english girl at home

A Sewing & Knitting Blog, Made in Birmingham, England


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SewBrum 2017 – Hold the Date

SewBrum 2017 Logo by Maike Plenzke

Just a quick post to let you know that there will be a #SewBrum meet-up on Saturday 28th October 2017.

As this will be the fourth year running (!) I’m planning a few tweaks, but as in previous years, the meet-up will start in Birmingham City Centre, before moving to Moseley Village to visit Guthrie & Ghani.

Full details to follow. Everyone welcome. Hope you can make it x

In the meantime, read my wrap-up posts about the 20162015, and 2014 meet-ups.

SewBrum logo by illustrator Maike Plenzke.


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The Sewing Weekender 2017

Sewing Weekender banner

The Sewing Weekender will be returning for a second year!

What: A sewing weekend break in Cambridge, sponsored by (Birmingham-based) Adam Ross Fabrics.

When: Saturday 05th – Sunday 06th August 2017

Our venue, Murray Edwards College in Cambridge, will be transformed into a sewing room for the weekend; bring along a sewing project, or two, and sew while chatting to friends and drinking plenty of tea.

Over the weekend, we’ll have a series of informal talks and hands-on workshops from fellow sewing bloggers and independent business owners.

Tickets will go on sale on the morning of Thursday 25th May. Tickets to the event will cost £65; optional accommodation will cost an additional £95 (single room) or £145 (twin room).

Full details here.

Read my thoughts on last year’s Sewing Weekender here, and those of attendees here.


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SewBrum 2016 Wrap-Up

SewBrum 2016

The 2016 SewBrum meet-up took place on Saturday 24th September.

I’m not planning to publish a weekly vlog, but I am planning to publish one every so often when I have something to share. I filmed a little bit of footage during SewBrum which you can view below:

As in previous years, the day whizzed by! We started the day by taking over the Edwardian Tearooms at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery – and I do mean taking over. From there, we wandered across town to the Rag Market, and nearby Barry’s Fabrics and Fancy Silk Store. Rhiannon introduced me to a stall in the Indoor Market which specialises in wax print, which I hadn’t spotted before, and Charlotte recommended a nearby stall which has a huge selection of cotton and novelty prints.

SewBrum 2016

Over 100 of us traveled into Moseley Village in the afternoon to visit Guthrie & Ghani for shopping, chatting, a pattern and fabric swap, and charity raffle. The raffle, plus donations given for tea and cake, raised £465 for the The Eve Appeal gynaecological cancer charity.

SewBrum 2016

Huge thanks to everyone who came along, I hope you had a good time & managed to meet some new-to-you sewists. It was lovely to meet people I haven’t chatted to before, as well as to catch-up with friends, including some I’ve never met in person before.

SewBrum 2016

There have been some great blog posts, plus a lovely vlog about the day by The Fold Line. Links below!

Steely Seamstresshttps://steelyseamstress.wordpress.com/2016/09/26/sew-brum-2016/

Almond Rockhttp://almondrock.co.uk/sewbrum-2016/

Thimberlinahttps://thimberlina.wordpress.com/2016/10/02/sewbrum-2016/

The Ruined Motherhttp://ruinedmother.blogspot.co.uk/2016/09/sew-brum.html

Red W Sewshttps://redwsews.wordpress.com/2016/10/02/sew-brum-so-good/

The Sewing Directoryhttps://thesewingdirectory.blogspot.co.uk/2016_09_01_archive.html

Mokshatrim: http://www.mokshatrim.co.uk/single-post/2016/09/27/Sew-we-meet-again-SewBrum

Sew Essentialhttps://www.sewessential.co.uk/blog/sew-brum-2016/

SewBrum 2016


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SewBrum Raffle Prizes!

#SewBrum Raffle Prizes

As in previous years, we’ll be holding a raffle at the SewBrum meet-up this Saturday! Raffle tickets are only on sale to attendees on the day of the meet-up and the raffle will be drawn in the afternoon at Guthrie & Ghani.

All money raised by the raffle, along with donations in exchange for tea and cake at Guthrie & Ghani, will be donated to the Eve Appeal.

Lots of lovely companies have generously donated raffle prizes. I’m demoing a lot of the prizes in this video, or see the full list and photos below. (P.S. I mispronounced a couple of things in the video, but only had a limited window of sunlight yesterday evening after getting home from work, so no retakes!).

The full list of prizes:

♥ Sew Essential have donated an Adjustoform Supafit Standard Dress Form. The dress form comes in four sizes so the winner will be able to select their preferred size.

Minerva Crafts have donated a big fabric bundle worth £100.

The Sewing Directory have donated two beautiful FQ packs: Lewis & Irene Under the Sea and Heather Ross Mendocino.

Prym have donated sewing boxes filled with a range of sewing supplies.

Pavilion are donating five of their recent sewing books: Merchant & Mills WorkbookFreehand Fashion by Chinelo Bally, Cutting & Draping Party and Eveningwear by Dawn Cloake, Ultimate Sewing Bible by Marie Clayton, and The Gentle Art of Quilt-Making by Jane Brocket.

Crafty Sew & So have donated a £25 voucher for their online or bricks & mortar shop, based in Leicester.

♥ The Crafty Mastermind have donated a kit to make Tilly & the Button’s Coco, with plenty of fabric for a dress or top version.

♥ Sew Crafty have donated a selection of goodies including pin badges, crafty pencils, and crafty notebook.

Create Escape have donated a four fat quarter bundle of Lotta Jansdotter’s latest fabric collection.

Remnant Kings have donated a tote bag containing a selection of haberdashery goodies.

♥ Fabric Godmother have donated a beautiful £100 fabric bundle, with a mix of knits and wovens.

♥ Plush Addict have donated an 11 reels selection of Gutermann sew-all thread, and a 9 FQ pack from the Tilda Spring Diaries Collection.

♥ The Draper’s Daughter have donated a lovely Tote Bag kit.

♥ FabricHQ have donated a £20 gift voucher.

♥ Abakhan have donated two Liberty fabric bundles.

♥ Fabrics Galore have donated a £20 gift voucher.

♥  Dragonfly Fabrics have donated a Katha Tunic sewing kit, with all required supplies to sew a tunic in a lovely Japanese cotton.

♥ Bloomsbury Square have donated a fabric bundle, containing 2 metres of crepe, and 1.5 metres of cotton.

♥ FabricPunk have donated a FQ bundle of six Dashwood Studio fabrics.

♥ Village Haberdashery have donated a voucher for their online and bricks-and-mortar store.

♥ Girl Charlee have donated a fabric bundle worth £100 in one of their tote bags. Two metres of each of the following fabrics ar included: Quatrefoil Oxford Blue Cotton Jersey Blend Knit FabricCoral Blue & Red Diamond Floral Geo Jersey Rayon Spandex KnitPlum Grey Rose Floral on Taupe Cotton Jersey Knit FabricHeather Burnt Orange Solid Baby Cotton Jersey Knit FabricFawn Silhouette on Rose Cotton Jersey Blend Knit Fabric.

♥ Adam Ross Fabrics have donated a £35 voucher for their (Birmingham-based) online store.

Plus, Simplicity have donated pattern which I’ll be giving away in the morning at the Edwardian Tea Rooms (first come first served), and Crafty Sew & So have given me some flyers for a very exciting event they are planning…

#SewBrum Raffle Prizes
Abakhan Liberty Fabric bundles

#SewBrum Raffle Prizes

#SewBrum Raffle Prizes
Crafty Mastermind Coco Kit

#SewBrum Raffle Prizes
Simplicity Patterns

#SewBrum Raffle Prizes
Dragonfly Fabrics Tunic Kit

#SewBrum Raffle Prizes
Fabric Godmother fabric bundle

#SewBrum Raffle Prizes
The Sewing Directory FQ packs (Lewis & Irene Under the Sea and Heather Ross Mendocino)

#SewBrum Raffle Prizes
Girl Charlee fabric bundle

#SewBrum Raffle Prizes

#SewBrum Raffle Prizes
Fabric Punk Dashwood Studio FQ selection

#SewBrum Raffle Prizes
Bloomsbury Square fabric bundle

#SewBrum Raffle Prizes
Create Escape Lotta Jansdotter FQ pack

#SewBrum Raffle Prizes
Sew Crafty goodies

#SewBrum Raffle Prizes
Minerva Crafts fabric bundle

#SewBrum Raffle Prizes
Remnant Kings Goodie Bag

#SewBrum Raffle Prizes
The Draper’s Daughter Tote Bag Kit

#SewBrum Raffle Prizes
Books from Pavilion

#SewBrum Raffle Prizes

#SewBrum Raffle Prizes

#SewBrum Raffle Prizes
Quilting Book and FQ packs from EQS

#SewBrum Raffle Prizes
FabricHQ voucher


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The Sewing Weekender Goodie Bags

The Sewing Weekender Goodie Bags

The Sewing Weekender takes place this weekend! Kate, Rachel & I, thought it would be fun to do a little reveal of the goodie bags that will be waiting for attendees on Saturday morning.

The Sewing Weekender Goodie Bags

Fabric goodie bags, plus branded tape measures (I find these perfect for keeping in my handbag & knitting bag) have been provided by Remnant Kings.

The Sewing Weekender Goodie Bags

Attendees will find their goodie bag stuffed to bursting with the following:

Sewing badges and a 15% discount voucher from Girl Charlee, who have also contributed a big fabric bundle which will be won by one lucky attendee.

The Sewing Weekender Goodie Bags

Pavilion Books have provided attendees with a printed copy of the Freehand Batwing Top tutorial from Chinelo Bally’s book Freehand Fashion (subscribe to the Pavilion Craft newsletter to receive 20% off all Pavilion craft books).

The Sewing Weekender Goodie Bags

The Village Haberdashery have sent a spotty £5 gift card for every attendee. Perhaps to be put towards some Les Fleurs…

The Sewing Weekender Goodie Bags

Creative Industry have supplied a gorgeous Maker’s Workbook for every attendee. The perfect place for documenting a growing list of sewing project plans!

The Sewing Weekender Goodie Bags

The Sewing Weekender Goodie Bags

Abakhan have provided a supply of threads, measuring tapes and lots and lots of lovely buttons.

The Sewing Weekender Goodie Bags

The Sewing Weekender Goodie Bags

The Sewing Weekender Goodie Bags

Love Sewing have provided each attendee with the latest issue of Love Sewing Magazine, hot off the press. Plus (editor) Amy will be joining us at the weekend.

The Sewing Weekender Goodie Bags

Lucy from Sew Essential will be joining us this weekend and has provided a 20% discount voucher.

The Sewing Weekender Goodie Bags

The Draper’s Daughter postcard and a postcard for Thread festival where Karen will be exhibiting in September.

The Sewing Weekender Goodie Bags

Grace from Beyond Measure will be attending the Sewing Weekender, and has supplied beautiful British tweed fabric bundles, and leather key-rings.

The Sewing Weekender Goodie Bags

The Sewing Weekender Goodie Bags

Janome are providing the sewing machines for the Weekender, and have also supplied tape measures and swatch cards.

The Sewing Weekender Goodie Bags

Guthrie & Ghani have sent postcards with a discount code.

The Sewing Weekender Goodie Bags

Minerva Crafts have sent each attendee a felt bundle. I fancy some bunting in these prints.

The Sewing Weekender Goodie Bags

Adam Ross Fabrics have very generously supplied each attendee with a gift box containing a selection of sewing supplies which should come in handy during the weekend, and beyond.

The Sewing Weekender Goodie Bags

The Sewing Weekender Goodie Bags

Tilly and the Buttons have provided each attendee with a very cute notepad, perfect for jotting down notes when Tilly joins us on Sunday to talk pattern design.

The Sewing Weekender Goodie Bags

And finally, Fabric HQ have provided each attendee with a roll of polka dot fabric, which may have a little something hidden inside.

The Sewing Weekender Goodie Bags

Phew! That should keep everyone busy on Saturday morning. Huge thanks to all of our sponsors for filling the goodie bags to the brim. I’ll be playing tetris on Friday, getting all of these supplies into my car and off to Cambridge!


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Sewing Weekender Project Suggestions

sewing weekender banner

We have some amazing independent sewing businesses here in the UK, and as organisers of the Sewing WeekenderKate, Rachel & I are lucky to have a number of these businesses sponsoring our event, which takes places in August.

I’m always very pleasantly surprised with the generosity of small indie businesses – who, in my personal experience, often tend to be more generous with both their time and money than larger/public companies.

Attendees of the Sewing Weekender will be bringing along a project of their choice to work on in our Cambridge venue. Below, some of our lovely sponsors have suggested a perfect project for attendees. And for those not attending the event, these are all great weekend projects.

I really enjoyed the variety of projects suggested and hope you will to.

Tilly & Lexy from Tilly and the Buttons:

The Bettine dress from Tilly and the Buttons is the perfect weekend project! Bettine is one of our best-selling patterns, for good reason – it’s quick to sew up, comfortable to wear, and super flattering. Bettine does not require any fiddly darts, fastenings, or set-in sleeves, so is perfect for beginners or those who want something speedy and satisfying to make!

Bettine_sewing_pattern_red_1

Mark from Girl Charlee:

We recently had Kerry of Very Kerry Berry write a guest post for us about the Kielo Wrap Dress from Named Clothing. Kerry said the dress is “fitted at the top, flowing elsewhere and a dress that I could happily sit sewing in, walking Lottie or wear going out in the evening for drinks”, so we thought it would be a perfect all round wardrobe staple.

The dress is simple to make, with few pattern pieces and only requires 2 – 2.5m of fabric (we suggest a Cotton Jersey, Cotton Lycra, or for a heavier, warmer, dress a Ponte De Roma). Kerry’s post contains a great walkthrough and some helpful hints and tips to make your dress perfect!

SP-1239-large

Vicki from Minerva Crafts:

We’d suggest the beautiful summer day dress Vogue 1344 designed by Rebecca Taylor for Vogue Patterns. It would be perfect made in a soft flowing fabric such as Crepe or Georgette and it would be the ideal project to work on with friends to help take your sewing skills to the next level, from beginner to intermediate sewist. See our recent blog post for lots more details about the pattern.vogue-1344-a5-vogue-ladies-easy-sewing-pattern-1344-mock-wrap-dressHazel from Remnant Kings:

I’d recommend the Alder Shirtdress by Grainline Studio. It’s a simple shape that lets you be creative with your fabric choice to come up with many different versions of the pattern. The versions we’ve made here at RK have been in crisp chambrays and our favourite Liberty of London Tana Lawns. Not only is this a great pattern style wise, it also has some great techniques in it with the collar and stand, mitred corner option and button front. These are techniques every sewer should learn and if in doubt, at the Sewing Weekender, we’re sure that these skills can be learnt from one another.

remnant kings sewing weekender

Lauren from Guthrie & Ghani:

The Agnes top from Tilly and the Buttons is guaranteed to become a wardrobe staple and the girls in the shop all have several versions! It’s a really nice project to share tips on as putting the elastic in to create the neckline or sleeve rouching can seem tricky. Usually people have their own way to put a neckband into a jersey top so again, its another good one to get advice on and share techniques. You can find the Agnes Top and a wide range of lovely jersey fabrics online. We’ve found the 6mm framilastic to be great for the rouching and we use seam tape interfacing to stabilise the shoulder seams.

And why stop at making your own clothes when you can make shoes?! Espadrilles are a great project to get a quick fix of sewing in the summer – and chances are you already have scraps of fabric in your stash that you can use up to make them. All you need are the Prym Espadrille soles (pattern included but remember to add on seam allowance), your fabric (you may want to stabilise it with interfacing), and we recommend using top stitching thread and a leather needle to sew the fabric onto the soles.

P.S. attendees & blog readers can get a 10% discount at Guthrie & Ghani valid until Tuesday 16th August with code SUMMERSEW16.

IMG_2745

Grace from Beyond Measure:

I love to have an oggle at vintage sewing patterns and books, so why not dig out some gems from your collection to inspire us, or even bring along a project that is on the go?  Share your experience of vintage styles, techniques and fabrics, or explore how you might interpret vintage details for a more modern look. You can even bring along any unwanted patterns for a swap on the Saturday!

Vintage Knitting Pattern & Sewing Notions

Karen at The Draper’s Daughter:

We’ve opted for something that isn’t too challenging for the Sewing Weekender to give you time to mingle, make new friends and enjoy the sewing! Suitable for advanced beginners, the Stowe Bag, by Grainline Studio & Fringe Supply Co. is ideal, as it can be cut out and sewn in less than a day, plus it makes the perfect project bag for yourself, or a lovely gift for a friend.

Our fabric of choice would have to be one of the handwoven Ikats that we’ve sourced here at The Draper’s Daughter; there’s either the Black Zig Zag design shown here, or the Abstract Stripes design in tones of Aqua, Teal & Navy.

grainline

Frida from Pavilion:

The Freehand Batwing Top from Chinelo Bally’s book Freehand Fashion (published by Pavilion) is a quick sew that uses Chinelo’s signature freehand method. The project can be made in a couple of hours and can be jazzed up by using a fancy fabric such as velvet, can be embellished for extra wow factor, or made in a more casual fabric for lazy-day chic. This project is so versatile and so quick to make, and it’s ideal for getting you into a cordial relationship with stretchy fabric. Chinelo recommends a two-way stretch fabric, because it is easy to handle and is more predictable, fit-wise. This top can also be made as a tunic or a dress.

Subscribe to the Pavilion Craft newsletter and get 20% off all Pavilion craft books (including Chinelo Bally, Merchant & Mills and What Delilah Did).

Chinelo book Day 26326

Clare from Swedish Tracing Paper:

So you have a short period of time, you’ve got your machine and you want a quick satisfying project. How about some very modern bunting? we’re not talking your run of the mill tea party bunting here! You will need some felt in colours of your choice, the felt will need to be cut into shapes and sizes of your choice (so many choices!). For this you have a few options; a pair of scissors (seems like an ideal little job sat in front of the TV or on a train?), a die cut machine if you’re really lucky, or if you’re lazy (like me) you could just buy a bag of felt circles on Ebay 😉

Set your machine up with a thread of your choice, you don’t need anything fancy, in fact I just used the white thread I use for tacking things. Start with your first shape, feed it in under the foot and sew through the middle of it as you get to the end of the first shape feed in the next shape. Don’t worry if they don’t completely meet, the thread between the two will form a little chain and will let the shapes twist nicely when it’s hung.

Just keep feeding in those shapes until you get to the end of your pile, and ta dah! you have a beautiful modern bunting! Perfect for draping up your stairs, over your fireplace, on your plants, pets, your desk at work…

Bunting 2 MW

Rae from FabricHQ:

We love the soft feel of jersey knit as a scarf so we suggest using beautiful Art Gallery Fabric jersey knit and a string of pom poms to create an irresistibly snuggly but stylish Infinity Scarf, using our tutorial. Such a quick project to make, you can whip up several in a weekend – one for every outfit!

12pompomscarf_grande

 

Hannah and the team at Simplicity:

Choosing a sewing pattern that is simple to complete yet detailed enough to show your signature style, Simplicity’s 6346 pattern, is a perfect choice for any stitcher looking to showcase their skills. This flared skirt pattern includes midi length or mini skirt options, with button front closure and zip detailing.

P.S. 6346 is one of the patterns included in this year’s Simplicity Sewing Challenge competition, entries close 31st August 2016.

Simplicity 6346_env_front

Faisal from Adam Ross Fabrics:

Adam Ross Fabrics are delighted to be sponsoring the Sewing Weekender as we love to hear how our fabrics are put to use. Of course there are a number of things you can make with the fabrics we have provided you with, but how great would it be to whip up a pin cushion which you can use this weekend? You can also make a small transportable pouch to keep some of your goodies in from your complimentary gift box and pop into your handbag. Here, we also love the idea of personalised items, so why not make something for a family member or friend, embroidering their name onto the front. There really are endless opportunities. If you wish too, you can also swap fabrics with each other but we would love for you to talk to each other about your fabrics. Hope you have a great weekend!

Susan from SewBox:

I’d suggest Hot Patterns 1142 – Fast & Fabulous Fiesta Knit Top. Cut this stunning little top out during the day and you can wear it out that evening! This easy-peasy dolman sleeved top is designed for soft, drape-y knits with a little stretch, rayon or silk jersey (just 1.85M of 150cm fabric). Make this in a simple solid colored knit for an elegant look, try a groovy print for a funky feel, or go for a dazzling sequin-smothered knit. This great top is perfect for those casual-dressy looks; you’ll wear your top with a slim pencil skirt, a skinny pant or-of course!-your favorite jeans…and you’ll look quite, quite fabulous.

HP_1142_FF_Fiesta_knit_top_env_f__77174.1349447657.660.660

Lucy from SewEssential:

From the moment I booked my tickets for the sewing weekender I started wondering what I should make and I knew it would involve our gorgeous black and green John Kaldor Hermione fabric, which I have had on my hit list since we received it. By the end of August we will all be starting to think about our Autumn/Winter wardrobes so I thought this black and green (apparently the colour for AW16) medium weight fabric would be perfect for those Indian Summer days and evenings we always seem to have before ‘proper’ winter kicks in.jk_herm_4328_grn

I haven’t yet tackled a pair of trousers and I’m always up for a sewing challenge. I’d normally go it alone with advice sought from my sewing guru and founder of Sew Essential, Angela, so I thought the Sewing Weekender would be an ideal opportunity to try something new and give Angela chance to focus on her own sewing projects!

In the end it was a toss up between this Simplicity 1114 jumpsuit or these McCalls 7415 culottes from their new season collection. I decided to go for the culottes. We have some fabulous John Kaldor plain black crepe I could use to make a nice top to go with them and in the spirit of my sewing career so far I wanted to push myself to try out a new style, something I wouldn’t normally wear. With the culottes revival being relatively new I thought I’d be fashion forward and get on board early. Depending on how much sewing time we get I might even be able to start work on the top. I thought I could adapt Butterick 5948 view F (which I’ve previously made) by making a sleeveless version with a smaller pocket to recreate the silhouette on the pattern packet and pair it with strappy high heeled black sandals.

Choosing to make separates is a win-win approach to a weekend project because it means you have plenty to keep you busy and won’t run out of things to do. You will be thrilled if you complete both projects, but satisfied if you only manage complete one. Can’t wait to see you there!

mc_7415

Disclaimer: All of the companies above are sponsoring The Sewing Weekender. This blog post was not a condition of their sponsorship – I asked them to contribute as a gesture of gratitude for their support of the event & because I was interested to see what projects they would suggest.