english girl at home

A Sewing & Knitting Blog, Made in Birmingham, England


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October Sewing Zine Vlog

Alice & Co Patterns Georgie Dress

I’ve uploaded a new vlog about what I’ve been up to lately, including my Georgie Dress, Observatory Shawl and faux fur Tamarack Jacket.

View it below or via my YouTube channel:

Things mentioned:

Opian, Pilatus Swimsuit

Closet Case Patterns, Pietra Pants

Alice & Co Patterns Georgie Dress (free pattern)

Masson Mill in Matlock Bath

The Association of Guilds of Weavers, Spinners and Dyers

Julie Hedges

SewBrum meet-up

The Little World of Fabric (‘The Liberty Man’)

Barry’s Fabrics

Kate Davies The Observatory Hap

Sew Up North

The Knitting & Stitching Show

Les BG Patterns

Sew Over It Amelia Jacket

Pink Coat Club & Adornments by Rosheen Headbands

Petershams Millinery Supplies Headbands

Untangling Knots Arachne pattern

Kate Davies Observatory pattern

Grainline Studio Tamarack Jacket

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Constellation Double Gauze Myosotis

Deer & Doe Myosotis Dress in Kokka Double Gauze

I’m finally blogging my Deer and Doe Myosotis Dress which I made back in April, ready to wear for the Paris Sewcial / Paris Coud meet-up.

Deer & Doe Myosotis Dress in Kokka Double Gauze

I loved the Myosotis pattern when it was released, but it was when I saw the fabric that the idea of this dress got lodged in my brain and wouldn’t leave me in peace until it was realised. The fabric is a double gauze by the Japanese brand Kokka, and is embroidered with astrological designs. I originally saw the fabric on Guthrie & Ghani’s instagram feed in an alternative colourway, but by the time I had bitten the bullet and made the decision to order it they were out of stock. It was relatively difficult to track down, but I found this white colourway available from Miss Matatabi and put in an order quick before they ran out too. With the dress already fully formed in my mind, I picked out matching pearlescent buttons during Male Pattern Boldness Day in New York in March.

Deer & Doe Myosotis Dress in Kokka Double Gauze

I made View A, with all possible ruffles, in size 34/36 (grading between sizes at the waist). As per my last blog post, I was clearly inspired by / copied the product image for version A, which is also made in a white cotton fabric. During construction I should have taken more care to stabilise my fabric on the long curved front bodice pieces, because when I initially got to the point of sewing the bodice together I found that the delicate double gauze fabric had stretched and the bodice wouldn’t lie flat. Luckily I had enough fabric left to recut the bodice, and second time around I underlined the bodice pieces in a plain white cotton, making the bodice much more stable, easier to sew and opaque.

Deer & Doe Myosotis Dress in Kokka Double Gauze

A white cotton Myosotis might seem destined for spring and summer, but I think it looks suitably autumnal in these pictures, paired with some wintery tights, boots and a hat. As it happens, these photos were actually taken during the summer, in June, while on a family holiday to the Peak District. I packed a suitcase full of new summery me-made garments having not checked the weather forecast, and spent the whole week pairing them with boots and a coat.

Deer & Doe Myosotis Dress in Kokka Double Gauze

With the three sewing events I’ve been involved in organising this year (Paris Sewcial, The Sewing Weekender, and SewBrum) over for another year (at least) I’m hoping to catch-up with posting a few other sewing and knitting projects from this year which are yet to make it to the blog. I’ve also set myself the goal of knitting a Halloween-themed jumper before the end of the month (wish me luck, I knit multiple gauge swatches, none of which were right, and in the end just went with the recommended needle size). After that it will be time to think about Christmas present making – and finishing the coat for Phil which I started last winter and abandoned in March!

Deer & Doe Myosotis Dress in Kokka Double Gauze

Deer & Doe Myosotis Dress in Kokka Double Gauze

Deer & Doe Myosotis Dress in Kokka Double Gauze


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CocoWawa Crafts Raspberry Jumpsuit

CocoWawa Raspberry Jumpsuit

I love Ana of CocoWawa Crafts‘ patterns – especially the Honeycomb – and I own quite a few of them, but I hadn’t gotten around to sewing any of them until this summer. When Ana released the Raspberry Jumpsuit I decided it was time to put that right, and to have a go at sewing my first shirred bodice at the same time.

CocoWawa Raspberry Jumpsuit

I made the Jumpsuit version, in View 3, with has a metal hoop detail on the straps. I didn’t have any hoops to hand at the recommended size so used some small hoops intended for lingerie-making. I actually like the smaller hoop for a more subtle strap detail.

CocoWawa Raspberry Jumpsuit

I made a few minor tweaks to the pattern. I crossed the straps at the back for visual interest, and I added a belt and thread loops at the waist as I’m not keen on visible waist seams. Size wise I graded between a 10 and 12, but could have gotten away with a straight size 10 given the loose style of the design and the leeway provided by the shirred bodice.

CocoWawa Raspberry Jumpsuit

I hadn’t realised until now, but the colour of my fabric is very similar to Ana’s sample image for this version of the pattern. No doubt I was subconsciously drawn to this fabric in my stash for that reason. My fabric was purchased from Birmingham Rag Market a year ago, and cost £1.50 per metre. This project was another lesson in no longer sewing with cheap fabric, as the trousers started to pill where my handbag rubbed against them after a few wears. After I constructed the jumpsuit I realised that the trousers were too translucent to be decent (but not the bodice due to the shirring), so I cut a second pair, shortened to knee-length shorts, and attached them inside the trousers at the waist seam.

CocoWawa Raspberry Jumpsuit

The shirred bodice is easy to sew and comfortable to wear. The pattern recommends purchasing 6 spools of shirring elastic, but I think I only used one (perhaps two at a push) and I don’t think my bodice is particularly loose, although perhaps it could have been a bit tighter just above the waist seam as you can see some movement of the fabric in these pictures.

CocoWawa Raspberry Jumpsuit

Expect a few more summer sewing projects from me as I catch up with the backlog of photos I pestered Phil to take while we were on holiday during August, and earlier this year. A week or two of rain and colder weather has however had an impact on my sewing plans, as coat and jacket patterns are suddenly looking much more exciting. I’m thinking of starting a jacket for myself with a pattern from the August issue of Burda, and of finally finishing the coat for Phil which I abandoned in March. You can guess which of the two is the most enticing, but hopefully I’ll get to both before too long.

CocoWawa Raspberry Jumpsuit
CocoWawa Raspberry Jumpsuit


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Pilatus Swimsuit on Holiday

Opian Pilatus Swimsuit in Liberty fabric

Pattern: Opian Pilatus

Time taken (excluding cutting out): 6 hours

Fabric: Liberty ‘Santa Monica Brighton Swim Regenerated Nylon’

Opian Pilatus Swimsuit in Liberty fabric

August and September have been a busy couple of months for me with a week’s weaving course, The Sewing Weekender, jeans making and ply split braiding workshops, and a holiday to Croatia. Today I’m finally having a quiet Saturday at home with time for video gaming (I bought myself Untitled Goose Game this morning), blogging, and – later on with any luck – some sewing. I might make a start on the Alice & Co Mary Quant-inspired Georgie Dress if I have a suitable fabric in my stash.

Opian Pilatus Swimsuit in Liberty fabric

After my weaving course and the Sewing Weekender, Phil suggested that perhaps we should go on holiday together for a change! I put in a request for somewhere sunny and near the sea as I fancied another go at sewing a swimsuit, specifically the Opian Pilatus sewing pattern.

Opian Pilatus Swimsuit in Liberty fabric

My Pilatus was inspired by the lovely versions by Katie and Linda in particular. I love the cut-outs, the high waist and that front tie. It is a really straightforward pattern to put together – the bodice is self-lined meaning that it’s not even necessary to attach elastic in the top, just at the edges of the bottoms. Following a couple of projects which seemed to take forever (but probably didn’t, just lots of short sewing sessions) I’ve started timing how long my sewing projects are taking for my own interest. Excluding cutting out, this project took me six hours, which I think is pretty reasonable for a swimsuit.

Opian Pilatus Swimsuit in Liberty fabric

This is the second swimsuit I have sewn, following a Bombshell Swimsuit in 2014. My sewing skills have increased enormously since 2014 (I only started garment sewing in earnest in 2013) – as have my blog pictures, check out those original Bombshell swimsuit pics in the garden. My Bombshell turned out perfectly wearable, and I still wear it, but I did struggle with getting a good fit. This time around I found swimsuit sewing straightforward. I cut a size 2/4, grading between sizes at the waist, with no changes to the pattern.

Opian Pilatus Swimsuit in Liberty fabric

The fabric is a Liberty swim-suiting fabric in print ‘Santa Monica’ and fabric type ‘Brighton Swim’. I bought it in a half-price sale (it’s still available if you’re quick) from the Liberty website. I’m really impressed by the quality of the fabric, it’s opaque, a good weight, and dries quickly once out of the water. The fabric I used for my Bombshell wasn’t really a swimsuiting fabric – I think it was probably intended for leotards or dance costumes. It works ok for a swimsuit but it takes ages to dry. This Liberty fabric feels so professional in comparison, which makes a huge difference to making my Pilatus feel well made.

Opian Pilatus Swimsuit in Liberty fabric

Excuse the number of pictures. I wore this swimsuit in Croatia to swim in the hotel pool, the ocean, and a salt lake on Lokrum Island. All of the locations were so beautiful that I couldn’t resist requesting a few more pictures (from Phil) each time.

Opian Pilatus Swimsuit in Liberty fabric
Opian Pilatus Swimsuit in Liberty fabric
Opian Pilatus Swimsuit in Liberty fabric


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The Sewing Weekender 2019

The Sewing Weekender 2019
The Sewing Weekender 2019

I dashed off on holiday on the Tuesday after the Sewing Weekender (and pestered Phil to take a lot of photos while away; blog posts to follow when I get a chance!), but now that I’m home I’ve had time to edit the photos and video from the Sewing Weekender, which are shared below and on my YouTube channel.

This was the fourth Sewing Weekender, jointly organised by Kate, Rachel and me. We’ve kept some things the same each year – including our location at Murray Edwards College in Cambridge – but there are also a few changes each year. The same applies to our attendees; this year 33% of attendees had attended before, with 67% of attendees new to the Weekender.

Each year we are joined by a number of speakers from the sewing community and this year we heard talks from Juliet Uzor of Sew So Natural about the Sewing Bee and sewing with wax print fabric, Alexandra Bruce and Caroline Akselson of Selkie Patterns on sustainable sewing, Tara Viggo of Paper Theory on leaving the fashion industry to start her own business, and Nina Chang of Nina Lee Loves and Nina Lee Patterns on sewing wedding dresses (both her own and for others).

We were also joined by The New Craft House who ran a mini version of their popular knicker-making workshops for some of our attendees (sponsored by Spoonflower).

Each year there is a pattern or two which is ‘most worn’ during the weekend and this year it was (perhaps unsurprisingly) the Zadie Jumpsuit and Myosotis Dress. Sewing Weekender stalwarts Melissa, Susan and Elizabeth created their own Sewing Weekender bingo card (pictured below) with some of the patterns and fabric most likely to be sewn. They almost managed to complete the card, but never did spot anyone breaking a needle!

As ever, multiple attendees were much quicker to blog or vlog about the event, and/or what they made during the Weekender. You can view their posts at the links below:

Adelle at Button & Piphttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MFF0dClZ1JA

Hayley at Sew Hayley Janehttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gXVyhYjN5Yo

Kealy at Voice of a Creativehttps://youtu.be/olpkWCydvSM

Laura at Material Girl Laurahttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eSHlb2wILpY

Melissa at Fehr Tradehttp://blog.fehrtrade.com/gallery/6189/an-orange-zadie-jumpsuit-sewn-in-a-day/

Nina at Tales of the Sewing City: https://talesofthesewingcity.wordpress.com/2019/09/01/sewing-weekender-2019/

Susan at Susan Young Sewinghttps://susanyoungsewing.wordpress.com/2019/09/09/sidewinder-pants-by-the-sewing-revival/

Tamlyn at Sewn on the Tynehttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0s_GcUmwvqQ

Thanks again to our attendees, overall sponsor Minerva, and sponsors:

Afternoon Patterns / Avid Seamstress / Beyond Measure / Bobbins & Bolts / Chalk & Notch / Closet Case Patterns / Clothkits / ClothSpot / CocoWawa / Crafty Sew & So / DP Studio / Escape & Create / Experimental Space / Fehr Trade / Guthrie & Ghani / Happy Fabric UK / I Am Patterns / Janome / Like Sew Amazing / Loubodu Fabrics / Maven Patterns / Monaluna / Named / Pavillion & Batsford / Pink Coat Club / Pound Fabrics / Prym / Sewbox / Sew Essential / Sew Hayley Jane / Sew House Seven / Sew Me Something / Sew Me Sunshine / Spoonflower / Victory Patterns / Village Haberdashery / Wearology

The Sewing Weekender 2019
The Sewing Weekender 2019
The Sewing Weekender 2019
The Sewing Weekender 2019
The Sewing Weekender 2019
The Sewing Weekender 2019
The Sewing Weekender 2019
The Sewing Weekender 2019
The Sewing Weekender 2019
The Sewing Weekender 2019
The Sewing Weekender 2019
The Sewing Weekender 2019
The Sewing Weekender 2019
The Sewing Weekender 2019
The Sewing Weekender 2019


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Sewing Weekender 2019 Goodie Bags

Sewing Weekender 2019 Goodie Bags

The Sewing Weekender 2019 takes place in Cambridge this weekend! I’ve been out this morning to collect the hire van which I’ll use to transport the contents of the goodie bags (plus irons, ironing boards, and decorations) to our venue.

Before I set off I wanted to share the contents of the goodie bags with our attendees (and anyone else who is interested in having a snoop!). I’ve filmed a vlog which you can watch below or on my YouTube Channel.

Thank you again to our sponsors. A full list of sponsors & contributions to the goodie bags is provided below:

Afternoon Patterns – Patterns & pin badges

Avid Seamstress – 10% discount code & ‘I’m an Avid Seamstress’ pencil

Beyond Measure – 10% discount code

Bobbins & Bolts

Chalk & Notch

Closet Case Patterns – 20% discount code

Clothkits

ClothSpot

CocoWawa – 20% discount code

Crafty Sew & So – 15% discount code & badge

Sewing Weekender 2019 Goodie Bags

DP Studio – 10% discount code, patterns & pattern catalogues

Escape & Create – 15% discount code

Experimental Space – Coasters

Fehr Trade – 20% discount code & woven zipper pull

Guthrie & Ghani – 10% discount code off fabric ordered online

Happy Fabric UK

I Am Patterns – Buy-one-get-one-free code

Janome – Pen, tape measure, coaster & flyers

Like Sew Amazing – 15% discount code

Loubodu Fabrics

Sewing Weekender 2019 Goodie Bags

Maven Patterns – 10% discount code & buttons

Minerva

Monaluna

Named – 20% discount code

Pavillion & Batsford – ‘Mend & Patch’ booklet & catalogue of craft titles

Pink Coat Club – Stickers & discount code

Pound Fabrics – Flyer

Prym

Sewbox

Sew Essential – 15% discount code

Sew Hayley Jane – 10% discount code & magazine

Sew House Seven

Sew Me Something – PDF bag pattern download code

Sew Me Sunshine – Woven label & 10% discount code

Spoonflower – Fabric bases sample book, London shopping guide & stickers

Victory Patterns

Village Haberdashery – £5 gift voucher

Wearology

Sewing Weekender 2019 Goodie Bags


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August Sewing Zine Vlog

August Sewing Zine

I’ve uploaded a new vlog about what I’ve been up to this month, including the tweed and tartan weaving course I attended a few weeks ago.

View it below or via my YouTube channel:

Mentioned in the vlog:

The Association of Guilds of Weavers, Spinners and Dyers summer school

My weaving tutor, Jan Beadle Textiles

Closet Case Patterns, Ginger Jeans

#ogdenidaswap2019

True Bias, Ogden Cami

Opian, Pilatus Swimsuit

Guthrie & Ghani shop opening in April 2013