Thursday, April 27, 2017

Pasta Stuffed Calzone

Has it been forever? It has!
Let me wake up from my slumber and give you a sneak peek into my life this past year. It's not that I have not been busy. I sewed a bunch of clothes, read a few books(follow me on goodreads) and tried many a marvellous recipes. But as usual I have been too lazy to blog! Sorry about that!

I have also taken up a new hobby - gardening. Our terrace garden is looking damn neat! May be I will put up a full post on my gardening adventures.

Apart from that here is something we tried today morning for breakfast - Pasta stuffed Calzone.
This recipe makes about 10 calzones.


2 cups whole wheat flour
1 tbspn extra virgin olive oil
6 tspn sugar
1 tspn salt
1 tbspn dry active yeast
Warm water to knead

In some luke warm (not hot!) water add 2 teaspoons of sugar and dissolve. Add the yeast to this mixture and set aside for 2 minutes. The yeast with activate and bubble. Add the remaining sugar, salt and oil to the flour. Make a well in the center of the  flour mixture and add the yeast slurry. Knead with warm water to make a soft dough. Knead well for at least 10 minutes to activate the gluten in the dough. The dough should be soft and should spring back if touched. Set aside this dough with a wet kitchen towel on top for about 1 hour in a draft free warm place. Let the dough proof till it doubles in size.

Pasta Stuffing

2 tbspn extra virgin olive oil
10 cloves of garlic
1 large onion
1 green capsicum
4 tomatoes pureed
1 tspn oregano
1 tspn chilli flakes
1 tspn sugar
1 tbspn tomato ketchup
salt to taste
1/2 cup boiled pasta(I used macaroni)
few slices of black olives

Heat the olive oil in a pan, add the finely chopped garlic. Purée the onion and capsicum and add it to the pan. Let it cook out for 5 minutes. Add the purée of tomatoes, cover and cook till most of the water evaporates. Add a dash of oregano, chilli flakes, sugar, salt. Add a little bit of ketchup to balance out the taste. This sauce is my default marinara that I use on my pizza's.
Add sliced olives and cooked pasta to the sauce and keep aside.

Caramelized Onion and Capsicum

1 tspn extra virgin olive oil
1 large onion
1 red capsicum
1 yellow capsicum
1 tspn sugar
salt to taste

Cut the onion and capsicum into thin slivers. Heat oil in a pan and add the onion. Add some sugar and let it caramelize. Add the capsicums and caramelize till slightly brown. Add a pinch of salt to taste.

Other Stuffing Ingredients

Mozzarella cheese
Basil leaves


Image Source -

Take a small ball of dough and roll it into a circular form(like chapati). Add the pasta stuffing to one side of the semi circle. Add the caramelized onion and capsicum. Add some mozzarella cheese and a few leaves of basil. Drizzle with a little bit of olive oil. Now flip over the other half of the semi circle over this half with stuffing into a half moon shape( just like karanji or gunjiya). Crimp the edges of the calzone to shut them well.

Place them on an oiled baking tray and let them proof for another 15 minutes.
Drizzle some olive oil on top.

Preheat oven to 200C and place them to bake for about 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.


Saturday, April 2, 2016

Sleepover Pajamas

Let me tell you what I have been doing - I have sewn a bunch of clothes, read a few books, thrown a few parties, tried a few new recipes (infact I am devouring some home-made chocolate mint icecream as I write this post!).... Let me tell you what I have not been doing - blogging!

Apologies are in order. Let me start by posting about the sleepover pajamas. I sewed these up last December.

I finished these pretty quickly. As usual nothing can go wrong with Oliver+S!

Where I got stuck with this project was the button holes! It's just that I am such a sloth! So I stashed this new piece away for a later time. Come February, I realized that I had still not done the button holes on this one, so finally the auspicious moment arrived and I finally finished the button holes!

Wait, its not done yet. I stashed this piece away again. I still had to sew on the buttons!! So here I am at the beginning of April, finally putting on the buttons!

I asked Adrika to give it a try. Lo and behold, she's grown bigger from last December, so now I need to unfold all the cuffs to make this fit! Thankfully there are cuffs on this pattern and I can do this easily and make it work!

So if you feel the sleeves are a bit short, they are! I will open them up soon, promise ;)


Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Asymmetric Neck Top

There is always a first time for everything. This is one of those firsts. First time sewing for myself.

We all have a piece of garment we love. It fits great, looks great. I had a green cotton top with a diagonal neckline that looked great. Unfortunately it got worn to death! So I thought about cloning it!

I wish I had a better "before" picture to show you.

This is also the first time I drafted a pattern for myself from an existing piece. I will try to add some photos of how I went about doing this.

First I took the top apart at all the seams. There were only 4 basic elements - sleeves, front piece, back piece, small decorative tie. It looked really simple to put together. 

Part A : Drafting the pattern

1.  For the sleeves, I opened up one of the sleeves completely and traced it out on a tracing sheet.

Here are my drafted sleeves -

Most of the seam allowances were 1/2 inch already, so the drafting was easy.

2. Next the front and back pieces -

The front and back piece were essentially the same, except for the asymmetric neckline on the front piece.

So I made a single pattern piece using the back piece for both.

Also I made some adjustments to the seam allowances where needed. Like here I added another 1/4 inch to the seam allowance at the arm hole to get a 1/2 inch seam allowance. I feel that 1/2 inch seam allowance gives me more room to finish the seams well.

Since the front and back were same sized, I didn’t want to re-trace the pattern. So I decided to just have a asymmetric neckline cut-out. Something like a 1's complement (pardon my geekiness! I can't think of a more apt way to describe this!)  piece that I can cut out to get the desired front piece.

Note that this piece is smaller by 1/4 inch to allow for the desired seam allowance at the neckline.

3. Decorative tie - There was no pattern piece required here.

Part B: Construction

1. Decorative tie -
I just measured the length and cut out a strip to 14 inches long and 1 inch wide on the bias. Then went about folding it in half with right sides together and sewing a 1/2 inch seam along the length to create a tube. Next trimmed the seam allowance to 1/4 inch. Using a loop turner I turned it out the right side. Then added the tiny bells to the ends of the tie by hand.

2. Sleeve construction -
Cut out two of the sleeve pattern pieces from the fabric. Started off by finishing the hem on the sleeve. I folded the raw edge under by 1/4 inch and again by 1/4 inch to create a narrow hem. Attached a piping to the edge.

3. Attach the front and back pieces at the shoulder seam. I used french seams for this. Also I stay stitched the front and back necklines.

4. Next attach the sleeves to the arm holes of the top. There are many tutorials online to help with this. Since its a curved seam, take time to gently gather while attaching the sleeve. Also to finish the armscye seam, I flat-felled them. They turned out quite neat.

Nearly there!

5. Side seams - This top has side slits, so I used this and this tutorial to sew the side seams.

6. Neck facing - This tutorial was excellent to understand how to do a neck facing using bias tape. Originally I had planned to do this and then attach the piping to finish the garment. However I came across this article and realised I could save a little time and effort by using the piping itself for the facing!

7. Last step attach the decorative tie to the neckline by hand.

All done!


Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Popover Sundress

The popover sundress is a free pattern from Oliver+S. Darn cute!

I made two exactly same dresses. One is for my model and the other one is for Diya for her beach holiday! It's a simple yet timeless dress.

Also this is the first time I used a modern colour combination. Something which I wouldn’t pair together normally. Navy blue and yellow just go together.


Thursday, August 20, 2015

Ice Cream Top

The sewing blog world is teeming with adulation for the liberty fabric prints. And rightly so, they are delightful! Sadly, I do not know of any place in India selling liberty fabric per se. So when I came across a very 'liberty' like fabric at my local fabric store, I was enticed into parting with the hard-earned!

Here is another take on the icecream dress pattern. This is a tunic version.

The fit is cute, isn’t it!


Thursday, July 30, 2015

Red Day

Little doll has recently started pre-school. It's a darling place, they play and paint and get messy a lot! Recently in a bid to teach all about colours to these little one's they celebrated a red day. Everyone had to wear a red dress and get something red for a snack, ergo I sewed her a red dress and baked a beetroot red velvet cake!

A few months ago I got really tempted and bought the Oliver+S Ice cream Dress pattern because of a darling version I saw on the flickr group. 

Here is my rendition -

And here is my model -

My doll with her doll - Heidi

Kisses to Heidi!

Ma, do you want a side profile pose!?

I have had enough! Meltdown!

Thanks to nani for the beautiful red chikan eyelet fabric!


Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Dark Chocolate Pannacotta

This is the first time I am trying a pannacotta recipe at home, its a beautiful silky dessert. I loved the texture, it was exactly like it should be - wobbly and creamy! This recipe is completely vegetarian and uses china grass or agar agar instead of gelatin.

Below recipe makes 4 large portions of pannacotta.

Ingredients -

500ml full cream milk
1 cup of water
2gm of china grass strands
1 tbspn cornflour
2 tbspn cocoa powder
6 tbspn sugar
50gm of dark chocolate
1 tspn vanilla extract

Procedure -

Wash and then soak the china grass strands in 1 cup of water for 10 to 15 mins.
Mix cornflour and cocoa powder in a bit of luke warm milk and make a smooth paste.
Bring the remaining milk to a boil. Add sugar and chopped dark chocolate. Simmer till chocolate melts. Stir in the cornflour-cocoa slurry. Stir continuously.
On the side, heat the china grass mixture on a low to medium heat until it is fully dissolved in the water. This may take about 5 mins or so.
Add the china grass mixture to the milk mixture. Stir continously. The mixture would not thicken immediately so let it simmer for about 5 mins and take it off the heat. Add the vanilla extract. Keep stirring while the mixture cools down considerably. The constant stirring would prevent a layer of cream forming on top.
Once down to room temperature, pour into moulds and set in the freezer for about 25 mins. Remove from freezer and keep in the refrigerator. Prettify it as you wish!