english girl at home

A Sewing & Knitting Blog, Made in Birmingham, England


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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.


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Renegade Craft Fair in London

Renegade Craft Fair London 2012
This Saturday, me and Phil popped to London to visit Renegade Craft Fair. It was the second Renegade fair in London, but my first. The fair took place at the Old Truman Brewery in Brick Lane, conveniently located right by Brick Lane market which also features some cool craft makers.

I love the flyer produced to advertise the fair:

Renegade Craft Fair London 2012

Of the makers selling at the fair, I particularly liked Lovely Pigeon. I treated myself to a Mr Pigeon Badge (pictured below) as well as some other goodies. I also loved MANOLO’s beautiful engraved wooden brooches (I might ask for one for Christmas), Debbie Greenaway’s illustrated badges and cards, and Custom Made.

Mr Pigeon Badge by Lovely Pigeon

While at Renegade me and Phil also made friendship bracelets with the Make Lounge (I got told off for later re-braiding Phil’s).

Outside of Renegade, in Brick Lane market I spotted a couple of interesting artists, definitely worth checking out.

Hormazd Narielwalla is a collage artist who creates new works of art from tailoring patterns. I really liked his prints on acetate.

Tsomo is a Korean artist in paint, textiles, and clay. I picked up a card featuring one of her paintings, but also loved her little pottery dolls and cats.

Below are a few pictures of Renegade and Brick Lane.

Renegade Craft Fair London 2012
Renegade Craft Fair London 2012
Vintage Clothing Market, Brick Lane, London
Graffiti Brick Lane London


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Crafts, tea and free books in London

One of the places me and Phil always visit when we’re in London is Carnaby Street. Although you probably already know Carnaby Street (make sure you check out Cha Cha Moon for lunch), you may not have found Kingly Court which is hidden behind Carnaby Street itself. All the shops are independents and there are quite a few crafty ones, as well as some nice cake shops and an amazing tea house. Basically it has everything I like:)

Kingly Court, Carnaby Street London

Kingly Court also contains the Carnaby Book Exchange, where you can swap a book you’ve read for any other on the shelves. When I was there they had a good selection of fiction as well a few art books. The Exchange is a project curated by Fashion Curation students at the London College of Fashion, and they’re done a really good job of creating a stylish and welcoming space to stop for a browse and a read. Make sure you remember to take along a book to leave behind next time you’re planning a trip to London.

Carnaby Book Exchange, Kingly Court, Carnaby Street London

P.S. If you’re interested in tea shops also make sure you visit the Tea House in Covent Garden. It’s normally packed to the rafters with shoppers, but it’s worth fighting your way through to have a look at the selection of teas. I’m working my way through a ‘Strawberries and Cream’ sencha at the moment which is rather nice, and  I’ve had a lovely ‘Wild Cherry’ green tea from them in the past.

The Tea Shop, Covent Garden London