Sunday, April 20, 2014

Easter with Oliver+s year 3!

(Forgive the awkward, first time blogging from my phone.) Continuing in my 3 years of O&s patterns, I give you the Garden Party dress!  Since Easter weather is so  unpredictable (even literally the night before, which was when I bought, printed and assembled the pattern, and cut and sewed the dress)  I added length to the sleeves and a little gathered cuff just for fun. Yes I am that crazy person who does this as an all nighter before working the next day-- approximately 5 hours start to finish. The butterflies is from City Quilter and the sage green cotton challis is stash from the NYC fabric district... Paron maybe?
I loved the way it came together, and the  gathered detail. Mods for the future: lengthen the bodice (maybe two gathered sections and two bands) for a natural waist, and change the back opening to accommodate that.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Dalek cake sort-of tutorial!

Exterminate!!! No fancy way to beat this Dalek, just eat it. I started out with the idea of making a Dalek cake because -- well, because it's a Dalek and I love Doctor Who! A fellow geek's birthday was the perfect excuse.
First, chocolate cake layers: 2 each 4 inches, 5 inches, 6 inches and 7 inches, and 1 8 inch layer. In retrospect, the 4 inch layers rose so much that I could have gotten away with less in each pan, but the dome provided a good enough base for the round top that I trimmed the corners and was done. The second 4 inch layer was trimmed flat.  
For stability and flavor variation, I divided the cakes into sets of three (each set on its own cardboard base) -- with the top three being filled with peanut butter frosting, the middle three with coffee frosting, and the bottom three with chocolate frosting. When stacking, instead of centering, I kept the back edges close (but not quite flush) to maintain a backward slope that was flatter than the forward one. 
Four lollipop-stick dowels went into the bottom set, to support the weight of the top two cakes. (if I do this again, maybe three in the middle set as well.) After chilling, I put them all together as a stack and staked the entire thing with a sharpened 3/8 inch wooden dowel to go right through to the drum. 
I carved the bottom 5 inch, 6 inch and 7 inch cakes into the required slope and tapered the front of the 8 inch to a point.

Manipulator arm, gunstick, and eyestalk on lollipop sticks. I added tylose to the black so the plunger shape would dry unsupported. (The light receptors were on half-sticks for support as well.)

Crumb- coating the whole thing with vanilla frosting, then a sojourn in the freezer. It was hot that Saturday!
I covered the 4 inch top part with a small piece of purple fondant to get the dome perfect, then the majority of the "skirt" with a separate piece, like a cape, overlapping at the 5 inch "shoulder", with the seam running up the back. The gray strips for the base and shoulder were rolled out thicker. The ropes for the neck could have been more angular, now that I look at it objectively.

I made 36 of the "buttons" out of gray fondant and sprayed them silver. In retrospect, chocolate pistoles or candy melts sprayed silver are the perfect size. Not sure how 56 would fit, Tardis Data Core... 14 sections do not look right, even 9 was a pinch. Granted, I put a black control panel in the back to hide the ugly seam. 10 would look good if the back seam was perfect.