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Tuesday, 22 June 2021

A sewing Solstice

Whilst it may be traditional to leap around outside and enjoy the countryside at the Summer Solstice, yesterday I was not in the mood for that. Sunday had been brilliant in the garden where (incredibly, unusually) I achieved everything I went out to do, and some more besides.

Later than many, but right for here, the runner beans are now in the ground and have a temporary protective shield between them and the direction of our worst weather - experience says that as soon as I put beans in it will turn cold and wet.



All the lawns were cut and we definitely have Midsummer Meadows, lots of orchids and other wildflowers which ought to have a post of their own.





The greenhouse got a good straighten and tidy up ready for a dahlia experiment. I sowed half each of two cheap packets from Wilko and have almost more strong plants growing on than I know what to do with, so as the greenhouse is not producing any food this summer I thought I would experiment by planting some of the dahlias under cover to see what happens . . .




After such a full day I wanted a quiet restful Monday and decided to concentrate on just one thing - the mending/alteration pile. For someone who never makes clothes I always seem to have a lot of garments requiring 'something' and the pile is seldom cleared. Firstly, three pairs of climbing trousers have had their ankle drawstrings removed and a proper hem put in its place.



Next was managing to create zip guards on two outdoor/walking tops which were so uncomfortable on the neck that they could not be worn. I have attempted this before and always ended up unpicking a complete mess, but thankfully the planets aligned today (well, they would, Solstice and all that!)



After that was the turn of an old but much loved white shirt (which was never worn because it got dirty instantly) that had joined some old jeans in a vat of Dylon to become a lovely denim blue colour. It received replacement interfacing on the button stand, new buttons, and the front has been stitched closed to stabilise it. Delighted to have given new life to something which must be 25 - 30 years old.




That leaves just a couple of projects on the table - firstly the creation of a 'front' for the latest addition to Bill's kit & caboodle. I wanted a small, easy to assemble shelter that was not as bulky as a proper camping awning but gave more protection than the giant fishing brolly I had been using.

This Quest shelter is utterly perfect and takes exactly ONE MINUTE to put up (then another five to peg down). If you have ever put up a tent, or sneakily watched the incredibly voyeuristic and well-known campsite entertainment of "Divorce in a Bag" (a.k.a. a couple who don't work well together trying to put up an awning) then you will appreciate that six minutes from start to sitting down with a cuppa is world-beating. But I decided I want to add a front cover so that I can leave stuff in the shelter when I drive off a campsite and not feel everything is totally exposed. I know what I want to do, I sort of know how to do it, I have all the material and fixings . . . so I really have no excuse to get started!




The second is one I really don't want to muck up, so am going to put off starting for as long as possible. Some extremely old and knackered summer trousers, all of which I love and cannot replace, need their extremely old and completely knackered waistbands replacing.











14 comments:

  1. Midsummer Meadows sounds like either a chocolate box village with thatched cottages or an up-market retirement complex :) It's looking very pretty anyway. I like the shelter, wouldn't mind one for my van but (a) it's not blue (I don't do green) and (b) the bottom doesn't go down to the floor. It looks good anyway and I hope you manage to fix a front cover to get it how you want it.

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    1. For some reason Eunice, I am now thinking of Midsummer Meadows as a place of an unrealistic number of murders and John Nettles!

      If I just "got on with it" a front for the shelter could be achieved in half an afternoon . . . but I over-think these things and procrastinate terribly

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  2. I love Midsummer Meadows and those orchids are beautiful. I'm really happy with my decision to go with wildflowers this year.
    I envy your ability to stitch and mend things so they last longer. Your shirt looks great. I don't get on with white either :)

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    1. Honestly Jules, nothing I do with clothing alterations is very clever or difficult. If I stopped stressing about it for weeks and just got on with each job then it would take no time at all :-)

      I think white is grossly over-rated for anyone with a real life!

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  3. The white to blue shirt make over is brilliant! I have serious issues with light coloured clothing - I love them .... however their attraction to all things mucky outweighs their usefulness ๐Ÿ˜ Meadow envy going on here - our little lawn is trying it's best to 'meadowrise'but it will take a little more work on it, fortunately the yellow rattle is working well but needs to spread a bit more xx

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    1. Light coloured clothing does not work with gardens, dogs, vans, walking - all the things you and I both love!

      I wish I had taken a before picture because I've gone from white viscose 'slightly prissy/office wear' to "looks great with jeans!" (well, I think it did when I went to Sainsbugs earlier).

      Give your yellow rattle a chance - I reckon four years for it to really start to outcompete the grass.

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  4. I have garden envy, I love midsummer meadows. I really like that little shelter what a great find, very interested to see how you make the front !

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    1. Thanks Anji - I'll be interested to see how I front that shelter too, at present it's very much just a theoretical idea. There may have to be some "pinning onto mannequin and draping" a la Sewing Bee!

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  5. I am a filth magnet so light coloured clothing is never a good idea for me....I have a few light grey t-shirts which I love but it's courting disaster. And oh, how I love a good make-do-and-mend session. I'll just bring my cardigan with holes and my gardening shorts with the wonky zipper by, shall I? Oh, and B's shirt with the tear in the tail and.....yes, also guilty of the never-ending mending pile.

    I would love to live in Midsummer Meadows....sans murderous neighbours, mind you. xoxo

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    1. Muck magnet here too - there is virtually nothing light-coloured in my wardrobe these days.

      Your fix-it-up pile sounds interesting, when does yourplane get in? ๐Ÿคฃ ๐Ÿ’š ๐Ÿชก ๐Ÿงต.

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  6. I have been sewing since I was six and made a career out of it but I HATE mending - I could make a complete garment in the same amount of time. People I know always want to pass their mending over to me - only a two minute job they will say - that is two minutes too long for me!! I admire that you are able to do so much mending - I know where to send mine in future!!
    Love your meadow - we went to Castle Kennedy again today - their stretch of meadow was full of butterflies today.

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    1. People used to try the same on me and my reply was always "well, if it would only take me two minutes it will only take you FIVE" and then point out I made quilts because they were flat and I didn't do anything three dimensional, that usually made them go away ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜

      I was thinking about Castle Kennedy just minutes before I read your comment . . . glad you enjoyed your visit, my next is not for a couple of months.

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  7. I've used the wet days to make 2 baby crochet ripple blankets, for daughter, she doe not know the gender of the baby, so as Will is saying it's a Molly or Batman, he want's a Molly.

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    1. Congratulations on good use of time and forthcoming baby!
      I'd love some wet days here, so little rain for the past few weeks the water level in the ponds is starting to worry me.

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Thank you for leaving comments, I love receiving them; sometimes they are the only way I know I am not talking to myself . . . ๐Ÿ˜Š