gardening · sewing

Who said weekends were for resting?


Whoever it was lied! We have been sooooper busy since last night and we haven’t even done everything we had planned for the day. Once I’ve finished writing this post (merely an excuse to sit down for more than a minute), we’ll be back at it!

So last night, I sewed my first ever proper project. It was fuelled by the most awesome vodka brought back from Moscow for me by a Russian colleague. It didn’t get off to a good start – I bodged my measurements, didn’t cut the pieces in straight lines and because of how I wanted to centre the pattern, almost didn’t have enough fabric to do what I wanted to do.

What was I making? A sewing machine cover for Grace. Since getting her, she has been forced to live under a blanket like this:

First sewing project

Not very dignified or pretty for such a venerable machine. So I procured some oilcloth and followed the instructions from Sew Everything Workshop – an awesome book for beginners!

After totally fudging my seam allowances to make sure it lined up and came out roughly the same size, we ended up with this:

First sewing project

Pretty awesome no? I’m really happy with it, except the top is a bit saggy. Not sure what I can do to stiffen the seams, but it does the job and fits the machine really nicely.

I also went hunting in town for fabric yesterday. We bought a chest of drawers last week when we went hunting for one (and I ended up with Odetta) but before using it, I wanted to line the drawers so that we can make it a bit “nicer”.

I ventured into our local haberdashery, where I’d only been once before to buy buttons. I knew they sold fabric in the basement, but was overwhelmed by the choice when I went down there. While they had no oilcloth (my original choice), they did have some nice vinyl. I bought this:

Vinyl for drawer linings

I only wanted just over a metre’s worth, but since it was the end of the roll, she chucked the rest in so I’ve got a load left. They had a ton of remnants for sale, loads of fat quarters rolled up into little bundles – I’m definitely going on a fabric splurge at the end of the month.

That brings us to today. Today I went with Trev to a tiny little nursery down the road. We know they sell planters, charcoal, wood, that sort of thing – but we’d never been in there. Went in there today and again found ourselves being overwhelmed by the sheer choice. Initially we were just after some stuff to put in the back yard, to make it look a little nicer, but in the end bought enough stuff to put together a whole herb garden.

Behold our purchases:

Plants before planting

All of the above for less than £25. So we got cracking. We also decided to tackle the giant budlia tree in the shared communal garden. At the moment it’s so large, that it blocks out a lot of light in our bit and we want to be able to get it ready to grow vegetables there for next year. There was so much dead stuff, we had to resort to getting out a SAW to be able to cut it all back. Even now we’re not done, and with our neighbour have put together a plan of the other bits to take off it tomorrow.

But after doing all of that, we ended up with a little herb garden:

Herb Garden

At the very top we’ve got lavender. In the next row down, we’ve got the beginnings of a bay tree (kept in a pot, so it’s easy to relocate when it gets bigger), rosemary, traditional mint (also in a pot to stop it going mental). The next row down we have sage and thyme and finally on the bottom a little row of pansies.

We’d like to probably add some parsley at some point and maybe oregano – which would sort most of our needs except for basil and coriander – which I always seem to kill. So going to have to be supermarket herbs for those for a while longer.

Fingers crossed the herbs will settle in soon and expand a bit, so it looks a bit less uninspiring than it does now – although we’re still really happy with it.

Moving on to the back yard:

We’ve gone for some hardy little plants that will give some colour all year round without dying. So here are our little window boxes.

Not sure what these are exactly, but we believe the right one is a form of sage:

Window Boxes

Then ivy in the other box (needs more soil) and the last two pansies for a bit of colour:

Window Boxes

We need to finish getting the back yard tidy and decide what we’d like to do in our other parts of the front garden, but it’s been really nice getting our hands thoroughly dirty today and getting some stuff done. Odd how at peace we both feel, but Trev’s mum loved to garden and I come from a farming family, so we shouldn’t be too surprised.

What have you all been up to today?

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