Well, Spring may not be Sprining as much as I had previously mentioned. Don’t get me wrong, it is still springing, but we still have some winter left to weather. Last Sunday I was sick as a dog, and missed my second day of attending Stitches West. I got a terrible stomach flu, despite my receiving a flu shot last September. Thank goodness Ramon had already planned on spending the entire weekend at home to take care of the Little Buckaroo, because even though I was supposed to go to Stitches for a Yarn-tastic weekend, I was in no shape for anything but sleeping in bed come Sunday morning, especially not running after the little guy. Crappy to be sick, but it really couldn’t come at a more convenient time regarding the remodel of the house and Ramon’s schedule. (I use the term “convenient” here not to indicate that getting the flu was good in any way. It was bad, yucky, and grosse). I remember hearing about the flu epidemic spreading a few weeks ago, and felt good that the Little Buckaroo and I had our flu shots. Oh well. When life gives you lemons! Speaking of lemons, our new Meyer lemon tree at our new house is EXPLODING with lemons. What do you do with so many lemons?
About a year ago I found a yard of French terrycloth at Harts Fabric in Santa Cruz. I bought it to make something for the baby in my belly, or at least his nursery, but after a year had passed I decided that this piece needed to be stash-busted and I turned it into a One-Yard-Wonder. The name on the tag, still attached to the remnant piece I picked up: Cheddar. Now, I am not much of a yellow-wearing-gal, but every color has it’s time and place. Even longer than a year ago I bought Butterick Pattern 5332 for this cute little swing coat. I recently found some Linen that was sort of a mustard, but it had a little too much green in it. And just a little too much green in a yellow shade goes a long way. I really wanted to make this little coat out of linen for spring, but when I came across the mustard colored linen, I remembered my Cheddar and an Edison-esque light bulb went on in my head. That color was perfect for what I was trying to do. The yardage requirements for the pattern specify 1 3/8th yards. Pooper. I only have a yard. How am I going to make this work.
After a lot of thought I realized that I didn’t really want a “coat.” I wanted a sweatshirt. After seeing the super-cute J.Crew Poppover sweater on MyFancyPants.com (a fabulous style blog by a super cute woman named Rosalyn), I thought I should alter my Butterick pattern to still have the adorable four button closure at the top, but have a solid piece for the rest of the bodice. From there I made some other modifications.
- Modified the front to have the 4 button closure (yoke) while the rest of the sweatshirt front became only one piece (mentioned just above).
- Changed the back to have a seam going up the center to a back yoke
- I drafted a back-yoke to match the should seams for the front and front yoke. The original pattern had a back facing which you stitch down from the outside, but the seaming doesn’t actually line-up with the front. Odd.
- Drafted an entirely new sleeve, albiet a very basic one. A full length, straigh sleeve, without any gathering at the top, or bottom. Just a good, plain, basic sleeve.
- I shortened the torso pattern by 1/2 an inch, sort of a default move for me being such a shortie
- I also brought in the waist by 2 inches in overall circumference so it would actually have some shaping. I didn’t want a sack.
Popover Sweatshirt: Handmade from Butterick Pattern 5332
Striped Shirt: Express, Old
Jeans: Black Denim, Gap, Old
Shoes: Red Velvet Pumps, Old
I spent one evening working on all of my pattern alterations, and drafting new yoke pieces for the back, and facing & interfacing pieces all around. I spent another evening very carefully laying out my new pattern on my one-little-yard of chedder-y goodness, and then cutting the pieces.
I spent one more evening sewing, stopping only when I got to the buttons and button-holes, as I didn’t have any buttons. I loved the big metal buttons on the J. Crew Popover, so I headed out into the world to see what I could find. I found the ancient buttons, that had been in the boutique I went to for more than 30 years. They’re brass. How nifty. I just love them. This pattern wasn’t intended to be made with knit-fabric, and I imagine that without care the fabric would shrink over time. I felt quite unsure about putting brass buttons on something meant to go into the washing, but I just LOVED them. Big, bubbly, perfect for my cheddar popover. To justify them working, I figured that if I am washing them on gentle, with cold water the garment will stick-around longer. Maybe they’re not the perfect material, but they’re just perfect for my project. When life gives you lemons … Okay, yes, I picked them out, so life didn’t really “give me lemons,” it gave me cheddar!
So, really now, what do you do with so many lemons? I mean, this tree is just exploding. At the same time that I was working on my dairy-color inspired poppover, Ramon brought home a couple of meyer lemons from our tree at the new house, in a romantic gesture, and in an effort to cheer me up from the stress of the remodel. I found a wonderful recipe for Meyer Lemon Cheesecake, and a seperate recipe for gluten-free graham crackers on a cute blog called: Gluten Free Girl. Comfort food never tasted so good as when you eat it while wearing a sweatshirt you made, and love, with buttons that you love even more.
I finished this project last week before getting sick. This week I have been to sluggish for much of anything, hence no posting until today. Perhaps eating cheesecake for lunch last week—more than once, but I’m not telling how many times—didn’t help with my overall health. But, in my defense, it was colder out than when Spring was Springing, and sometimes you need a little pick-me-up, or even a popover to keep your spirits up during these colder winter months.
I’d like to go back and add two welt pockets, diagonally, to the front. After walking to the park with the Little Buckaroo for swinging-time, I felt that with the chill in the air I could really have used a little pocket. Ironically, I realized this while walking directly under the bursting branches of a citrus tree. I won’t be adding them now. I think that my knitwear sewing skills could use some improvement before doing a welt pocket. In the meantime, I’m going to enjoy those beautiful brass buttons, and probably another Meyer Lemon Cheesecake with the same, amazing gluten free graham cracker crust.
Here is the recipe for the Meyer Lemon Cheesecake, reposed from Food52, a wonderful foodie site.
- Preheat oven to 350.
- In a mixing bowl, place cream cheese and beat with an electric mixer until fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add the sugar and mix well, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
- Add 1/2 of the zest to the cheesecake batter, reserving the remainder. Add all of the juice and the extracts to the batter, and continue to mix. Pour batter into prepared crumb crust. Place pan on baking sheet and bake at 350 for 45 minutes or until cake is just set in center. Remove cake from oven but do not turn off oven.
- Whisk together sour cream, 1 tablespoon sugar and remaining lemon zest. Spoon mixture onto the cheesecake and spread with an offset spatula or knife. Return the cake to the oven and bake for 10 additional minutes. Remove cheesecake from oven and let cool to room temperature. Store cheesecake, well-wrapped in refrigerator.