Thursday, 25 May 2023

What happens when you realise that for most of May, my favourite month of the year, you have simply been inside sewing! This month my post is a totally selfish round up of what I have been sewing. The Sewing Bee has started on the BBC so I thought it was rather apt. 

This is the Megan Neilsen Sudley Dress and Top. A simple pattern that can grow with you as you progress in sewing skill. You can make it with a collar or without. You can have the tie at the front or the back. It is very easy to fit because it is roomy. I added some ricrac detail to the collar for a tutorial but I have fallen in love with this easy to sew, versatile blouse and dress. The blue one is made with viscose challis and the dress is a bargain linen mix.

On a more complicated level, I made a box pleat blouse from a pattern company called DP Studio. They are French and all of the styles are indeed very French. I like to sew more complicated things but I don't want to spend ages making something challenging which I can only wear to a special occasion so this blouse was a win win for me because it was engaging but I can wear it all the time with my jeans.

Talking of jeans, I have made another pair of Dawn Jeans again by Megan Nielsen. I like the full pattern range and sizing generally. This pair has green topstitching. Why do we always have mustard top stitching? 

This is another complex top with a gorgeous honeycomb pin tuck detail. I made a tutorial for this which I think would really help someone to get on board with McCalls8325.
My last make to show you is the Ogden cami. I have done a full bust adjustment on this pattern for a much better fit. 

Now that the weather has eventually warmed up I can take my foot off the sewing gas, get some of those summer garments on and enjoy the outdoors.

Thanks for dropping by. Jo xxxxx

Friday, 5 May 2023

Sunshine Would Make it Rosier!

I missed Whoops! I have enjoyed reading other blogs this week but didn't quite seem to get round to putting my own words together.

Anyway, just to let you know we are eating well....

Loving work. A rare glimpse of my chaotic sewing space which is normally so tidy...

Finding the moments to walk the dog and fill my table vase. This is the last of my daffs, my blossoming orange broom which is the first time it has flowered in three years. I gathered some orange geums and then bluebells from my field. My flower grower friend Beth stepped in the following week with these incredible ranunculus and anenomes from her polytunnel. The colours were too strong for the brief of her wedding bouquet order so they ended up on my table. Lucky eh?

Loving the front bed of hot/warm colours and how this has come together from my original thought process.

The one thing the whole family has in common at the moment is watching our massive crab apple tree slowly unfurl. It changes day by day.

Finding joy in dancing with my Tribal dance friends even though it was pretty chilly at Upton Folk Festival.

Solving the little problems in life. Jeans I made which were too short once I stopped wearing my boots have had a little embroidaise anglais extension.

These are of course the good bits. Things are a bit here and there at the moment. Nothing too miserable just a teen doing GCSE's, another daughter having so many interrupted school weeks which really impacts on my work (snow days, teacher strikes, boiler breakdowns at school, an endless stream of bank holidays) and we currently have in-laws who need more help with day to day life. But hey, you're not here to listen to that, these are just life's ups and downs. If only the sun would bloody shine it would give everything a rosier glow.

Off to read some blogs my friends. Toodle hoo! Jo xxxx

Tuesday, 18 April 2023

Three Word Gardening - Slow To Start

 I am starting up my three word gardening posts again each month and this year I will start with Slow To Start. The weather has not been the greatest and living here on a high ridge has meant that it has been super windy. 

I will start with a little tour. This was the fruit cage after our snowfall, I just walked away from it with a very sad face but Bloke went out in the wind and put it all back together. Big Girl and I spent two hours weeding all of the strawberries. There is nothing worse than spotting a big red strawberry, then getting stung by a hidden nettle. I also moved a clump of raspberries from right in front of the entrance door. The fruit garden was planted up before I bought the cage so things were in a bit of a strange orientation once I realised where the door was going. Much better now.

First pick of the rhubarb will be this week too.

The front garden is raised and the soil in there is pretty weed free because it is new (3 years old) and I intend to keep it that way. The daffs have gone over now swiftly following are the orange hues of my tulips. The broom has flowered for the first time this year which compliments the border well.

I have lots of daffs but I like the later flowering ones like this white one Thalia which is beautifully fragranced which I place with the lighter foliage plants or pheasants eye which will be out soon.

I have all my veg seeds started off but it is still a bit too cold for them to really take off. Fingers crossed for the next few weeks.

My florist friend Beth grows her wedding flowers at our farm. It is such a bonus to look out on a piece of ground all neatly kept without me having to lift a finger.

The back garden is the one you see when I take a photo of the view. We have a 1.5m HaHa that makes the lawn seem infinite (but essentially stops the sheep getting on the patio!) This is a mix of shrubs and annual plants I grow from seed. This is more of a summer border in purple, blue and pink.

I will leave you with a few seasonal favourites: dwarf tulips in my belfast sinks and a new variety of grape hyacinth in my studio barrel.

What is your garden looking like? Slow to Start?

Thursday, 6 April 2023



Hello there folks. I have been sewing for fun, not for work. My big girl is getting ready for her end of school prom. We didn't want to leave the dress shenanigans until the last minute hence a finished Prom dress in winter. Heidi chose a pattern where I gave the all clear but unfortunately I did not read the back of the packet properly and it turned out to be for stretch fabrics and we had already received a non-stretch satin. 

Oh dear!  Annnnyways... I made I work and we did a few adaptations. It already had an elasticated waist so we got away with the waist fit and simply cut two bodice pieces and lined the bodice to finish the armholes and neckline. The biggest hack was to add a slit to the back to enable her to get it over her head. Heidi made a lot of the main dress herself and I made the beaded overskirt. This is removable by a hook and eye with the bow covering the join so that she can wear the dress for different events. She absolutely loves it and of course so do I, especially the hem. Five hours of bead unpicking along the seams was not fun but I have almost forgotten that now!  We had a little photo session (in the snow!) because I was sponsored the fabric from Minerva where there is a full write up of the materials used. Here for you folks are simply some eye candy photos. Enjoy!

Thanks for dropping by. Jo xxx

Tuesday, 28 March 2023 along into early Spring with all of the weather. It is time for fun, florals and a clear out.

Baking - Scones for mothering Sunday and continuing my table vase challenge this week with more daffodils.


Having - a spring clean in the wardrobe department. The doors would not close so I knew it was time for a sort out. There is only one way to do this in my opinion and that is to empty it completely and only put back what I really want. I did a charity shop run and some homemade gifting to friends.

Loving - the snow fall. We are a family of sledgers! We are very fortunate/unfortunate, depends how you look at it, to live on a high ridge. There is always good snowfall and plenty of slopes.

Considering - what to do with my fruit cage. I am really disappointed. How can something so holey that cost £500 collapse in a flurry of snow! Bloke says he can fix it.

Looking - at another rainbow. With so much varied weather in March we have been looking at a lot of rainbows.

Disliking - Thursday. Had an oestoepath appointment and then a flat tyre. I couldn't get the spare off the back door of my Jimny and had to ring the nearest tyre place to come and rescue me. I was filthy by the time the guy arrived and he did it in 10 mins. He looked at my dusty clothes after I apologised for not changing it myself and said, "God loves a trier!"

Crocheting - with my youngest. She is making a crochet jumper for herself and I have been sewing in the ends.

Finishing - our community bunting. My girls, and a few peeps at the craft club I run, have been making bunting....loads of it. It has totally cleared up my scrap fabric pile which is a joy to me. My part was to attach it all to the tape.

Ta Dah!

Making - a start on those mini skeins by learning to fade. OK, so my first green fade wasn't great but the next purple to blue one is awesome. Always happy to learn something new.

Finally the view on our second smaller snowfall.

I am off to check out your blogs, I am more of a reader these days than a commenter but be assured I am still checking in. Jo xxxx