Monday, 18 July 2011

The famous foccaccia...

This week as well as having some talented students making some sweet summer bags, including my first class for children, I've cracked out the famous focaccia bread again!
Firstly take a look at the beauties that the kids made in record time:
Don't they look pretty blowing in the breeze on the washing line?       

And, of course, the adults later in the week didn't do too badly with an array of brightly coloured bags and matching accessories:

 Sometimes I think the students are more excited about making fabric flowers and hair clips than the actual bags. To be honest I dont blame them, when you see how easy it is you want to make a different one to match every outfit in your wardrobe. I already have done! And the little girls were well on their way...the studio was a riot of bows, flowers, stars and all sorts. 

And so to the focaccia...
This badboy has been stacking up the compliments since I first made it so I though due to public demand I would share the recipe. Like the flowers, its ridiculously easy and although it wont go with your outfits, it will make your dinner/lunch table a prettier place!
You need: 
450gr white flour
275ml warm water
25ml olive oil plus extra for sprinkling
1 teaspoon dried yeast
1 teaspoon salt plus extra for sprinkling
Rosemary (i used fresh from the garden, but i guess dried would work too but not as yummy)
What you do: 
Mix the flour, salt and yeast together and make a hole in the centre. Pour the water and olive oil (mixed) into the hole slowly, mixing as you go. Mix all together and then turn onto work surface and knead until soft and elastic. Kneading until you get right consistency takes a little bit of practice. The dough should be springy and soft and smell like bread.
Put the dough back into the bowl and cover with a plastic bag. Leave it somewhere warm until it rises, for about an hour. Then transfer it to a greased baking tray/tin and flatten it down until it is about 2cm high. The dough should be airy and when you do this some of the air should come out. Press your thumbs into the dough to make small indentations in it. Leave it here under the plastic bag again for another 45mins (I put the oven on low and leave it on top so it is nice and warm).
Brush with a little olive oil and bake in oven (235c) for ten minutes. Remove from oven and mix about a tablespoon or more olive oil with water and salt and then brush generously over almost cooked loaf. Bake for another 5 minutes or until bottom is golden and bread is soft inside and crispy on outside. 
Sprinkle rosemary over the top and serve when warm. 
Another idea is to fry onions until they are really soft and then add them at the end instead of olive oil. Yummy!  

Classes this week (18th July):
Absolute Beginner: Monday and Wednesay 6-8.30pm
Bag making: Tuesday and Thursday 6-9.30pm
Absolute Beginner: Sunday 12-5pm

Friday, 8 July 2011

A little round-up

Exciting week this week what with appearing in the national (Lebanese) news! If you didnt already read it avidly and tell all your friends, here is the link
Other than that, dressmaking has gone crazy, with me knocking up two for myself this week and students creating some beautiful and advanced outfitsover the past few weeks...and not just dresses... shirts, skirts, pjs...all sorts.
So if you want some inspiration or just a sneak peak into The Sanayeh sewing Headquarters have a look at these pictures and then email me and say "Layla, please teach me how to sew!"
A third lesson dress that is getting a lot of compliments!  
Sassy little skirt from a homemade pattern.

A pair of pjs made to for cosiness or lounging by the beach in this weather. I would definitely wear these out!
A summery top with interesting asymmetrical detailing on the corner. Love the little tie straps on this beauty. 

And for all you beginners out there, dont be daunted or scared, you'll start small but it wont take long, I promise. You'll go from this  to that and more in no time.

Finally, if you havent already checked out this weeks dates do so and note that there is a Handbag/purse/manbag making class this Sunday. The last one was great fun and very tiring, hard work all round. So this time I'm splitting it into two sessions of three and a half hours. Come and learn how to put in pleats, inserted zippers, add hardware and metalware to bags and much more, all with the added bonus of homemade treats! Check out some of these students finished products to get your creative juices flowing:

 A pair of satchels - unisex bag making.

And finally...Two lovely oversized bags for overnight stays, baby stuff, or just lots of make-up and other stuff!


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