Sewing, stitching, baking, cooking, gardening, shopping and general homemaking.

Monday, 30 May 2016

Vegetable Progress So Far

Feeling a bit fed up that the weather is still cold, today there is a cold wind from the north.  I have started to put some things outside...

The peas and courgettes are doing well.  I'm leaving the peas without any supports, they are in a deep tub so I'm hoping they'll hang over the sides as they get bigger.  The courgettes like it in this spot at the (outside) end of the greenhouse, very pleased with how they are doing, there have been some male flowers on them already.

The salad leaves have been doing great.  I did have to move them to a partly shaded area, too much sun and they wilted.  This mix is chervil, mizuna, parcel and pak choi.  I recognise the chervil and pak choi but not sure of the other two, it all tastes nice though and I've had loads off them.

Tuesday, 10 May 2016

Rain on Rhubarb

There's a nice, gentle, rain today, just what the garden needs.  Still nothing in my Veg Trug and I'd spent the last few days watering it anyway, it dries out very quickly, so this rain is doing a nice job of moistening the compost.

Here's a picture of my rhubarb...

It's really massive this year.  None of it is harvested yet, I have to rely on my husband to do this for me (due to not being able to bend down because of my bad back).  I stewed quite a bit of it last year and froze it, it came in very useful for pies, often I added some other fruit to the pies for a bit of variety.

Talking of bad backs, I'm recording on this blog this year how I get on not doing any bending or leaning over in my veg growing.  This means I have to rely on help from my husband, so far he's doing a good job and seems to have more enthusiasm for veg growing than he normally does, he's more of a flower garden person.

Monday, 9 May 2016

Peas in a Tub

I took this picture on Saturday immediately after transplanting these peas into a big tub. Today, Monday, they have grown quite a bit already.  I've not grown peas in a tub before. This tub had a scruffy looking perennial in it that wasn't adding anything to the look of my garden.  So, took it out and left the original soil in the bottom of the tub and topped it up with new compost.  We'll see how it goes.  I should be able to manage these pea plants much better than the ones I usually put in the ground.

Noticed this morning that my carrot seeds are sprouting, really pleased about that.  I will be using the thinnings in my new Veg Trug.  Nothing in the Veg Trug yet, still deciding what else to put in there, a strawberry plant probably.  Maybe some radishes, they'll grow quickly while I wait for some of my seedlings to be big enough for planting out.

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Vegetable Gardening (but I have a bad back)

For twenty years now I've struggled to garden because of my 'bad back'.  Bending over or crouching down would set my back off and I'd be seized up for a fortnight.  It is very frustrating.  I asked my husband several years ago to make me a raised bed, which he did.  Unfortunately I didn't supervise the making of it!  He made a fab raised bed but it was so big I couldn't reach the middle, I could only plant around the outside edge.  This year he could see that my struggle to grow veg was not working and he redesigned this bed, turning it into two narrower ones.  Then he treated me to a Veg Trug .  It should have arrived yesterday, I hung around all day waiting for it.  Will it arrived today I wonder, there was supposed to be an email notification giving me an hour delivery slot but still haven't heard anything.  I'm also going to be growing things in window boxes and pots that are raised to a suitable height on bricks.  All I'm waiting for now is some decent growing weather, it is very cold at night, last night the temperature was down to 1C.

These are some of the seeds I've sown and transferred from the house to the green house...

Cut and come again lettuce mixture

Boltardy beetroot


I still have other seedlings indoors, broccoli, tomato, courgette, peas.  The broccoli is the sprouting purple type.  The tomatoes are cherry and one I haven't tried before that has really tiny fruits.  The courgettes are the round ones in addition to the normal shaped ones shown above.  The tomatoes and round courgettes I will be growing in hanging pouches, looking forward to seeing if this works, I did want to grow them in Topsy Turvy type pots but I had these pouches handy so will use those.

Here's hoping the weather picks up soon and that my veg trug arrives so that I can get out there.

Saturday, 16 May 2015

Another Summer Dress

Another dress from Sainsbury's, £20.  This one is shirred around the sides and back of the bodice so fits very nicely.  The fabric is quite fine and it is lined.  Really pleased I saw this dress, I love red...

To go with it and give me a bit of cover on the shoulders I bought this little cardigan, only £8.  It's 60% cotton and will be just right if I get a bit cool...
The red is quite a near match to the dress.  Maybe I'll team it with my red shoes and bag, if that looks too much red, my black shoes and bag will also go nicely.

The dress is a size 12 and the cardigan is a size 16.  I tried the 14 cardigan but it was a bit tight across the back.  I never trust sizings!

Monday, 11 May 2015

Summer Clothes 2015

It's that time of year again when I start taking an interest in clothes.  I spend the winter well bundled up so it will be nice to dress up a bit.  I bought this dress from Sainsbury's a few months ago...

It was shown on a mannequin near the entrance to the store and I loved it as soon as I saw it.  It's slightly short to what I like to wear but still covers my knees.  The navy tights and red shoes it was teamed with made it look very nice, so I bought those too.  Also bought some blue shoes.

Also got a red bag, I love matchy!  The shoes were only £14 and are quite comfortable.

Same shoes in blue and blue bag.

The bags were from Shoe Mad  in Arnold, only £15 each.  They have some good prices on shoes and bags.

Saturday, 9 May 2015

Walk away dress

After seeing the walk away dress on the Great British Sewing Bee I just had to make it...

The pattern is Butterick B4790.  I think the pattern they used on Sewing Bee had been adapted slightly because the pattern I have doesn't have the buttons and loops on the front fastening.  I used press studs.  

There are a lot of alterations on my dress.  The bodice part of the pattern is too long so I took it up on the shoulders and had to slightly alter the size of the armhole area on the front bodice part.  The back neck is too low so I raised that.  The front neck gaped so I put two pleats on each side of the front neck line.  I decided not to put the bias binding down the front opening as I thought it made the dress look a bit like an apron.  Because my waist is rather large I also added two inches to both sides of the front where it meets and also on the underneath sheath part where that meets at the back.  This allowed for the extra size of my waist and for a hem instead of the bias binding.  I do think that it is best to make sure that it fits really well at the waist as this will stop the back part of the wrap around pulling down, there is a lot of weight on the wrap around.

I've not worn the dress for more than fitting and taking the picture so I'm not sure how it will feel and behave whilst on the move, I have heard bad reports of it bunching up when moving, we'll see.

Having to do all the alterations took up time so I didn't find this a quick or easy dress to make.  I am pleased I made it though and I think it looks nice.