english girl at home

A Sewing & Knitting Blog, Made in Birmingham, England


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Faux Fur Tamarack

Faux Fur Grainline Studio Tamarack Jacket

Pattern: Tamarack Jacket by Grainline Studio

Sewing time taken (excluding cutting out): 4 hours

Fabric: Faux fur from Samuel Taylors / Sew Up North 2018

Faux Fur Grainline Studio Tamarack Jacket

This faux fur Grainline Studio Tamarack Jacket was a long time coming. I first decided to make a Tamarack in faux fur in November 2015, after seeing a RTW faux fur jacket in a similar shape. It then took me until 2018 to spot a faux fur fabric I liked enough to buy it – in Samuel Taylors, Leeds during the 2018 Sew Up North meet-up.

Faux Fur Grainline Studio Tamarack Jacket

I cut out all of the pattern pieces for this jacket (including interfacing and lining) last winter but didn’t find the time to sew it. A few weeks ago I plucked the pattern pieces out of my unfinished objects basket and after around four hours sewing time I finally had a finished jacket. Further evidence that sewing only makes up a small part of many sewing projects!

Faux Fur Grainline Studio Tamarack Jacket

Despite having planned this jacket since 2015, the high street is full of faux fur jackets in similar styles this winter, so it feels very on-trend. I had fabric left over after finishing the jacket (I still do, but I’m not sure I need any more matching accessories) so I decided to make matching earmuffs, by covering a pair I already owned. I cut two circles of fabric to cover each ear, sewed them right-sides together and pulled them over each side of the ear muffs, finally I hand-sewed the top of each side closed around the headband.

Faux Fur Grainline Studio Tamarack Jacket

For the jacket, I didn’t want to finish the edges with bias binding – as per the pattern instructions – as I thought it would flatten the faux fur. Instead I cut a lining (using the standard pattern pieces with a slightly trimmed seam allowance to prevent the lining peeking out) and sewed the main and lining jackets together at all seams except the centre front. The lining fabric is a Liberty cotton lawn bought from Birmingham Rag Market (specifically The Little World of Fabric, also known as ‘The Liberty Man’).

Faux Fur Grainline Studio Tamarack Jacket

I fancied a zip closure (see also: Meg and Katie’s versions with zips) but was a bit worried about the faux fur getting caught in the zipper teeth. In the end I decided to go for it, and fitted a 22″ zip (a 21″ zip would have been preferable but they didn’t have that in the shop). I attached the zip with a generous seam allowance to give it a little distance from the faux fur and I haven’t had any issues with the fabric getting caught.

Faux Fur Grainline Studio Tamarack Jacket

The Tamarack pattern is a great simple shape for hacking and I’ve been wearing this version loads since finishing it so I’m glad I finally brought it to fruition!

Faux Fur Grainline Studio Tamarack Jacket


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Onyx Dress Hack

Paprika Patterns Onyx Dress Hack

This post is a prime example of sewing blogger problems. The dress was a quick and easy sewing project, getting photos for a blog post, ridiculous difficult!

Paprika Patterns Onyx Dress Hack

I originally took the camera out when me and Phil visited Resorts World shopping centre in Birmingham. We got some photos by the lake there, but every picture Phil took – with the exception of a couple included in this post – was blurry!

Phil and I rarely argue – the only things we ever argue about are whose turn it is to do a chore in the house (obviously, we each think we do more than the other), and blog photos! He hates taking them, and I think it requires very little effort given the amount of effort it takes me to sew a garment.

Paprika Patterns Onyx Dress Hack

We tried taking further photos in the garden, but again almost every photo was blurry. I’m sure fellow bloggers will know the horror of realising that a photo which looks perfect – great photo of the garment, and no strange faces being pulled – is just out of focus. I can’t face a third attempt, so you’ll have to take my work that this dress is cuter in real life than in these photos!

Paprika Patterns Onyx Dress Hack

Having made Paprika Patterns Onyx Shirt twice before (previous versions 1 and 2), I thought it would be a good candidate for a dress hack. I also used the full length sleeve from the sleeve add-on pack.

To create a dress variation, I just extended the front and back pieces from the bottom of the pattern pieces down to the edge of my fabric, making sure to allow enough ease at the hips.

Paprika Patterns Onyx Dress Hack

The fabric I used is lacy and not very strong, so to reinforce it (and for the purposes of decency) I also cut the front and back pieces in lining fabric. I constructed the lining separately and then attached it to the main fabric at the neckline. I left the sleeves unlined to make the lace effect more visible. As the lace fabric doesn’t fray, I left the sleeve and hem edges unfinished.

Paprika Patterns Onyx Dress Hack

Suitably, I purchased this fabric (and the matching lining) as a coupon in Paris while shopping with Lisa of Paprika Patterns, Sabine, Carmen and Olivier. Olivier spotted it originally, but kindly let me buy it, and found me the matching lining in the same coupon bin!

Paprika Patterns Onyx Dress Hack

Making this has tempted me to make a couple more summery Onyx Shirts – perhaps in a crepe this time.

Paprika Patterns Onyx Dress Hack