It’s time to introduce you to two new additions to our household: Monica and Jo.

Monica the dressmaker’s mannequin was a birthday present from my lovely brother-in-law and his girlfriend. I had been longing for a mannequin for a while so I was delighted when I heard she was on her way.

I have so many things I want to make with her, but I think I should start simple, so I’m going to sew a little skirt. Her outfit in the picture shows my current idea of what the skirt should look like — I’m going to make up the pattern as I go along so hopefully it’s not a flop! I just had a little spin around the shops and I felt like all I saw was navy-and-white polka dots. So I must be, like, totally fashionable or something.

Jo the vintage Peugeot bike is the other new friend in my family. Again, I’d been banging on about wanting a bike (a sweet, old-fashioned one, of course) for months and my husband eventually caved. I’d been looking at vintagey-style ones that had replica parts; I never dreamed I’d find a bike and beautiful — and authentic — as Jo. The guy who put her together, from Bicycle Revolution in West End, spent ages finding all the pieces from the 60s and 70s. I feel very lucky to have her. We went for our first ride yesterday, into the markets. It was great! Next job is to find a cute basket to carry my leafy greens and baguettes. Because it’s all about looks, of course. I wonder how hard it is to cycle in a skirt and heels?

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