Tuesday 24 October 2023


 Hi there folks. Welcome to October...ing. I like this time of year where it is a bit cooler, the seasons change but the nights are still light enough to keep your spirits up.

Arranging - flowers for my table vase challenge. I guess this is where the flower output of my garden drops to the point where I can no longer collect flowers for an all round table vase but I have done pretty well this year. Every day from March 1st until now without a single purchase. The alstroemeria Indian Summer has flowered all year working here with my Bishop of Oxford dahlias, heuchera flower stems and a second flush of lime alchemilla.

Maintaining - my colourful boot collection. I have 5 pairs of long boots in different colours and every year I take them out, give them a waxy polish then I am good to go for coller weather.

Sewing - winter clothes in solid colours. The dress is a lined babycord dress with pintucks down the front. I have wanted to replace a cord dress I had from Boden about 10 years ago and this was almost a straight swap. The trousers are super easy from Newlook6217 and a solid colour means I can wear all of my fairisle knits with them.

Celebrating - my younger girl's birthday. For the first time in 14 years she has not had a handmade cake :( or a party with friends. She went to Harry Potter studios on a school trip the day before and considered that her birthday treat! Why not? she was with her friends and they had a fab time.

Keeping - the front garden border from getting a mess by simply trimming everything lightly. I like to leave a few seed heads for birds and some leaves to protect the crowns of plants from frost because we are high up so we get them early on.

Thinking - about swapping over my pot display on the patio but the flowers just keep coming so I will hang on a bit longer until I plant up bulbs and winter bedding.

The warm weather early on in the month meant I could get one more crop of salad in the troughs. These are winter salads which hopefully can stand the colder weather.

Finishing - up in the greenhouse now with the last of my tomatoes. I dried some herbs for winter cooking and the pepper crop came good in the end after moving the plants into the house. This was the last pick before putting the plants into the compost bin.

Foraging - with an impromptu collection of field mushrooms on a dog walk. They made the most flavourful soup.

Managing - to get quite a few of these pak choi heads. They are a more leafy variety than the ones you see in shops but are fab in stir frys with noodles.

Making - another door wreath to gift to a friend. This one has mostly allium heads and hydrangeas. I loved making this, an hour away from the jobs list.

Dicing - with the traffic in storm Babet. I made it all the way to town for a dental appointment through so many floods only to find I couldn't walk to the actual dental surgery. Drove all the way home then to receive an email from school saying it was closing... yep you guessed it, back to the same town again.

Creating - always makes a mess or is that just me! I had a weekend afternoon catching up on podcasts, scrapbooking our photos and making birthday cards.

Knitting - as the evenings are cooler. It is time to get stuck into some heavy duty knitting. This project is an all consuming fairisle knit by Martin Storey called Asbury. I am loving it. Time for the sleeves now.

Thanks for stopping by. Jo xxx

Tuesday 10 October 2023

Exciting Weekend

 I had the most exciting weekend at the Minerva Pop up shop Birthday event at the end of September. Much of my sewing work of late was under wraps leading up to this event. I was one of the sample sewers for the garments displayed around the hall along with Dianne from Sew Create, Recycle. We both sewed our way through the wet summer creating over 30 items of clothes. It was wonderful to actually meet Dianne in person as we are 'work colleagues' albeit remotely so we love to keep in contact.

I got to use some of the new stretch crush velvet to make both evening wear and day wear along with lots of other discoveries into new fabric types.  

Sewing with boiled wool and Vegan wool coating was a big challenge. The coatigan is with Minerva as a sample but Andy bagged the peacoat for himself.

At the evening event there was a catwalk of dressmakers in their outfits followed by food and dancing. There were sewing bee contestants galore as well as a chat with Patrick Grant! He was great fun and really entered into the spirit of celebration.

Sewing has been a bit slower since the event - time for a bit of a rest and a clear out in the studio but I really enjoyed being part of the Minerva team which I normally collate with remotely. Meeting the people you email everyday helps you to make a real connection.

In other sewing news I have been adding to my underwear drawer with some comfy makes. This is the Watson bra and Iris knickers from Tilly and the buttons. I think I now only own two pairs of shop bought knickers! I then decided to adapt the bra pattern slightly to make it underwired for a better shape. 

I am pleased to report that my second daughter has also enjoyed some sewing. She likes painting more that constructing but asked to make some tartan PJ bottoms after her epic one year crochet make. That girl has gumption. I have never actively asked my children to sew I run on the phrase "never offer, never refuse"  


Big girl has been enjoying sewing too even more so now that she has started 6th form and she can wear her own clothe instead of a uniform. She has been loving shortening her T-shirts and adding transfers. The transfer paper was a gift for her birthday in August and she has loved experimenting with motifs.

I think that is all of us isn't it? All enjoying wearing me made clothes from learning new skills. Thanks for dropping by for my rather indulgent post!

Jo xxxx