The Lake District is undoubtedly of the UK’s best places for getting outdoors, with cloud-scraping mountains, lush green valleys and a whole host of rivers, meres, tarns and waters to explore. There are plenty of campsites (wild or otherwise) where you can rest your head, but if you’re looking for something a bit cosier after a long day of adventuring then the beautiful Campbell Cottage could be the perfect choice.
When a colleague announces that they’re leaving their job, you don’t generally expect the next words to be ‘to walk to Finland’. But that was exactly what happened back in December when my pal Lauren sat our team down to explain her adventure. One week in to the hike, I joined her and her partner Leo to find about more about their epic 1600-mile trip.
‘Let’s go on an 8 mile hike around Bath’ said Jenny.
‘It’ll be fun’ said Jenny.
Ok so it wasn’t as bad as all that, but my first time around the Bath Skyline walk did remind me just how damn hilly my home city can be, especially as it was a pretty hot ‘n humid day. Fortunately I’d been sent a shiny Hydroflask to try out – but would it keep my restorative smoothie nice and cold, or would I be left with a load of tepid gloop on my hands? (Possibly literally. I’m a very messy eater).
If something’s worth reviewing, it’s worth reviewing properly – right? At least that’s my excuse for the fact that I’ve spent the last 6 months thoroughly abusing my De la Vina Low boots from Teva.
On to the fun part – actual sewing!
Obviously when starting to assemble your garment you need to pin or baste your fabric pieces together first. I can be pretty lazy when it comes to basting, so for the ‘simpler’ seams (i.e. long straight edges) I tended to just pin the pieces together. To make sure I’m getting everything lined up, I find an ‘intersection’ or corner in the plaid and stick a pin straight down through the fabric.
I then lift…
Hopefully you’ve got your fabric and pattern all sorted out now, so it’s on to the fun part: cutting out your pattern pieces! This stage is worth really taking your time over, as it will be the foundation for your garment’s success (personally I see it as a good excuse to marathon episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer while I work).
My first step was to take a good look at my fabric. I could see pretty easily that the…
When working with plaid, it’s worth taking a bit of time to study your fabric before you set to with the scissors. The various colours and structures of tartan designs mean that there are a few things to take in to consideration when working with this kind of fabric.
Balanced vs Unbalanced Plaids
First you need to establish whether your chosen pattern is balanced or unbalanced, as this will have an effect on how you cut out and construct your shirt…
Going through my wardrobe recently I realised that the two plaid shirts I own were both pretty ratty, which is probably unsurprising when you consider that I’ve worn them for everything from Duke of Edinburgh expeditions to painting a stable roof. They’re also one of my go-to clothing options when I’m heading out for a leisurely ramble in the countryside. Unfortunately a trawl through the high street failed to turn up any acceptable replacements, so I’m turning to my trusty old friend the sewing machine to make myself a snuggly hiking shirt.
Hunkered a short way off the West Coast of Scotland, Skye is one of those places that instantly makes you feel like you’re in some sort of fantasy novel. The name somes from the Norse word Skuy, which translates as ‘Misty Isle’, and I am told that the reason for this is usually pretty obvious. Certainly when I arrived on the island, the sun that I had basked in on the mainland suddenly disappeared – replaced by a sheet of thunderous grey that rolled overhead.