english girl at home

A Sewing & Knitting Blog, Made in Birmingham, England


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A Sunny Southport Dress

True Bias Southport Dress in Liberty fabric

I planned to sew the True Bias Southport Dress as soon as it was released, but it sat waiting until Heather’s Sundress Sew-a-long gave me a nudge to get sewing, before the summer is over.

True Bias Southport Dress in Liberty fabric

I fall between pattern sizes, but given the ease in the pattern (as a result of the gathered waist) I sized down to size 0. To compensate for sizing down, I used a smaller seam allowances than recommended, but it wasn’t necessary as the finished dress has plenty of ease.

True Bias Southport Dress in Liberty fabric

I’m fairly short (5’4″) and the dress turned out very long on me. I shortened the shoulder straps by around 1 cm as the front neckline was originally a bit risque. I also used a total hem allowance of 4″ (twice folding up a 2″ hem). The resulting length is just right with heels, but is too long to wear with flats. I might take the dress up further as I do tend to wear flats most of the time, but I do like the glamour of a really long skirt.

True Bias Southport Dress in Liberty fabric

I haven’t worn a floor-length dress in a long time. I avoided them in RTW as I always thought I was too short, but the joy of sewing is that it inspires you to try different silhouettes. I definitely fancy some more maxi length dresses now.

True Bias Southport Dress in Liberty fabric

The fabric is Liberty, purchased in Shaukat on a trip to London last August. After a year in my stash, I’m glad to have stopped being precious about the fabric and put it to use. The fabric is perfect for a summer dress, since it features lots of suns – as well as quite a few clouds, just like an English summer!

True Bias Southport Dress in Liberty fabric

I had slightly less than 2 metres of this fabric, which is less than is recommended for the maxi version (2.5 metres in my size). I was determined to use this fabric and to make the maxi version, so I had to cut one of the front skirt pieces in two panels. Given the busyness of the print the seam isn’t obvious unless it’s pointed out. It’s definitely one of those things that only someone who sews would possibly notice!

True Bias Southport Dress in Liberty fabric

In the pictures above, the waist is gathered with some cotton yarn, which was all I had in my stash. I’ve since bought some cord from Guthrie & Ghani, which I think finishes the dress nicely.

True Bias Southport Dress in Liberty fabric

The buttons I used were some I made a couple of years ago in polymer clay and painted with stripes using acrylic paint.

True Bias Southport Dress in Liberty fabric

I’m hoping for good weather for a couple of months yet so I can get some more wear out of this dress, and sew a few more summer projects.

True Bias Southport Dress in Liberty fabric

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Lacy Linden Swap

#lindenswap Linden Sweatshirt

I love a good online event, and I also love the Linden Sweatshirt, so I was really excited to take part in the #lindenswap organised by Carrie and Ingrid.

I was even more excited when I found out that I was paired-up for the swap with Katy of Katy and Laney, as I love Katy and Laney’s blog and have been looking forward to trying out their patterns (Tap Shorts this summer? I think so).

#lindenswap Linden Sweatshirt

This is the stunning Linden that I received from Katy in the swap. It arrived from New York last weekend along with some much appreciated chocolates:)

#lindenswap Linden Sweatshirt

Katy made the Linden in a lovely soft sweatshirt fleece in a pale grey, with a darker grey ribbing for the neckline, cuffs and hem. As you can see, the really cool feature of this Linen is the white floral lace which Katy attached along the front and back sleeve seam.

#lindenswap Linden Sweatshirt

Katy also modified the hem, attaching the front and back hem ribbing separately, which creates a cool v-shape between the two sides.

#lindenswap Linden Sweatshirt

You know what’s even more fun than telling people who admire your jumper that you made it yourself? Telling them that you received it in a handmade jumper swap & it was sent to you from New York! Now that’s a pretty cool ‘how I got my jumper’ story. Thanks Katy!

#lindenswap Linden Sweatshirt

#lindenswap Linden Sweatshirt

Necklace by Working Clasp. I traded this with the designer Rebecca for one of my pandas when we both had stalls at a local craft fair.


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My First (Owls) Jumper

Handmade Kate Davies Owls Jumper
I finished my first jumper! Owls by Kate Davies. This is only my second ever knitting project and I wouldn’t have been brave enough to try a jumper (or anything else wearable) so quickly if not spurred on by Kat and Sabs’ knit-along.
Handmade Kate Davies Owls Jumper
I actually think it was a good early knitting project as I learned TONS making this jumper. It was my first time using circular needles, knitting ribbing, cabling, etc., etc. When I started this project I was finding it difficult recognising individual rows and recognising the difference between the knit and purl side of a piece of knitting and now at the end I feel so much more confident. I’ve already jumped into my next knitting project – Andi Satterlund’s Myrna cardigan. I’d totally recommend Owls to other relative beginners.
Handmade Kate Davies Owls Jumper
I made a ton of mistakes of course. I spent quite a bit of time unpicking stitches and re-doing things (including re-doing one whole sleeve), but there were also errors I was too lazy to redo. In particular the bottom band… It was my first attempt at ribbing and it definitely isn’t ribbing! I was obviously feeling lazy that day as I left it be. I’d figured out ribbing by the time I got to the cuffs and neckline – I’m looking at the jumper as proof of the learning process:)
Handmade Kate Davies Owls Jumper
The wool is an acrylic and I think the wool for the whole project cost less than £10. I decided not to attach button eyes to my owls. I bought 32 tiny buttons from Birmingham Rag Market but decided I liked it without. I’m looking forward to seeing the other Owls knit as part of the knit-along:) Ok, on to Myrna!
Handmade Kate Davies Owls Jumper