Monday, September 29, 2008

Wedding Cake

This is the first wedding cake I've ever made. It's a very simple cake but it was very stressful not knowing if I would be able to pull it off for such an important occasion. There's not exactly a plan B scenarios if something goes wrong. But it all worked out.

The cake was french vanilla with raspberry filling; butter cream on the outside covered with ivory "Fondx" fondant. This was the first time using this fondant which I had to order online. I've only used Wilton fondant before on birthday cakes. I was hoping this fondant would be more workable and taste better, plus I wanted to get one that was already colored ivory. I took a gamble but it paid off. It had a lot more elasticity than the Wilton fondant so it didn't wrinkle as much when covering the cakes and it tasted way better, more natural. I used a milk glass stand from a set of stands I got for my birthday last year. I love these cake stands because I have them in four different sizes and they are so versatile, kind of vintage-y. They elevate the cake quite a bit giving it more height like being up on a pedestal.

I had to cover the cakes the afternoon before the wedding because I had to go to the Bridal Shower in the morning and the rehearsal dinner in the evening. The wedding was in the morning the next day. I had a friend help me mostly to calm my nerves about messing up the cake. I covered the middle tier first and ended up with some small waves on one side because I couldn't get around the cake very well on top of the kitchen counter. I covered the largest tier next and had no problems. I used a stool and put the cake on the corner of the counter so I could work around it better. I did the smallest tier last and it came out great too. I was very happy with the results. The only thing was that the cakes settled a bit by the next day so they didn't look quite a smooth. I ordered the sugar paste magnolia flowers premade to save me time and stress. I was happy with those as well. I only had a little bit of trouble getting the one on the bottom tier to stay put as it had nothing to sit on. I glued it with a little piece of fondant and piping gel.

I transported the tiers separately and assembled the cake at the wedding location figuring that would be the safest plan. I used hollow plastic dowels on the bottom and middle tiers which were already in place and put just three flowers on. Everyone loved how the cake color and ribbon matched the brides dress. Overall, I was pretty satisfied with the cake but I don't think I could make a wedding cake again as it is too stressful to think about messing up a cake for a wedding. Now with this months birthday and wedding out of the way, I get to relax a bit until my daughter's birthday next month which I'm sure will bring on more fun projects.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Flower Girl Dress

Here is the flower girl dress I made for my daughter. I don't have any pictures of the sewing progress because I usually didn't get started working on it until late at night.

It looked like a simple enough pattern (McCalls 5570), after all, little girl dresses are pretty simple, a plain bodice with a gathered skirt, right. I was somewhat oblivious to all the layers that are required to go under a dress like this to make it puffy specially because the length was all the way to the floor. The puckered up effect also made it hard to determine the right length as the pattern had no finished length measurements for the dress.

My daughter turns 4 next month, but patterns in my experience always run big so I started off making the 3 year old bodice size. It was too big. I had to unpick it all and make the 2 year old size. I also ended up cutting the skirt for the 2 year old size as it look gigantic. This size turned out exactly right even though my daughter is not small.

I was a bit intimidated by the dress when I got into the skirt part of it, but as I went along it really wasn't too hard. I was very happy with the result. I had to borrow a gathering foot and my sisters old Bernina to gather up the netting that goes inside the dress as I could not imagine trying to sew on the edge and pull on the strings on 12 very long lengths of sewn together pieces of netting. I did skip one of the three layers of regular lining because I thought the taffeta I used was fairly thick. This dress takes a surprisingly large amount of fabric. The cost came in probably just under $50.00. Which is more than I had planned to spend on a home sewn dress but I guess fairly reasonable compared to the $120 dresses at the bridal store.

And next -the wedding cake.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Noah's Ark Cake

Apparently, staying at home is proving to be more work than going to work. And somehow, more time at home means less time overall. Still trying to make sense of that but really enjoying being at home. This month I'm ramping up for a few projects though; the first of which was a cake for my son's first birthday.

This cake took me .... um, all day long. I almost started regretting it as soon as I got into the third animal but I decided to press on. This cake is from Debbie Brown's 50 Easy Party Cakes which is probably a very misleading title for this book but I guess they are easy compared to the cakes in the rest of her books (of which I have purchased none because the "easy cakes" are still proving very challenging for me).

This is the first cake I've made that we decided not to cut and serve during the party as we were having more family visiting the next day and we wanted it to have a longer viewing life. Really, it doesn't make any sense not to cut it. It is a cake and what good is it if we can't eat it. But since fondant does preserve so well, we'll probably be cutting into it soon [squirm].