english girl at home

A Sewing & Knitting Blog, Made in Birmingham, England


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Jackie Dress

Victory Patterns Jackie Dress

It’s taken a while for this dress to make it to the blog, since I made it to wear to The Dressmakers Ball, organised by the team at Crafty Sew & So, back in May.

Victory Patterns Jackie Dress

In time honoured fashion, I bought tickets to the ball as soon as they went on sale but left making my outfit until the last minute. I have a lousy memory, so details from May are lost to the mists of time, but I’m pretty sure I whipped this up the night before the ball.

As luck would have it, this dress is perfect for dancing in, the multi-paneled skirt adding lots of volume for twirling. Plus, due to being sewn in a knit fabric, it’s comfier than your average party dress.

Victory Patterns Jackie Dress

I think this fabric was a Guthrie & Ghani purchase, and was definitely bought with a Colette Wren in mind, but instead it became a Victory Patterns Jackie dress. It has a really nice weight and a subtle sparkle.

Despite the multiple panels, this dress is actually a fairly quick sew, and would make an excellent Christmas party dress.

Victory Patterns Jackie Dress

These pictures were taken in the grounds of a local Jacobean house museum, Aston Hall, during a food festival event Phil and I attended. The event was sold out and the grounds full of people, so I’m impressed at just how peaceful we’ve made it seem in these photos.

Victory Patterns Jackie Dress

Victory Patterns Jackie Dress

Victory Patterns Jackie Dress

Victory Patterns Jackie Dress

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Capital Chic Patterns Sangria Dress

Capital Chic Patterns Sangria Dress

I’m currently on holiday in Istanbul, hence the backdrop of Hagia Sophia in these photos. Before heading off on holiday, I was thrilled to be involved in testing the new Winter 2016 pattern collection by Sally (of both Capital Chic Patterns and Charity Shop Chic). I love all of the patterns in the collection but, due to lack of time, Sangria – which is my far the quickest sew – was the only pattern I tested.

Capital Chic Patterns Sangria Dress

Capital Chic Patterns Sangria Dress

This is the first version of Sangria I made, using some mystery fabric from Birmingham Rag Market (I think it’s a mid-weight jersey). The pattern is designed for scuba jersey, to achieve a smooth line over the body (i.e. avoid visible panty line). I have tried it in three different fabrics now (pictures to follow), and found it works well in jerseys, as well as scuba jerseys, particularly if they are medium weight. I fancy placing a Girl Charlee order and seeing how it sews up in a selection of their fabrics. As an added bonus, in a stretchy knit you can skip the back zip, making this an even quicker sew.

Capital Chic Patterns Sangria Dress

Capital Chic Patterns Sangria Dress

This version was sewn using the test pattern. I graded between sizes 10 (bust) and 12 (waist/hips), and sewed a narrow seam allowance on the sleeves, which felt a little tight (a reasonably common adjustment for me). As this fabric has quite a bit of stretch, I used a shorter zip than recommended, just to allow me to get the collar over my head. I do get a bit of pooling of fabric at my lower back, which I ought to sort for future versions, and which I only recently noticed, since I don’t see my back that often!

Capital Chic Patterns Sangria Dress

Capital Chic Patterns Sangria Dress

I absolutely love this pattern for work dresses, and have also made a party version in a shiny snakeskin print which I’m hoping to rock this weekend!

Capital Chic Patterns Sangria Dress

Capital Chic Patterns Sangria Dress

Right, I’m off sightseeing. Hope you also have good weeks planned!


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Sheepy Linden

I made this Linden Sweatshirt last year and finally photographed it recently in Bruges.

Linden Sweatshirt in Bruges

This sweatshirt is based on one I spotted in a fashion magazine while getting my hair cut.

LF Markey Sweatshirt

I recreated it using the Linden Sweatshirt pattern. The only change I made to the pattern (version A, size 2) was creating a seam in the sleeve. The cuffs and neckband are cut from the same fabric used for the body.

Linden Sweatshirt in Bruges

The main fabric here is a ‘warm jersey’ from White Tree Fabrics. The fabric I used on the arms was purchased from ebay.

This sweatshirt is a total man-repeller, Phil hated it as soon as I finished it, and it was also commented on by men in the office. To be honest, that just makes me like it more – kind of like a dare!

Linden Sweatshirt in Bruges

This sweatshirt was a test version for last year’s #lindenswap. I was paired with Katy who made me a very stylish Linden, and in return I made her a big furry linden! Sorry Katy!

Linden Sweatshirt in Bruges

The jersey used here is actually a bit lightweight for the wooly fabric, so for Katy’s version I used a different fabric – cut from a second-hand men’s jumper I found in a charity shop.

Linden Sweatshirt in Bruges

Bruges

Linden Sweatshirt in Bruges

I’m lucky enough to have finished work for Christmas so I’m off to finally watch Spectre in a minute, then back to Christmas present making.


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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