THE KATE DRESS

A.K.A the dress that nearly broke me.

Anyone who used to read Curves knows I try to keep things pretty positive on my blog. I want this to be an uplifting space that celebrates creativity and our unique body shapes. But let's be honest, sometimes a sewing project turns into a cluster fuck of emotional turbulence from hell, and that's Ok.

 


Reader, meet my cluster fuck. I'm happy with the outcome but the creation of it nearly had me in tears, rocking in the corner of a room, and nursing a glass of port chanting "Liberty fabric. Liberty fabric."

The fabric is Liberty of London (swoon) that was given to me by the lovely, intelligent Kate. The google-sphere (you guys!) told me Liberty was a dream to sew with--which it is--but scared of wasting it I went for a 'fail-proof' project choosing a Burdastyle bodice and the Burdastyle Jenny skirt; both garments I've sewn before with success.

So what went wrong?

I. Have. No. Fecking. Idea.


First the darts wouldn't match up and then the waist was completely lopsided (over 3 centimetres) and the zip got stuck and the skirt sides didn't meet then I spent hours unpicking stitches and let's not even talk about when my overlocker chewed the bottom 14 centimetres of the skirt.

No, let's not discuss any of that.

Let's just be grateful for port, seam rippers, Liberty fabric, boyfriends that help you pin a hem, giant leaves, and cluster fucks that turn out rather pretty.

What was your most frustrating project? Did you soldier on, or throw in the towel?

CARAMELISED PARSNIPS


 

If you ever come to my house for dinner I'll likely cook you something from Justin North's French Lessons (I think this is the same book, but with a different cover). It's a beautiful cook book with clearly written, delicious recipes that trick your guests into thinking you're fancy pants. My copy has been seriously loved and is coated in remnants of butter and herbs. When the zombie apocalypse comes and I can't leave the house I'll just lick my cook book pages. 

So when it came time to pluck the parsnips out of the soil (which, after removing large chunks of wallpaper, is the most satisfying feeling) I wanted something simple and quick... French Lessons, you're up. 

Caramelised parsnips - Serves 4 side dishes
Adapted from Justin North's French Lessons

Note: My only alteration was to add thyme. Also my parsnips are obviously smaller, and thus cooked quicker than North's recipe, but here is the cook book's version.

Ingredients
4 parsnips 
1/2 tablespoon vegetable oil 
Salt & pepper 
A few sprigs of thyme
40g butter

Method
Peel the parsnips and trim off the base end and tip. Slice the parsnip lengthwise around its central core into 4 curved wedges. Cut each wedge in half and slice away any remaining core, which is tough and fibrous. 

Heat the oil in a frying pan over a moderate heat. Add the parsnip batons and sauté for a few minutes until they start to colour. Season well with salt, pepper, and thyme, add the butter and cook it to a light brown foam. Continue to sauté the parsnips, basting frequently, until they are caramelised to a deep golden brown, about 8-10 minutes.