January – A brand new start

Well Sewneedy has been well and truly missing in action for a long time. We moved house last year and have been very busy with renovations. Whilst I have been sewing, I haven’t had the inclination to blog about any of it.

So this year the plan is to do monthly reviews of sewing projects, progress on the house and miscellaneous lifestyle posts.

My husband and I were both city people, having lived in the Midlands all our lives. We loved our time in Birmingham and Solihull but usually escaped whenever we could to other destinations away from the hustle and bustle of city life.

When the opportunity arose, we decided we no longer needed the city life and one Sunday morning we literally got a map of the UK and worked through the pros and cons of living in each county, eventually deciding on Cornwall.

We very quickly found our dream home, it wasn’t what we originally envisaged having thought we’d love acres of land and a tiny house. However given that we regularly are away from home, the commitment required caring for lots of land would have been prohibitive, both in time and financially.

Anyhows, we now wish to include in the Sewneedy blog a record of our beautiful haven. I hope some find this interesting but at the end of the day, our take is, if it makes us happy, it really doesn’t need approval from anyone else. We’ve done so much work on the house already that sadly hasn’t been cronicled, we wish we’d just recorded it to remind ourselves just how much we’ve achieved.

So onto what’s been happening this month.

With January comes the sales. The quality of Seasalt’s fabrics is hard to beat and as a lover of colour, an order was inevitable.

So now I’m steadily going to work through the ridiculous fabric stash I have built up over the last few years and never ever buy any more 😂😂🤣🤣

One of the corduroys purchased, a beautiful Conker stretch fabric has been used to make Megan Nielsen’s Dawn jeans. https://megannielsen.com/products/dawn As with favourite fabric sources, I also have favourite pattern suppliers and Megan Nielsen is one of them. The instructions and graphics were clear and so easy to follow. The pattern is drafted for a non stretch fabric but because I went for view A, the tapered leg and had a bit of Christmas blubber I went for making them with a bit of stretch. I should have had more faith though, having tried and tested several of Megan’s patterns, next pair will be in a lovely non stretch fabric, obviously from the stash 😉.

Another make this month has been again made in Seasalt fabric, this time in a lovely soft viscose twill. I tried a ready to wear tunic dress on in store and it clearly reminded me why I sew. I had a choice, I could have it tight on the bust and fitting elsewhere or ok on the bust but swamping me on the waist and hips. So I got thinking about what pattern I could use. I settled on a hack using a couple of favourites https://thesewingrevival.com/products/kingfisher-top, a pattern previously championed by stitchybee and http://www.ninalee.co.uk/shop/carnaby-dress/ the result has given me just the look I was after. Basically I have used the pattern for the kingfisher top as is and morphed the pattern pieces of Carnaby from waist down into it, resulting in a comfy but neat style.

The house and garden

We decided we’d skip any decorating in January. We’ve had a busy few months knocking walls down, sanding and decorating. December had been spent pretty much cleaning up the resulting mess from the works and so we agreed to enjoy the month without making further dust. In addition we urgently needed some electrical work doing, so were hesitant to do any further decorating before that work was completed. We’ve been after an electrician for the past 12 months, anyone who knows Cornwall will be aware of drekkly time, is that something you are born with or do you inevitably adopt it over time?

Living in the middle of nowhere, we’re not on mains gas, so the convenience of a gas fire isn’t available. We had a beautiful wood burner fitted last year which provides so much heat to the house. One drawback however is the ‘stuff’ needed to burn, I just find it so messy, kindling, firewood, matches, paper, fire lighters, gloves and pokers how do you keep it all neat? We’ve just decided it can all have the space in one of the alcoves and we’ve tried to make it as neat as possible. We made the shelf out of recycled wood we already had after pricing up a made to measure floating shelf at the ridiculous price of £150 🥴 I do like free!

A benefit of a bit of downtime this month has meant we have got the house in a bit of order. When we moved in, the packing boxes were swiftly emptied and contents were put anywhere we could find a home. Instagram, this month, has been full of love for Marie Kondo’s Tidying Up and similar ‘clear your clutter’ supposed gurus. We can’t claim that we’ve entirely bought into any of this (those unused city shoes are still hiding under the stairs) we have seriously culled a lot of unused stuff and sorted and tidied most of the rooms. The whole process really does, daft as it sounds (don’t knock it until you’ve tried it), bring peace and order to the home.

After a lovely Christmas break, work started in the garden. The weather was very kind, allowing us to build two more compost bins made from the pallets that delivered the Xmas firewood. One for leaves and eventually leaf mould, the other for garden and kitchen waste. The two smaller ones ready for emptying. Hopefully this all will result in less trips to the tip, living in the middle of woodland there are a lot of leaves!

Kitchen garden dug over and compost from this bin added. An old plastic barrel is now to be used for carrots this year, I was once told by an old allotment gardener, that if you raise your carrots off the floor they may not be attacked by carrot fly. Time will tell.

At the rear of the house we have a large area of woodland that is quite overgrown and hasn’t really been touched since we moved in. This years project is to make a start on this area.

I have spent a short while working up there in January and have uncovered an old garden wall. Lots more to do. This will be a hard task this year. Would love to have it cleared ready for veg and wild flower garden. Ultimately we want to keep some honey bees there.

While the weather was good I started to remove some trees, this large conifer was taken down in the front garden. More to be done between now and spring. I want to get as many down as I can before they start into leaf.

The main house job was getting the electrics sorted. The old outdated consumer board which has caused us a few problems has now been replaced. The electrician was surprised it has lasted this long…… me too!

I had never personally seen a blood moon, so I set my alarm for 3.30am and as we have virtually no light pollution I went up a hill out of the village and set up the tripod.

Having been in a city all my life, I could not believe how clear the night sky was without the light pollution. Truly amazing.

With the owls keeping me company and other wildlife noises, it was a lovely start to the day…. albeit a bit cold.

Finally just a reminder why we love living in Cornwall. Even on winter walks we love our views and know how lucky we are

2 thoughts on “January – A brand new start

  1. Welcome to Cornwall. Isn’t it lovely? Today has been especially good, in amongst the primroses and budding trees. And the bluebells are coming up. Yay!


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