english girl at home

A Sewing & Knitting Blog, Made in Birmingham, England


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More Paper Bag Trousers & Holiday Pics

Simplicity 8605

Another weekend, another blog post featuring past holiday photos! A combination of not being able to go on holiday this year, and not having many recent projects to share, has led me to revisit a number of projects I photographed but never blogged – including these Simplicity 8605 paper bag waist trousers.

Simplicity 8605

This is my second pair of these trousers (first pair blogged here). They are really easy to make (5 pattern pieces including the belt), and to fit (loose fit and an elastic waist). They’re a great option to pack for a holiday as they are comfortable and easy to wear (and in the polyester version here, don’t wrinkle), but they’ve also been great for wearing around the house this summer. If you haven’t made any trousers before and want to give them a try, a simple design like this is a great place to start.

Simplicity 8605

In these pictures, the trousers are paired with another old make which hasn’t previously made it to the blog. The top above is also a Simplicity pattern, 8593 which is a re-released vintage top pattern. Simplicity refer to it as a poncho blouse, and it’s basically a rectangular design, with detail at the neckline and side-ties, which is wrapped over itself and tied at the front and back. I was interested in trying this different design, but in reality I found it irritating to wear. The side seams inevitably gape (Exhibit A, the picture above), so you need to wear something underneath, and the top moves about a lot while worn. I actually relegated this top to my fabric scraps tub before the top made it to the blog. The fabric – which is a lovely soft cotton from Cloth House – also faded quickly after a few washes.

Simplicity 8605

I haven’t mentioned it previously, but I’ve been working on developing some sewing patterns which I’m aiming to begin releasing later this year. All of the work involved in getting them ready for release has kept me really busy over the last few months – and meant that most of my recent sewing has been to test the patterns. It’s also meant that the various other craft projects which I got excited to begin during lock-down (new knitting project, bargello, shoe-making, weaving, etc.) haven’t gotten much further than buying supplies. If lock-down hadn’t removed most of my evening and weekend plans I don’t think I would ever have gotten them ready (and they aren’t there yet, so fingers crossed and head down).

Simplicity 8605

I feel like I’ve devoted quite a bit of this week to a thorough tidy and clean of the house (I can’t understand how it takes me as long as it does, but it consistently takes me FOREVER?), so I’m making the most of savouring it before the house reverts to its natural state of being messy and dirty again. I have a few ‘to-dos’ to complete today (including writing the overdue July newsletter for the Association of Weavers, Spinners & Dyers, which will now be the July/August edition!) but then I’m hoping to pick up one of my abandoned craft projects to enjoy in the calm of my tidy living room (subject to how messy a craft project I choose).

Simplicity 8605

Have a good weekend everyone.

Simplicity 8605


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Quick and dirty Chinese New Year paper cut

This week my Mandarin teacher taught our class a quick and easy method of creating paper cuts to celebrate the Chinese New Year or Spring Festival.

This paper cut features the Chinese character 春 (chun) which means spring and is the first part of the word 春节 (Chūnjié) which means Spring Festival.

All you need to create the paper cut is a piece of A4 paper, preferably in red which is the colour typically used due to its associations with good fortune and happiness in Chinese tradition and culture.

Fold the paper in half lengthways and draw the following shape onto the paper in pencil, drawing along the fold in the paper. Make sure that the middle stroke in the ‘E’ shaped section at the top of the character is shorter than the strokes above and below it.
春 Chinese Spring Festival paper cut pattern
Cut around the line you’ve drawn and fold flat.
春 Chinese Spring Festival paper cut pattern

Now stick onto a window to celebrate the New Year:)
春 Chinese Spring Festival easy paper cut

You can also create the paper cut in different sizes by using different sizes of paper – including the tiny paper cuts below:
春 Chinese Spring Festival paper cut