english girl at home

A Sewing & Knitting Blog, Made in Birmingham, England


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Sudley – Two Ways

Megan Nielsen Sudley

I recently had the opportunity to pattern test the Sudley blouse/dress pattern for Megan Nielsen (test version blogged here). As soon as I finished my test version (in a cotton lawn), I decided I wanted to make the pattern again in a drapier fabric.

Megan Nielsen Sudley

Megan Nielsen Sudley

I picked up this gold knit fabric at Birmingham Rag Market on a recent trip with a few local sewists (organised by Rachel), and thought it might be a good candidate for a Sudley Dress. The fabric was £2 per metre and is a relatively heavy knit with a lot of drape, and a slightly metallic texture and shine. I actually used the reverse of the fabric, as I thought it had a more unusual colour and pattern than the right side.

Megan Nielsen Sudley

Megan Nielsen Sudley

The Sudley pattern is designed for wovens, but it’s a good candidate for substituting for knits due to the loose fit and absence of darts or fastenings. I made Version 3 in size XS, with the sleeves from Version 1. I only made one change to the pattern/construction as a result of using a knit fabric; the pattern instructs you prepare skirts pieces in both main and lining fabrics and attach these to the main and lining bodices respectively. Due to the weight of my fabric, I felt that the weight of the skirt piece was likely to stretch out the bodice, so I only cut a skirt in the main fabric (not the lining) and attached this to both main and lining bodices for extra support. As suggested by the pattern, I cinched in the waist of the dress by attaching elastic around the waistband.

I think the resulting dress actually has a similar silhouette to Colette’s Moneta pattern. I forgot to get any photos of the dress worn in reverse (it is reversible, so the keyhole can be worn at the front).

Megan Nielsen Sudley

Megan Nielsen Sudley

Having completed this dress version, I couldn’t resist also making the blouse Version 1 (minus the collar) so that I could enter the Monthly Stitch’s current Indie Pattern Month, One Pattern, Two Ways contest! I really love the contrast between these two versions.

Megan Nielsen Sudley

Megan Nielsen Sudley

This version is made in stash fabric, purchased as a coupon in Paris a few years ago. The fabric is a border print and I only had scraps left so couldn’t continue the pattern across both sides, but I like the contrast of the finished result. The fabric is beautifully soft and I’ve been hording these last scraps for ages – I only have tiny pieces left but haven’t been able to bring myself to throw them away yet, maybe I’ll be able to use them as a pocket lining!

Megan Nielsen Sudley

Megan Nielsen Sudley

I hand-stitched the blouse and sleeve hems by hand. I thought I’d ignore the instructions for finishing the neckline and keyhole opening and instead turn twice and hand stitch. The finished result looked puckered so I had to rip-out that hand stitching and instead created a facing – which was much more successful. I reduced the depth of the keyhole opening slightly on this version as I find it slightly low for the office on the dress version (although I wore it that way ’round regardless today!).

Megan Nielsen Sudley

I’m looking forward to wearing both of these to work this week – I can never resist wearing new garments the instant that they are finished!

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Floral Woven Linden & Snowdrops

It’s time for this week’s Linden! I will be posting makes from some different patterns soon, but still have a few Linden’s from a recent binge to show you. It’s probably a first for me, as I very rarely use patterns multiple times, but this pattern is so quick and easy (and so good) that I couldn’t resist. I normally struggle with OWOP, but I’m ready for this year’s now!

Floral Linden Sweatshirt

Last Sunday I visited a ‘snowdrop weekend’ at a (relatively) local church, St Leonard’s in Beoley, with my family. We walked around the grounds, which are currently scattered with snowdrops, and had tea and cake inside the church.

I wore my latest Linden, made in fabric from Barry’s. I have completely forgotten what the label on the bolt said about the composition of this fabric. It’s a heavy weight woven, with a slight one-way stretch. The right side of the fabric has a slight pile.

Floral Linden Sweatshirt

Construction wise, I actually made Version A with a few tweaks. I left of the bottom band, instead turning and hemming. I originally cut the full-length sleeves, but realised they were very tight and so cut a length off the bottom and hemmed them. I think they’ve ended up slightly longer than the sleeves from Version B. I also had to significantly lengthen the neck band (which is made from the main fabric); I originally cut the neckband one size larger than the body of my Linden (which I have done for all of my versions to prevent pulling at the neckline). However, in this fabric, with limited stretch, I couldn’t actually get the sweatshirt over my head… So I re-cut the neckband, estimating the extra length, and reattached. It now fits fine.

St Leonard’s Church Beoley

The one issue with making the Linen in a very stiff, non or limited stretch, fabric, is that you may have excess fabric sticking up at the back neckline. However, once I’d attached the neck band, I found that it pulled in the fabric effectively and that the neckline lies flat.

St Leonard’s Church Beoley

The fabric used has a large scale floral print. I centred the print on the front, but cut it at an angle on the back. I didn’t attempt print matching (as you can see), partly because I never do, and partly because I didn’t have enough fabric to attempt it with such a large-scale print. I would definitely get told off on Sewing Bee… (I’m loving this series by the way, although it seems to get harder every time).

Floral Linden Sweatshirt

The Linden is worn here with a beloved RTW skirt and shirt from Oasis, both of which I have had for many years (incidentally, both were gifts from my Nan). I take good care of my clothes so they tend to last a looong time.

Floral Linden Sweatshirt

My brother and his fiance’s miniature dachshund, Rupert, was with us at the church for a run around the grounds. Phil snapped him, as well as me, in his new threads.

Rupert the miniature Dachshund

Rupert the miniature Dachshund