Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Multiple Muslin Monday

Normally I take my time circling a new-to-me pattern warily like a wolf sizing up its prey.  I dislike the pattern adjusting stage of sewing intensely (but I love the fabric shopping, pattern buying and actual sewing machine time) and so I have a tendency to mull over a new pattern for a looooong time before I'm willing to tackle it.  These two extremely simple patterns are no exceptions to that practice, despite how majorily easy they are to stitch up.  One of them is already OOP....a frequent happenstance when you delay like I do.  But that's ok with me, I'm making clothing that fits my lifestyle and luckily that doesn't include red carpet runways and public scrutiny.
So yesterday I decided to try out two patterns that have been simmering in my mind for quite a while and I'm happy to report that both of them....with adjustments....are looking to be successful garments this week.
Vogue 1195
First one up is Vogue 1195,   another floaty overblouse concept similar to the lightweight silk poncho plans that I drafted two years ago (and my most viewed blog post by far.)  silk chiffon poncho directions post  The Vogue pattern is more shaped and has shoulder pleats but accomplishes the same thing....skims over the fluffly parts of my midsection and upper arms.  
I made my muslin out of a washed print silk dupioni that was far too girly to be a real garment in my wardrobe.  Looks like nothing on the hanger but I think the next one will be quite stylish.  
The next muslin was even easier and I used the same fabric.  It's Vogue 7717, an OOP Sandra Betzina pattern.  I normally avoid dolman sleeves and even in this nice pattern, it's not the most flattering look for me.  But I like the bias pullover look for a light summery top.  Marcy Tilton's newsletter, from years ago, Marcy Tilton newsletter made a reference to this top as a more chic version of the formerly stylish summer camp shirts and I so agree.  As she calls it, a non-dorky summer top...I have some lightweight linens and washed silk dupionis that will sew up nicely.  But even this simple pattern needs pattern alterations to make it fit me.  

I have plenty more to write about but I'll stop and leave you today with just one more picture....like these mock up garments, not very exciting to look at but trust me, there's a a lot of good stuff going on.  That's this recipe.  Boring to look at but absolutely scrumptious.

Chicken Adobo from this month's Cooks Illustrated Magazine  
Please, buy this issue, subscribe or just support their wonderful mission of making home cooks better cooks. 

Adobo is the national dish of the Philippines, and chicken adobo is among the most popular. The dish consists of chicken simmered in a mixture of vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, bay leaves, and black pepper. The problem with most recipes we found was that they were aggressively tart and salty. Our secret to taming both of these elements was coconut milk. The coconut milk’s richness tempered the bracing acidity of the vinegar and masked the briny soy sauce, bringing the sauce into balance.


Light coconut milk can be substituted for regular coconut milk. Serve this dish over rice.


  • 8(5- to 7- ounce) bone-in chicken thighs , trimmed
  • 1/3cup soy sauce (I used low sodium version)
  • 1(13 1/2-ounce) can coconut milk  (I used light version)
  • 3/4cup cider vinegar
  • 8garlic cloves , peeled and chopped or pressed
  • 4bay leaves
  • 2teaspoons pepper
  • 1scallion , sliced thin  (I omitted)


  1. 1. Toss chicken with soy sauce in large bowl. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and up to 1 hour.
  2. 2. Remove chicken from soy sauce, allowing excess to drip back into bowl. Transfer chicken, skin side down, to 12-inch nonstick skillet; set aside soy sauce.
  3. 3. Place skillet over medium-high heat and cook until chicken skin is browned, 7 to 10 minutes. While chicken is browning, whisk coconut milk, vinegar, garlic, bay leaves, and pepper into soy sauce.
  4. 4. Transfer chicken to plate and discard fat in skillet. Return chicken to skillet skin side down, add coconut milk mixture, and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes. Flip chicken skin side up and continue to cook, uncovered, until chicken registers 175 degrees, about 15 minutes. Transfer chicken to platter and tent loosely with aluminum foil.
  5. 5. Remove bay leaves and skim any fat off surface of sauce. Return skillet to medium-high heat and cook until sauce is thickened, 5 to 7 minutes. Pour sauce over chicken, sprinkle with scallion, and serve.

Our humble version served with a tossed salad.  Ymmmm, that simple sauce was company good.  

Leaving you now to sew up that first top and eventually get a picture and review to post.  Happy sewing time to all.


  1. It's always so satisfying to have the muslin stage worked out. Will look forward to seeing the final versions.

  2. Sounds tasty! It's always nice to have a new chicken recipe to try, thanks!

  3. ahhhh...muslins. Isn't it worth it all in the end?

  4. Just found your blog through Sew Country Chic and I think your blog is neither lowly or little. I love it. And by the way, I love adobo. I recently discovered chilies in adobo sauce at the grocery store. Nummy!

  5. Good for you for working through the muslins! I love that overblouse -- such a great style. Can't wait to see the finished garment!


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