Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Fits and Starts and Mishaps, too

Nearly finished top. (Awful lighting, sorry.)
All that needs doing is hemming and some seam finishing.

Well, my "sew all weekend" intentions went up in smoke... aromatic, ribs-on-the-grill smoke, but smoke nonetheless. The goal of the weekend was to get back into the swing of my hobbies, and things began well enough. I started with a fantastic yoga class on Friday, followed by my first foray back in the kitchen to make brownies.

I used my gold standard brownie recipe from King Arthur Flour Bakers Companion cookbook. I'd been fretting about the use of corn syrup in the recipe - I go to pretty great lengths to avoid the stuff. My usual substitution for corn syrup is Lyle's Golden Syrup; it works very well in pecan pie and basically everything else that I've used it in. And my brownies looked spectacular when they came out of the oven. But I decided to leave them in the pan to cool and just cut them for our bbq on Saturday afternoon.

On Saturday morning, I hopped out of bed and got down to sewing. I started with the Vogue Today's Fit pattern. It started coming together very quickly. And a strange thing happened while I was sewing it: I started liking the fabric a whole lot more than when I decided to use it as muslin. I couldn't believe how well my weekend was going.

Naturally, this is where my troubles began. First, when I got to the point of trying on the top for fit, I was met with a rude surprise - it was too small. As I chronically - pathologically, even! - make things too large, I was shocked by this. I quickly referred back to the pattern and package. And, well, I don't really know how this happened, but despite the fact that I wrote down my measurements, made a note to "Cut size D" and circled size D on the pattern envelope, when it came down to it, I cut a size C. DOH!!!

Miffed about my mistake, I decided to cheer myself up with a brownie and celebrate the fact that at least one of my hobbies was on track. I cut the tray of chocolaty gooiness into the petite size that I like and went to scoop one out of the pan. It put up some resistance, but the first is always the hardest to get out, right? Wrong. Within moments I realized that sinister forces were at work in my pyrex pan. My beloved Lyle's Syrup proved to be a bad, bad idea. For some unknown reason and despite being beaten into the batter at high speed for several minutes, it seems to have settled on the bottom of my baking dish, gluing the brownies to the pan. I tried everything - warming my spatula, dipping it in boiling water - but to no avail.

The most intact brownies from the batch. None of them have bottoms.

So there I was with a pile of brownie crumbs and a top that didn't fit. Aaack! How do you even begin to salvage a situation like that? I decided to go for a run and ended up tweaking a muscle in my back as a result (Seriously, could this get any worse?).

But you should know by now that I am pretty much an optimist, and a silver lining was already presenting itself. On Friday, when I asked what other sewists do with their unwanted fabric, Sheila gamely replied "I use them to make garments for family members." And I have a big family! So, I thought that the top might work for Calliope, my sister.

Hooray! The basted top needs only minor adjustments
and the color is terrific with her auburn hair.

So, I spend part of yesterday finishing it up. All it needs is hemming at this point. And as for the brownies, I came up with a solution that works for me: I decided not to share them. Since I would have felt bad about them not being perfect, the only thing to do was to keep them for myself... all of those delicious brownie crumbs... all for me...

So at the end of the weekend I managed to make my sister and my stomach very happy. Hope you also had a great weekend!


Faye Lewis said...

Making lemonade out of lemons I see (lol). You did a great job with the pattern, I think it's that C-D-E-F stuff, I for one am not use to that. I made two failed attempts with that pattern that made me question my ability. At least your only mistake was cutting the wrong size, I still don't know where I went wrong with it.

marysews said...

I know, it's a shame, but you had to keep the crumbly brownies to yourself because all the calories had fallen out ...

Anonymous said...

Well, it looks great on your sis!

Clio said...

Marysews - Exactly!

gwensews said...

You made the best of an imperfect situation! The top looks great. And me--I would definitely just eat the brownie crumbs and be happy!

Mar-Mar said...

Interesting problem with the Lyles...I'll think about that one with a friend who went to culinary school. It is great to see a pic of Calliope! I 'm glad your hard work will be given some good use!

The Slapdash Sewist said...

What a frustrating weekend! But I'm glad you were able to salvage something of your efforts.