Chronicles of a Creative Life – learning to sew – The Apron Dress.

by Tess.

Last summer I started an adult learning class entitled Dressmaking for Fun  so that I might finally start sewing the Apron Dress by the Assembly Line, for which I’ve had the pattern far longer than I care to admit… 

Alice made a version of it recently in a light coloured striped linen and it’s very lovely, I chose a dark navy soft denim for mine which I bought in a fabric shop in Harrogate. I found the instructions on the pattern clear and easy to follow, always a bonus when you’re a beginner and really like it when even the most basic steps are explained clearly!

I learnt so many new skills from top stitching to button holes and while it’s certainly by no means perfect I’m really pleased with it.

It took a ridiculously long time to finish because after trying it on I decided I needed to move the buttons at the back of the waist, and it’s quite impossible to do that on your own unless you’re an octopus with eyes in the back of your head! But now it’s done and I already have the next project cut out!

I’ll be brutally honest here, and say that there were times that I questioned the use of the word Fun in the class description, as I wrestled with large pieces of fabric, got frustrated by learning about button holes, and did the wobbliest top stitching you ever did see which took me forever to unpick and do again….. I have however signed up for another term so watch this space for more learning to sew exploits and dubious photo shoots balancing on log piles!

Chronicles of a Creative Life. A tale of naughty piglets.

Life on the farm at Whistlebare is never the same from day to day and so in an attempt to explain what it’s like here on a small family farm in Northumberland UK, and also to create a sort of online diary we’re going to start a new blog series, which we’ve called Chronicles of a Creative Life.

This first instalment is a tale of woe, and kale and piglets…..

kune kune cross piglet

Once upon a time Alice went to the farmers auction and came home with five little piglets. They were very small indeed and extremely difficult to photograph because they never kept still, and they lived in the shed on the farm driveway and were fed leftover milk from the goats and other tasty treats until one day they were big enough to be allowed out into the fields.

Meanwhile out in the orchard there were some very exciting developments. Firstly there was careful construction of some wooden raised beds by one of the junior goat slaves.

Then tiny vegetable and salad seedlings were planted out, and carefully tended. After several weeks they were big enough to start picking and delicious salads and tasty pans of kale were served from the farmhouse kitchen. We had visions of a summer of plenty, and meals so fresh and healthy that any cake baking would surely be balanced out.

But then the piglets got out of their field and into the orchard….

and so the naughty piglets were captured and in disgrace they were put in one of the stables, but something tells me they’ve got a taste for kale and they’re planning their escape…..

naughty piglets in stable

to be continued.