How to Draft Circle Skirt Patterns for Figure Skating, Dance, and Cosplay

This morning, a reader posted a question to my Facebook Page (Costuming):

“Hi! Skate dress question for you… in the book you illustrate beautifully several options for skirts but don’t go into circle skirts much… unless I missed it. Any suggestions regarding figuring out sizing and how to cut them out?”

I started replying in a comment. After a while, I decided that a wall of text wasn’t going to cut it – this requires photos. So, here we are!

Before I get started, a bit of a disclaimer: This tutorial is going to be for a quick and dirty way to do it, with the most basic equipment possible. Just paper, a ruler, and a pen/marker is all you really NEED to draft a circle skirt. Much like most things with sewing – and life, I guess – there are optional items you could buy, that will make you life easier. After the base tutorial, I’ll discuss a few of them. Again – TOTALLY not necessary, just nice. If you’re going to be doing a lot of costuming, they will be items well worth the investment.

On that note, another disclaimer:

This site is a participant in the Amazon Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for the site to earn fees by linking to Amazon and affiliated sites. While I’ll only ever link to items that I, personally, wholeheartedly recommend, I do need to put that disclosure out there!

Anyway, let’s get to the tutorial!

Before starting the drafting, you need to know:

– The hip circumference (which will be the actual hip measurement of the human, not the pattern (Use hip rather than waist, to allow the wearer to pull it on over the hips)
– How much gathering you want at the waist line of the skirt.
– Desired length of skirt at sides, front, and back (from the waist seam, not the actual waist).

When it comes to supplies, you will need:

Paper – I like wide craft packing paper (office supply stores), or rosin paper (home improvement stores).
A Ruler
A pen or marker

To Draft The pattern

Multiply the hip measurement by whatever factor you want for the gathering. For instance, if you want the gathering to be such that you have twice the fabric as the actual hip, multiply by 2. For 50% more fullness than if actual hip size, multiply by 1.5, etc etc.

Then, take that number and divide that by 3.14 – that gives you your diameter. Divide by 2, there’s your radius. As you’re not likely to end up with a number that’s nice to work with, feel free to round up to the nearest 1/4″. For the sake of example, let’s say you end up with something that ends up becoming 5″, after rounding.

Then, take a large sheet of whatever paper you’ll use to pattern – I tend to use really wide craft paper – and decide if you want to pattern with side seams (half circle) or not (full circle).

For a Half Circle Pattern

:

Fold the paper in half. The fold is your center line, either front or back – you’ll do this one for each.

You’re likely going to need to square one edge, from that fold, to work on. To do so, draw a line that is 90 degrees from the fold, as pictured. While I like to use a square rule for this – as pictured – you can always use a squared edge of something else to get that line started – even a piece of paper:

Once you have the line drawn, cut through both layers of paper, trimming the raw edge off the end. This new raw edge will become your side seam:

Measure out the radius measurement (5″, in this example) from the point of the fold, to both the folded edge and the raw edge:

You can measure out further points in between, as well – can temporarily fold the folded edge to meet the raw edge, unfold, and use that line as another guide to measure along. For the side with the two raw edges, I find it best to fold each layer in to the center, individually.



Connect all the dots in a smooth curve, this is now your waist line:

Then, starting at the curve you drew, measure out from that circle and mark the side seam length along the raw edge, and the center front or back measurement along the fold:

If these are the same, you can do the same as you did for the waist line – fold it in half one or more times, use the lines as guide on where to measure – always out from the waist line, not the folded center point.

If you’re doing a longer center measurement, you can do all the folds, but there will be more math involved.

For the fold that connected the center fold to the side seams – that is, the line halfway between the fold and the raw edges – mark a measurement that is halfway between the side and center measurements. So, if your side seam is 10 and your center is 15, this would be 12.5* Whatever number you come up with, mark that number next to the mark for the measurement, to keep track.

Then, mark other halfway points the same way. The fold line halfway between that first halfway point and the raw side edge will be the difference between those numbers – so in this case, 11.25. The one between the drawn midpoint and the folded center would be 13.75 in this example, etc.

When you’ve got that all sorted, connect the marks with a smooth curve:

Carefully cut the pattern out – through both layers of paper – and that’s a half circle pattern.

Repeat the process for the other half circle pattern needed, if that center measurement is different.

For a Full Circle Pattern:

Two ways you can do it, and which you pick will depend on the width of the paper you’re working with, and the length of the skirt you’re drafting.

1. Do the above directions, for both front and back. Mark “front” and “back”, tape them together.

This works best if you’re going to be doing a dance length dress, or if your paper isn’t wide enough to accommodate whatever you are doing. Also, this is the easier option if you’re dealing with center front and center back that are different measurements, IMHO.

2. If your paper is plenty wide to accommodate, you can do it all as one piece.

Start by folding the paper in half, long edge to long edge. This will be your center line, front and back. You can mark it as such – to keep track – if you like. Then, fold the fold over itself, dividing the paper in half again. This will form your side lines. Again, feel free to mark them at this point.

As pictured below, the edge closest to the bottom of the image is folded, and the fold extending up from it is the side line:

At this point, feel free to make as many interim -m and equal – folds as you’d like. The longer the skirt seam, the more folds will be helpful (as the distance between marks gets further in between, the further out you go from the center point.) Whatever you’re folding should be in half, and if there’s anything corresponding to that area that hasn’t been folded in half, it should be.

The goal is to end up with equally spaced lines. If you appear to be missing any, make whatever fold needed to add it in.

Once you’ve folded as many times as you’d like, unfold til you’re back to that very first fold. Have that center line fold laid out in front of you, across your work surface. Decide which side (out from the center point) will be the front of the skirt, and which will be the back – this is really only necessary if you have measurements that differ – and mark them as such.

Start by marking your radius measurement out from that center point, along the fold lines.

Connect them all with a smooth curved line. This is now your waistline:

From there, measure your center front measurement out towards the front side of the paper, on that part of the drawn waist line. Measure the center front back out from what will be the center back waist. Then, measure the side measurement from the point of the waist line centered between the other two folds, out from there (ie: directly out in front of you.)

Now, if this is an actual circle of a circle skirt – ie: side, center front, and center back measurements are all the same – you can go ahead and measure that distance out from the waist line, along all the folds. Connect all the marks with a nice smooth line.

If your circle skirt has different measurements for side and center front / center back:

For the fold line that is exactly halfway between the center fold and the side line, mark a measurement that is halfway between the side and center front measurements. So, if your side seam is 10″ and your center front 15″*, this would be 12.5″. Whatever number you come up with, mark that number next to the mark for the measurement, to keep track.

Then, mark other halfway points on THAT part of the skirt (between side line and the same way. The fold line halfway between that first halfway point and the side line will be the difference between those numbers – so in this case, 11.25″. The one between the drawn midpoint and the folded center would be 13.75″ in this example, etc:

Each time you are finding the halfway point between numbers, make sure you’re marking that distance on the fold line that is halfway between the two lines that provided the measurements you’re averaging from.

Once you’re done filling in all the lines on the front quarter of the dress pattern (The front half of the pattern, as you see it), repeat for the back half.

.

Connect all the points with a smooth, curved line, then carefully cut the pattern out, through both layers of paper.

* These measurements are random and – for most dresses – completely nonsensical. I just wanted to use nice, easy numbers to math with, it’s early in the morning 🙂

Important Note on Cutting the Fabric:

Whether or not you’re doing different measurements for the centers / sides, you’ll want to know where those points fall, when you cut the fabric.

If it’s all the same length – sides, center front, center back – you can mark the center points and the side points of the cut fabric with pins – this will be at the waistline, as the hem doesn’t really need to be divided/marked out**. This will help you evenly distribute the fullness when attaching your skirt.

If you have different lengths, you’ll make your life a lot easier if you not only mark the points with pins, but also label them. I like to keep painters tape on hand for this, marking “center front”, “center back”, “side”, and “side” right next to the pins, as soon as the fabric is cut.

This is especially important when working with slithery, annoying fabrics like chiffon.

** Unless you need center/side points of the hem marked for a design element you’re adding to the skirt, such as applique. In that case, I recommend marking the points on the hem with TAPE, not pins. Pins are far more likely to come out, when you’re dealing with the fullness of the hem edge fabric!

Hope this helps!

Additional Product Recommendations

So, as I stated at the start, there are some products that make you life easier, or just make pattern drafting a bit easier / cleaner / more fun.

Square Rule

You can go small with this – for convenience and/or budget – or larger. Larger is great for when you’re dealing with dance length skirts. Here are two great examples of the type I like – the first is smaller (usually for leather work and such), the second is bigger, and usually used for home improvement projects.

Flexible Curve Ruler

This item is usually used by engineers, but it’s GREAT for the sewing room. I have two sizes, a short one (about 12″), and a longer one (about 36″). You can bend and curve these to come up with a nice, rounded edge to join the points, then use it to trace that line. It’s a lot nicer than connecting the points manually, and allows not only for doing so with fewer interim points, but to do more abstract joins. Want to scallop the edges, but still follow the averaged curve? This is the toy for you!

Listing from shortest to longest:

French Curves

This is more for general pattern making – especially applique design – but I figure I’ll mention it here, while I’m thinking of it. I am personally not great at freehand drawing curves, so these are great to work with. These come in sets of various styles, but basically similar.

To be honest, I usually just buy based on aesthetic – I personally like transparent, and lean towards blue or green. Here are a few different sets. The last one is a bit different, as a smaller version of some of the fashion curve rules I use. I have one of that type of set, and one like the first 5 examples shown:

Fashion Rulers

So this again is something not as applicable to circle skirts specifically, but very topical – also, the sets usually have a bit of overlap with some of the above items, so it’s good to buy them together to avoid double purchasing something you don’t necessarily need multiples of.

Full disclosure: The set I use is an expensive, aluminum set that I bought a couple decades ago – and I have no idea where from. It looks a lot like the last example listed here. So, these are very similar, but not *exactly* what I use. If anything ever happens to my aluminum set, I’ll be buying one of these as replacements! I’m hard on my tools sometimes, so I’d be going for aluminum again – but I get a ton of use out of them, and – like I said – they’ve already lasted me a couple of decades at this point. If you’re a home user – rather than a business- I think the plastic would be a great budget option!

Rotary Tape Compass

This one is a bit more of an investment – and a single purpose item – so I really only recommend it if you’re doing a LOT of circle skirts that are actual circles. You’d set the first measurement to the radius of the hips, then the bigger measurement would be the radius of the hips PLUS the measurement of the skirt from the waist line – you’d be measuring both of the lengths out from the same point, so it’s important to add that hip radius to the length measurement, when using this tool / method.

I think that’s it! I hope the tutorial and tool recommendations help you out!

Also, if you have any requests for future tutorials, feel free to leave a comment below!


Interested in learning more about sewing for figure skaters? Check out my book “Spandex Simplified: Sewing for Skaters“! In it, you’ll learn everything you need to know about designing and creating spectacular and durable figure skating dresses.

This book is appropriate for beginner to advanced levels of sewing ability, and is written from both a designer, and former figure skater’s point of view. It will teach everything from the basics, to tricks of the trade. “Spandex Simplified : Sewing for Skaters” will prepare the reader to design and make almost any design of practice or competition dress imaginable.

Given the cost of decent competition suits – or even practice dresses! – this manual will more than pay for itself with the savings from just one project!

The entire book is written completely in laymans’ terms and carefully explained, step by step. Only basic sewing knowledge and talent is required. Learn everything from measuring, to easily creating ornate applique designs, to embellishing the finished suit in one book! For a complete table of contents, more information, or to order, click here.

“Maize Craze” Campaign Launched This Morning!

Hey everyone,

If you’ve been following me on social media, you may have noticed that I’ve been working on another cookbook. Well, the campaign for it launched this morning, so I wanted to tell you a bit about it.

This project is a little different from my past cookbooks, for a few reasons:

1. It’s mostly done!

Unlike all of my other cookbook campaigns that were each started from scratch, this book is probably 80% done at this point.

It was actually released as “Sweet Corn Spectacular”, my first – and LAST – traditionally published cookbook. I had to make a lot of compromises to fit the publisher’s parameters, and was really unhappy with how it turned out. The name, cover, cover font, lack of photos – and the few photos they had were in black and white – it just wasn’t ME.

I had the rights reverted back to me a year ago, and have been working on giving the book an overhaul – it’ll now have full colour photography, with a photo for EVERY recipe… be in my voice, have more detailed directions where needed, and more. Also, I’ll be adding a few new recipes!

As the publisher’s plan was to only include a few photos in the original book, not many of the recipes were photographed at the time – so we’ve been working on that lately, taking advantage of corn season.

2. “Legacy” and “Retail” book sizes.

Remember shortly after “More Than Poutine” came out, the printer raised their prices to the point where I’d need to significantly raise the price of my books, or change their size? Well, that’s made things tricky when it came to planning the reward levels for this book!

As someone with an eye to detail and patterns myself, I wanted to offer the opportunity to buy Maize Craze in the same size as all of my previous titles, before the change. I figured it would look silly to have multiple books from my line in one size, and then the final one (spoilers!) Slightly smaller.

SO – and this is only available through this Kickstarter campaign – I am offering “Legacy” sized books as an option. If you have any of my previous books – or have gifted them to people you would like to gift this book to – and would like to keep the same size here, that is the option you should choose. This is only available on a few reward levels, so be careful which you choose!

If size isn’t an issue, there are also listings for “retail” sized books – these are the slightly smaller books, and are a few dollars cheaper on this campaign.

Again, legacy sizing will ONLY be available through this campaign, so if you have a collection you’d like to finish off, this would be the time to do it!

3. It’s in .CAD!

I moved back to Canada, and that’s resulted in a few changes to the campaign, this time around.

Don’t freak out about the “high” prices on the rewards – they’re listed in Canadian funds. Give or take a few cents for the sake of rounding, they’re the same as they’ve been on all previous campaigns, just with currency conversion applied.

Additionally, there have been some changes to shipping, as logistics have changed.

Books will now be shipped both from the US and Canada, and the new prices reflect that. Books going to Canada have a slightly cheaper cost now, and books to the USA are slightly more expensive, reflecting the most recent changes to USPS shipping prices.

Canadian orders should arrive a lot faster now (depending on Canada Post!), and will not be subject to duty, etc.

4. No more international shipping

Figuring out international shipping tables has gotten far more complicated, and – from my experience – sweet corn isn’t as big of a THING in the rest of the world. So… we decided to save a few days worth of headache, and just not ship overseas from the Kickstarter.

That doesn’t mean you’re completely out of luck if you live outside of the Canada or US, though – Feel free to pledge $1 to basically subscribe to member updates, and we’ll let you know when the book is available to be shipped overseas, from our normal website set up.

Our shopping cart system is Shopify, and is much better able to calculate accurate shipping costs specific to each country. I’m sorry to make you wait, but this way will be a lot better for everyone!

5. Much shorter campaign.

In the past, I’ve done mostly 60 or 45 day campaigns – and those take a lot of stamina and are prolonged stress. This time around – where our goal minimum is a fair amount lower than usual – we’re going with a 30 day campaign.

6. This will probably be my final cookbook.

… at least for the foreseeable future.

As an autistic woman I have somewhat weird cycles when it comes to careers – I do my thing, and then I’m done and move on to the next one. Sometimes I cycle back eventually – I’m back to doing spandex costuming after taking several years off – but I generally know when a change is coming.

Think of it like Doctor Who regenerations.

I’ve known for a while that my time with cookbooks is drawing to an end, I just wanted to make sure to right this particular wrong before I move on to my next adventure!

I sincerely thank every one of you for supporting my cookbook career along the way, and I hope you’ll stay in touch even after the last copy of Maize Craze has been distributed!

——————————————-

With all of that said, I would love for you to check out the campaign, which is now live at www.maizecraze.ca . Please consider backing it, sharing it on social media, etc. You know the drill!

Thanks in advance for your support, let’s have some fun with this one!

Marie

PS: As you may (or may not?) know, the first day of a Kickstarter campaign is the most important day, to really get the ball rolling. Starting out with a mob of backers trips something in Kickstarter’s algorithms, resulting in a lot of additional help from Kickstarter in showcasing the campaign to Kickstarter members. It can make a huge difference to the outcome of a campaign, so please consider backing / sharing today in particular.

Also consider this your heads up that my social media output today will very heavily be Kickstarter related!

Big Changes – If You’ve Purchased My Cookbooks, Please Read This!

Hey everyone,

So, I’ve been dealing with a … uh, fun… hand dealt to me, and I guess it’s time to let you all know about it, as it could possibly affect you – especially at this time of year.

Almost *immediately* after my latest book – More Than Poutine – was released, the printer jacked their prices for that particular size/format of book by over 50%. This rise in print prices eats up my entire profit, when it comes to wholesale book sales – including those sold through Amazon and other major online book retailers. After print cost and wholesale discount / book sellers cut comes out, there was nothing left for me!

Not only was it obscene, it was the worst possibly timing – I effectively lost online sales profit from the first month that More Than Poutine was released. First month, right before the holidays… Ouch.

In going back and forth with the printer/publisher, it came down to either increasing my retail price drastically, or changing the size of the book. After some thought, I decided to go with the latter option.

The original size of the books – all of my cookbooks – was 7 x 10. A small change, down to 6×10 was all it took to bring the cost down to almost what it had been, originally. Luckily, my original font size was large enough that the change is barely noticeable -it’s still very easy to read.

It’s been a LOT of work to reformat each of my six cookbooks – re-cropping every single photo, changing font sizes, adjusting everything as a result, completely redoing the covers, etc – but most of the books are now currently in revision at the printer/publisher, with the final two (Evil Cake Overlord and The Spirited Baker) going in for revision later this week.

How does this affect you?

Well, personally – and this may be my own autistic need for consistency! – I would be really annoyed to be collecting books, and have the next purchase end up a different size. So, here’s the deal:

The books I personally have on hand are all of the original size. If you are looking to complete your collection, or are looking to buy more for someone you’ve previously gifted one or more of my books to, you’ll want to order them off my website , here: http://www.celebrationgeneration.com/blog/book-store

I have a limited stock of these, so you will want to do so sooner rather than later – sorry about that! Once my current stock is gone, I’ll have to order the new size in, as that’s all that will be available.

Moving forward – as I have at least 1 more cookbook to write – the original size of new titles will be made available through Kickstarters ONLY, as a special “legacy sized” option – and this will cost a bit more than it has, historically. The new size will be the main option, and this will be indicated in the details for the campaign.

My sincerest apologies for this! Had it been a small change – and just a matter of making a little less on each book – I probably would have let it slide. Not being able to earn anything from my work, however, is untenable!

Once again, thank you for all of your support!

Marie

Moon Mist Ice Cream Recipe

Moon Mist Ice Cream!

Yesterday marked the official release date of my latest cookbook, “More Than Poutine: Favourite Foods from My Home and Native Land”!

Maybe it’s that I’m a Canadian living away from home – during troubling times! – maybe it’s that I love a challenge… but I am especially proud of this book. It’s definitely my favourite among the cookbooks I’ve written – not only does it have all of the great traditional recipes from back home (from across the country!), but I developed a bunch of homemade, VERY accurate versions of all of the store-bought comfort foods that are most prized by expat Canadians.

More Than Poutine

There’s a lot of really great stuff in here, to the point where I can’t help but laugh when I flip through the book – I really got ridiculous about it. There are recipes in there that I’ve been meaning to replicate for years, and just hadn’t gotten around to. It was funny, some of the things I got the MOST requests for… like mass produced cream cheese chip dips, and BBQ sauce you can buy for $2.XX back home! I’m so proud to have created recipes that are all but indistinguishable from the source material!

Due to trademark issues, none of the actual source material names are mentioned in the book, so I had fun coming up with alternative names. Canadians will be able to identify most – if not all – if them almost instantly, from the photos alone. For everyone else… consider it a fun game, a bit of bonus entertainment! 🙂

In addition to having over 120 base recipes for traditional and retail Canadian foods, all but 2 or 3 of the recipes that aren’t already inherently gluten free include alternate ingredients and instructions to create very accurate, pass-for-normal-food, gluten-free versions of almost everything in here!

Anyway.

Moon Mist Ice Cream

This recipe – which I called “Lunar Vapour” in the book – ended up being a last minute addition to More Than Poutine, as the result of a conversation with a Halifax food blogger, Lindsay of “Eat This Town“. Lindsay mentioned a type of ice cream popular in Nova Scotia – one that sounded either amazing or revolting, I wasn’t quite sure! – Banana, Bubblegum, and Grape marbled ice cream!

(Side note: We must love weird ice cream flavours in general, up here. While I grew up on it and love it, Tiger Tail Ice Cream has DEFINITELY raised some eyebrows amoung my American friends and readers!)

After a bit of research, I was shocked that this hadn’t come up when polling people for recipes to include in this book, as it appears it’s wildly popular – not only in Nova Scotia, but in New Brunswick and Newfoundland too! I was shocked to hear about Newfoundland, as I’d never seen it there in the few years I lived there… but then again, I was pretty obsessed with The One True Ice Cream there: Moo Moo’s Turtle Cheesecake. MMMMmm. Anyway, here we are.

This recipe is the only one I’ve had to do with no exposure to the source material, because logistics are absolutely in the way in this case. So, I adapted my own basic ice cream recipe to be a bit closer to commercial ice cream style (higher milk to egg yolk/heavy cream ratio than I normally go with!), and flavoured it to a nicely balanced level, using widely available flavourings. Even if this isn’t exactly as the source material is, it should definitely be very close – and it’ll be the closest you can come, using retail-available flavourings!

The colours I used were all Americolor gel paste colourings, in “Lemon Yellow”, “Sky Blue”, and “Regal Purple”. The Regal Purple was mixed with a little bit of “Electric Pink” to tone down the blue in the “Regal Purple”.. but this was completely optional fussiness on my part!.

Moon Mist Ice Cream

These colors are widely available at cake decorating supply stores, as well as online… but any food colouring will work!

While you’re waiting for everything to chill, be sure to check out what others are saying about the book on Amazon – HERE – and buy your own copy, either from Amazon, or from my site directly, Here.

Enjoy!

Note: This site is a participant in the Amazon Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for the site to earn fees by linking to Amazon and affiliated sites. While I’ll only ever link to items that I, personally, wholeheartedly recommend, I do need to put that disclosure out there!

Moon Mist Ice Cream

With 2017 being Canada’s 150th birthday, it’s about time I wrote the Canadian cookbook I’ve been planning for YEARS.

“More than Poutine” will be a Canadian cookbook like no other – written by a Canadian living away, it includes both traditional homecooking recipes, as well as homemade versions of many of the snacks, sauces, convenience foods, and other food items that are hard to come by outside of Canada!

High quality gluten-free versions of most recipes are included.

“More Than Poutine” is available for purchase, here.

Interested in Gluten-free cooking and baking? You’ll LOVE Beyond Flour: A Fresh Approach to Gluten-Free Cooking and Baking!

How many times have you come across a gluten-free recipe claiming to be “just as good as the normal version!”, only to wind up with weird textures, aftertastes, etc? Most gluten-free recipes are developed by taking a “normal” recipe, and swapping in a simulated “all purpose” gluten-free flour… whether store bought, or a homemade version. “Beyond Flour” takes a different approach: developing the recipe from scratch. Rather than swapping out the flour for an “all purpose” mix, I use various alternative flours as individual ingredients – skillfully blending flavours, textures, and other properties unique to each flour. Supporting ingredients and different techniques are also utilized to achieve the perfect end goal … not just a “reasonable facsimile”. Order your copy here.

Looking for even MORE fantastic gluten-free recipes? Beyond Flour now has a sequel: Beyond Flour 2: A Fresh Approach to Gluten-Free Cooking and Baking!

Imagine gluten-free foods that are as good – or better! – than their traditional, gluten-filled counterparts. Imagine no longer settling for foods with bizarre after-tastes, gummy consistency, and/or cardboard texture. Imagine graham crackers that taste just like the real thing. Crisp, flaky crackers…without the sandy texture. Hybrid tortillas that: look and act like flour tortillas, with the taste of fresh roasted corn! Imagine chewy, delicious cookies that *everyone* will want to eat! Imagine BAGELS. If you’ve cooked from “Beyond Flour”, you already know that these fantasies can be reality – it’s all in the development of the recipes. Order your copy here.

Gluten Free Beaver Tails Recipe

Gluten Free Beaver Tails!

With More Than Poutine available for pre-order now, it time for me to get the word out!

So, for this blog entry, I’d love to share one of the HUGE requests I had for the cookbook, and talk a little bit about the gluten-free accommodations in the book.

More Than Poutine is probably the most ambitious concept I’ve taken on for a cookbook project. Not only was the scope pretty big – Canadian food! – I decided that I wanted to provide gluten-free versions for (almost) everything, as well.

The vast majority of the recipes are gluten-free by default. Many have a very easy swap, such as using a GF soy sauce instead of a regular soy sauce. Most of the rest have a note at the end with ingredient substitutions, etc to make a gluten-free version. I think only 2-3 of the 120+ recipes do not have a gluten-free version. It’s kinda hard to make a gluten free version of Winnipeg Style Rye bread, for instance, given that rye itself is glutenny!

For all of the recipes with alternate ingredients, I developed the GF versions the same way I developed Beyond Flour and Beyond Flour 2 – using custom combinations of alternate flours, specific to each recipe… rather than “all purpose” mixes. Doing it this way guarantees the best results, and tends to turn out a product that’s as good as the real thing, if not *completely* indistinguishable from the original.

Anyway!

These pastries are based on a well known, extremely popular pastry, widely available at festivals and fairs across Canada. Whole wheat dough is stretched out to long ovals and fried, then topped with a variety of goodies. You can go as basic as a brushing of melted butter and sprinkle of cinnamon sugar, or go more wild.

On the “more wild” end, the pastries are usually spread with something sweet – Nutella, peanut butter, Jam, Maple butter, etc – before being sprinkled with candies, chopped nuts, sliced fruits, etc. You can even follow up with a drizzle of more sugar – chocolate sauce, caramel, etc!

When it came to making a gluten-free version, the challenge was twofold: Make a bread product that has a great texture (soft, not gummy or chalky!), AND replicates the taste of whole wheat.

Well, I’m proud to say I succeeded in both! This dough makes a very soft BeaverTail, with none of the “gluten-free” texture issues.

The use of rice bran and flax meal is a combination I came up with when developing Beyond Flour 2, when creating legitimate graham crackers… and it worked beautifully here to mimic the flavour and character of whole wheat flour.

So, whether the source material here is something you miss from pre-gluten-free days, or whether it’s something you’ve never been able to have – and always wanted to try – this recipe will serve you well!

Enjoy … and be sure to pre-order your copy of More Than Poutine, here!

Note:As with all recipes based on a commercial source material, this recipe is named something else in the book!

Note: This site is a participant in the Amazon Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for the site to earn fees by linking to Amazon and affiliated sites. While I’ll only ever link to items that I, personally, wholeheartedly recommend, I do need to put that disclosure out there!

Gluten Free Beaver Tails

Gluten Free Beaver Tails

With 2017 being Canada’s 150th birthday, it’s about time I wrote the Canadian cookbook I’ve been planning for YEARS.

“More than Poutine” will be a Canadian cookbook like no other – written by a Canadian living away, it includes both traditional homecooking recipes, as well as homemade versions of many of the snacks, sauces, convenience foods, and other food items that are hard to come by outside of Canada!

High quality gluten-free versions of most recipes are included.

“More Than Poutine” is available for purchase, here.

Interested in Gluten-free cooking and baking? You’ll LOVE Beyond Flour: A Fresh Approach to Gluten-Free Cooking and Baking!

How many times have you come across a gluten-free recipe claiming to be “just as good as the normal version!”, only to wind up with weird textures, aftertastes, etc? Most gluten-free recipes are developed by taking a “normal” recipe, and swapping in a simulated “all purpose” gluten-free flour… whether store bought, or a homemade version. “Beyond Flour” takes a different approach: developing the recipe from scratch. Rather than swapping out the flour for an “all purpose” mix, I use various alternative flours as individual ingredients – skillfully blending flavours, textures, and other properties unique to each flour. Supporting ingredients and different techniques are also utilized to achieve the perfect end goal … not just a “reasonable facsimile”. Order your copy here.

Looking for even MORE fantastic gluten-free recipes? Beyond Flour now has a sequel: Beyond Flour 2: A Fresh Approach to Gluten-Free Cooking and Baking!

Imagine gluten-free foods that are as good – or better! – than their traditional, gluten-filled counterparts. Imagine no longer settling for foods with bizarre after-tastes, gummy consistency, and/or cardboard texture. Imagine graham crackers that taste just like the real thing. Crisp, flaky crackers…without the sandy texture. Hybrid tortillas that: look and act like flour tortillas, with the taste of fresh roasted corn! Imagine chewy, delicious cookies that *everyone* will want to eat! Imagine BAGELS. If you’ve cooked from “Beyond Flour”, you already know that these fantasies can be reality – it’s all in the development of the recipes. Order your copy here.

Dill Pickle Cream Cheese Dip

Dill Pickle Cream Cheese Dip

Well, it’s been a long time coming, but I’m happy to announce that the big day is finally here – pre-orders are now open for my upcoming book, “More Than Poutine: Favourite Foods from My Home and Native Land!

If you’re new here, the basics: It’s a cookbook that is written from the point of view of a Canadian no longer living in Canada. Not only does it have great recipes for all of the well known, national favourites… it covers many regional specialties, as well as accurate homemade versions of many of the foods that you can’t buy outside of Canada! It was a lot of fun to develop, and I’m so proud of it!

Anyway, to mark the occasion, I’m going to share one of the recipes that was MOST requested when I polled other expats for commercial foodstuffs that they miss: Dill Pickle Cream Cheese Dip.

There is a line of cream cheese dips back home that is very popular, but not really seen as a Canadian thing… until you leave. Amazingly enough, while the brand that produces them is widely available in the US, this particular product is not carried anywhere but in Canada.

For “More Than Poutine”, I developed VERY accurate replica recipes for all 6 flavours of this line – all of which are very quick and easy to make! Gluten-free, too!

The look and texture are bang-on, as-is the flavour… so long as you use the right pickles! The type of pickle you use will affect the overall taste in the end, so for maximum accuracy, go for a Kosher Dill or Garlic Dill pickle. If you’re not familiar with the source material, feel free to use whatever type of pickle you love to eat.

I hope you enjoy this recipe, and the many others (120+!) in the book. Click here for more information on the book, and to place your preorder today!

With 2017 being Canada’s 150th birthday, it’s about time I wrote the Canadian cookbook I’ve been planning for YEARS.

“More than Poutine” will be a Canadian cookbook like no other – written by a Canadian living away, it includes both traditional homecooking recipes, as well as homemade versions of many of the snacks, sauces, convenience foods, and other food items that are hard to come by outside of Canada!

High quality gluten-free versions of most recipes are included.

“More Than Poutine” is available for preorder, here.

Interested in Gluten-free cooking and baking? You’ll LOVE Beyond Flour: A Fresh Approach to Gluten-Free Cooking and Baking!

How many times have you come across a gluten-free recipe claiming to be “just as good as the normal version!”, only to wind up with weird textures, aftertastes, etc? Most gluten-free recipes are developed by taking a “normal” recipe, and swapping in a simulated “all purpose” gluten-free flour… whether store bought, or a homemade version. “Beyond Flour” takes a different approach: developing the recipe from scratch. Rather than swapping out the flour for an “all purpose” mix, I use various alternative flours as individual ingredients – skillfully blending flavours, textures, and other properties unique to each flour. Supporting ingredients and different techniques are also utilized to achieve the perfect end goal … not just a “reasonable facsimile”. Order your copy here.

Looking for even MORE fantastic gluten-free recipes? Beyond Flour now has a sequel: Beyond Flour 2: A Fresh Approach to Gluten-Free Cooking and Baking!

Imagine gluten-free foods that are as good – or better! – than their traditional, gluten-filled counterparts. Imagine no longer settling for foods with bizarre after-tastes, gummy consistency, and/or cardboard texture. Imagine graham crackers that taste just like the real thing. Crisp, flaky crackers…without the sandy texture. Hybrid tortillas that: look and act like flour tortillas, with the taste of fresh roasted corn! Imagine chewy, delicious cookies that *everyone* will want to eat! Imagine BAGELS. If you’ve cooked from “Beyond Flour”, you already know that these fantasies can be reality – it’s all in the development of the recipes. Order your copy here.

Gluten-Free Schmoo Torte Recipe

Schmoo torte is very much a Winnipeg thing, though locals don’t tend to *know* how exclusively Winnipeg it is, til they move away!

Schmoo – or “Shmoo”, depending on who’s writing it – is a soft, pecan-laced angel food cake that is torted and filled with sweetened whipped cream, before being served up with a buttery caramel sauce. This decadent cake is served at various bakeries and dessert restaurants around the city, and apparently it’s very common at Winnipeg Bar Mitzvahs- but you don’t really see it anywhere else.

While it’s not generally something that people tend to make at home, it’s not actually all that difficult to make. As a bonus, it’s not something that has much pressure to look pretty, either! Slather some whipped cream on, messily drizzle that caramel over it… it’s all good.

When it comes to doing a gluten-free cake, Schmoo adapts beautifully. Where there is such a reliance on the egg whites for structure – and the fact that it includes nut meal, a staple in gluten-free baking – much of the concerns with GF baking don’t even apply.

Choosing flours and starches purely for flavour and texture, this recipe produces a Schmoo torte that is virtually indistinguishable from the full-gluten source material.

Schmoo Torte is one of the over 80 recipes featured in my upcoming book, More Than Poutine. Preorders will be opening soon, be sure to subscribe to our email list to receive that announcement! (Note: We only send emails once every few months / a few times every year)

Note: This site is a participant in the Amazon Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for the site to earn fees by linking to Amazon and affiliated sites. While I’ll only ever link to items that I, personally, wholeheartedly recommend, I do need to put that disclosure out there!

Schmoo Torte


With 2017 being Canada’s 150th birthday, it’s about time I wrote the Canadian cookbook I’ve been planning for YEARS.

“More than Poutine” will be a Canadian cookbook like no other – written by a Canadian living away, it includes both traditional homecooking recipes, as well as homemade versions of many of the snacks, sauces, convenience foods, and other food items that are hard to come by outside of Canada!

High quality gluten-free versions of most recipes will be included.

“More Than Poutine is available for preorder, here.

Interested in Gluten-free cooking and baking? You’ll LOVE Beyond Flour: A Fresh Approach to Gluten-Free Cooking and Baking!

How many times have you come across a gluten-free recipe claiming to be “just as good as the normal version!”, only to wind up with weird textures, aftertastes, etc? Most gluten-free recipes are developed by taking a “normal” recipe, and swapping in a simulated “all purpose” gluten-free flour… whether store bought, or a homemade version. “Beyond Flour” takes a different approach: developing the recipe from scratch. Rather than swapping out the flour for an “all purpose” mix, I use various alternative flours as individual ingredients – skillfully blending flavours, textures, and other properties unique to each flour. Supporting ingredients and different techniques are also utilized to achieve the perfect end goal … not just a “reasonable facsimile”. Order your copy here.

Looking for even MORE fantastic gluten-free recipes? Beyond Flour now has a sequel: Beyond Flour 2: A Fresh Approach to Gluten-Free Cooking and Baking!

Imagine gluten-free foods that are as good – or better! – than their traditional, gluten-filled counterparts. Imagine no longer settling for foods with bizarre after-tastes, gummy consistency, and/or cardboard texture. Imagine graham crackers that taste just like the real thing. Crisp, flaky crackers…without the sandy texture. Hybrid tortillas that: look and act like flour tortillas, with the taste of fresh roasted corn! Imagine chewy, delicious cookies that *everyone* will want to eat! Imagine BAGELS. If you’ve cooked from “Beyond Flour”, you already know that these fantasies can be reality – it’s all in the development of the recipes. Order your copy here.

Gluten-Free Fried Brie Recipe

Gluten-Free Fried Brie

Sometimes, inspiration comes from the weirdest places – as was the case for my Gluten-Free Fried Brie.

My husband and I used to play Ingress. One night, we were hanging out in one of the Ingress chat rooms, and the subject of poutine randomly came up. Myself and one other player were adamant about the fact that you *cannot* get legit poutine anywhere in Minneapolis, while some other players asked for details about what poutine even IS.

One guy asked if it used cheddar curds, or if it was something else. My husband was feeling troll-y, so he replied “Brie curds”, knowing full well that such a thing could never even exist, technically. Well, one thing led to another, and we decided engage in some sacrilege – battering and deep frying brie. Rather than a normal beer batter, I decided that this needed a white wine batter, with a little garlic.

Beyond Flour, Beyond Flour 2

Oh, these were *fantastic*. So much so, that they ended up in my cookbook, Beyond Flour 2: A Fresh Approach to Gluten-Free Cooking & Baking

The first time we made this, we used the cheapest brie we could find – we were feeling a bit guilty about what we were about to do to it! It turned out so well, we tried it again with a name brand, mid grade brie. We definitely recommend going with a nicer brie, rather than the cheapest you can find. It really did make a difference, and the finished product is SO good, I don’t think it ended up counting as sacrilege.

Gluten-Free Fried Brie

Try to use a pretty fresh brie – you want it relatively firm. Once the center starts liquifying, it would be very difficult to work with.

Not gluten free? You can make this with gluten, just use 1 cup of all purpose flour in place of the garbanzo and rice flours. It won’t have quite as nice of a flavour, but it will definitely taste great!

Note: This site is a participant in the Amazon Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for the site to earn fees by linking to Amazon and affiliated sites. While I’ll only ever link to items that I, personally, wholeheartedly recommend, I do need to put that disclosure out there!

Gluten-Free Fried Brie

Gluten-Free Fried Brie

Interested in Gluten-free cooking and baking? You’ll LOVE Beyond Flour: A Fresh Approach to Gluten-Free Cooking and Baking!

How many times have you come across a gluten-free recipe claiming to be “just as good as the normal version!”, only to wind up with weird textures, aftertastes, etc? Most gluten-free recipes are developed by taking a “normal” recipe, and swapping in a simulated “all purpose” gluten-free flour… whether store bought, or a homemade version. “Beyond Flour” takes a different approach: developing the recipe from scratch. Rather than swapping out the flour for an “all purpose” mix, I use various alternative flours as individual ingredients – skillfully blending flavours, textures, and other properties unique to each flour. Supporting ingredients and different techniques are also utilized to achieve the perfect end goal … not just a “reasonable facsimile”. Order your copy here.

Looking for even MORE fantastic gluten-free recipes? Beyond Flour now has a sequel: Beyond Flour 2: A Fresh Approach to Gluten-Free Cooking and Baking!

Imagine gluten-free foods that are as good – or better! – than their traditional, gluten-filled counterparts. Imagine no longer settling for foods with bizarre after-tastes, gummy consistency, and/or cardboard texture. Imagine graham crackers that taste just like the real thing. Crisp, flaky crackers…without the sandy texture. Hybrid tortillas that: look and act like flour tortillas, with the taste of fresh roasted corn! Imagine chewy, delicious cookies that *everyone* will want to eat! Imagine BAGELS. If you’ve cooked from “Beyond Flour”, you already know that these fantasies can be reality – it’s all in the development of the recipes. Order your copy here.

BIG NEWS for International Book Sales!

Hey everyone,

So, this post has been a long time coming, and may get a little convoluted, so bear with me…

As you may know, if you’ve ordered a book from me to be shipped overseas… mailing anything over 1 lb (ie: all my books) gets obscenely expensive.

I can’t help that – my shipping prices are based on shipping tables from USPS, taking weight and destination into account. They’re actually out of date, because I get lazy and frustrated when the prices go up, and haven’t changed them for the last two price changes. I just eat the cost difference and grumble about it.

Well, great news! Through my publisher, I’m now able to send orders to their printers in Australia and the UK, for direct shipment from those countries! This option is also there – in some cases – for surrounding countries. New Zealand, for example, can be shipped to from Australia for less than half the price that I have to charge! (Economy shipping, though. Premium is insane for Australia-> New Zealand.)

Throughout every test order I’ve inputted, it is coming out *monumentally* cheaper, and should even be a little quicker… even with the print processing time.

The “convoluted” comes in with pricing. Right now, my pricing is straightforward, using the aforementioned shipping tables. When shipping directly from one of the overseas printers, though, I don’t actually know what the price is, until I put the order in with the printer. There is a handling fee that varies based on order, taxes, etc. Using one of my cookbooks as an example (one
they were using for all test runs), sending a book to an Australia address is $15.54 AUS (about $11 USD), rather than the $23.XX USD that book currently costs me to ship.

That’s for premium, trackable shipping, btw – and tracking is something that is *obscenely* expensive – when it’s even available – for USPS overseas. Economy (non trackable) is about $3.50 AUS cheaper in this instance.

As another example, it recently cost me $34.50 USD in postage to send 2 books to a customer in France. Shipped from the UK printer, that comes down to $8.26 USD in shipping!

Unfortunately, because things are varying wildly… it’s not something I can build a shipping table for, when it comes to my shopping cart setup for ordering.

SO.

From what I’m seeing, the best way I’ll be able to do this is to use the printing-abroad option from my publisher, send directly from them, and just refund the difference through Shopify, my credit card processor. When you place an order, it doesn’t charge your card until I process the order manually, and it gives me the option to refund, partial refund, etc at that time… so the amount charged should be the actual, cheaper shipping cost.

It’s a little messy, I know… but better than getting stuck with paying the price for shipping from the USA, I would imagine! Bonus for not having USPS handle them (don’t get me started on the HUNDREDS of dollars of books they destroyed/lost during my last Kickstarter shipment!), and not having to deal with customs!

Now, that’s addressing retail customers.

Another really nice thing about this set up is that I’m now FAR more able to handle direct wholesale orders abroad, at least in the UK, Australia, and nearby countries.

I handle wholesale orders a little differently – The interested company tells me what titles and amounts of books they would like, I input the order, and give them the total. In this case, it will work the same as it does with my domestic wholesale orders, it’s just far more reasonable to DO so, given the ability for much cheaper shipping.

SO!

In summary:

If you are in the UK, Australia, or any of the surrounding countries and want to buy my books directly from me, go ahead and do so as-is. Hold your breath when you get the initial shipping total, yes, but just know that it’s not the actual amount. When your order is processed, it will be for the correct amount, to be shipped from either the UK or Australia.

If you are in the USA, UK, Australia, or any of the surrounding countries and would like to carry my books in your store – awesome! Shoot me an email, and I will give you the link to our wholesaler page. Get back to me with book titles and amounts, I will price out your order and send a custom invoice to pay online. It will ship from whichever country makes the most sense, in your case.

Woo!

Whether you’re in the USA or not, looking to be a retail or wholesale customer… welcome aboard! Feel free to email me with any questions you may have, and I look forward to doing business with you!

Gluten-Free Cheese Crackers Recipe

Gluten-Free Cheese Crackers Recipe: Like “Cheez-Its”, but Better!

Hey, did you know that Beyond Flour 2 came out a couple weeks ago? Neither did I!

Well, I guess technically I DID… but between a convention, Halloween, the election, etc… I managed to completely forget to formally announce it. Whoops! I’m definitely more of a recipe developer than a book marketer, so dropping the ball on promoting it probably shouldn’t surprise me. Yikes, though.

It’s a great book, if I do say so myself. After tackling a bunch of “Holy Grail” type recipes in the first Beyond Flour – Chewy cookies, stuffed pasta, perogies, proper pita bread, and more – I had even more confidence and experience when it came to developing the sequel, so I got to play around a bit more.

It’s fun to see what you can come up with, when you throw convention to the wind. I’m particularly proud of the graham crackers and hybrid tortillas – each of which make use of *one* specialty ingredient, which makes all the difference with each respective recipe. In the graham crackers, that recipe’s secret ingredient means the difference between those vaguely cinnamon flavoured GF crackers that are labelled as “Graham crackers”, and proper graham crackers that are completely indistinguishable from the source material. For the hybrid tortillas, THAT special ingredient meant the ability to create a tortilla that looks and acts like a flour tortilla, but with the taste of freshly roasted corn.

SCIENCE. I love it!

Also pretty proud of the bagels and soft pretzels, but I don’t want to sound like I’m bragging. 🙂

ANYWAY.

2 weeks late, I’d like to mark the occasion of the book release, by sharing one of the recipes from Beyond Flour 2: Cheese crackers. This is one of a few cracker recipes in the book, including butter crackers (Like Ritz), and a grainy rectangular cracker inspired by my favourite from my pre-GF days, Vinta.

3 of the cracker recipes from Beyond Flour 2

I’ve just never really been into the commercially available GF crackers, you know? They tend to cost an insane amount of money, and tend to be either mini hockey pucks, or basically compressed powder. Also: They almost always taste like sadness.

I wanted crispy, flaky crackers that tasted right. Buttery, flavourful crackers with airy layers… that would also hold up to being served with toppings. It was a tall order, but I did it!

These cheese crackers were inspired by Cheez-Its… but they’re so much better. The use of good cheese in these really elevates them over the source material, with a cleaner, clearer cheese taste. These puff up significantly in the oven, yielding very flaky, buttery crackers.

You may want to double the batch, as they go fast!

Enjoy!


Note: This site is a participant in the Amazon Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for the site to earn fees by linking to Amazon and affiliated sites. While I’ll only ever link to items that I, personally, wholeheartedly recommend, I do need to put that disclosure out there!

Gluten-Free Cheese Crackers

Gluten-Free Cheese Crackers

Interested in Gluten-free cooking and baking? You’ll LOVE Beyond Flour: A Fresh Approach to Gluten-Free Cooking and Baking!

How many times have you come across a gluten-free recipe claiming to be “just as good as the normal version!”, only to wind up with weird textures, aftertastes, etc? Most gluten-free recipes are developed by taking a “normal” recipe, and swapping in a simulated “all purpose” gluten-free flour… whether store bought, or a homemade version. “Beyond Flour” takes a different approach: developing the recipe from scratch. Rather than swapping out the flour for an “all purpose” mix, I use various alternative flours as individual ingredients – skillfully blending flavours, textures, and other properties unique to each flour. Supporting ingredients and different techniques are also utilized to achieve the perfect end goal … not just a “reasonable facsimile”. Order your copy here.

Looking for even MORE fantastic gluten-free recipes? Beyond Flour now has a sequel: Beyond Flour 2: A Fresh Approach to Gluten-Free Cooking and Baking!

Imagine gluten-free foods that are as good – or better! – than their traditional, gluten-filled counterparts. Imagine no longer settling for foods with bizarre after-tastes, gummy consistency, and/or cardboard texture. Imagine graham crackers that taste just like the real thing. Crisp, flaky crackers…without the sandy texture. Hybrid tortillas that: look and act like flour tortillas, with the taste of fresh roasted corn! Imagine chewy, delicious cookies that *everyone* will want to eat! Imagine BAGELS. If you’ve cooked from “Beyond Flour”, you already know that these fantasies can be reality – it’s all in the development of the recipes. Order your copy here.