english girl at home

A Sewing & Knitting Blog, Made in Birmingham, England


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Linen Pietra Shorts

Closet Case Pietra Shorts

I decided to join in with the mini challenge Sew Over 50 are running this weekend (to share a previous holiday photo in a me-made garment), by finally posting about my Closet Case Patterns Pietra Shorts on the blog!

I hadn’t previously sewn shorts, as I don’t wear them very often, but on a previous holiday I threw my remaining RTW shorts into my suitcase, only to realise on arrival that they no longer fit me (and have to buy a pair while there).

Closet Case Pietra Shorts

Closet Case Pietra Shorts

I made these shorts last Autumn, just before heading to Dubrovnik for a week’s break. I got Phil to take so many photos of them while we were there, as every location we visited was more beautiful than the last, so a blog post was definitely in order!

I made a size 10, with no changes other than reducing the length of the elastic in the back waistband to pull them in sufficiently. The fabric was kindly gifted by Minerva and is Robert Kaufman Essex Yarn Dyed Homespun Linen Dress Fabric in the ‘Scarlet’ colourway. The mid-weight linen works really well for showing of the angular details of the shorts front, while also gathering well in the back. These shorts use more fabric than you might expect, due to the gathered back and overlapping front; I used 1.5 metres of fabric with minimal scraps left over.

Closet Case Pietra Shorts

Closet Case Pietra Shorts

I wore these shorts constantly during that holiday, and have been wearing them again this summer. I might wear them today for a longer local walk – I bought a book of Birmingham walks a few weeks ago. We’ve already completed the walks closest to home, and are now starting to get to those slightly further afield during the weekends. I’m someone who loves the opportunity to spend time at home, but having much more time than normal at home recently, I’ve found getting out of the house each day for a walk a very welcome break from work and personal to-do lists.

Closet Case Pietra Shorts

Closet Case Pietra Shorts

Closet Case Pietra Shorts


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Point of View Vest

Knitbot Linen Point of View Vest

I’ve been knitting less frequently since I started catching the train to work, with colleagues, because I’m now too busy nattering. However, recently I finally picked up and finished this project which I abandoned last summer.

Knitbot Linen Point of View Vest

This is the Point of View Vest by Hannah Fettig from Knitbot Linen. I started this vest to use up leftover Blacker Yarns Lyonesse yarn from my Hancock cardigan (another Hannah Fettig pattern). I didn’t have quite enough Lyonesse to finish this vest, and by the time I realised, the colourway (Rose Quartz) had been discontinued. Luckily, the replacement colourway (Tourmaline) is close enough that the change in shade at the shoulders doesn’t look out of place.

Knitbot Linen Point of View Vest

The Point of View pattern is designed for linen yarn; because I used a wool/linen blend, the edges of the vest inevitably curl up. I like how this looks at the front, but felt the bottom edge of the vest looked sloppy, so hand sewed ribbon along the edges to weigh them down and keep them flat.

Knitbot Linen Point of View Vest

This is a fairly impractical garment since it doesn’t add much warmth or cover, but it does look quite cute paired here with a Megan Nielsen Maker Tee and favourite People Tree skirt, and with an Inari Tee Dress. These photos were taken on holiday at Studio Ghibli Museum in Tokyo, and the Museum of The Little Prince in Hakone.

Knitbot Linen Point of View Vest

Knitbot Linen Point of View Vest

Knitbot Linen Point of View Vest

Knitbot Linen Point of View Vest

Knitbot Linen Point of View Vest

Knitbot Linen Point of View Vest

Knitbot Linen Point of View Vest

Knitbot Linen Point of View Vest


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British Fabrics Haul Vlog

British Fabrics

For the latest vlog, I’ve filmed a guide to sources of British-made fabrics. It was a perfect excuse to order lots of swatches!

You can view the vlog here:

For more info on British-made fabrics, see my list of British fibres, fabrics & haberdashery supplies.

British Fabrics

British Fabrics

British Fabrics

British Fabrics

British Fabrics

British Fabrics

British Fabrics

British Fabrics

British Fabrics


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Hancock in Lyonesse

Hancock by Hannah Fettig, Knitbot

Inspired by Gillian’s Better Pictures Project, and Katie’s guest post in particular, I photographed this recent knitting project indoors. However, I was paranoid the photos would be too dark (it was a grey day) so there is a mixture of indoor and outdoor photos below!

Hancock by Hannah Fettig, Knitbot

Hancock by Hannah Fettig, Knitbot

This is the Hancock pattern from Home & Away by Hannah Fettig, also known as Knitbot. I ordered the book straight after it was published (self published by Hannah) and love it. It contains eight cardigan/jumper patterns (plus one hat), which can be knitted flat or in the round. The book also contains some great general knitting tutorials, such as gauge, blocking, and weaving in ends. Plus it’s a beautiful book.

Hancock by Hannah Fettig, Knitbot

Hancock by Hannah Fettig, Knitbot

I knitted Hancock in the round, using the smallest pattern size. The yarn I used is Blacker Yarns Lyonesse 4-ply in colour Rose Quartz. Lyonesse is a blend of linen and Falkland Island Corriedale/Merino wool. Blacker Yarns refer to Lyonesse as their ‘summer range’, and the inclusion of linen in the yarn means it is lightweight and relatively summery. However I’m still wearing it this winter over long sleeve dresses / tops.

Hancock by Hannah Fettig, Knitbot

Hancock by Hannah Fettig, Knitbot

You can see Hancock is relatively short (this is accurately shown in the pattern photos) and I considered lengthening it, but ultimately followed the pattern without any changes. I’ve found it the perfect length to pair with a dress or high waisted skirt or trousers, but it’s worth bearing in mind if/when knitting it.

Hancock by Hannah Fettig, Knitbot

Hancock by Hannah Fettig, Knitbot

The pattern is an open cardigan without any fastenings. I’ve been intending to buy a shawl pin (as every knitter surely ends up knitting shawls, despite previously never knowing that you needed one!) and think that Hancock would also look good pinned closed when I want a bit of extra warmth.

Hancock is a straightforward knit, if relatively time consuming (at least for a slow knitter like me) due to the use of 4-ply yarn.

Hancock by Hannah Fettig, Knitbot

Hancock by Hannah Fettig, Knitbot

I’m classing this as one of my #1year1outfit projects since it is made with a yarn produced by British mill Blacker Yarns, using Falkland wool (it’s unclear from the Blacker Yarns website where the linen was sourced). Given that my 2015 One Year One Outfit pledge already allowed me to use fibre from the entirely of the UK, I might be pushing it by also including Falkland wool. However, BritYarn’s definition of British includes overseas territories, and that’s good enough for me!

Hancock by Hannah Fettig, Knitbot

Hancock by Hannah Fettig, Knitbot

I’m just in the process of blocking another completed project from Home & Away which I’ll be blogging soon.

P.S. If you’re on Ravelry you can find me here.


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Linen Mathilde

Linen Check Handmade Mathilde Blouse

I feel like I’ve been waiting to make the Mathilde Blouse, by Tilly and the Buttons, for ages! I knew I’d love it as it’s totally my style – big sleeves, buttons down the back, high neckline. I bought the pattern weeks ago, cut the fabric out and then it sat around for a while, but last weekend I finally sat down and got sewing. It’s a pretty simple make especially with the online instructions available from Tilly’s site. It does take a good few hours though, or at least it did for me. I started machine sewing in earnest last Saturday evening and next thing I knew it was 1am and there was still lots to do! That’s what happens when you’re busy sewing – time passes faster!

Linen Check Handmade Mathilde Blouse

Being too lazy to make a muslin, I did at least go with a reasonably priced linen-blend (about £5 per metre) instead of the Liberty fabric I picked initially. Now that I know it fits me (I cut size 2 with no alterations) I’m planning to pop back for some of that Liberty fabric for version two. Although this was a first attempt I didn’t skimp on my finishes. I used French seams absolutely everywhere and bound the edges of the facing and sleeves. Look how neat the inside looks:)

Linen Check Handmade Mathilde Blouse

You’ll notice the blouse looks a little creased, but I had just cycled to a local park. For a linen it doesn’t crease too badly. The buttons I used down the back are handmade oak buttons by Against the Grain. I bought these from Sue, the artist who makes them, at a craft fair where we both had a stall back in August. I think they’re a great match for the checked fabric.

Linen Check Handmade Mathilde Blouse

Linen Check Handmade Mathilde Blouse

Linen Check Handmade Mathilde Blouse