What are the first words that enter your mind when you see this lime green Cutspot Fabric? I think Joy. Happiness. Sunny skies. I think Summer days spent frolicking at the beach.
There was no doubt in my mind when I chose this fabric to review that it was to transform into a beach cover up, and when I received the fabric my decision was confirmed. This cotton fabric has a very light touch and is slightly sheer which is perfect for the beach holiday. Just pull it over your swimsuit and you will be ready to strut the poolside or walk the sandy beach!
I chose Butterick B6554 view C which is a wrap dress with shaped hemline and flounce. It's a true wrap dress without the fuss of buttons/ zippers which also makes it the perfect beach cover up. On the illustration it is a midi length; I chose not to shorten the length so it is a full length dress on my short frame and I am happy with my decision.
Although it was my first time making this pattern the instructions and the pattern pieces are very straight forward so it is very a friendly pattern for sewists of all skill levels. My only peeve factor was the very time-consuming process of hemming the flounce pieces but that is being nit-picky...trust me, it's worth the effort and time.
As I was constructing the bodice, I wondered...yes this fabric is fun, but how about adding some contrast color pompoms? Color me happy! It was a spontaneous inspiration and I debated whether to proceed) with the pompoms or not, but pompoms it was and I am happy I stuck to my instinct.
I simply interspaced the pompoms between the bodice and flounce pattern piece for both the bodice and skirt and voila! Fun factor is exponential! (I used about 9 yards of pompoms for this dress).
The bodice for this pattern calls for a facing piece with interfacing. I am not a big fan of using iron-on interfacing so I tried an experiment with this project. I had nude mesh tulle lying around from a previous project so I superimposed it over the facing piece and quilted it together, 3/8" apart.
The resulting facing had the stiffness that was comparable to iron-on interfacing and I love that my garment does not have glue products. This, too, is a more time-consuming process that ironing a commercial interfacing but I think I will use this method on my woven fabrics from now on.
I enjoyed working with this fabric; It sews well, felt smooth to the touch and most of all, the color is truly vibrant. There is a myriad of choices of color to choose from so there is a perfect color waiting for you! I also love the whimsy and the texture of the cutspots.
Thank you Minerva Crafts for this opportunity to review your wonderful fabric. I love my new dress and I can't wait to wear it on my next tropical vacation.
Thanks for reading,
Posted in Projects on Thursday the 18th October 2018 by Vicki Ormerod
I ordered this Jersey Fabric in Black and I was really excited to receive it. Polka dots are really in at the moment so I was excited to see what I should make! I immediately got on Pinterest and started looking in to my options. The fabric is slinky, stretchy, soft to the touch, and has a gorgeous drape to it.
I just had to make something that had a bit of “flow” to it, so I decided on a wrap skirt. Instead of buying a pattern, I drafted one from a wrap skirt I already own.
I bought this skirt from H&M a few years ago, and it has such a flattering shape. Both panels cross over in the front, and the back is full length. When you walk it has a lovely sway to it. I was really excited to replicate this look with polka dots!
The first thing I did was to lay out my original skirt on some pattern drafting paper so that I could draw out my pattern pieces.
A quick tip for you, if you enjoy drafting patterns from your own clothes: in order to get a consistent outline that includes your seam allowance, you can use a bobble or elastic to tie two Sharpies together. You’ll then use the one pen (cap on!) to run along the edge of your clothes, and the other pen (cap off) will draw your pattern line exactly ½ an inch away- magic!
As my skirt would be made up of a back piece, and two identical side panels, I only traced the back and one side panel (which I would use cut two pieces of fabric).
Once the pieces were cut, I lay down the back centre piece right side up, and then lay down the side panels on top, right side down, matching up the straight side seams.
I then stitched a straight line down from the top to the bottom on both sides. The fabric is really a breeze to work with. You should use a good amount of pins to stop the fabric from slipping when you move from cutting to sewing, as you would expect with most slinky fabrics. It sews up really well and I had no problems running it through my machine. Once the side panels were attached, it looked amazing already! I threw it on Jen 2.0, as usual, just to make sure I was happy with the length and fit, so far.
Happy with the fit so far, I hemmed the long raw edge all the way around, leaving only the waistband raw edge.
After that I wanted to cut out a long straight piece of fabric for my waistband and tie. I did have a little trouble keeping the fabric straight in order to cut in a long straight line, so I improvised! I actually had a new roller blind sitting around in the house waiting to go up, so I used that as my guide.
It worked out so well, as I actually needed a piece measuring exactly 180cm in length! Once cut, I then lay that directly on top of the skirt, right sides together, and took that to my machine to stitch one long line across the waist, leaving a small amount of fabric overhang the one side, and a larger amount the other side. This will form the right side of the waist tie.
I then folded all the raw edges inwards, and folded the waistband in on itself again to conceal all the edges.
I then took this to the machine and did a “stitch in the ditch” stitch which delightfully sits (as the name would suggest) in the ditch (ditch, in this case meaning, the join between the skirt section and the waist band). I’m really happy with this finish!
I then needed to whip up a quick long rectangle which would form the other side of my waist tie. I sewed up a quick inside out rectangle, leaving a small gap to turn it right side out. Next, I needed to position the tie so that once tied, it would fall on the left side above my hip. This took some jiggery-pokery, but I managed to mark it out using Jen 2.0.
Once I had done this I realised I was really close to being done! I popped it back on Jen 2.0 just to make sure everything worked. After that, I decided that I could do with a little extra sturdiness, so I added some poppers.
And I was done!
Overall I’m super happy with how this skirt has turned out! It’s comfy, flattering, really on-trend, and was actually really easy to whip up! It probably only took me about 2 hours from start to finish. The only thing I wish I had done differently is that I should have accounted for the stretch in the fabric. My original skirt is made from cotton poplin with no stretch, and I made the polka dot skirt to the same size and dimensions but I didn’t account for the stretch! It still fits perfectly, but I probably wouldn’t be able to rely on the waist tie alone to keep the skirt on. Poppers to the rescue! This was definitely an oversight on my part and not a reflection on the fabric itself.
I can’t wait to wear this skirt!
Feel free to follow me on Instagram for more pics! @jen.elz
If you find knit fabrics a little daunting, you can breathe a sigh of relief: Tilly and the Buttons’ second book, Stretch, turns any knit novice into a confident master of all things stretchy.
I've long been a fan of Tilly’s style of dressmaking guides, not least because her patterns and workshops are so informative and very easy to follow. Knowing that whatever you choose to make will be a success, my copy of Stretch was on my sewing table as soon as it published.
The Freya pattern comes in two versions, as a dress with optional frill detail or cowl neck, and as a simple sweater. The frill version received a lot attention, but as the floral pattern of this lovely fabric is already detailed in itself, I didn't feel it needed anything fussy to add to it.
And with only 3 pieces to cut, this pattern is an afternoon make! I went for the dress version and short sleeves (¾ and full length also look nice).
I used a rotary cutter to cut my pieces. This Sweater Fabric is easy to handle and doesn't require a lot of work - after I washing it I ‘rested’ it for a while and then proceeded to cut the pieces ( without ironing!). I don't have any pattern weights, but pins worked fine here.
Sewing the Freya dress didn’t take a lot of time, especially as the seams don’t need to be finished (yay!). I don’t own an overlocker, which wasn’t a problem - and the book offers useful tips on how to sew with a standard sewing machine.
As you can see, the fabric curls slightly at the edges, which doesn’t really pose a problem. The only ‘fiddly’ bit I encountered was inserting the neck piece:
…. And there you have it! Here’s my Freya dress, which can be teamed with skinny jeans or tights for a truly comfortable yet beautiful make:
Thinking of sewing with knits too? Here’s 3 things to consider:
Start with a simple make - my first knit make was in fact way too difficult and resulted in me not going near knits for a long time. Look for straight(ish) seams and easy-sew fabric (like this sweater fabric).
Prep is key! Take your time to read up on how to sew knits, which tools you’ll need and how to set your machine.
Test on a scrap of fabric before sewing the real deal - I use two different thread colours and then closely look at the stitching to make sure to thread tension is correct.
I’ll probably make another Freya dress (I need to build up on my knit skills), and I’ve also got my eye on Tilly’s Agnes Top Workshop - her online courses really help you extend your knowledge and become a better sewer.
But for now, I’ll get comfy in my new dress!
Xoxo, Seams Sew
Posted in Projects on Wednesday the 17th October 2018 by Vicki Ormerod
I love receiving new fabric from Minerva. I often like to step out of my usual comfort zone and pick fabrics that I normally don’t use. I’m more of a pick a project and then a suitable fabric for that project kind of girl. In these projects for Minerva, I do it the other way around.
So when the kind people at Minerva Crafts sent me some rust red coloured pom pom trim Georgette Fabric it was totally new to me. I’d never worked with Georgette before. It is 100% polyester in it’s make up. It’s very light and airy, quite sheer and feels soft and plush.
So what to do with this beautifully rich coloured, fresh fabric? Well I immediately thought of a pattern that I received by accident from Paper Cut Patterns due to a mix up with shipping. It was a happy accident though as I love this pattern; it’s the Kochi Kimono. I made one previously out of fabric long held in my stash and was dying to make another one.
I thought the pom poms would look fabulous as a fun wee detail around the bottom on the front and back pieces but I left the sleeves plain as I thought it might look a tad over the top if I were to sew the sleeves using the pom poms also.
So off I went with my fabric and pattern. I placed the pattern pieces so that the pompom trim ran along the bottom of the front and back. Cutting it out was fine until I got to where the edge of a piece met a pom pom but in fairness it wasn’t a huge obstacle, it just meant I had to snip a few pom poms off here and there so I could ensure that my fabric pattern pieces were exactly right.
As for the sewing, well this pattern is a really keeper if you like a quick, easy to follow pattern that you can easily have sewn up and ready to throw on you in a few hours. I put in a few pins here and there but made sure to pin each of the rows of pom pom trim together on the side seams so that each row matched...pattern matching but with trim instead of a design if you will.
Sewing this up was exactly the same as cutting it out; easy except I had to take my time when I got to the trim. I suppose you could say it’s somewhat like working with sequined fabric in that you have to shift a few pom poms out of the way of the presser foot or snip a few off if they were in the way.
So after a couple of hours I was left with my new fun pom pom trimmed Kochi Kimono. I love it! Perfect for throwing into the suitcase for a sun holidays as it’s light and airy, folds up into a small wee bundle and doesn’t crease! I use mine just to throw over a tee shirt on a summers evening but could use it as a beach cover up. I would probably lengthen the pattern if I was making it specifically for this purpose again. But for me and how I like to wear it it’s just perfect as is. Love the pattern and love the fabric...and at the price it’s for sale at Minerva Crafts really you couldn’t go wrong. Go on, give it a go! Have a great day Minerva Crafters!
Posted in Projects on Tuesday the 16th October 2018 by Vicki Ormerod
I’m pretty sure that every dressmaker has a Sew Over It make in their repertoire, I certainly do - so when founder Lisa Comfort launched her own Fabric designs earlier this year, it was only a matter of time until I’d give it a go!
I’d just been reading the latest issue of Love Sewing magazine, when a button-down skirt with pockets caught my eye. It’s a free pattern (!) which you can access here. When the fabric arrived in the post on the same day, I knew it was a match made in heaven.
Like her celebrated Sewing Patterns, Lisa kept the designs of her fabrics feminine, playful and, above all, floral. Ranging from soft pastels to darker hues, these quality cotton lawns are a delight to sew.
The navy Elderflower Press Fabric (bottom left) is an elegant print which, despite being very lightweight, isn’t see-through at all. It’s incredibly easy to handle, making it an ideal option for beginner projects.
The button-down skirt pattern is intended for drapey fabrics like viscose or rayon, but Lisa Comfort cotton fabrics are equally suitable, thanks to a lovely drape. They’d also work well for dresses and tops, though they don’t have much body to hold shapes.
Thinking of investing in some Lisa Comfort fabric? Here’s 5 reasons why I think you should:
1. The dreamy designs - feminine, floral & playful.
2. The quality - 100% cotton lawn with a beautiful drape.
3. It’s versatile - Light to medium weight, suitable for a very wide variety of garments and projects.
4. It’s an investment - Lisa Comfort fabrics don’t exactly come cheap, so you’ll take extra care when sewing it.
5. There’s loads of inspo - not sure what to sew? There are tons of lovely ideas to get you started, including ones from Lisa herself.
It goes without saying that these fabrics are also ideal for Sew Over It patterns - here’s a Penny Dress I made in the same fabric, with a pink colourway.
Feeling inspired? If you’ve been toying with the idea of getting your hands on some Lisa Comfort fabric, I would most certainly recommend doing so.
There is a lot of suede around each Winter so this time I decided to road test this Suedette Fabric stocked by Minerva Crafts.
Choosing one colour from their range of 18 colours took some time. 18 colours means you have to be really particular to not find the colour that suits you. I went with the navy blue.
What’s amazing is the way the suede pile runs. It does run in one direction but it’s really hard to tell because it’s crushed.
I did not wash this fabric. You can wash this suede because it’s on a knit fabric backing.
This meant I used a jersey sewing machine needle to create this skirt using Burda young 6480. Now that I’ve made this skirt, I would add a 5 cm hem to it. For this skirt, I turned the hem up 1/2cm and sewed it with a straight stitch.
This skirt was started and finished in 1 day.
You can see from this picture that the seams are not finished. That’s right. This suedette is created on a knit fabric so there’s no need to finish the seams.
As you can see, I had a shorter zipper in my stash so I pinned it into the suede. You wouldn’t use pins on real suede but you can on this fabric. Remember, it’s created on knit fabric.
As you can see in this photo, the seams have a great finish. Choosing a pattern with very few seams is the way to go with this fabric.
I had plenty of suedette left to make this jacket as well. The collar looks impressive as it’s really large. I’ve used Butterick 5569 because it’s unlined. Suedette can easily be used for unlined jackets. The skirt is unlined.
The back of this jacket has a lot of seams so you’ll also see it’s a bit difficult to iron these seams flat.
This shows the back of the skirt. There are no creases in the skirt back because there’s only 1 seam.
I think it’s safe to say this suedette is great for skirts and coats, as long as there are very few seams. It’s also affordable to buy and keep.
As you can see, these pieces go well together.
Maria @ cleverthinking99