english girl at home

A Sewing & Knitting Blog, Made in Birmingham, England


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Paris Sewcial

Last weekend was the Paris Sewcial / Paris Coud meet-up, organised by myself and Carmen Bouchard.

Paris Sewcial Meet-Up May 2019

Back in 2014, I attended a Paris meet-up organised by Carmen, and this January I decided it was time for another large meet-up in Paris. Carmen agreed to organise it with me and took on the tasks of arranging our meals, as well as recommending lots of great shops and the Musée Yves Saint Laurent (thanks Carmen!).

Paris Sewcial Meet-Up May 2019

Around 50 of us met near the Sacré-Cœur on Saturday morning to visit Montmartre’s fabric shops. We had lots of attendees joining us from the UK and France, but also from Belgium, Germany, Canada and America. Phil was roped into taking a group photo in front of the Sacré-Cœur before departing to do his own thing for the day.

Paris Sewcial Meet-Up May 2019

We split into smaller groups as people moved to find lunch and explore further afield, but almost everyone made it to the dp Studio pop-up shop. By coincidence, the pattern company were holding a pop-up to sell their patterns and leftover fabric from previous samples and collections for one day only on the Saturday. The fabric was priced at €5 per metre (although they were generous at rounding down) and we all enjoyed a good rummage. I thought it would be a perfect opportunity to try one of their patterns for the first time, and picked the Le 600 Blouse which is well represented on Instagram.

Paris Sewcial Meet-Up May 2019

By this point we were well into the afternoon. Paris’ fabric shops are open quite late (until around 7pm) so lots of the group visited one more shop before heading back to hotels to drop off fabric and prepare for dinner. Carmen had arranged a three-course meal, plus musical accompaniment, for us, after which everyone was ready to fall into bed.

Paris Sewcial Meet-Up May 2019

On Sunday, a group of us met for brunch before visiting the Musée Yves Saint Laurent, located in the building where the couture house was based in Paris and where Yves Saint Laurent worked. Finally, on Sunday afternoon, the last women standing travelled slightly out of town (by metro and bus) to visit Bennytex Fabric Warehouse. Bennytex made us very welcome, staying open until we finished shopping, and giving each of us a small coffee on arrival and a free metre or so of jersey fabric before we left.

Paris Sewcial Meet-Up May 2019

Thanks so much to everyone who joined us over the weekend. As always, it was lovely to catch-up with old friends and to meet new ones. As someone who has never lived outside of Birmingham, it’s brilliant to be part of an international community online and – sometimes – in person.

Paris Sewcial Meet-Up May 2019

I’ve published a short vlog with some footage of the weekend, and of my purchases, which you can view here:

Paris Sewcial Meet-Up May 2019
Paris Sewcial Meet-Up May 2019
Paris Sewcial Meet-Up May 2019
Paris Sewcial Meet-Up May 2019
Paris Sewcial Meet-Up May 2019
Paris Sewcial Meet-Up May 2019
Paris Sewcial Meet-Up May 2019
Paris Sewcial Meet-Up May 2019
Paris Sewcial Meet-Up May 2019
Paris Sewcial Meet-Up May 2019
Paris Sewcial Meet-Up May 2019
Paris Sewcial Meet-Up May 2019
Paris Sewcial Meet-Up May 2019
Paris Sewcial Meet-Up May 2019
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SewBrum 2019 – Hold the Date!

Sew Brum 2019

The SewBrum meet-up will be returning for a sixth year on Saturday 05th October 2019.

SewBrum is a free-to-attend meet-up of people who love to sew in Birmingham, UK. Everyone is welcome.

Sign-up is now open (to give us an idea of numbers): Sign Up Here

As in previous years, we’ll start the day in Birmingham city centre and then travel to Guthrie & Ghani in Moseley Village, by bus.

There’s lots of information about the last five SewBrum events on the events page, including my wrap-up posts about the 201720162015, and 2014 meet-ups!

I hope you can join us x

Logo by illustrator and sewist Maike Plenzke.


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Paris Sewcial / Paris Coud 2019 – Registration Open!

Paris Sewcial

Carmen and I are organising an international meet-up in Paris over the weekend of the 18th – 19th May 2019.

On Saturday 18th, we’ll be touring Paris’ fabric shops and ending the day with a group dinner / drinks. On Sunday 19th, we’ll be starting the day with brunch, visiting the exhibition Yves Saint Laurent: Dreams of the Orient” at the Musée Yves Saint Laurent, and heading out of town to visit the Bennytex fabric warehouse (check out Annie Coton’s blog post, it sounds amazing).

Sign-up is now open (to give us an idea of numbers to expect for planning purposes): Sign Up Here!

A quick note to say that everyone is very welcome, and you can attend as much or as little of the weekend as you like. I’m conscious that two reasons people sometimes don’t feel comfortable attending meet-ups are anxiety and mobility. If you would like to join us but have any concerns do get in touch with me and Carmen. I’m already thinking that we should have some group shopping trolleys ready as when I attended the previous Paris meet-up Carmen organised in 2014 I got carried away buying heavy wool fabrics and could barely carry them!

♥ What? ♥

A free-to-attend meet-up of people who love to sew, in Paris.

Following in the footsteps of the 2014 meet-up organised by Carmen, Paris Sewcial / Paris Coud will be a chance to get together with an international group of sewcialists and to explore Paris’ fabric shops.

Organised by Charlotte Powell (English Girl at Home) and Carmen Bouchard (CarmencitaB).

♥ Itinerary ♥

The planned itinerary for Saturday 18th – Sunday 19th May is below. Attendees can feel free to dip in and out, attending one or both days, or parts of the day.

Saturday 18th May

10:30 – 11:00: Meet in Montmartre

We’ll be meeting in Square Louise-Michel, located below the Sacré-Cœur and in the heart of the Montmartre fabric shopping district.

Multiple metro stops including Anvers, Abbesses, Pigalle, and Château Rouge are located within ten minutes’ walk from the square.

11:00 – 17:00: Explore Paris’ Fabric Shops

We’ll spend the day exploring Paris’ numerous fabric shops. A map will be provided to help attendees navigate the city, and we’ll visit the shops as a group, or number of smaller groups, dependent on the number of attendees.

17:00: Dinner / Drinks

We’ll carry on the conversations over a group dinner / drinks (location tbc dependent on number of attendees).

Sunday 19th May

11:00 – 12:30: Brunch in Montmartre

We’ll start the day by returning to Montmartre for brunch and chatter.

13:00 – 15:00: Visit to Musée Yves Saint Laurent

At 13:00 we’ll visit Yves Saint Laurent: Dreams of the Orient at the Musée Yves Saint Laurent. It isn’t possible to book a tour on Sundays, so we’ll be joining the queue outside the museum. A visit to the exhibition takes approximately 90 minutes. It’s also the perfect opportunity for a stroll past the Eiffel Tower, which is located 15 minutes walk from the museum.

15:00 – 18:00: Visit to Bennytex

Those willing to join us in a trip outside of the city centre on the hunt for fabric will catch the bus to Bennytex fabric warehouse. The journey is approximately one hour each way by public transport. For more info about shopping at Bennytex see Annie Coton’s blog post.

We’ll start the journey back from Bennytex at approximately 17:00, with attendees back in the city centre for 18:00.


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Paris Sewcial / Paris Coud 2019 – Hold the Date

Paris Sewcial

I was lucky enough to attend the Paris meet-up organised by Carmen back in 2014. Inspired by that event, Carmen and I have decided that it’s time for another Paris meet-up, so we’re organising one over the weekend of the 18-19 May 2019.

We’ll be touring Paris’ fabric shops on Saturday 18th, with a to-be-confirmed activity on Sunday 19th for those who can stay for the full weekend. Further details to follow, once we’ve finalised our plans.

At this point we wanted to share the date, so that those of you who can make it can start planning.

We hope you can join us.

#ParisSewcial #ParisCoud


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The Sewing Weekender 2018 Wrap-Up

The Sewing Weekender 2018

Ahh, I love a good meet-up. I’ve just booked my train ticket to Leeds for Sew Up North this weekend, and before too long passes and the memory fades, I wanted to blog a few thoughts and a few photos from the Sewing Weekender.

The Sewing Weekender 2018

The Sewing Weekender 2018

The third Sewing Weekender took place during August at Murray Edwards College in Cambridge. It was the largest Weekender yet, with 100 attendees (including 5 speakers & experts, 3 organisers – that’s me, Kate and Rachel – and 92 attendees). 24 of our attendees had attended before, and it was lovely to see a mix of good friends and familiar faces, but also to meet some friends in person for the first time, and to know that different people are managing to get hold of tickets, given that they sold out in no time yet again this year.

The Sewing Weekender 2018

The Sewing Weekender 2018

To squeeze in one hundred attendees we were split across two rooms, coming together for tea and coffee breaks, and for lunch in the College dining room on Saturday. As in previous years, attendees worked on a sewing project (or two) of their choice. I’m always impressed that attendees manage to finish projects during the weekend. I think I’m quite a slow sewer, and am sure I would be slower than ever when there is so much opportunity to procrastinate talking, drinking tea, listing to talks, and attending workshops.

The Sewing Weekender 2018

The Sewing Weekender 2018

I’m also always impressed by how beautifully dressed our attendees are. Being surrounded by 100 sewists is a great opportunity to see a range of patterns made-up and ‘in the flesh’ (The Closet Case Patterns Jenny Overalls were a favourite this year). In previous years I have planned but failed to make an outfit specifically for the Weekender, but this year I was determined to, and I managed it! We had a warm, but intermittently wet, weekend, and the V9253 dress I made was ideal for swanning about the College.

The Sewing Weekender 2018

The Sewing Weekender 2018

When you organise an event, I find that you can never believe quite how quickly it speeds by, after such a long lead time preparing for it. I’ve been really lucky to work with Kate & Rachel (of The Fold Line), who make organising the Weekender very easy for me! One of my main tasks is receiving all of the lovely goodie bag booty from our sponsors, and hiring a big van to drive it, plus irons, ironing boards, and decorations, down to Cambridge. Setting up takes the three of us an age, but this year attendees pitched in when it was time to pack up, and with everyone boxing up a Janome sewing machine each, we were packed up in no time!

The Sewing Weekender 2018

The Sewing Weekender 2018

Our speakers were, yet again, total pros, giving insights into caring for your me-made (and RTW) garments (Harriet), the history of sewing pattern magazines and the development of the Maker’s Atelier magazine (Frances), setting up and running a fabric shop (Sheona), and practical advice on getting a book deal (Karen).

One of the many amazing things about the sewing community, is being part of a community of people (and mostly women) who are doing so many interesting and inspiring things. From sharing beautiful sewing projects and blog posts, publishing great podcasts/vlogs/newsletters, and organising events, through to making the commitment to start businesses, develop patterns, and write books. One of the other amazing things about this community, is that despite its members being busy, smart, and ambitious, they are also nice as pie. I’ll leave you with pictures of some exceedingly friendly faces, and hope to see you at a meet-up soon.

The Sewing Weekender 2018

The Sewing Weekender 2018

The Sewing Weekender 2018

The Sewing Weekender 2018

The Sewing Weekender 2018

The Sewing Weekender 2018

The Sewing Weekender 2018

The Sewing Weekender 2018

The Sewing Weekender 2018

The Sewing Weekender 2018

The Sewing Weekender 2018

The Sewing Weekender 2018

The Sewing Weekender 2018

The Sewing Weekender 2018

The Sewing Weekender 2018

The Sewing Weekender 2018

The Sewing Weekender 2018

The Sewing Weekender 2018

The Sewing Weekender 2018

The Sewing Weekender 2018

The Sewing Weekender 2018

The Sewing Weekender 2018

The Sewing Weekender 2018

The Sewing Weekender 2018

The Sewing Weekender 2018

The Sewing Weekender 2018

The Sewing Weekender 2018

The Sewing Weekender 2018

The Sewing Weekender 2018

The Sewing Weekender 2018

The Sewing Weekender 2018

The Sewing Weekender 2018


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SewBrum 2018 – Hold the Date

SewBrum 2018 Logo

The SewBrum meet-up will be returning for a fifth year on Saturday 27 October!

Sign-up is now open (to give us an idea of numbers to expect): Sign Up Here!

There’s lots of information about the last four SewBrum events on the events page, including my wrap-up posts about the 201720162015, and 2014 meet-ups!

I really hope that lots of you can make it again this year x

♥ What? ♥

A (free-to-attend) meet-up of people who love to sew. Everyone is welcome, just sign-up using the form above/below to give us an idea of numbers.

♥ Itinerary ♥

The planned itinerary for Saturday 27th October is below. Attendees can feel free to dip in and out, or only attend for part of the day.

10:00 – 11:00: Meet at John Lewis Cafe & Haberdashery

We’ll be meeting in John Lewis Cafe (The Place to Eat), where we’ll be able to drink tea and/or eat brunch while everyone arrives. We’ll also be able to shop in the Haberdashery, which is located on the same floor as the cafe (4th floor).

P.S. If you’re arriving by train, John Lewis is located in the same building as New Street Station – and the other stations (Moor Street and Snow Hill) are only a 10-15 minute walk.

P.P.S John Lewis opens at 9am for anyone arriving early.

11:00 – 13:00Birmingham Rag Market & Fabric Shops

We’ll spend a couple of hours shopping for fabric at the Rag Market and nearby fabric shops Barry’s Fabric & Fancy Silk Store (who are also on Facebook).

13:00 – 13:30: Reconvene and travel to Moseley Village (Guthrie & Ghani) by bus

The journey between the city centre and Moseley only takes 15 minutes by bus, and buses are every 5-10 minutes.

13:30 – 17:00Guthrie & Ghani / Lunch

At Guthrie & Ghani we’ll have time in the shop which sells a wide range of sewing and knitting supplies, and we’ll have use of the studio above the shop where we will be able to natter, compare purchases, hold a pattern & fabric swap, and take part in a charity raffle.

Attendees can also grab lunch at one of the nearby pubs or cafes. The Village and The Dark Horse bar/restaurant are both a couple of minutes walk from Guthrie & Ghani, and there are lots of other options available within Moseley Village.

♥ Sign-Up Form ♥

If you’re planning to attend the 2018 meet-up let us know by filling in the Sign Up Form.

Everyone will be welcome. Hope you can make it x

Logo by illustrator and sewist Maike Plenzke.


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SewBrum 2017 Wrap-Up

SewBrum 2017

Before 2017 is out, a quick post about this year’s SewBrum meet-up!

I’ve posted a short video of the day (and what I bought), which you can view here:


SewBrum 2017

The 2017 meet-up took place on Saturday 28th October. We started the day by taking over the John Lewis Cafe and visiting the haberdashery. From there, we visited the Rag Market, and nearby Barry’s Fabrics and Fancy Silk Store. A new stall in the Indoor Market which specialises in Liberty fabrics, including Liberty jersey, cord and fleece, was particularly popular.

SewBrum 2017

Over 120 of us traveled into Moseley Village in the afternoon to visit Guthrie & Ghani for shopping, chatting, a pattern and fabric swap, and charity raffle. The raffle raised £431.50 for the The Eve Appeal gynaecological cancer charity, and donations for tea and cake raised £80 to twin the toilet at Guthrie & Ghani with a toilet in an African village. Thanks so much for your generous donations!

SewBrum 2017

A huge thank you also to the companies who donated to the raffle – a full list of prizes and a few photos are below.

♥ Adjustoform – Dressform
♥ Adam Ross Fabrics – £30 voucher
♥ Beyond Measure – £20 voucher
♥ Chez Machine – 2 kits
♥ Chinelo Bally Freehand Fashion: Learn to Sew the Perfect Wardrobe x 2
♥ ClothSpot – Prize bundle
♥ Cocowawa – Marshmallow Dress pattern x 2
♥ Colette Patterns – $25 voucher
♥ Cotton Reel Studio – £30 voucher
♥ The Crafty Mastermind – Fabric, pattern and pin bundle
♥ Dashing Tweeds – Fabric bundle
♥ The Draper’s Daughter – 3 metres of fabric
♥ Fabrics Galore – £50 voucher
♥ Girl Charlee – Big fabric bundle
♥ Guthrie & Ghani – Prym mini hamper
♥ The Maker’s Atelier – The Pleat Detail Dress & Top pattern
♥ Minerva Crafts – Quilt making kit
♥ Mollie Makes How to Quilt and Patchwork
♥ Monaluna – Fat quarter bundle
♥ Plush Addict – £50 voucher
♥ Remnant Kings – Coco dress pattern and fabric bundle
♥ Sewbox – £30 gift voucher and Gutermann thread set
♥ Sew Crafty – Bundle of goodies
♥ Sewisfaction – £25 gift voucher
♥ Sew Over It – Choice of online class
♥ Simply Sewing Magazine – 7 patterns
♥ Stuart Hillard Use Scraps, Sew Blocks, Make 100 Quilts: 100 Stash-Busting Scrap Quilts
♥ Stoff and Stil – Raincoat project kit
♥ Suzy Magazine – 2 issues
♥ Tilly and the Buttons – Online workshop and PDF pattern
♥ Ryland Peters and Small Cico Books – 3 books
♥ The Village Haberdashery – Tote bag and voucher

SewBrum 2017

SewBrum 2017

SewBrum 2017

SewBrum 2017

SewBrum 2017

SewBrum 2017

SewBrum 2017

SewBrum 2017