english girl at home

A Sewing & Knitting Blog, Made in Birmingham, England


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Vogue 1428 for the Cocktail Hour

Vogue V1428 for The Cocktail Hour

Today it’s my turn to share the outfit I’ve made for the Vogue Patterns Cocktail Hour Sew-along, complete with cocktail! As with last year’s Big Vintage Sew-along, McCalls have selected a range of patterns for the event, with proceeds from the sale of those patterns (between March until November) being donated to The Eve Appeal gynecological cancer charity.

Vogue V1428 for The Cocktail Hour

Vogue V1428 for The Cocktail Hour

The twenty patterns included in the sew-along are evening-wear themed, with lots of dresses, but also separates, outerwear, and accessories. After liberal umming and ahhing, I decided to sew Vogue 1428.

Vogue 1428 is designed as a dress in three parts – a skirt, vest under-bodice, and lace bodice – which are joined together at the waist. I decided that they would get more wear as separates, so constructed the skirt and bodice in that way, skipping the vest altogether in favour of a RTW one.

Vogue V1428 for The Cocktail Hour

Vogue V1428 for The Cocktail Hour

There’s actually very few changes required to this pattern to create separates instead of a dress. Based on the pattern’s recommended sizing, I cut a size 10 in the bodice and 12 in the skirt; the bodice is spot on, although I could have probably sized down slightly in the skirt.

Vogue V1428 for The Cocktail Hour

Vogue V1428 for The Cocktail Hour

For the skirt, I followed the pattern instructions until the end, when I cut and attached a waistband with a single button closure, instead of attaching it to the bodice (I just cut a straight band based on my waist measurement, but you could use a waistband pattern piece from a TNT pattern).

I really love the box pleats on the skirt, and think it looks great in this heavier weight fabric, purchased at Barry’s Fabric in Birmingham. I made absolutely no attempt to pattern match the skirt at the side seams, and am using limited fabric as my excuse.

Vogue V1428 for The Cocktail Hour

Vogue V1428 for The Cocktail Hour

The lace for the bodice was also purchased at Barry’s, who have a great selection of lace and evening wear fabrics. This lace has a textured surface and a touch of glitter, which I managed to dust all around the house in the process of cutting and sewing this.

The pattern instructs you to cut the base of the bodice along the scalloped edge of your lace, so constructing the bodice as a separate is just a matter of not attaching it to the skirt or to an under-bodice. I created a slightly more raised ‘collar’ on mine, by attaching the lace around the neck slightly differently than instructed (I just placed the raw edges together and sewed with a french seam).

Vogue V1428 for The Cocktail Hour

Vogue V1428 for The Cocktail Hour

I’m really pleased with the finished garments and think they will get lots of wear – the skirt in particular. I fancy another version of the skirt in a summery colour, for a more day-time look. I also found this quite a quick sewing project, useful to know if you ever need an evening outfit in a hurry!

I figured this outfit was worth a trip out for photos, so popped to the local park this morning, cocktail & most suitable glass I owned slipped inside my handbag, before it got too busy. Not a bad start to the day!

Vogue V1428 for The Cocktail Hour

Vogue V1428 for The Cocktail Hour

If you want to take part in the sew-along, you can view all of the patterns here, and the outfits made as part of the blogger tour so far here.

The full list of bloggers taking part until November is below:

1. Winnie Longhurst
Scruffy Badger
3rd March
http://scruffybadgertime.co.uk

2. Kate Underdown
The Fold Line
10th March
http://thefoldline.com

3. Portia Lawrie
Makery
17th March
http://www.makery.uk

4. Rachel Walker
The Fold Line
24th March
http://thefoldline.com

5. Wendy Gardiner
Butterick
31st March
http://mccallpatternuk.sewdirect.com/

6. Abigail Dyson
The Crafty Pin Up
14th April
http://www.thecraftypinup.co.uk

7. Lucy Regan
Sew Essential
28th April
http://www.sewessential.co.uk/blog/

8. Fiona Parker
Diary of a Chainstitcher
12th May
http://chainstitcher.blogspot.co.uk

9. Nina Chang
Thumblenina
26th May
http://thumblenina.wordpress.com

10. Jen Sanders
Gingerella
9th June
https://gingerella.wordpress.com

11. Charlotte Powell
English Girl at Home
23rd June
http://englishgirlathome.com

12. Elisalex de Castro Peake
By Hand London
7th July
http://byhandlondon.com/blogs/by-hand-london

13. Kerry Patterson
Kestrel Makes
21st July
http://www.kestrelmakes.com

14. Gabby Young
Gabberdashery
4th August
http://www.gabberdashery.com

15. Abigail Norton
Sew Abigail
18th August
http://sewabigail.co.uk

16. Karen Ball
Did You Make That?
1st September
http://didyoumakethat.com

17. Rachel Wain
Rach Against The Sewing Machine
15th September
http://rachagainstthesewingmachine.co.uk

18. Elle Harris
Sew Positivity
29th September
http://www.sewpositivity.com

19. Rachel Pinheiro
House of Pinheiro
6th October
http://houseofpinheiro.com

20. Amy Thomas
Almond Rock
13th October
http://almondrock.co.uk

21. Jane Marland
Handmade Jane
20th October
http://www.handmadejane.co.uk

22. Jennifer Walker
Ginger Thread Girl
27th October
http://gingerthreadgirl.co.uk

23. Marie Koupparis
A Stitching Odyssey
3rd November
http://www.astitchingodyssey.com

24. Elena Rosa Brown
Randomly Happy
10th November
http://www.randomlyhappyblog.com

25. Laura Clarke
Sew for Victory
17th November
http://sewforvictory.co.uk

26. Janene Spencer
Ooobop
24th November
http://ooobop.com


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Fabric Shopping and Sightseeing in Seoul

Dorasan Station, Seoul

In April, Phil and I spent a week on holiday in Seoul.

My latest vlog contains a few clips from the holiday: sightseeing, plus fabric shopping in Dongdaemun and Gwangjang Markets. It also features a few me-made garments which I wore regularly during the trip; my Tilly & the Buttons Cleo dungarees, Named Inari Tee Dress, and By Hand London Victoria Blazer.

You can view the vlog here:

Dongdaemun Market is an enormous building housing a huge number of separate fabric and haberdashery stalls and shops over seven stories. I’d highly recommend Marie’s blog post, and the information Marie links to, if you plan to visit. The stalls in Dongdaemun appeared to have unusual and high quality fabrics, especially knits. However, the vast majority of stalls don’t have bolts of fabric ready to cut from; instead the stalls have samples on display, and fulfill your orders from their warehouses for collection at the market or delivery to your hotel.

I wimped out of buying fabric from Dongdaemun, but did treat myself to a linen fabric from Gwangjang Market. Gwangjang is a maze-like covered market, almost entirely dedicated to fabrics and haberdashery. Gwangjang is more home-sewer friendly than Dongdaemun, with stalls selling fabric from the bolt and pre-cut lengths, although I did find Gwangjang to have much less unusual fabrics than Dongdaemun. I spotted a few sewing-related services on offer in Gwangjang, such as scissor sharpening and seamstresses. Not too far away, in the area surrounding Euljiro 4(sa)-ga Station (exist 3 and 4), we wandered across an area specialising in sewing machine shops.

Finally, we tried Namdaemun Market because I’d read online that fabric was available, however, after a good look around and checking with the tourist information, we found that there was just one stall selling a very basic selection of cottons. Namdaemun is worth visiting for the food stalls, but no good if you’re in the mood to fabric shop.

A few photos of textile and haberdashery items in Seoul palace museums are below.

Gyeongbokgung Palace, Seoul

Gyeongbokgung Palace, Seoul

Gyeongbokgung Palace, Seoul

Gyeongbokgung Palace, Seoul

Gyeongbokgung Palace, Seoul

Gyeongbokgung Palace, Seoul

Ironing boards, sewing box and scissors:

Seoul

Seoul

Seoul


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The Sewing Weekender 2017

Sewing Weekender banner

The Sewing Weekender will be returning for a second year!

What: A sewing weekend break in Cambridge, sponsored by (Birmingham-based) Adam Ross Fabrics.

When: Saturday 05th – Sunday 06th August 2017

Our venue, Murray Edwards College in Cambridge, will be transformed into a sewing room for the weekend; bring along a sewing project, or two, and sew while chatting to friends and drinking plenty of tea.

Over the weekend, we’ll have a series of informal talks and hands-on workshops from fellow sewing bloggers and independent business owners.

Tickets will go on sale on the morning of Thursday 25th May. Tickets to the event will cost £65; optional accommodation will cost an additional £95 (single room) or £145 (twin room).

Full details here.

Read my thoughts on last year’s Sewing Weekender here, and those of attendees here.


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Blue Velvet Moneta Dress for #MonetaParty

Colette Patterns #monetaparty Moneta in Blue Velvet

Long time no see, guys! I’ve been finding slightly less time to sew and knit lately, but even less to blog. I’m off on holiday to Seoul and Tokyo next week, and have a few recent projects to photograph, so no doubt I’ll have a few garments (and probably some holiday fabric shopping…) to blog in the next few weeks.

Before that, as I’m sure you’re well aware, back in February ElleRachel and Abigail hosted an online Moneta Party. I had sewn Moneta once before, but wanted to make a new version for the party.

Colette Patterns #monetaparty Moneta in Blue Velvet

I whipped this version of Moneta up quickly the weekend of the party, in a blue stretch velvet from Barry’s Fabrics. I added the Tie Collar from the free Moneta extras pack, and made a belt to wear over the dress, using a trim purchased from Birmingham Rag Market. To make the belt I just added a stiff backing fabric to the trim, and hook and eyes to fasten it.

Colette Patterns #monetaparty Moneta in Blue Velvet

The dress looks ok in these photos, but I’m afraid there were actually a few issues with my fabric choice which mean it hasn’t survived! The stretch velvet I chose clung unflatteringly in the bodice, and having constructed the dress I noticed a flaw in the fabric right under the bust… After taking these photos the dress was cast aside for a few days, after which I removed the bodice and fitted a waistband to make a simple gathered skirt.

Colette Patterns #monetaparty Moneta in Blue Velvet

These photos were taken quickly in our front room, to make the Moneta Party photo deadline. Phil was making fun of my modelling skills, which resulted in the following…

Colette Patterns #monetaparty Moneta in Blue Velvet

Colette Patterns #monetaparty Moneta in Blue Velvet

Colette Patterns #monetaparty Moneta in Blue Velvet

Colette Patterns #monetaparty Moneta in Blue Velvet

Colette Patterns #monetaparty Moneta in Blue Velvet


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Rupert’s Tweed Wedding Jacket

Rupert at James & Keyla's Wedding

After James, my brother, announced his wedding, he asked if I would be willing to make him a three-piece suit to wear on the day, to which I – of course – said no! What I was willing to make, however, was a matching jacket for his dog, Rupert.

Rupert at James & Keyla's Wedding

James ordered a suit in a blue tweed, and with the help of the sewing community (who responded to a call for help on Twitter and Instagram with lots of suggestions) I was able to find a comparable Harris Tweed on ebay.

Rupert at James & Keyla's Wedding

I traced a RTW dog jacket for the pattern and tested a toile on Rupert before cutting into the tweed. Like my own dress for the wedding, I left this jacket until the last minute, cutting and sewing it the day before, and attaching the velcro to fasten it under the stomach on the morning of the wedding.

Rupert at James & Keyla's Wedding

I need to make Rupert some more of these, as – apart from hand sewing the velcro when my sewing machine refused to cooperate – the jacket  only took about thirty minutes to make. It’s lined with a cotton from John Lewis and padded with some thinsulate left over from my Clare Coat. The d-ring on the back allows a lead to be attached.

Rupert at James & Keyla's Wedding

Rupert was centre stage on the day, he was very fond of curling up in the train of the wedding dress (above), and at the start of the ceremony was stood with the groom awaiting the bride as she walked down the aisle (below).

Rupert at James & Keyla's Wedding


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Sallie Jumpsuit

Closet Case Patterns Sallie Jumpsuit

This garment is a good example of how my pattern queue often works. I purchased the Closet Case Patterns Sallie Jumpsuit pattern on release, and picked up this medium-weight knit fabric from the Goldhawk Road (which is more green in real life) not long after. Despite having pattern and fabric paired ready to sew, they waited for over a year and half before making it to the front of the queue and the sewing machine.

Closet Case Patterns Sallie Jumpsuit

When I did finally decide to give Sallie my attention it was with typically spur of the moment urgency. I had leaving do drinks to attend at work and decided I urgently needed to wear this exact outfit. It’s actually a quick sew – I made this up in two or three evenings after work.

Closet Case Patterns Sallie Jumpsuit

Because I was sewing at speed in the evenings with minimal light, I initially attached the bodice ‘inside out’; the bodice main and lining pieces are almost identical, but the lining side is slightly smaller so that the seam allowance rolls to the inside. In my case it was initially rolling to the outside, so I went back and fixed the issue – post work night out.

Closet Case Patterns Sallie Jumpsuit

This fabric has a tendency to show lumps, bumps and panty lines. Next time I’d reduce this by using a fabric which is thicker, patterned or drapeier, and I would probably also raise the front neckline. I fancy trying Sallie with a modified rounded neckline.

Closet Case Patterns Sallie Jumpsuit

These photos were taken the day after my brother’s wedding, on the roof of the venue. I think Sallie is a perfect lounging around outfit, since the knit fabric means it is super comfortable. Phil however thinks it looks like I’m en route to a 70s disco.

Closet Case Patterns Sallie Jumpsuit

Closet Case Patterns Sallie Jumpsuit

Closet Case Patterns Sallie Jumpsuit

Closet Case Patterns Sallie Jumpsuit

Closet Case Patterns Sallie Jumpsuit

Closet Case Patterns Sallie Jumpsuit

Closet Case Patterns Sallie Jumpsuit