english girl at home

A Sewing & Knitting Blog, Made in Birmingham, England


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White Christmas Freya

Christmas Sweater Tilly & the Buttons Freya

Happy Christmas / holidays everyone. I hope you have some time off work over the next couple of weeks and get the chance to relax and enjoy yourselves.

This time of year, the run up to Christmas, is always so busy, but thanks to a little lull at work as a result of changing employers, I’m feeling unusually relaxed and organised this year.

Christmas Sweater Tilly & the Buttons Freya

I’ve taken part in two online swaps (Bombazine Mitt Swap and Sewing Secret Santa) and have managed to complete and post both parcels in good time to arrive before Christmas (definitely not the case last year). I even managed to get some photos in daylight before sending, which I’ll share soon.

Christmas Sweater Tilly & the Buttons Freya

I’m also making a couple of handmade presents for family, which will be finished and wrapped this weekend. No manic knitting in the car on Christmas Eve for me this year!

Christmas Sweater Tilly & the Buttons Freya

Since I was feeling ahead of the game, I decided to take part in the Sew a Xmas Sweater Contest organised by Tilly & the Buttons. I wanted to create a casual top which was loosely inspired by Vera-Ellen’s dress at the end of White Christmas.

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My version is a Tilly & the Buttons Freya Top, sewn as per the pattern, but with the addition of feather trim from Birmingham Rag Market around the wrists. I used a red scuba fabric from Barry’s Fabrics to make the top and a matching cape, which is worn over the top and closes with a button and loop at the neck. To create the cape I used the By Hand London Circle Skirt Calculator, inputting my neck instead of my waist circumference to generate measurements for a full circle skirt. I reduced the length, and had to cut out the cape in three pieces due to available fabric. I trimmed the cape with a White Simplicity Faux Fur trim purchased from Minerva Crafts.

Christmas Sweater Tilly & the Buttons Freya

The project resulted in a very festive, but also easy to wear, outfit. After Christmas, I can wear the Freya Top without the cape, and the feathers on the cuffs are also easily detachable. I’d like to make this again in more luxurious fabrics – perhaps next year!

Christmas Sweater Tilly & the Buttons Freya

Christmas Sweater Tilly & the Buttons Freya

Christmas Sweater Tilly & the Buttons Freya

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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