english girl at home

A Sewing & Knitting Blog, Made in Birmingham, England


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In The Folds Jumpsuit

In The Folds Peppermint Magazine Jumpsuit

It’s been a weekend of staring at computer screens, but I wanted to squeeze in a quick blog post before the weekend is out.

I was in the office Saturday and Sunday this weekend for a software upgrade – not as bad as it sounds as the team are lovely, we had a suitable supply of chocolate and cake (kinder eggs included), and ordered in lunch. I have however been robbed of my weekly lie-ins, so we’ll see how I’m feeling by next Friday when I’ve done twelve consecutive 6am starts.

In The Folds Peppermint Magazine Jumpsuit

I recently started studying an undergraduate degree in IT one day per week, in the hope of being less bamboozled by my colleagues in future. For some reason, I decided it would be a good idea to try to fix an EXTREMELY FRUSTRATING log-in page issue, which has been bugging me for a week, on my return home from work this evening. I’m still at that stage where I understand so little that I quickly feel overwhelmed and slightly panicky, but I guess I’ll get to the stage where it all becomes a little clearer, and where I waste less time going around in circles, eventually.

In The Folds Peppermint Magazine Jumpsuit

I thought it best to end the week with something much more familiar; blogging about sewing. This is the (free) Jumpsuit pattern by In the Folds, in collaboration with Peppermint Magazine, in size B.

Like everyone else I was inspired by the pattern sample, and picked a similar fabric, a green chambray from Guthrie & Ghani, which my Mom treated me to during last year’s SewBrum meet-up. The fabric is very soft and has a lovely sheen. It is a little prone to creasing, which is exacerbated in these photos by the fact they were taken when I was hot and sweaty in Vietnam.

In The Folds Peppermint Magazine Jumpsuit

This jumpsuit is a suitably loose and comfy garment for travelling in. I like the contrast of the relatively-fitted bodice with the loose trousers, and the deep v of the back neckline. I decided part-way through the holiday that I much prefer the belt tied at the back.

In The Folds Peppermint Magazine Jumpsuit

I’m going to close the laptop and treat myself to an early night. See below for how quickly my blog photos degenerate when I have a boat practically to myself and baggy trousers to hop around in.

In The Folds Peppermint Magazine Jumpsuit

In The Folds Peppermint Magazine Jumpsuit

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The Sewing Weekender 2018 (Plus Vlog)

sewing weekender banner

The Sewing Weekender will be returning for a third year!

What:A sewing weekend break in Cambridge, UK

When:Saturday 25th – Sunday 26th August 2018

Tickets will go on sale on the morning of Thursday 31st May at 7am (BST). Full information on The Fold Line: https://thefoldline.com/the-sewing-weekender/

I’ve finally vlogged about last year’s event, including clips of attendees, of our lovely speakers and prefects, and of the preparations before everyone arrives on Saturday morning (at speed!).

As in previous years, our venue, Murray Edwards College in Cambridge, will be transformed into a sewing room for the weekend. Attendees can get stuck into a sewing project, chat to friends, drink plenty of tea, and participate in talks and workshops from fellow sewing bloggers and independent business owners.

The key differences this year, are that we have increased capacity (by hiring an additional room) and that we’ll be having lunch on Saturday in the College canteen. We are hoping that lots of you will want to join us again this year, and that the additional tickets will mean less people end up disappointed at not being able to buy a ticket (last year, the tickets went on sale as I boarded the train to work, and were sold out before I got off the train, 20 minutes later). We’ve decided to include lunch, because last year the heavens opened exactly when we all left the College to walk into town for lunch and we got drenched! It also makes it much easier to sit down for lunch as a group.

One thing I wanted to note before tickets go on sale on Thursday, is that the tickets are more expensive this year. Ever since the first Sewing Weekender two years ago, we’ve kept ticket prices as low as possible (we pay ourselves very little for our time). The increased cost of tickets is due to increased costs of organising the event, plus the fact that we are reliant on sponsorship to keep ticket prices down. I always think it’s difficult to estimate the actual cost of an event unless you are involved in organising something similar, and I thought it was worth stating that this increase to the ticket price isn’t about us benefiting from the event’s previous popularity (which I think would be justified, as a lot of work goes into the preparation), it’s about us realistically covering costs.

If you’re considering attending and want more information, you can read: my wrap-up of the 2017 event / attendee reviews of the 2017 event / my wrap-up of the 2016 eventattendee reviews of the 2016 event


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Fashion Revolution Jane Tee

Fashion Revolution Inspired Seamwork Jane T-Shirt

To celebrate this year’s Fashion Revolution Week (which took place 22 – 28 April) I decided I wanted to make a garment which lived up to the ethics and ideals of the week. I didn’t have a lot of time to order fabric and sew a garment, so I thought I’d keep it simple with a slogan tee.

Fashion Revolution Inspired Seamwork Jane T-Shirt

The fabric for this tee was a Cream Marl Viscose Blend Jersey from Offset Warehouse. Offset Warehouse describe it as made from sustainable fibres (40% Cotton, 30% Viscose and 30% Polyester) and reclaimed from a high end manufacturer in the UK and stopped from heading to landfill.

The jersey is very fine and soft, with a subtle marl effect. It’s slightly transparent, so I am wearing a slip underneath in these photos.

Fashion Revolution Inspired Seamwork Jane T-Shirt

The pattern is the Seamwork Jane tee, which is a great loose fitting crew neck t-shirt pattern, and a perfect blank canvas for screenprinting (no darts). My measurements put me between an XS and S, but I cut a straight XS as there’s plenty of ease.

Fashion Revolution Inspired Seamwork Jane T-Shirt

For the text, I printed the ‘I made my clothes’ A4 poster from the Fashion Revolution website free resources section. To create a more stable stencil, I placed an A4 acetate sheet over the poster and cut out the lettering with a craft knife (I have a lifetime supply of acetate sheets as I took a box home from work many years ago, since they were gathering dust following overhead projectors being removed from classrooms). I screen-printed the text using black ink onto the pre-cut t-shirt front; I always use Permaset Supercover screen printing ink to print on fabric and find it really reliable, Fred Aldous stock it in the UK. If you fancy trying screen-printing you’ll need a screen, a squeegee (sized for the screen) & ink (if you want to print on fabric make sure the ink is suitable).

Fashion Revolution Inspired Seamwork Jane T-Shirt

These pictures were taken in Vietnam, predominantly in the Botanical Gardens and Zoo in Ho Chi Minh City. I hadn’t realised in advance that the gardens and zoo were one and the same – we were aiming for the gardens. The planting is frequently beautiful, but as a whole – as you can see in these photos – it’s somewhat run down and in need of investment. Great for some dramatic blog photo backdrops, but not great for the resident animals. I suspect it suffers the same fate as Vietnam’s museums, which also – on the whole – appear to be underfunded and, as a result, dusty and in varying states of neglect.

Fashion Revolution Inspired Seamwork Jane T-Shirt

P.S. my all time favourite zoo story, was that we were once in a zoo somewhere in Europe (I have forgotten which), and a huge crowd gathered to watch and photograph a sole red squirrel which was living (wild) in the zoo. That little squirrel managed to steal all the attention from the huge (caged) animals which were metres away.

Fashion Revolution Inspired Seamwork Jane T-Shirt

Fashion Revolution Inspired Seamwork Jane T-Shirt

Fashion Revolution Inspired Seamwork Jane T-Shirt

Fashion Revolution Inspired Seamwork Jane T-Shirt

Fashion Revolution Inspired Seamwork Jane T-Shirt

Fashion Revolution Inspired Seamwork Jane T-Shirt


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Seamwork Neenah Dress

Seamwork Neenah Dress

This is the Seamwork Neenah Dress one of my #makenine projects, made with a stash fabric of forgotten origin (thanks to the Cora App I won’t be forgetting where I bought fabric in future). Although I can’t remember where I bought this fabric, I do know I bought it with the intention of making Neenah – and a year or so later, here she is!

Seamwork Neenah Dress

Based on my measurements I graded between an XS and S. I cut the sleeves in size XS and initially found them too tight, so unpicked and sewed again with a very narrow seam allowance. I cut two inches off the length of the sleeves, but left the dress length as per the pattern.

Seamwork Neenah Dress

I really like the fit of this dress. It skims the body nicely without being clingy. There’s a little bit of pooling at the back, but in a casual style like this I don’t think it’s worth worrying about. It’s worth noting that the turtleneck pattern piece is quite long (it’s folded double in these photos). I’m a big fan of a high neckline, but if you want a smaller turtleneck I’d recommend using a more lightweight fabric, or reducing the height of the pattern piece by up to half.

Seamwork Neenah Dress

I whipped this dress up on Friday evening (having previously send the pattern for A0 printing), ready to wear to a sewing meet-up in Birmingham yesterday in celebration of the lovely Bianca returning to us for the weekend. It was a really fun day, lots of nattering and fabric shopping with sewing friends, followed by a Cecille Grey gig in Nottingham. I was absolutely knackered when I fell into bed that night, but it was definitely worth it, and I love making new clothes for special days.

Seamwork Neenah Dress

I’m pleased to say that I’ve been sticking to my New Year’s Resolution to keep my evenings for my hobbies, instead of allowing work to stretch out into them, and to attend more meet-ups. I’ve been attending the monthly Brummie Yarn Social organised by Sue and Ben in Moseley, and it’s been lovely to see the Birmingham sewists more regularly, as well as to catch-up with a bigger group yesterday.

Seamwork Neenah Dress


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Favourite 2017 Pattern Releases

Favourite Sewing Patterns 2017

Happy New Year Everyone!

I’ve been sorting my pattern and fabric collections, and making sewing plans for 2018. While sorting patterns, I started thinking about my favourite sewing pattern releases of 2017, and I thought it might be fun to share my personal favourites list.

I’ve only sewn two of these so far, but I suspect I’ll get around to most of them eventually, it might just take me a few years.

I’ve shared the full list in my latest vlog:


In no particular order, my 2017 favourites are:

Favourite Sewing Patterns 2017

Orsola Dress & Skirt – By Hand London / Fringe Blouse and Dress – Chalk & Notch / Prudence – Colette / Kalle Shirt & Shirtdress – Closet Case Patterns

Favourite Sewing Patterns 2017

Lliria Dress – Pauline Alice / The Wallet Gift-Giving Set – Thread Theory / The Carlton Coat – Free Sewing / Jumpsuit – In the Folds

Favourite Sewing Patterns 2017

Sasha Trousers – Closet Case Patterns / 8504 – Simplicity Patterns / Asymmetric Gather Dress – The Maker’s Atelier

Favourite Sewing Patterns 2017

Kobe Dress & Top – Papercut Patterns / Flint Trousers – Megan Nielsen / Jackie Dress – Victory Patterns / 8509 – Simplicity Patterns


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SewBrum 2017 Wrap-Up

SewBrum 2017

Before 2017 is out, a quick post about this year’s SewBrum meet-up!

I’ve posted a short video of the day (and what I bought), which you can view here:


SewBrum 2017

The 2017 meet-up took place on Saturday 28th October. We started the day by taking over the John Lewis Cafe and visiting the haberdashery. From there, we visited the Rag Market, and nearby Barry’s Fabrics and Fancy Silk Store. A new stall in the Indoor Market which specialises in Liberty fabrics, including Liberty jersey, cord and fleece, was particularly popular.

SewBrum 2017

Over 120 of us traveled into Moseley Village in the afternoon to visit Guthrie & Ghani for shopping, chatting, a pattern and fabric swap, and charity raffle. The raffle raised £431.50 for the The Eve Appeal gynaecological cancer charity, and donations for tea and cake raised £80 to twin the toilet at Guthrie & Ghani with a toilet in an African village. Thanks so much for your generous donations!

SewBrum 2017

A huge thank you also to the companies who donated to the raffle – a full list of prizes and a few photos are below.

♥ Adjustoform – Dressform
♥ Adam Ross Fabrics – £30 voucher
♥ Beyond Measure – £20 voucher
♥ Chez Machine – 2 kits
♥ Chinelo Bally Freehand Fashion: Learn to Sew the Perfect Wardrobe x 2
♥ ClothSpot – Prize bundle
♥ Cocowawa – Marshmallow Dress pattern x 2
♥ Colette Patterns – $25 voucher
♥ Cotton Reel Studio – £30 voucher
♥ The Crafty Mastermind – Fabric, pattern and pin bundle
♥ Dashing Tweeds – Fabric bundle
♥ The Draper’s Daughter – 3 metres of fabric
♥ Fabrics Galore – £50 voucher
♥ Girl Charlee – Big fabric bundle
♥ Guthrie & Ghani – Prym mini hamper
♥ The Maker’s Atelier – The Pleat Detail Dress & Top pattern
♥ Minerva Crafts – Quilt making kit
♥ Mollie Makes How to Quilt and Patchwork
♥ Monaluna – Fat quarter bundle
♥ Plush Addict – £50 voucher
♥ Remnant Kings – Coco dress pattern and fabric bundle
♥ Sewbox – £30 gift voucher and Gutermann thread set
♥ Sew Crafty – Bundle of goodies
♥ Sewisfaction – £25 gift voucher
♥ Sew Over It – Choice of online class
♥ Simply Sewing Magazine – 7 patterns
♥ Stuart Hillard Use Scraps, Sew Blocks, Make 100 Quilts: 100 Stash-Busting Scrap Quilts
♥ Stoff and Stil – Raincoat project kit
♥ Suzy Magazine – 2 issues
♥ Tilly and the Buttons – Online workshop and PDF pattern
♥ Ryland Peters and Small Cico Books – 3 books
♥ The Village Haberdashery – Tote bag and voucher

SewBrum 2017

SewBrum 2017

SewBrum 2017

SewBrum 2017

SewBrum 2017

SewBrum 2017

SewBrum 2017

SewBrum 2017


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Sewing Room Tour Vlog

My Sewing Room

Happy Christmas Eve!

I’ve published a vlog with a little tour of my sewing room and fabric stash. You can see it here if you fancy a snoop around the house:

I filmed it a few weeks ago while the house was (briefly) tidy and before any Christmas decorations were up.

Have a great Christmas and New Year x

My Sewing Room

My Sewing Room

My Sewing Room