August 2017 Garden Update

Thursday, September 7, 2017

It's been a weird weather year and the garden has suffered for it. The winter was endless and the snow was thick. We couldn't plant until mid-June which is too late for most things, because the summer season is so short here. Some plants like the basil, just didn't sprout. The hydrangeas had only two blooms each. The giant rosemary bush died except for a couple of branches. But the currants had a spectacular year, and the nearly dead bay leaf we planted two years ago finally started growing new leaves.

August Garden

We tried a new garden box planting layout this year. We made east-to-west rows of vegetables, and it turned out both easier to pick and maximized sun exposure. The zucchinis were massive. I swear those things grow giant overnight! We ate zucchini every day, but I don't mind that at all. I've been enjoying them in salads instead of cucumbers, because they have so much fibre they leave you feeling full.

August Garden

The tomatoes did okay, but not as well as the previous year. The beans were fine. We tried planting kale and it got infested with aphids. I think I'll plant swiss chard instead next year. We tried planting curly leaf parsley instead of the flat leaf, and it's still growing really well! I'd given up on my chives but they grew better relocated to the front of the house instead of the back.

So we're learning, and trying new things. We'll get a hang of this. Fresh veg from the garden is one of those really great perks of having a bit of land. I really missed this when we lived in an apartment, and now the kiddo gets to learn about where food comes from too.

Sewn: Pillowcase Top for Toddler

Thursday, August 24, 2017
Pillowcase Tunic

Since Mom got a pillowcase top last summer, this year the tot got one too! Hers is a simpler design: just two rectangles and two shoulder straps. One of the nice things about it is that she'll likely be able to wear it again next summer because the straps are adjustable and it's fairly loose.

Pillowcase Tunic

The straps are made of the softest black jersey leftovers and tied up into little bows. The tot is big into texture when it comes to clothes or food. She won't wear anything scratchy at all, and I'm much the same way. Comfort first!

Pillowcase Tunic

It was straight to playtime in this pillowcase top! I'd say that's a success. If you want to sew your own here is one of the best tutorials I've found: The Classic Pillowcase Dress. It's really an easy beginner's project and you don't need to use a pillowcase at all. This fabric came from a skirt I no longer fit in well.

Pillowcase Tunic

Till next time!

Sewn: Denim Camera Bag

Thursday, August 10, 2017
Denim Camera Bag

I have a hard time letting go of old jeans. Canvas is just too useful because it's durable, and comes in lovely shades of blue. One pair of old jeans was the perfect amount to make a spacious messenger bag with a few pockets.

Denim Camera Bag

There is a zippered pocket down the front under the flap. There's an open pocket in the back. I always prefer an open pocket on the rear of a purse or bag so that if I'm going anywhere I can slip in maps, plane tickets, passports, or even just napkins for easy access. There's a zippered welt pocket on the inside, big enough to hold a wallet and cell phone. Because there is no zipper closing up the interior under the flap it's nice to have the option for a little security. Our previous camera bag had a zipper for the interior, but it always got in the way so I left it out for easy access. Sometimes you just want to snap a photo quickly!

Denim Camera Bag

It's fully lined, but I also quilted a removable padded insert for the camera. It gives the whole thing some structure, and also will help with any bumps and falls. The insert is felt and reclaimed quilting batting.

Would you technically call this a refashion? I'm not sure, since a bag is not clothing, but it still fall under fashion accessories. It's definitely an upcycle. I like that it's not so obviously a pair of pants anymore, and almost like it was almost meant to be a bag.

In the mood for making? Here is a tutorial for a messenger bag. It doesn't have the same dimensions, but the idea is the same. With a little addition to the side panels you could make one too.

And to make a camera insert (for any bag) here's a tutorial.

Sewn: The Sparkly Top

Thursday, July 20, 2017
Sparkly Top

Ahh sparkles! Who knew sequins were so hard to photograph! I kept getting weird color balance errors and in the end just gave up. These photos don't do the sparkles justice. The Little Bean LOVES all things colorful, but she'll sometimes opt for sparkles instead. This is as low key as she likes to get.

Here's a closeup of the front:

Sparkly Top

This one was a result of a bit of experimentation. I took a t-shirt pattern and chopped it off mid chest. Then I gathered the remaining sequin fabric below and added a matching sheer overlay. The only tricky part was attaching the lining. I opted for one because the sequin fabric was scratchy on the inside, and if it was the kiddo would never wear it. She's a texture girl when it comes to both clothes and food. At least clothing wise, we can usually work things out.

And here's the back, with a tie so it's adjustable and she can wear it for longer:

Sparkly Top

And in moment of introspection, I realized that I only feel inspired to sew when it's sunny out. Around here those days are far and few in between. I guess that's why most of my sewn wardrobe is summery!
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