Oat & Sultana cookies – dairy free


I’ve experimented with another oat recipe, this time its not vegan as it contains an egg, but is dairy free.  Makes 18 cookies and worked well, its an adapted recipe from BBC Good Food and I’m going to try cutting out the sugar for maple syrup in my next batch.


Want to try, here’s my recipe:

100g sultanas

150ml sunflower oil

200g dark muscovado sugar

1 large free range egg

1 teaspoon madagascan vanilla extract

140g spelt flour

1/4 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

300g porridge oats


  1. Pre heat oven to 160′.
  2. Place sultanas in a bowl with 50ml boiling water, soak for 30 mins.
  3. While the sultanas are marinating, place the oil and sugar in a bowl and whisk well, add in the egg and continue to whisk.  Drain the sultanas and add in the liquid to the mix, also add in the vanilla and continue to beat.
  4. Sift in the flour & bicarb into the wet mixture, beat and finally add in the oats and sultanas.  Mix well.
  5. Line 2 large baking sheets.  I used an ice-cream scoop to make even size cookies, our scoop is not large I think its a table spoon size.  This mix made 18 even size cookies.
  6. Bake for 20 mins or until golden.  Take out of the oven and leave for 5 mins to cool on the tray and then transfer onto cooling rack.
  7. Keep in an airtight tin and they should last for 3 days.


The cookies also work well as breakfast munchies, if your running late.

Do let me know if you try the recipe, or if you have a great vegan cookie recipe.


The Maker’s Atelier – TheEssential Collection | review


I was eagerly awaiting the publishing of The Maker’s Atelier – Sewing with style.  I have been a fan of Francis’ patterns since I first met her at a Selvage fair just after the Maker’s Atelier launched.


The book contains 8 essential patterns, 2 of which are available as stand alone patterns.  The ultimate pencil skirt and raw edge coat, I have made both and they are brilliant.  The instructions are well written and make very easy to wear clothes.  Included within every pattern chapter are full instructions on how to make each garment, finishing details, how to make more with the pattern, fabric choices and lots of styling options.


The patterns are for a pencil skirt, drape front top, cigarette pants, tie neck blouse, book bag, raw edge coat, wrap skirt & over-size t-shirt, with a size range from 32 inch bust to 46 inch bust.  I particularly like the asymmetric hem on the wrap skirt.


With this book you can make a complete stylish wardrobe easily and is the first book for dressmaking I’ve found that I really love.  Others have been ok, but disappointing in some aspects. This has not disappointed!


I’ve been looking for fabrics and have samples on their way, ready for me to choose!


This is not a sponsored review and I purchased the book myself.

vegan baking – flapjacks


I’ve been advised by my gp and specialist to go dairy free and follow a more alkaline diet.  Given that I’m addicted to tea, it was a very tricky change, a good cup of tea can solve may things.  So I’ve switched to almond milk, making our own nut butters and reading labels like never before, so many products contain dairy and lots of the non dairy alternatives contain palm oil [i try super hard not to buy any palm oil products].  I’ve been trying some interesting recipes and have found a few I like and this flapjacks recipe is a firm favorite, gluten, dairy and sugar-free ad so simple to make.  It makes way more than the 10 – 12  servings suggested and comes from Honestly Healthy by Natasha Corrett & Vicki Edgson, this is my version – contains a little less honey than the original recipe.

175g pitted dates

450mls water

150g raw cashews

150g raw hazelnuts

300g porridge oats

150g raw pumpkin seeds

150g raw sunflower seeds

454g runny honey – agave syrup can be substituted.

75g mixed raw seeds – I use lidl mixed seeds.


pre-heat oven to 160′

  1. Place dates in a saucepan with 225ml water, bring to the boil and then simmer until the dates are soft.
  2. place the oats, pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds in a food processor and blitz until roughly chooped.  Then transfer to a large bowl.
  3. place the dates and stewed water into the food processor and blitz to a soft paste, then decant into the bowl with the oats mix.
  4. place the cashews and hazelnuts into the food processor, along with remaining 225ml water and blitz until a smooth cream.  decant into the bowl with oats & date mix.
  5. add in the honey to the other ingrediebts and mix well.
  6. transfer the mix into a parchement lined brownie tin, smooth over and sprinkle the 75g of raw seed ix on top.
  7. place in the oven for 30 mins – or until golden.
  8. leave to cool in the tin and then cut into bars.

These are filling and utterly delicious, perfect afternoon pick me up or 11’s treat.

sewing slump

With the new year I had plans and indeed fabric and patterns ready, but couldn’t muster the energy to sew.  Work has been so very busy and when I get home I have just wanted to sit and do a little gentle hand stitching to calm my mind.  I have finished my ‘Rome‘ needlepoint


and really enjoyed it, kind of got the needlepoint bug.  While stitching the grid I though about what this could be and had an idea that I’d like to do more thank make a cushion, possibly cover a chair after seeing Sophie Robinson’s sofa.


With all this whirling in my head, after a brilliant Borough Belles meeting at the Goodlife centre just before Christmas and a chance conversation at work – the company offered to pay for me to do a 3 month course of evening classes!  A chair duly arrived and I set off on an upholstry adventure.


This chair will be heading back to work, but with the skills I am learning I do hope I can eventually cover one in my own tapestry patchwork.  So far this little mid century has been stripped and now being rebuilt, the teachers are brilliant, small classes and lovely class mates.

I’m plotting my progress over on instagram @poppyinstitches and getting excited now the top fabric is going on.  The Gooflife centre is an interesting place to learn a new skill and there is lots of choice, I’d love to go on the lampshade class and plumbing basics!  Are you learning a new skill this year?

handmade handbags


So just before Christmas I made the monster a new dress out of some Marvel fabric and there were a few pieces left over.  So instead of making a fabric bag, we decided to buy a shell and strap to make a super cool bag.  The shell is from U handbag, as is the strap – a great detail.

There is a great tutorial and it very simple to make.  The edge detail could be neater and I would love to make another bag and improve the interior edge finish.  Overall I’m happy with it and the monster loves it – which is the best!


The ultimate pencil skirt


I decided on New Years Eve to zap up a skirt to wear out and had luckily found some scuba fabric in  Fabrics Galore’s sale – I loved it so much bought it in 2 colour ways!

Pattern:  The Ultimate Pencil Skirt by The Maker’s Atelier

Fabric: Scuba from Fabrics Galore.

Notions: stretch needles, Mara 120 thread, elastic.

Pattern description:  pencil skirt sewing pattern for stretch fabrics – also included is a pattern for woven fabrics.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
Were the instructions easy to follow:  Yes, the pattern is really well written and so easy to follow.  Looks just like the photograph.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern: I love the super simple stretch skirt pattern and is a brilliant quick make.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: none.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others: Yes, Ive made 4 stretch skirts with this pattern so far – although they have not all been for me.

Conclusion: A wonderful simple make, so easy to wear and brilliant as a wardrobe staple.  I hemed the scuba on my machine and it worked well.  Also used the stretch elongated zig zag for the main stitch and zig zag for the elastic casing.  If you haven’t tried the Maker’s Atelier patterns, do they are really well written and wonderful wearable styles.