english girl at home

A Sewing & Knitting Blog, Made in Birmingham, England


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Blue Wool Fairy Tale Cape

Blue Wool Fairy Tale Cape

Dear blog, sorry for ignoring you, things have been a bit crazy around here lately…

Phew, so life has been even busier than normal lately – although mostly due to positive things. I’ve spent the last two weekends away, first in London for my friend Emma’s birthday plus some shopping, & then in Manchester to see Video Games Live at the Apollo (which is amazing by the way). I’ve also been offered an new job (woo hoo!) which I start at the end of November, & I’m currently in Istanbul for work (and typing this in my hotel room). I’ve had a really lousy cold for the last week which has slowed me down, & is still clinging on. Oh and I’ve had a few sales via my Etsy shop, including my first sale in Saudi Arabia.

But before all of that happened I did manage to do some sewing! This is the Fairy Tale Cape by Audrey & Me Patterns / This Blog is Not For You. Worn here with my Maya Dress.

Blue Wool Fairy Tale Cape

This was one of those sewing projects where I had a sudden urgent craving to make a cape, despite never knowing I needed one before! The Fairy Tale Cape is a ‘pay as you wish’ pattern so you can check out the pattern & instructions first and then make a donation if you decide to go ahead and make it.

If you fancy some seasonal sewing, this is a really quick satisfying make. There are only a couple of pattern pieces & it would be easy to customise.

The only alterations I made to the pattern were cutting my cape slightly shorter, as my fabric wasn’t quite wide enough to fit the pattern piece (oops), and trimming some depth off the back of the hood as it was looking a bit jedi for my liking. I also went with a smaller number of buttons & made functional buttons, as opposed to simply sewing the cape closed and attaching decorative buttons as suggested in the pattern.

Blue Wool Fairy Tale Cape

The fabric is a deep blue wool I purchased from Barry’s Fabric during the SewBrum meet-up. Charlie from This Blog is Not For You attended the meet-up so I was able to ask her to ok my fabric in person:)

The buttons were purchased in Birmingham Rag Market. I love clover shaped buttons & jewellry so couldn’t resist. One of my favourite possessions is a vintage clover shaped brooch I received for my birthday a few years ago, which I picked from a shop in Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter. Officially it was a gift from my brother, but I think my Nan and Grandad actually bought it:)

Blue Wool Fairy Tale Cape

I was lazy and didn’t line my cape although lining in the hood would look cute so I may go back and add some. The fabric doesn’t fray so I didn’t hem the bottom of the cape. I did fold a small hem along the edge of the hood although It wasn’t really necessary.

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Right, now I need to go for some autumnal walks in the park (followed by hot chocolate in the park cafe) to put my cape to good use.

Blue Wool Fairy Tale Cape

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Sew Over It (not) Silk Cami

Sew Over It Silk Cami

You know that misconception that people who don’t sew have that sewing your own clothes is really cheap? Well this is one of those examples where it is true! Sew Over It’s Silk Cami only uses a tiny amount of fabric so I managed to scrape this project out of the scraps left over from my recent Kimono project. I also received the pattern free with a recent issue of Mollie Makes magazine (issue 44), the magazine is still on sale if you get in quick or you can purchase the PDF pattern from Sew Over It. The fabric is a John Kaldor polyester so not a silk (as suggested by the pattern name) but it has the required drape to work with this pattern.

Sew Over It Silk Cami

I love quick and easy sewing projects. Due to not having enough fabric left to cut out facings I actually simplified this pattern even further, scrapping the facings in favour of rolling the edges of the neckline and armholes and hand-stitching in place. I’ve actually developed a bit of an addiction for hand-stitched hems lately, everything I make is getting a hand-stitched hem at the moment regardless of how necessary it is. I’m going to claim this is due to hand sewing being relaxing, but it may also be due to the fact that I can do my hand-sewing while sitting on the sofa in front of the TV as opposed to having to walk all the way upstairs to my sewing machine…

Sew Over It Silk Cami


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Better Late than Never Myrna Cardigan

Myrna Cardigan Andi Satterlund

Sooo I started on this Myrna Cardigan by Andi Satterlund around May when Andi and Lauren announced their Outfit Along, and finally finished it at the beginning of August after the OAL deadline. I was a bit worried when I kept reading other bloggers saying it was a very quick project as I certainly wasn’t all that quick getting it finished!

It is only my second knitted clothing project (my first was my Owls jumper) so I’m not too concerned – I’m sure I’ll pick up speed with a few more projects under my belt. The other thing that slows me down is that I do most of my knitting while travelling. When I’m at home I tend to pick a sewing project. Most of this cardigan was knitted on planes and trains.

Myrna Cardigan Andi Satterlund

It’s not perfect but I’m happy with it and the fit is fine. Phil is more of a perfectionist than me (which wouldn’t be hard as perfectionist isn’t a term I’d use about myself), and the first thing he said when I showed him the finished cardigan was that the buttons are wonky! Yeah, they are but they’re functional and life is too short in my opinion. On the plus side they have gold anchors on them:)

Myrna Cardigan Andi Satterlund

The wool used is the Women’s Institute brand wool now being sold in Hobby Craft stores, in Teal. The buttons are white with a gold anchor design and were purchased in the Birmingham Rag Market. The little necklace you can see in the picture below was a present to myself from Oliver Bonas.

Myrna Cardigan Andi Satterlund

Myrna Cardigan Andi Satterlund

To strengthen the button band I attached ribbon to the reverse using this tutorial by Lladybird. It’s worked really well to stop the cardigan front stretching out.

Myrna Cardigan Andi Satterlund


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Before Breakfast (Afternoon) Blouse

Handmade Afternoon Blouse
I sacrificed a lie-in this morning to get up nice and early and start sewing. I call that dedication after a long week at work! I wanted to get started on an Afternoon Blouse, the new (and first) pattern by Jennifer Lauren. I love Jennifer’s style (I’ve been planning to copy these trousers since she posted about them…) & was very excited when I saw the news of the pattern release. I bought the pattern last weekend but only got as far as cutting out the fabric so was adamant that the cut-out pieces weren’t going to spend any more time lay on the living room floor.
Handmade Afternoon Blouse
I decided that this blouse had to be made from stash fabric since I had a big shop at Barry’s Fabric a couple of weeks ago & am planning to buy fabric during an upcoming trip to Paris over Easter & at the London meet-up in May. This fabric was actually purchased (from Barry’s of course) for an in-progress project which will be blogged soon, but I had just enough left to squeeze an Afternoon Blouse out of what I had left over. It’s a John Kaldor polyester in navy with purple dots. The fabric is actually see-through so I underlined the whole blouse using some navy lining fabric. I also used french seams throughout due to the delicacy of the fabric. I picked the decorative button with this fabric in mind from a local haberdashery in Kings Heath (if you live local pop in, it’s on York Road & the owner is lovely).
Handmade Afternoon Blouse
It’s a lovely pattern and it does come together nice and quick (in my case in a morning rather than an afternoon!). I had this finished in time to head out for lunch with Phil at Le Truc in Birmingham. I must admit I did rather balls up the front facing join and had to unpick and redo it, I probably should have taken a little more care as suggested in the instructions! I’m looking forward to seeing lots more Afternoon Blouses appearing online and to seeing Jennifer Lauren’s next pattern!


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Isabel Reyes Feeney’s Tea For Two

Me and Phil recently spent a week in Madrid. We found some cool shops around the Malasana and Chueca districts, including a  number of comic book shops, and craft and vintage boutiques. In one of the boutiques, Nest, I picked up the postcards below, by Madrid-based illustrator Isabel Reyes Feeney. Adorable aren’t they?

Check out her Etsy shop to see her other postcards and stationary.

Isabel Reyes Feeney Postcard

Isabel Reyes Feeney Postcard

Isabel Reyes Feeney Postcard