english girl at home

A Sewing & Knitting Blog, Made in Birmingham, England


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Zigzag Linden at the Ikon Gallery

Linden Sweatshirt at the Ikon Gallery

Autumn is here and with it new Grainline Studio Lindens are entering my wardrobe.

Linden Sweatshirt at the Ikon Gallery

I cut out and prepared (pinned all initial seams) two Linden sweatshirts during evenings this week, and then sewed both sweatshirts today. I managed to sew the first – pictured here – in a couple of hours this morning, meaning that I was able to wear it during a trip into Birmingham city centre this afternoon.

Linden Sweatshirt at the Ikon Gallery

It’s pictured here at Ikon Gallery where we caught the final day of an exhibition of recent work by Polly Apfelbaum. I must admit that half of the incentive for visiting was seeing the exhibition before it closed, and the other half was getting blog photos in such a great space!

The exhibition was very accessible and interactive, with visitors invited to walk over the woven rugs included in the exhibition on the condition you removed your shoes.

Linden Sweatshirt at the Ikon Gallery

This particular Linden is made with fabric purchased as an offcut from Birmingham Rag Market, and was the remaining metre of fabric I had left after making a Freya Dress.

Linden Sweatshirt at the Ikon Gallery

I had a go at making Named’s Talvikki sweater earlier this week, and am not convinced by how it looks on. I’m having a break before returning to try altering it, but it was very satisfying to return to a pattern I know well.

Linden Sweatshirt at the Ikon Gallery

As a reminder (if only for myself), I make the Linden in size 2 in thicker fabrics, but in a size 0 in thinner fabrics – including this one. I also always cut the neckband one size larger, to avoid pulling, and have found it to make all the difference.

Linden Sweatshirt at the Ikon Gallery

My Linden is pictured here paired with a Seamwork Oslo Cardigan which I made for myself in 2014 when it was released with the very first issue of Seamwork. The weather has been very mild here in the UK for the last few weeks, and this kind of casual jacket is currently perfect outerwear. By the time it gets cold I might have all the supplies ready and be prepared to sew coats.

Linden Sweatshirt at the Ikon Gallery

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Oslo Cardigan Strike 2

I’m a bit slow posting this Oslo Cardigan, which was a Christmas present for my mom. Now that I’m back at work, Christmas feels ages ago. My first week back at work went very, very slowly, but no doubt I’ll be back to my normal routine soon.

Black & White Wool Oslo Cardigan

This is my second Oslo (which was one of the patterns included in the first issue of Seamwork). My first version, which I made for myself, was a test run, prior to making this for my mom. Both versions were made size small, in woven fabrics. The fabric used here is a lovely thick wool, from Barry’s Fabric. I bought all of the fabric left on the bolt, around 2.5 metres I think, so I’m hoping to squeeze a skirt out of what I have left.

Black & White Wool Oslo Cardigan

I think the Olso pattern – although designed for knits – works really well with a thick woven. The result resembles a casual jacket more than a cardigan.

As with my first version, the only tweaks I made were leaving off the cuffs, and making a matching fabric belt.

Black & White Wool Oslo Cardigan

I’ve had a bit of a wool-buying binge lately. I’ve pre-treated all of the wool fabrics, including this one, by shrinking them in the tumble-dryer. I placed the wool in the dryer on a high heat with two old towels that had been dampened with boiling water. I’ve used this method on both wool-blends and pure wools, such as this, and it’s worked perfectly every time.

Black & White Wool Oslo Cardigan

I took these photos on Christmas Eve, before wrapping the Oslo and giving it to my mom on Christmas day. Is it wrong that I’ve started to think about Christmas 2015 gifts? I seriously LOVE Christmas.

Maybe I’ll actually try making the Oslo in a knit next! And I really want to try the Manila leggings pattern from Seamwork issue 2.

Black & White Wool Oslo Cardigan

Black & White Wool Oslo Cardigan

Black & White Wool Oslo Cardigan

Black & White Wool Oslo Cardigan


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Wool-Blend Oslo Cardigan & Happy Christmas

Blue Wool Blend Oslo Cardigan

Happy Christmas! I hope everyone has been having a great Christmas Eve. I was going to make a new dress for Christmas day but hadn’t gotten around to it due to making gifts. I considered spending today flat-out dressmaking to get it done but decided it would be more fun to do a bit of everything. So instead, I finished making a few gifts, I baked muffins, played an episode of the Walking Dead game – festive zombies! – with Phil, watched Muppet Christmas Carol and It’s a Wonderful Life, and I’m just about to start knitting a new jumper. I’d say that was a pretty perfect Christmas Eve:)

Blue Wool Blend Oslo Cardigan

We will be driving to my mom and dad’s house to open our presents tomorrow morning. Although me and my brother have both moved out, we get together in the morning, with our parents and grandmothers, to open our gifts. I’m going to take the muffins I baked today so we can eat cake and chocolate for second breakfast whilst gift opening! My family will then all head to my aunt’s house for Christmas dinner this year.

Blue Wool Blend Oslo Cardigan

I managed to make this Oslo Cardigan for myself this week, around gift sewing. This was actually a test version prior to a second Oslo I made as a Christmas gift. The Oslo cardigan is one of the patterns included in the first issue of Seamwork. The pattern is designed for knits but I ignored that and made it up in a wool-blend. Due to using a thick woven fabric, I went up a size (to a small) but there appears to be a fair bit of ease in the pattern so it has ended up fairly boxy. I’m fond of it though – despite the fact it is rather reminiscent of a dressing gown…

Blue Wool Blend Oslo Cardigan

The only tweak I made to the Oslo pattern was to leave off the cuffs. I did make them but since they are designed to be made in a knit fabric with a bit of stretch they were too tight in a thick woven. I also decided to make a fabric belt to pull the cardigan in rather than adding buttons. The fabric frayed A LOT so I overlocked all of the seams.

Blue Wool Blend Oslo Cardigan

I purchased this wool-blend fabric during the sewing meet-up in Paris. I bought it with the intention of using it for a Goldstream Peacoat for Phil but he rejected it! So I got to use it for me instead:) Before we left Paris, I made Phil choose an alternative fabric for his coat to avoid ending up with any more rejected fabric! I’ll be getting started on the Goldstream Peacoat after Christmas. I set myself the loose goal of sewing three new-to-me items of clothing this year – trousers, a swimsuit, and a coat. I managed the first two and I’m planning to make the coat before I return to work on the 05th January so I’d call that a success!

Blue Wool Blend Oslo Cardigan

I’m going to try to squeeze in another film and some knitting this evening. I hope you all have a fantastic day tomorrow & get some nice crafty gifts.

Blue Wool Blend Oslo Cardigan

Blue Wool Blend Oslo Cardigan

Blue Wool Blend Oslo Cardigan