It’s officially time to think about Christmas sewing and this sewing project couldn't be better timed if you are looking for an idea to make something as a gift. This Christmas shirt was conceived as an idea after realising that my husband was the only one in our family who didn't have a holiday themed handmade garment.
Rectifying this was easy given the wide range of high quality Christmas fabrics available on Minerva. My husband loves being involved in the process of selecting his own fabric and we had fun looking through all the festive themed prints. There are so many wonderful fabrics to choose from – but when he saw the stags print he was taken.
This fabric is available in different colourways – green, red and ivory. The majestic stags are printed against the vibrant background with glittering gold snowflakes sprinkled along the fabric. The red is a perfect foil for the black and white stags. I was tempted to use a black contrast fabric for the button plackets but my husband didn't want that. Ah well. Marriage is compromise after all!
The fabric is midweight stable cotton poplin. The weave is distinctly visible with a crisp handle. This fabric works well for garments like shirts that need structure. I washed the fabric at 30 degrees and tumble dried on low with pleasing results.
McCall’s M6044 is my go to TNT pattern for my husband –this is his 6th one to date. Yes! I absolutely recommend this sewing pattern especially for beginners who might be daunted by the idea of sewing a men's shirt – this is the best pattern for you. I have a step by step sew along video of this shirt on my YouTube channel of this project to help you along. It includes tips, hacks and tricks to get the best out of this pattern.
The fit is true to size based on the chest measurements. This is not a fitted shirt which makes it great for the festive season.
I interfaced with a woven interfacing that made for a sharp collar. The seams were finished with my overlocker; though you could easily take it up to luxury by using french seams instead. For a shirt, this is a quick project on account of the fact that there aren't any sleeve tower plackets. The instructions are excellent.
The recipient loves his shirt which is fantastic addition to his growing collection of handmade shirts. Here he wears it smart casual with jeans for work. He is a happy camper and pleased with his stags shirt!
Thanks for stopping by!
Posted in Projects on Monday the 18th November 2019 by Vicki Ormerod
I’m back with another project. This time a festive one!
When I saw this adorable cotton poplin I knew I had to turn them into a pair of pyjamas. There are some great pyjama patterns available but up until this point I haven’t considered making myself a pair. I’ve always felt that if I’m going to put a lot of time and effort into making something, I want to be able to wear it out and about and show it off.
However, after moving house I’ve been unable to locate any decent night-wear. Since I started sewing my own clothes, I try to avoid buying RTW, unless it’s from charity shops. So, I decided I would go ahead and make myself a cute and comfy pair of pyjamas.
I’ve admired the Carolyn pyjamas from Closet Case Patterns for a while. They look sleek and elegant with lots of beautiful couture features.
I’ve never tried piping before but I’m always looking for ways to escape my comfort zone and learn new skills so this pattern was perfect.
The only adjustments I needed to make were to shorten the legs, as I’m a tiny 5ft 2 and the pattern is designed for someone who is 5 ft 6. I decided to keep the shirt as it was as I like when tops are a little longer in the body.
The construction was far less complicated than I anticipated. As usual the Closet Case instructions were excellent at guiding me through each step and holding my hand when things got tricky.
I used their online tutorial to make the piping and found the whole process easy and enjoyable. The only part I struggled with was the piping on the breast pocket, after much frustration I decided it would be ok to skip that part. I never have much use for breast pockets anyway.
A while back I brought some pretty Impex smartie buttons from Minerva for the sewing weekender. I couldn’t decide if I wanted black or white for my Kalle shirt, so I brought both. I used the black on the shirt, which left the white ones available. This was great as they matched the fabric perfectly. I love how they blend in with the print because they’re the same colour as the bears.
These pyjamas turned out better than I could have hoped. The piping gives them a very professional look and they’re so comfy and warm. Perfect for cold winter nights.
Can we please just take a minute to admire how insanely cute this fabric is. The polar bears have bobble hats and scarves! It doesn’t get much better than that. I’m already looking to get some more to make some matching pyjamas for my little boy because I think he will look ridiculously cute in this print.
I love sewing with cotton poplin, it’s so easy to work with. And this fabric provided by Minerva is such high quality it made the whole project thoroughly enjoyable. I decided to use French seams on all the pieces. They’re my favourite type of seam due to how neat they make the inside of the garment look, however they are quite time consuming as you essentially have to double the process. It helped that this fabric pressed beautifully and held its position without shifting. It was also lightweight enough that it didn’t add too much bulk. It made what could have been an arduous procedure, therapeutic.
The colours work really well together, the print jumps out at you and the white flecks add a really nice touch. There is nothing I don’t love about this fabric.
I love to nap! Even more so now that I have a child and sleep is precious. I now have the perfect pyjamas, but no nap is complete without a comfy nap pillow, or two.
I used this stunning fabric courtesy of Minerva, it has such a lovely design with reoccurring metallic reindeer. It makes a very charming cushion that stands out beautifully on my dark leather sofas.
I love how the white background of the cushion contrasts with the grey of my pyjamas.
Final verdict? This was a really fun project. I enjoyed making the pyjamas and learning a new skill in piping. I’ve never been overly keen on collars, having had issues with the construction in the past, but this was a good way to get over my sewbia? (Is that a word?) it is now. And I loved accessorising with festive cushions. Definitely feeling that Christmas Spirit.
Merry Christmas everyone, Have the best time!
Hello Minerva loves happy start of the 2019 Holiday season! Yes, can you believe the holiday season is upon us. I love this time of year and while it may represent something different for each of us I think we can all agree there’s something truly special about it. With that being said I’m here to share how I kicked things up a notch for this years special holiday festivities.
Of course when I received an invitation to do a holiday project for Minerva I jumped at the chance to get in on this one. While there were some truly amazing options available for this project I was truly captivated by this Ivory Sparkle Lace tulle. I thought to myself wouldn’t it be awesome to do something a little extra, a tulle project people wouldn’t expect, you know something a little outside the box.
I had two different ideas in mind for this project but decided to wait until I actually received the fabric before making my decision.When the fabric arrived I swooned and squealed with excitement! Talk about amazing, sparkly (is that a word LOL) and all things girly yes this tulle is so good! I knew I wanted to make two projects but decided to work on my second idea first a duster using Simplicity 8648 as I knew it would take more time to complete it. This pattern is truly easy peezy but when your working with transparent tulle figuring out how you’re going to create nice clean seams requires a little more time.
I decided to line the bodice with the same tulle to ensure the neckline was nice and clean which is completely different from the pattern instructions. I also took my time making sure every single seam was beautifully serged and lined up perfectly, creating a clean finish. Since the tulle is transparent I made a strapless jumpsuit using Simplicity 1115 and an Ivory Taffeta fabric to wear underneath.
For the sleeves I added a little twist by splitting the sleeve in half about one inch above the elbow bend and using the slash and spread method on the lower half. Once I pieced the sleeve together I did my favorite pinch method and finished with a taffeta cuff. Oh and what would this project be if I didn’t add a little taffeta ruffle at the bottom of the duster tying the entire look together. Overall I’m totally in love with this look and I’m so glad that I went with my gut choosing this tulle for my first Minerva Holiday project.
Posted in Projects on Monday the 18th November 2019 by Vicki Ormerod
When I first started sewing for myself in 2018, I focused on basics. Tanks, tees, sweatshirts, knit dresses, and pants. This is what I wear in my everyday life, and this is what I was driven to make. I stayed away from “special occasion” pieces because I wanted to create items that represented “needs” in my wardrobe; in the spirit of creating something that would be loved and used often. However change happens. Here we are in 2019, I’m currently pregnant with my second child, and my needs have shifted substantially. With my growing body, I have discovered that the most comfortable things for me to wear are knits and loose fitting, gathered dresses.
This summer I was excited to be a tester of the Frisco top and jumpsuit for Leslie, of Threadbear Garments. During the testing process I made the Frisco top because my waist was already starting to disappear. The top was a dream to make, because Threadbear Garments’ patterns are meticulously designed and include thoughtful instructions that guide you through the entire construction process. I especially fell in love with the princess seams of both the top and jumpsuit pattern and knew that I wanted to hack a special pregnancy appropriate (but also wearable for after) garment using the top from the jumpsuit as my base.
When I first laid eyes on this gorgeous, small print, Cotton Floral Fabric from Minerva, I knew that it would be the perfect match for my vision of a whimsical, prairie-styled dress. My first step to creating this dress was to sketch it out. My drawing skills are severely lacking, but I was able to find a pretty close representative of my dream dress during a quick Google image search. Once I found the base image, I drew lines over it to represent the piping and ribbon details that I planned to add to emphasize the Frisco’s princess seams, and as a way to break up the monotony of the tiny floral print.
Adding piping to seams is a simple and straightforward process and I found a fantastic tutorial created by Megan Nielsen that walks you through the application with ease. The addition of piping definitely slows down your sewing, but adding special details like this really help to highlight design features of a pattern that you are in love with, and make the added time a fulfilling and worthwhile endeavor.
Once the top was completed it was time to calculate the width of the tiers for the gathered skirt. I used Helen’s Closet’s York Pinafore tiered, gathered skirt hack to calculate the tiers of this dress based on my vision. I multiplied the width of the bottom of the Frisco jumpsuit top and the two subsequent layers by 1.75 to get the gathered look I was going for. I also staggered the height of the tiers because I knew I wanted the ribbon detailing to hit just above my knees. Before gathering the second tier, I sewed on the 3/8” burgundy ribbon in three rows spaced approximately 2 3/4” apart.
To finish up the dress I created a rolled hem as to not detract from the ribbon with a heavier hem. In the end, I am thrilled with the results of my experiment and pleased that this metamorphosis of my wardrobe has occurred. I’m absolutely on team party dress now! And hope that you give it a shot if you have been dabbling with the idea of creating something more fanciful for your closet. Just to keep things real, I totally mowed the lawn in this dress at work the next day because why create something fabulous that you aren’t going to wear because it may not be the stereotypically appropriate choice of clothing for the task at hand? I’m happy to report that both the dress and lawn looked great after mowing, and I stayed cool, comfy, and prairie-whimsical during the endeavor.
Have a great day!
Posted in Projects on Monday the 18th November 2019 by Vicki Ormerod
I have been waiting for the right fabric to come along to make the Deer and Doe Chardon Skirt for quite sometime. The stone Stretch Denim Fabric is absolutely perfect for it, a nice amount of stretch and not too heavy, but has enough structure to hold the fabulous shape of this gorgeous skirt pattern.
Deer and Doe has to be one of my favourite pattern companies, they fit me without having to make too many alterations and I love the design of their patterns.
The stretch denim fabric handled like a dream, it washed well with minimal shrinkage and was a pleasure to sew and press. I love this fabric so much I have ordered more to make another project with it too!
The Chardon skirt has two versions, it has deep pleats, in-seam pockets and the option of belt loops and a band at the bottom. I chose to make the version without the band and added the belt loops. I left out the in-seam pockets as they are not my favourite.
The skirt does not have a separate waistband piece. It is finished with a facing, which I cut out of a scrap of cotton lawn left over from another project. I like to have a pretty inside and I think if the facing was made from the denim fabric it would have been far too thick and bulky.
The hem is finished with bias binding which gives a really neat finish. When I was top stitching the binding down I realised after sewing about a quarter of the way round that the stitches hadn’t quite caught all the binding underneath. It was really annoying as I was so close to finishing the skirt, I just wanted to wear it!!
So instead of stopping and unpicking, I just sewed another row of stitching below the first one and thought I would come back and unpick the first line of stitching when I had finished. As I was going around the hem though I actually quite liked the look of the double row of stitching.
It is now a design feature… I went back and finished the first row of stitching instead of unpicking it.
I liked the look so much I have done the same on the hem of some of my other projects!
I love the colour of the stone denim, I can pair it with lots of different colour tops and belts and create lots of different looks. The skirt will be worn during the summer with sandals and in the winter with tights and boots.
This is such a great skirt pattern, although it is a full(ish) skirt it is still flattering on my pear shape with the design of the waist. I highly recommend this pattern and most definitely the gorgeous fabric. I can definitely see a couple more Chardon skirts in my wardrobe.
Thank you for reading and happy sewing!
Posted in Projects on Monday the 18th November 2019 by Vicki Ormerod
Have you ever had an outfit you just couldn’t get out of your head? One that taunts you to make it yourself. The stunning denim dress that Megan Markle wore to a polo match was just begging for a DIY attempt and I did my best to ignore that urge for a very long time. I kept putting it off for another day until I saw this Denim Fabric on Minerva, I decided the time was now. This DIY Megan Markle Denim Dress was far from quick and easy, but I am so happy that I finally tackled a project that intimidated me and I have a dress I can enjoy for years to come, without the hefty price tag of the original Carolina Herrera number.
How to DIY the Megan Markle Denim Dress
1) Research- the first thing I do when trying to attempt a look-alike dress is study the original garment. The original Carolina Herrera Dress was sold out but I found a link to one website listing and used this to look at design details and make decisions as I went. I also pulled as many pictures of Megan Markle wearing the dress as I could to help me learn about the design.
2) Picking Patterns- after identifying the main design details I wanted to recreate (wrap front, cap sleeve, princess seamed full skirt, in seam pockets, midi length, and fabric belt) I set to work looking for patterns that could be used. It is rare to find a pattern that works as is, so be prepared to pull from several patterns if needed. I looked through my stash first and found McCalls 7745. I really liked the bodice for view D so I started there. I then went searching for a skirt. I dug high and low online and found some potential matches, but I happened to be out thrifting one day and caught sight of Simplicity 2996 and was sold. The full circle skirt, midi length and in seam pockets were all in this one pattern! Now I had my main patterns in hand, it was time to get working.
3) Take a practice run- or at least tissue fit your pattern pieces. I traced out the pattern pieces for McCalls 7745, view D and Simplicity 2996 view C and began pinning together and testing the fit on myself and immediately noticed a big problem. Somehow I missed the drop waist on the skirt and the patterns were not even close to matching up. Since the skirt was drafted to sit way below the natural waist, I taped on tracing paper and added 3 inches to the top of each skirt piece. I then tested the fit on my tissue pattern again and felt confident moving forward.
4) Modifications- when tracing out your pattern pieces it is important to note and REMEMBER all the modifications you will need. This little step got me in trouble a couple times during my sewing. I forgot to write down that I need to added seam allowance and not cut on the fold for my bodice back and skirt back pieces. Had I written down this information on my pattern pieces, I would have remembered that I was adding a center back zip. Here are the modifications I made to the patterns:
a) Bodice- added center back seam and invisible zipper, created a faux wrap front and basted the lining/main fabric together along the bottom edge prior to attaching the skirt.
b) Skirt- added 3 inches to the top of each skirt piece to raise the pattern’s dropped waistline, added the in seam pocket from view A to my skirt, added a center back seam allowance and invisible zipper to the center back of the skirt
c) Belt- had to totally DIY this step- see below
5) Sew- When sewing together your pattern, stop frequently along the way, try things on and make adjustments as needed. When you are attempting a look-alike, it’s important to keep comparing the original pictures and make changes as needed. I kept a close eye on the length, the waistline, where my wrap front crossed, and the belt. You can find full details of each part of the sewing of this dress on my you-tube channel. I created a sew-along for others wanting to make this dress.
6) The final details- for me the end of this dress came with the most pressure- that belt! I had never made one and boy did this one make me nervous. While I am confident I did not do every part correctly, I am happy with the final result. I recorded everything and added it to the sew along on my You Tube Channel.
And finally, after all that work, you have yourself a look-alike dress made especially for you. I hope you enjoyed this peek into How to DIY the Megan Markle Denim Dress. Don’t forget to check out the sew-along for more help if you making your own.
Shannon @ www.indoorshannon.com
Who’s ready to make a statement this holiday season with some Fluorescent Sequins? Minerva is the place to go for sequins this year as they have so many varieties! I instantly fell for the hot pink and electric yellow sequins and knew they’d be fabulous for my holiday party dress this season (and then I had enough for a second piece!).
Now, maybe you’re like me. A little scared to sew sequins. Maybe you’re wondering if your machine can even handle sewing sequins like I did. I am here to give you a few tips that I found after asking my followers on Instagram as well as researching a little on my own.
TIPS FOR SEWING WITH SEQUINS:
-Clip sequins off the seam allowances for easier sewing/ less needle breakage.
-Use clips instead of pins (pins tend to fall out of the mesh backing)
-Pattern weights are better when cutting out the pattern pieces.
-Use a sturdy needle like leather or chrome needles, and make sure they are new and SHARP.
-To cut your fabric, turn it face down and cut with wrong side up. This way it is easier to cut just the mesh backing and less sequins.
-Choose a pattern that doesn’t have complicated seams, darts etc, bc it will add a lot of tricky work and sequin removal to make it work! Simple is best!
-Lengthen your stitches. They don’t need to be as close together. (I did about 2.8/3)
-Make a facing for the hem and hand-stitch it, OR stay stitch and leave it raw (that is what I did!)
For my crazy, bright sequin pieces I wanted a pattern I already knew fit me well, and would show off the sequins without being too fussy. I chose the Closet Case Patterns Cielo Dress and Top because I like the easy fit and big statement sleeves.
You can see in this photo that instead of gathering the sleeves like the pattern calls for, I used clips to evenly pleat the area that would’ve been gathered.
I wanted to color-block so I decided to do the sleeves and little back shoulder piece in contrasting colors for both the top and dress.
What do you wear with bright pink and yellow? I decided to keep with my hyper-primary color theme and pair it with blue tights of course!
This was really the perfect pattern for a party dress because I can wear it all year long since the colors aren’t too dark and wintery, but also because it’s nice and roomy so I can eat all the party food without having to worry about anything;)
Now more about the top. I had leftovers of the sequin fabric so I was able to squeeze out a top as well. This top is perfect for that party that is casual but you want to be a little “extra” as they say. It’s an easy statement piece. It is comfy because it’s boxy and it’s lined (so not scratchy), but it’s bold in color and texture.
I liked pairing it with denim for a nice juxtaposition of fancy and casual. But of course I donned a crown I had that happened to match, so…. Still a little over-the-top.
I enjoyed posing in various places around my home to show you that your sequins need not only be worn out, but for those of us without any party plans they can be worn….
In the tub darling….
While lounging in your bed of course!
Just standing casually by the door.
While lying on the couch.
And even if your only date is with your Snake-eyed Plant.
And if you have nowhere to go in your sequins, you can at least get someone to take some photos of you swinging your hair around in the streets as if you were a real life fashion model.
Hi friends! I’m so happy to be back on the Minerva Blog to share with you some great holiday inspiration! I am a huge fan of home decor and go especially overboard when it comes to holiday decorations. I love the sparkle and lights! You just can’t help but smile and feel cozy and cheerful when the holiday decorations come out. When I was given the opportunity to use this Incredible Craft Fabric, I just knew I had to create something to add to my growing collection of holiday home decor. I did some Pinterest-ing and came up with a great design for a new holiday sign! I don’t work with craft fabric often so this was a great stretch of my creativity. I am so happy with how the sign turned out, and can’t wait to make a few more as gifts this holiday season. If you’re looking for a fast and simple way to add a little sparkle to your holiday decor, this is definitely a project for you!
The project began with an unconventional trip to the local hardware store where I picked up 3 pieces of wood picket fencing. I used scrap wood to create a brace at the top and bottom on the back of the sign to secure the three fence pieces together. Then, I applied a few coats of white exterior paint to create a clean backdrop. Once the sign was assembled and dry, it was time to pull out the Glitter Fabric and get to the “real” crafting!
I used my Cricut Maker and the rotary blade to cut out each letter for the sign. Since the glitter fabric was particularly textured and a bit thick, I had to use tougher settings. I got the best results when I used the “denim” setting with heavy blade pressure. You can find the project template available on Design Space. Once I had all the letters cut out, I laid the letters out on the sign and measured for even spacing and a proportional look. I simply used a hot glue gun to attach the glitter fabric to the sign. I added a buffalo check bow to add a little color and tie the sign into my current holiday decor scheme and voila! It was perfect!!
The glitter fabric was great to work with! It was rigid enough to hold the shape of the letters and the bold font I chose. The glitter didn’t shed everywhere while I was using it, which is a huge plus for any crafter! I could see the fabric having a lot of great uses from signs like I made, to cone trees, or even making structured bows. The fabric has almost a scuba knit feel to it, with the thickness of craft foam. The glitter helps the fabric to hold a stiff shape but still allows the fabric to be moldable and not crease along curves.
I love how saturated the glitter is and it’s sparkle and sheen as it catches the light. I have a lot of natural light in my living room and the sign just pops!
I hope you enjoyed reading all about my newest holiday make! This project was fast and simple but packs a big “wow” into any room. You can even use this same design with different phrases and color ways of the craft fabric to make a sign for any occasion! Happy crafting friends!
Thanks for reading,
Posted in Projects on Sunday the 17th November 2019 by Vicki Ormerod
This year I want to be sure I’m right on time for my X-Mas sewing! I always have very good intentions, but in the fall everything always seems to go so fast that my good intentions fall apart.
But now I will succeed! I already started with my first load of self made presents for my mom, yeah!
The range of Christmas Fabrics is huge at Minerva! Choose from 100% cottons, polycotton even mesh, scuba and velvet!
This Cotton Calico Fabric appealed to me through the design made up of little crosses to look like cross stitch. Isn’t it cute?
Curious what I did with this soft medium weight fabric? Let’s go!
At the top of my to do list was this apron. My mom will definitely be able to use this because she loves cooking! By using this 1 yard apron pattern, I would certainly be able to make other small projects! Excuse me, but I first had to try out this apron and take a photo for you all!
Do you see my pocket on it?! Isn’t that great?!
I sewed the pattern per instructions but because I hate turning ties I used my own method. The pattern doesn’t include seam allowances, so after adding it I cut the apron and folded the edges to the back by ½” twice.
Pinterest contains so many great ideas to sew, mostly when I start browsing I can’t stop with pinning ideas. So here is my next idea.
This little apron seemed like a great idea to give a wine bottle as a gift. The print of the cotton calico fabric was actually very nice. I positioned the birds in the middle and the result was spot on!
Sewing this little apron was a quick finished project and the result is so cute!
Okay, now you know my mom loves to cook and to drink red wine.
My third and last project is this Kleenex cover. In my house there are Kleenex boxes in different places. But not all of them have a cover. If I can use it, then everyone can right? And if we dine together on Christmas Eve and recall beautiful memories, we can certainly use this!
Actually you only need the outline of a Kleenex box, two rectangles of your beautiful fabric ( 37,5 cm x 26,5 cm) ( 14,76 “ x 10,43 “) and double folded bias tape.
Here some pictures of the different steps while sewing.
Place the pattern in the middle and draw around it. Also draw the oval on both pieces of fabric.
-Place the pieces of fabric with the right sides together.
-Pin the corners and the ovals together.
-Stitch the oval accurately, use a small stitch length for this.
-Cut away the inside of the oval and give lots of cuts, or use a serrated shear.
-Turn one piece of fabric through the oval around the other until both right sides are facing out.
-Roll the inside of the oval between your thumb and forefinger until the seam is nicely convex. Iron the hole.
-Stitch the oval with a slightly larger stitch length.
Fold the four corners of each fabric into a triangle by pinpointing the drawn points exactly together.
-Stitch the eight corners and flatten them.
-Pin the corners of one fabric to the short side of the cover. Pin the other close the corners on the long side of the cover.
-Turn both fabrics with the wrong sides together.
-Pin around and stitch the entire bottom edge to 1 cm or 3/8”.
-Trim the fabric right next to the stitching.
-Finish off with bias ribbon.
Do you think my mom will be happy?
I’m so excited for it!
And now up to my next load!
See you soon,