english girl at home

A Sewing & Knitting Blog, Made in Birmingham, England


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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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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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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


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Handmade Christmas – Gifts Given & Received

Screen Printed Tee

While I’m still feeling suitably Christmassy, and before the cards and decorations need to come down, I thought I’d post about the handmade gifts I gave or received this year.

I like to make Christmas gifts for close family and friends, but I normally combine these with bought presents, to avoid having unrealistic amounts of presents to make.

The tee pictured was a gift for Phil. The tee is RTW; I screen printed the text on the front, which is a snippet from a Barenaked Ladies song. To do this I typed the text in Word and altered the size and font until I had what I wanted, then printed a copy. I attached the print-out to an A4 sheet of acetate and carved the letters out to create a relatively sturdy stencil. I then used the stencil with my printing frame and fabric ink to print onto the tee. To save Phil from needing to pose in it, it’s pictured here on my dress form.

Screen Printed Tee

For three friends, I made Linden Sweatshirts by Grainline Studio, in identical fabrics but different sizes. Both the jersey and ribbing used were purchased from Minerva Crafts. The Linden is a good pattern to make as a gift as it isn’t too fitted.

Linden Sweatshirt by Grainline Studio

Linden Sweatshirt by Grainline Studio

For my two Grandmothers, I used the Madrid tote pattern from the first issue of Seamwork. I simplified the pattern slightly due to available time and missing a few supplies. I made these totes in plether and wool-blend, with a wax print for the lining and handles.

Madrid Tote Bag

Madrid Tote Bag

Madrid Tote Bag

I also took part in two online secret Santas this year: the Bloggers’ Secret Santa organised by Dino Princess Char and the Crafty Secret Santa organised by Kat. I sent buttons, ribbon and handmade baubles.

I received an amazing selection of Tiger goodies from Sarah in the Bloggers’ Secret Santa.

Bloggers' secret Santa Christmas 2014

And some lovely fabric from a mystery Santa:) in the Crafty Secret Santa.

Crafty Secret Santa 2014

I also took part in the Christmas Decoration Swap organised by Marilla Walker. I was paired up with Fiona, who sent this gorgeous decoration.

Christmas decoration swap

In return, I sent two knitted baubles. I made quite a few of these in different wools using a pattern included in Mollie Makes. I like the baubles made with multi-coloured wool best as you get a great effect with no effort. The white and red baubles below were made with wool which included glitter and sequins – it looks suitably festive but was a pain to knit with as the glitter thread had a tendency to snap and the sequins could get caught in the wool.

Hand Knitted Baubles

Hand Knitted Baubles

Hand Knitted Baubles

I have one more present to show, but I’m saving that for its own post.