english girl at home

A Sewing & Knitting Blog, Made in Birmingham, England


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Comic Art Sudley Printed with Contrado

Megan Nielsen Sudley Dress in Contrado Comic Print

Contrado are a London-based company who offer fabric printing on demand. I talk about my experience designing and printing a fabric with them in my latest vlog, which you can view here:

As mentioned in the vlog, my design was inspired by a comic-print, black and white Prada skirt, which I eyeballed in a shop window. My design features some personal favourite comic characters / artists.

Megan Nielsen Sudley Dress in Contrado Comic Print

The design was printed on Contrado’s Crepe de France fabric. The fabric is light/medium weight, with lots of drape.  The image print quality is very high, with even small details printed clearly. The colour didn’t run when I washed the fabric, but I did get some colour/image transfer when I ironed this dress on a high heat (following one wash). The fabric is slightly see-through; I lined the bodice and will wear a slip underneath.

Megan Nielsen Sudley Dress in Contrado Comic Print

I used my fabric to make a Megan Nielsen Sudley Dress, with the skirt extended to floor length. I thought Sudley would be a good pattern to show off the fabric, due to the lack of fastenings or darts. As in my previous Sudley, I cinched in the waist of the dress by attaching elastic around the waistband.

Megan Nielsen Sudley Dress in Contrado Comic Print

I’m looking forward to wearing this out – although slightly wary about how dirty the hem may be by the time I get home!

Megan Nielsen Sudley Dress in Contrado Comic Print

Megan Nielsen Sudley Dress in Contrado Comic Print

Megan Nielsen Sudley Dress in Contrado Comic Print

Megan Nielsen Sudley Dress in Contrado Comic Print

Megan Nielsen Sudley Dress in Contrado Comic Print

Megan Nielsen Sudley Dress in Contrado Comic Print

Disclaimer: I was provided with two metres of fabric in exchange for blogging about it, all opinions expressed are my own.


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Christmas Day Anna

I made an Anna dress, by By Hand London, to wear on Christmas day. I had a very pleasant Christmas Eve making it, while watching lots of old movies. It was going to be a birthday Anna as I’ve had the pattern and fabric for some time, but I missed by birthday (back in November) and it took me until the Christmas break to find the time.
Handmade Anna Dress
Now I know why everyone loves this dress so much. It was a really quick make and it fits perfectly! I love the front pleats, they give a lovely finish & are a nice unusual detail. I graded between two sizes to get a smaller fit on the top, grading to a larger size at the bottom of the bodice and on the skirt. As you can see I cut the fabric along the selvedge for the skirt and against the selvedge for the bodice. I was too lazy to attempt pattern matching!
Handmade Anna Dress
The fabric is a President Holland fabric, an African-style wax block print. It has a lovely waxy feel to it. I bought it from a shop on the Goldhawk Road when I was last in London. I was actually there for a friend’s birthday so didn’t get to the Goldhawk Road until Sunday when most shops are closed:( Luckily there were a couple of shops open so I did manage to treat myself. I bought quite a few metres so have lots left – I’m thinking this fabric would make great cushions.
Handmade Anna Dress
And, as it was made for Christmas, here is the dress in front of our Christmas tree.
Handmade Anna Dress


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Literary Festival Lino Poster

A friend who has been involved in organising a literary festival asked if I’d like to create a lino-print poster for the event. This is what I came up with. All of the elements of the image (excluding the date) were printed from lino blocks but were then compiled together in Photoshop and the colours adjusted to match the colour scheme used in the official event advertising.
Book to the Future Literary Festival Poster


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袋 Chinese Character Totes

袋 Screen Printed Shopping Bag
Last Friday it started snowing here in the UK and it’s been intermittently snowing since. I took advance of an afternoon off work – we were sent home due to travel issues – to do some screen printing. One of the items I printed were tote bags featuring the Chinese character for bag, 袋 (pronounced Dài in Mandarin).

I printed the design on a basic cotton tote and a canvas tote with gusset using blue ink. You can see the bags (and the snow) in the pictures below. They are also available from my Etsy shop.

袋 Screen Printed Shopping Bag
袋 Screen Printed Shopping Bag


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Screen Printed Hydrangea Bags

Screen Printed Hydrangea Bag

I was running a little late making Christmas presents this year. On the 23rd December I was busy screen printing bags as extra Christmas presents for lots of family members. I went with a two-colour hydrangea design on grey bags.

I did the screen printing in our shed and hung the bags out to dry on the washing line. It took longer than it should have as a neighbour’s cat decided to help out by joining me in the shed and winding around my legs!

Screen Printed Hydrangea Bag
Screen Printed Hydrangea Bag