Sunday, January 6, 2013

New Patterns, New Recipe and New Downton Abbey

It's a trifecta weekend at our house.  Yesterday I scored several new patterns at the JoAnn's sale, baked a scrumptious new cookie recipe and am taking it to the small Downton Abbey season 3 premiere party at a friend's home tonight.  Here's hoping your day is going as well.
New patterns:

I'm going to work on 6709 for myself at the same time I help a friend fit this pattern when we get together next month.  I think it has some real versatility but I sure wish they would put a lining in the pattern.  The 6655 jacket is similar to others that I have and have sewn but for $.99 I get to use the pattern pieces for the collar in view D.

My growing collection of skinny jeans and pants means that I need some new style tops and I think these will fill the bill.  Longer, looser and drapey and I have a good fabric stash that will sew up nicely.

I was especially taken with the lines of 6699, without those contrast side pockets....positioned just at my bulkiest body parts:-)  But I like the bust cup sizing and the raised waist.  The 6697 knit dress just looks like fun and may be the only way I'd do color blocking.  I zoomed right past 6553 for the last few months and then a 70+ year old friend brought hers to our sewing get together in December.  it looked fantastic on her and everyone there who tried on her version.  Each of us noted that we would do some under bust seam shaping in the front seams and that the swingy back looked chic and not too much for any of us.  What a surprise and another reason why it's good to sew with others and try new styles occasionally.  
These last two are patterns I purchased for others.  Mr. Lucky deserves some of my sewing time in exchange for all the home improvement time he's been putting in this season.  And I have a local friend who mentioned wanting to try out a caftan and I think 6652 might be worth considering.
New patterns are fun and so is a delicious and easy new recipe.  I'm bringing two sweet treats to the Downton Abbey series 3 premiere evening tonight.  The first is a package of my favorite British biscuit....
I'm lucky enough to live in a town where I can obtain these in a local grocery since so many visitors come from Great Britain on holiday.
My more personal contribution is a plate of Cooks Illustrated Best Shortbread cookies:
Here's the recipe:

Published November 1, 2009.  From Cook's Illustrated.
To produce a worthwhile version of a shortbread recipe, we found that “reverse creaming” (mixing the flour and sugar together before adding the butter) contributed crumbly texture. Cutting back on the butter gave us good butter flavor without greasiness. Adding ground oats and cornstarch to the dough cut down on gluten development and gave us tender cookies. And baking the cookies briefly before turning off the heat and letting them dry in the still-warm oven made our shortbread recipe perfectly crisp. (less)


Use the collar of a springform pan to form the shortbread into an even round. Mold the shortbread with the collar in the closed position, then open the collar, but leave it in place. This allows the shortbread to expand slightly but keeps it from spreading too far. Wrapped well and stored at room temperature, shortbread will keep for up to 7 days.


  • 1/2cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 1/2cups (7 1/2 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/4cup cornstarch
  • 2/3cup (2 2/3 ounces) confectioners' sugar
  • 1/2teaspoon table salt
  • 14tablespoons (1 3/4 sticks) unsalted butter, cold, cut into 1/8-inch-thick slices


  1. 1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 450 degrees. Pulse oats in spice grinder or blender until reduced to fine powder, about ten 5-second pulses (you should have ¼ to 1/3 cup oat flour). In bowl of stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, mix oat flour, all-purpose flour, cornstarch, sugar, and salt on low speed until combined, about 5 seconds. Add butter to dry ingredients and continue to mix on low speed until dough just forms and pulls away from sides of bowl, 5 to 10 minutes.
  2. 2. Place upside-down (grooved edge should be at top) collar of 9- or 9 1/2-inch springform pan on parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet (do not use springform pan bottom). Press dough into collar in even 1/2-inch-thick layer, smoothing top of dough with back of spoon. Place 2-inch biscuit cutter in center of dough and cut out center. Place extracted round alongside springform collar on baking sheet and replace cutter in center of dough. Open springform collar, but leave it in place.
  3. 3. Bake shortbread 5 minutes, then reduce oven temperature to 250 degrees. Continue to bake until edges turn pale golden, 10 to 15 minutes longer. Remove baking sheet from oven; turn off oven. Remove springform pan collar; use chef’s knife to score surface of shortbread into 16 even wedges, cutting halfway through shortbread. Using wooden skewer, poke 8 to 10 holes in each wedge. Return shortbread to oven and prop door open with handle of wooden spoon, leaving 1-inch gap at top. Allow shortbread to dry in turned-off oven until pale golden in center (shortbread should be firm but giving to touch), about 1 hour.
  4. 4. Transfer baking sheet to wire rack; cool shortbread to room temperature, at least 2 hours. Cut shortbread at scored marks to separate and serve.

    I didn't have a biscuit cutter so I used the measuring cup for the first five minutes of baking.

    We are also celebrating a special day today....the two year "re-birthday" of Lucky the rescue dog.  Lucky's First day with us  What a joy he has been to us.  No shortbread or chocolate for him but plenty of love and some yummy treats and tummy rubs.  I hope you have something in your life that makes you feel happy-go-lucky today. 


  1. Lots of super patterns for you to play with in that lot - hard to choose one to start with...

  2. Nice patterns. I obviously missed a good pattern sale by not going to JoAnn's as I had thought about doing.

  3. I like the lines of M6553 but I know I would look like a midget who got the hem wrong *sigh*

  4. Yeah for patterns sale... And yumm for the biscuit x

  5. There is something so comforting about patterns. Just to have them, whether they get sewn, or not. Your treats look delish--unfortunately they would hang on my behind forever! Your little fur child is just so adorable. I had a Yorkie--he was such a demanding little dog, but I suppose I let him have his way and he became the boss. I'm ready for Downton. 40 minutes to go!

  6. Yes I succumbed to a double dip pattern sale with my provider recently and I agree with Gwen in that looking at patterns is like looking at my fabric stash....... Your biscuits look lovely but I can't even go there as I am on a diet - but you little dog is so cute (even though I am a fan of bigger dogs)

  7. I've made M6553 and can vouch for it - it was one of my fave makes of 2012 and it's wonderfully comfortable in linen in hot weather. It's quite wide sizing though and a little shorter than I expected (I think the model on the pattern envelope must be about 5'7"!) Look forward to seeing some lovely creations from these patterns!

  8. The shortbread looks delicious -- thank you for sharing the recipe! Your dog is too cute -- I grew up with a Yorkie named Pudding -- they are great dogs. Have fun sewing all of your new patterns!

  9. Happy Birthday to Lucky! We rescued Daisy almost two years ago -- the best decision we ever made! Great to see your pattern choices; will be interested to see how they make up.


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