I really love the Carolyn Pyjama Pattern by closet files. As soon as I finished my ones in a cotton lawn from Minerva, I immediately wanted to make another pair in a cosy brushed cotton. This time I tried the shorts part of the pattern out with this cosy funky monkey print Flannel Fabric.
This fabric is 100% cotton so I pre-washed the fabric to ensure they would not shrink. The fabric was a tricky customer to lay out. The soft texture meant it was hard to get flat and lay out the fabric without it dragging the piece underneath so lots of time is needed to cut out when using brushed cotton. Because I was concentrating so much on getting the fabric folded flat on the grain I seem to have accidentally cut my monkeys upside down, in that they are crawling up me rather than cheekily dangling down me! Anyway, no dramas...
I made a set this time using the simplest of pattern choices. No piping or cuffs, just a simple set in a fun fabric. There is no need to make smaller pattern pieces and wear headless monkeys. The fabric was more stable than lawn so pressing was a dream and they came together really easily with all notches matching. The fabric does not have any stretch or movement so I cut a 14 when I would normally wear a 12.
I overlocked every piece before I started following the instructions as well as marking all notches and dots with a water soluble pen. This helps for a smooth enjoyable sew.
They are a great fit and are so cosy. In conclusion, if you are cutting monkeys, lamas or any other fun character fabric be sure to have them up the right way round before you cut your pieces. As it is, I was lucky that these PJ's won't be worn out of the house!
Thanks for a great fabric. Jo xxx
I’m so excited to share with you my first make for the Minerva Crafts Blog, this tiered georgette dress. One of my absolute favourite RTW dresses of all time is made from georgette, however I’ve never used it myself so I was a little nervous. I shouldn’t have been - it was lovely to work with.
I made this dress with Minerva’s plain Single Georgette Fabric in Jade Green, Berry and Magenta, and I’ve appropriately nicknamed it my “liquorice allsorts” dress. Can you see why?
For the bodice, I used the Scout Tee pattern from Grainline Studio. This my favourite bodice pattern that I have reworked with an FBA and other adjustments over time. I cropped it to the shorten/lengthen line on the pattern piece and added under bust and back darts. I find this suits my hourglass shape better to give my waist more definition.
To achieve the skirt tiers, I worked with the length of the fabric width wise which is approximately 60”/150cm and made the panels 30cm/12” tall. This created panels that were: 150cm X 30cm or 60” X 12”. For the first magenta tier I used just one of this panels, for the berry tier I used two.
As this fabric was sheer, it was necessary to do multiple different seam techniques. For the bodice and the skirt panels, I Frenched all the joining seams. For the raw edges around the neckband and arm’s, I used a narrow hem, folding the same width twice. The seams needed to be even as the fabric is sheer you can see them from the outside of the dress. Check it out below: the top image is the outside and the bottom the inside. See, so neat!
To finish the edges of the tiers I wanted an option where you can see the gathers on the outside of the dress. After experimentation, I decided a rolled hem was the best option for this fabric. By using this, the seams were not only functional but also fun and beautiful.
The only problem I ran into when making this dress was that it showed water marks from the splutter my iron let off. To avoid this, I made sure I ran the steam of my iron before I applied it to the fabric.
Since making this dress I’ve used it both as a beach dress with no slip, and dressed it up! I feel it's about to become a staple in my wardrobe.
Thanks for reading,
My name is Sylvia and I am excited to share my latest project with you. One of my goals this year is to make at least half of the patterns in the Breaking the Pattern book by Named I purchased last year. When I received this gorgeous polycotton Denim Fabric from Minerva, I knew what the perfect pattern for it would be.
Minerva never fails me in the fabric department and this fabric was no different! This dark blue plain washed Polycotton Denim Fabric fabric is 70% cotton, 30% polyester. It is non-stretch, very soft, and has a beautiful drape, which makes it great for tops, skirts, and dresses like the one I have made.
There was no fuss working with this fabric, which is a plus for me. This classic polycotton denim comes in three different shades: blue, dark blue, and navy blue. Honestly, there so many patterns this fabric would have been perfect for but I ultimately chose to make a dress.
The Solina Dress is one of the patterns in the Breaking the Pattern book by Named, a Finnish clothing pattern label. The dress is midi-length, with a mandarin collar and pleats tied at the front. It also features a front slit and ties on the long sleeve version.
The most challenging part of prepping this pattern for sewing (especially for beginner sewers) is tracing out the pattern from the book but once that is done, it is such a breeze to sew. It only has five pieces and is an easy sew.
Modifications: The original pattern has a mandarin collar as the neckline but I chose to leave that out and sew a regular neckline, finishing it with bias tape. I also chose to sew short sleeves instead of the long sleeve version. I feel that my short sleeve version is more versatile for all seasons and I will be able to get more wear out of it. Because of my modifications and elimination of the mandarin collar, I only used four pattern pieces.
I think I chose the perfect fabric for this simple yet elegant dress and there are so many ways this piece can be styled. For my first wear I chose to pair it with thrifted wool jacket and sandals heels, for a more classic and elegant look.
Sylvia @ The Ravel Out
Posted in Projects on Saturday the 23rd March 2019 by Vicki Ormerod
Posted in Projects on Saturday the 23rd March 2019 by Vicki Ormerod
Hello again dear readers! I'm so happy to be back here with my second project.
Since just after Christmas we have had a brutal winter here on the Canadian prairies - crazy windchills - let me tell you I am well and truly over -45C to -50C temperatures - and if it isn't ridiculously bone-chilling cold it is snowing and blowing. (Disclaimer - I tried to wait for the weather to warm up because I love to take my photos outside even if there's several feet of snow on the ground but we're under constant and what feels like never ending "extreme cold warnings" and I am just not that brave! So my hallway wall had to suffice, which makes for somewhat abysmal lighting, but no risk of frostbite in seconds, so you know lesser of two evils and all)...
Because of the wintery weather I have been wearing all the layers and day after day of pants. Which if you've followed me on my own blog or Instagram at all you'll already know that I'm very much more fond of dresses than pants.
I'm also very, very fond of florals. Actually it goes well beyond fondness and swings towards obsession. It's not a "florals are in" right now kind of thing, it's a life long love. I simply cannot resist them. I spent the entire year of grade ten wearing a skirt that featured huge pink cabbage roses and could have easily stood in for some elderly grandmother's sofa or drapery. (Ok - maybe it wasn't the best choice of a floral print, but I adored that skirt).
So combine my near desperation for spring, a disdain for pants, a life long love of a floral print along with Minerva having so many gorgeous florals to choose from is what has led me to be writing this post today!
This floral Jersey Fabric is so soft and drapey, with such a beautiful print that I knew it had to be a dress. Its lightweight but not too thin. And even after tossing it in the washing machine and dryer it's not lost any of it's vibrant colour. I wanted the kind of dress that you can just throw on over your head and feel like you are set for what ever and where ever your day is going to take you.
After some consideration and weighing of options I thought I would try out a "new to me" Indie pattern company and decided on the Love Notions Olympia Dress. I wanted something to really show off the print of the fabric and I felt although the Olympia Dress has a center front seam and waist seam, it's simplicity might work well for what I wanted. The pattern features a shawl style neckline that ends in a v-neck at the front, combined with an A-line skirt. The pattern has options of a maxi or knee length skirt and sleeve lengths that range from sleeveless to long sleeved. It also has pockets, which normally are a complete win for me in a garment.
The pockets, however, are all in one with the skirt pieces, which is not something I’ve seen very often, and honestly, I feel for good reason. It's my opinion that you can get more potential for stability on a pocket that has a separate pattern piece. I was going to follow the pattern as written, despite my concerns, but then I had a bit of a mishap when I cut out the one piece and had a rather big triangle of fabric missing from one of my pocket bags. I hummed and hawed about adding in a bit of extra fabric to patch it - after all no one would be the wiser - but I was still really worried those pockets were going to sag with the weight of the drapey fabric and no stabilization so I made the decision to cut the pockets off and just continue on my merry way. You can see my cutting mishap in the photo below... it's a bit of a doozy. LOL
Another roadblock I ran into was completely forgetting that I should pay attention to matching the print on my bodice centre front. It didn't even occur to me until I'd sewed my bodice fronts together and the looked at the result. It was eye-glaringly obvious that my print was off. Yikes! Luckily I had enough fabric left over to cut another half of the bodice to match one existing side and I'm so glad I did. (Although sadly there went my dreams of making an Itch to Stitch Cartagena Cami with the left overs.) I love the way the print appears to match now - it's not perfect, but it's a WHOLE lot better than my first attempt, which I didn't bother to take photos of that. The fact my husband was laughing at how noticeable the mismatched print placement was sent me straight back to the cutting table without pause.
Other than those two minor bumps in the road, the dress sewed up nicely in the jersey and I think it's going to get a lot of rotation in my wardrobe as a great transition dress to wear between the season of "pants because there's a legitimate risk of freezing" and the "oh my goodness it's way too hot to wear anything with sleeves" season.
So if like me, you can't resist a great floral print, go take a look and see at all the ones available. There really is nothing like wearing beautiful, colourful blooms to make a person feel cheerful!
I want to show you a close up of the colours on this jersey! I'm not sure how well it comes across - photos just don't seem to do it justice, really. There are the beautiful bright colours that are instantly noticeable, but there are the more muted colours too, that you don't really notice at first glance, almost like a bit of a ghost of a print that is like a delightful surprise once you see them!
And on that note, I'll leave you here. I'm off to peruse patterns for my next project and I can't wait to get started! Happy crafting and I'll see you next time!
Sarah @ Prairie Girl Knits
Posted in Projects on Friday the 22nd March 2019 by Vicki Ormerod
I recently made my first ever coat for the Minerva Crafts blog, which was a very special garment to make. After that I thought, it might be quite some time until I get to make another WOW-piece but I guess I was wrong. Instead, I was lucky and got the chance to work with the most beautiful Embroidered Lace Fabric. I was actually unsure whether to go for a chambray and make a shirtdress or turn this lace into something I had not determined yet. Fortunately Vicki from Minerva Crafts gave me the nudge I needed to pick the lace. I can always make another shirtdress, right.
After some sewing pattern browsing, I decided on Butterick 6582. I wanted to use a vintage style as that is my kind of aesthetic when it comes to sewing. I had not made this pattern before and always wanted to. The neckline is interesting and the full skirt was perfect to show of plenty of the lace detail.
The fabric is a border design, running along both selvages which makes it great to use for gathered skirts. I cut the bodice using one selvage and he skirt using the other. The fabric is 52” wide so I managed to make use of the design efficiently. There are a few different metallic shades in the lace alongside some peach tones and the netting of the material is a beautiful warm taupe-ish shade. I really liked all the colours in it as they worked well with my rather pale complexion. Plus this gave me plenty of colour options to choose from for the under layer/main fabric of the dress.
I wasn’t sure which one of the shades in the lace to pick for the main fabric I was going to use underneath the lace. I wanted a fabric that wasn’t too flimsy and would add volume to the skirt and support to the bodice. I ordered a bunch of swatches of cotton sateens, stretch cottons and satins in shades of gold, silver, taupe and peach tones.
In the end I decided on a plain Stretch Cotton Fabric in peach which was just the perfect match for the lace. I love how it is complimenting the delicate peach shade in the lace. It also makes the dress perfect for a Spring/Summer occasion. It’s so fresh and vibrant, I love it.
I hand basted the lace to each of the bodice pieces before assembling the bodice. I find that way I get a better result and avoid puckering of the lighter more slippery lace layer.
I cut the dress and skirt pattern pieces from the stretch cotton using the original pattern pieces but only cut the bodice pieces from the lace fabric. Since the lace is a border print, I cut rectangles as long as I wanted the skirt to be, using one selvage of the fabric to run along the hemline. I cut off the remaining netting close to the edge of the embroidery. No need for hemming. The embroidery detail creates a lovely scalloped edge hem). I cut those rectangles as wide as the original skirt pattern pieces were. I then gathered the lace skirt and basted it to the cotton skirt, distributing the extra volume of the lace layer evenly. Then I used the two skirt layers as one and proceeded with the pattern instructions.
I also opted for an Invisible Zipper.
I ended up not lining this dress and only used facings. The two layers of cotton and lace are very stable and interfacing the facings adds enough structure and support to this dress. A layer of lining would have added too much weight and volume to the dress for my liking. I am also intending to wear this with proper foundation garments and a petticoat. So too many layers would make it too warm to wear in the summer (but would have been welcome when I took the pictures….it was around 1Degree Celsius that day).
I loved working with this lace. I could see this make a beautiful wedding dress, or in my case wedding anniversary dress. It’s my 10 year anniversary this year and this will make the perfect dress for the occasion. I highly recommend the fabric and pattern. There are so many other colours you could combine this lace with.
Thank you very much for reading. See you soon.
Until then, you can find me on Instagram at @beatricewinter XX
Posted in Projects on Friday the 22nd March 2019 by Vicki Ormerod
Hello lovely crafters! This blog post is a lot of firsts for me - my first sewing project for Minerva, my first time sewing with jersey fabric and my first time sewing a Tilly and the Buttons pattern.
I received the Tilly and the Buttons Bettine Dress Pattern as a gift last year. I’m not great at getting handmade clothes to fit so I made a toile using an old bed sheet. It was a little tight in the hip area so I though the easiest solution would be to make it out of a stretch fabric. The Bettine dress pattern recommends stable, woven fabrics but Tilly has extra information on her website on how to make it in jersey fabrics. The main difference is to replace the neck facings with a neckband, and she does recommend not to make the pocket version as they may droop. Most of my bought clothing is in stretch fabrics so I knew I would love this version of the dress.
Minerva provided 2 metres of this lovely floral, navy cotton Jersey Fabric. I would really recommend this fabric; it seems to be good quality and isn’t see-through. It is two-way stretch which means it only stretches in one direction. I chose to have this stretch horizontally to fit my hips and to avoid the potential for the dress to grow in length with wear. The floral pattern is busy enough to hide my amateur mistakes but not so busy as to boggle the eyes of your nearest and dearest. You will also need some ½ inch elastic for the waist.
To choose the size I needed, I measured my bust, waist and hips and referred to the measurements table on the pattern. I averaged the Size 4 (UK 12). I am making the plain version and decided to trace my pattern out onto pattern tracing paper and to add length to the skirt piece. I used the instructions on Tilly’s website to make the pattern piece for the neckband, which is only a rectangle, phew! All markings were transferred and the five pattern pieces cut out.
Some tips I read about cutting out jersey fabric were to use pattern weights rather than pins to secure the pattern to the fabric, and to cut the pieces out with a rotary cutter rather than scissors. If like me you are an amateur dressmaker without the full assortment of tools, food cans work just as well to hold your pattern in place. For pieces to be cut on the fold, I used the flower pattern to align my folds. The rotary cutter was definitely easier and quicker than scissors as the fabric moves around quite easily. You should now have 7 pieces of fabric for sewing.
Using a jersey needle and a zig-zag stitch (2.5mm) I was able to make the dress on my normal sewing machine. The pattern is very easy to follow, and there aren’t many pieces to sew together. I used LOADS of pins to reduce distortion and stretching of the fabric. The top and skirt are made separately then are sewn together at the waist with a large seam allowance to enable a second line of stitches to make the casing for the elastic waist. The good thing about jersey is you don’t have to finish the edges if you don’t want to as the fabric doesn’t fray.
Inserting the elastic was a little tricky at the seams as the seam allowances can get in the way, but once done it really gives the dress its style. To hem the dress I laid it flat on the table and folded the bottom edge up, trying to make it straight and level all the way around. I pinned this in place and tried it on again to double check it looked reasonably level. Without another person to help there isn’t an easy way of doing this, especially since the waist seem is now gathered up with elastic so isn’t reliable to measure down from. I stitched around the hem using a shorter zig-zag stitch and trimmed off the excess.
I did the sleeve cuffs last as to me they were the finishing touch. They went on really easily. Whilst this isn’t in the instructions I did decide to top stitch them as well, to stop the inside seam slipping to the outside. I trimmed off the excess fabric and secured the cuffs to the right side with a couple of hand stitches at the top and bottom sleeve seams.
All it needed now was a good press with a medium heat iron, and to wear with pride!
I look forward to wearing this dress, and whilst more suited to summer, in the winter it would look great worn over a long sleeve t-shirt, with a woolly cardigan, paired with thick tights and boots.
I hope you enjoyed this blog post and will give this project a try.
For more of my makes find me on Instagram and YouTube as Stitching_Joanne