Tuesday, 16 July 2019

Ottobre Mens Shirt

Have you ever made a mans shirt? Me neither but this first experience was a really enjoyable sew. It is from Ottobre magazine. They released their first family edition in 2017 but I have yet to make anything from it. 

I made the shirt in the easiest version I could make possible. I thought I should avoid any unnecessary fripperies and concentrate on getting the basics just right. 

I omitted the sleeve cuffs by making it short sleeved; missed off the pocket;left out little side vents and omitted the last buttonhole in case it was too tight around the neck. He wears them open in summer anyway. I guessed the size because I wanted it to be  a surprise and it was spot on luckily.

I asked if there was anything I could change if I made it again and he said, "No, the sleeves are so much better than the ones in the shops because they are always too short for me"

I used burgundy thread for the buttonholes and all top stitching. The fabric has a subtle texture to it because the pattern is woven in, not printed, the burgundy thread picks up the little square motif. There is a blue colourway left on the website which would also make a beautiful ladies shirt too.

Here is our last photo from the dog walk :) These photos speak of Andy in a lot of ways; surrounded by weeds, his handsome battered hat, a hole in his jeans but always happy with his lot.

Thanks for stopping by. Jo xxx

Wednesday, 10 July 2019


Making - Two more blocks for my postage stamp quilt. It is definitely snail mail this one!

Getting - Wet! The weather has been awful this June but we are hoping summer will arrive a bit more in July.

Drinking - June's batch of Elderflower cordial. Mine is the fizzy one with gin and tonic and Little M had cordial squash. Both lovely.

Eating - Homemade Indian food. I am lucky that the girls like a bit of spice.

 Baking - a new cranberry and muesli cookie recipe- they were great.

Building - It is not pretty but we are filling another scrap metal skip now that we have taken down another shed. £££

Loving - That our girls can 'play' at the farm. They played farms for four hours this week followed by three hours of playing 'builders' in hard hats spreading wet sand onto broken tiles using various different trowels!

Thinking - About a time when we will have hens again.

Wearing - A dress at last!

Disliking - That the pup is destroying my garden. Lillies today!

Loving - but loving having a family dog again.

Avoiding - Weeding, knowing I will have to pay for that in the long run.

Enjoying - An hour of crochet or knitting every night. I make something everyday - it is indeed true.

Listening - to Meg. I asked her if she wanted a choc Ice and she said, "What is a choc Ice?" I gave her one and she battled her way through it licking the paper and getting in a mess. She said, "This thing needs a stick!" I had my first generation gap moment!

Sewing - a beaded dress. It is an alteration for a friend and it has taken me 3 hours to get the beads off the sides so that I can take it in but I am being paid handsomely.

Buying - Did you know Seasalt online sell fabric and it is in the 50% off sale at the moment? Did you know they post it in a paper bag not a plastic one? Just throwing that one out there...

Fixing - The outdoor hose - just in case the sun shines again.

Deciding - to stop the car and take a photo of a field of poppies on the way to a friend's house.

Looking - for someone to give our 26 Hebridian fleeces to. We have only just got rid of last years and we have just sheared again.

Feeling - Like summer might arrive in earnest soon.

Jo xxx

Sunday, 7 July 2019

Nosing Around our Neighbourhood

We are lucky enough to have a day every June each year where families from our town open up their gardens for people to view. We LOVE it. It is social, inspirational and a good walk.

We started with a neighbour in our street who we know well. Her and her husband's garden is much bigger than you would expect with a beautiful bendy tree in the centre. The children ran straight down to her fruit and veg patch behind the fence to find some redcurrants and gooseberries.

They have a trickling water feature and lots of little secret places which we enjoyed looking at.

A neighbour to this large garden has a tiny courtyard garden in comparison. The sign said 'Stand on the step and peep over into Tracey's secret garden'. Tracey felt people would not want to look at her tiny garden but to see what can be achieved in a tiny north facing courtyard was inspirational.

We really wanted to see the next one. It is a house right in the high street which we pass daily but we have never seen the garden because is has a brick wall around it.

 It was amazing, very different to the others but right up our street as it were. They had three beehives, chickens, a huge vegetable plot and lots of fruit trees alongside a wildlife pond, bog garden and flower borders.

The next one is one of our favourites from past visits. The owners of this garden are more in the expert bracket but are so friendly when we visit. There is a pond, yoga studio, succulent house and a myriad of little pathways. There are some elements of structure which I would like to copy in our new house build garden from this space. The photos say it all for this one.

This rose is called Ferdinand Picard
The next one was a new one on the trail - a real surprise. This garden is on a newer estate of houses and we had to walk through the owners house to get to the rear garden but it was such a surprise to see such a huge amount of planting in such a small space.

The lady was lovely with the children and said they could go up to the back of the garden and sit on her reading bench in the little arbour. She said she read in there most nights. The garden was really considered a room within their house because two sides of the garden had french doors which opened out onto it. It was a perfect day to showcase this with warm sunny weather.

Finally, we made our way to a garden which was described in the program as terraced with water features. The girls really liked this garden. I did too because the views across the valley were great but it was a bit neat for me. Big Sis took over with the camera in this garden to capture the water lillies. 

You may have noticed the absence of our man in these photos. He was all set to come along and then the sheep shearer phoned and said he could do the sheep so he had to be seconded elsewhere. On his return we told him all about each garden with enthusiasm and great detail. We are brimming with new ideas.

Do you have an open garden day where you live?

Jo xxxxxx