english girl at home

A Sewing & Knitting Blog, Made in Birmingham, England


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Time For Tea (Dress)

Handmade Tea Dress
This week the new Library of Birmingham and the refurbished Rep theatre opened. I had a family trip to the theatre with my family to see the new Alan Bennett play People so got to have a little look around. It was really busy (there was a queue to get in, which can’t happen very often in a library!) so I’m planning to pop back for a better look around soon.

Speaking of libraries, I borrowed The Great British Sewing Bee book from Coventry City Council’s Main Library (having previously borrowed it from my Mom to make a blouse with peter pan collar!). This time I decided to make the tea dress pattern from the book. This was a pretty simple make. In fact the most difficult thing was deciding which size to cut. According to the size guide in the book I fell between a size 12 and 14. I was a little suspicious of that sizing. I know that RTW sizing is inaccurate and minimised but a size 12-14 sounded quite large, particularly as the patterns in the book only go up to a size 16. I was also suspicious because I made the blouse pattern from the book in a size 8 (as I didn’t check the size guide that time & just assumed an 8 based on what I typically fit in RTW, oops!). However, the tea dress was a slightly more fitted make than the blouse so I was concerned about cutting too small. Obviously what I should have done was cut a muslin, but being lazy I decided to cut the dress out in a size 12 and then size down as required. The fabric was a relatively cheap floral cotton from Barry’s Fabric (purchased during the Birmingham blogger meet-up) so I didn’t feel too bad basically making a wearable muslin. I pinned the dress pieces on and found that the size 12 was way too big, no surprise! I wonder if the size guide in the book is actually misprinted as it’s miles off. I trimmed the pieces down to the size 10. The dress is still quite loose so I think the size 8 was probably a better fit but by cutting the larger size I avoiding adding a zip. Yippee!
Handmade Tea Dress
It’s quite a sweet simple dress and I like the capped sleeves so I might make it up again in a smaller size, perhaps altering the neckline slightly as personally I prefer a slightly higher neckline in front and back.
Handmade Tea Dress
I’m off to Istanbul tomorrow for a business trip – my very first outside the UK! I’m planning to pack some hand sewing for when I’m sat in the hotel. I’d like to do some fabric shopping too but I’ll have to see if there’s time.

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Grand Opening of Guthrie & Ghani

Guthrie & Ghani Grand Opening

Guthrie & Ghani Grand Opening

This morning, me and my Mom attended the grand opening of Guthrie & Ghani (a new haberdashery in Moseley, Birmingham) run by Lauren of Great British Sewing Bee fame.

We arrived in time for the ribbon cutting, along with lots of others. There was quite a crowd waiting for the doors to open & there was still a queue outside  when we left (which was quite some time later as we had a good mooch!). Lauren looked a little nervous when the moment to cut the ribbon arrived, but was supported by Stuart (fellow star of Sewing Bee) and her husband, Ayaz.

Guthrie & Ghani Grand Opening

Guthrie & Ghani Grand Opening

Guthrie & Ghani Grand Opening

Guthrie & Ghani Grand Opening

The Guthrie & Ghani team were very welcoming, making for a really lovely opening event. Lauren’s fellow stars of Sewing Bee, Tilly and Stuart (who will both be teaching classes in the shop’s upstairs workroom) attended and were happy to sign copies of the Sewing Bee book and talk sewing. It was great to meet them all, and they were just as nice in person as they seemed on TV. My Mom treated herself to the Sewing Bee book, which I will be borrowing shortly:)

Guthrie & Ghani Grand Opening

Guthrie & Ghani Grand Opening

Guthrie & Ghani Grand Opening

Guthrie & Ghani Grand Opening

I loved the special opening day cake!

Guthrie & Ghani Grand Opening

Of course I also loved the products available:) The shop’s stock is beautifully displayed and very colourful. I restricted myself to a lovely purse clasp (with yellow bobbles) but will be returning shortly for a Colette pattern and am planning to attend a workshop. I just haven’t decided which I fancy most yet…

Guthrie & Ghani Grand Opening
Guthrie & Ghani Grand Opening
Guthrie & Ghani Grand Opening
Guthrie & Ghani Grand Opening