Maria Denmark Day-To-Night Drape Top

I have had my eye on this Maria Denmark pattern for a while.  Honestly, I do not buy patterns often.  I have been drafting so many patterns myself for Zoe and I that I really do have more sewing projects from those patterns alone than I know what to do with.  But I have seen so many cute variations of this top, and I do not have anything with a cowl neckline in my closet.

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The fabric I used came from Denver Fabrics (I never actually go to their website, but I did want to post their link).  Anyways, I find the best stuff at their shop.  They had a sale which was 40% off of already discounted fabric.  They sell fabric by the pound too, so this lightweight gray jersey that I used came from several yards I bought from that bin.  I spent $3.00 total on several yards of fabric by the pound, so with the $6.00 I spent on the pattern plus the $.50 I may have spent on this fabric, I would say this top was a pretty good bargain.

The top took under an hour for me to sew.  I did not have FOE or invisible elastic as the pattern indicates, so I just made some  bias knit tape using the same fabric.  The longest part was just taping the pattern together-for some reason it printed up super light so I had trouble matching the corners of the pages.  I think i am developing a love/hate relationship for those pdf patterns.  My size was between a small and medium, so I a medium and then just planned to use a bigger seam allowance.  Then I actually read the directions which said you must add your own seam allowance (blegh I am so bad about reading directions).  But it all worked out since I had cut out the medium and stitched it up with a 1/4″ seam allowance. Whew!

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…and a nice shot of the back.  I must be looking at a bird or maybe I am just thinking about how much I hate having my picture taken!  I am coming to realize that this is probably going to be the most difficult part about my having a crafty blog. I suppose I just need to embrace my awkwardness in photos.  Oh and that weird thing on my back is a batman band-aid.

I absolutely love this top-it is super comfortable and appropriate for me to wear to work in the summer.  Here is the other one I have made so far-I have two more cut out to make for my mom and sister (guys, if you are reading this, act surprised!)

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We all went to the zoo today-which makes it our third trip since Zoe has been born, and definitely the best visit so far.  Zoe was super excited to see all of the birds and kept saying ‘hi’ and ‘bye’ to all of the animals we passed.

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I have been sewing a lot of clothes for myself lately as well as clothing and toys for Zoe.  But it has occurred to me that if I am ever going to start selling things on Etsy, I really need to get moving.  So hopefully I will have some items to show you for my shop within the next few posts.

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These aren’t your grandma’s date nut balls

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I have had a hankering for truffles lately, but I just have not been able to find the time (or the energy, really) to make any.  Then I started thinking about dates…Linda always has them at her house, I assume she keeps for that time when you need something sweet.  Admittedly, dates are pretty high in sugar (16g for 1) but compared to a chocolate chip cookie made of white granulated sugar, sneaking one of these for that sweet tooth is not so bad.  So I had these dates in my cupboard…then I saw the unsweetened coconut chips sitting next to them and I got to work.  These date nut balls are a snap.  They go together quickly and there’s no need to heat up your oven or turn on your stove during this blistering July, which is definitely a perk.  I started combining these in my food processor while Zoe was going down for a nap (perfect timing, I know) but they were finished just as she was drifting off about 25 minutes later.

Chocolate Date Nut Balls

6oz pitted medjool dates
1/2 c unsweetened coconut shredded or flaked
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 c dried cherries sweet or sour (optional)
1/4 c strongly brewed coffee
1/4 c+an additional 1/4 c for rolling unsweetened cocoa powder (Dutch process or natural)
2 c walnuts, finely diced

In the bowl of your food processor, place the dates, coconut, vanilla, salt, cherries, and 1/4 c cocoa powder.  Pulse for 30 seconds.  Add the coffee and pulse until combined.   Place the date mixture into a medium mixing bowl and add the walnuts, incorporating them thoroughly (at this point it is probably best to  mix with your hands…don’t worry, you will get even stickier later.)

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Place the remaining 1/4 c of cocoa powder in a small bowl or on a salad plate.  Scoop up a tablespoon of the mixture using a small ice cream scoop (or just a spoon).

Roll the date nut ball between your hands to form a nice, even shape.  Then, roll it in the cocoa powder, shaking off the excess.

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Repeat until you have a nice full plate of chocolaty date nut balls like this:

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These are very rich and I definitely feel satisfied eating just one.  I love that bitter chocolate taste! If you do not share my opinion, however, feel free to go without rolling them in the cocoa powder.