Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Pepper's patchy pocket

It's funny, when I first started writing this blog, almost nine years ago, I had kids at home and spent hours and days and weeks crafting up a storm with them. My sewing machine was always out, my over-locker was threaded, there were scraps of fabric and bits of cotton all over the place, and piles of half made projects wherever you looked. Now, seven years later here I am again.

With Indi and Jazzy off on long days at high school, I've found myself alone with Miss Pepper for three hours of every day.

In the warmer months she hung out outside. Sometimes in the gardens or the orchards with us, sometimes she'd make up her own little games or projects with the animals or the fairies, and then other times she'd take a few apples and spend hours on the trampoline singing songs, choreographing dances and enjoying her own space and time.

But now the days have grown wet and wild and have mostly forced us to shelter inside.

To begin with I tried to get her involved in the projects I wanted to complete myself. She stirred the jam, she wound the handle of the tomato smoosher, she took the clean laundry to whoever's bedroom it belonged to, or she drew pictures at the table while I made dinner. But then one day about a week ago she took herself off for a while and when she came back to me she'd gathered some scraps of fabric and cut herself out a pocket.

A pocket!! How cool.

So I threaded her up a needle and she sewed it all together.

And while she was at it I stitched her a skirt.

(I know that sounded rather casual but the truth is that I haven't sewn anything for about four years. There was dust in everything, it took me a while to remember what was what, and let's just say thank goodness I got my glasses BEFORE I tried to thread up the over locker.)

But I used one of her skirts as a template, I found some old cord in my stash, and then I drew, then cut, then sewed, then hemmed and when I was finished it even fit her.

I made the skirt mixy-matchy and she decided to stitch the pocket on half way to make it reversible.

I did reinforce her stitches on the sewing machine to make sure that it survives its rough life on the farm and at school, but the hard work was all hers.

 She's pretty proud of herself.

The next project was a skirt for the kitten (it was only a matter of time), which unfortunately was too small but looked cute as a kerchief.

And now we're working on this. She chose the fabrics, traced the petals and cut them out and I've ironed on a bit of adhesive webbing to stick it all in place. I'm hoping she'll sew it all together when she gets home from school.

Although initially I was worried about my time and everything I was used to achieving with school aged kids who mostly entertain themselves and each other, now I'm so excited to be working on these cute projects with her. I'm also amazed and crazy happy that my love for sewing seems to be returning. I'm starting small with elastic waisted skirts but I'm dreaming up ideas for dresses, cute zippered skirts for the big girls, pyjama pants and maybe even a quilt.

The more you craft - the more you want to craft - I always say. Lucky we're heading into winter and we'll have more indoors time, hey.

Before I go I just wanted to say an enormous THANK YOU for all of your beautiful messages about my grandfather. I miss him like crazy and sometimes I get such a fright when I remember that he's not here anymore. But I feel lucky to miss him and to remember him and to have your comments to read through too.

You guys are wonderful!

And I'd love to know one thing about you at the moment.
What are you reading, or planting, or sewing, or thinking, or cooking, or knitting?

Woah is that the time!
I'd better be off to pick up my smallest from school.





  1. I've been listening to lots of podcasts (with a big commute, so you might like them for your long drives too). Gastropod, Call Your Girlfriend, and a bunch of others! And cooking hearty lentil and root vegetable soups.

    1. oooo i'm always on the lookout for new podcasts, i'm going to look up gastropod now, thanks! and that soup sounds YUM! x

  2. She should be proud, that is the best pocket. Enjoy the crafting together!

  3. I remember when you used to blog about what you had made, the post that sticks in my mind is one where you mentioned noticing yourself in a shop window and realising you were dressed in all black, you went home and made yourself a colourful skirt, red if my memory is correct. I was in awe, how could you just go home and sew yourself a skirt?? Sewing is so foreign to me.
    Lately I've been busy knitting a milo vest for a new baby, socks for one of my boys and crocheting my other boy a blanket. They have both moved out this year and uni rentals aren't as warm as home. I miss them.

    cheers Kate

  4. Always so lovely to read about a little slice of your life Kate, truly! I am certain that Pepper could teach me a thing or two about sewing and crafting. I might call in for a lesson one day! Very clever and so grown up. I am thinking about: fitting it all in, everyday! Cooking: egg and bacon pies for school lunches, sourdough, chocolate brownie for farmer smokos and cottage pie for Friday night no-stress dinner. x

  5. As you are getting ready to settle in for winter, I am preparing for summer. That's one of the reasons I love reading your blog. So I have just finished digging up, bordering and planting a small flower garden. I planted sweet peas, delphiniums, cosmos and nasturtiums and I'm hoping for a wild and colorful little garden. I am reading the Books of Umber series and planning to sew a Dottie Angel frock. I am also working on a crocheted baby blanket for a gift.

  6. My girl is 8 and does just the same, she made a 'dress' the other day on the sewing machine but I managed to convince her it would make a pretty great cooking apron/tabbard. I love it when they make stuff from their own minds. It is good to give them a heloping hand but not too much or they strive for perfection and that helps nobody. Love, Love, love that pocket. Jo xxx

  7. Wonderful pocket and skirt and how smart of her to make it reversible! I would never have thought of this. I love that you two are spending time doing these things. I wish for another day or two crafting with my daughter, but she's grown and moved far away. Cherish the days.

  8. Well now rhey say the acorn doesn't fall far from the tree. Well done to both of you love the fact that you are crafting together. My great nieces at three stories high both craft with their mum and do a great job. I'm knitting a pair of slipper boots at the moment and not liking the finished project too much but they were requested and there's another one to do yet. I'm reading the latest Diana Gabaldon Written in my own Hearts Blood. It part of the Outlander series and I've read all the others. Not quite got into it yet but am convinced that very soon it will be input down-able. Jackie

  9. Love to see when kids take initiative and create something on their own; Pepper's pocket is a harbinger I bet. The time you spend now will come back and reward you tenfold during the coming years.

    I am sewing a quilt for a baby boy who is to be born next month.

  10. This is such a lovely tag-team project, it looks great! I've been doing some sewing too, it's definitely true that the more you make, the more you want to make! :)

  11. Tell Miss Pepper that she is super clever - I couldn't sew a pocket if I tried, let alone without a pattern! Her little skirt looks so lovely, I imagine she is proud as punch about her pocket and so she should be too :-)

    It's true about craft - the more I knit that more I find myself sneaking in a few stitches here and there. It's very addictive. Strangely, when I haven't crafted for a while I have to drag myself back to it only to discover that I do actually love it a lot :-)

    Autumn returned here yesterday after a really hot spell so I'm back to work on knitting my baa-ble hat. I've also my 1940's style knitting sweater to sew up and then try on - eek!

    Happy rest-of-week Kate,

    Sarah xx

  12. How wonderful that Pepper has found a hobby that she is enjoying. The pocket is so sweet and wonderful. I hope that your love of sewing stays for a long time and enjoy it all while she is young. You never know, she just might start sewing her own clothes on the machine soon.

  13. How cute! My sewing machine is covered in dust... I can't even remember when I used it last. She has done such a tremendous job, little Miss Pepper. That flower pocket is perfect for holding secrets, fairy dust, candy and pearls. It is something truly satisfying to hand over the art of handmade to your kids, making sure the handcrafts continues with the next generation. the best thing we can do is to show example by doing it ourselves, an dour kids will follow and want to do their own projects one day, inspired by their mothers. My oldest made a few sleep masks recently for friends and herself. I was amazed at her accomplishment. And after reading this I am inspired to dust of Miss Sewing machine and start a patchwork with my littelest who has the same age as your Miss Pepper. Thank you for sharing Kate. Delightful pictures and reading as always.

  14. Supercute! I think it is so nice your kids can do such crafty projects! My daughters are 4 and 1, so maybe I can start with something easy, but I can't wait to do these kind of things with them!

  15. Kate you don't know how happy I am to hear that you are sewing again. I well remember the excitement of a Fox's Lane dress appearing in the mail wrapped in brown paper and bakers twine. My two girls wore it before it was passed on to another preschool aged poppet. I was always envious of your vintage sheeting stash. A friend gifted me her stash a couple of years ago and I am guilty of not yet doing anything with it. For some reason sewing always seems bottom of the priority list, yet I still profess to love it!

  16. I adore these kind of special crafting moments with my oldest son. They are just magical when they happen. I don't have any girls. Your glasses! Have you gotten used to them yet? Trailer loads of wood and tree trunks are coming in and we have lots of chopping and stacking to do. After my health scare, I am on a year long replensish, affirm and cleanse journey through Endoempowered.

  17. Loving Pepper's work - looks like she's inherited her Mum's crafting genes. Went to the movies this week and they played my favourite ad (weird thing to say, I know); the one for the Barossa Valley with that fab music - and it reminded me of you, your family and your farm. Thinking of you.

  18. Kid-crafting is currently limited to my 14-month old chewing on my knitting yarn and occasionally pulling out my stitches; we have a ways to go, but I'm so looking forward to it! I love Pepper's pocket and the skirt you made her!

    It's spring time around here and I'm currently crossing my fingers that a space in our community gardens opens up this summer so I can garden again. Otherwise this will be the first year I haven't gardened in a long time and summer just won't be the same without soil in my fingernails and absurdly fresh veggies for dinner. Maybe I'll go distract myself with some sewing of my own...

  19. Thinking of you and tell farmer Bren to stay safe as I mourn the loss of my brother to a tractor accident your blog helps me smile and I miss that fact that my granddaughter who wants to craft is too far away Queensland to work with me and her mum is not interested oh well that is life

  20. Thinking of you and tell farmer Bren to stay safe as I mourn the loss of my brother to a tractor accident your blog helps me smile and I miss that fact that my granddaughter who wants to craft is too far away Queensland to work with me and her mum is not interested oh well that is life

  21. I'm working on a English Paper Pieced quilt with fabric scraps. It's spring here and I've been planting a few veggies and flowers.

  22. A beautiful pocket! One on one time and crafting to boot, wonderful! I did a bit of that just yesterday with my eldest daughter but nothing so pretty, just showing her how I mend holes since her favorite pair of pants had a few. Mine seem to come and go with the crafting, I keep hoping it will become more frequent. Been sowing seeds like a mad woman here, garden is a little late this year due to rain. Off to lay stone today around our fire pit. Enjoy the day!

  23. Your photos are so clear, just a pleasure to look at Kate. That's a gorgeous skirt and an even more gorgeous pocket!
    I'm thinking about how fast my little tomato plants are growing and whether we're going for pots or bags when the time comes to plant them out.

  24. What a lovely creative idea for a child to add a colourful splash to their own clothes. I love it. I recently started knitting again after two of my friends had babies and I wanted to make a handmade present. This encouraged me to knit something for myself, I'd never had the patience to finish a jumper for myself before but I found a great pattern on revelry and size 6mm needles made it so.much faster, only 10cm of sleeve left to go! Thanks for sharing your crafting, I don't have many friends who are interested in that sort of thing so it's nice to check in on your blog.

  25. that is the cutest pocket i've ever seen! well done sweet pepper! (and mama ;)
    (i love your blog kate) xxx

  26. Hey, lady! I nominated you for a little award! Here's the link!

  27. Soon I discovered your blog ago, he was through instagram. Last summer, I agree in the same week visiting Tuscany and since then follow your blog.
    I love their life in the country, I live in Spain with my husband and two children in a small town, and every time want more move to the field.
    I'm sorry about your grandfather, I hope you enjoyed a full life and you your company.
    The last thing I made with crochet was a blanket and I'm thinking what's next.
    And as for books just I finished "Everything is quiet up" Gerbrand Bakker.

  28. Yay for getting back into sewing! I've decided after my trip abroad this summer I'm going to learn how to sew. Pepper's pockets very cute, and how clever she is to put on the side so her skirt is reversible.

  29. IT is so beautiful that the love for craft has transferred to the next generation. Even more wonderful, the mother:daughter bonding that goes with it.


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I do read every single comment you leave and appreciate it very much, but I should let you know that I can be a wee bit on the useless side when replying to comments, that's just me, everyday life sometimes gets in the I'll apologise now, just in case.

Kate XX

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