Month: April 2019


I have been a busy bee with family and friends, food, deconstruction and sewing.

Here is my new Koos jacket, V1277

I was inspired by my dear Paris traveling companion, Ruth, who was wearing this magnificent jacket the day I met her…

I used only stash fabrics for this, sticking to black, gray and silver
(in great number in my fabrics).  The primary fabric, a black and gray parallelogram taffeta, was from Marcy Tilton

 as were the rest of the fabrics.  I was able to use a fun silver trim from Paris for the bias sleeve seam.

Here it is on Ethyl, my dress form , where you can get a better idea of the fabrics I chose.

This was one of the more time-consuming projects I’ve taken on recently, due to the piecing, and to the making and applying of miles and miles of striped silk bias tape, but I enjoyed it, slowing down and listening to my Audible books. I listened to LaRose, by Louise Erdrich, and the first three of the Tana French Dublin Murder Squad books, In the Woods, The Likeness and Faithful Place…loved them all! I’m on #4 now.

Despite all the work involved, I enjoyed it so much that I am working on ANOTHER Koos jacket, a different pattern, which I will show you next time.

The weather here has been all over the map, and one morning recently, I went back in the house for another layer…and found a coat I had bought in Paris, had
put in my coat closet, and FORGOT ABOUT!!! I’m afraid that may be a sign that
I have too many clothes😜. Here is the coat:

It’s by Lauren Vidal. It was in the window of the LV store which Shams and I passed on the way to a fabric store with the group. When we were finished, we whipped back to the store and I bought the coat immediately. It is gray felted wool with an irregular black splotchy design. The inside is quilted silk, and it is piped with silver leather. YUM!

It’s hard to believe I forgot about it, and I will be building my wardrobe for an upcoming trip to London and Scotland around this coat.

Maggie and David came up for a few days last week, and were joined by some friends of theirs from Las Vegas. There was the usual amount of companionable cooking in the kitchen…

This was a tasty barley and vegetable bowl, topped by expertly poached eggs
by Maggie.

THIS gorgeous arrangement was a surprise from SIL David. Among the orchids and roses are half a dozen highly fragrant lilies…Over a week later, they are still perfuming the dining room! Thanks, David! You know how to impress your MIL!!!

We enjoyed their visit…we took a picnic lunch up the mountain one day, flew their friends’s drone.

The deconstuction I mentioned is the frightening amount of work we are having done for a serious termite infestation. Among other things, our very large deck has to be replaced, and while they were working, they found some dry rot…

It actually makes a lovely abstract painting, but it has to be repaired…😟

I was honored to be the subject of an article in our local paper recently…

Here’s a link to a readable page if you’re so inclined…it’s on page 14.

Our Teddy boy is doing well; he’s learning some new hand signals and goes to
doggy day care twice a week; he comes home EXHAUSTED from playing with the big guys, which is such a help!

Then he goes to sleep…

One last picture before I go to roast a chicken for dinner…

Dave came in from collecting the eggs the other afternoon and showed me this…it must be a first attempt by one of our new hens. Back to the drawing board, Henny-Penny!

I am traveling over to Patti’s Visible Monday today…come admire the Visible


Made by a Fabricista: 3 ways with wide-legged linen pants

Linen season is upon us.  [YAY!!!!!!] With my trio of boys in soccer right now and the sweat of baseball season around the corner, I want to wear all the linen.  My project this month is a pair of Burdastyle 5-2017-102 wide legged pants in this emerald designer linen.
Lately I’ve gotten to this point where I want everything I make to work with what else is in my closet.  If I can pair a given garment with at least 3 other things I already own, I know it’s a keeper.  Paired with 3 tops, these are sure to be a summer favorite.

Burdastyle 5-2017-102 Wide Legged Linen Pants

image from Burdastyle
Before I get into the styling, let’s talk about the pattern.  It’s a pretty basic wide-legged pants pattern with a single patch pocket and wide hem bands.  There’s a side zip which is different for me.  I almost always put in fly fronts in my pants.  I don’t know that I’m a side zipper convert, but I like this one!
I took the liberty of lining the slant pockets with a linen print from my stash.
The only real change I made to the pattern was to shorten the legs by 4″.  I have another pair of cropped pants with a similar total inseam length.  I knew without the shortening that I’d be somewhere in the neighborhood of that high-water look!  Cropped is good, high water, not so much!
The sewing itself was pretty easy.  Linen is so forgiving to work with.  You would think that it’s airy weave would make it a little fussy to handle, but it’s not so!  In fact, I got to use my favorite pinless methods for handling the seams, so it was a quick sew.

Look 1:  Sewing machine tee + coral wedge espadrilles

This tee is one of my favorites.  It was a birthday gift from my husband a couple years back.  Since I altered it by fitting the side seams, it’s been a summer staple in my wardrobe.
The fitted tee with the more relaxed pants is definitely my m.o.  Being a pear-shaped lady, it’s good to play with that balance.   

Look 2: Asymmetric stripe tank + coral wedge espadrilles

This second look features a refashioned tank I made a couple years ago.  It started life as a twin set, and I cut it up to make a angled colorblocked section. 

Unlike the sewing machine tee, this tank is not at all fitted.  I was postpartum when I made it, and it definitely could be more fitted.  That being said, sometimes it’s nice to have some looser fit clothes too.
When the heat of baseball season hits and I’m sitting through all the practices and games, I’m going to be glad for this combo!  Linen is like wearing air!

Look 3: back cowl bodysuit + crazy bowling shoes

I always forget about this back cowl bodysuit!  Maybe it’s because I still have yet to figure out how to really wear a bodysuit.  Definitely, I need to experiment more with this.
This is a Kommatia Patterns back cowl bodysuit.  The pattern doesn’t call for a lining on the cowl, but I found the style was too much for me.  So I added a fitted lining on the cowl.  My sun-sensitive skin thanks me for the extra coverage!
Next I added my crazy bowling shoes.  These shoes actually were sapphire blue.  They looked really nice to begin with, but truth is that I have zero true blue in my wardrobe.  I’ve been playing around with Angelus leather paintsfor a while.  The best example of how great these paints work is on this faux leather jacket I made for a cosplay.  For these shoes, I mixed up my favorite sea green and a solid turquoise for an accent.  Painting takes a little patience, but then you have a totally different shoe.
I love how the cropped length gets to show off the bonkers shoes.  I’ve always loved non-neutral shoes, and these totally fit the bill!

Linen + wrinkles =not at all sad face

Linen is really a special fiber.  There’s so many things that we make that just look wrong when they’re all wrinkled, but for linen, I think it’s different.  Yes, of course press as you’re going along.
*Quick tip*:
press your linen over a ham or with strips of brown paper under the seams to avoid overpressing the linen and making it all shiny.  Shiny linen is sad linen.  You can’t fix that easily.
But in the wearing, I think it’s okay to relax about the way linen wrinkles.  It’s a natural thing and linen is relaxed to the max.  There’s a beauty in that.  

I for one will never pass up the chance to add more linen in my wardrobe.  Sewing with linen is the gift you make for yourself for hot weather!

How about you?  What linen projects are in your future?

~Sew something creative

The Zamia Skirt- Free Sewing Pattern

Free skirt sewing pattern

Our Zamia Skirt free sewing pattern is far from ordinary. You’re almost guaranteed to be asked: “Where did you get that skirt?” every time you go out in it. Make sure to pat yourself on the back when you say “I made it”, as you strut away while turning heads! This mod skirt has very unique details that scream for attention. The fitted silhouette hugs every curve in all the right places and Mood’s foil printed ponte shimmers in the light, while the sheer mesh aligns the hem, showing just a sliver of skin. I plan to wear this look on a date night with the hubby, but you could also rock this on a night out with your girls and break a couple of hearts!  Try using a stretch knit or neoprene or scuba knit as another option. Be sure to let us know how you plan to wear your Zamia Skirt!

Free skirt sewing pattern

Purchase materials used below:


Simply fill in the form below, verify your email address
and you’ll be sent a link to download our free Pattern.
Please wait…

All seam allowances are 1/2″ unless otherwise stated. See chart below for sizing specifications. Note, this specific pattern is available up to a size 30.

Mood Sewing Pattern Size Chart

Sewing the skirt is pretty straight forward. Attaching the facing and mesh underlay may seem a little tricky, but it’s actually quite easy!

Once you’ve attached the front of the skirt to the back of the skirt at the side seams, you can set it aside and work on your facings.

Pin the facings together at the side seams, and do the same for the mesh underlay.

Next, sandwich the mesh between the skirt and the facing and pin it all the way around the bottom.

Follow the curved edges stretching the mesh to fit as you sew.

Press the facing and edge stitch the bottom to keep it nice and flat.

Now sew together your waistband front and back pieces. Pin the waistband to the skirt and stitch. Fold down the top of the waistband and topstitch along each edge.

Finish skirt bottom by trimming in with shiny double folded tape for a stunning look! That’s it, you’re done!

Free skirt sewing pattern
Free skirt sewing pattern
Free skirt sewing pattern
Free skirt sewing pattern

The post The Zamia Skirt- Free Sewing Pattern appeared first on Mood Sewciety.

How to Alter a Pattern to Adjust Shoulders

Pattern adjusting is the new trend, and tomorrow will be no different! If you’re tired of seeing the shoulders on your garment fit too tight or too loose, perhaps altering the pattern to adjust the shoulders is right for you. You may have newly broad shoulders from strength training, or delicate sloping shoulders where silk crepe and organza, and everything else in between seems to slip right off. Everyone has a vastly different body type, so it’s time for you to get on with the “pattern adjustment train”, and get your garments to fit just right. Use Mood’s quality muslin to test out your adjustments before any final alterations! No one truly fits into anything off of the rack, and making your clothes tailor to fit you can be one of the most satisfying feats to master. So let’s get started!

Shoulders are a tricky party to get right on any garment. A well fitted shoulder lies flat on your form, and does not wrinkle or pucker. If it seems too loose, your shoulder will appear slouched. If you notice that most of your garments regularly fall off of you, you may find that you have a natural sloping shoulders! Take a look in the mirror and try to find a common line on your shoulders. Do they slope downward, or are they perfectly square and straight across? Finding the answer to this can help determine whether you may need to adjust your shoulders for square or sloping shoulders. Once determined, measure yourself between the neck, and tip of your shoulder. Take these measurements and compare them to the pattern at hand, and see where you will need improvement, with either one of these solutions below!

Fixing a tight shoulder is vital to the life of your garment. If the shoulder is too tight, it will wrinkle, and possibly rip at the seams! If you have square shoulders, you may find some of your patterns to be restrictive. To fix this, you can adjust your pattern to be more square, and pin like so. You can take in some of the pattern to make the shoulder lie more horizontally, freeing your shoulder! Pin underneath the armhole if needed.

To fix the sloping shoulder problem, you’ll need to adjust your pattern like so! Starting at the center front and center back neckline, split the torso of the pattern you’re adjusting to the armscye at the shoulder. This ensures some ease in the neck, so it won’t be too tight. Also, be sure to take in the pattern beneath the armholes, and pin the adjustment accordingly. We don’t want gaping armholes either! Once you get the top of the shoulder lie flat, add more pattern drafting paper to your torso and redraft your pattern!

Of course, try on your patterns first before making your changes. As always, it’s recommended to use a muslin fabric when creating adjustments, to avoid misusing your precious fabrics from Mood! Was this guide helpful? Do you think you’ll overcome the dreaded droopy shoulder? Let me know in the comments below!

The post How to Alter a Pattern to Adjust Shoulders appeared first on Mood Sewciety.

follow your nose

i’m not quite sure how it happened, but somewhere along the way i became a candle collector.

it wasn’t really a conscious decision. as a blogger i’m lucky enough to frequently be gifted candles from some of my favourite lifestyle brands, and over the years i’ve amassed an enviable selection of beautifully packaged and exquisitely scented candles that gather in curated huddles in many corners of my home.

there’s a reason so many brands choose to have candles as part of their product offering, and why gifting them forms an integral part of their marketing campaigns. creating a signature scent is the perfect way to capture the essence of a brand in a way that visuals and words cannot. scent transcends the barriers of language and the limitations of aesthetics to connect with an audience on a deeper, far more personal level: the faintest whiff of fragrance has the power to transport you to another geographical location, or a different time.

i’ve attended fragrance workshops before – notably with experimental perfume club and when i visited grasse – so when i was invited along to a candle-making workshop with earl of east london at their new coal drops yard home near kings cross, i knew i had to say yes! i’ve always been intrigued by the process of candle creation and how the different scent layers are incorporated, and given that earl of east london create some of my favourite candle scents, knew they would be the best people to learn from.

bonds is a space for  independent brands, creators and makers originally formed in hackney in 2017, who have built a whole community surrounding the earl of east london brand, based on the concept of making bonds. the original hackney outpost is tucked down a quiet side street between london fields and hackney central, small and cosy and inviting, with a coffee bar at the front and small candle workshop to the rear. as whole-hearted believers in the power of physical retail spaces in today’s ever-increasing digital world, bonds are at the forefront of accessible multi-concept retail thinking, prioritising community, connection and collaboration. their new space at coal drops yards is merely an extension of their hackney home, in the heart of a new retail complex full of destination brands and independent dining venues; a place where “art, commerce and culture come together.”

i’m naturally a sucker for any concept store that brings coffee to the fore, and the moment you walk into bonds’ light and airy store you’re greeted by a prominent coffee counter and the scent of freshly roasted beans. the adjacent shelves are stacked with an array of lifestyle products from ferm living, kinto, sans[ceuticals] and frama, a bounty of magazines, and – of course – an extensive selection of earl of east london candles.

at the back of the store is the scent lab, where the magic really happens! there is a regular schedule of beginners candle-making workshops held here, offering the perfect environment to get to grips with your favourite scent profiles and blend your own bespoke candle fragrance. my session was led by candle maker robyn, who joined the earl of east london team after taking part in a beginners workshop herself a year or so prior, and falling in love with the process.

alongside a group of fellow bloggers, she introduced us to individual scents and asked us to consider our own favourite smells and the memories they evoked. then we stepped inside the tiny ‘scent lab’, where we daubed paper sticks with the essential oils we were most drawn to, before heading out into the more neutral scent space of the store to see how we could best combine our selection to create an appealing blend.

i always find myself drawn to warm, woody fragrances with a hint of spice, and those with fresh but earthy top notes. the aromas of rosewood, green fig, soft leather and cedar all called to me, and of course i knew i had to work a bit of ground coffee into the mix too!

it helps to have a ‘destination scent’ in mind when layering your palette – memories of a particular place, a moment in time, or a specific person – but just combining your favourite scents can also work equally well, which is what i ended up doing. robyn helped me to adjust the quantities of oil needed for each layer to create a harmonious balance across the various layers, which were then poured into the hot candle wax and gently whisked to combine. once poured into the candle container, the cotton wick was secured with a wooden clothes peg and set aside for a day or so to set fully.

my final creation, which i’ve naturally named fabricofmylife, is a candle which combines all the ‘scents of my life’ into one warm and inviting fragrance to infuse the fab flat with. it’s been wonderful to light in the early evening when i’m sat on the sofa watching telly, and have its comforting aroma waft around me. it’s definitely a scent that makes me feel cosy and relaxed – just as i’d intended – and the scent lingers for a long while after the flame has been snuffed out.

have you ever created your own bespoke scent before, whether as a fragance, candle or otherwise? let me know in the comments below, i’d love to know which smells you’re most drawn to!

my candle making session was provided free of charge as part of a press event experience, but all opinions and photography are my own. 

bonds, coal drops yard, stable street, kings cross, n1

The post follow your nose appeared first on fabric of my life | UK interior design, lifestyle & travel blog.

The Zea Blazer – Free Sewing Pattern

Creating a chic, high fashion look doesn’t always need to mean sitting in front of a sewing machine for hours and hours, and yet even more hours. The Zea Blazer was designed specifically to be the perfect high-end addition to any wardrobe at a fraction of the creation time. With sleek lines, no finicky closures, and an option for a surprise lining, this new Spring jacket is sure to help you form your ideal outfit with blazer focus!

Fabrics & materials used:


Simply fill in the form below, verify your email address
and you’ll be sent a link to download our free Pattern.
Please wait…

All seam allowances are 1/2″ unless otherwise stated. See chart below for sizing specifications. Note, this specific pattern is available up to a size 30.

Mood Sewing Pattern Size Chart

To start, sew the inseams of your sleeves together and press. Repeat with your lining layer, and then set your sleeves aside for the time being.

Next, follow the guidelines on your pattern pieces to add fish eye darts to the front and back of your blazer pieces, as well as French darts to the front. Not sure about darts? Learn all about them here!

Attach your back panels at the center back seam before adding your front blazer pieces at the shoulders and side seams. Repeat with your lining pieces, plus the extra step of adding your front facing to the side front lining piece.

Set your sleeves into their respective armscyes, notching your seam allowance where needed. Repeat with your lining.

Add one of your collar pieces to the top of your blazer, starting at the center back of the neckline and working forward. Notch the corner seam allowance on the front blazer layer, and match up the short edge of your lapels to sew the remainder of your collar down.

Fabric faces together, place your second collar piece atop the first, lining up the corners. Sew along the top three edges, clip your seam allowance, turn right side out, and press.

Lastly, attach your lining layer to your blazer, fabric faces together. Sew around the lapels, center front, and hem, leaving the neckline open at the collar. Sew your lining to your sleeves, clip your seam allowances at all corners, and turn your garment right side out through the opening at the neckline. Press your garment, and slip-stitch your lining to the collar to complete.


Will you be giving The Zea Blazer a try? Tell me about your design plans in the comments below!

The post The Zea Blazer – Free Sewing Pattern appeared first on Mood Sewciety.

The Vallea Tunic – Free Sewing Pattern

I absolutely love fashion and the process of styling and getting dressed. Having that said, this is far from reality when trying to hustle two kids out of the house each morning! I’m usually left with 10 minutes to myself, scrambling to put something together that looks half decent. The Vallea Tunic free sewing pattern is perfect for days when you need to get dressed and go! Although this tunic will have you ready in a flash, you’ll also look fabulous. This simple longline tee has flattering side slits and an unexpected back detail allowing just the right amount of skin to peek through. I used Mood Fabrics’ vegan cupro which feels amazing all by itself. Try using one of Mood’s beautiful silk panels to bring your tunic to another level! Complete your look with jeans or a comfy pair of leggings. How do you plan on styling your tunic?

Free Tunic Sewing Pattern
Free Tunic Sewing Pattern

Purchase Materials Used Below:


Simply fill in the form below, verify your email address
and you’ll be sent a link to download our free Pattern.
Please wait…

All seam allowances are 1/2″ unless otherwise stated. See chart below for sizing specifications. Note, this specific pattern is available up to a size 30.

Mood Sewing Pattern Size Chart

Here’s how to sew:

Note: For best results, try using a French seam for this garment.

First, start by applying your fusible to the neck and back facings.

Sew facings together.

Using French seams, sew the front to the backs at the side and shoulder seams.

With right sides of the fabric together pin your facing to the neck and back opening. When you get to the back, mark the placement of your trim. Pin the trim sandwiched in between the facing as shown.

Clip into the neck curve. Turn and stitch the edges of the facing to finish.

Finish the center back seam.

Prepare the sleeves and set them in using a French seam. The sleeves were finished using stitch witchery.

Sew the sides seams and finish the bottom edge using a rolled hem stitch.

Press all seams nicely and you’re done!

Free Tunic Sewing Pattern
Free Tunic Sewing Pattern
Free Tunic Sewing Pattern
Free Tunic Sewing Pattern

The post The Vallea Tunic – Free Sewing Pattern appeared first on Mood Sewciety.

Blog of the Month: Censational Girl

This month I decided to change up my search for Blog of the
Month by doing my research via Pinterest. Typically I rely on Google to help me
find a crafty, fabric-loving blog each month. This month with a search of the
DIY pins on Pinterest I found an amazing blog run by a super crafty gal, Kate,
who also happens to be a fan of
(Thanks, Kate!). Kate’s blog, Censational Girl, is for the bargain hunters,
DIYers and crafters alike. Kate is a former lawyer turned blogger who loves to
revamp and turn old and busted into amazing treasures and shares her magic via
her blog and various other writing and design outlets. I fell head over heels
for her blog at first sight. It is lovely and easy to navigate. Censational Girl
features a Project Gallery
with great pictures with links to posts on how such an amazing project came to
be. And these are some serious how-to’s. Kate doesn’t just vaguely explain how
she got from the “before” to the “after”; her gorgeous pictures show each
product and each action to get a ugly table to an amazing show stopper (I am
referring in particular to my favorite piece featured in “My Bamboo is Peacock
Blue”). You can also find Crafts, Everyday Home Dec, Holiday Decorating, Home
Improvement, Fabric Projects, and many more in her Project Gallery.  

You also must check out her Style Files which serve
as excellent inspiration coupled with a great place to find inside tricks or
just fun reading on your favorite subject: Style. In Kate’s Style Files you
will find: Decorating and Design Articles and Spotlight Interviews. The
Decoration and Design Articles feature online posts that Censational Girl finds eye-catching, relevant and news worthy in the design world. I love the eye
candy. Kate’s Spotlight Interviews are a collection of interviews of up and
coming and established designers. You can find out inspirations and design tips
from your favorite designer or maybe find a new favorite. I love Emily

Please check out Censational Girl. I am sure it will become one
of your favorite go-to blogs for home ideas and stash busting (or stash
increasing) projects.

You can follow Censational Girl on Pinterest




You can also follow and me, Tara Miller, on Pinterest

Send me your Blog of the Month suggestions by leaving a
comment on our blog!

Made by a Fabricista: The Versatile Vest

Happy Saturday and Happy Easter All!

Have you ever had your sewing plans all laid out, pattern cut and then something better came to mind?  I felt like these past three weeks I was a bit overwhelmed because everything that I planned on making was sidelined after seeing another inspiration photo from Pinterest or Instagram?  This is exactly what happened with this beautiful crepe fabric that I used to create this vest.  

When I selected this crepe suiting fabric a few months ago, the first thing that came to mind was a jacket. Unfortunately, this color is sold out but here is another beautiful vibrant color for Spring/Summer or the classic neutral here. I  chickened out dreading the task ahead to jump into making a tailored jacket. Moreover, knowing me, I would rock it once or twice during spring or summer and then let it sit for months in my closet.  

 I scrapped that project and then settled on tailored pants, selected the pattern and was ready to cut.  I struggled back and forth as I have created so many palazzo pants over the past year and did not want to add another.  Right at the last minute, I decided to create a VEST with pockets that I always wanted to add to my classic pieces that I can rock and style all year long. 

The pattern I selected to create this classic vest is Simplicity 8265 (VIEW E), which is a great wardrobe builder.

I absolutely fell in love with the design lines of the coat or vest, especially the front darts.  The is a great beginner project and the vest or jacket is not lined but can be. 

To create the vest, the instructions are straightforward and no adjustments were needed for the size I cut (Size 12).  The only changes I made was eliminating the side slit.

Here are a few tips when making this VEST based on the facing pieces!

The pattern did not state to understitch the facing but I always do it with any garment that has a facing. This helps so much with ensuring that it lays flat. 

To secure the neck and shoulder facing, stitching them down (stitch in the ditch) in the shoulder seams will help.  
For the most part, the armhole and neck facing laid flat after stitching my facing in the seams at both shoulders, sides, and center back.
Working to ensure that the inside of my finish garment looks just as beautiful as the outside.
I plan to wear this over a bodycon dress, with jeans and heels during the spring and summer months. 

 I know for sure this will be on heavy rotation as the color is perfect this time of year.  I am happy with the final fit and plan to rock it all year long.  

Thank you so much for reading and be sure to let me know how you would rock this VEST!  Don’t forget to stop by my Instagram page or by my blog to check out my 2019 first quarter makes.  

One Love,
Marica – Overdriveafter30

Wild boar are moving back to Genoa, and not everyone is pleased

A wild boar, c1933. Image: Getty.

Crossing the Ponte Gerolamo Serra in the Italian city of Genoa, I spotted a small crowd clustered by the river wall. I approached, intrigued, and peered over the wall to discover the subject of their delight: a sounder of eight wild boars – the adults sheltering from the heat in the undergrowth, while the juveniles foraged among the foliage that grows in the river bed during the dry summer months.

In any other city, such a sight might have been surprising. But in Italy, and particularly in the region of Liguria, where Genoa is located, the population of wild boars has been increasing at such a rapid rate that these incidents are now common. Across the country, it’s estimated that the population has risen from 600,000 to 1m over the past decade.

But while wild boars may look comically out of place trotting about the city, it’s actually a natural result of the way people have migrated – and the wars they have fought – over the course of recent history.

Making a comeback

A species native to Europe, the wild boar (or “cinghiale”, in Italian) largely disappeared from its historical territories during the 18th and 19th centuries. Their decline was widely attributed to the combined effects of habitat change, competition for space and resources and, of course, hunting.

Wild boars were a prized quarry, revered for their ferocity – and the danger involved in pursuing them. According to local folklore from the region of Liguria, the last truly wild boar was hunted and killed in 1814, in the province of Savona.

After an absence of more than a century, wild boar began to return to Liguria, and to the neighbouring region of Piedmont. A further influx occurred during World War I, when it’s believed that military activities in the south-east of France forced parts of the population back into Italy over the Alps.

Although hunting fraternities were quick to augment this fledgling population with wild boars transported from elsewhere, the return of the species was primarily due to natural causes. From the 1950s onwards, traditional agricultural practices were abandoned as more and more people moved from rural towns into the cities. This meant that large areas of formerly cultivated terraces and pastures were rapidly overgrown, fast becoming dense secondary woodlands.

A city gone wild

This spontaneous “rewilding” has become a controversial issue in the region. Many conservationists and environmental organisations consider the region’s return to a “wild state” a success. But others believe that the encroaching wilderness signals a loss of traditional woodland knowledge and a reduction of biodiversity, associated with the pastures and meadows.

The province of Genoa is among the areas most densely populated by wild boar in Italy, with an estimated 25 boar per 10km². Rewilding processes have brought woodlands to the city limits, blurring the boundary between rural and urban areas. The species has expanded beyond the hinterlands, colonising highly urbanised, densely populated city spaces in Genoa, drawn by the abundance of food waste created by humans.

In 2009, the infamous boar Pierino made his home at Righi, on the outskirts of Genoa, where he was routinely fed with focaccia by enthusiasts. Today, a family of wild boar call the Albergo dei Poveri – a historical hostel for the Genoese poor in the city centre – their home.

But while their antics are often recorded and shared with glee on social media, the threats posed by the presence of wild animals has become a preoccupation for the city’s municipal administration.

Boorish behaviour

Wild boar have been involved in a number of traffic accidents, and have proven to be particularly dangerous when with their young, attacking dogs and even people. The city council in Genoa has put forward many proposals to reduce the number of animals in the city, ranging from forced removals, to sterilisation, increased attention to waste disposal and approved hunts. About 90 wild boar were reportedly culled in 2018.

Needless to say, each of these measures has been hotly debated. Animal advocacy groups staunchly oppose the proposals, and sometimes obstruct the authorities’ attempts to take action, often sending patrols to care for the animals, and even give them names. But other residents are displeased with the animals’ presence in the city, and have consulted with the council on how to address the problems that they cause.

And so Genoa continues to grapple with thorny issues surrounding the presence of wild boar in the city, with the city authorities seeking to resolve a polemical issue that embroils the lives of animals and humans alike. So far, a collective, coherent and communally agreeable strategy has proven evasive; one that considers the need for public safety, hygiene and health with the ethical responsibilities towards to wild boar themselves.

Meanwhile, the animals themselves continue to lounge and forage beneath the Ponte Gerolamo Serra and elsewhere, bringing a little of the wilderness into the city.

The Conversation

Robert Hearn, Assistant Professor in Human Geography, University of Nottingham.

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.