

I do warn you though- eating these cakes may bring out the superhero in you!

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