My Assembly Line finally gets moving…

The sun is out!

Winter has well & truly arrived. Yes I did have to scrape ice off the windscreen the other morning. Mr PK & I have already had our annual “how to operate the heat pump” argument. I favor leaving it on all the time at a lower temp (also recommended by the installer), he is all about turning it off & on as required. So basically it will be operated with passive aggressive turning off and on in an extremely inefficient manner until September. Happy days!

So why am I wearing a relatively summery style dress then?

I cut this Assembly Line Box Please dress out about 10 Degrees ago, but never got around to making it up. My sewjo has been somewhat lacking recently, the pieces sat in my To Be Done basket making me feel bad before we had a really wet weekend & I finally got around to some sewing. It is quite a quick sew, even for me.

This dress is a winner. I choose a rayon from Spotlight , it has the prefect drape for this style. The shape is simple, but as with other Assembly Line patterns, it’s all about the details. I love the box pleat feature, which gives the dress wonderful movement, and the split hem. Pockets of course, and the sleeves are a really nice shape, loose enough I can layer with a merino top underneath. Boots & tights make this perfect for work, but when the weather warms up it will work equally well with sandals or sneakers, and a denim jacket .

I made a size XL with no alterations, next time I would do a small forward shoulder adjustment, but other than that I’m happy, another winner from The Assembly Line. The patterns are not cheap, but the aesthetic is definitely me,  I got this one & The Oversized Shirt from Miss Maude  which I’m really keen to make next (yay for sewjo!) 

I’ve gone a bit mad planting onions apparently…

So what else has been occurring at Plum Towers?

Wife of the Year Award…

I FINALLY made up the Pajamas I promised Mr PK approx. four years ago. These are the Eastwood Pajamas by Thread Theory in beautiful soft Double Gauze also from Miss Maude. They are a huge hit, so much so I have now been asked to make a linen pair for Summer. He’s given me months of warning, wise man.

I saw this book Modern Quilting on the Merchant & Mills social media feed , they have provided offcuts of linen for the author Julius Arthur to use in his quilts for the book. I love the style & colours, I’ve never tried quilting before, quilting cotton always seemed a bit “in your face” for me, but these quilts are much more subdued. I enjoy listening to the Haptic & Hue podcast on my commute, this episode, talking about the Gee’s Bend quilters in Alabama was particularly interesting. 

Don’t laugh, its my first attempt!

My first attempt is a quilt for my cat to sit on, I figure start small while I figure out the techniques! Yes, I have much to learn. Tuppence is trying to be encouraging but not sure she is fully convinced her new rug will be a match for the hideous fleece number currently on the end of the spare bed.

Tuppence not sure about my quilting abilities.

We had a lovely time a few weeks back celebrating my Mother in Laws 80th birthday with a family lunch followed by tea & cake. No pressure making the cake then. I was really pleased with how it came out, a vanilla cake sandwiched with fresh passionfruit curd & passionfruit buttercream, yum. Our passionfruit vine was prolific over summer so I had the pulp in my freezer, I know, very Martha Stewart of me.

I spent a whole weekend sorting & moving my cookbooks onto one big bookcase (which I had to paint first). It was hard yakka but deeply satisfying, I love my little reading nook, and the book covers won’t fade in the corner of the lounge. Such a treat being able to find a recipe book without searching three different bookcases in different parts of the house. And yes, I may well have a few too many cookbooks.

I’m especially pleased as this is a very personal little spot. The couch & chairs came from my husbands parents Bach, I had them recovered . The lamp was also from the Bach, I’m still deciding on a cover for the shade. My sister gave me the wonderful French print on the wall, and made the applique cushion on the couch. I made the cushion on the chair from a tea towel Glenn’s Grandmother brought for Queen Elizabeth’s Coronation in 1953 . The crochet blanket is from a charity shop. Nothing matched or particularly expensive but it’s comfortable & I love it.

I hope you are staying warm (or cool!) wherever you are, in the meantime I’d like to give a special shout out to the genius that invented heated seats in cars.

Sir or Madam, I salute you!

Kristina xxx


  1. pixiesews says:

    Hi, I love the back pleat on your dress. I have never understood garments that have interesting front details and boring backs. Like no one sees us when we walk away!?

    Enjoy your reading nook! Reading anything interesting? Oh, and I have been enjoying “shedunnit” which I think you mentioned in one of your blog posts. We have been watching Stay Here on Netflix. A real estate guy and a designer help airbnb type places renovate to increase their revenue. I love the before and afters!


    1. plumkitchen says:

      Thanks! Yes I love a good back detail, perfect for a grand exit right? I’ve actually just finished re-reading Death on the Nile, I’m looking fwd to the movie adaptation, had forgotten how good the book is 🙂 Glad you are enjoying Shedunnit, I love listening in the car driving home. Will check out Stay Here, thanks! x


      1. pixiesews says:

        We just tried another one. Ink Master. It’s like Blown Away except it’s tattoo artists. Far cry from the Great British Baking Show … lol!!


      2. plumkitchen says:

        Love Ink Master!!


  2. Fuztop says:

    We could totally be friends – I love pretty much ALL the TAL patterns (except the jumpsuits – don’t understand why adults would wear one) and ADORE your rayon version. I’ve just done my first fully appliqué quilt and discovered a double bond system that you iron on the back of your shape thereby making it a sticker that you can then place on your main fabric and iron on. You then stitch around it without the need for pins and moving fabric GENIUS!!! I got it from the local quilt shop. Might see you at Miss Maude one day 🙂


    1. plumkitchen says:

      Ha, yes I’m still on the fence about Jumpsuits (although I did actually like the look of theirs, I love a wide leg pant) I’m so checking out the double bond stuff! My tacking isnt what it could be & pins are a recipe for disaster (& blood!) I hope so, really want to get down to Miss Maude soon 🙂


  3. Kim Taylor says:

    Nice to see a new post! I also love the TAL patterns, I made the TAL cap sleeve dress a few years ago and it’s had many positive comments at work and out and about, and I also have made the three pleat skirt which is a good work staple. I’m planning to make the midi dress next (I have the fabric and everything) but your box pleat dress is making me rethink my queue!


    1. plumkitchen says:

      Thanks! I have the midi dress pattern , I love it but can’t decide what fabric I want to us, so indecisive!😆


  4. Ruth says:

    I’m so with you on the leaving the heat pump on a lower temperature all the time. Fortunately I don’t have anyone to fight with on that one.
    Love that back pleat detail. I might have to look into TAL patterns.


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