english girl at home

A Sewing & Knitting Blog, Made in Birmingham, England


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Knitting & Stitching Show at Olympia Ticket Giveaway

Mr X Stitch - Wrap Cover

I have 5 pairs of tickets for The Spring Knitting & Stitching Show at Olympia London on 01-04 March 2018 to give away. These can be used on any day except Saturday 03 March.

To enter, leave a comment below, or on the related post on my Instagram account by midnight on Friday 12 January.

I’m going to be attending on the Friday (if you’ll also be attending on the Friday, it would be lovely to meet up). I’m currently deciding which class/es to take, and, having spent some time perusing the class list, I thought it would be worth sharing my favourite classes (both sewing and other crafts) below, for anyone else who is interested.

Sewing:

Couture Sewing Skills, Jenni McGill, Its Sew Simple (Thursday)
“working with silks and chiffons you use very different sewing techniques, instead of an over locked seam, a French seam, a pin hem instead of a fold over hem, a hand finished dart, a bound edge, gathering silk and or pleats”

Creating Texture with Fabric, Sue Cotten (Sunday)
“learn how to create texture with fabric by manipulating the basic tuck into a variety of twists, twirls and slashing to embellish home furnishings, accessories and dressmaking garments”.

Design and Make Funky Leggings, Miss Libby Rose (Thursday)
“draw up a pattern to your own measurements so we can design, style and make these funky trousers and learn how to use the sewing machine using stretchy jersey fabric”.

Design your own Fabric with Spoonflower, Ceri Gwen, Spoonflower (Friday, Saturday and Sunday)
“Learn how to create a seamless repeat by hand for making your own repeating surface designs. Each participant will receive a fat quarter of their design printed in Spoonflower’s Berlin factory”.

Fabric Manipulation: Pleats, Tucks & Ruffles, Jenni McGill, Its Sew Simple (Sunday)
“Working on a Janome sewing machine you will create samples using creative
techniques, ranging from; a diamond box pleat, pin tucking, tuck and fold pleats, to a shaped fabric ruffle”.

Fly Front Trouser Zip 1,2,3, Janice Croft (Sunday)
Learn the correct way to install a tailored trouser zip. How to achieve the proper overlap, neat top stitching and back placket”.

Lovely Lacy Knickers, Claire Tyler (Thursday & Saturday)
“Making knickers is simple and fun, using a simple pattern and stretch lace create these pretty knickers”.

Pattern Alterations for Bigger Busts, Claire Tyler (Thursday & Saturday)
“Learn to alter a commercial pattern for a fuller bust for garments with and without darts or with princess seams”.

Stylish Seams and Hems, Claire Tyler (Saturday)
“Learn how to finish your garments with unusual seams and hems perfect for popular fabrics like stretch, scuba, denim and boiled wool. Many of these techniques aren’t found in patterns”.

Other Crafts:

Goldwork Acorns, Royal School of Needlework (Thursday & Saturday)
“The design will teach the technique of padding to create raised areas as well as the two main techniques of Goldwork: Couching of Pearl Purl and Cutwork with bright check purl. These techniques will both give a different textural effect to this charming acorn design and will give skills that can be used to create rich and sparkly embellishments”.

Stunning Embellished Sequin Flower, Hannah Read-Baldrey (Friday)
“Learn how to embellish garments with beautiful sewn sequinned flowers. Work with craft writer and presenter Hannah Read-Baldrey on a beautiful project from her new book FlowerBomb!”

Strawberry Cross Stitch on Linen or Aida, The Cross Stitch Guild (Everyday)
“Join the Cross Stitch Guild for this ideal class for the beginner or a stitcher wanting to try linen for the first time!”

Ten Stitch Sampler, The Cross Stitch Guild (Everyday)
“This project is worked on linen fabric and gives the student a chance to try different counted stitches on a little sampler”.


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Comic Art Sudley Printed with Contrado

Megan Nielsen Sudley Dress in Contrado Comic Print

Contrado are a London-based company who offer fabric printing on demand. I talk about my experience designing and printing a fabric with them in my latest vlog, which you can view here:

As mentioned in the vlog, my design was inspired by a comic-print, black and white Prada skirt, which I eyeballed in a shop window. My design features some personal favourite comic characters / artists.

Megan Nielsen Sudley Dress in Contrado Comic Print

The design was printed on Contrado’s Crepe de France fabric. The fabric is light/medium weight, with lots of drape.  The image print quality is very high, with even small details printed clearly. The colour didn’t run when I washed the fabric, but I did get some colour/image transfer when I ironed this dress on a high heat (following one wash). The fabric is slightly see-through; I lined the bodice and will wear a slip underneath.

Megan Nielsen Sudley Dress in Contrado Comic Print

I used my fabric to make a Megan Nielsen Sudley Dress, with the skirt extended to floor length. I thought Sudley would be a good pattern to show off the fabric, due to the lack of fastenings or darts. As in my previous Sudley, I cinched in the waist of the dress by attaching elastic around the waistband.

Megan Nielsen Sudley Dress in Contrado Comic Print

I’m looking forward to wearing this out – although slightly wary about how dirty the hem may be by the time I get home!

Megan Nielsen Sudley Dress in Contrado Comic Print

Megan Nielsen Sudley Dress in Contrado Comic Print

Megan Nielsen Sudley Dress in Contrado Comic Print

Megan Nielsen Sudley Dress in Contrado Comic Print

Megan Nielsen Sudley Dress in Contrado Comic Print

Megan Nielsen Sudley Dress in Contrado Comic Print

Disclaimer: I was provided with two metres of fabric in exchange for blogging about it, all opinions expressed are my own.


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Yarnporium

Yarnporium 2016

Recently, I spent a weekend in London for a friend’s birthday and to visit new yarn show, Yarnporium.

I spent a couple of hours in the Yarnporium marketplace, while Phil did his own thing. Footage of the marketplace, plus chatter about what I bought (spoiler, I have a lot of knitting to do), is on my latest vlog. Watch it here:

Also, a friend recently introduced me to the music of Cecille Grey, who are based relatively local to me in Nottingham. Cecille Grey have very kindly allowed me to use my favourite of their songs on the vlog – I hope you love it too.

Photos of the marketplace are below. Follow Yarn in the City to keep up-to-date with future Yarnporium and other events.

Yarnporium 2016

Yarnporium 2016

Yarnporium 2016

Yarnporium 2016

Yarnporium 2016

Yarnporium 2016

Yarnporium 2016

Yarnporium 2016

Yarnporium 2016

Yarnporium 2016

Yarnporium 2016

Yarnporium 2016

Yarnporium 2016

Yarnporium 2016

Yarnporium 2016

Yarnporium 2016


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Knitting & Stitching Show at Ally Pally

Knitting & Stitching Show at Alexandra Palace

On Thursday, I booked a day off work to visit The Knitting & Stitching Show at Alexandra Palace.

I made a little video of my favourite stands and what I bought, which you can view here:

I was there to help out on the stand of the Association of Guilds of Weavers, Spinners & Dyers in the afternoon. Before that I managed to have a look around and a shop, and during the day I also manged to run into lots of friends. All in all, a very nice day off work!

Knitting & Stitching Show at Alexandra Palace

Knitting & Stitching Show at Alexandra Palace

Knitting & Stitching Show at Alexandra Palace

Knitting & Stitching Show at Alexandra Palace

Knitting & Stitching Show at Alexandra Palace

Knitting & Stitching Show at Alexandra Palace

Knitting & Stitching Show at Alexandra Palace

Knitting & Stitching Show at Alexandra Palace

Knitting & Stitching Show at Alexandra Palace


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The Seamworker’s Guide to Fashion Museums

Liberty in Fashion at The Fashion and Textile Museum

I have an article in the August issue of Seamwork, released today.

The article is a guide to some of the best fashion and textile museums around the world. I’ve visited some of these museums in person; others are on my to-see list. I did my best to squeeze in as many museums as I could within the article word count!

You can read the full article here, or download the magazine (for free) from the Seamwork website.

One of the museums included is the Fashion and Textile Museum in London, which is one of my favourites. Below are a few photos of their recent Liberty in Fashion exhibition which I visited back in January. I’m especially looking forward to their upcoming Jazz Age fashion and photography exhibition (23 September 2016 – 15 January 2017).

Liberty in Fashion at The Fashion and Textile Museum

Liberty in Fashion at The Fashion and Textile Museum

Liberty in Fashion at The Fashion and Textile Museum

Liberty in Fashion at The Fashion and Textile Museum

Liberty in Fashion at The Fashion and Textile Museum

Liberty in Fashion at The Fashion and Textile Museum

Liberty in Fashion at The Fashion and Textile Museum

Liberty in Fashion at The Fashion and Textile Museum

Liberty in Fashion at The Fashion and Textile Museum


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Nicki & Ute in London

#nickiandutevisitlondon Meet-Up August 2015

I was very excited to meet Nicki and Ute (plus all of the other lovely sewists who attended) during their recent visit to London, and to talk #oneyearoneoutfit in person.

We visited Goldhawk Road, and only made it to a handful of shops because shopping as a group always takes ages (and shopping – even for fabric – is less essential than nattering) 🙂

#nickiandutevisitlondon Meet-Up August 2015

Loop, where Nicki located all the lovely naturally dyed yarns.

#nickiandutevisitlondon Meet-Up August 2015

#nickiandutevisitlondon Meet-Up August 2015

#nickiandutevisitlondon Meet-Up August 2015

#nickiandutevisitlondon Meet-Up August 2015

Sew Over It, Islington, where Elle bought some amazing hot pink crepe.

#nickiandutevisitlondon Meet-Up August 2015

We wandered the streets of London looking for pretty front doors and interesting door knockers.

#nickiandutevisitlondon Meet-Up August 2015

#nickiandutevisitlondon Meet-Up August 2015

#nickiandutevisitlondon Meet-Up August 2015

#nickiandutevisitlondon Meet-Up August 2015

Posed in front of the first white wall we found.

#nickiandutevisitlondon Meet-Up August 2015

#nickiandutevisitlondon Meet-Up August 2015

#nickiandutevisitlondon Meet-Up August 2015

#nickiandutevisitlondon Meet-Up August 2015

#nickiandutevisitlondon Meet-Up August 2015

And ended up at the pub.

#nickiandutevisitlondon Meet-Up August 2015


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Fashion and Textile Museum

London Fashion and Textile Museum, Made in Mexico

On two recent trips to London I’ve visited the Fashion and Textile Museum.

If you don’t know it, it’s a small museum linked to Newham College, which is located close to London Bridge and Borough Market (so you can combine a trip with lunch at the market).They host some really interesting exhibitions, although given the size of the gallery I find the exhibitions a little overpriced (compared to, say, an exhibition at the V&A). Most exciting are the workshops & lectures they hold, as they get some amazing teachers/speakers. London is a bit far for me to attend a workshop but if I lived closer I’d always be there!

The recent exhibitions I caught were Made in Mexico: the Rebozo in Art, Culture & Fashion, and Knitwear: Chanel to Westwood. The Knitwear exhibition runs until January so you can still catch it.

The Made in Mexico exhibition focused on the rebozo, a kind of shawl or scarf. The name rebozo is derived from the Spanish verb rebozar, meaning to ‘muffle up’. Rebozo were historically made on back strap looms – and still are today. The exhibition included both traditional examples and modern interpretations (such as the one below).

London Fashion and Textile Museum, Made in Mexico

London Fashion and Textile Museum, Made in Mexico

London Fashion and Textile Museum, Made in Mexico

London Fashion and Textile Museum, Made in Mexico

Photos weren’t permitted in the Knitwear: Chanel to Westwood exhibition. The pieces included in the exhibition are mainly taken from a private collection and the selection seemed a bit eclectic. It is organised by date; my favourite pieces were the vintage ones – particularly the selection of knitted bathing suits & preppy 1950s styles.

I do have pictures of a couple of pieces displayed in a separate gallery. These are by Yang Du and have the amazing names Mr Superman Sweater (the lion sweater dress) and Mr Elephant hat and Mr Elephant gloves. I’m quite tempted by a massive sweater dress – with or without giant lion face…

London Fashion and Textile Museum, Knitwear: Chanel to Westwood

London Fashion and Textile Museum, Knitwear: Chanel to Westwood


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The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier at the Barbican

Me and Phil spent the weekend in London recently. While there we visited The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier at the Barbican. The exhibition is wide ranging featuring Gaultier designs from the 1970s to the present. It’s one of the best fashion design exhibitions I’ve seen. Unlike a lot of exhibitions the pieces aren’t behind glass so you can get up close and admire the skill and meticulous finish. Focusing on a single designer means you get a much greater sense of the designer and their work, and how it has developed over time. It’s also a lot more fun than most fashion exhibitions – the curators have included lots of creative elements including video projection and a revolving catwalk – totally befitting the clothes being exhibited. The generous size of the exhibition and the time period covered mean that they have included pieces from Gaultier collections with many different themes – mermaids, religious imagery, folk, nautical, punk, animal skin/feathers. I love Gaultier’s work because it has such a great sense of humour – like the man himself. I’ve watched various interviews with Gaultier and he always seems absolutely lovely. There are lots of people I admire that I don’t like very much, but Gaultier is someone it is very easy to admire and to like. Having visited the exhibition I now HAVE to own the LP of Gaultier’s 1989 single Aow Tou Dou Zat. As you can see they allowed photographs, a few are below.
The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier, Barbican London 2014
The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier, Barbican London 2014
The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier, Barbican London 2014
The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier, Barbican London 2014
The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier, Barbican London 2014
The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier, Barbican London 2014
The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier, Barbican London 2014
The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier, Barbican London 2014
The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier, Barbican London 2014
The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier, Barbican London 2014
We also visited The Glamour of Italian Fashion at the V&A, which told the story of Italian fashion from the end of the Second World War to the present day. This was also fascinating but was a relatively small exhibition and due to the scope of what the exhibition was trying to cover it felt like it was only scratching the surface. I would have also liked more early (1950s) pieces which were my favourite (with the exception of an amazing Miu Miu parrot print fabric that I wanted badly). Excitingly Fashionary had produced an exclusive design to accompany the exhibition so I treated myself to a copy. Gorgeous.
V&A Fashionary
While in London I also treated myself to a couple of metres of Liberty fabric from Shaukat and a Flamingo cardigan from a rather classy charity shop, both in South Kensington.
Liberty Cotton Fabric
Flamingo Cardigan


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#NYlon2014 Meet-Up

Last Saturday I attended a sewing meet-up in London for the first time. I was one of 71 sewists taking part in the amazing meet-up arranged by Rachel.

We took over the V&A, and then took over the Goldhawk Road!
NYlon2014 London Sewing Meet Up
Before the meet-up I was paired with the lovely Ingrid for the name-tag swap. Ingrid made me an amazing tag inspired by my love of Star Trek.
#NYlon2014 Sewing Meet-up Name Tag
I made Ingrid a mini dress name tag.
#NYlon2014 Sewing Meet-up Name Tag
Due to lots of nattering about sewing I didn’t actually spent that long shopping, but I did get three lovely fabrics all of which are going to become dresses! I could not resist that Doraemon fabric. I’ve never seen one before but the shop actually had three different Doraemon fabrics.
#NYlon2014 Sewing Meet-up Purchases


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Name Tag Swap – Sneak Peek

London Meet Up 2014 Name Tag
I’m currently on holiday in Paris (Yippee!), but before I left I managed to complete a name tag for the London meet-up taking place on May 17th. Mine is for Ingrid at We the Sewing. Here’s a sneak peek. I don’t want to totally ruin the surprise when Ingrid receives it in the mail.