Friday, February 12, 2021

Sewing chatter, a new dress, Rosie and bread...

 Yesterday Rosie came over for the morning and between cups of Earl Grey and nibbles of banana bread and matrimony slice we solved all the world's problems. Ha ha! Okay, not exactly, but we did talk each other's ears off about sewing and our favourite fabric show, The Great British Sewing Bee.

We both have a Britbox (Australia) subscription and slowly they are adding the series so we are soaking everything in and being immensely inspired to forgo the cheap clothing imports which have swamped the stores here over the past decade or more, and set our machines to work on more than just patchwork and quilting.

Rosie is ahead of me in having already completed two new summer tops this month, but also in experience with sewing for oneself (I sewed for my children but never for me, apart from my wedding dress which was a miracle in more ways than one) so I was able to glean from that as she helped me along with a few sensible rules to follow which will hopefully curtail any avoidable mistakes.

This morning I cut out the pattern pieces for a sleeveless top with pin-tucks along the front because I own a few pin-tucked tops and dresses and on consideration realised its my favourite style. 

It's a rainy day here in the tropics of North Queensland which makes it 'just right' for brewing cuppas and hiding away in the sewing room with an audio book while my machine hopefully makes magic.

Rosie launched her new blog recently and it's wonderful. Her latest two posts gave us much to chat about as we sipped our tea yesterday - sewing of course, but also a quote her father-in-law would often repeat and which is made relevant in almost every aspect of a homemakers life. Pop over HERE and say hi, read and be inspired. 

I've not rushed my weekly tag challenge of late, but sat with the theme of the week simmering in my thoughts before embarking on the process of bringing scrappy pieces of lace, linen, ribbon, buttons and thread together. The theme this week was 'a bevy of buttons' and after a few alterations to my initial idea it came together beautifully just before dinner yesterday.

Flower gardens are a delight to the senses aren't they? So why not create one on the tag I thought to myself.

Now I'm wondering what the next theme could be, but it won't be shared until Saturday morning my time (Friday evening in the UK) so I must be patient. Besides I have a pin-tucked top to sew and that will keep me busy - especially making my own binding. Glad I have enough of that fabric. 

Blossom has been sewing again and begun to add beautiful new dresses to her Etsy Shop. This time she's made toddler sizes (12-24 months) and will be sewing some 3yo dresses in future as well. You can have a look at her new wares over HERE at Lucy & May.

But there's one very special dress I'd like to show you today. A little while back Bloss and I were chatting about the dress she wanted to make for Rafaella's 3rd birthday in early March and I suggested adding a little something myself, a hand embroidered bodice. She was thrilled with that idea and so I drew up a little circular posey and added R in the centre. Well, you know that was the easy part. 

I handed the embroidered bodice fabric over to her and then the real magic happened. What my daughter can sew impeccably never ceases to swell my heart in pride for her diligence to the God-given craft she loves. 

Our little Rafaella, aka Shirley Temple, had no intention of waiting for her birthday to wear mummy's creation, and let's face it who can deny that smile?

Do you remember two years ago when I made a bodice for Rafaella's 1st birthday dress? You can have a look back at that post HERE.

Hasn't she grown up!

The pattern is still available HERE in my shop if you like to hand embroider bodices, and comes in sizes 1-2 and 3-4.


I was asked recently about my bread recipes because I have quite a few favourites that I make over and over again. Back in 2017 I shared three good recipes I bake often so for those who kindly asked me to share them again feel free to use THIS link to download the file.
There's also a sweet little bread stitchery inside the file so while it bakes you get to stitch. 

I suppose I'd best depart from the computer keyboard now and head back to my sewing room to cut out the fabric for that pin-tucked top. Firstly I'll need to brew a pot of Earl Grey and then sample a bit more of the matrimony slice which I made with blackberry jam this time. And if you've never made this slice let me encourage you to try it - delicious!

You can download the recipe HERE, which just like the bread recipes has a little stitchery you can play around with while it bakes. 

May the Lord bless your days with peace and laughter, healing and hope, grace and truth - and may you always feel His mighty loving hand upon your shoulder.



  1. This brings back memories of when my 5 daughters were little girls and Mrs and her mother used to sew beautifully for all of them. Sometimes I forget to reflect on those lovely formative years. This post had reminded me of that, so thank you

  2. Hi Jenny,
    Matrimony slice ! Now that brings back memories !
    That dress is so cool !
    Have a creative weekend ! Maybe I should get out a shirt/blouse pattern and start thinking something for Spring :)
    hugs, take care,

  3. Such a gorgeous dress Jenny - and a beautiful model! Your tag is pretty - have fun with making your top. xx

  4. Qué preciosisad de vestido y de nieta! Me encantan tus trabajos. Bss

  5. My Gran used to sew our Sunday and school dresses. With 7 granddaughters at the time, I'm sure it kept her busy.

  6. I was fascinated by "matrimony cake" - I hadn't heard of that before. It seems to have originated in Canada in the1930s when the filling was chopped dates, not jam. I shall make a batch over the weekend if I have time!

  7. I love knowing you're trying your hand at garment sewing again! I grew up knowing how to sew, and made my own and my kids' clothes for years... until they reached about 14 years old. Then I was only called upon to make an occasional prom dress. Now I sew only for me, though I don't go through clothes as I once did. I hope you enjoy your experience with this top. It looks cute! As for Rafaella and her darling dress... just adorable! I think it's marvelous that you collaborate with your daughter this way. It's sure not easy to do when it's a boy you're dressing, so keep collaborating on your stitching and sewing while you have the opportunity! Thanks for links to the bread and matrimony cake, the latter of which I'd never heard of. That name is a hoot! It certain prompts wonder about the story behind the name. In any case, I'm glad you had a chance to tea and chat, IRL, with a friend. Oh, those were the days. Sigh.

  8. Ah, how I'd love to live close and come over for a chat and some stitching! That dress Blossom made is just adorable with your hand-embroidered front, and the back buttons and bows - oh my gosh, so gorgeous. What a wonderful post, Jenny. It made me happy.

  9. What a beautiful dress your daughter has made. You are exactly right about her craft in sewing. She is gifted. I love the piping and that yolk is special,too. Color selection is very pretty. Rafaella looks adorable wearing it.
    I use to sew for my daughters and myself. Simplicity and McCall's patterns were my favorites. I did use some Butterick patterns as well as a few Vogue. Like you, I did it because I enjoyed sewing so much. Now, I mostly sew toys, or dolls, for the grand kids.

  10. Love the new dress and pattern you chose for the blouses. It looks super comfy and cool. Yes Raffaella has grown so much. Thank you for the recipes for the bread and the lovely stitchery designs. Looking forward to seeing your new blouse when it is completed. What type of fabric did you choose Cotton ???. Have a lovely evening/ night Dear.

  11. Your embroidery on Raffaella's dress is beautiful. Blossom and you are very gifted. Thank you for sharing.

  12. Thanks for a wonderful share - may the Lord bless your day as well ♥

  13. I'm a pintuck fan also and that looks like a great pattern. You should check out @janeandthepintucks on Instagram. She has a link to her method of doing the tucks first and then cutting out the blouse. I found her thru @sewover50.

  14. WHAT an absolutely adorable dress for a darling girl!! WOW!! So lovely I am so tempted to make one too...for whom I know not...but with 1 yet unmarried daughter one never knows...

  15. Such a lovely time with Rosie. I only made myself long elastic waist banded skirts back in the 90s and a couple of things for the girls with the help of a friend who inspired me after a very bad experience in sewing class at school back in tge 70s. It is a miracle I ever sewed anything after that. I enjoyed the episodes of that show when it was on tv and need to find it again. Rafaella is a gorgeous model! Loooove her sweet dress. A total different experience with boys lol, You and Blossom are a good team. I am going to see if I cam convert the Matrimony slice into an alternative grain and dairy free slice. Wish me luck.

  16. Love that gorgeous frock! You two make a brilliant team.

  17. Be still my heart....that look from that precious girl over her shoulder! :) Your embroidery is lovely, and Blossom certainly gave it a good "setting" like a diamond. Now I have two things to try: matrimony slice AND the sewing bee! Hugs from over the sea!

  18. So much cuteness in this post. Rafaella is adorable and such a good model. Her embroidered bodice is beautiful, and your tag cute. You did inspire me to (almost) catch up with the tag challenge. ;^)

  19. Your embroidery just takes this sweet dress to another level!! You and Blossom certainly combine your skills to make beautiful dresses for your sweet granddaughter!! Thank you for the recipes! Be blessed.

  20. Rafaella's dress is just as adorable as she is. Beautifully done ladies. I think the new button tag is my favorite so far. The colors are so vibrant. Thank you for sharing with us. Your posts always brighten my day.

  21. Thanks for sharing the Matrimony Slice recipe again. I made it, using home made cumquat marmalade, and it went down a treat, served warm from the oven with a pot of tea. Mick then requested it be warmed and served with ice cream the next day. That went down a treat as well. I think it will be made often, as it is so quick and easy. Thanks again.


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