Last weekend I was in a baking mood, and wanted to make something delicious but also a little bit pretty, and so decided to put away the sewing machine for a couple of hours and have a go at making vanilla cupcakes. I first tried these cupcakes at Bluebells Cakery while in Auckland, and they were so good I've been wanting to have a go at making them myself (I bought myself a copy of the Bluebells Cakery cookbook - seriously one of the prettiest books in my collection). So here is my new favourite recipe for vanilla cupcakes!
Here's what you'll need:
- 240g of caster sugar
- 225g plain flour, sifted
- 1 Tbsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 125g unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 2 free-range eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 200ml milk, at room temperature
- 1 batch of vanilla buttercream
1. Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees Celcius.
2. Combine the flour, caster sugar, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. Add butter and use your fingers to rub together until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
3. In a separate bowl, add the eggs, vanilla extract to the milk. Whisk together well. Add half of this mixture to the dry ingredients, and whisk together well. Then repeat this with the other half of the mixture.
4. Spoon the mixture into the cases, filling to at least two-thirds full.
5. Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cupcakes comes out clean.
6. Leave to cool in the tray for 10 minutes, then place the cupcakes onto a cooling rack until completely cool.
7. Ice with vanilla buttercream (preferably in cute pastel colours).
These cupcakes will last for up to 4 days in an airtight container at room temperature, but they are so good, I doubt you'll be able to make them last that long! For a little bit of fun I had a go at filming the whole cupcake making process, so here is a quick video I made of making the cupcakes. Enjoy!
Something that I've wanted to do on this blog for a while now is to share more sewing and baking posts to help and inspire people to be creative, and to share how to live a slow lifestyle. I always loved the subject 'Home Ec' at school, and that's how I kind of see these blog posts - Home Ec for creative types. I'm planning on covering a range of sewing and baking tutorials for both beginners and those who like a bit of a challenge. To start with, today I'm sharing my sewing kit essentials. That way, if you'd like to sew along, you'll have everything you'll need to get started! Here are the sewing essentials I use every day:
1. A seam ripper. Or as I like to call them a 'quick unpick', is the easiest way to get rid of stitches when you make a mistake. They are also super handy when putting in zips!
2. Spare bobbins. You can get by with one or two, but life will become a lot easier when you have 3-4 spare. Each time you use a different coloured thread on your sewing machine you will need to fill a bobbin, and there's nothing worse than having to pull all of the thread out of a nearly full bobbin just so you can use another colour!
3. Water soluble pencils/pens/chalk. I use mine every day when dressmaking. These pencils allow you to make marks all over your fabric and then can be easily washed off with a dab of water.
4. A measuring tape. When it comes to sewing you NEED a measuring tape! You can not get by with just measuring with a ruler. Due to their flexibility, a measuring tape's measurements will be more accurate.
5. Fabric scraps. Having a stack of beautifully designed fabrics is a dream, but what if you need to practice something? Always have a stack of cheap practice fabric at the ready.
6. Pins and needles. Have a good amount of pins in your pincushion as it's better to have more than you need than not enough. Needles will come in handy too as hand-sewing can sometimes give a nicer finish than a machine.
7. Cotton thread. When sewing, it's always best to use thread that is the same colour of the fabric you're using. I always have plenty of white thread in my stash, and add different colours as I need them.
8. Fabric Scissors. Fabric scissors are exactly that - scissors for fabric. Don't confuse your fabric scissors with your normal scissors though, if you use them on paper they will be blunt before you know it!
Looking forward to sharing some more sewing posts with you soon! x
Today I have some exciting news! Rosery Apparel is a finalist in the Frankie Magazine 'Good Stuff Awards'! This was very unexpected, and as you can imagine I'm very excited about it! I'm one of six finalists in the 'fashion' category and am so thankful to be a finalist among so many talented designers. As well as the winners for the different categories, there is also an overall people's choice award prize, where you can go and vote for your favourite. I'm over the moon about being a finalist, but If you have a second I would really appreciate it if you could go and vote for me here! x
Earlier this week I added 6 new dresses to the online store! I've been really lucky in finding some beautiful floral fabrics over the last few weeks, and am very happy with how these dresses have turned out! These dresses are made in limited stock, so if you see one you love be sure to purchase it quick! Here's a closer look...
Rosa Dress | Rose Posies available here.
Eva Dress | Blue Floral available here.
Eva Dress | Pink Roses available here.
Rosa Dress | Multi Floral available here.
Mabel Dress | Peach Linen available here.
Eva Dress | Peach Floral available here.
Yesterday I decided to share my day on Instagram Stories for the first time ever. I spent the day at home, cutting out orders and sewing up dresses. I really enjoyed sharing content in a relaxed, unedited way, and loved having snapshots of my entire day. As the images only last a day, I thought I would share some of my favourites here too as a way to remember them. I'm looking forward to sharing more of my days on Instagram Stories again soon!
PS. The 'work in progress' shot at the end are the dresses I'm working on at the moment for the online store. I'm hoping to have them available to purchase early next week!
I'm very excited to have one of my dresses featured in the latest issue of Frankie Magazine! I've loved Frankie for many years now, and to have my work in one of the issues is a dream come true! Before the issue came out I managed to find a lot of this lovely vintage swan fabric, but I only have enough for a couple more dresses, so if you have fallen in love with this dress (as a lot of other people have!) you'd better be quick! If you'd like to pick up a copy of Frankie for yourself pop over here!
Last year I shared a 'thrifting wish list', containing a number of items I had my heart set on finding while thrifting (or op-shopping as we call it in Australia). Since then, I have added many new things to my wish list, so I thought I would create a new list for 2017 and share it here, and then I can look back at the end of the year to see if I found everything I was looking for! Here are my most wanted thrift finds for 2017:
1. A vintage beach umbrella. I have very fair skin and am constantly on the look out for shade during the summer months and I think a vintage beach umbrella (like the pretty one pictured) would be the best thing! I have been eyeing these amazing umbrellas by the salty merchants for a while now, and hope to be able to afford to buy one one day. But until that day, finding a retro beach umbrella second hand would be a dream!
2. Mismatched retro dining chairs. My friend and I bought a retro dining chair each while op-shopping a few months ago, and since then I've been looking for more. So far I have 3 and would like at least one more! An added plus is that Matt likes these chairs too, and he doesn't always love my thrifted goods!
3. Any clothing with cute embroidery. I love the look/style of embroidered clothing at the moment and hope to find some nice vintage blouses with embroidered collars or some cute embroidered cardigans. I would also like to by one of these collars this year too.
4. A swan planter. I have seen a few of these around over the years and always thought they were a little bit weird. However, ever since making my beloved swan dress I have gained a new found appreciation for swans. Of course, now that I would actually buy a planter like this I can't seem to find any!
5. A vintage mirror. This is something that I had on my old list that I'm still looking for. I would love a mirror like this, especially if it had pretty roses like the one pictured. I have found a few at op-shops but they were plain and $45 which I think is a little too expensive for an old mirror. I've started to go to garage sales a bit more, where I might have a bit more luck.
6. Second hand Dangerfield dresses. I love the brand Dangerfield, but as I mentioned in this post I don't feel comfortable buying from them anymore. However, I have no problem buying Dangerfield second hand, as my money isn't supporting the brand but going to charity instead! Last year I found quite a few Dangerfield pieces, and I hope to find more this year too!
7. Souvenir teaspoons. I was helping one of my friends move into her new house and unpacked a collection of old souvenir teaspoons that she was going to use instead of regular teaspoons, which I think is a great idea! Souvenir teaspoons are a lot more interesting than regular teaspoons, so now I'm inspired to start a collection of my own.
8. And lastly, some cute vintage plant stands like the ones pictured. I think these would look lovely in our living area, or outside on our deck. I'm sure these are very popular right now, though, and I'm not sure what my odds will be of finding any.
I hope this list has inspired you to go and find something new! Also, if you're new to thrifting be sure to have a read of my 10 tips for op-shopping post. What are some of the things that are on your 2017 thrifting wish list?
My resolution for 2016 was to not buy any brand new clothing from traditional retail stores. This wasn't the first year I decided to give this a go. The first time I chose this for my new year resolution I was 18 years old, I was sick of the low-quality clothing I was spending a fortune on in the shops, and I had just fallen in love with op-shopping (thrifting). That year I decided to only buy second hand, or make my own clothing, and I surprisingly found it pretty easy. After that year I decided to predominately buy second hand and make my own clothing, however, I hadn't committed a full year off fast fashion again until 2016.
As my first blog post for 2017, I thought I would share my thoughts and struggles of a whole year of not buying any branding new clothing. Firstly, I think choosing 2016 to complete this resolution was very good timing. Towards the end of 2015 I had bought, and was given lots of new things for my wedding/honeymoon and therefore at the start of 2016 I had a brand new pair of bikinis, lots of brand new lingerie, a brand new pair of jeans, new dresses etc. However, halfway through the year my jeans ripped (again making me very angry as they were not cheap!). I patched them up as best I could, but unfortunately, I needed a new pair. I tried on multiple pairs of jeans at the op-shops, but I have short legs and none of the jeans that I tried, fitted me properly. Luckily, I'm more of a dress wearing girl then a jeans wearing girl, so could put up with the ripped jeans for the rest of the year without too much of a problem. Becuase of the jeans dilemma, I've decided that after a year of not buying any brand new clothing I'm now going to have to have buy the essentials, like a new pair of jeans. In 2017 I still hope to buy predominately second-hand clothing, but where necessary I will have to purchase some new items.
The second struggle I had was that I was a bridesmaid in two weddings this year. The first bridesmaid outfit was purchased in 2015, however, the second dress was purchased in 2016. This was the only time a failed at my resolution this year, but I don't really see it as a fail at all. It was a necessary purchase, and I'm proud that the only time I bought something new was for something as important as a bridesmaid dress (which I actually love by the way, and will definitely be wearing again!)
One of the upsides of not buying any new clothing is that I was forced to be creative with the clothing I already owned, and with the 'new', second-hand clothing I bought. I feel that I was most happy and comfortable in the outfits I wore in 2016, then I've ever been in my life. I think vintage fashion suits my body type and my 2016 resolution made me feel proud and comfortable to wear more of the clothing I love on a daily basis. I'm excited to maybe share more of my favourite outfits here with you this year!
If you would like to have a go at this resolution for yourself, here are a few tips:
1. Go op-shopping regularly. The more often you go, the more likely you will find some nice/vintage clothing that you'll actually love.
2. Buy a sewing machine and teach yourself some basic sewing skills. If you find a cute, second-hand dress but it's 4 sizes too big for you, you can still take it home and alter it to fit you.
3. Start off with smaller time frames. For example, do it for a month or 6 months instead. A year is a long time to commit to something as drastic as this (especially if you are a shopper by nature) so instead create a time frame that you feel comfortable with.
4. Buy handmade! If you ever feel the need to shop brand new, supporting handmade is always a good thing. There are so many handmade products available, and even if you have a necessity purchase, there will more than likely be a handmade option available!
I hope you've enjoyed this long, in-depth post about my 2016 resolution! I don't really have any resolutions for 2017, but hope to do this one again next year!
Over the weekend, I added some new dresses I've been working on to the online store! These dresses are so lovely for summer, and would even make the perfect christmas day frock! As always, these dresses have been made from 100% recycled fabrics.
Eva Dress - Red Rose available to purchase here.
Eva Dress - Blue Roses available to purchase here.
Rosa Dress - Summer Floral available to purchase here.
Eva Dress - Little Roses available to purchase here.
Rosa Dress - Mint Floral available to purchase here.
Eva Dress - Vintage Swan available to purchase here.
I recently found some more of this beautiful vintage swan fabric, and am happy to have this dress available to purchase once again! Only a limited number available though so be sure to get in quick!