Caroline’s Birthday Nessie Top

Nessie Top 1

I can’t believe that yesterday my baby girl hit 14 months old! She is getting more and more brave about standing up without holding on to anything but so far she hasn’t started trying to walk yet. Our boys both walked at 15 months. Maybe that will be the magic number for Caroline, too. It’s high time I do the post I’ve been wanting to do about her 1st Birthday party.


We had Caroline’s party at our house with family and a few good friends. It was a hot air balloon themed party and I wanted to make hot air balloon sugar cookies. I was googling around for ideas and I stumbled upon a Creativebug class about how to decorate using royal icing. I had always wanted to learn this so I signed up for the two week free trial and took this Wilton class. (Fun fact: I used to work for Wilton in their corporate office before I became a full time stay at home mom. I took a couple of their cake decorating classes but this was my first time with cookies.)


Inside of Cake

I thought the class was great. The recipe included in the class was so good! Much cookie dough was ingested in the process of making these cookies. I had fun doing the flooding technique and embellishing all of the cookies. I liked the class so much that I ended up signing up for a monthly membership to Creativebug. So far I have only managed to watch one other class in it’s entirety but I’ve started a few and really want to get back to them. Carolyn Friedlander’s Needle Turn Applique class is at the top of my list.


I made loads of cake for the party. For the main cake I used this Ultimate Sampler Cake recipe from Sprinkle Bakes and this whipped vanilla buttercream frosting from Annie’s Eats.  I used this technique to frost the cake, which is so easy and looks really cool when it’s done. I glued some of the sugar cookies on the side of the cake with extra frosting to decorate it. This cake was gigantic so I ended up leaving off the top layer of mousse. I didn’t think the slices would fit on the plates if I made it full size! The cake tasted amazing and was a big hit.

Smash Cake

I also made Caroline her own smash cake using a Funfetti box mix (5 cake layers from scratch was enough for me!) I made the leftovers into cupcakes. My dad accused me of going overboard with the sweets but we only had a couple of cupcakes leftover at the end of the party so I’d say it worked out pretty well. Caroline had fun with her smash cake and made an amazing mess with it. I am not sure she really ate much of the cake but she sure had fun playing with it and throwing it everywhere.

Eating Cake 1

Eating Cake 2

Eating Cake 3

I wanted to sew her something to wear on her birthday, but it was so cold in the middle of February that I decided to just make her a special birthday shirt instead of some sort of frilly dress. I used the Nessie top pattern again, which has quickly become my favorite thing to make her. I love the swingy shape of it. It doesn’t cling to her baby tummy like most of her store bought t-shirts do.

Nessie Top 3

Nessie Top 2

I used this sweet knit from Amy Sinibaldi’s Paperie collection for Art Gallery Fabrics. I’ve been a long time reader of Amy’s blog and I think her fabric line is just adorable. I love how this simple t-shirt turned out and it has been worn over and over again. I am looking forward to making her some short sleeved Nessies once the weather gets warm.

Nessie Top 4

Are any of you bakers as well as being into sewing? Have you tried any Creativebug classses (or other online crafty type classes?) I am amazed at the awesome content that is out there for learning new skills– I just need more time to learn it all!



17 thoughts on “Caroline’s Birthday Nessie Top

    1. Thanks, Teresa! I know I’m a tiny bit biased, but I think she’s quite a cutie. I’m always glad to have the people around who like to eat the baked goods– it helps to save me from myself. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Love the cakes and cookies! Those hot air balloon cookies are so cute. I used to make elaborate cakes for the kids’ birthdays… lately I just don’t have the patience. Used to decorate cookies as well–love using (well, and eating) RI! So smart to make the birthday girl a pretty tee instead of a frilly dress. Cute!


    1. Thanks, Lisa! I can definitely feel the novelty of cake decorating wearing off a bit, which is why I was glad to do a simple frost job on the cake and have fun with the cookies. Doing character pans is not my favorite– my hand always hurts so much after piping all the stars!


  2. Wow Teri, you are such an artist! Those cakes are amazing! So I like to bake, but not like “pastry artist” levels – simple cakes, cookies, and breads. My creations are humble but delicious (if I may say so). I loooove looking at pretty cakes, though! Gorgeous! And I love the Nessie top on her – cute cute cute!


    1. Oh, thanks, Inder! I am a big fan of the humble but delicious baked goods, too. Those are the things I make the most and stuff like this is for special occasions. The clean up from humble/delicious is a lot easier than the mess that results from super decorated cakes and cookies! 😉


  3. Those cookies look amazing! I’ve tried to do royal-icing cookies before using online tutorials but it’s always been a big mess. I might look into this class before Christmas. Lovely top too.


  4. Wow, those baked goods are all gorgeous! I can bake a delicious cake, but that’s as far as it goes – they are never beautiful 🙂 So cool that you used to work for Wilton!


  5. oh my goodness teri…everything was so beautiful!! I bake too, but have never taken a decorating class. I made my sisters wedding cake and have been asked to make the small cake for bride and groom at my son’s wedding in june. may just have to take a look at creativebug! and that Nessie top!! love it.


    1. Thanks, Kim! The decorating class I learned the most from was the one my mom gave me every time she decorated a cake when I was growing up! I did take a fondant class at Wilton and it was really interesting, but I prefer cakes that are frosted with buttercream over fondant. I haven’t used any of what I learned since I took the class but I may get a chance one day with all of the ideas my sons have for their future birthday cakes! How great that you got to make your sister’s wedding cake! I bet that was a lot of work.


  6. You did such an awesome job on all the cakes and cookies. Everything looks gorgeous! Caroline is so cute and I love that she had a smash cake. Great little t-shirt too!


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