Posted in sewing projects

November

I can’t believe there are only three weeks left to my sewing class. I thought the last time I wrote, that the shell I was drafting was just about fitted, but it wasn’t and I had to redraft the sides in order to start on the sleeves! It takes a lot of patience, but I feel that it’s been a journey of learning along the way. The first draft of the sleeves was completed and I fitted them in after the class, but they don’t fit well at all! So this week, we are back after a half term break. I thought that I would be flying after this course, making clothes to fit me well and even trying a bit of knit or jersey sewing, but I’ve discovered that I have to learn to walk first. I guess I thought that because I could sew, I’ve always possessed a sewing machine, and often made home furnishings that I would be able to translate that to dressmaking, but it definitely hasn’t been that easy. I can’t believe how many hours I’ve spent over the past two months, sewing, fitting, unpicking, adjusting…..

I did make the Kersoe top. The shell fitted brilliantly, the actual top, not so much. I think it’s all about fabric choice. The cotton was quite firm and maybe a lighter weight would have been a better option. But I’m sharing it with you. It seemed to hang from the bust down so I’ve placed a few darts along the bust to the hem line. I will wear it in summer, with shorts as a daytime top. Ignore the blue china pencil lines!

It was so nice to actually make something that fitted me reasonably well. I had a break from dressmaking after that and got to with my new yoga bag. My old one and its mat seem to have disappeared after I changed cars, even though I’m positive that I took it off the parcel shelf, where it had lain in state for months on end.

This yoga bag is a jazzed up version, padded with some iron on fleece that I purchased from a local fabric and haberdashery shop called BST Fabrics. The fabric was bought from a home soft furnishings store call Dunelm, they have a small haberdashery and fabric store and I was drawn to the lovely cotton print… which reminds me I must go back and buy a William Morris Christmas fat quarter from there. I made my yoga bag from a japanese fan print with a dotty inside, plus I added a little pocket inside for my leisure centre pass and keys. with plenty of room for my towel, water bottle and knee pads 🙂

Finally, after feeling happy about my yoga bag, I decided once again to tackle dressmaking. The dress I started out with still lies abandoned in a bag….I just don’t feel that I can tackle the adjustments yet. So I’ve plumped for a style that I generally wouldn’t choose from my new kindle book called ‘Ahead of the Curve’. It’s a book in the stable of the Cashmerette company which designs patterns for curvy women drafting patterns in three different cup sizes. It takes a lot of the hard work of doing bust adjustments out of the equation. I still had to do adjustments mainly with the darts and around the sleeves. The book comes with 5 downloadable pdf patterns and full instructions. This time I’m trying to make the Honeybourne dress. I bought I lighter weight cotton from BST Fabrics for this dress, but I’m only at the muslin stage at the moment. After much dart and sleeve adjustment I think I might be ready to cut! Well, once I’ve adjusted the waist and hip part because like most people, I’m not a regular off the hanger dress size from top to bottom!

Posted in new knitting projects

Where does time fly to?

I can’t believe it’s a month since I wrote here.

The weather’s cooling down and I’m slowly putting the garden to bed… Helped by the sunflowers snapping in the wind and the beans etc coming to the end of their productive life. The tomatoes are still ripening in the greenhouse but will have to be taken down in the next week or two as the plants are starting to die. It’s a little sad at the end of each season getting ready for the winter months. I think I’ll move some of the tender plants into the greenhouse to get them through the winter, hopefully.

I had a big tidy up of my stash a few weeks ago donating material and yarn to my sewing group. I’m sure the pieces will be transformed into wanted creations.

On the theme of the sewing group I’m thrilled to finally feel that I’m making progress. Over the past few weeks I’ve been making a shell based on my measurements. It’s been slow progress but a steep learning curve over the weeks. Learning about what alterations do the garment and really having to scrutinise the work on my body shape 😜

Well the shell is pretty much completed and fitting so next week is the drafting and fitting of a sleeve. At some point I’m going to be able to cut out a garment. I’ve shelved my original pattern as too difficult right now and after a lot of research on the internet, I’ve bought a kindle book which comes with downloadable pdf patterns that, I hope, will fit my body shape better and reduce the alterations that I’ll have to make.

So the first garment will be a simple shell top from an independent pattern company call Cashmerette, and I will make the Kersoe top. I’ve some pretty viscose and cotton fabrics to use up.

Posted in new knitting projects

Post holiday tidy up

We arrived back home earlier this week after three weeks in sunny Cyprus. How the weather has changed here compared to the day we flew on holiday. The word is autumnal! Although some days are bright and sunny most are damp and the temperature has dropped especially at night.

Post holiday we are slowly ploughing our way through the clothes washing mountain, with drying a problem. Catching the sunny days to hang them out to dry but keeping an eye on those heavy showers.

Because we are still both off work, a big food shop yesterday included lots of home cooking ingredients rather than easy meals because we are both tired after working all day. But also meals that incorporate the remains of the veg garden.

I was disappointed at how much of the veg in the plot had grown or gone over. The broccoli heads had flowered so they’re now removed but we will still be able to harvest any side shoots for a few weeks. The second crop of romanesco cauliflowers went a bit awry with the changeable weather and looked rotten so out they came. All of the beans are over too. The small cabbage plants looked like they’ve succombed to the slugs which despite using nematodes have been a big problems this year.

But I have harvested the last cabbage, a few little swedes, for soup, rhubarb, courgettes, cucumber, sweetcorn, tomatoes and a potato sack. The Brussels are still growing and there’s still courgettes, tomatoes and cucumbers. The kale and the small cauliflower pla ts have survived the slug attack and they look quite healthy under their flying insect cover. Plus I wonder how the sweet potato slips are doing in the greenhouse which was this year’s experiment! The plants have grown but no flowers… I’ll leave them in there until as long as I can.

On Thursday we had courgettes dipped in flour, egg and breadcrumbs and fried off in the non stick pan with griddled chicken and coleslaw. Rather nice and a nod to all the courgette eating in Cyprus 😁.

Yesterday was courgette and sweetcorn fritters with salad for lunch and my OH made a lovely chicken risotto whilst I was culling the rest of the garden including the big sunflower plant that blew over in the wind when we were away.

It’s definitely cold weather food today. Last month we bought a ninja foodie and experimented with cooking chicken and making chicken stock using the pressure cooker function. Today it’s the turn for cottage pie to be made and then popped in the oven later for our return from an autumnal walk.

I felt a little agitated when I saw the garden and green house and have spend quite a few hours over the last few days salvaging what I could and supporting the tomato plants especially.  Apart from the sunflower the flower side of the garden has just got on with it, but it’s made me realise just how much time I spend in the veg plot without even realising it. It’s sorted now and just in need of a little daily tlc.

From a crafting view point I took my sock knitting on holiday, with the thought that it would be an ideal opportunity to knit dark coloured socks in a bright place…. Erm well I did manage 1 1/2 socks… Far too busy doing nothing 🤣

And on Thursday morning I joined a sewing class with my two goals bring to learn how to fit bodices to my shape – I’ve selected a variety of tops and dress patterns to help me – and to try sewing in stretch fabrics – as I’d like to make warmer winter clothes too, rather than just sewing in woven fabric. This week I’ll get more organised so I can use the classes to achieve my goals. I figure the best way to achieve this is to do the prep work at home and use the sewing class to fit a toile of the pattern. Well, that’s the plan……

Posted in new knitting projects

Arkamas Peninsular

Yesterday we revisited the Arkamas Peninsula which is situated a little west of Polis and Latchi, following the Latchi road to Neo Chorio and parking at the picnic site at the beginning of Smigies nature trail. Here there is a walk up the Pissouromoutti mountain. A table top mountain where you are rewarded with a 360 C view of the area, taking in Chysochous Bay, up the Arkamas peninsula including Amphitheatre Bay and the Blue Lagoon. It’s been several years since returning to this walk and my knees don’t work as well as they used to, but with the aid of a hiking stick I was as fleet as a Cyprian mountain goat 🤣🤣🤣

https://www.summitpost.org/pissouromoutti/644587

The extra track to the top was a bit of a scramble so we decided not to do it this time, but if it was your first time on the walk, it’s a must!

Posted in new knitting projects

Holidays at last!

Our three week holiday has finally arrived. 3 1/2 years in the waiting we finally took the plunge and booked up to go the Cyprus again. We both got covid in July which was a bit disappointing, but it’s over and done with hopefully. Plus we managed not to pass it on to anyone else.

Back in Polis which is in the northwest region of Paphos. One of our favourite holiday destinations. A bit off the tourist track, quiet and relatively unspoilt. With lovely walks along the coast line, into the foothills of Paphos Forest as well as walks in the Arkamas Narional Park. Plus lots of Cypriot restaurants to dine out in for lunch or dinner. This year we plan to visit more of the mountain villages and beauty spots.