english girl at home

A Sewing & Knitting Blog, Made in Birmingham, England


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Istanbul Sorbetto

Colette Sorbetto Top with Turkish Cotton
I’m currently in Istanbul for work so I thought it was the perfect location to get some photos of this Sorbetto – made with fabric I purchased in Istanbul on a previous work trip.
Colette Sorbetto Top with Turkish Cotton
I haven’t had that much luck so far fabric shopping in Istanbul. On a previous visit I decided I NEEDED to do some fabric shopping so tried the Grand Bazaar and came away with this thick cotton. The quality & colour is lovely, but the fabric clearly wasn’t intended for dressmaking as the width was ridiculously narrow. I decided to make a Soretto as I needed a project with minimal fabric requirements – even so the fabric was so narrow that I couldn’t cut the front & back on the fold as the pattern suggests, but instead had to cut four separate pieces (adding a narrow seam allowance when cutting out) & then sew 2 front and 2 back pieces together. I also had to sacrifice the front box pleat. My Sorbetto is looking a bit creased in these photos having traveled in my suitcase and then been worn all day in around 35c heat.
Colette Sorbetto Top with Turkish Cotton
Colette Sorbetto Top with Turkish Cotton
These photos were taken in Yildiz Park. Like lots of public parks Yildiz was previously private property. It was actually once part of the Sultan’s hunting grounds and palace gardens. I was actually visiting Yildiz on my way to somewhere else – Ortakoy.
Colette Sorbetto Top with Turkish Cotton
Ortakoy is one of my favourite spots in the city – It’s located on the Bosphorus & is crammed full of places to eat & drink. It’s also the best place to eat Kumpir – jacket potatoes stuffed with a ton of fillings. Seriously they are huge & so good!
Ortakoy, Istanbul
Ortaköy Mosque and the Bosphorus Bridge


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I was on the Colette Blog!

On Wednesday, I was sat eating my lunch and thought I’d have a look on Facebook. Imagine my surprise on looking at the latest post from Colette Patterns to see myself (and in my pjs no less) listed in their 5 favourite makes for July from their Flickr group! Very exciting. It also happened to be my last day in my current job before moving to a new job so it was a good day all ’round.
Colette Blog July Pick


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New PJs on Lake Maggiore (Or, Late for the Pyjama Party)

Lake Maggiore, Italy
After a weekend in Brighton, I got to spend the next two weekends in Italy. I’m spoilt, I know!

Me and Phil spent a week with my family staying in a house my parents had rented in Stresa on Lake Maggiore, followed by a long weekend in Milan.

Unfortunately, I didn’t get time to make many new outfits for the holiday. The only thing I did complete in time was a pair of pyjamas, using the free Colette Sorbetto & Madeleine patterns. The two things motivating me to make these pyjamas were the holiday and Karen’s pyjama party. I didn’t finish in time for the pyjama party, but there were done for the holiday (phew!). Note the amazing view of Lake Maggiore from the patio of the house where we were staying in the photo below. Gorgeous.
Pyjamas (Colette Sorbetto & Madeleine) in Lake Maggiore, Italy
The Colette patterns work really well for pyjamas. Just to note though that (as you can see) the Madeleine bloomers are really short! This meant that I wasn’t very covered up so was particularly susceptible to mosquito bites in the evening. The fabric I used is a soft cotton from Ikea which I’d already used to make a pair of pyjama trousers. The few notions used (pink ribbon on the shorts & bias binding around the tank neck and armholes) were purchased during the recent  Birmingham meet-up and cost about 10p each from an amazing cheap stall in Birmingham market.

Lake Maggiore, Italy

I’ll leave you with a few photos from the holiday.

Lake Maggiore, Italy
Lake Maggiore, Italy
Lake Maggiore, Italy
Lake Maggiore, Italy
Lake Maggiore, Italy
Lake Maggiore, Italy
Milan, Italy
Milan, Italy
Milan, Italy
Milan, Italy
Milan, Italy
Milan, Italy


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All the Cool Kids are Making it: My First Sorbetto Tank

Home Made Sorbetto Tank Top

I know, I know, I’m very late getting around to it but I’ve finally made my first Sorbetto tank by Colette Patterns. I haven’t sewn any clothes recently as since buying a first house two years ago I’ve been preoccupied with making things for the house (predominately lots of curtains!). However, watching Sewing Bee, as well as seeing all the lovely things other bloggers are making, reminded me how much I enjoy making clothes so I expect this to be the first of many clothing projects in the next few months.

I made my Sorbetto in a thin floral cotton, perfect for the summer. The fabric cost £2.50 per metre from Birmingham’s Indoor Market. Since the pattern was free, and I made the bias binding, the top only cost a total of £2.50. It was a perfect example of when sewing your own clothes can be cheaper than buying off the peg.

This was the first time I’d made bias binding and I was very glad I did as having matching bias binding gives such a lovely, professional looking finish. I was surprised by just how easy it is.

Home Made Sorbetto Tank Top

Home Made Bias Binding

Unfortunately, since making my Sorbetto we’ve not had much sunshine here in England so I’ve barely had a chance to wear it. This weekend the weather improved slightly so I managed to get a chance at last. As you can see below I was going casual, wearing the Sorbetto with jeans and hi tops, as me and Phil were off to look at potential bathroom tiles (the next decorating job on our to-list) and paint. Prior to our shopping trip, Phil got a couple of pictures of me in our garden while I pegged out some washing. The garden is looking a bit unruly as I’ve pretty much left it to it’s own devices so far this year. One weekend soon, however, I will drag myself away from crafting and spend a day or two getting the weeding and trimming done. Honest.

Handmade Sorbetto Tank

Handmade Sorbetto Tank