english girl at home

A Sewing & Knitting Blog, Made in Birmingham, England


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Luca Pom Hat

Stitch & Story Luca Pom Hat Kit

I’m definitely a year-round knitter, I made this hat back in May and have been waiting since then to get it out of the drawer and start wearing it.

This is the Luca Pom Hat by Stitch & Story. I won the kit to make this hat via a competition on Stitch & Story’s social media. I very rarely buy knitting kits, partly because I rarely use the recommended yarn, but it was nice to be able to open the parcel and begin knitting. The Stitch & Story kits are beautifully presented and contain everything you’ll need to finish the project: yarn, knitting pattern, needles for sewing in ends, knitting needles.

Stitch & Story Luca Pom Hat Kit

Stitch & Story Luca Pom Hat Kit

The instructions provided in the kit are step-by-step and super easy to follow. In addition to pattern instructions, the kit includes a small fold-up booklet of basic stitches to support beginners (or anyone who needs a reminder). The hat itself is knit flat which is also nice and simple for beginners.

Stitch & Story Luca Pom Hat Kit

Stitch & Story Luca Pom Hat Kit

The wool included in the kit is Stitch & Story’s own Chunky Wool. The wool is 100% merino (spun and dyed  in Italy, although I can’t see on the website where it is originally sourced). It’s a super soft wool, definitely the softest I have ever knit with. I’m not sure that such a soft wool is really necessary for a hat, but it would make a lovely squishy scarf.

Stitch & Story Luca Pom Hat Kit

The hat is a really quick knit due to a combination of chunky wool and large needles. I finished the hat the same day the kit arrived in the post. Admittedly, I was attending my Weavers, Spinners, & Dyers guild that day, so had more hours sat knitting than on an average day.

Stitch & Story Luca Pom Hat Kit

If you aren’t aware of them, Stitch & Story are a UK brand who run workshops in London and offer a selection of knitting kits for accessories, garments and homeware. I haven’t tried any of their other kits due to currently restricting my knitting almost entirely to British wool, but I think they would make lovely gifts for any new / relatively new knitters.

Stitch & Story Luca Pom Hat Kit

It’s awful weather here today and I’m planning to attend one of the local winter/Christmas markets so I’ll be putting my hat (plus knitted scarf, gloves and probably woolly socks) to use.

Stitch & Story Luca Pom Hat Kit

Stitch & Story Luca Pom Hat Kit


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Pompom Blouse from She Wears the Pants

Pompom Blouse from She Wears the Pants

It’s the weekend and it’s actually sunny here, so I finally got chance to wear something summery and spent the afternoon eating ice cream in Henley-in-Arden, a historic market town local to me.

This is the Pompom Blouse from She Wears the Pants by Yuko Takada (originally published in Japan with the amazing title She has a Mannish Style). The book has been popping up quite a bit on sewing blogs, but I haven’t spotted anyone posting this blouse yet.

She Wears the Pants Japanese Sewing Pattern Book

The Pompom Blouse is a loose fitting tee designed to be made in a knit fabric (the book refers to this as T-cloth on the pattern page, although there is more information in the techniques section). The interesting features of the top are the inclusion of a strip of pompoms at the neckline, and the method used to bind the neckline and sleeve cuffs. In the book, the bias used at the neckline is in a contrast colour, but I made some matching bias binding as I thought my fabric was already pretty busy. I lengthened my blouse by a couple of inches as the blouse shown in the book looks quite cropped, and I added a separate hem band (approx 1 1/2″ long), rather than turning back the hem and securing with a row of double stitching as suggested in the book.

She Wears the Pants Japanese Sewing Pattern Book

This fabric is a jersey I purchased from Stitch at the Sewing for Pleasure show at the NEC back in March. The pompoms were from my stash; I bought them years ago to make a pompom-edged cushion, but never got around it! This was a quick and easy make – I recently went on a family holiday with Phil’s family and made this using my ‘travel’ sewing machine (one of the John Lewis minis) while away.

Pompom Blouse from She Wears the Pants

Like other Japanese sewing books, the book includes double-sided paper pattern sheets. Pattern pieces need to be traced and seam allowances added. The instructions for each pattern include a diagram showing where to add seam allowances.

Typically, written instructions are minimal, but diagrams are included for each step. This top was very straightforward, but some of the more complicated patterns in the book (jackets, coat) would be more suited to intermediate sewists who are comfortable with less detailed instructions.

She Wears the Pants Japanese Sewing Pattern Book

I love the ‘mannish’ style of the She Wears the Pants designs, and the grungy styling of the book. The only issue I have with the book is that the lighting in the photos is dark, and quite a few of the items are made in black fabric – making it difficult to see the details of the clothing. Detailed line drawings are included for each pattern so that you can confirm the details before choosing what to sew.

Pompom Blouse from She Wears the Pants

Pompom Blouse from She Wears the Pants

The patterns included in the book cover a wide range of garments for woven and knit fabrics, including trousers, dresses, tops, jackets, a skirt, and culottes. There’s even one knitting pattern included, for a rather unusual belt sole.

Pompom Blouse from She Wears the Pants

One thing to note is that the size range of the patterns in the book is quite limited. I made a size small and found the sizing accurate, although this top is quite loose fitting due to the boxy style. Other patterns in the book include less positive ease and match the sizing chart more closely. The book doesn’t provide any information on the finished size of garments so you’ll need to measure the pattern pieces if you want to check the ease allowed prior to cutting out your fabric.

She Wears the Pants Japanese Sewing Pattern Book

I’ve sewn another couple of garments from the book which I’ll post soon. In the meantime enjoy some of that mean and moody photography!

She Wears the Pants Japanese Sewing Pattern Book

She Wears the Pants Japanese Sewing Pattern Book

She Wears the Pants Japanese Sewing Pattern Book

She Wears the Pants Japanese Sewing Pattern Book

Disclaimer: I was provided with a free copy of She Wears the Pants in exchange for a review; all opinions expressed are my own. Post contains an affiliate link