english girl at home

A Sewing & Knitting Blog, Made in Birmingham, England

2014: A Wrap-Up

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Happy New Year everyone!

National Day fireworks in Victoria Harbour, Hong Kong
National Day fireworks in Hong Kong

Makes

I started this blog over Christmas, back in 2011. That was mine and Phil’s first Christmas in our house, so 2014 marks our fourth Christmas living together. I often start new hobbies and projects over the Christmas break; last year I took up knitting and since then I’ve completed the projects pictured below. I’ve just made a start on my next knitting project – a vintage inspired sweater – which I’m knitting as part of the instagram #sundaysweaterkal hosted by Jen (@grainlinestudio), Jess (@shoplamercerie), & Amy (@seamstressandtheband).

Hand Knitted Baubles      Myrna Cardigan Andi Satterlund      Handmade Knitted Rug      Knitted Lavender Bags      Handmade Kate Davies Owls Jumper      Hand Knitted Fox Draft Excluder

This Christmas, my main project has been making a coat for Phil, I just have a few finishing touches left before it’s complete. Although I’ve had this blog since 2011, it started off as a general craft blog, and it was only during 2013 that I really began to focus – in both my crafting and blogging – on sewing clothes. During 2014 I managed to complete all the projects below, which are also listed on my My Makes page, plus a couple of projects I am yet to blog. My sewing has come on massively in the last year and I can see huge improvements just since the start of the year. I set myself the loose goal of sewing three new-to-me items of clothing during 2014, trousers, a swimsuit, and a coat, and I met my goal.

Madrid Tote Bag      Blue Wool Blend Oslo Cardigan      Francoise Dress, Tilly & the Buttons in Purple Wool      The Dolores Batwing Dress, So Zo, in Ghent, Belgium      Casper & Wendy Bag from Handmade Bags in Natural Fabrics by Emiko Takahashi      IMG_6516

Waxprint Maya Dress      Hand Printed Fabric Swap Lou Lou Dress      Sew Over It Silk Cami      Kimono      Closet Case Files Bombshell Swimsuit      Lou Lou Dress Version B

Lou Lou Dress Version A      Dolores Pocket Skirt in vintage fabric      Colette Sorbetto Top with Turkish Cotton      Vintage Simplicity 3688 19040s Trousers      Handmade Colette Patterns Zinnia Skirt      Handmade Tilly & the Buttons Mimi Blouse

Handmade Vintage Dress      Handmade Afternoon Blouse      Homemade Star Trek Mini Skirt      Homemade Star Trek Reversible Bag      Handmade Leather Bag      Pink Victoria Blazer By Hand London

Handmade Tilly and the Buttons Coco Dress      By Hand London Anna Dress in Horse Print      Homemade Detachable Collar      Handmade Burda Waterfall Top      Grainline Studio Archer Shirt

Etsy

My Etsy shop had it’s best year so far, with 53 orders received. Quite a few of those orders were received in the run up to Christmas keeping me busy making and posting pandas. This year I received my first orders from Saudi Arabia and Columbia, in addition to orders from the UK, US, Australia, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Hong Kong and Ireland.

Meet-Ups

As we all know, one of the best things about the online sewing community is when we get the chance to meet in person.

Back in October, I organised the #SewBrum meet-up. Around 56 sewists attended to visit the fabric shops and market in Birmingham, and Guthrie & Ghani in Moseley. In addition to having a good shop and natter we raised £320 for Parkinson’s UK.

SewBrum Meet-Up

I attended a number of meet-ups: #NYlon2014 in May organised by Rachel, #CCBloggers meet-up in Derby organised by Sam and Kat, and the Paris meet-up in November organised by Carmen. I took part in a few sew-alongs, including the Francoise Dress and Archer Shirt, and finished my first knitted jumper as part of Kat and Sabs’ knit-along. I also pattern tested for indie designers this year for the first time.

Pattern Design

During 2014, I also designed my first sewing pattern, the Lou Lou dress, as part of the Monthly Stitch’s Project Indie competition. I rushed to get the pattern ready for the competition so made quite a few changes afterwards, before it was submitted to my lovely pattern testers in October. The pattern will eventually be released once I finish working through the tester feedback received.

Home & Work

During 2014, me and Phil visited Paris twice, Brussels, Istanbul, and the Lake District.

Paris, April 2014Brussels, BelgiumSpice Bazaar IstanbulVintage Simplicity 3688 19040s Trousers

Back in August 2013, I started a new job at a different university (I’m a project manager within higher education). The job involved fairly extensive travel (much more than was advertised) and between August 2013 and November 2014 I traveled to Istanbul approximately 18-19 times for work. It learned a lot from the job and it was good to have a taste of an international role, but it wasn’t for me long term. I’ve always been someone who books lots of tickets in advance for the theatre, movie screenings, etc. and it made it impossible as I never knew when I’d need to travel at short notice. I also lost quite a few weekends travelling, which meant losing precious crafting time. At the end of November 2014, I started a new job with the same employer but in a different team and it’s been a great move – the job and team seem great, and I no longer need to travel regularly. I’ve already booked tickets for three plays and a Video Games Live concert (which is amazing by the way; I saw it in Manchester a few months back) for early 2015:)

Massive thanks to everyone who reads the blog, and for all comments received. I’m not very good at replying or at commenting on other people’s blogs but I hugely appreciated all comments received & I love reading what everyone else is up to (I follow A LOT of blogs). I’m looking forward to the next 12 months of sewing, blogging, and chatting – online and in person.

Now to finish that coat, while watching the end of Bugsy Malone.

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Author: Charlotte

Sewist, crafter & blogger, based in Birmingham, England. I'm spending the year growing and gathering to create natural dyes and enhance my sewing projects. Find me at www.englishgirlathome.com

5 thoughts on “2014: A Wrap-Up

  1. every one loves cardigan jacket you made me for christmas,so do i.momxxx

  2. What a lovely post. Super impressed that you managed to knit your owls jumper in the kear you started knitting. Looking forward to your 2015 makes. Happy New Year!

  3. Happy New Year, Charlotte! Last year’s work situation sounds really stressful! Having to travel so much, and on short notice, would drive me completely bonkers. Glad you got to move to another team!
    I’m really looking forward to seeing Phil’s coat! I’ve promised my boyfriend a suit jacket, but I’m really afraid of that, and I’ve also promised him a casual jacket, which I hope I’ll get to sometime in the spring. I love sewing menswear and I love to see other people’s menswear projects!
    I’m also looking forward to seeing the finished version of the Lou Lou dress. I was going to write and ask how things are coming along. I’m just working on making … something matching from the remaining Lou Lou test fabric. No idea whether it will work, but it’s a fun project, so if it doesn’t turn out horribly, I’ll be sure to show you! (:

    • Thanks – hope you had a lovely Christmas & new year. It already feels like ages ago! I haven’t forgotten the Lou Lou dress! It shouldn’t take much time to complete – I just need to put my head down & get on with it! Instead of getting tempted by lots of other lovely crafty projects:) Looking forward to seeing your project – hope it works out:)

  4. Happy New Year! What a productive year you’ve had! All the best to you in 2015!

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