Monday, June 24, 2013

DIY: A Bonfire of Banana Bread and ... a Giveaway (Now Closed)

 So wouldn't you know the moment I start doling out recipes like I'm Martha-Flippin-Stewart, I turn my house into a Bonfire of Banana Bread. Not familiar with such a thing? Well, lemme tell you how the pros do it. First, you start with the batter and the only teeny tiny bread pan you have on hand. Then you fill the bread pan just half full (because the recipe says so) but that looks like an entirely too empty pan so you decide to fill it to the rim. Because you hate to see wasted space. AND because you only have one teeny tiny bread pan (you really should get more pans. Just sayin'). Then you throw it in the oven and almost forget about it...until that distinct burnt hair smell reminds you...

 Oh, crap! The banana bread! 
When I threw open the oven door, it looked like a bomb had gone off. There was smoke, fire and bubbly melty banana bread everywhere (okay, when bombs go off, I'm guessing there's not bubbly melty banana bread unless the bomb goes off at a Banana Bread Factory but that's just ridiculous. What kind of crazy person would blow up a banana bread factory?! Everyone loves banana bread! Well, they did until they saw this photo). I managed to salvage this wee loaf with what looks like fake vomit stuck to the side. It was at that moment, hubs walked in. And this happened: 

Hubs: I'm hungry...wait, what's that smell?

Me: Um. Banana bread...?

Hubs: (noticing said bread on counter) You mean Blackened Banana Bread? 

Me: I got the recipe from Bon Appetit!

Hubs: You know, when I look at Bon Appetit, it's funny, the food looks just like that.

And then he insisted on taking a photo of my gourmet cooking and that I share it with you on this here blog. So that you may never get a Banana Bread Hankerin' again. You're welcome.
Remember this fabric? Because it has an early 1960's vibe to me, I decided to pair it with this 1962 dress pattern sent to me from a friend (thanks, Kristin!). I love the neckline, the bow belt and the bows at the bottom of the back straps. Check out this amazing dress in the same fabric sewn by The Girl with the Star Spangled Heart.
But, wait, what was that other thing mentioned in the title of this post? Did someone say giveaway (and is this someone currently talking about themselves in third person? Someone is creepin' me out!)? That's right, you read the title of this post correctly, I'm givin' away stuff, Oprah-style! ... except I'm not going to give you a brand new car. Sorry. Not in my budget. But what I got is even better (no it's not, just trying to make you feel better) so don't you dare scroll all the way to the bottom of this post to look for the giveaway details.* Because if you do, you'll miss all of the fascinating tales of this here dress and those thar oven mitts.**
That forced-grin photo on the left kinda reminds me of the day I wore my thong wrong. Which takes skills so don't act like you aren't impressed (and that you haven't had to pause a second before slipping into your thong. I mean, there are just too many entry points and too little fabric). I noticed that day that I kept walking crooked, bumping into anyone that was crazy enough to be near me. A trip to the bathroom lead me to discover my problem (well, one of them): I had one leg in the leg hole, the other in the waist hole and my waist in the other leg hole. Needless to say, it was as pinchy and uncomfortable as I look in that photo on the left. Is this too much information? Am I over sharing? Let's change the subject: Look At Those Adorable Bows! (...did that help...?)

So this pattern was pretty rad...and it introduced me to a series of firsts. Like lining. I've never lined a dress before and look at that photo below. Look at it! This is my first dress that just as pretty on the inside as it is the outside! I'm considering wearing it reversed just so people can admire how stinkin' awesome it is. They'll be all, "Dude, your lining is so rad!" and I'll be all, "I know, right!?" and that's pretty much where the conversation will end because I'm a pretty sucky conversationalist. And, let's face it, if we're not talking about me, I ain't got nothing to say.
Another first? Putting in something called a waist stay. When the pattern called for that, I was all "whah, huh?" Then google informed me that it was pretty much just a ribbon that kept my gathered waist from ungathering while covering up those unsightly gathers.
Just a view of the back. And those bows, gah. I loves 'em. So much so that I even made the bow for my hair using the same pattern. It's super easy. One of these days, I'll show you how. By the way, I got off easy as this dress fits like a glove! And by "glove", I don't mean an ove-glove. Because that would be too big. No, man, this was a no-alterations needed pattern. Which is great because I can't even put on a thong correctly so altering would be outta the question.
 When I went to the grocery today to pick up the ingredients for that bread (ahem), the checkout dude gave me the up/down (you know, when someone looks you over from head to toe with a "what the h***?" look on their face) and said, "Do you dress like that everyday?" And for some reason, my mind immediately thought, Oh no! He knows I'm wearing my thong wrong! and I was tempted to blurt out, "No! I just made a mistake! There are so many holes and so little fabric, it's confusing. You would NEVER understand!" And then I realized he meant my dress and I was all, "Yeah...I guess." I've never left a grocery store so quickly in my life.

 In the middle of dressmaking, I decided this fabric just had to become a set of pot holders. I mean, look at it! It's screaming, "Make me into a pot holder right now! After you make me a sandwich!" (geez, this is exactly what that other fabric said to me. Must be a trend.)

 Wanna make some pot holders? I borrowed heavily from Denise Schmitt's Quilts book. But I did some tweaking and thought I'd share my version with you. You know, because this blog post isn't already long enough. 

To start, I sewed two contrasting fabrics together and pressed the seam open, as seen in the photo on the left. Because I was making two mitts, I created four of these panels. I then pinned the pot holder parts in this order: panel, quilt batting, heat retardant fabric, inside fabric. These were about 9" X 11" in size.
 Then I set my machine on a basting stitch (so that the stitches would be really long) and sewed a series of vertical and horizontal lines. The beauty of her pattern is that you don't have to sew straight lines. They can be as wonky as me walking in a crooked thong.

 Earlier, I had traced my fave oven mitt (which is currently covered in banana bread goo, no lie), added about 1/4" all the way around and cut out the template you see on the left. I drew the horizontal line to match up my two fabrics. The template was placed on the sewn fabric and cut out. To finish the bottom edge, I used quilt binding tape that I held in place with Stitch Witchery until I could stitch.
 I wanted pom-poms on the bottom of my mitts, so it was at this point that I sewed them to the wrong side of the mitt. After that, I pinned the two mitts wrong sides together and sewed around them with a 1/4" hem.
 Right before turning them right side out, I clipped really close to the inside of the thumb. Turning them right side out wasn't it's important not to make your mitts too small. Then they'll be a royal pain to turn. When turning these, they reminded me of the Hamburger Helper oven mitt. Makes a great meal. Or so I've heard.
And the mitts are finished! But enough about that...let's chat about the GIVEAWAY! 

Here's the deal: I have two yards left of this Michael Miller fabric and I wanna give it to YOU! Along with this little vintage cookbook, because, let's face it, I really shouldn't be cooking. So here's how to enter: 
  • Leave a comment below and tell me what you'd create with this fabric. I'm dying to know! And I'll probably end up stealing your ideas and never sending you fabric...kidding! But only about that last part.
  • For extra bonus points, I'd totally dig it if you'd follow my blog. Because you need more Burnt Banana Bread blog posts in your life. And stories of thongs. Oh, forget about it. I wouldn't follow this thing either! (Seriously, you don't have to become a follower to enter).***
 How does that sound? I'm excited to hear from you! I'll keep this giveaway open until Monday, July 1st. AND it's open to international commenters too. On that date, I'll throw all the names into a jar, pull one, announce the winner and send this good stuff your way. Chat with you soon!

*Ha! You DID skip to the bottom! Well, the details of the giveaway aren't here. So get yourself back up to the top and finish reading! Geesh.

** Ugh, I'm bored by this post already, aren't you? WHAT?! You are?! That was a trick and you, my friend, you failed. No free stuff for you! Now go leave a comment so I can "accidentally" forget to put your name in the jar.

***Yes, you do...****

****Seriously, you don't. Now go away and leave a comment.


  1. Oooh oooh, me, me! I've been on a dress making kick lately (thanks largely to you, honestly), and I'm thinking that would be an amazing circle skirt with a black bodice. Following, too. And Pinterest stalking (full disclosure). Thanks!! BTW, you go right on dressing like that every day, lady! Knowing you're out there doing it gives me more strength to do the same...

  2. I would probably go apron with the fabric (nice and easy for me!) BUT I actually collect vintage Betty Crocker cookbooks, so that kinda excites me :) Thank you for the awesome giveaway!!!

  3. I'm a new follower and let's just say that I've quickly learned not be be drinking any hot beverages while reading said blog as spurting seems to happen and that might result in burnt thighs and a wet keyboard - neither of which are a good thing!

    Oh and the fabric - would make a darling skirt! I'm with you on the whole dressing vintage thing - I have a thing for polyester - just don't tell anyone! ;-)

    And I love to cook and though I have burnt a thing or two in my day - it doesn't happen often enough to be worried about it.

  4. I've been a follower for a while but I'm a slack commenter. Sory! I love this dress and the matching oven mitts. What a cute idea!

    If I won I'd be tempted to make a dress too. I love to cook so this fabric is very me! It would also make a super cute apron.

  5. I've been a mildly obsessive reader ever since I discovered your blog a few months ago.

    The fabric is just calling out to be an apron. A full apron with pockets in a contrasting fabric. For cooking things from the Betty Crocker Outdoor Cook Book.

    1. Hey Jessica, you won!! You can contact me at with your address. Yippie!

  6. Oh me, me!!! I've been following for a little over a year (maybe a year and a half?) and I would totally dig an apron made from that fabric! I love wearing aprons around the house while I do my housework (makes me feel all June Cleaver-y) and that one is just too dang cute!!!

  7. I'm a follower I'm a follower, just a bad commenter. :p I LOVE your dress and that fabric, this is the second dress I've seen made from it and I think you just can't go wrong with a summer dress with it! I'm thinking a Sewaholic Cambie or a square neckline (like your back, but on both sides) on some cobbled-together assortment of vintage patterns!

  8. So you know already I'm a, and as usual, you have me laughing so hard I have to change my underwear. Thank goodness they are not thongs or I'd be saying I want to use that fabric for re-slipcovering my recliner and while I love the fabric, it seriously does NOT go with my living room decor. Anyhow, unlike everyone else, I would not use the fabric for a dress or apron. We have a 'camp' (you might call it a cottage) by an Adirondack Lake, and my kitchen curtains (which I made about 15 years ago) are red-checked gingham, but seriously faded. So I think I would use the fabric with some coordinating fabric to replace the curtains. And maybe if there's leftovers, I'd make some pot holders or a toaster cover.

  9. I follow you everywhere and would love to win your fabric, so I can make me a brand new apron!!

  10. Anonymous6/24/2013

    I am a primary school teacher in Hampshire, England. I check for your blog every morning before school and it always starts my day with a smile. My class have noticed that my clothes have been more daring and colourful in the last few months, so your influence is spreading. As I can't sew, I would spread that material out and just adore it!

  11. Love it! You picked a great pattern for such a busy print. And I just love that you made oven mitts too!!

    PS You are not the only on with just one dinky bread pan. Whenever I make banana bread it takes for ever because I can only cook one loaf at at time!

  12. I want to make an apron with this print. IT would have to be a fun embellished one of course.

  13. Okay, so my favorite part about this whole post is the little note on the bottom left side of the pattern you used. Note: May also be used as a regular pattern. Which makes me wonder, what kind of a pattern did they feel it was? Were they marketing to NASA? Was there specifics in your directions for sewing out of tin foil? But, you know, if you're out of tin foil... you COULD use REGULAR material. And yes, I'm commenting randomly so I don't count which is okay cause I have my own stash of random material and cookbooks that I should probably give away myself. You know, if I had a blog that anyone read. ;)

  14. My mother owned that exact cookbook! She kept it in our trailer that we camped in during the summer!

  15. The fabric is too cool. It screams "picnic bag". I have been digging through my fabric bin looking for something that will meet this need. Then I came across your post and voila! I found the fabric that I want. Thanks for the chance to win! (And I just started following via email so I can keep up with your adventures.)

  16. You are TOO FUNNY! I love the thong story! Sounds like something I would do :-) And your dress...OMG. Love the bows in the back and the neckline!! And that fabric....DEFINITELY count me in. Let's see, I'd probably make an awesome rockabilly button down blouse to go with some 50's rolled up jeans I have!! And maybe a hair much fun! Thanks for the giveaway!

  17. Your dress is adorable! When I saw the fabric, I immediately thought about the Tilly and the Buttons Picnic Blanket Skirt.

  18. Susanne6/25/2013

    I LOVE your dress it is adorable, the neckline & bows are my favorite! I would totally make a skirt with that material and definitely try the recipes out of the cookbook this summer! I'm loving your blog...THANKS for the giveaway!!! By the way do I see an Indiana shirt in the banana bread picture? If so I LOVE it too :0) GO IU!!!!!!!!

  19. Awesome dress! I agree, there are too many entry points in a thong, that's why I have never owned one!
    As for the fabric, I would probably make a tote bag or casserole carrier out of it for my mum who loves to cook :)

  20. Ah I love this, Michael Miller are my fabric gods! I follow your blog through Feedly, and if I won the fabric I'd probably make something similar - a strappy sundress with a full skirt in 60s styleeee.

  21. Meeeee!! I don't know what I would make, specifically, but it would definitely be a dress. Maybe a shirtwaist? Wouldn't that be PRESH. :D

  22. Ooo exciting giveaway Cassie! A big yes please to me entering :) such beautiful fabric, I'm not sure what to make... I like the apron idea, it's such a cute pattern for that, but part of me would love to make a play suit set (top, shorts and skirt) with this and a contrast fabric. How stinking cute would that be?! Thanks for the giveaway you lovely thing you :)

  23. I love this fabric. I don't know honestly what I'd make but I'm leaning toward a skirt.

  24. Anonymous6/27/2013

    What neat fabric! But where can I find a pattern like that one? Wow!
    And I've been wanting to make some pot-holders. I have one that looks like a little clam. I'm not coordinated enough to use oven mitts.
    Thanks so much for all the tips.
    If I win the giveaway, I will love the cookbook and make some clam-shell-oven-mitts.

    And I would make a cookbook journal like this one on my old blog

  25. I would make a cute retro playsuit. I have a couple of playsuit patterns from the 50s calling my name. And let's face it, when I am grilling, a full dress is just hot and bothersome, I need something cool but cute to cook in :-)

  26. Love the print of your dress. And you look very good in it.
    Sorry for the banana bread mishap. I had a similar adventure when I tried a recipe that my sister gave me: red wine cake. The cake really exploded in the oven and all the inside was splattered with dough. First I was really shocked, then I had to laugh but I couldn't laugh any more when I cleaned the oven for hours and hours. But these stories are worth to be told and then I can laugh again.

  27. Pick me! Pick me! haha! I LOVE this fabric--I think I'd make myself a cute skirt (using some black cotton, since I probably can't squeeze a full skirt out of two yards for me! ;) ) or maybe if I'm feeling really kitschy a playsuit. :D

    And I adore your dress! It is way too cute--I'm especially loving the bows at the back of the straps--what a great detail! Gonna have to remember that when I make a sundress in the future... ;)

  28. So many of your posts make me laugh! The thong bit especially made me giggle! :) I love that fabric and the dress you made. I would probably make a pleated skirt with the fabric. It's so cute!

  29. I am the queen of the Lurkers. I have been reading your blog for quite some time. You have a wonderful sense of humor and such talent! If I were to win the adorable fabric, I might make a dress from pattern Simplicity 8087, which I purchased because you've made so many cute versions. :) Perhaps the fabric on the top and the bottom with a black middle; or fabric on the bottom with a white top and black in the middle. Thanks for the generous giveaway!

  30. Ugh,completely forgot about this giveaway! I'm such a scatterbrain! It's still veeeery early there so, I might still be able to enter? Anyway, LOVE your blog! So funny! The fabric obviously want's to be an apron, a full apron or pinny with frills and large bow. It spoke to me.

  31. Until july 1st, or until sometime today July first? I think that fabric just screams better homes & garden cookbook (i have one of every decade since the 1930s. With only two yards I would still want to make a dress, but with some contrast panels or trim since I'm an amazon. I love the bows on that pattern. I have the repro retro butterick pattern 5748 that has one bow.


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