english girl at home

A Sewing & Knitting Blog, Made in Birmingham, England


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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”.


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Cats & Flowers Tamarack Jacket

Grainline Studio Tamarack Jacket

Before these pictures no longer look seasonal, here is my Grainline Studio Tamarack Jacket, photographed during the brief period of snowy weather we had here in Birmingham in December.

Grainline Studio Tamarack Jacket

Grainline Studio Tamarack Jacket

I’ve been planning to make a Tamarack Jacket for some time, but was waiting to find a pre-quilted fabric, which I haven’t seen on sale very often in the UK. I suspected I would have more luck in Japan, and, sure enough, during a trip to Tokyo last year I found that the large Tomato store in the Nippori Fabric District has a wide selection of pre-quilted fabric (and pretty much everything else too). I picked this dark floral print, which has hidden black cats (see below). I would note that the downside of bringing 4 metres of pre-quilted fabric back from a holiday is that it takes up a lot of case space! For reference, I have found Miss Matatabi the best place to order pre-quilted fabrics online, and their recent sale included a few pre-quilted fabrics.

Grainline Studio Tamarack Jacket

Grainline Studio Tamarack Jacket

Grainline Studio Tamarack Jacket

I must have looked at the fabric requirements for a non-pre-quilted fabric, as when I came to cut out a Tamarack Jacket I realised I had (just) enough for two. As it happened, I was planning to make my Mom a Tamarack as a present for her birthday in November; I had purchased a different fabric for my Mom’s jacket, but decided instead to make us matching Tamaracks.

Grainline Studio Tamarack Jacket

Grainline Studio Tamarack Jacket

Having skipped the quilting stage, I assumed this would be quite a quick sew, but the volume of bias binding to be attached (not a favourite task of mine) and the welt pockets mean that these jackets took me quite a bit longer than anticipated (ahem, my Mom’s birthday present may have been delivered a few weeks late).

Grainline Studio Tamarack Jacket

Here’s how me and my Mom looked in our matching Tamaracks on Christmas Day. I have some more pre-quilted fabric to sew, and am currently debating between another Tamarack or a quilted bomber jacket – TBC!

Grainline Studio Tamarack Jacket


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Favourite 2017 Pattern Releases

Favourite Sewing Patterns 2017

Happy New Year Everyone!

I’ve been sorting my pattern and fabric collections, and making sewing plans for 2018. While sorting patterns, I started thinking about my favourite sewing pattern releases of 2017, and I thought it might be fun to share my personal favourites list.

I’ve only sewn two of these so far, but I suspect I’ll get around to most of them eventually, it might just take me a few years.

I’ve shared the full list in my latest vlog:


In no particular order, my 2017 favourites are:

Favourite Sewing Patterns 2017

Orsola Dress & Skirt – By Hand London / Fringe Blouse and Dress – Chalk & Notch / Prudence – Colette / Kalle Shirt & Shirtdress – Closet Case Patterns

Favourite Sewing Patterns 2017

Lliria Dress – Pauline Alice / The Wallet Gift-Giving Set – Thread Theory / The Carlton Coat – Free Sewing / Jumpsuit – In the Folds

Favourite Sewing Patterns 2017

Sasha Trousers – Closet Case Patterns / 8504 – Simplicity Patterns / Asymmetric Gather Dress – The Maker’s Atelier

Favourite Sewing Patterns 2017

Kobe Dress & Top – Papercut Patterns / Flint Trousers – Megan Nielsen / Jackie Dress – Victory Patterns / 8509 – Simplicity Patterns


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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