english girl at home

A Sewing & Knitting Blog, Made in Birmingham, England


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Mustard Denim Cleo in Seoul

Tilly & the Buttons Cleo Dungarees in Gold Denim

I must admit, when Tilly’s Cleo pattern was originally released I didn’t pay much attention. I already owned dungaree dress patterns and didn’t think I particularly needed another. However, as the highly contagious Cleo fever struck and spread across the sewing community, I inevitably became infected and immediately had to have my own Cleo!

Tilly & the Buttons Cleo Dungarees in Gold Denim

In the grip of the fever, I dashed off to Guthrie & Ghani and bought all of the supplies for this Cleo (pattern, mustard denim and hardware). Apparently all of the other customers who had bought this mustard denim from G&G were also planning Cleos, so I’m sure I have a lot of Cleo twins! The buttons are the kind which don’t require pliers; they push together easily by hand and are secure once attached. Make sure to position them correctly, because they aren’t going anywhere.

Tilly & the Buttons Cleo Dungarees in Gold Denim

As you already know, Cleo is quick to sew. I made this mini length Cleo in the evening before the CHSI Stitches trade show, and wore it to meet up with fellow sewists at the show. Based on my measurements, I cut a size 2 (bust), graded to a 3 (waist and hips), but ended up with quite a bit of gaping at the waist. For a quick fix, I took these in a few inches at either side, but would size down next time. I also think the bib would fit me better if it were slightly narrower.

Tilly & the Buttons Cleo Dungarees in Gold Denim

All of these pictures were taken on my recent holiday to Seoul. My Cleo emerged from the case already quite creased and became more so as the holiday progressed, but I think a slightly crumpled look suits denim.

Tilly & the Buttons Cleo Dungarees in Gold Denim

I’ll leave you with my Cleo Dress in a number of picturesque locations around Seoul .

Tilly & the Buttons Cleo Dungarees in Gold Denim

Tilly & the Buttons Cleo Dungarees in Gold Denim

Tilly & the Buttons Cleo Dungarees in Gold Denim

Tilly & the Buttons Cleo Dungarees in Gold Denim

Tilly & the Buttons Cleo Dungarees in Gold Denim

Tilly & the Buttons Cleo Dungarees in Gold Denim

Tilly & the Buttons Cleo Dungarees in Gold Denim

Tilly & the Buttons Cleo Dungarees in Gold Denim

Tilly & the Buttons Cleo Dungarees in Gold Denim

Tilly & the Buttons Cleo Dungarees in Gold Denim

Tilly & the Buttons Cleo Dungarees in Gold Denim

Tilly & the Buttons Cleo Dungarees in Gold Denim

Tilly & the Buttons Cleo Dungarees in Gold Denim

Tilly & the Buttons Cleo Dungarees in Gold Denim

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Roberts Collection Dungaree Dress

Marilla Walker Roberts Collection View C

Just a quick post, as I’m currently busy enjoying myself on holiday in New York. Me and Phil stopped off in Reykjavik for three nights on the way here, and are going home via a brief stop in Boston. It’s my first time visiting both Iceland and the US, and I’m having great fun exploring.

I’m in my hotel presently, having reached the point where I needed to rest my weary feet for the night, so thought it would be an opportune time to post a recent project.

Marilla Walker Roberts Collection View C

I love Marilla Walker’s aesthetic, and am always excited by her pattern releases (and also her amazing personal knitting projects) as I think she has a really unique style amongst indie pattern designers. I’ve previously sewn her Maya and Ilsley patterns,will get around to Alice and Freemantle at some point, and bought the Roberts Collection on release.

Marilla Walker Roberts Collection View C

This is View C, the dungaree dress option. I fall between sizes 1 and 2 in the sizing chart, but was able to size down as there’s a fair bit of ease built into the pattern. As a result of the ease, and the fact that the denim I used had a bit of stretch, I was also able to remove all fastenings (the pattern includes a side fastening & strap fastenings) to save some time during construction. As much as I enjoy sewing, I still can’t help racing to the finish line!

Marilla Walker Roberts Collection View C

The fabric is a medium weight denim which I purchased from SewBox at the Stitching, Sewing & Hobbycrafts show in Birmingham last November. I forgot to take a close-up photo of the fabric, which features a small daisy print.

In this medium-weight fabric, I find that the dress does hang quite stiffly and sits away from the body; personally I like it, but if you’d prefer a closer fit, a fabric with more drape might suit better.

Marilla Walker Roberts Collection View C

At the risk of sounding like I spend all of my time on holiday, these photos were taken in Cornwall, during a recent weekend away in Cawsand and Kingsand. I work at a University so do receive a decent number of holiday days, but have pretty much used up my holiday allowance for the current academic year now!

Marilla Walker Roberts Collection View C

P.S. the knitted hat in the photos is my Luca Pom Hat.


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#SewSolidarity – Sashiko Style Stitches on a Denim Skirt

“Cleaning, caring and mending seem like nothing more than good manners when you think about the endeavour that has gone into constructing even the most simple of pieces” – Lucy Siegle, ‘To Die For: Is Fashion Wearing Out the World?’

For #SewSolidarity, and in advance of Fashion Revolution Day tomorrow, I customised this RTW Gap skirt.

Customised Denim Skirt with Sashiko Style Stitches

I bought the skirt in a local charity shop while browsing on my lunch break. The skirt was still in good condition and a pretty good fit with the addition of a belt, so I decided not to drastically alter it.

Instead, I decided to embellish the skirt with some sashiko-style stitches. I used white and blue embroidery thread, as opposed to sashiko thread, as I already had some in my stash. I adopted a circular pattern on the hem of the skirt and the tops of the back pockets, and a small cross pattern on one of the front pockets.

Customised Denim Skirt with Sashiko Style Stitches

As in the Lucy Siegle quote above, we have a tendency – because RTW clothes are so cheap – to treat them as highly disposable. But, despite being cheap, a huge amount of effort goes into producing any garment. I’m trying to adopt more of a make do and mend approach to my own clothing to put that effort to best use.

I also like being able to apply a slow sewing technique (hand stitching) to a garment that would have originally have been produced very quickly. In this instance by garment workers in Turkey.

How are you guys planning to participate in Fashion Revolution Day? Ever tried sashiko?

Customised Denim Skirt with Sashiko Style Stitches

Customised Denim Skirt with Sashiko Style Stitches

Customised Denim Skirt with Sashiko Style Stitches

Customised Denim Skirt with Sashiko Style Stitches