Friday, January 25, 2019

A Victorian winter paletot

I finished my new winter coat! 100% wool both in the outer fabric, which makes it waterproof, as wool in the lining and I quilted an interlining to the lining. This makes the coat really warm.

I found a free pattern from the Godey’s ladies magazine from 1858 for a fall paletot. I did enlarge the pattern and made a muslin, although it fitted it was not what I had expected. But I used this muslin to draft a completely new pattern. After some hours of refitting, I had made my final pattern.

 the orginal drawing in the magazine

quilting the lining

 the pattern pieces drawn on the fabric

 sewing on my singer treadle sewing machine

Made of brown wool felt with a detachable cape

The coat is closed with 8 metal buttons

and 2 button closed pockets.

Bound buttonholes and the blue-grey wool lining

Princes seams on the back

I realy like how it turned out and I love to wear it!

Sunday, December 30, 2018

Redecorating the living room

Last weeks I have made some new curtains for the living room. That was the last step for the makeover in there. Except from cleaning and removing the old floor, we had done nothing to it after we moved in. The old windows were in great need for paint and repairing. One of the window glasses was broken when we bought the house. The rain had blown in trough there and did some damage to the window frames. 

After days of scraping off the old paint and sanding it then, I could finally apply the new paint. Now with the windows weathertight was it even worth that the floor received a new layer of paint.  The wallpaper did we not change. It is probably from the 50´s when they (the former owners) did redecorate the living room. Although it is discolored here and there and has some water damage underneath the windows and besides the chimney, I love the design and the color.

The house has old single-pane windows with handblown glasses which makes that there is often a cold draw when you sit in front of it. To make it more comfortable I took the decision to make floor length velour curtains. Because I don´t like when you see the stitching’s on the right-side, I sew all the seams by hand using a blind hem stich.  It took a bit longer than expected men after a while it was done! Still there are some things to do. 

I must buy some nice tie back ropes and when I order something in the shop where I bought the velour, I will buy some extra velour to make some nice curtain drapes, pleated onto the wooden frame. That looks nice and this will hide the curtain rods.

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

painting christmas cards

On the long autumn evenings I´m painting Homestead christmas cards. 

They will be availalbe soon :)

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

New dress

Nearly November. The days turn shorter again, certainly now after turning the clock. We worked with our little pony this afternoon but 5 o´clock it became to dark to do anything further. Speaking about the pony, he does it really well! We work him 3, 4 times a week and he is really steady. Drawing nicely and listing well to the commands. We both love to work with him.

Last summer made me realize that I´m badly prepared for hot sunny days.  All my dresses are dark blue, brown and black checked. Not really suitable colors when you’re doing the hay harvest in the sun with 35.  So now I have changed it and will be better prepared for next year! 

I made a lightweight and light-colored dress. Using a pattern this time. I like the dropping shoulder seams, but I never got clear how to make them nicely. Using the “laughing moon #111, Ladies early 1860´s day dress” pattern made it very easy to understand. The pattern came with 3 different sleeve patterns. I choose the coat sleeve, which is the most practical on the homestead. The dress itself is made of a lightweight checked cotton and I lined it with an unbleached cotton fabric.  

The skirt has knife pleats on the front, box pleats on the sides and cartridge pleats on the back, which gives it a very nice shape.  

The bodice is boned on the front and closed with buttons.

the linning and hemming of the skirt
 Of course, are the buttonholes handsewn, like most of the dress.  I like the shape of the skirt both over my starched petticoats, which I use most at home, and over my crinoline.

Saturday, September 29, 2018

winter is on his way

Like in almost the whole of Europe, it was very hot here in Sweden the whole summer. After the 4th of May, it was almost every day above 20℃ and we did have only a few days with rain. But despite that, we had a great harvest on the garden. I didn´t give any water to the garden, only the tomatoes in the polytunnel got about 10 liters a day. Everything did grow more slowly now but I neither needed to weed so often.

July was the month for the hay harvest. The grass had grown more slowly but after cutting it, it dried also much faster. Not only because the sun and the wind dried it out but there was also less moisture left in the grass. It was much more difficult to cut with the scythe. It´s always very important to have a sharp scythe but now it was even more important than ever. Otherwise it won´t cut anything. Other years the grass was always a little wet in the mornings from the dew which makes it also easier to cut the grass, now the grass is bone dry even in the early mornings. But after a month hard work it was done! The hayloft is full of wonderful smelling hay!

The last 2 months we were without water in the well but yesterday we did see a little, little water on the bottom, so hopefully it will be full of water soon. It is much easier to have water at home than that we must go and take water from a nearby town.

We made some progress with our little work pony also. After some training with the long reins we have now started to use him to pull timber. He is doing really well. Doing the job with confidence. After a few times he did know the routine. We got a nice little wagon last spring so hopefully he can pull it next year with the hay harvest. We only need to fix proper shafts.

Last morning it was -2℃ and hoarfrost had turned everything sparkly white. A briskly northly breeze make it feel quite cold. Winter is on his way again. We have prepared the most already. The pantry is filled with loads of canned food. Lots of potatoes and carrots. The fall garden filled with kale, sprouts and other winter hardy plants.  So now we can pull back into the house. Read a book in the warmth of the stove, take a hot cup of tea and nestle in my favorite chair and enjoy the new season.  

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Summer weather

It´s already more than a month ago I wrote my last post and now it´s time for an update. I´m sitting here before my computer looking out the window and gaze the sunset. The yellow red glow below the lavender blue sky. The leaves rustle in a light evening breeze and I hear the bel from the cows in the field, everything is so peaceful and quiet. 

After the cold winter and spring, we have got a very hot Maj month. Almost everything in the garden is sown and growing fine. Most garden work is done now in the early mornings or late evenings. Last Saturday I planted my tomatoes in the polytunnel and they are doing great. I had just space for ten plants in the tunnel so the other six I planted outdoors, hoping they will do fine to. I spotted the first pods on the pea plants a couple of days ago and they are full in bloom, I have great expectations of it. More than 80 corn plants been planted, over 50 meters potatoes, 20 meters carrots, and beans and peas and many cabbage plants, squash, cucumber, onion, pickle, and and and… it´s such a joy watch everything grow! We´re looking forward to harvesting our first plants but till then we have loads of stinging nettle and cockspur to eat.

 the picture above I made a week ago and the picture below today....


 fava beans above and peas below

corn painted mountain

In the winter I have written a piece for a magazine we are subscribed to, a piece about us and about our live.  I was very nervous about it, sometimes others don´t understand our way of living and don´t understand why we want to live this way, they make fun of it or think us to be ridiculous, absurd and foolish… But I was so happy when I after the publishing received very friendly emails and letters. So, when you are reading this, thank you so much!
Click here to read the article ( scroll to you see SIX OAKS), the name of the magazine is Ă…ter, a very interesting magazine about self-sufficiency in every different way. 

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Tree climbing or arborist at work!

Spring has finally arrived and with it comes all business. After half January we did not have an opportunity to work in the garden, everything was frozen or covered with snow.  But now, in April we need to do it all. A long list of things we want to do this year. Some things are already six years on the list, but we never find the time to do it. One of these things is to cut the trees in front of the house.
do you see Sander in the first tree?
Our house is build a 20meters of the road and between the road and our house grow 4 big spruce trees. The biggest is about a 27meters high. You can understand it is always a matter to worry about when the autumn storms arrive. When the trees should fall they should come over the house.  In the first year one of the trees broke already but lucky to us the top fall on the road and not on our side.

Although my husband is a tree worker or arborist by profession he is not looking forward to cutting them down.  Most tree workers stop climbing when the are 35, 40years old and that age has he long past. So, every year we looked to the trees and talking about cutting them or not. The risks working so close to the road, what if something is falling there when a car or cyclist is coming by. But now we are started to cut them down. 

Al the equipment for the job is still there and on a bright and windless day we started the job. It is really fun the do this work again.  We have the skills and the experience to do so. 11 years ago, we did this work together. My husband as the tree climber and sawyer and I did the ground work. Most timber may not fall free on the ground. It could damage the garden or garage or something else. We use rope friction device to lower the timber in a controlled way. That was my job. To control the timber and handle with the rope.  After some days work, two of trees are cut on 15 meters high. This is save length for the house and we decide later or we cut them down further or not.