english girl at home

A Sewing & Knitting Blog, Made in Birmingham, England


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By Hand London Victoria Blazer

I’ve just returned home from two weeks away in Seoul and Tokyo, and am having a lazy weekend before getting back into routine next week.

By Hand London Victoria Blazer

By Hand London Victoria Blazer

Normally, before a holiday, I sew a number of new garments – partly because I’m excited about the holiday and like to sew new garments for events I’m excited about, and partly because a holiday is a great opportunity for blog photos.

By Hand London Victoria Blazer

By Hand London Victoria Blazer

I’ve been busy lately, so only had a couple of recent makes to pack (to be blogged shortly). I did, however, pack a few old favourite me-made garments. Normally I don’t take photos of garments which I’ve previously blogged, but it actually makes sense to show them styled differently, and to show that they are still going strong. Since this week is Fashion Revolution Week, it also ties in with Fashion Revolution’s focus on long-term relationships with our clothing, and wearing garments more than 30 times.

Christine Haynes Doraemon Emery Dress & By Hand London Victoria Blazer

Christine Haynes Doraemon Emery Dress & By Hand London Victoria Blazer

So without further ado, in these photos I’m wearing one of my most worn me-mades. This is a By Hand London Victoria Blazer, which I made in a hotel room in Istanbul while travelling for work back in 2014.  It’s paired in some of the photos with a Christine Haynes Emery Dress I made in 2016, plus a couple of favourite RTW pieces – a scarf from Sancho’s Dress, a Megan Nielsen Maker Tee, and Community Clothing jeans, made in the UK.

Christine Haynes Doraemon Emery Dress & By Hand London Victoria Blazer

Christine Haynes Doraemon Emery Dress & By Hand London Victoria Blazer

Christine Haynes Doraemon Emery Dress & By Hand London Victoria Blazer

By Hand London Victoria Blazer

Christine Haynes Doraemon Emery Dress & By Hand London Victoria Blazer

By Hand London Victoria Blazer

By Hand London Victoria Blazer

Christine Haynes Doraemon Emery Dress & By Hand London Victoria Blazer

Christine Haynes Doraemon Emery Dress & By Hand London Victoria Blazer

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Hotel Room Victoria Blazer

Pink Victoria Blazer By Hand London
I made my first blazer – using By Hand London’s Victoria blazer pattern. I love blazers & jackets – especially the slouchy kind – so this pattern was perfect for me. I went for a wool-blend, but I could see this looking great in a stretchy knit, or even a heavy weight knit similar to the fabric Rachel used for her first Coco dress. The sun was shining today so me and Phil cycled to the park for an ice cream, which gave me  a chance to give my Victoria blazer a first airing.
Pink Victoria Blazer By Hand London
I’ve had to spend quite a bit of time away from home for work recently. I begrudge time away from my hobbies and as this trip was going to include the weekend I packed my mini sewing machine for some hotel room sewing. Along with my sewing machine I packed the Victoria blazer pattern & some fabric I’d previously picked out. The outer fabric is a pink wool-blend from Barry’s Fabrics and the lining is a bright pink floral cotton from Birmingham market.
Hotel room sewing in Istanbul
Hotel room sewing – Netflix, sewing machine, tea!

Apart from pressing and some final tidying up which I did when I got home, I made the jacket entirely in my hotel room. My mini sewing machine does a pretty good job, but I did miss my ‘real’ sewing machine as the mini version is awfully slow. And noisy – I felt sorry for whoever was in the room next to me, god knows what they thought was happening next door.
Hotel room sewing in Istanbul
The only think I forgot to pack was tracing paper and I hate having to cut up sewing patterns. However a quick trip to a local supermarket later I had located some Turkish baking paper and was able to trace my pattern pieces after all! It was a good job as I did have to make one adjustment. I initially cut a straight size 8, but found that the sleeves once made up were going to be really tight (I’m claiming it’s due to muscle;)). I didn’t fancy a blazer with straitjacket sleeves so I re cut the sleeves and cuffs in a size 12 and they fit fine.
Pink Victoria Blazer By Hand London
I find the By Hand London patterns beautifully simple and the paper instructions and online sew-alongs are easy to follow. This is definitely an ideal first blazer pattern.
Pink Victoria Blazer By Hand London
I went for all-over pink with this jacket. I picked the wool-blend outer fabric first, in a purple-pink colour. I thought I ought to use some stash fabric for the lining so picked out this ultra-pink floral cotton which was originally going to be a dress but instead got forgotten under my bed.
Pink Victoria Blazer By Hand London
Just to prove I didn’t spend all of last weekend sat in my hotel room here’s a photo of the book market in Istanbul from one of my trips out. I did also manage to buy some fabric, an overpriced cotton from Grand Bazaar which I need to decide on a project for (I’m sure there are good, cheap fabric shops in Istanbul but I’m yet to find them).
Istanbul Book Market
And, while we’re on the subject of By Hand London have you invested in their Kickstarter campaign yet? I backed them yesterday and cannot wait for them to start printing fabric on demand. I’ve already started thinking about some designs I want to get printed. So exciting!
Pink Victoria Blazer By Hand London