Thursday, May 21, 2015

New Pool/Beach Robes

You may recall that a few years ago I  made the clever girl a pool robe.  She loved it and though it still fit around her body, she had grown much taller so the length became a little, well, too short for my tastes.  Thus, she needed a new one, and clearly the clever boy needed one too!  Just in time for our trip to Florida!  I used the same pattern, by MADE, with a few adjustments.

I used bath towels from Ikea, and made my own bias tape with patterned fabric.  The hoods are lined with cute chevron flannel fabric that just happened to match perfectly!  It was meant to be!  I made the mistake of using a bias tape maker that makes double bias tape in 3/8 inch instead of 1/2 inch and that 1/8 inch was sorely missed.  Terry cloth is really thick (even these thin towels) so getting the thinner bias tape around the edges was tricky at times.  If you make your own bias tape, get the right size gadget!  

I used the largest pattern size when I made the previous robe for the clever girl, so I created a new pattern for this one.  I will explain how I did this, so if you have one of these patterns you could do it too!  For most of the pieces, I checked to see how much bigger Dana (of MADE) made each size from the one smaller and made my new pattern using these guidelines.  I made the front and back 1/2 inch taller in the shoulder and about 1 inch wider along the sides.  I made the bottom hem 5 1/2inches longer, so this robe is much longer than the previous one.  The sleeves are 1/2 inch wider and 2 1/8 inches longer, and the hood is 1 inch taller and 1/2 inch deeper (front to back). 

I found that the tie lengths recommended by the pattern to be too long for us, so I shortened them on both kids a bit.  I wish I had shortened the clever girl's ties even further, but realized that only AFTER sewing on all of the bias tape so at that point it was too late!  (Not really, I mean I could have ripped it all out and done it over, but no thank you!)  If I had proportionately increased the length of the tie for the clever girl's robe, it would have been about 83 inches long.  I made it 73 inches instead and again, it could be shorter.  I don't think a pool robe needs a bow tie, just a knot is fine with me.

The clever boy's robe is a size 18m-3T, which had a recommended tie length of 57 inches.  I made this tie 48 inches and it is perfect.  48 inches happened to be the easiest length for the towels I used!

Total success.  These were super comfy to put on after getting all wet and playing at the beach.  Perfect for warming up a bit and still being able to play - digging in the sand, building castles, playing catch with our random toys. Plus they are plenty big that the kiddos should be able to wear them for a good while before they are outgrown!  We are in the process of putting in a pool at our house, so I envision these robes getting a lot of use this summer!

Sure, this is more work than buying a pool robe at the store, but this way it is quality-made, in colors we love, without any additional marketing ploys imprinted on the fabric!  They are not difficult to make and your child can have a one-of-a-kind robe too! 

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

TWD - Baking with Julia: Ka'kat

I took a bit of a hiatus from TWD for reasons unknown even to me.  It just got away from me, I guess.  And I missed some recipes that looked to be quite good, so I'll have to make them up at some point!  This week, though, was Ka'kat.  Are you thinking, "what the heck?"  I was too.  I would say that bagel+pretzel=ka'kat.  Technically,  this bread is supposed to be covered with sesame seeds (I was out) and flavored with something called mahleb.  I didn't even look for mahleb as I remembered this week's recipe on MONDAY and it was due to be posted on Tuesday.  However, it turns out that Penzey's actually carries mahleb - it is the pit of a dried sour cherry.  Now I know!  At least I know it is fairly easily accessible!  

So, my ka'kat are sesame-less and mahleb-less, but still quite good!  They have the texture of a soft pretzel (which I love) but more of the flavor of a roll or bagel.  I thought it could use more salt, but that could be because my brain was thinking PRETZEL.  Best of all, this little guy was easy to make with only a short rise time.  In fact my handy mixer stayed in it's cabinet the entire day, as all I needed for this bread was a bowl and a spoon!

I am anxious to hear what other bakers thought of the ka'kat and whether anyone used the mahleb.  Is this a spice that I need to acquire??  Click here to find out who else tried this recipe and what they thought!