Party Outfit – First Christmas Party of 2017

So Friday was my first Christmas party of the season – I know that’s quite early but the office party is always the first Friday of December (except for that year it was 30 November…).

Anyway, by way of background, I fell in love with the 50’s look when my friend turned up wearing a fabulous dress and petticoat to her daughter’s christening. I saw it and wanted one but at that time I felt I needed a special event to dress like that as it seemed so glamorous. Fast forward 6 years or so and now its my standard way of dressing! I love petticoats and swirly skirts and will wear them even just to go to the shops – never overdressed.

However, on Friday I decided to wear something a little different to swirl skirts, opting for a halter neck pencil dress from Vivien of Holloway ( I picked this up when I visited the store in August and when I was struggling to choose between this and my usual style the girls in the shop convinced me this was the one so I took the leap of faith and bought it. However, it took me until last week to actually wear it. I’m so glad I did because I got so many compliments on it.

But actually what I think helped make the outfit was what I wore underneath. When I first started wearing 50’s style, I didn’t really think about what I wore underneath but as time has passed Ive realised that this is just as important, even if no-one sees it! So when What Katie Did ( had a 20% off for Black Friday, I decided to purchase the Merry Widow in peach together with some of their lovely stockings and a new girdle. I haven’t shown the girdle here, that might feature in a later post. WKD always post their goodies wrapped in lovely tissue paper and tied with lovely ribbon- it is always a pleasure to open these.

The Merry Widow has detachable straps for both the top and bottom, making it extremely flexible. I wore it without the bra straps but wore the claret stockings. I have to admit, I have never felt more comfortable in stockings than I did in this combination – its amazing what good quality underwear can do for you.

What Katie Did Merry Widow and Claret Stockings

I do love a corset but didn’t feel a corset would work under the HNPD. The Merry Widow does though – it helped pull my waist in and give me some lovely curves without being too restrictive for dancing in nor being obvious underneath the dress (which you can see in the background!)

So putting the whole outfit together, I felt amazing. I am a convert to HNPD’s although I think my heart will always belong to circle skirts and dresses – they make me feel feminine, whilst HNPD definitely made me feel sexy! So if you are a circle skirt and dress lover, dont forego a pencil dress – it can still have that vintage feel, as I hopefully have demonstrated!

VIvien of Holloway HNPD


Chocolate Crackle Cookies

My boys love the chocolate cake I always make for their birthdays (although the decoration they ask for gets more complicated each year!) but I have never made cookies for them before. First time for everything.

As a good girl guide, I was always taught to be prepared so the night before I planned to make the cookies, I checked out the recipe and noted down all the ingredients I needed to pick up – or so I thought. Turned out I didn’t have light muscovado sugar – so I improvised and used golden caster sugar – and crossed my fingers, hoping for the best!


The recipe itself, from The Great British Bake Off How to Bake book ( was fairly easy to follow. ¬†The hardest part was not eating the chocolate or scooping the melted chocolate, butter and sugar mix up and eating that! Doesn’t it look yummy?


After adding the egg and vanilla and then the flour and bicarbonate of soda and mixing, I had to leave the mixture to chill for an hour. I know I can sometimes be an impatient baker and all I really wanted to do was roll out the balls and stick them in the oven to cook – but patience is a virtue when it comes to baking, so I waited the hour…


Once I had waited the whole hour (that clock goes so slowly when you are watching it!), I rolled the mixture into balls, coated them in the icing sugar and placed them on the baking tray and into the oven. 10 minutes gives a softer biscuit, 12 minutes a crisp result – so I did a mix of both as I had to bake the cookies in batches. They all looked fantastic – at least I thought so – and they tasted fantastic – or at least my kids thought so! Clearly, substituting golden caster sugar for the light muscovado sugar called for in the recipe wasn’t a disaster. I will definitely make these again. Let me know if you try them and how they turn out.



There is a first for everything, a first date, a first kiss, a first day at a new job… and a first blog post. All of those things come with a little pressure, a little stress, a little fear – and this blog post is no different!

My blog is, as the name suggests, about makes, bakes, books and looks – makes because I like to sew/knit/crochet and be generally crafty; bakes because I love to bake, I suppose I am a feeder!; books¬†because I love to read and occasionally write principally short stories and flash fiction; and lastly looks, as I love the 1950’s look and any excuse to dress in lovely dresses and petticoats – such as going to the shops, going to work, going to the cinema, yes anywhere really!

So, if you have any interest in any or all of these things, hopefully this blog will interest you. Check back shortly for a post on chocolate crackle cookies, which my kids – and my colleagues loved!