english girl at home

A Sewing & Knitting Blog, Made in Birmingham, England


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Pink Asymmetric Gather Dress

The Maker's Atelier The Asymmetric Gather Dress

I’ve had a lovely quiet weekend at home, which included making this dress. This is the Asymmetric Gather Dress from the Maker’s Atelier, which was one of my favourite pattern releases of 2017.

The Maker's Atelier The Asymmetric Gather Dress

The Maker's Atelier The Asymmetric Gather Dress

Phil was out for dinner with friends on Saturday, so I had an afternoon to myself to sew. Despite inevitably getting distracted by podcasts/vlogs/Netflix, I had this dress completed before bed, and couldn’t resist getting some photos in the last of the snow today in our local park.

The Maker's Atelier The Asymmetric Gather Dress

The Maker's Atelier The Asymmetric Gather Dress

I graded between sizes 8 and 10. I think the fit is ok, but I’m going to increase the size of the gather at the front to make the dress slightly more fitted near the waist and the design more pronounced (an easy alteration). I’m also not happy with the sleeves currently, they’re a lot less gathered than in the pattern photos, so they end up just looking a bit lumpy. This is the length of the dress on me unaltered, it’s longer than in the pattern pictures but I quite like it so will try wearing the dress at this length before making any decision to shorten.

The Maker's Atelier The Asymmetric Gather Dress

The Maker's Atelier The Asymmetric Gather Dress

This fabric is a crepe purchased in the John Lewis sale. I thought it would be perfect for this pattern, but I actually think a lighter weight fabric would work better – the gathers end up very pronounced in this mid weight fabric. I think this dress would be lovely in a lightweight drapey wool, but first I’m going to make my planned alterations to the front gather and sleeves and wear this version a while.

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Seamwork Neenah Dress

Seamwork Neenah Dress

This is the Seamwork Neenah Dress one of my #makenine projects, made with a stash fabric of forgotten origin (thanks to the Cora App I won’t be forgetting where I bought fabric in future). Although I can’t remember where I bought this fabric, I do know I bought it with the intention of making Neenah – and a year or so later, here she is!

Seamwork Neenah Dress

Based on my measurements I graded between an XS and S. I cut the sleeves in size XS and initially found them too tight, so unpicked and sewed again with a very narrow seam allowance. I cut two inches off the length of the sleeves, but left the dress length as per the pattern.

Seamwork Neenah Dress

I really like the fit of this dress. It skims the body nicely without being clingy. There’s a little bit of pooling at the back, but in a casual style like this I don’t think it’s worth worrying about. It’s worth noting that the turtleneck pattern piece is quite long (it’s folded double in these photos). I’m a big fan of a high neckline, but if you want a smaller turtleneck I’d recommend using a more lightweight fabric, or reducing the height of the pattern piece by up to half.

Seamwork Neenah Dress

I whipped this dress up on Friday evening (having previously send the pattern for A0 printing), ready to wear to a sewing meet-up in Birmingham yesterday in celebration of the lovely Bianca returning to us for the weekend. It was a really fun day, lots of nattering and fabric shopping with sewing friends, followed by a Cecille Grey gig in Nottingham. I was absolutely knackered when I fell into bed that night, but it was definitely worth it, and I love making new clothes for special days.

Seamwork Neenah Dress

I’m pleased to say that I’ve been sticking to my New Year’s Resolution to keep my evenings for my hobbies, instead of allowing work to stretch out into them, and to attend more meet-ups. I’ve been attending the monthly Brummie Yarn Social organised by Sue and Ben in Moseley, and it’s been lovely to see the Birmingham sewists more regularly, as well as to catch-up with a bigger group yesterday.

Seamwork Neenah Dress


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Malhia Kent Remnants Karri Skirt

Megan Nielsen Karri Dress Skirt

I mentioned in my #2018makenine plans that I intended to make a Megan Nielsen Karri Dress out of woven remnants I purchased from Malhia Kent in Paris.

Megan Nielsen Karri Dress Skirt

I didn’t have a specific plan in mind when I purchased the remnants (I basically bought all of the loudest patterns and colours), so when I came to cut-out my fabric I had a lot of clashing colours and patterns! I constructed the Karri bodice and skirt sections separately, but decided that they looked mismatched when placed together. So I attached a waistband to the skirt section to make this skirt, and bought a plainer fabric to finish the dress.

Megan Nielsen Karri Dress Skirt

These Malhia Kent remnants are loosely woven and liable to catch so this might not be the most robust skirt, but I love how it looks. It’s also quite heavy so has a tendency to slip to my hips when I’ve been wearing it for a while. I’ll go back and stabilise the waistband to address that.

Megan Nielsen Karri Dress Skirt

My Kari Dress out of the rest of the remnants just needs a lining added before it is ready to wear too; I got distracted by something more shiny than a lining, so need to return to it.

Megan Nielsen Karri Dress Skirt

Megan Nielsen Karri Dress Skirt

Megan Nielsen Karri Dress Skirt

Megan Nielsen Karri Dress Skirt

Megan Nielsen Karri Dress Skirt


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The Great British Sewing Bee Live Vlog

Great British Sewing Bee Live 2017

I’ve finally gotten around to publishing a short vlog of my visit to the Great British Sewing Bee Live, at the Excel Centre London back in September (better very late than never!)

 

I really enjoyed the show, and will definitely attend again in 2018. There were a number of companies exhibiting who don’t typically attend other sewing/knitting shows (including Fehr Trade, Nina Lee, Suzy Magazine, Offset Warehouse), and I bumped into/had a good chat with lots of lovely fellow bloggers and sewcialists. I was really busy with work, etc. back in September and did consider not attending, but I’m glad I made the effort to go. The show felt targeted to us sewists, more than other comparable events.

Great British Sewing Bee Live 2017

Great British Sewing Bee Live 2017

Great British Sewing Bee Live 2017

Sarah, from Like Sew Amazing, was kind enough to give me her pass into the Super Theatre (I’d definitely book a ticket next time, it was good fun). I managed to capture some footage of Sarah, along with Jenniffer TaylorLauren GuthrieChinelo Bally, and others, during the on-stage refashion challenge, which you can see in the vlog.

Great British Sewing Bee Live 2017

Great British Sewing Bee Live 2017


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Brioche Twister Scarf

East London Knit's Brioche Twister Scarf

Last Summer, I attended a brioche class with Renée Callahan of East London Knit at Yarningham, a Birmingham-based yarn festival. After the class, before I could forget everything I had learned about brioche knitting, I started this Brioche Twister Scarf, a free pattern for signing up to Renee’s newsletter.

East London Knit's Brioche Twister Scarf

Satisfyingly this pattern only requires two skeins of (DK) yarn. Unlike fabric, I don’t tend to buy yarn without a specific pattern in mind, but I had two skeins of spur-of-the-moment purchase yarn in my stash, which were perfect for this pattern. I’m sure you must have some of those too.

East London Knit's Brioche Twister Scarf

The two yarns I used were both British and from small independents. A skein of Daughter of a Shepherd’s Hebridean & Zwartbles DK, which I purchased direct from Rachel at Yarnporium, and a skein of Harcourt Rare Breeds‘ Leicester Longwool, which I purchased direct from the farm when I visited with my Guild. I believe the Harcourt Rare Breeds’ yarns are hand-spun by local spinners. The combination of yarns makes for a very warm and snuggly scarf.

East London Knit's Brioche Twister Scarf

I finished knitting this scarf last September, then put it aside for a couple of months until a holiday to Paris and Rome during November, when it was finally cold enough to start wearing it, and where these photos were taken. It’s gotten lots of wear since during my commute to and from work.

East London Knit's Brioche Twister Scarf

I really enjoy making scarves as they don’t take too long to knit, there’s no worry about fit, and they are easy to throw on in the morning, so they tend to get worn more than other knitted items. I was planning to knit a second Brioche Twister Scarf as a gift, but, having taken a break from brioche, I returned to find I’d forgotten the technique and kept making mistakes! I might be too late for this winter, but at some point I’m definitely going to knit this pattern again in a different combination of yarns and colours.

East London Knit's Brioche Twister Scarf

East London Knit's Brioche Twister Scarf

East London Knit's Brioche Twister Scarf

East London Knit's Brioche Twister Scarf

East London Knit's Brioche Twister Scarf


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#2018makenine Plans

Fabric

Over the Christmas holiday, I spent a day or two listing my fabric stash in the Cora app. My intention was to have an easy way to check the fabric I already own before assuming I need to buy new fabric for a project, and to have a way to record where and when I buy it, as I have sometimes forgotten this by the time I come to sew with a fabric.

Whilst listing my fabric in Cora, I rediscovered a number of fabrics which I had bought to make a specific pattern, and where I still very much wanted to make that pattern. Rather than just put those fabrics back in the stash, I made a note in Cora of the planned project and decided to put those projects to the top of my to-sew list by participating in #2018makenine.

The nine fabrics I have selected from my stash, and associated patterns, are featured in my latest vlog:

My nine fabrics and paired patterns are also pictured below:

Megan Nielsen Tania Culottes

#2018makenine Plans

Sew Over It Tulip Skirt

#2018makenine Plans

Seamwork Neenah

#2018makenine Plans

Chalk and Notch Fringe Blouse & Dress

#2018makenine Plans

Capital Chic Patterns Cuba Libre Shirt/Shirt Dress (and/or Sew Over It My Capsule Wardrobe: City Break eBook Alex Shirt & Dress)

#2018makenine Plans

Victory Patterns Hannah

#2018makenine Plans

Tilly and the Buttons Miette Skirt

#2018makenine Plans

Closet Case Patterns Ginger Jeans

#2018makenine Plans

Megan Nielsen Karri Dress

#2018makenine Plans


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Knitting & Stitching Show at Olympia Ticket Giveaway

Mr X Stitch - Wrap Cover

I have 5 pairs of tickets for The Spring Knitting & Stitching Show at Olympia London on 01-04 March 2018 to give away. These can be used on any day except Saturday 03 March.

To enter, leave a comment below, or on the related post on my Instagram account by midnight on Friday 12 January.

I’m going to be attending on the Friday (if you’ll also be attending on the Friday, it would be lovely to meet up). I’m currently deciding which class/es to take, and, having spent some time perusing the class list, I thought it would be worth sharing my favourite classes (both sewing and other crafts) below, for anyone else who is interested.

Sewing:

Couture Sewing Skills, Jenni McGill, Its Sew Simple (Thursday)
“working with silks and chiffons you use very different sewing techniques, instead of an over locked seam, a French seam, a pin hem instead of a fold over hem, a hand finished dart, a bound edge, gathering silk and or pleats”

Creating Texture with Fabric, Sue Cotten (Sunday)
“learn how to create texture with fabric by manipulating the basic tuck into a variety of twists, twirls and slashing to embellish home furnishings, accessories and dressmaking garments”.

Design and Make Funky Leggings, Miss Libby Rose (Thursday)
“draw up a pattern to your own measurements so we can design, style and make these funky trousers and learn how to use the sewing machine using stretchy jersey fabric”.

Design your own Fabric with Spoonflower, Ceri Gwen, Spoonflower (Friday, Saturday and Sunday)
“Learn how to create a seamless repeat by hand for making your own repeating surface designs. Each participant will receive a fat quarter of their design printed in Spoonflower’s Berlin factory”.

Fabric Manipulation: Pleats, Tucks & Ruffles, Jenni McGill, Its Sew Simple (Sunday)
“Working on a Janome sewing machine you will create samples using creative
techniques, ranging from; a diamond box pleat, pin tucking, tuck and fold pleats, to a shaped fabric ruffle”.

Fly Front Trouser Zip 1,2,3, Janice Croft (Sunday)
Learn the correct way to install a tailored trouser zip. How to achieve the proper overlap, neat top stitching and back placket”.

Lovely Lacy Knickers, Claire Tyler (Thursday & Saturday)
“Making knickers is simple and fun, using a simple pattern and stretch lace create these pretty knickers”.

Pattern Alterations for Bigger Busts, Claire Tyler (Thursday & Saturday)
“Learn to alter a commercial pattern for a fuller bust for garments with and without darts or with princess seams”.

Stylish Seams and Hems, Claire Tyler (Saturday)
“Learn how to finish your garments with unusual seams and hems perfect for popular fabrics like stretch, scuba, denim and boiled wool. Many of these techniques aren’t found in patterns”.

Other Crafts:

Goldwork Acorns, Royal School of Needlework (Thursday & Saturday)
“The design will teach the technique of padding to create raised areas as well as the two main techniques of Goldwork: Couching of Pearl Purl and Cutwork with bright check purl. These techniques will both give a different textural effect to this charming acorn design and will give skills that can be used to create rich and sparkly embellishments”.

Stunning Embellished Sequin Flower, Hannah Read-Baldrey (Friday)
“Learn how to embellish garments with beautiful sewn sequinned flowers. Work with craft writer and presenter Hannah Read-Baldrey on a beautiful project from her new book FlowerBomb!”

Strawberry Cross Stitch on Linen or Aida, The Cross Stitch Guild (Everyday)
“Join the Cross Stitch Guild for this ideal class for the beginner or a stitcher wanting to try linen for the first time!”

Ten Stitch Sampler, The Cross Stitch Guild (Everyday)
“This project is worked on linen fabric and gives the student a chance to try different counted stitches on a little sampler”.