english girl at home

A Sewing & Knitting Blog, Made in Birmingham, England


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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


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Woven Kielo

Named Kielo Wrap Dress in Cotton Sateen from Minerva Crafts

I’ve had more time to sew recently as a result of both having a more relaxed job, and Phil starting an online undergraduate degree (in computer science) which is keeping him busy most evenings. Once Phil is settled down to study I’m turning to my sewing projects in the evenings much more often than I have previously, as opposed to watching Father Ted/Red Dwarf/Blackadder on repeat, which is what usually happens when we both have a free evening.

Named Kielo Wrap Dress in Cotton Sateen from Minerva Crafts

With my additional sewing time, I’ve made some of those new release patterns which take the sewing community by storm and have to be started immediately, and I’ve also made some of those patterns which have been on my to-sew list for years, including the Kielo wrap dress which has been on my list since it was first released back in 2014.

Named Kielo Wrap Dress in Cotton Sateen from Minerva Crafts

The particular motivation to get on with finally trying out the Kielo pattern was the offer of this cream and black Stretch Cotton Sateen Fabric from Minerva Crafts as part of their Maker Team. I remember the launch of their Blogger Network well so it was fun to contribute my first post, which is now live here. I actually managed to write about the construction of the dress, rather than my normal blog waffling (as evidenced here), so check out the MC blog for actual construction details.

Named Kielo Wrap Dress in Cotton Sateen from Minerva Crafts

The fabric is a medium weight woven which emphasises the silhouette of the Kielo in a way I really like, although it needs a short jacket in cooler weather as paired with a longer one the silhouette looks a bit frumpy. After waiting 5 years to try the Kielo (and given that it took all of two evenings to sew) I think that another version at least is called for, and I’m keen to try the pattern in a lightweight knit for a different silhouette. I cut a straight size 10, reduced the length (by 9 inches) and consequently increased the height of the vent.

Named Kielo Wrap Dress in Cotton Sateen from Minerva Crafts

These photos were taken during a recent trip to London after Phil won two free tickets to see The Who at Wembly Stadium! I’m well aware of the many ways I am lucky, but lately I’ve been lucky in the competition-winning sense. Long may it continue!

Named Kielo Wrap Dress in Cotton Sateen from Minerva Crafts


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Paper Bag Waist Trousers

Simplicity 8605 Trousers

Just a quick blog post today to share a pair of trousers which I made (and photographed) almost exactly one year ago, but never did share on the blog.

Simplicity 8605 Trousers

These are Simplicity 8605, which were part of Simplicity’s 2018 Spring collection, made in a super soft chambray fabric from Guthrie & Ghani. They’re paired here with a Paprika Patterns Onyx woven tee.

Simplicity 8605 Trousers

I do love a paper bag waist and I also love a quick and easy sewing pattern so I clearly need to make more of these trousers. I wore these non-stop last summer, and now that the weather has warmed up here in the UK I’ve been wearing them lots again. I might have a browse through the stash and see what fabric I have that is suitable for a second pair.

Simplicity 8605 Trousers

The pattern is as simple as it looks; five pattern pieces for the trousers, and four for the skirt also included in the pattern. The paper bag waist is created by attaching a casing, containing two rows of elastic, to the waist of the trousers. They are extra easy to fit. The legs are loose, and you can control the width of the waist by the length of the elastic you add. I appear to have made these in size Small, which according to the pattern envelope is smaller than my measurements, and they fit great.

Simplicity 8605 Trousers


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Starry Sirocco Jumpsuit

Deer and Doe Sirocco Jumpsuit

I’ve been getting lots of time for sewing recently, which means I have been trying patterns quite soon after their release rather than a year or so later, as is my usual habit.

Deer and Doe Sirocco Jumpsuit

That includes having sewn two Deer and Doe Sirocco Jumpsuits since the release of the pattern in April. The jumpsuit pictured is my second Sirocco. I made both my Siroccos in fabric purchased during the Paris Sewcial meet-up from Bennytex fabric warehouse on the outskirts of Paris.

Deer and Doe Sirocco Jumpsuit

I made the first Sirocco in a lightweight grey knit fabric grading between sizes 38/40. After a couple of wears I decided that the crotch was too low for me to be comfortable wearing the jumpsuit, so for my second version I still cut a size 38/40 except for the seams at the top of the trousers and bottom of the bodice, where I graded down to size 34 (the smallest size in the pattern). This worked perfectly to raise the crotch without impacting the construction of the pattern (including attaching the pockets to the trousers at the waist seam which I was worried would be affected by a more major alteration). I want to go back and make the same alteration to my original Sirocco in time to get lots of wear out of it this summer.

Deer and Doe Sirocco Jumpsuit

This second version was made in a medium weight knit fabric with a gold stars print. This is a sweat-shirting-type fabric, with a soft wrong-side. I really like this jumpsuit in a slightly weightier fabric, and I’m loving white clothes this summer. I suspect this fabric might get marked or start pilling relatively quickly, but I’m going to make the most of wearing it for as long as I can.

Deer and Doe Sirocco Jumpsuit

These pictures are a mixture of photos taken in our local park, and pictures taken during a family holiday to Derbyshire, including to visit a nearby well dressing in Cressbrook, inspired by a visit by Karen a few days before.

Deer and Doe Sirocco Jumpsuit

I always associate holidays with taking lots of nice blog photos. I filled my suitcase with summery clothes I wanted to photograph – and then it was wet and cold all week. We still managed some nice pictures between showers, and the summery outfits worked out fine for exploring Derbyshire paired with some boots, a jacket and an umbrella. We even managed a brief dip in the outside pool in Hathersage while we were there.

Deer and Doe Sirocco Jumpsuit

I’ll leave you with the obligatory jumping in a jumpsuit picture as I return to binge watching series 17 of Project Runway with a final cup of tea before bed.

Deer and Doe Sirocco Jumpsuit