Recent the lovely people are Minerva Crafts sent me some really beautiful floral Jersey Fabric to see what I’d come up with. It comes in two different colour ways, one on a grey background and one with a black background. In the vain hope that the last few days of summer could last all winter I chose the floral on the grey background, actually managing to not choose my usual colour black for once! I have a feeling though as the evenings become longer and winter falls upon us I will be found online ordering the black colourway from Minerva Crafts to complete my collection!
So as I said this is a jersey fabric and it consists of polyester, viscose and elastane. It has a 2 way stretch. On close inspection there is a very, very slight sheen off the grey in the background but nothing too obvious. I really am not a sparkles kind of girl so the slight sheen doesn’t bother me. The print of the flowers is beautiful though, the colours are bright and vibrant and really stand out on the grey background.
So...what pattern to choose! Well anyone that knows me and my sewing habits may know that I have a particular weak spot for one pattern. If jersey fabric comes within a 100 metres of me, my sewing machine and scissors I come running at high speed with this particular pattern in my hand. It’s my, at this stage much battered and bruised, Renfrew Top Pattern from Sewaholic Patterns.
It’s my favourite pattern of all time. In my opinion you can’t go wrong with it. A great basic top pattern that I think suits most body shapes. It’s so versatile with three different sleeve lengths, short, mid length and long and also three different neck finishes, scooped neck, v neck and a cowl neck finish.
Again I must admit to being a creature of habit and I firstly made my tried and tested combination of this pattern; the long sleeves with scooped neckline version. I could almost cut the Renfrew Top out without a pattern at this stage but thought better of it...this time!
Cutting it out and sewing it up took maybe 3-4 hours in total at my leisurely pace. I know I’m so used to the pattern at this stage I just sew without the instructions but even if you are new to this pattern it really is a quick and easy make especially if you choose the scoop neck rather than the v neck which can prove a bit of a pain to the new sewer.
The fabric handles beautifully, easy to cut out and easy to sew. It’s a medium weight I would say so it doesn’t slip and slide around much so a nice fabric to use if you are new to jersey I would say.
When I was finished I had enough fabric left over to make another version of the top; the short sleeved v neck version which I hadn’t made before. Again it took a morning at an easy pace. I would say to take it very easy at the neck line if this is your first v neck but everything else can be whipped up in no time.
Both of these tops have been worn and washed numerous times since I made them. I always try to do this before I review because I have had a few bad experiences of the ‘perfect’ fabric that turns into anything but perfect after two or three washes...this fabric thankfully is not one of them. It washes perfect, hasn’t started to ‘ball’ at all so that’s a huge thumbs up from me on that front.
Also a note on ironing if you must. There is a polyester content so I would go with the lowest setting possible to avoid any accidents!
So thumbs up all around, obviously on the pattern but on the fabric too. You know I mean it when the other colourway is on my wish list!
Have a great day Minerva Crafters x
Posted in Projects on Sunday the 21st October 2018 by Vicki Ormerod
This month I have the pleasure of trying out this beautiful brocade like suiting Fabric from Minerva. I first fell in love with it on Instagram and was over the moon excited when it was offered to me. This beautiful fabric is rather thick but still rather translucent. It is double sided with one side being embossed with daisies and neon pink dots and the other is a rather striking neon and white striped with white dots. After gazing at it for a bit I battled with what I wanted to make to showcase the double sided wonder of this fabric. Finally I decided on a high-low dress to show off the stripy side as I kept the embossed daisies as the front. I have always loved a boat neck dress, so I ended up pattern mashing a Vogue and Simple Sew pattern to create a high low cocktail dress. I also added pockets because dresses without pockets are just lacking… I am so happy Vogue understands this and include in seam pocket options.
The Patterns I ended up using from my stash were the Ruby dress from Simple Sew and a high low dress pattern from Vogue. The Vogue Pattern specified a lighter weight fabric such as satin, rayon and linen blends but I can only say I was glad I took the gamble! The resultant effect was a high low skirt with beautiful drape but also some structure which I thought really showcased the fabric’s unique qualities. I made sure to check that the skirt was not gathered because that would have added too much bulk.
The bodice sits higher in the Simple Sew pattern but I figured this would shorten the skirt to sit above my knees so I did not end up modifying the bodice length. I measured the bodice width to the skirt width but somewhere I must have gone wrong (lesson kiddos, when you are tired late at night, just stop and go to sleep…). I got round this by cutting another cm or so from the top of my assembled skirt until it was roughly the same length as the bodice width. It was still a bit off so I put gathers in two of the back panels to make the skirt fit the bodice without too much puckering. Basically I was meant to have measured the bodice front (minus pintucks) and back diameter/width and make sure the skirt waistband measured the same. Where did I go wrong? I have no idea, I think I should have taken my own advice and gone to bed earlier…
A note on paper patterns - I never knew how much more I learned from PDF patterns until I tried sewing up from the instructions provided by Vogue and Simple Sew. Whilst the Vogue instructions were easy to follow up until zipper insertion, the Simple Sew instructions were sparse to the point of being almost useless in some points. Both failed to specify to finish certain seams before the next step, i.e. adding pockets which have historically put me in a fix. I also had to look up online about the seam allowance for the Ruby dress since it was not specified anywhere in the pattern. Another thing I am grateful for to PDF patterns if their tendency to include all sizes. Post children I annoyingly fall between a size 14/16 in Vogue patterns but Vogue sell two size ranges (6-14 and 16- 22) so I would have to buy both patterns if I did not know how to do some basic grading. I decided to insert an invisible zipper instead of a standard so used my invisible zipper insertions technique which I learned from another PDF pattern. I think sandwiched zippers give a professional clean finish and saves on hand slip stitching the facing in place. From a person who detests hand sewing this is a big win for me! If you want to sandwich your zip then basically flip the facing up and over the zipper so the zipper is sandwiched between facing and bodice right sides together then sew in place and clip the corners and turn right way round. I first found out how to do this from the Montrose dress by E + E patterns but if you want to find out more I am sure plenty of Youtube videos are available on sandwiched zippers. I forgot and blindly followed the Simple Sew instructions so I opted for a partial zipper and closed the top with and hook and eye fastening. I liked how it looked so did not opt to unstitch in the end. One thing I hate more than hand sewing is unpicking stitches! Unfortunately I still spend too much time with my stitch unpicker so whenever possible I try to escape.
The fabric itself was easy to work with. It is a good weight and I could just use a standard sewing needle to sew with since it was quite soft. I did try hard to handle it gently as it does have a tendency to fray a little more than a woven cotton poplin, but not so much that I felt I needed to serge every seam beforehand. In future I will use a full lining in the bodice and a half skirt lining since the fabric was much more see through than I anticipated! When I first did fittings I noticed that I could see my bra and my dear husband pointed out I was wearing the wrong pants for my last minute photo shoot… Fortunately I hope it is not obvious in the photos I am sharing with you! I used a ‘cotton’ setting on the iron to set the seams and crease because the synthetic setting was not strong enough. According to the website this is washable at 40C on delicate so it is also an easy to care for fabric. I am so in love with the result! This is the first dress in a while that has made me feel chic so I now I just need to find somewhere to wear it…
Thank you all for reading and please follow my beautifully haphazard journey on Instagram @madameshannanigans. See you later!
Hi everyone. Becky here from Notes from the Sewing Room. This month I was delighted to be asked to try out some red plain slinky polyester Crepe Fabric from Minerva Crafts.
At the start of the year, I decided that I needed to make more plain items of clothing for my wardrobe as I'm often swayed towards making tops, skirts and dresses in gorgeous patterned materials but that means that they don't always match other things in my wardrobe. I must say, I haven't been doing too well with my plan; however, making a plain red top is good news for me as this will go with lots of my other clothes.
If you have read my blog posts before you will know that I like to make clothes that I can get maximum wear out of. It's great if I can wear my sewing creations at home, out and about as well as in to the office - with a mixture of shoes and accessories.
I haven't worked with a polyester crepe before so this was a new experience. The fabric is light-weight, very floaty and slightly see-through so if you were to use this to make a dress for example you may want to consider lining your project also.
The fabric washed well although I had to take extra care not to snag it during both pinning and stitching my project. Although I was a bit worried about overlocking the fabric in case I laddered the material, I decided this was a must as it needed to be 'finished' on the inside to prevent fraying. It actually overlocked okay (luckily) and now looks really neat on the inside too.
What I Made
I was sent 1.5 metres of crepe so decided to make an everyday type of top. After looking through my pattern stash - I decided to make the Scout Tee from Grainline Patterns.
The Scout Tee is a woven t shirt with capped sleeves and scoop neck. It has fitted shoulders, short sleeves and falls into a loose shape under the bust. The pattern has set in sleeves and is supposed to be finished with bias binding around the neckline. Although you could use a range of fabrics to make this top I think a crepe, cotton lawn or other lightweight fabrics would work best.
As I have made this pattern before, I knew that for me - the under-arm was a little bit tight as there wasn't enough distance between the shoulder seam and the bottom of the arm socket so I decided to add in a slight extension. To do this I picked a notch in around the centre of the arm sockets on both the front and back pattern pieces and drew a straight line across using a ruler. If you pick a notch that is already marked on the printed pattern it should be the exact distance away from the shoulder seam on both pattern pieces (you may want to measure this though to be sure). I then cut along the line and added an inch of baking paper (measured previously and pre-cut to size) and stuck it in place using sticky tape- ensuring I joined my new section to both the top and bottom sections of my pattern on both the front / back.
I also slightly extended the curve on the top of the sleeve piece by around 1.5 cm and the side sections by 1/2 inch as I wanted to both ensure it fitted my new extended arm-sockets and because I wanted to create a small pleat in the top of the finished sleeve to add a bit of extra detail.
The final change I made was not to add bias binding to the neckline. I always find adding bias binding on to anything a real faff, may be as I don't do it very often so find it a bit frustrating, so instead as the fabric was so light I simply stay-stitched it around the front and back neck edges - then overlocked it - then turned over the overlocking - ironed it and sewed a straight seam.
My Finished Top
If you haven't made the Scout Tee before it is really easy to make and will come together in just a few hours including both cutting and sewing it together. It is certainly a good pattern for beginners and a quick project for more experienced sewists.
I'm pleased with my final project and plan to wear it out this weekend. It’s perfect for summer and can be worn through the cooler months with a cardigan or jumper.
Until next time, happy sewing :)
Posted in Projects on Friday the 19th October 2018 by Vicki Ormerod
Posted in Product Reviews on Friday the 19th October 2018 by Vicki Ormerod
Hi, my name is Jill and I run The Craftmobile (www.thecraftmobile.com). Cutting and applying shapes when using jersey can be difficult. The fabric moves, edges don’t always come out as clean or defined as you would like. Luckily Vilene Fuse n Tear is around to make the work a whole lot easier. This temporary stabiliser is simple to apply and peels away once you are ready, so you get the look you want without having to use a permanent additional layer.
I used the webbing to give a child’s t-shirt a new look with jersey applique and simple stitching. To create a similar look you will need:
A plain t-shirt that could do with a make over
Basic sewing kit
Vilene Fuse n Tear Embroidery Webbing
Vilene Fuse n Tear Embroidery Webbing is one of a variety of stabilising materials you can buy, it is a temporary layer meaning that you can just remove it once it has served its purpose. By fusing the webbing to fabric you create a more stable base that is easier to work with. Without the backing the fabric moves and slips but with it applied it holds steady, this is especially useful for stretchy fabrics. Since Fuse n Tear is removable your finished design is not impacted by having another stabilising layer in place, there is no extra stiffness and the fabric can flow as normal.
How To Use
Using Fuse n Tear is very easy. It is an iron-on stabiliser so warm up your iron to a medium heat and turn the steam off. Place the glossy side of the webbing onto the fabric you are using and iron for just a few seconds. You don’t want to be moving the iron around too much and you don’t need to press hard. Let the heat rest on an area and then move it to another section if you are using a large piece. 8 seconds is all it takes for the webbing to take hold of the material.
Cutting Shapes With Fuse n Tear
For an easy way to cut shapes from jersey fabric you can sketch a design onto the matt, paper side of the Fuse n Tear. If drawing isn’t your strength you can use a cutter or template to draw around.
Fuse the webbing to your fabric and cut the shape out. The scissors go through the fabric much easier with the extra layer in place. Once you are done you can just peel the webbing layer off and your shape is ready to use.
Creating a Design On Jersey
You can also use Fuse n Tear to help you attach pieces to a jersey base. In this case I am going to sew my cut-out shapes from jersey onto a jersey child’s t-shirt. Without Fuse n Tear the fabrics would be slipping about everywhere, with it in place the work is a lot more stable. To get started iron a piece of the Fuse n Tear onto the reverse (front inside) of your t-shirt.
You can then pin your shape in place and sew it on round. For the look I want I am doing a basic hand stitch using two strands of embroidery thread, I’ve already checked that my fabric won’t fray and I want it to turn up slightly at the edges so I am leaving a little border. You can choose whatever method suits you best, machine or hand, just remembering that you need to leave some freedom so that the stretch is unrestricted.
Once you are finished attaching your shape you can remove the Fuse n Tear. If you have hand stitched make sure that you are careful not to pull on the threads too hard, you can use some small scissors to help remove the paper around the stitches if necessary.
I kept cutting and attaching shapes, just using the same easy method until I had a quick design for a plain child’s t-shirt with dragonfly and a flower.
Jill – The Craftmobile
Posted in Projects on Friday the 19th October 2018 by Vicki Ormerod
Hello everyone! I am so excited to share this project with you.
The first time I laid eyes on the Cationic Chiffon Fabric from Minerva Crafts, I knew it was destined to be a kimono. Kimonos are such a versatile addition to the closet. They can be worn during the daytime, on a night out, to the beach, and even as lounge wear. I wanted to make something that I could get as much wear out of in this gorgeous fabric.
Fabric Details – The fabric is soft, very delicate, and has a beautiful drape. It is non-stretch and very sheer as pictured below so if you wish to use it for projects such a dress or top, multiple layering will be required. Although it is suggested to hand wash it gently I decided not to pre-wash. There are over 50 colors available!
Pattern Choice – I decided to use the Suki Kimono Pattern by Helen’s Closet for this project. It is a simple pattern, great for beginner and advanced sewers alike. I picked this pattern mainly because there are not a lot of style lines. If you have made anything with chiffon before you are aware that it can be a little difficult to work with so the less seams there are, the better.
I used French seams for the finishing throughout this project. I made some modifications to this patterns such as leaving all ties out to avoid giving it too much of a robe vibe. I also left out the pockets due to the sheer nature of the fabric. There are endless ways to modify this pattern.
Styling – There are endless ways to style kimonos, which is why there are such a favorite. I like to wear mine during the daytime or on a night out. I like to style mine over a pair of basic pants and a simple top. I usually opt for heels for longer kimonos and flats for kimonos that are knee length or shorter.
I do not wear robes but I also wanted to show that this specific kimono could be a great loungewear piece as well for the loungewear lovers. This chiffon fabric especially gives it a sexy look. With so many colors available, I can see it working great as a honeymoon or bridal piece.
I love the elegant and classy look that this fabric gives. I am very happy with how it turned out. One tip I will give about my experience with this fabric is to sew carefully and press often. I will suggest using the lowest heat setting or putting another fabric over the chiffon before pressing. I hope you enjoyed my project.
Sylvia from The Ravel Out
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,