Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Vintage is back

Fashion seems to have taken a turn for vintage this season with the waisted dress and fuller skirts. Complementing this 50's look is the cardigan, belts and lots of ruffles and other feminine touches. Over all it makes a pretty change in the fashion scene.

Louis Vuitton and Prada have both brought in a range of what appear to be 50's inspired clothing for the 2012 Spring-Summer fashion season. I love the pastels, lace and chic little skirts and jackets!

 "(...) Vintage [clothing] is not only glorious and stylish, it's also the way forward in terms of recycling. Whenever I go into great vintage stores, I wonder why we ever buy new things."
- Thandie Newton (British actress)

The fashion that we see every day on the street isn't as stylised as that of the designers, but it shows the same influences. Below are some examples of clothing found out and about in 2012 compared to some 50's dress patterns.

I'm excited to see such pretty clothes back in style. Finally the fashion world will let me look like a lady!!

Friday, 15 June 2012

30 Minute Cushion Covers

I've been wanting to buy some cushions for my living room for a while now but haven't been able to justify spending $10-20 each on them from various furnishing shops. I remembered yesterday that I have some pretty fabric put away that will work well with the colours in the living room.

Polyester fabric with pretty design
What you will need:
-Sewing machine
-Cotton thread in appropriate colour
-Tape measure
-Cushion insert
-Enough fabric for the number of cushions you want to make (see measurements below)

Edges folded in and ready to sew

This project cost me:
-$7.00 for 2 cushion inserts
-$2.00 for 1 metre of fabric I picked up on sale a few years ago
TOTAL: $9.00 for 2 cushions

Cut a length of your fabric the width of your cushion insert (+ 1.5 inches for seam allowance) and two and a half times as long as the length of your insert. As my insert was 14 inches, I cut my fabric 15.5 inches by 35 inches.
Finished covers ready for insert

Turn over the short ends of the fabric twice to hide the raw edges. Sew. Once ends are edged, fold them in, right sides together, so that they overlap and form a square (hopefully 14 inches wide in my case). Pin and sew down both sides with a 0.5 inch seam allowance.
Turn cushion cover the right way and stuff the insert inside. The back should close nicely over the insert to hide it without needing buttons or a zip.

I made two cushion covers using this method in under 30 mins. For very little money and a little effort I now have two beautiful, cheap cushions for my living room.

The finished product

Short Bread and Other Things

I begin my blog with an entry about baking. Baking is certainly not my favourite household activity, but it is a necessary one. Husbands like food, particularly snacks and sweet treats. I like it too, but its effects on the figure are not always desirable. I've been thinking about baking shortbread for a couple days now and have finally found a simple recipe that uses standard pantry ingredients. Below is the recipe from taste.com with my alterations in the method.

My Shortbread.




  • 250g butter, softened
  • 1 cup icing sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups Plain Flour
  • 1/2 cup cornflour

  • Basic topping
  • 1 eggwhite, lightly beaten
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar


  1. Line a baking tray with baking paper or aluminium foil.
  2. Using an electric mixer, cream butter, sugar and vanilla until pale. (My beaters had a real workout here. Perhaps the butter should have been much softer?) Add flour and cornflour. Stir to combine. Turn onto a floured surface. Knead gently until smooth.
  3. Divide mixture in thirds. Gently press each third into a long rectangle on baking tray. The dough should be about 1.5cm thick. (If you want, add some slivered almonds into the tops of the shortbread dough.)
  4. Use a knife to mark each rectangle into even finger size portions (don't cut right through). Refrigerate for 20 minutes or until firm. Preheat oven to 160°C.
  5. Make topping. Brush each shortbread round with eggwhite. Sprinkle with sugar. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until light golden and firm to the touch. Allow to cool completely on trays. Use a sharp knife to cut right through markings. Serve.

The recipe turned out beautifully. I added some slivered almonds to some of my shortbread as an experiment. In future I might add some white chocolate chips or chopped macadamia nuts into the dough mix for a bit of variation. They are delightfully buttery and my husband has given his approval. I'll definitely be adding this recipe to my standard baking repertoire.

Short Bread - the perfect tea tray item.