Monday, 8 October 2012

Flapjacks, a skirt makeover, and some ruffles





Another Monday already - this year seems to have flown past, and I find it hard to believe it's early October already.

Outside it is very autumnal today - grey and wet, and the lanes around here are slippery with the autumn leaves which seemed to appear overnight after one blustery evening last week.

Despite the fairly dry weekend, we spent most of yesterday indoors. We had the wood burner alight this weekend for the first time, and both Saturday and Sunday nights were spent cosied up in the sitting room blissfully dozy and lazy with the warmth - it was almost too much effort to get up to go to bed!

Despite that, I managed to drag myself out of bed early(ish) Sunday morning, and before breakfast was wearing a "new" wool above-the-knee skirt.

I transformed an overly long and out of date lined wool skirt into something that I will wear, simply by laying out a favourite length skirt over the top then cutting very boldly thru both layers of wool and lining - no finesse here! No messing around with tape measure and pins!

I allowed about 1 1/2" for a generous hem, then turned the wool fabric over once inside and machined the edge using a darning stitch which both bound and secured the hem so that it hardly shows on the right side.

I then hemmed the lining in the usual way, turning it under twice.

And voila!

A "new" old skirt in less than an hour.

There is also enough fabric left over to make my daughter a mock wrap-over version too, although hers will be more of a mini than my more sedate above the knee length!

I would show you the photo I took of me wearing it with winter tights and boots, only when I looked at the photos this morning it appeared my knees were covered in bits of thread picked up from kneeling on the sewing room carpet - not a good look!

As it was so wet and miserable when I came back from the school run this morning, I decided to make some Blackberry and Almond flapjacks.

I used a recipe I adapted a year or two ago from a Rachel Allen recipe, and I usually use frozen raspberries but had to substitute frozen blackberries today.
These make lovely soft and sticky flapjacks!

(my recipe based on basic recipe from Rachel Allen)

350g (12 oz) butter
2 generous tblsp golden syrup
175g (6 oz) soft light brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract

75g (3 oz) plain flour
375g (13oz) rolled oats (ordinary porridge oats)

Handful or two of frozen raspberries (or blackberries)
Small handful flaked almonds
1.     Pre-heat oven to 180c (160c fan, 350F)
2.     Place top 4 ingredients in large saucepan and heat gently, stirring continuously to prevent burning, until a smooth sauce is made.
3.     Remove pan from heat and stir in next 2 ingredients thoroughly, then stir in the last two ingredients, crumbling them by hand as added.
4.     Spread mix onto a pre-greased swiss roll tin or flat tin approx. 15” x 10” (38x25cm),using the back of a spoon or a spatula to spread evenly.
5.     Bake for 20-25 mins in middle of oven until golden brown, then remove and allow to cool in the tin.
6.     When cool cut into squares or wedges taking care not to damage your tin!

Optional Chocolate Topping
Melt 250g (9oz) plain or milk chocolate by chopping and placing in bowl over pan of simmering water – do not let bowl touch water.
When completely melted and smooth, spread over cooled flapjacks then cut into square or fingers when cooled and place in fridge for 1 hour to set.


Note : These are seriously good with blackberries, sort of fragrant and almost scented - very moreish - am just munching loads one as I type!

By the way, the pretty red and cream mug here is one I picked up at the American Musuem in Bath gift shop - it's by Gabriella Miller Designs and is my current favourite coffee mug!

Yesterday I made a couple of ruffled cushions for the sofa in the sitting room.

I wanted to have some warmer colours in the sitting room for the autumn, and used some of the gorgeous raspberry red vintage floral linen fabric that I bought a few months ago at the Decorative Living Fair (mentioned in this post.)

The other ruffled cushion I made from a brown and white cotton gingham.  I shall make two more of these as I am so happy with them, as they give a cosy, cheerful, country feel to the room, so I shall then have another pair for the other end of the sofa.

Hope you all had a cosy weekend too!

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  1. The skirt is lovely and a length that is always flattering with nice boots. The flapjacks look and sound delicious and I shall be having a go at making them.
    And ... the cushions are gorgeous - lovely fabrics and colours together.
    M x

  2. The skirt is adorable! Nice that you could have a new outfit just by adjusting the hem isn't it!

    Love the ruffle pillows! I have to get my sewing machine up and running again! Especially if I want "custom" curtains for my home!

    Thanks for your kind comments on my pies, it really was exciting, especially since I've never entered a cooking contest before!

    Have a great week!

  3. Love the skirt and the cushions are so cosy looking! The ruffles just add a lovely touch.
    Liz @ Shortbread & Ginger

  4. Dear Gill,
    Love the ruffled cushions! Those flapjacks look scrumptious! I will need to perservere with the course, you are right - I think it will take time as it is so easy on auto. With manual you have to faff around with ISO, aperture and shutter speed and then focus - all this before taking the damn photo which is why most people prefer point and shoot!

  5. Well done with the skirt makeover, it looks great! Gorgeous new cushions too.
    It's definitely flapjack weather although I really can't complain as we have a lovely sunny day here today!
    Vivienne x

  6. The flap jacks look good just right for eating by that log burner. Have a great week.

  7. Loving your ruffley cushion Gill! And thank you for sharing the flapjack recipe, they look delicious!
    Victoria xx

  8. The skirt is a triumph!
    Thanks for sharing the flapjack recipe. We didn't manage to gather many blackberries when we went picking a few weeks back, but there are probably just enough left in the freezer to do the flapjacks.
    Lisa x

  9. I'm so envious of you having a wood burner, I long for one! Of course I need a home to go with it as living in a flat makes it not possible. I've been doing a lot of up-cycling of my clothes lately and it's amazing what can be done with some determination and I'm really pleased with the results. I love your ruffle cushions. x

  10. Dear Gill,

    Such a good idea to shorten your skirt! It looks like new and more fashionable now. I did it with a calf length dress recently. I feel much better wearing it now it's shorter!

    Your ruffle pillows look lovely!

    Madelief x

  11. Your flapjacks looks so delicious! I would have made some right away, but it is too late in the evening, and I must go to bed soon...

    I like your cushions with the ruffle. You are sewing so many beautiful things!

  12. What a wonderful weekend, It's great when you can tweak a skirt/dress to give it a new lease of life, your cushions are lovely just right for this time of year
    Thea x

  13. Hard to believe is it not that this is already October? Wood burning stove on? We have been blessed here on the coast with wonderful warm seasonal weather. What is amiss is no rain...near the rainforest?! It will soon be 3 months and such drought is difficult to grasp even for us newcomers (we moved here 10 years ago).
    Great idea about the skirt, lovely cushions covers but it is the mug I love the most!
    A big hello from the Pacific NW coast and keep cozy by the stove!

  14. Hello Gill

    How clever you are to re-style your skirt. It feels good to do this and I am sure the material has softened and drapes nicely, as opposed to new fabric.

    Have a great week

    Heln xx

  15. Now that is my kind of sewing ... no pinning, just cut and sew! The new-old skirt is fabulous. It's so nice to bring a garment back to life isn't it. I'm just taking in all my jeans to be skinnies and suddenly I've got a huge selection without spending any money. As for your ruffled cushions - now that is posh sewing and looks very tricky. The result is amazing! I love them.

    Have a fabulous week hon.

  16. Hi, I'm so pleased you found my blog as I have now found you!
    Those flapjacks look absolutely delicious xxx
    Thank-you for visiting my little corner of the world, I hope to see you again soon.

  17. Gosh, those flapjacks look absolutely delectable. Here in the US, we use the word "flapjack" interchangeably with "pancake", and they are much different. I'm dying to make some of your sort, but they always call for Golden Syrup, and I have never seen that here. Wonder what an equivalent would be? Or is it an utterly necessary ingredient? Might be I just have to feast my eyes on your photos and be happy with that.

    Well done on your skirt re-do! And well done on your legs, too, it sounds like--I myself am going longer skirts, to cover up the old knees.

  18. The skirt looks wonderful, how I envy those who can sew. More gorgeous cushions too, I think they really make a house look homely. I love the sound of the optional chocolate topping on the flapjacks, it wouldn't be optional here, it would be compulsory.

  19. I love your cushions. Really warm cosy colours. And the flapjacks look delicious. xx

  20. Yep - we're all Autumny here alright ... dimmed lights, candles and Strictly and Merlin. Nice though! Love the ruffles. Clever you with the skirt alteration. Yummy flapjacks. xCathy

  21. Your sewing is impeccable. The new pillow cases with the ruffles are just so lovely. I wish I knew how to sew. I would love to change up my pillows with the changing seasons.

  22. Lovely ruffles on the pillows, they look so pretty! I shortened some of my skirts last winter and wore them much more....yours looks great now! And those flapjacks look so deeeelicious :)
    Have a happy week, Gill.
    Helen x

  23. Your ruffled cushion covers turned out really nicely. It always makes me smile when there is a difference between British English and American English. Your flap jacks look like what we would probably call pan bars. (bars are baked and can either be cake-like or cookie-like) Flapjacks in America are pancakes that you cook on a griddle and eat for breakfast with butter and syrup (or honey or jam) I guess this is one of those words like jumper or chips that mean something totally different on this side of the pond. :-) I'm afraid we Americans have really done a number on your beautiful language.

  24. Lovely skirt ,cushions and that flapjack looks so scrummy ,i have noted the receipy to give it a go,hope mine look as nice as yours so thankyou xxxx

  25. Your pillows are lovely ....and I'm crazy about your mug! its so sweet

  26. Hi Gill,
    that is the kind of skirt making I like! It looks great, and didn't cost anything other than time. I certainly approve of all this recycling thats going on. Your ruffled cushions are so feminine and pretty...well done.
    I love your new mug too.

    Many thanks for your visit and encouraging words. Yes I know what you mean about magazines I feel the same way. I hope you can find Landlove, I do think it's up your street. I made your banana bread yesterday, made 2 x 1lb loaves and gave one to a friend, the other was demolished! The flapjacks look yummy too. Lots of love to you, Linda x

  27. I just have to try making flap jacks. They look real yummy!


Thanks for visiting and for taking the time to leave a comment - I love to read them!
Gill x