It’s been a while since I last posted, how it can it nearing the end of May already?! For almost two weeks I’ve been floored by something nasty called the flu. It wasn’t pretty. Neither was trying to look composed in my brother’s wedding photos when there was no-one behind me to hold onto.
This week I’ve been attempting recovery in the fresh air, which has mainly involved drinking herbal tea outside my greenhouse, giving directions to my lovely father-in-law John and coughing a lot. I am starting to see changes in my garden, finally, after almost 3 years of battling weeds, overgrown everything, endless rain and that feeling of where do I start?. The answer – a little section at a time. Eventually it’ll all be beautiful. This year’s tasks are the front door, and my favourite bit, the vegetable garden.
I found this picture from 2 years ago –
And now, today, from roughly the same place –
This gate is the sole reason my vegetable garden exists, and there are things growing in it (though not as fast as I’d like, it is Scotland in May after all…). This gate is the difference between my chickens gorging themselves on tasty, organic fruit and vegetables, and the humans gorging themselves on tasty, organic fruit and vegetables. I mentioned to John a few weeks ago that ‘hmm, maybe a gate here would be a good idea?’ and then a few days later we got back from a trip up north and he’d built one from scraps of wood from our garage and installed it in the perfect place. Such a wonderful man. I cried when I saw it.
The parts of the garden John and I have worked in feel so full of hope, and right now I’m clinging tightly to that. The last three years have started that way too, then all that hope has been washed away by crappy weather. It seems like this year we’ve got a better start. Does anyone have any favourite rhubarb preserving recipes?
Right now I am happily riding the wave of my sewing mojo. My Cambie is finished (a reveal will follow after the wedding I’ve made it to wear at next weekend), and I celebrated by starting something new, straight away.
Maybe this puts me in the realms of weird fan girl, but when I saw the Marielle Skirt on Tilly’s blog I knew I needed this skirt in my wardrobe.
The directions (even in a magazine which I guess might have been edited) were perfectly clear and lovely. Somehow though my skirt ended up with the opening on the opposite side. I don’t think I made any whoopsies and my fabric was the correct way up, but clearly something happened, not that it matters.
(There is a strange chicken v dog territory war going on behind me in these photos. Penny tries to look for squirrels in the tress. The chickens are unimpressed and charge her, trying to peck her tail as she runs away. Chickens look triumphant.)
The fabric is some navy cord, and I lined it with a little cotton print I picked up somewhere. Buttons are from my rescued/frogged Levenwick.
I love how this skirt is going to go with so many things in my wardrobe. Penny likes it too.
I’m sure this post will jinx it. But things are (now) moving along nicely with my Cambie dress. *
There was a moment a couple of nights ago when it all seemed to be going wrong – I had made the full-skirt version and suddenly the niggling voice in my head was deafening…’you’ll look like a meringue, you’ll look like a meringue.’ It was right, and I should have paid attention a week ago. Mr Saz tried to entertain me with amusing tales but I was screaming at myself inside and trying to figure out if I could re-cut for the A-line version.
The skirt came off. The gathers came out. The seams were picked out. The skirt was hacked apart. And now, I have version A, with a much smaller skirt and one that is more suited to my shape. Yay!
And the most important thing I have learnt with this dress – trust your muslin. (Actually, I am going to start calling it a toile, because I’m not American and I only recently found out that we have a different word.) Trust your toile. And trust the friends who helped you fit it. It seemed to me that there were some pretty serious alterations going on. Pattern pieces were cut with entirely new angles. Lines went in different directions. I never expected to need so many changes to the fit, but it is going to be totally worth it. This dress fits perfectly – when I think know about how it would look if I had made it exactly to the pattern pieces I shudder.
I just have the lining to sew, which I will now do with total confidence that it’s not going to be a mess and huge waste of lovely fabric, and then some little finishing bits. And I still have 10 days to go, so I’m letting my mind wander a little onto my next sewing project…
*Yep, if you look at this picture and think that one of the sleeves is sewn together with the seam allowances on the wrong-side, you’d be right. Sewing too late at night is to blame.
These days I am not as sociable as I used to be. This past weekend was lovely, filled with loved ones and laughing and fresh air. Every day I feel fortunate to have such wonderful family. But suddenly now it is silent, and just as lovely.
This afternoon there will be quiet work in my office, with just Penny curled up behind me. Chocolate cake. Maybe a little seed planting. Maybe a little snooker. And definitely an epic, muddy hike. (We can’t say the ‘w’ word around here anymore, it puts sweet Penny into a frenzy. Soon that will happen for the ‘h’ word too and we will have to find an new one.)