View all the latest fabrics to arrive at Minerva Crafts... Click here »

Need help? Contact us on 01254 708068 from 9am til 5pm Monday to Friday

POSTS PER PAGE: 3 | 6 | 9 | 12

1 2 3 4 > »
0 Comments

Bees Knees Postcard Pattern Review by Emma

Sometimes it's nice as a sew-person to have really simple instructions on a little card so you are not battling through reams of paper instructions or pausing and starting YouTube. However, sometimes a simple piece of card can leave you a little confused too. 

The Villa Rosa Designs Quilting Patterns are just that, a little postcard with all you need to make this quilt.

It tells you what you need (8 fat quarters and 2 and a quarter yards of fabric). Then has some very basic instructions on putting it together. 

Away I went, I sliced my fat quarters up. I love using Fat Quarters for Quilts, they are so readily available and usually so well coordinated. I know you see lots of tutorials about what to make with fat quarters but I find quilts the most satisfying by far. I chose a lovely bundle in spring greens which came as a pack of 7 so I added one more from a woodland themed pack I had. 

I sliced and labelled, determined to be organised so the simple instructions didnt catch me out.

I really enjoy the process of sewing up strips like this, I find it one of the most relaxing parts of sewing, something that takes little concentration and you can do whilst the TV or radio is on. It was slightly overshadowed here by my nerves though as I was worried I would get the placements wrong and I could see that this is would be crucial to the design. It meant that I didn't manage to do much chain stitching, as I wanted to get it right but I'm sure a more experienced quilter would be able to whiz through this. 

At this point the pieces look like this... 

I then sliced them in to five inch pieces, this is where it got sticky because it says to make 4 lots of 5 inches from each strip, I'm not sure if I did it wrong or the fat quarters were not to be relied upon but I could only get three lots of 5 inch squares out of some of my Strips. However, I've made it work so don't give up on this just yet!! I suspect that there is a direction in which to cut the fat quarters and in it's determination to be concise there isn't any tips like this on the card. 

I am not an experienced quilter so I don't want to patronise anyone but the trick to getting this right is to continually label up and make sure everything is facing the right direction. 

I began to piece together the strips using the code on the card and luckily, because of the way the blocks line up I managed to skip around the 'not enough blocks' situation and sewed the patterns in place. It has just meant that the quilt is shorter than it should be. Not the end of the world. Luckily, I left the theme fabric until the end so I was able to cut it to size.

However, I was unable to get the pattern running throughout like the mirror image it shows on the card as I didn't have enough pieces but I still think it looks effective. You can still see a pattern between the block, I feel. 

As you can see, there's quite a lot of doing as you see best or that fits.

I quilted it by using chunky straight lines as I don't have the equipment, time or patience to freehand or motion quilt and I think it looks really smart. 

As much as the colours I chose are pretty, I think to really make the most of the pattern it needs really bright or contrasting colours. I think it would help the pattern and make it look a little bit more modern. What do you think? 

In conclusion, whilst I think it's a charming little quilt and a quick way to make a really effective pattern for a cute quilt, my warning would be that it is definitely not for beginners! Measure, measure again and label the life out of it!

Thanks for reading,

Emma @ Emma and her Machine

23 Comments

Minerva Crafts News: Our Darwen Bricks and Mortar Shop will Close 27th August

Hello,
Today we bring you news of a new chapter for Minerva Crafts. It is a family business run by myself (Vicki) and my mum and dad, (Annette and Phil), and the three of us have worked together in the business since I was 8 years old.
As some of you will know, Minerva Crafts not only sell online, we also have a physical retail shop called the 'Minerva Craft Centre' at our base in Darwen, Lancashire, which is attached to our warehouse. The shop has been very successful for us and we are very proud to have won 3 awards for it over the last 5 years. It is my mum Annette who has run the "bricks and mortar" side of the business for us, with a fantastic team of staff, whereas my dad and I look after the "online" side of the business.
My mum decided a year ago, after working 6/7 days a week for as long as I can remember, to take a bit more time away from work and spend a few days a week looking after the newest addition to our family - her grand-daughter, baby Emily - whom we all adore. We all feel really happy about my mum doing this, as it is definitely the best thing personally for her to do right now.
With my mum now working less hours, we have been faced with a decision about what to do with the managing of the shop. Our shop and the online side of the business run completely separately from each other and are very different (even though they sell the same products!). Our shop is huge and it takes a huge amount of resources in both time and money to keep it running. For about a year now we have been running it with my mum only working part time and we have definitely felt the strain. We have known for some time now that something had to give. 
We do feel, very strongly, that we wish to remain a family run company with us at the heart of it. It just wouldn't be the same for us to run the shop with anyone else other than my mum. We also face the same struggles that many shops do nowadays, with increased costs at every turn, and the shop would struggle to support a bigger team of staff than it does currently. We have, therefore, finally come to a decision and decided to close our shop. This has not been, in any way, an easy decision for us, and we have been considering the idea - toying backwards and forwards for a long time now - to make sure we are making the right decision. 
We are sincerely sorry to every customer who only shops with us in our physical shop - we are sure there will be many of you who will be very disappointed to see the shop close. We hope that you will understand our decision in this rapidly changing world, and we hope you will continue to support us in our new chapter.
On a positive note, we are very much looking to the future here at Minerva HQ. We are looking forward to being able to fully concentrate on the online side of our business which we absolutely love. We can put our full efforts and energies into our website and serving our amazing customers all over the world. The shop space will be fully utilised for more warehousing, which will allow us to introduce even more beautiful products to our range on the website. Also, our fantastic team of staff in the shop are all fully trained in the warehouse too, so nobody will be leaving us.
My mum is really looking forward to now being able to spend more time sewing and making things with all our beautiful products. Her role at Minerva will, of course, change and now she will be able to focus on writing informative and inspirational posts for the Minerva Crafts blog. My mum has been a dressmaker and crafter all her life and has so much inspiration and knowledge to share, I am sure you are going to love all of her ideas!
It will be a very sad day for us to see the shop close, but we are all fully embracing this new chapter here at Minerva. We can only apologise again to everyone who will miss being able to use our shop and we hope that you will understand our desicion and will continue to support us in the future.
If you prefer to talk to someone rather than shop online, you will be able to place an order with us over the telephone on 01254 708068. You will also be able to arrange to collect your parcel from us if you live locally. This allows you to view over 100,000 products that we now sell! This would never have been possible just by visiting the shop.
We plan to close the shop on the 27th of August 2017, so our last day of trading will be Saturday the 26th of August. For any of our customers who are Minerva Craft Club members, and who only purchase from us in the shop - please pop in with your card between now and then, if you wish to cancel your subscription. A refund will be made for the remainder of the period.
Thank you for reading and for your continued support over the years,
Vicki, Annette and Phil
0 Comments

Review: Crafty Pompoms by Sylvia!

Who doesn’t love pompoms? I was so excited to receive these Clover Pompom Makers from Minerva Crafts to review. In this review, I’ll be giving a few tips on how to make the use of these tools easier. The advantage of making your own pompoms versus buying store bought pompoms is you can make it as fluffy, as big or small and as colorful as you want.

I started doing ‘research’ right away (pinterest, instagram, etc) to figure out what to make with these treasures. I was so overwhelmed with all the crafts you can make with pompoms, I finally decided to make something I’ll actually use regularly so to try I decided to make bookmarks and a wall art.

Tip #1: Use a small scissors such as an embroidery scissors especially if you have an extra small maker. 

I received a small and an extra small package. One advice I have for anyone planning to buy these makers especially in the extra small size is make sure you have small scissors (such as embroidery scissors) as well. This will make cutting the yarn once it’s wrapped around the tool easy to cut. I struggled with my scissors for a while but once I switched over to my Embroidery Scissors, I was in pompom heaven!

Tip #2: The more yarn you wrap around, the fluffier your pompom gets.

I wanted medium fluffiness for my bookmark, which was inspired by several pinterest posts. I used the small pompom tool to make these, cut out hearts from felts to cover the knot on the other end by sewing a pair of the felt hearts together and voila! You have yourself a fun, diy, and functional craft!

Tip #3: Tie more than one knot when securing your pompom. 

This helps ensure that the yarn is strongly in place. I made a wall art piece using all the sizes I received, another pinterest inspired project. This will find a home in my sewing room soon.

The instructions on the back on the pompom packaging are great but it still took me three pompoms to get used to making perfect pompoms. So don’t expect to have a perfect one the first time. Just keep at it and you’ll find you get better with each pompom you make. Enjoy and go crazy with these little treasures!

Sylvia from The Ravel Out

XOXO

0 Comments

#PatternoftheWeek - McCalls 7566

Summer is in full bloom (I saw that on a bill board this morning and thought mmmm is it?) and what better way to celebrate it than to wear something soft and floaty. Whether you are going to a summer barbecue with friends or simply lounging around, sipping a cocktail, on your long awaited holiday. McCalls Sewing Pattern 7566 fits the bill perfectly.
This is such a pretty style and shows femininity at its best. Version C and D have a gorgeous full cape down to the waist. This cape is all in one piece across the back as the following photo of the lineart shows, therefore the zip for this is sewn within the seam. 
The following photo shows how the neck edge of the back seam is sewn together with the zip starting about 2" down...
This allows the cape to be sewn in one piece and therefore flow freely.
After the cape is pinned on to the bodice the lining is then attached and the neckline then sewn all in one go. 
When the lining is turned to the inside the cape is enclosed between the two layers. My choice of fabrics for today are Georgette Fabrics and our generic description for these beautiful fabrics on our website is as follows...
"Georgette fabric is distinctive for its crinkly crepe-like texture, which feels slightly rough and dull, but gives the fabric a bouncy, flowing look. The overall appearance is slightly sheer, since the threads are very thin. The crepe-like texture of georgette fabric makes it very springy, so that the fabric almost appears to move on its own. It also drapes very well, making it a popular choice for women's clothing. Since georgette fabric is thin, it is also lightweight, and can be used as a layer in a larger garment without being heavy or bulky. Layers of georgette fabric may be used for a fanciful effect, especially in gowns and special occasion wear. Bridal gowns, evening dresses, and other formal wear are often made with georgette fabric because of these beautiful qualities. At Minerva Crafts we stock a lovely range of plain georgette fabrics with an ever changing range of georgette prints throughout the year".
My first choice for today is this Floral Fabric. This also comes in blues, so pretty.
This would look lovely made up as version C and is £5.99 per mt. I love those Rose Gold Scissors that just happened to appear in the photo, these are a very traditional scissor but have a very modern twist with the rose gold handles. The fabric is a slightly heavier fabric than the others I am showing you today but it is still very soft and flowing.
My choice for version D is this fab Paisley Fabric, a little higher in price at £8.99 per mt.
This is quite a large design so I feel it is quite suited to a maxi dress.
I love the frill on version A and this is sewn in a similar way to the cape version, the frill enclosed within the neckline seam but this time the zip goes straight to the top. Yes of course we have lots of self-coloured georgettes (as it looks on the pattern) but I wanted to show you something a little different. So I have chose this spotty Georgette Fabric. This is on offer at an amazing price of just £2.99 per mt. Yes you read that right!!
Take a look at some new sewing bits and bobs all from the Prym range....
I love the colour, a very pretty turquoise with white spots. My favourites are the Magnetic Pin Tray and the Magnetic Needle Holder. If you have never seen one of these before you 'wind up' the needle case to choose your needle and even if you tip it upside down they will not fall out. These two items are invaluable to me.
Last but not least for fabric today is this gorgeous multicoloured print Fabric... 
This is simply stunning and for me would make up perfectly as version B. This is the same basic dress but has been kept quite simple. Perfect for this very bright fabric because there are no frills or capes, just a V-neck, sleeveless and falling to the floor. 
Hope you've enjoyed today's picks and thanks for reading,
Annette xx
0 Comments

Crochet Sandal Espadrilles by Mady

Hi everyone!

It’s summer and of course it’s all about summer clothes, accessories and SHOES! But, who knew that making shoes is actually easy? Making my own espadrilles was on my mind for a long time now, so when I got the chance to test Prym's Espadrilles Soles from Minerva Crafts I was beyond happy! I thought a lot about what kind of espadrilles I would like to make with these soles and had a good internet search about them. I also found a little bit about their history: espadrilles begun as a peasant footwear and then become the urban workers footwear before becoming such a popular modern footwear over the spring and summer months for both women and men.

The design possibilities are endless and after my research I came to the conclusion that I wanted mine to be some kind of crocheted sandals. 

Searching for different types of espadrille sandals, I came across this video and I decided to loosely follow the instructions for my version. So, with step one (deciding the design) done, I was off to step two (the yarn!). 

When I discovered Katia's Tahiti yarn I knew I found the perfect yarn for this project. Tahiti is a 100% combed and mercerized cotton yarn with a really great color selection. I went with colorways 7 (beige) and 8 (light beige).

I used a 5.5mm crochet hook and made the whole design holding together one strand of each yarn for a more bulky look and sturdy design. It was a really quick, easy and satisfying project!

When I finished crocheting the sandal design for both shoes, I used a burlap yarn and a heavy duty needle to attach the crocheted pieces to the Prym espadrille soles. For this I used a blanket stitch - a very common stitch in espadrilles - which creates a really sturdy and good looking join.

Next I made the ties of the shoes by chaining many stitches holding together one strand of each yarn until I had a long strip I could wrap loosely around my ankle and I thread them through the crocheted pieces.

I'm so in love with my new, unique espadrille sandals! I would totally recommend Creating Your Own Espadrilles with Prym’s soles. It is so much fun and such a worthy outcome!

0 Comments

Summer Fabric Bundle Review by Emma

For my latest review for Minerva I opted to try to Summer Fabric Bundle. I was a bit cautious as obviously you don't know what you are going to get. However, I wasn't disappointed. I have worked with bundles before but they are usually much smaller pieces that can be used for crafts, make up bags etc. This bundle came with two 1 metre pieces and another piece which was 3 metres long so a definite bargain straight away.

I set about thinking immediately, I thought I'd find it difficult to be creative with fabric I hadn't chosen but I felt inspired. I had just made a successful version of Mccalls Pattern 6927 so I decided to make another summery version using the white floral piece. 

I wanted to do version D which has a long length and a curved back hem line and realised I wouldn't have enough, I can rarely make a top in my size with a metre. Anyway, I thought I could maybe use two different fabrics and I improvised. I went looking through my stash for a fabric that matched and then had a light bulb moment as I looked up the green cotton that had come with it. Bingo. So I cut the beginnings of the top bodice, stopping just before the bust darts and cut the remaining front in the green. I cut the sleeves out of the floral too as I didn't want to clash too much! I think it was a good choice, the green contrasts but ties in with the green in the flowers. 

I love making this top too, it has lots of variations and a great fit. I used bias binding all around instead of facing, especially on the curved hem as I find it can make it easier. I was really pleased to have such a wearable, bright top out of the two smaller pieces.

What's more, I had enough green left over to make some super cute little baby trousers for a friend who is having a baby. This was an absolute bonus for me. They were really simple but I think simple is good for babies. It also meant I could whip them up alongside sewing my top! I am thinking of embroidering some little flowers along the hem if it's a girl though! 

On to the last piece; it was a see-through chiffon number. I always class purple colours like this at autumnal so I didn't feel it was too summery but it is a light fabric at least. I decided to make the Cotton and Chalk Olivia Dress again as I thought I would then be able to wear it over a black slip.

The pattern needs 3 metres and there was plenty and even enough to add the optional ruffles. I don't have a lot of experience with this kind of material so it was great to try it out in such an inexpensive way. I have other chiffons which I have bought and love but I haven't braved sewing up yet because of my inexperience with them so it was great to practice on this. It didn't go badly at all, the whole dress needed French seams, which means that it wasn't as quick as a project as I would like but I like to make sure that things will last. 

I still wasn't sure throughout the making process if the colours were a bit drab for my liking but once it was done I really liked it and I will be wearing it through summer and autumn.

My advice for this product: relish the unexpected nature of it and allow it to let you think outside your comfort zone and test your creativity! If you're new to sewing like me then take the opportunity to try different fabrics in a way that doesn't leave you feeling you've thrown your money away!

Thanks for reading,

Emma @ Emma and her Machine

0 Comments

#FabricFriday - Cheap and Cheerful Polycottons

Cheap and Cheerful certainly applies to our vast collection of Polycotton Fabrics here at Minerva. There is virtually something for every subject under the sun. I thought today we would look at a few childrens designs and some ways of using this never-ending choice. My first choice would be to make Simplicity Pattern 8098.
The sizes on this range from XXS which would be a prem size up to L which is for approx 18 months old or up to 24lb. Remember you must measure! I adore version D and would use polycotton Gingham Fabric at £3.99 per mt (this is the most expensive fabric for today) together with our Pretty Flower Print Fabric at £2.99 per mt. 
Instead of making a bow out of another length of blue gingham (unless you have any in your stash that is) I would make my bow out of Berisfords Gingham Ribbon. For this combination I would use 40mm wide and colour 5 which is a pretty pale blue. Don't you think this would look absolutely stunning. If you prefer the colour a little bolder try the Royal gingham ribbon.
Yet another Simplicity Sewing Pattern has 'jumped' out of the pages at me and that is no 1449...
The fabric I have chose to show you is our 'Ditzy Daisy' print Polycotton Fabric...
I love the colours of the little flowers especially the mustard one. Mmmmmm that's a thought for another day! Version A and B is the one made up on the model and just look at that hat. What little girl wouldn't like that? And remember this is a fab sunhat. You may even get the little one to actually wear it with it matching the pretty dress. The dress (version A and B) is layered in gathered panels, just like we used to make gypsy skirts! But you can make it with just one frill around the bottom or without a frill altogether. The gathers round the neckline and those little puff sleeves look so cute.
Florals aren't everybodys choice so how about our Alphabet Print Polycotton Fabric. Again this would lend itself perfectly to this pattern.
Right, next on the agenda is the older girl. Ok so they would probably run a mile if you suggested either of the last 2 fabrics but I will not be beat! Take a look at Simplicity Pattern 8354...
Especially look at version D...
The pattern for the little cropped top is also included in this pattern but made in jersey. Among the suggested fabrics for the shorts are cottons and denims so why not choose a Denim Coloured Polycotton Fabric
My Grandaughter Jess, who is now 19 says she would love this outfit for her hols. So I think I've chose OK.
Hey I must not forget the young men out there. Check out Burda Pattern 9436...
What do you think of this combination below? This is the Car Print Fabric and this also comes in blue where the dominant car colour is blue but still on a white background. I've teamed this with red polycotton again all at £2.99 per mt.
Here's something worth mentioning about this combination - this polycotton is very fine and quite see-through as in when you place it over the red you can sort of see the red through it. So my thoughts are as follows; this fabric would be absolutely ideal for a holiday shirt for your little boy and apart from looking quite cool (hehe) it would actually be quite cool. So the problem is those knee patches, why not use some iron-on interfacing, this would make it less see-through and also give it a little more strength in 'that' area. Likewise you could use some bondaweb and bond the car fabric onto some plain white cotton from your stash. I know I'm not focusing on patterns today as such but I must show you the line art of this little boys outfit...
You may have noticed while looking at the pattern a ribbed border has been used on version B and D. For this I would use Prym Ribbing and while on an adults garment this would be just enough for round the bottom edge, I'm pretty sure 1 pk would be enough for everything on this pattern, even round the armholes on the little shirt. The following is a photo of a 'rough' drawing of how I would divide the piece.
The bigger piece would be folded in half along the length for the waistband of the trousers and the rest would be divided into 4 smaller pieces, again folded in half along the length, for the bottoms of the legs and for the sleeve edgings.
I feel todays post shows you don't have to spend a fortune to dress your little ones in something special. Apart from the gingham, everything is priced at just £2.99 per mt and I feel the patterns I have mentioned could each be used to make various outfits. Plus, all the patterns I have mentioned today are currently on sale at Half price in our Biggest Ever Sewing Pattern Sale here at Minerva Crafts, so that will save you even more!
And yet again thanks for reading,
Annette xx
0 Comments

Embroidered Border Vintage Style Circle Skirt by Harriet

Hello to you reading this – I'm Harriet and I blog over at hobblinghandmades.com and am a sewing vlogger on YouTube! 

I'd been looking for Dressmaking Fabric to use for a Simplicity Sewing Pattern for ages, but couldn't find anything wide enough (or pretty enough) so when I got an email from Vicki and saw that this beautiful Cotton Lawn Fabric was up for grabs, I couldn't resist it!

The Sewing Pattern that I wanted it for had a very big full circle skirt, which was where the issue of fitting the pattern pieces onto the fabric presented itself. Before I popped this lovely broderie fabric in the wash, I had a trial run of fitting the pattern piece onto the material and – thank goodness - it fit perfectly and it meant that I could have a stunning border print along the bottom of my skirt.

It did occur to me as soon as I heard the water start running in the machine that really I should've measured the fabric before and after washing it, so that I could report back on the shrinkage – but I think that the amount that it did shrink was so small that it wouldn't have been much of a percentage at all. That doesn't mean that you shouldn't pre-wash this fabric though!

As I was cutting out this lovely polycotton, I noticed that there was hardly any fraying going on at the raw edges, which was definitely a big bonus! Although it is always a good idea to do something to the edges of cut fabric (whether that's using pinking shears, overlocking or using a zig-zag stitch), the exposed raw edges of a garment in this fabric would probably survive okay without any kind of edge finishing.

Another thing that I noticed was that, unless you accidentally press a massive fold into it with an iron, the fabric does not crease. This is due to the polyester percentage in the fabric – it means that it's less likely to crease because of the man-made polyester component, but that its percentage of the fabric isn't so high that it feels at all synthetic! A win-win.

The material was so lovely to work with – gathers were easy to put in, pleats, it dealt with unpicking well, but it is slightly see through when you wear it; something I didn't notice until I started to take my photos! This isn't a massive problem, though, and can easily be fixed by wearing lighter coloured underwear, a slip, or adding a lining underneath.

I did intend on using this fabric to make the dress from the patern above, but I had a fitting nightmare with the bodice and ended up abandoning it and just using the skirt pieces from the pattern, and added my own waistband. The fitting issues were through no fault of the fabric – it was the pattern, and it's made me cross that I've wasted some of the material!

I'm so pleased with the finished skirt – it has a beautiful drape, the colour is very sophisticated, and the border broderie anglaise detail adds interest without detracting from the simplicity of the skirt. I know that I'll be wearing it a lot – and buying the fabric in the creamy blush colour as well!  

0 Comments

The Papercut Patterns Yoyo Dress by Lauren

Hi, Lauren here, let’s get the introductions over and done with… Short story: I like sewing and making things and I write about said things over on my blog, craftworksblog.com.

Did you know Minerva Crafts do Indie Sewing Patterns? This is probably news to no one but me, but yes, they do indeed do indie patterns, including Papercut Patterns. This kind of made my day when I found out, which may sound sad to most people, but I’m guessing that if you’re reading this post on Minerva Crafts’ blog, you will probably understand what I mean. 

There are a few Papercut Patterns that have been on my list a while, but as I am in desperate need of summery-type dresses and due to the fact that prior to writing this I had a big holiday coming up,  (my honeymoon actually) I decided to try out the Yoyo Dress Pattern

There have been a lot of Yoyo dresses milling around the blog/Instagram world, some of them on the smarter side, some of them more casual. I wanted to make one that would look fairly dressed-up when worn on holiday with heels and stuff, but could also look more casual with a shirt under at work. I also wanted it to be fairly lightweight, as I’d be wearing it in Florida which turned out to be pretty warm at this time of year (who knew?) - that’s why I ended up picking the fabric I did.

The Fabric

After studying the denim/chambray section of the Minerva Crafts website for quite a long time (there’s a lot to chose from!) I decided on this pastel Cotton Chambray Fabric and to really venture out of my comfort zone, (NOT) I went for the pastel pink option - as if I don’t have enough of that colour already. I didn’t really know how thick or heavy it would be, as I didn’t order a swatch, so I was a little worried when it arrived…

 

…It looked rather sheer, and as the pattern isn’t lined I was worried I’d end up showing a little more than I really wanted to. However, I was worried unjustly, as it covers my decency and doesn’t expose anything I’d rather stayed hidden, which is definitely something you want in a garment right?

I was expecting it to look a little more denim-y for some reason, but it has more of a cotton look and feel, which made it really nice to sew with, and made construction a hell of a lot easier. It does crease though, which would be fine if I wasn’t so crap at ironing. (You can probably tell from my pictures that the ironing part of the construction process was a bit of a hash job.) 

The Construction

This is the first Papercut Patterns pattern I’ve made, so I didn’t know what to expect. First impressions - the pattern and envelope packet is so cute! I loved the recycled paper and the illustrations are lovely; also, the envelope is bigger than the norm, which makes it a load easier to fold it back up after you’ve finished. 

The pattern was pretty easy to fit together, everything in the instructions was fairly self explanatory. I was most nervous about inserting the open ended zip down the front of the dress, as:

 

I haven’t inserted an open ended zip before

I knew if it wasn’t even both sides, it would throw the whole garment out of whack 

I thought the zip itself might be too heavy and pull the front of the dress down

 

It turned out that the zip was one of the simplest parts of the garment. I made sure I hand-tacked it in place after pinning so it was less likely to move about, and measured from the bottom of the bodice up on both sides. 

 

The facings went together really well too, except while I was finishing the edges of the underarm facing with my new overlocker, I had a little accident…. I ended up chopping a chunk out of it and had to do some damage control, which left me with a funny-looking right underarm. Ah well, at least no one can see the issue there.

Two features I loved about this pattern is inverted diagonal at the bottom of the hem where the zip ends, and the V at the back of the neck. These kind of details make it look a bit more contemporary. 

The Fit

I cut a size small, as it corresponded closest with my measurements. This felt great as I rarely find myself cutting out a small - nice little confidence booster there! However, this didn’t go exactly as expected. 

It sewed up a lot bigger than expected which threw off some of the measurements on the dress for me. The dress fit well at the waist, but the shoulders sure didn’t fit. I took some of the fabric out at the shoulder seam, but they’re still a little big for me, as is the hip area. 

I haven’t yet taken the side seams of the skirt in, as I thought I’d wear it a couple of times first and see how it feels. It’s really comfy, while still holding me in in the right places, so I think I might just keep it how it is for now. 

 

Overall I think this is a dress I’m going to get a lot of use out of. I like it on it’s own, but I can also imagine wearing it with a shirt or a stripy top, with tights and boots in the winter. If I were to make it again though, the shoulders are definitely something I’d look at - as it’s the only thing that slightly gets on my nerves when I have the dress on. Besides that tiny aspect, I’m really happy with it, and see a dressier version in black. 

 

If you fancy checking out some of the other things I’ve made - mainly in pale pink - head to www.craftworksblog.com

0 Comments

Embroidered Border Vogue 9242 by Ali @ Thimberlina

Hi! My name’s Ali (also known as Thimbers by my sewing pals!) and I’m a new reviewer here at Minerva.  I blog at Thimberlina and I love all sorts of craftiness but my true love is dress making. I mainly sew for myself and occasionally loved ones who appreciate the time and effort that goes into to handmade garments and gifts.

The first thing I do when a new Fabric arrives is to wash it straight away, even if I don’t plan to use it immediately. So when this super soft lightweight Cotton Lawn Fabric dropped onto my door mat I took a quick photo and popped it straight in the washing machine. Luckily it was a lovely sunny day and it dried in no time on the airer in the garden.  As you can see from the photo it’s the creamy pinky blush colour that is everywhere at the minute.

Choosing what to make with this fabric was easy as I’d recently bought Vogue Sewing Pattern 9242 a very on trend off the shoulder top with wide sleeves and a floaty bodice which would show the border off perfectly.   

I needed more fabric than what was suggested on the packet as I could only use one side of the selvedge and I wanted the border on the bottom and also on the sleeves. In order to work out how much I needed I opened up the pieces and measured each one individually. The total worked out at 310 cm. I forgot to include the bias piece needed for the casing but luckily Vicki had sent me 3.5m so I just had enough. 

If you’re thinking of using this fabric and showing off the border too you need to adjust the pattern slightly.  It’s fairly simple so don’t let it put you off!  Here’s how I did it.

Lay out the pattern pieces.  As you can see from my bodice back and front the lower edge is curved. You need to square this off so it’s straight like the border edge of the fabric.

To straighten the bottom just fold the pattern piece. I also wanted to shorted the top slightly as I wanted it to sit above my hips not on them. Remember that you won’t need the hem allowance, and the length can’t be adjusted afterwards so measure carefully or tissue fit the pattern so you’re happy with the length.

I did the same with the sleeve pieces and removed the curve by folding the pattern piece.  

Once I had all my pieces ready I pressed my fabric and had a trial run trimming back to the scalloped edge using my Applique Scissors. The trick is to get close without snipping the threads, so take it slowly as unless you want to order more fabric you won’t get a second chance!

I thought once it came to making up the top that the side seams might be slightly disjointed as I couldn’t match up the scalloped edges exactly.  

I was very lucky and just manipulated the seam allowances ever so slightly to match the bottom edge of stitching.

I opened up the seam, and all looked ok, so then was able to overlock the raw edge.

And then trim away the fabric to the scalloped edge. This was quite exciting and a little bit daunting. I placed the garment on a flat surface and took it really slow. I timed myself and it took less than 10 minutes to trim away all the lower edge which is probably faster than hemming it! I added Fray Check to the bottom of the seams so the stitching and overlocking won’t unravel.

Other than adjusting the pattern to accommodate the fancy edge I followed the pattern as per instructions. The fabric was a dream to sew and didn’t need pressing at all except for the shoulder straps. This is a first for me as usually I have my clapper to hand for every pressed seam and never cut corners. But this fabric just never held a crease, and the softness of it would have been lost if I’d have pressed the living daylights out of it! 

And here’s the top finished, after it had been packed in a suitcase, worn on a night out and then flung over the chair.  It still hadn’t been pressed since it was dried on the day of washing!  

So this Dressmaking Fabric would be perfect for your summer tops and dresses, or a little girls summer dress. Or even PJs. And at only £2.99 a metre ordering extra so you can show off the border it's not going to break the bank!  

This top is one of the most admired garments I've made in ages, and lots of my friends want one too!  I received so many compliments when I wore it for mini photo shoot on a recent girlie golfing trip to Portugal - and here I am wearing it on a hot and balmy evening, but feeling ever so cool!

Cheers!

Thanks Vicki for giving me the opportunity to review this gorgeous summery fabric.  Now all I have to do is decide what I’ll do with the long narrow piece I have left. 

POSTS PER PAGE: 3 | 6 | 9 | 12

1 2 3 4 > »