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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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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The Sewing Weekender Launch

sewing weekender banner

I’m very excited to finally announce what Rachel and Kate from The Fold Line, and I, have been up to for the last few weeks. We are hosting a UK sewing holiday, a weekend break which will take place in Cambridge during August 2016.

Full information about the event, including ticket sales, and the schedule is available on the Event Page hosted on The Fold Line. Tickets are on sale now!

Here on my own blog I wanted to say a little about how the event came about.

I’m always really tempted by sewing (and knitting) holidays, but haven’t, so far, been able to attend one. If they are not in the UK there’s inevitably travel costs and time off work required (If I were single I’d totally go for it, but it’s not so easy to justify to Phil when we could instead go on holiday together…!) Those sewing holidays which are in the UK often understandably cost a few hundred pounds due to the costs of tuition, meals and accommodation.

So, The Sewing Weekender is a slightly different sewing holiday. We’re keeping things laid back and informal and as a result are keeping the price as affordable as possible. We’re also very lucky to have sponsorship from some great indie companies (full list here) which has also allowed us to keep ticket prices down.

Happily, Kate, Rachel and I were all thinking about sewing holidays at the same time so were able to team up to organise the Sewing Weekender!

I hope you’ll be as excited about the event as us. We’ve got a lovely venue booked, and are going to have plenty of time for chatting, tea, and sewing, plus great talks from fellow bloggers, and amazing goodie bags!

Full details and tickets available here.


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SewBrum 2016: Save the Date!

Sew Brum Meet-Up Logo 2016

Just a quick post to let you know that there will be a #SewBrum meet-up on Saturday 24th September 2016. This will be the third year running!

Like last year, the meet-up will start in Birmingham City Centre, before moving to Moseley Village to visit Guthrie & Ghani.

I’ll post details nearer the date, but I’m aiming for us to spread out a bit this year given that there were around 100 of us last time.

Everyone will be welcome. Hope you can make it x

In the meantime, read my wrap-up posts about the 2015 and 2014 meet-ups.

SewBrum logo by illustrator and sewing blogger Maike of Sew & Illustrate & on Tumblr.


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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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SewBrum Meet-Up Update

Sew Brum Meet-Up Logo

Eek, I love the new SewBrum logo. It was designed by amazingly talented illustrator and sewing blogger Maike of Sew & Illustrate.

I have lots of exciting SewBrum news to share – an itinerary for the day, sign-up is open, and I’m planning a pre-meet-up swap.

The meet-up also has an event page on Facebook.

♥ Itinerary ♥

The planned itinerary for Saturday October 31st is below. Attendees can feel free to dip in and out, or only attend for part of the day.

10:00 – 11:00: Meet at the Edwardian Tearooms

We’ll be meeting in the lovely setting of the Edwardian Tearooms at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, where we’ll be able to drink tea and/or eat brunch while everyone arrives.

11:00 – 12:30: Birmingham Bull Ring Rag Market

We never made it to the market last year, so this year we’ll be heading there. (Two of Birmingham’s fabric stores are located close by (Barry’s Fabric & Fancy Silk Store) for anyone who would prefer to shop there instead / as well).

12:30 – 13:00: Reconvene and travel to Moseley Village (Guthrie & Ghani) by bus

The journey between the city centre and Moseley only takes 15 minutes by bus, and buses are every 5-10 minutes.

13:00 – 14:00: Moseley Farmer’s Market & Art Market

We’ll be buying lunch at Moseley’s Farmer’s Market, which has around 60 stalls (including some great cake!). The Art Market will also be taking place.

14:00 – 17:30: Guthrie & Ghani

At Guthrie & Ghani we’ll have time in the shop which sells a wide range of sewing and knitting supplies, and we’ll have use of the studio above the shop where we will be able to natter, compare purchases, hold a pattern & fabric swap, and a raffle. We’ll also have a demo of the Lutterloh pattern making system.

♥ Merit Badge Swap ♥

In advance of the meet-up, I’m hosting a merit badge swap, partly inspired by the crafty merit badges recently released by Fancy Tiger Crafts.

You can sign up to take part in the swap using the sign-up form below. I’ll randomly pair everyone who signs up, and you’ll make a merit badge for your swap partner. There are no design or size restrictions for the badges – the idea is to make a badge that suits your swap partner; perhaps focusing on something they are particularly good at, or a particular interest of theirs, crafty or otherwise.

Anyone can join this swap, you don’t need to be attending the meet-up in October or have a blog to join in (and meet-up attendees don’t have to take part in the swap, you can let me know when you sign-up if you want to join in or not).

Sign-up for the swap is open from now until 30th September. I’ll be sending out details of swap partners periodically until sign-up closes.

I’ve set up a Pinterest board with a few badge inspiration pictures.

♥ Sign-Up Form ♥

If you’re planning to attend the meet-up (and/or want to take part in the merit badge swap) let us know by filling in the sign-up form below.


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A Sunny #CCBloggers Meet-Up at Breadsall Priory

Creative and Crafty Bloggers meet, Breadsall Priory, June 2015

Happily, I have a few crafty weekends lined up at the moment. Two weeks ago I met up with friends on Sunday for knit and natter, this weekend I’m going to a dyer’s picnic event with my WSD guild where we’ll try a range of natural and acic dyes, and last weekend I attended a Creative and Crafty Bloggers (#CCBloggers) meet-up.

This is the second #CCBloggers meet-up I’ve attended, and they are meticulously organised by Sam and Kat. Sam and Kat are based in Derby, so meet-ups are held in the Derby / Nottingham area. This meet-up was held in a really special venue, Breadsall Priory.

Creative and Crafty Bloggers meet, Breadsall Priory, June 2015

The original Breadsall Priory was a small Augustinian priory, established before 1266, which housed two or three priests. The current building, which is a Marriott Hotel, was originally built as a private home on the same site in the 16th century.

It’s a beautiful venue, surrounded by gardens and a golf course, and was an amazing place to spend a sunny Sunday. We were lucky enough to receive spa passes so I’ll be heading back in the near future.

Creative and Crafty Bloggers meet, Breadsall Priory, June 2015

The #CCBloggers meet-ups differ from other meet-ups I attend because they include local bloggers with a wide range of different craft interests and blogging styles. While I can never resist a chance to talk sewing (and now knitting) with other sewists, it’s also great to meet bloggers with different interests, and who are part of different online groups and circles.

Creative and Crafty Bloggers meet, Breadsall Priory, June 2015

Our chatting was facilitated by a lovely afternoon tea, accompanied by raspberry ginger beers and bellinis.

Creative and Crafty Bloggers meet, Breadsall Priory, June 2015

Creative and Crafty Bloggers meet, Breadsall Priory, June 2015

The #CCBloggers meet-ups focus on giving attendees time to chat and network, to take part in crafts, and to learn from others. The meet-up was part of the Etsy Craft Party global event, so we took part in a range of crafts inspired by the craft party theme: colour, kaleidoscope and paper.

Creative and Crafty Bloggers meet, Breadsall Priory, June 2015

Creative and Crafty Bloggers meet, Breadsall Priory, June 2015

Creative and Crafty Bloggers meet, Breadsall Priory, June 2015

Creative and Crafty Bloggers meet, Breadsall Priory, June 2015

We also got the chance to try out products from organic beauty company Weleda, and paint company Polyvine, and to learn more about the Derby-based businesses/projects of two attendees, Lunar21, described as Derby’s ‘non-political think-tank’ and the Bless your Arts boutique.

Creative and Crafty Bloggers meet, Breadsall Priory, June 2015

Creative and Crafty Bloggers meet, Breadsall Priory, June 2015

Everyone went away with overflowing goody bags. Mine included aloe vera scented cotton yarn that I’m intrigued to try out. Apparently the scent is released as you knit, which sounds very soothing! The embroidery hoop contains my unfinished craft project from the day.

Creative and Crafty Bloggers meet, Breadsall Priory, June 2015

Each attendee contributed a gift for a swap – the idea being that you provided a ‘kit’ to inspire the recipient to get crafting. I received an envelope of colourful paper supplies from Emma.

Creative and Crafty Bloggers meet, Breadsall Priory, June 2015

The event also raised £100 for Mollie Makes Crafternoon For Comic Relief. Roll-on the next meet-up!

Creative and Crafty Bloggers meet, Breadsall Priory, June 2015