Today I continued the challenge and wore a really simple skirt I made myself using two vintage pillowcases.
Excuse the not so good pics, its not very easy taking a selfie of yourself in a skirt and my usual photographer (husband) wasn’t there!
I’m going to do a tutorial for the pillowcase skirt this week as its a really quick and easy way to make something.

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I loved this as a casual outfit, as I spent the day cooking and cleaning at home. I paired the skirt with a mustard vest from Primark, a waist belt and a necklace from Les Jumelles

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Gran's Kitchen 1

A few months ago I was sent a review copy of Gran’s Kitchen by Natalie Oldfield. My review is long overdue, but I don’t like to rush these things. This was one of those books I wanted to read properly and try a few of the recipes before I reviewed.

What struck me straight away was what a special project this was to create. Natalie Oldfield has compiled a beautiful book filled with wonderful recipes taken from the notebooks of her Grandmother Dulcie May Booker. As well as the extremely well captured pictures of food there are touching family photos both recent and throughout her life. The book tells a lovely heart-warming story of a life as well as being a recipe book. The personal touch makes the book so much more enjoyable to use.

Gran's Kitchen 2

Reading Dulcie May’s life story reminds me of my own Nan and how amazing the stories of her past are. The little anecdotes are so personal and charming and compliment the recipes perfectly.

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The book is a nice big size and printed on wonderful thick quality paper, designed to last a life time! The recipes are laid out well and very easy to follow, and as I mentioned before the pictures are beautiful. the books covers a full menu from Breakfast, to tea, to dinners to desserts, as well as some very tasty cakes. And in true Gran style there are also jams and traditional sauces.

The book for me is definitely a keeper, I often pass recipe books on if I don’t think I’ll use them but I know this is one I’ll be dipping into for years to come.

So far I’ve actually made three recipes from the book. I love making cakes and I’ve used the Orange Madeira Cake recipe twice, once for my family which I left un-iced as my daughter doesn’t like icing (crazy I know). I also made it iced for a friend’s birthday. I have to say this is one of the nicest cakes I’ve ever made. If you follow the instructions you end up with an absolutely huge cake. Ours was so big that I sent my husband out to deliver some to his parents and Nan, who all loved it. The flavour is amazing and it’s really moist.

I also made the Ginger and Lime Loaf which was really easy to make and again was completely delicious. I loved the sharp flavour and the icing was lovely.

Lastly I treated my husband and his work mates to some homemade Cornish Pasties. These took a long time to make and I devoted a good couple of hours to it, but it was well worth the effort as again they were delicious.

I’m looking forward to trying many more recipes from this book and I’d recommend it to anyone who has been brought up eating beautiful home-made dinners and like to get a sense of nostalgia from their food, as this book has oodles of old-fashioned charm.

I’m sure I’ll be revisiting this book again on the blog as there is lot’s more cooking from it in the pipeline.

If you’d like to get your hands on a copy you can buy the book on Amazon here

Gran’s Kitchen is published by Hardie Grant Books

All book images © Hardy Grant Books

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I’ve managed to launder and iron a few of the vintage hankies that I bought at a car boot over the weekend. In all there were about 150!
I have a few projects planned the ones that are in perfect condition are going to be used to make a patchwork quilt, while some if the others are going to be used in other craft projects.
The ones with really pretty embroidery but have holes or stains are going to make one of these from Cath Kidston’s Patch! Book…

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Here are some pictures of the ones I’ve cleaned so far…

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What would you do with them? Suggestions much appreciated!

Today I wore my pink version of the 1960 Butterick dress. I’m so happy with how this dress came out and I know it’s going to be one I wear loads this summer. I made it with some fabric I bought on Ebay and trimmed it with pale pink bias binding.

My favourite pattern, next time I’d like to try the version with the cut out neckline.

Today I also bought some vintage pillowcases from a charity shop which I’m hoping to use to make some tops. They’re currently in the wash so I’ll add some pics tomorrow.

I’ve not done brilliantly this first week with my goal of wearing 3 handmade outfits a week throughout May. I am going to work hard to catch up next week and wear the two dresses that I’ve nearly finished as well as another one I’m about to start. I just ended up in comfy clothes relaxing with the kids over the bank holiday and didn’t go near a pretty dress!

I did make it to two car boot sales this weekend. On Sunday I popped to a small car boot sale at Epsom Hospital. I was particularly looking for vintage fabric but only managed to find this very pretty embroidered table-cloth which I am going to use to make some cushions for my bedroom.

On Monday I headed out early to go to Hook Road Arena car boot. This is always a really big one especially on a bank holiday. I ended up sitting in traffic for an hour and a half queuing to get in it was so busy! By the time I got in it was packed and there was no vintage fabric anywhere to be seen. As conciliation I did pick up two massive bags of vintage hankies. There’s well over a hundred there and they are currently soaking for a few days to get them lovely and clean. There are so many that I have a few projects planned for them. I’m going to make some hair bows and corsages, a hankie patchwork quilt and probably sell a few.

Here they are having a rinse in the sink. I’m going to soak them in a bucket for a couple of day. I’ll share some pictures of the nicer embroidered ones later this week.

Sewing wise, I didn’t really do any over the weekend, apart from the vintage fabric flowers. I got a bit bid happy on eBay and bought a few 1960s patterns which I am so excited to get started on. I’ve made a lot of 50’s style dresses and it’ll be nice to try something a bit different. They take a lot less fabric than 50s dresses so I can use some of my smaller bits of fabric.

The pictures aren’t great, but I’ll take some better ones when they arrive