english girl at home

A Sewing & Knitting Blog, Made in Birmingham, England


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Comic Art Sudley Printed with Contrado

Megan Nielsen Sudley Dress in Contrado Comic Print

Contrado are a London-based company who offer fabric printing on demand. I talk about my experience designing and printing a fabric with them in my latest vlog, which you can view here:

As mentioned in the vlog, my design was inspired by a comic-print, black and white Prada skirt, which I eyeballed in a shop window. My design features some personal favourite comic characters / artists.

Megan Nielsen Sudley Dress in Contrado Comic Print

The design was printed on Contrado’s Crepe de France fabric. The fabric is light/medium weight, with lots of drape.  The image print quality is very high, with even small details printed clearly. The colour didn’t run when I washed the fabric, but I did get some colour/image transfer when I ironed this dress on a high heat (following one wash). The fabric is slightly see-through; I lined the bodice and will wear a slip underneath.

Megan Nielsen Sudley Dress in Contrado Comic Print

I used my fabric to make a Megan Nielsen Sudley Dress, with the skirt extended to floor length. I thought Sudley would be a good pattern to show off the fabric, due to the lack of fastenings or darts. As in my previous Sudley, I cinched in the waist of the dress by attaching elastic around the waistband.

Megan Nielsen Sudley Dress in Contrado Comic Print

I’m looking forward to wearing this out – although slightly wary about how dirty the hem may be by the time I get home!

Megan Nielsen Sudley Dress in Contrado Comic Print

Megan Nielsen Sudley Dress in Contrado Comic Print

Megan Nielsen Sudley Dress in Contrado Comic Print

Megan Nielsen Sudley Dress in Contrado Comic Print

Megan Nielsen Sudley Dress in Contrado Comic Print

Megan Nielsen Sudley Dress in Contrado Comic Print

Disclaimer: I was provided with two metres of fabric in exchange for blogging about it, all opinions expressed are my own.

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Handmade Cards for Phil

Yesterday morning I had to pop to the doctor’s before work for a regular blood-pressure check. I was wearing the brooch I made at the Made in the Middle Craft Taster day and the doctor asked me about it. Well, that quickly led to a discussion about craft and sewing. The doctor was getting into craft (she’d just bought her first issue of Making magazine and a sewing machine) and I attempted to provide some tips on taking up her curtains and easy starter sewing patterns. I’m not sure if it’s a sign of how popular craft has become or just a sign that I’m so obsessed I manage to bring every conversation (even a medical consultation!) around to sewing… anyway it wasn’t a bad start to the day.

I spotted a couple of interesting links out and about on the web today:

  • I spotted an interesting post on Craftsy about independent sewing pattern designers.
  • Colette patterns have posted the short listed entries to the Laurel contest. Luckily they are asking readers to vote for 5 entries, there’s no way I could pick just one!

Now for the real subject of this post, the handmade birthday cards I made for Phil over the last few years. I only just rediscovered these in a box under our bed recently so haven’t posted pictures of any of these before. A couple are looking a little worse for wear for being squashed under the bed…

Shamefully I made all of these before me and Phil moved in together. Since we bought our house I’ve not made him a decent card. The excuse for this is that it’s difficult to secretly make him a card when we’re both in the house. Truthfully though I could sneak up stairs for an hour or so. I’ll try to ensure I make the effort this year.

Home Made Card

Home Made Card
Two Doraemon cards – one in felt and one in paper

Home Made Card
Superman card

Home Made Card
KISS Paul Stanley card

Home Made Card
This is the piece de résistance, a recreation of a famous anti-drugs Green Lantern/Green Arrow cover. I continued the comic theme on the inside with speech bubble text boxes.

Home Made Card


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Decoupage with Chinese Propaganda Photos & Finnish Comic Art

I had some decoupage glue arrive from Fred Aldous a couple of weeks ago and have been going a bit crazy with it. Even the shoe-rack in the hall ended up getting decoupaged.

I also used it to cover two boxes which I use to hold bits & bobs – brooches, hair pins, etc.

One was a nice wooden box but I wasn’t crazy about the images painted on it. Plus, I’ve had it for a long time so I thought a change might be nice. I used a number of Chinese Mao-era photographs taken from a magazine article – mainly pictures of rallies – to decorate the box. These were glued on and then given a couple of coats of garnish for a secure finish.

Decoupage box with Chinese propaganda photosDecoupage box with Chinese propaganda photosDecoupage box with Chinese propaganda photosDecoupage box with Chinese propaganda photos

The second box was a cardboard box with drawers purchased cheaply for the purpose of decoupage. I covered this one with images from an anthology comic which I picked up last year at an exhibition of comic art at the Design Museum in Helsinki.

Decoupage box with Finnish comic art
Decoupage box with Finnish comic art

Decoupage box with Finnish comic art
Decoupage box with Finnish comic art


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Cutting Up Comics ! A cheap alternative to picture mounting

I know this might cause some people physical pain but I just spent an evening cutting up comics! It was for a good cause, to make a background for a brilliant Nick Henderson Batman print – as an alternative to having a mount cut to size. It’s a cheap and easy alternative as all you need to do is cut out images, arrange as required and stick onto the paper sheet included inside picture frames, which are already cut to size.

Picture Mounting

The comics picked for dismemberment included a reprint of a golden age Batman comic which included the following amazing panels. I can’t resist a picture of Bruce Wayne smoking a pipe:)

Golden Age Batman

Golden Age Batman

Here is the finished article – the print on its completed background.

Nick Henderson Batman Print

And here’s a close-up of the Nick Henderson print itself. Awesome:)

Nick Henderson Batman Print

This will be joining a Henderson Spider Man print which we’ve already backed in the same style, and which hangs in our study.
Spiderman print