So, I made Liam a crown for his big day. Finished it about 15 minutes before the party was supposed to start. It looks cute in the photos and he wore it for a little while, so overall I was pleased. Basically, it’s a simple pieced front and solid back with low loft cotton batting between and a 1″ bit of elastic in the back encased in the lower binding. The fabric is 100% cotton fat quarters from WalMart, $1 each and just too cute. I may need to make a quilt or something with the leftovers.
Anyway, back to the crown. First, I pieced the front by sewing the pieces together through the batting like this. Next I attached the “1”, sewing a narrow zig-zag with a short stitch length through the fabric and batting, then attached the backing fabric, leaving the bottom open. I trimmed the seam allowance very close and turned the crown right side out, then quilted around each section of the front of the crown. I totally screwed up the elastic casing. Not really sure what I was thinking, but I first attached the elastic to the crown, then sewed the binding to the back of the crown, folded it to front and zig-zagged it with the same narrow zig-zag and a longer stitch length, and finally tried (failed, but tried) to seam the binding around the elastic. Ugly, but it stayed together for the party.
You can only imagine how long and hard I thought about my baby’s first birthday cake. I lamented having already done the very hungry caterpillar, considered something Sesame Street (in honor of their 40th birthday), and finally settled on a rainbow. It was months of agonizing and eye twitching – Seriously, I have a recurring eye twitch now. That’s hot! – mental gymnastics. Here’s the result.
The six layer cake is made with a double recipe of Cook’s Illustrated’s Basic White Cake. The batter was very, very scarily thin, but the cakes turned out pretty good. I used the same old baking powder that I thought was crappy last May. So, surprise! The cake seemed dense to me. The frosting is a basic buttercream, and lots of it. Like 10 lbs of powdered sugar’s worth.
Back to the method, each batch of batter was divided into thirds and dyed a different color with gel food coloring. A bit was poured into a cupcake pan and the rest was then baked in a disposable 8″ diameter pan. So, there were six individually colored cupcakes and cake layers. The cupcakes were trimmed flat and cut in half to make smash cakes for Liam and Grandpa, who turned 70 in November.
You can see some of the smash cake layers in the photos below. And, yes, Liam did wind up with both cakes. And Grandpa’s slice of cake too, if you’re keeping track.
And finally, the moment you’ve all been waiting for. The jello rainbow.
In the bowl, it wasn’t bad, but turned out, this nasty thing looked like a flaccid, multicolored breast implant. I’ll spare you the gory details and leave you with this tip. Do it this way or this way.