Let’s Partee with Tarlee…

Business at the front…

Hello friends! Hello little blog, I’ve missed you. It’s been Covid (both of us, boo!), several colds, a dodgy haircut , zero overseas adventures and many sewing fails long, and here we are. Nice to be back.

So to celebrate, a new top that is all business at the front…but lots of fun at the back. After seemingly endless rain and cold any party attitude is most welcome.

Some fun at the back.

The pattern I started with is the Tarlee tee by Muna and Broad  , a great versatile pattern I have made before . I really like the fit of this pattern, especially the curve over the back into the neckline, perfect for my terrible posture (I blame years of desk/computer work and an aversion to yoga)  


The fabric is a gorgeous merino from The Fabric Store , the back fabric is a lovely swishy Liberty print, the drape is perfect for the style and feels really nice to wear.

I made View A with long sleeves in size E, cutting across the back piece of the pattern approx. 3.5cm/1.5 inches below the armhole. I then cut the piece of Liberty the same length as the remaining length on the pattern, adding a seam allowance for adding to the top. The fabric is very soft and I knew it would gather well. I also knew I wanted plenty of volume at the back so the piece of fabric I cut and gathered was around 120 cm/47 inches wide. It felt way too much but once gathered up it is just right.

Just right …

Great with jeans and sneakers but I have worn this one to work with slim navy pants and my navy velvet ballet flats (only one person asked if I was wearing my slippers so that’s a win I guess…?)

So what else has been occurring at Plum Towers ? My lovely neighbour turned up with a large bag of oranges from her tree. Obviously when life gives you citrus you pour a gin. But AFTER that, you make Marmalade .

Where are you Paddington??

I use Ina Garten’s recipe  , instead of lemons I used three limes from our garden, so it’s a totally homegrown fruit situation. I didn’t have quite enough white sugar so I added some demuera sugar , its made the marmalade slightly darker, but I still think it looks delicious. It certainly tastes good, even if my peel is slightly thicker than some (my mother) might prefer!

Good enough for a royal sandwich , just sayin…

Given the season in Tamaki Makaurau, July often feels like a bit of a grind and this one is no different. But it IS perfect weather for TV/Movie/Books.

I’ve recently enjoyed two quite different reads. The first is The Perfect Couple by Elin Hilderbrand. It’s the first of her books I’ve read, I LOVE the Nantucket setting, plus a good mystery is right up my alley. Mr PK & I visited Nantucket a few years back, honestly, its like a film set! FYI they make amazing Bloody Mary’s on the ferry over from Hyannis πŸ™‚


Completely different is The Unexpected Inheritance of Inspector Chopra by Vaseem Khan, set in Mumbai. This is a charming mystery, with a lovely protagonist, the setting is so well described and who wouldn’t want a baby elephant as a side kick? 

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For viewing, we’ve also gone a bit eclectic…

I came to Stranger Things late, but oh my goodness, what a cracking show. The characters, the brilliant story, the CLOTHES, the MUSIC! the latest series is set in 1986, and some of the characters are exactly the same age I was in 1986, I’m certainly feeling the vibe. Also, Kate Bush people (I have a very soft spot for Wuthering Heights, won’t lie) 

I was so excited to find A Stitch in Time on Amazon Prime, I’ve been wanting to watch this for ages. Amber Butchart is often quoted on The Great British Sewing Bee so I was keen to see her own show. It’s a brilliant look at historic costuming and art history, plus Ambers fab outfits each week are worth a watch by themselves.

I think of mentioned this before but a new season of the Haptic & Hue podcast dropped in April, I so enjoy this one, Jo Andrews’ research is fantastic, and I always finish listening wanting to find out more.

Now before I go I must introduce you to the latest member of our whanau, friends meet Miss Lemon.  She is a delicate old lady whose owners cannot take care of her anymore. So she will live out her days in some comfort  with Tommy, Tuppence, and as many cuddles as she can handle. As you can see, its highly exciting…


Right, off to make Butter Chicken for dinner, Sunday night curry night,  get in!

Have a fabulous week 

Kristina x


  1. Jane says:

    Missed you. Glad your back!


  2. Sue B says:

    Its sooo good to hear from you again. Yum to the marmalade, t-shirt looks fantastic and Miss Lemon is one lucky elderly lassie x


    1. plumkitchen says:

      Thanks Sue, nice to be back! πŸ™‚


  3. Laurpud says:

    I’m so glad you & your mister are okay, I’ve been worried.
    The top looks fun, & your marmalade looks delicious!
    It’s very sweet of you to take in an elderly cat; congratulations on all the partying going on! πŸ˜€


    1. plumkitchen says:

      That’s so kind, thank you! Yes we are enjoying our new arrival, its cold & wet at the moment so lots of inside time which our cats love! x


  4. Tracy says:

    Love the shirt. Was the Liberty print a stretch or a woven (Tana Lawn.)


    1. plumkitchen says:

      Thanks, it was a cotton, but felt softer than a lawn (not quite so crisp) , I wish I could remember what it said on the tag!


  5. JAY KIRBY says:

    It is so nice to hear from an old friend after a long time! Now I want to make some marmalade (nothing homegrown, I’m afraid) and read some books. Sewing…I need to shovel out my sewing room.

    Marilyn Kirby in Wichita, KS



    1. plumkitchen says:

      Hi Marilyn, lovely to hear from you πŸ™‚ I imagine it’s sunny and warm where you are, wet & miserable here so no better place to be than on the sofa with a book or in my sewing room (with the heater on!) xxx


  6. M-C says:

    Love your shirt! Also in the throes of marmalade making over here, a friend just dropped off a whole bag of delicious meyer lemons. I like it better since I’ve been making efforts to cut it chunkier πŸ˜‰. And thank you so much for more book recommendations! I love all the previous ones, so let me in turn recommend Sujata Massey. A brilliant first series set in Japan, now followed by an equally interesting one set in India, both strong female protagonists in the early 20th century.


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