english girl at home

A Sewing & Knitting Blog, Made in Birmingham, England


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Cats & Flowers Tamarack Jacket

Grainline Studio Tamarack Jacket

Before these pictures no longer look seasonal, here is my Grainline Studio Tamarack Jacket, photographed during the brief period of snowy weather we had here in Birmingham in December.

Grainline Studio Tamarack Jacket

Grainline Studio Tamarack Jacket

I’ve been planning to make a Tamarack Jacket for some time, but was waiting to find a pre-quilted fabric, which I haven’t seen on sale very often in the UK. I suspected I would have more luck in Japan, and, sure enough, during a trip to Tokyo last year I found that the large Tomato store in the Nippori Fabric District has a wide selection of pre-quilted fabric (and pretty much everything else too). I picked this dark floral print, which has hidden black cats (see below). I would note that the downside of bringing 4 metres of pre-quilted fabric back from a holiday is that it takes up a lot of case space! For reference, I have found Miss Matatabi the best place to order pre-quilted fabrics online, and their recent sale included a few pre-quilted fabrics.

Grainline Studio Tamarack Jacket

Grainline Studio Tamarack Jacket

Grainline Studio Tamarack Jacket

I must have looked at the fabric requirements for a non-pre-quilted fabric, as when I came to cut out a Tamarack Jacket I realised I had (just) enough for two. As it happened, I was planning to make my Mom a Tamarack as a present for her birthday in November; I had purchased a different fabric for my Mom’s jacket, but decided instead to make us matching Tamaracks.

Grainline Studio Tamarack Jacket

Grainline Studio Tamarack Jacket

Having skipped the quilting stage, I assumed this would be quite a quick sew, but the volume of bias binding to be attached (not a favourite task of mine) and the welt pockets mean that these jackets took me quite a bit longer than anticipated (ahem, my Mom’s birthday present may have been delivered a few weeks late).

Grainline Studio Tamarack Jacket

Here’s how me and my Mom looked in our matching Tamaracks on Christmas Day. I have some more pre-quilted fabric to sew, and am currently debating between another Tamarack or a quilted bomber jacket – TBC!

Grainline Studio Tamarack Jacket

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A Linden in Trajan’s Market

Grainline Studio Linden Sweatshirt

This would have been my contribution for the Sewcialists TNT month, but I missed the month (November)!

This is my ninth blogged Linden. I was listening to the Love to Sew podcast episode about sewing patterns recently (episode 17), and discussion of the pluses/minuses for PDF and printed patterns. For me, my use of the Linden pattern demonstrates the benefits of PDF patterns; I have now made the pattern for eight different people (including three Linden Swap recipients), in three different sizes, and have made alterations to the pattern for a number of hacks (including dress length and fleecy sleeves). In that time, I’ve re-printed the pattern – in full or in part – as required, and as a relatively small pattern it prints and assembles quickly each time.

Grainline Studio Linden Sweatshirt

I’ve recently completed my project for this year’s Linden Swap and sent it off to the recipient. I’ve received my Linden Swap parcel, but am showing restraint and waiting until Christmas day to open it and see what my Sewing Secret Santa has made for me. I didn’t participate in many online challenges and swaps this year, so am glad I managed one more before the year is out.

Grainline Studio Linden Sweatshirt

The fabric for this Linden was selected from my stash and I now have no idea where I bought it. In my last blog post, I wrote about my work/life balance new year resolutions; I have another resolution, which is to keep a record of the fabric I buy so that I can remember how much I have, where I bought it from and what I had in mind to sew with it!

Grainline Studio Linden Sweatshirt

These photos were taken in Trajan’s Market in Rome. I highly recommend it as a blog photo location, we had the entire place to ourselves when we visited, with the exception (added bonus) of a few cats.

Grainline Studio Linden Sweatshirt

Grainline Studio Linden Sweatshirt

Grainline Studio Linden Sweatshirt

Grainline Studio Linden Sweatshirt

Grainline Studio Linden Sweatshirt


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Linden Swap

Linden Swap Grainline Studio Linden Sweatshirt

Just a quick post to share this amazing Linden which I received as part of the Linden Swap organised by the extraordinarily lovely Victoria (@sewmyown on Instagram).

Linden Swap Grainline Studio Linden Sweatshirt

I received this Linden from Elinor (@el_pepperell on Instagram), and in turn made a Linden for another participant (I was really late so they won’t have received it yet, sorry!)

Linden Swap Grainline Studio Linden Sweatshirt

Elinor can’t have known it, but I have a total addiction to turtle neck jumpers! It has made me laugh recently to see that turtle necks are fashionable – well I was years ahead of the curve because I get them out every winter!

Linden Swap Grainline Studio Linden Sweatshirt

As you can see, Linden makes a really nice top in a lighter weight jersey, and minus the cuffs and waist band.Thanks so much Elinor – love it!

Linden Swap Grainline Studio Linden Sweatshirt


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The Smiths Linden Sweatshirt

The Smiths Screenprinted Grainline Studio Linden Sweatshirt

This is my latest Linden Sweatshirt (number seven blogged). It’s View A, Size 0 – although in this fabric I should probably have sized up to a 2 as it has limited stretch.

The original inspiration for this jumper were the excellent British wool band jumpers which Hades released earlier in the year. The Hades jumpers were limited edition and I missed the chance to buy a The Smiths jumper, so I thought I’d make my own. I’d love to knit something closer to the Hades original, but am a bit wary about tackling knitted lettering without a pattern, unless anyone can recommend something similar??

The Smiths Screenprinted Grainline Studio Linden Sweatshirt

For this version, I cut a stencil of the lettering in acetate (more stable than paper and also reusable) and screen-printed the text using black ink onto the pre-cut Linden sweatshirt front. For reference, I always use Permaset Supercover screen printing ink to print on fabric and find it really reliable, Fred Aldous stock it in the UK.

The Smiths Screenprinted Grainline Studio Linden Sweatshirt

I found it difficult to gauge the best size and placement of lettering while the sweatshirt was in pieces. If I make another, I will increase the size of the lettering, and move it closer to the neckline.

The Smiths Screenprinted Grainline Studio Linden Sweatshirt

The fabric is a loop-back jersey purchased at Guthrie & Ghani during SewBrum. This pale pink is great for letting the text stand out, but does also get grubby easy.

The Smiths Screenprinted Grainline Studio Linden Sweatshirt

I also made my scarf. This is TOFT’s Block-Colour Filet Scarf crocheted in their (British) yarn, in a natural (stone) for the main colour, with yellow for the accents. I’m pretty sure this is the same pattern (knitted in a solid colour) available from TOFT’s free pattern section. I’m not great at crochet, but this is a nice easy pattern and a relatively quick project.

My jeans are not me-made, but were made in the UK by Community Clothing.

The Smiths Screenprinted Grainline Studio Linden Sweatshirt

These photos were taken in Hagia Irene, near Topkapi Palace in Istanbul, which was the first Byzantine cathedral built in Istanbul, and is now a museum. Like all Byzantine religious buildings in Istanbul, this has had a varied history, including earthquakes and acting as an armory. We had the building entirely to ourselves on our visit, and it makes for a pretty atmospheric backdrop.

The Smiths Screenprinted Grainline Studio Linden Sweatshirt

P.S. in a similar vein, I previously blogged a screen-printed Morrissey tee.

The Smiths Screenprinted Grainline Studio Linden Sweatshirt

The Smiths Screenprinted Grainline Studio Linden Sweatshirt

The Smiths Screenprinted Grainline Studio Linden Sweatshirt


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Red Quilted Linden

Linden Sweatshirt

It’s been a really busy week, so this is just a quick post with another Linden Sweatshirt.

This quilted Linden was started with the leftover fabric from this quilted jacket, however I didn’t have quite enough so ended up going back to Barry’s for an extra 1/2 metre! Not such successful stash busting… The ribbing WAS from my stash, and is from Minerva.

Linden Sweatshirt

I sized down to size 0 for this version, and did my usual trick of cutting the neckline band approximately one size larger.

Linden Sweatshirt

These photos were taken in my favourite local park, Cannon Hill. The red grasses growing by the water there happen to match my sweatshirt pretty well;)

Linden Sweatshirt

I’m wearing one of my favourite necklaces in these pics. This Snoopy necklace was my mom’s; when I was a kid, our house was burgled and my mom’s jewellery taken, but this Snoppy necklace wasn’t stolen as my mom had given it to me and it was around the neck of one of my soft toys:) This is Snoopy in his pilot gear, although for many years I thought he was wearing a nice headscarf. See what I mean?

Linden Sweatshirt

We took these photos a few weeks ago – it was bright but still pretty cold; here is how I was dressed as soon as we finished taking photos!

Cannon Hill Park


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Floral Woven Linden & Snowdrops

It’s time for this week’s Linden! I will be posting makes from some different patterns soon, but still have a few Linden’s from a recent binge to show you. It’s probably a first for me, as I very rarely use patterns multiple times, but this pattern is so quick and easy (and so good) that I couldn’t resist. I normally struggle with OWOP, but I’m ready for this year’s now!

Floral Linden Sweatshirt

Last Sunday I visited a ‘snowdrop weekend’ at a (relatively) local church, St Leonard’s in Beoley, with my family. We walked around the grounds, which are currently scattered with snowdrops, and had tea and cake inside the church.

I wore my latest Linden, made in fabric from Barry’s. I have completely forgotten what the label on the bolt said about the composition of this fabric. It’s a heavy weight woven, with a slight one-way stretch. The right side of the fabric has a slight pile.

Floral Linden Sweatshirt

Construction wise, I actually made Version A with a few tweaks. I left of the bottom band, instead turning and hemming. I originally cut the full-length sleeves, but realised they were very tight and so cut a length off the bottom and hemmed them. I think they’ve ended up slightly longer than the sleeves from Version B. I also had to significantly lengthen the neck band (which is made from the main fabric); I originally cut the neckband one size larger than the body of my Linden (which I have done for all of my versions to prevent pulling at the neckline). However, in this fabric, with limited stretch, I couldn’t actually get the sweatshirt over my head… So I re-cut the neckband, estimating the extra length, and reattached. It now fits fine.

St Leonard’s Church Beoley

The one issue with making the Linen in a very stiff, non or limited stretch, fabric, is that you may have excess fabric sticking up at the back neckline. However, once I’d attached the neck band, I found that it pulled in the fabric effectively and that the neckline lies flat.

St Leonard’s Church Beoley

The fabric used has a large scale floral print. I centred the print on the front, but cut it at an angle on the back. I didn’t attempt print matching (as you can see), partly because I never do, and partly because I didn’t have enough fabric to attempt it with such a large-scale print. I would definitely get told off on Sewing Bee… (I’m loving this series by the way, although it seems to get harder every time).

Floral Linden Sweatshirt

The Linden is worn here with a beloved RTW skirt and shirt from Oasis, both of which I have had for many years (incidentally, both were gifts from my Nan). I take good care of my clothes so they tend to last a looong time.

Floral Linden Sweatshirt

My brother and his fiance’s miniature dachshund, Rupert, was with us at the church for a run around the grounds. Phil snapped him, as well as me, in his new threads.

Rupert the miniature Dachshund

Rupert the miniature Dachshund


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Linden in Brussels

Linden Sweatshirt, Grainline Studio in Brussels, Belgium

This is my first Linden Sweatshirt by Grainline Studio. Worn here with my beloved floral Dr. Marten’s, which were a birthday present from Phil.

Linden Sweatshirt, Grainline Studio in Brussels, Belgium

I actually ordered this fabric to test a different pattern and used my leftovers to make this Linden. I didn’t have much of the jersey left so I cut the sleeves and back in my ribbing fabric, and used the jersey for the front and cuffs. The ribbing actually works pretty well as a main fabric:)

I totally copied Amy in my fabric choices! This is a flecked wine-coloured stretch jersey from Minerva Crafts. They currently have it back in stock and it’s on offer. It’s ideal for sweatshirts as it’s a decent weight, with a bit of stretch. It does seems to pill though as I’ve already seem some pilling on this sweatshirt.

Due to living in Birmingham (and approx. 15 minutes drive from Barry’s Fabrics) I haven’t previously ordered much fabric online, but sweatshirt suitable jersey – especially in plain colours – isn’t something I’ve had much luck finding in the Birmingham fabric shops, so I’ve been placing a few online orders – in addition to my regular trips to Barry’s of course…

Linden Sweatshirt, Grainline Studio in Brussels, Belgium

I made this in size 2 (which is closest to my actual measurements in the pattern instructions). I’ve since also tried cutting the pattern in size 0 and both fit me fine. The 0 is good for a close fit, but the 2 is better for a comfy sweatshirt or with a stiffer fabric (I’ve just started making a needlecord Linden, not sure how it will turn out yet).

You can see the fabric is pulling a little at the neckline. I’ve increased the length of the neckband on the versions I’ve made since (going up a size or two on the neckband pattern piece) and that has worked fine to prevent this.

Linden Sweatshirt, Grainline Studio in Brussels, Belgium

I love this pattern. Once you have the pattern cut out it takes about 30 minutes to make a sweatshirt!

These photos were taken in Brussels Park during our holiday to Brussels and Paris back in November. Happily, the park was on the route from our apartment into the city centre so I collared Phil to get some photos on our walk into town one morning. The park has a rather gorgeous bandstand that I had to get a few photos in.

Linden Sweatshirt, Grainline Studio in Brussels, Belgium

Linden Sweatshirt, Grainline Studio in Brussels, Belgium

Linden Sweatshirt, Grainline Studio in Brussels, Belgium