english girl at home

A Sewing & Knitting Blog, Made in Birmingham, England


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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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My Little Urban Pony Exhibition Entry

Urban Pony Exhibition Entry - Plush Pony

I found out about the Urban Pony Exhibition taking place at Art Space Dudley just in time to get a submission made and submitted. Each of the artists participating was invited to create or customise a retro My Little Pony based on their own artistic practise. There is a sneak peek of some of the other ponies being exhibited on the Facebook page and it looks like the entries include glass, wax and pottery.

Since printing and sewing are the techniques I use most frequently I decided to screen print a pony image onto fabric and then create a plush pony by sewing the fabric together and adding some wool hair. I originally intended to make a pink pony and went into Birmingham to buy pink fabric especially. However, I picked the fabric for it’s colour and didn’t think enough about the fabric type (which seemed to be a linen-like synthetic fabric), and found when I started printing onto it that the fabric didn’t hold ink very well leading to some ‘bleed’.

Urban Pony Exhibition Prep

Urban Pony Exhibition Prep

By this point I couldn’t face the thought of having to go back into Birmingham for more fabric so decided to raid my stash. I had a few vaguely suitable fabrics but when I spotted the blue felt it was the obvious choice, being suitably pastel-coloured, & child friendly. My pony will be on show as part of the exhibition from Friday 24th May in Art Space Dudley.

Urban Pony Exhibition Entry - Plush Pony

Urban Pony Exhibition Entry - Plush Pony

Urban Pony Exhibition Entry - Plush Pony


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Purple Felt Hair

I made the little doll below with the intention of selling her at the craft fair me and colleagues held a couple of weeks ago. However, she went unsold so she’s come home with me. She’s pictured below sat in our living room. She doesn’t have a mouth as I ran out of time to add one before the craft fair -however, I’ve decided to leave her like that as I think she looks quite cute without one. As you can see, she has purple felt hair and her dress is made with a lovely fabric I picked up cheaply at a market in the French town of Le Bugue, which I visited with my family this summer.

Handmade fabric doll
Handmade fabric doll
Handmade fabric doll


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Works in progress for a charity craft fair

I’ve been neglecting the blog a bit lately, but I haven’t neglected crafting. I’ve been busy making items for the charity craft, cake and plant fair that me and my colleagues are organising to raise funds for two cancer charities. I’ve also set up a second (temporary) blog for the craft fair to showcase the lovely donations we receive or make. You can find it here: uobcraftfair.wordpress.com

As well as ourselves and our colleagues making items to sell we’ll also be holding a raffle, and have been lucky enough to have some lovely items donated already and hopefully will have more to come. Some fabulous companies and independents including Lou Rota, From the Wilde, Famille Summerbelle, Teapigs, Emma Bridgewater, Fred Aldous and Cox & Cox have already been fabulous enough to donate.

I haven’t actually completed an item for the sale yet (oops) but I have started quite a few, including the two textile works in progress pictured below. Unfortunately these are currently on hold until I purchase the required craft supplies to complete them – so that’s a job for this weekend!

Felt Elephant Brooches - in progress!

Felt elephant brooches (work in progress)

Fabric Doll - in progress!

Fabric doll (work in progress)


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Handmade Christmas baubles

Before Christmas is well and truly over I thought I’d post images of some homemade baubles I made for our tree this year. Me and my partner Phil bought and moved into our house this year so it was our first Christmas together and we had to start from scratch with the decorations. I was originally planning to make all the tree decorations myself but in the end I didn’t get enough time and had to add in some bought baubles to fill out the tree. However I did manage to make a decent selection – images below!

I painted two ceramic baubles at All Fired Arts in Kings Heath.
Handmade Christmas tree ornament
Handmade Christmas tree ornament

I also made a selection of sewn felt baubles. The idea for these came from Mollie Makes magazine, although I customised them slightly. I’m a big fan of Mollie Makes, Phil got me a subscription for Christmas which made me very happy:) It also meant I got one of my presents early as the first issue of my subscription arrived mid-December!

Handmade Christmas tree ornament
Handmade Christmas tree ornament
Handmade Christmas tree ornament
Handmade Christmas tree ornament

And finally, I attached ribbon to the back of a number of small felt toys I’d previously made, including this green elephant.

Handmade Christmas tree ornament


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Felt Sanrio Usahana bunny plush

Homemade plush Sanrio Usahana bunny by EnglishGirlAbroad
 

Here’s another felt plush toy created using a pattern from a Japanese pattern book. This is the Sanrio character Usahana. I couldn’t decide what to do with her once I’d made her so I added some ribbon and made her into a Christmas tree decoration!