english girl at home

A Sewing & Knitting Blog, Made in Birmingham, England


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Constellation Double Gauze Myosotis

Deer & Doe Myosotis Dress in Kokka Double Gauze

I’m finally blogging my Deer and Doe Myosotis Dress which I made back in April, ready to wear for the Paris Sewcial / Paris Coud meet-up.

Deer & Doe Myosotis Dress in Kokka Double Gauze

I loved the Myosotis pattern when it was released, but it was when I saw the fabric that the idea of this dress got lodged in my brain and wouldn’t leave me in peace until it was realised. The fabric is a double gauze by the Japanese brand Kokka, and is embroidered with astrological designs. I originally saw the fabric on Guthrie & Ghani’s instagram feed in an alternative colourway, but by the time I had bitten the bullet and made the decision to order it they were out of stock. It was relatively difficult to track down, but I found this white colourway available from Miss Matatabi and put in an order quick before they ran out too. With the dress already fully formed in my mind, I picked out matching pearlescent buttons during Male Pattern Boldness Day in New York in March.

Deer & Doe Myosotis Dress in Kokka Double Gauze

I made View A, with all possible ruffles, in size 34/36 (grading between sizes at the waist). As per my last blog post, I was clearly inspired by / copied the product image for version A, which is also made in a white cotton fabric. During construction I should have taken more care to stabilise my fabric on the long curved front bodice pieces, because when I initially got to the point of sewing the bodice together I found that the delicate double gauze fabric had stretched and the bodice wouldn’t lie flat. Luckily I had enough fabric left to recut the bodice, and second time around I underlined the bodice pieces in a plain white cotton, making the bodice much more stable, easier to sew and opaque.

Deer & Doe Myosotis Dress in Kokka Double Gauze

A white cotton Myosotis might seem destined for spring and summer, but I think it looks suitably autumnal in these pictures, paired with some wintery tights, boots and a hat. As it happens, these photos were actually taken during the summer, in June, while on a family holiday to the Peak District. I packed a suitcase full of new summery me-made garments having not checked the weather forecast, and spent the whole week pairing them with boots and a coat.

Deer & Doe Myosotis Dress in Kokka Double Gauze

With the three sewing events I’ve been involved in organising this year (Paris Sewcial, The Sewing Weekender, and SewBrum) over for another year (at least) I’m hoping to catch-up with posting a few other sewing and knitting projects from this year which are yet to make it to the blog. I’ve also set myself the goal of knitting a Halloween-themed jumper before the end of the month (wish me luck, I knit multiple gauge swatches, none of which were right, and in the end just went with the recommended needle size). After that it will be time to think about Christmas present making – and finishing the coat for Phil which I started last winter and abandoned in March!

Deer & Doe Myosotis Dress in Kokka Double Gauze

Deer & Doe Myosotis Dress in Kokka Double Gauze

Deer & Doe Myosotis Dress in Kokka Double Gauze


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Pink Velvet, Zigzag & Ruffle Freya Dress

Tilly & the Buttons Freya Dress

I do try to avoid buying fabric if I can’t immediately think of a project I want to make with it. This fabric, however, was one of the occasions when that logic went out of the window. On a whim (partly because it was cheap), I bought a large off-cut of this fabric from Birmingham Rag Market – a pink velvet knit with a large scale zigzag. The fabric has sat in my stash every since as I had no idea what on earth to do with it.

Tilly & the Buttons Freya Dress

I only have a relatively small amount of knit fabrics, and this was one of my few dress length options, so I decided to give it a try in order to sew a Freya Dress (From Tilly & the Button’s Stretch) from stash fabric. I actually think it turned out pretty well, even though it looks somewhat circus themed, an impression the ruffle definitely adds to.

Tilly & the Buttons Freya Dress

I graded between sizes 2 and 3, but will size up to a 3 throughout next time as I have limited ease at the bust and upper arms despite sewing a narrow seam allowance. I’m definitely going to sew the Freya Dress again (including that adorable ruffle) in an office appropriate fabric. For reference, I cut the fabric strip for my ruffle 74cm long (Tilly explains how to measure your preferred length rather than specifying a measurement).

Tilly & the Buttons Freya Dress

These photos are the first blog photos I’ve ever taken myself (using my phone as a remote) as opposed to asking Phil to take them. They turned out ok, but I found it really hard not to frown with concentration, and it took so much longer. I’ll suspect I’ll go back to bothering Phil next time.

Tilly & the Buttons Freya Dress


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Aime Comme Magellan

Aime Comme Magellan Blouse

It’s a lovely (rare) sunny day in the UK so I’m sat in the garden blogging. That makes it easier to share these photos from a recent weekend break in Amsterdam, without wishing myself back there!

Aime Comme Magellan Blouse

Rijks Museum, Amsterdam

These photos were taken in the gardens surrounding the Rijksmuseum, which are free to visit. The museum itself was one of my favourite places we visited; as well as a superb art collection, the museum’s wide ranging collections include a biplane, 17th century dollhouses, and a YSL Mondrian Dress.

Aime Comme Magellan Blouse

Aime Comme Magellan Blouse

This is the Aime Comme Magellan blouse from French pattern company Aime Comme Marie. I first saw this pattern when Kirsty made it, I loved Kirsty’s version but didn’t have an immediate urge to own the pattern. It must have been lurking in my subconscious though, as a couple of months later I suddenly urgently needed to make my own Magellan.

Aime Comme Magellan Blouse

Aime Comme Magellan Blouse

I purchased the fabric from Barry’s Fabric during a small meet-up with local sewists organised by Rachel. It’s a white georgette, with a pattern of raised golden dots. I had assumed that the pattern would be available as a PDF so went home from the meet-up intending to start making the blouse that very day. It’s actually only available in paper format, and I don’t believe there are any UK stockists, so I ordered a paper pattern from Paris. Given my impatience to get started on this project, you’ll understand my sorrow that, when the parcel arrived after a couple of weeks, I initially received the wrong pattern (Madawan)! Aime Comme Marie didn’t reply to my first email or comment on social media, but once they spotted my second email they sent me the Magellan pattern. So, after around five weeks, I was finally able to start sewing!

Aime Comme Magellan Blouse

Rijks Museum, Amsterdam

I’m unsure If I made a mistake during construction or if I need to size up/make alterations to the pattern (I cut a size S), but when I first attempted to try on the blouse (after constructing the body and attaching the sleeves) I couldn’t even get it on as the sleeves and armholes were far too small. To make this first version wearable, I cut new sleeves and reshaped the armholes using pattern pieces from the Paprika Patterns Onyx Shirt, a pattern which I know fits me. The armholes are still a little tight but it’s wearable, and the fabric is a good match for the pattern – although this georgette pulls very easily so I’m not sure how long it will last.

Aime Comme Magellan Blouse

Rijks Museum, Amsterdam

I’m definitely going to make another version as I love the bib section, but I’ll be careful to measure the pattern pieces before cutting out next time. I’m also keen to try this pattern in a knit fabric.

Aime Comme Magellan Blouse

Aime Comme Magellan Blouse

If you fancy your own ruffle bib blouse, République du Chiffon’s Suzon Shirt also has a similar aesthetic. Sadly, it’s also only available as a paper pattern, but you can select an English language option. The Aime Comme Marie patterns all have a single page of English translations at the back of the instruction booklet – they were sufficient for this pattern, but with a more complicated pattern might be somewhat basic.

Aime Comme Magellan Blouse

Rijks Museum, Amsterdam

No doubt it’s partly the blogs I follow, but I don’t see a lot of patterns from the French pattern companies on English-language blogs (Julie is my main source of French pattern inspiration). Personally, I forget to sew patterns by the french designers because I’m not seeing the patterns in stores, in many cases a PDF version isn’t available, and also because I don’t find the marketing of new pattern releases very clear. Having said that, I would really like to try the Gladys Dress, Mordue Shirt, and Dita wrap dress in the near future. I’m visiting Paris in September and am planning to use that as an opportunity to stock up on patterns!

Rijks Museum, Amsterdam

Rijks Museum, Amsterdam

Rijks Museum, Amsterdam