Friday, March 27, 2015

Carrot cake cheese cake

I have lately had such an intense sweet tooth, I go to sleep and wake up thinking about every cake, cookie and pie you could imagine which if you follow me on instagram has been pretty clear.  So when my husband picked me up a slice of carrot cake cheese cake in an effort to satisfy my craving, it only created a monster.  The very next day I decided that one slice wasn't enough.




2 8oz pkgs cream cheese softened
3/4 cup sifted sugar
1tbls flour
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla

Carrot cake

1 cup flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup freshly grated carrots
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup butter
2tsp vanilla
4 1/2 oz crushed pineapple drained (save 3 tbls juice)
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts
1/2 cup coconut flakes

Cream cheese frosting

3 oz cream cheese softened
1 1/2 tbls butter
1 3/4 cup powdered sifted sugar
1 tsp vanilla
3 tbls pineapple juice


Grease a 9 or 9 1/2 inch springform pan.  Set aside.
With an electric mixer, beat together 2 packages cream cheese and 3/4 cup sugar until smooth.  Beat in 1 tablespoon flour, 3 eggs and 1 teaspoons vanilla until smooth.  Set aside.
For the carrot cake:  in a large bowl, combine oil, butter,  1 cup sugar, 2 eggs and 2 teaspoon vanilla, mixing thoroughly.  Stir in 1 cup flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and pinch of salt, mixing well.  Stir in drained pineapple, carrots, coconut and chopped walnuts.
Spread 1 1/2 cups carrot cake batter over bottom of prepared pan.  Drop large spoonfuls of cream cheese batter over carrot cake batter, about 1 cup.  Drop large spoonfuls of remaining carrot cake batter over the cream cheese.  Finish with remaining cream cheese batter, spreading evenly with a rubber spatula
Bake in preheated 350˚F oven 60  minutes or until cake is set and cooked through.  Cool to room temperature and refrigerate for 4 hours.
When cake is cold, prepare the frosting.  In a bowl of an electric mixer, combine 3 ounce cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar, vanilla, 3 tablespoon reserved pineapple juice and  Beat until smooth and of spreading consistency.  Frost top of cheesecake.
Refrigerate 2 to 3 hours before serving.

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Wednesday, March 25, 2015

DIY Little white neoprene dress

I have to confess I'm happier than most to begin to see signs of spring.  Last year this time I was in the throws of morning sickness so I'm embracing every white, pink and pastel color this spring has to offer, starting with this white neoprene from

My original vision for this dress was a boxy mini dress, but once I got started, I loved the way the pleating and darts responded to the neoprene.  The pattern used for this dress was my loved Vogue V8840 shirt pattern which has gone through many transformations including these here here and here.

The pattern alterations are as follows:

-Added 2.5" to the width
-Added 10" to the length
-Added 4 darted pleats to the front and back of the dress
-Added a 9" zipper to the back of the neck
-Added a 1" rolled collar
-Hand stitched the hem

     Using pins, create the pleats with the dress inside out to achieve the proper fit.  Once the fit is  
      correct, baste stitch.  Repeat this process for the back, which is more challenging unless someone
      does it for you.

Clutch- DIY here
Booties- Calvin Klein Collection

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Monday, March 23, 2015

Capital Style

A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of working with Capital Style Magazine on their spring fashion issue.  I have to say It was a lot of fun, although smiling for hours can be exhausting.  In addition to working with the great people of Capital Style, I was also lucky enough to shoot with my little angel which I have to admit I was a bit nervous considering their crew arrived right at her nap time.  Thank goodness she perks up when she has an audience :).

If you live in the DC area, you can pick up a copy of the magazine, or view the article here online.

Both looks coming to the blog soon.........

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Tuesday, March 17, 2015

DIY spring ready sleeveless coat

We are finally in our last days of winter thank goodness, but with that enters a few weeks of unpredictable weather.  It isn't quite warm enough to put the coats away, but you can finally shed those layers.  What better way to do that than with a sleeveless coat, which if you follow my blog have seen several versions over the past few years seen here, here  and here.

When I spotted this Jill Stuart fabric on, I can honestly say I wasn't in love with the texture.  I knew the color would make a great coat but I wasn't sold until it arrived in the mail.   This fabric is gorgeous! the quality is amazing, it sews beautifully and irons great as well.  I'm a bit disappointed this is the only color available.

The coat was made using this downloaded Burdastyle pattern with the following alterations:
-Added a seam line down the front
-Added a front facing
-Made the coat sleeveless and added a 2" faced band
-Removed the pocket stitching and tacked the pocket to the inside

Heels- Sergio Rossi
Clutch-DIY here
Jeans- Joes Jeans
Top- Club Monaco
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Wednesday, March 11, 2015

DIY Perfectly structured cropped top and pleated skirt

It's evident by now I'm in love with structured fabric which gives a more polished appearance to most looks.  For those of us who purchase 99% of our fabric online, we depend heavily on the fabric description and content to guide our selection process.  When I'm looking for a fail safe structured fabric, I go straight to the coating section.  Medium to heavy coating fabrics are perfect for achieving structured looks in tops, skirts and dresses without the need to add layers of interfacing.  This fabric was purchased here at, it's a Marc Jacobs coating fabric in the perfect shade of olive green.

The top was made using Vogue V8840 with the following pattern alterations:
-Removed the middle front seam and added a vertical seam with top stitching
-Added 1" to the height of the neck
-Added top stitching to the hem
-Added a 9" invisible zipper to the back neck

The skirt was made using Butterick B5285 with the following pattern alterations:
-Added a box pleat in the front and back
-Added 1/2" to the width of the waist band

Boots-Michael Kors
Bag- Cleo & Patek

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Monday, February 23, 2015

Fuchsia wool dress

There is nothing more special than a hot pink wool.  When I originally ordered this fabric from, I had no idea what I was going to make but I just knew I had to have this fabric.  It's a medium weight 100% wool that's simply amazing.  If you plan to pick some up, hurry it's almost sold out.  It's one of those perfect wool's with a bit of stretch perfect for dresses, skirts and coats.

This dress was made using the bodice to McCalls M5927 view B and self drafted skirt with the following alterations:

-Added 1.5" to the height of the neck
-Faced the bodice with the same wool fabric
-Added a gathered sleeve with zipper detail
-Added a 58"x19" pleated skirt to the bodice

Dress- DIY
Belt- Roland Mouret
Booties- Givenchy
Clutch-Bottega Venetta
Shades-Stella McCartney

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Tuesday, February 10, 2015

DIY floral ponte dress

The description of this fabric on states "this is a fabric you do not want to miss" and I would like to stand up and salute to that description because this fabric is on my top 10 list of all time favorites.  I knew from the moment I opened the package and felt all it's awesomeness I would fall in love.  It's beautifully soft with a great drape, sews with perfection and super easy to work with.  Lets not mention this is one of the most comfortable dresses I own.  The look reminds me of a neoprene but feels like  a silk jersey.  The muted floral design is simply icing on the top.

The pattern used was the bodice to my beloved McCalls M5927 view E with the following  alterations:
-Added 1 1/2" to the height of neck
-Using a curved ruler, added a cut out to the front sides.
-Added exaggerated sleeves by removing the bottom half of the sleeve and doubling the width the shoulder portion of the sleeve and pleating.  To add extra height to the shoulder, I added mini shoulder pads to the sleeves and added elastic at the hem.

The skirt of the dress was made using a self drafted pattern found here.  The bodice and skirt was attached with a 22" invisible zipper down the back.

The coat was previously made here 

In the next few weeks, I will be posting a video tutorial on altering the McCalls M5927 pattern so stay tuned..............

Coat DIY
Dress- DIY
Heels-Jean Michel Cazabat
Shades-Stella McCartney
Bracelet- YSL necklace worn as a bracelet
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Wednesday, February 04, 2015

Super moist banana bread

With the addition of my little angel, we decided to jump onto the mass grocery super store bandwagon and get a membership at BJ's.  My deciding factor was the introduction of organic fruit to the produce department and their 2lb's of organic bananas for only $1.59.  Needless to say I have a freezer filled with bananas! so enters one of my fav's.....super moist banana bread.


2 1/2 cups flour
2 ripe bananas smashed
2 eggs
1/2 cup cream cheese
3/4 cup butter and olive oil mix
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar

4 mini loaf pans (greased)


Preheat oven to 350
(TIP: for extra moist bread, don't over cook)

1. In a medium bowl, sift flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Whisk together

2. In a large bowl using a mixer, beat cream cheese and butter and olive oil mix until well mixed.  Add sugar and eggs beating well.

3. Turn mixer on low and add the mashed bananas and vanilla extract.

4. Add the flour mix, mixing well but not over beating.

5. Pour the mix into to the mini loaf pans and bake for 30 minutes.

6. Remove the pans from the oven and let them cool on a wire cooling rack.

Serve with lots of butter

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Thursday, January 29, 2015

DIY wide leg pants & bow shirt

I've been a lover of plaid since I was a child, It's one of those patterns you can dress up or down with ease.  It looks great as a shirt, dress,  pants or coat.  When I saw this fabric while visiting Mood NY, my first thought was a great fitted dress but at the last minute thought the scale of this plaid would be better suited for pants.  It's the perfect wool with a touch of crosswise stretch.  Instead of searching for an appropriate pattern, I decide to put my seam ripper to use and ripped up one of my favorite pair of jeans damaged by bleach.

The great thing about using a piece of clothing as a pattern is the fact the fit is already accurate, so with the exception of a few tweaks this is a no fail process. 

-Removed pockets
-Added 2" to the width of the waist band 
-Added 3" to the pant length

The top was made using this silk georgette that feels amazing and one of the easiest silks I've sewn with.  The pattern used for this top was Vogue V8772 with the following alterations:

-Added 2" to the length of the sleeve
-Removed the sleeve button option and added a band
-Added a gathered shoulder
-Removed the darts from the from of the pattern
(TIP) make sure you interface the button and button hole section


Clutch- Fendi
Heels- Manolo Blahnik

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Thursday, January 22, 2015

DIY oversized coat and neoprene dress

When it comes to investing in a great winter coat, you can never go wrong with an oversized coat worn with everything from dresses to sweat pants.  This coat  was made using a grey wool from that has unfortunately sold out but here are a couple alternative fabrics here and here and lined with a silk charmeuse.

The pattern used was Vogue V8862 view C  previously seen here, with the following alterations:

-Added 24" to the length
-Removed bottom half of coat seam
-Added 3" to length of sleeve
-Connected the top pattern piece to the neck piece to remove the seam
-Cut the back piece on fold to remove the back seam
-Added 8" to the neck for a more dramatic collar
-Added side seam pockets

The dress was made using my loved neoprene found here at  The pattern used was the bodice to McCalls M5927 view E with the following alterations:

-Cut a 6 1/2" curved V neck
-Removed the pockets
-Removed the back slit
-Added a 6" curved slit to skirt front
-Removed the rouching at the sleeve
-Added a 5" sleeve band

Booties- Brian Atwood

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