Hello everyone, I’m Kealy from Voice of a Creative. This time for my Minerva Makers blog post, I chose this lovely Floral Jersey Fabric Blue and Orange.
This fabric is available in one colour and features a blue background with a mix of orange, white and green on the flowers. This is a lovely light weight fabric and would be perfect for t-shirts and dresses. It was easy to work with when cutting and sewing, its composition is a mix of polyester and elastane. I love the addition of the colourful striped selvage!
When I received the fabric, I wasn’t quite sure what to make from it, partly because I have a standard self-drafted jersey pattern which is my go to for jersey. However, I felt like trying out a different pattern. I have recently seen several posts on Instagram featuring Agnes and Freya dress hacks so decided to try this out with another jersey top pattern. I decided to go for the Edie top from the Sew Over It E-book Work to Weekend and then add a skirt to it. I liked the look of the slash neckline and three-quarter sleeves, as they are different from my normal dress pattern.
My first step was to cut out the fabric, I cut the front and back of the Edie top as directed on the fold of the fabric, cropping it at the waist line.
For the skirt I took my waist, hip (on my hip bone) and widest hip measurement. I quartered each measurement, so I could draft the skirt piece. I drafted the pattern on brown paper, first drawing the fold line then marking each measurement starting with the waist, hip then widest part before drawing a smooth curve between them. To get the length I measured from my waist to my knee then added an inch, again I marked this on the pattern piece. An image of this is below.
After drawing out the basic skirt block I added a 1 cm seam allowance to the top and side of the skirt block. I also added 2 inches to the fold line, as this will allow me to add pleats to the skirt later. This is shown below.
I didn’t make any adjustments to the pattern other than to crop it at the waist seam, the shoulders and neck line on the Edie top seem to fit me quite well.
The most challenging part of the make was the neckline on the Edie top, this requires you to use seam tape interfacing. Seam tape interfacing is a strip of interfacing with a line of chain stitching down the middle. To do this you need to iron the seam tape on, round the neck line and on the shoulders for the back piece. You then need to stitch this within the seam allowance before folding over and adding a double line of stitching. The trickiest part is sewing across the shoulder, but I just took my time and it worked out well.
To construct the dress, I joined the shoulder seams and finished the neck line. I then joined the front and back top pieces to the front and back skirt pieces. I added pleats to the top and skirt pieces. To do this I measured 4 inches from the fold line and then folded it over by half an inch. Finally, I sewed the side seams and inserted the sleeves before finishing the sleeve hems and skirt hem.
To finish the hem of the dress I folded the edge of the fabric over by 1cm and then again 1cm, before stitching with a double line of stitching.
Overall, I love the look of this dress, it feels quite glamourous with the slash neck line and floral pattern. The shoulders fit me well, as does the skirt, I know I will get a lot of wear out of this dress. This fabric was a great weight for making a dress out of, I will be looking at more of these fabrics as I know it is easy to work with and turns out well. The only change I might make is to shorten the sleeves slightly, as these sleeves fall right in my elbow crease which could be a little uncomfortable moving forward.
Thanks for reading,
Kealy @ Voice of a Creative
As I write this post, it is snowing outside but, all I can think about at the moment are warmer Spring days. I might sew a couple more colder weather garments but my thoughts and sewing plans are now directed to Spring and Summer, my absolutely favourite time of the year and consequently, favourite clothes to wear and sew.
As soon as I saw this Lady McElroy Viscose Jersey Fabric, I knew it would have to become a dress. I adore the contrasting blooms against the turquoise main colour and as the print is large, I thought a dress with big panels would showcase the beautiful print and make it stand out. For that reason, I decide to make the Mayfair Dress by Nina Lee Patterns.
Based on my measurements, I made a size 6 graded to size 8 at the hips. I opted for the mid sleeves and knee-length options that will make it perfect to wear in Spring and very likely, during UK Summer weather as well. The only change I made to the pattern was shortening the length of the skirt part by 3 centimetres. A change I make in most patterns, as I am not tall (at all).
Due to the composition of this fabric being mainly viscose, it gives it a beautiful drape but, as with most knits, it needs to be handled carefully in order to not stretch while sewing. I also used a walking foot and a jersey needle as I usually do when working with knits and everything went smoothly, even in the trickiest parts. I had to be particularly careful making the neckline, in order not to stretch the fabric but, a neat finishing makes it all worth it. Not only looks beautiful but also avoids having a seam itching my neck. Perfect!
Another part of the dress construction that I had to be careful with, was the gathering of the dress front. I used clear elastic to obtain that effect but maybe next time I will try gathering using three rows of running stitches and see if it looks better. If the end result is worth it, I really don’t mind working with the elastic.
The two trickiest parts during the construction, are also the ones which result in my favourite parts of this dress and for which, the quality of the fabric plays a big role. I really adore how lovely the fabric drapes at the front and gathers at the neckline.
Making this dress was actually quite fast and gratifying. I had no big issues working with this fabric, in fact I had no issues at all, just had to be cautious as I usually am with knit fabric and the result is a lovely dress. The colours are absolutely gorgeous and it drapes beautifully. I am sure I will wear this dress innumerable times as soon as the weather allows me to.
Many thanks Minerva Crafts for the gorgeous fabric for this project and to you for reading.
Maria @ fairiesbubblesco
I figure I should start off by introducing myself since this is my first Minerva Crafts Maker blog post. I am Anna Marie, known on social media as @seams_so_stylish. I have been sewing for close to 5 years come February 2019. A few breaks here and there, due to life but I’m now back in to the swing of things. I use to blog on my own site, but I gave that up to focus on other things, so this opportunity to be a guest blogger here allows me to get the blogger feel I miss.
Now on to the garment, initially when I requested this Jersey Fabric and stretch Faux Suede Fabric I wanted to make a top and a skirt. The fabric arrived and I thought I want to combine this into one garment. So happy with my vision I went to cut out my fabric and began to sew and realized even though the super soft stretch faux suede was light weight, the structure of it was heavier than the knit. And my perfect project was becoming a mess. I started freaking out a bit, this is my first project for Minerva, it can’t be a failure. I have to save it.
So I walked away from the project and came back. What I did to make this project work.
I put slits in the side seams to allow the faux suede to relax.
I topstitched the facing down so it would always lay flat. I was using the faux suede for facing, with the knit it was heavier and it had been interfaced.
I recut the sleeves out of the jersey, originally it was going to be the faux suede but it didn’t have the stretch I needed. I added some left over mesh I had laying around the house to give the sleeves a little more detail.
I wanted to make sure the sleeves both had a beautiful flower, so I made sure I cut those separate from each other to get the flower. Overall I am happy with my save of this project.
The Faux suede is lightweight but firm and if looking to combine with other fabric I think more of a structured fabric like a Ponte, stretch woven will work best.
Simplicity 8059 View D
This is a pretty straightforward pattern. 3 main pieces. Back is cut on fold. You have the two fronts, and sleeves, then there’s the front ties and facing front and back.
Assembly of the pattern is pretty quick. Now as much as I love a good cardigan I prefer a more fitted cardigan/duster, because I carry more weight at the bottom and I don’t like excess bulk on me, this pattern I was concern a little until I saw the little back casing detail. It gives you not only detail but also a more fitted look.
I have short shoulders, so I thought this pattern was a little long in the shoulder area, and the sleeve caps had an excessive amount of ease. I ending up cutting off about an inch. The sleeves are long, but this intended per the pattern design, and you kind of bunch them up on your arms, it works for me.
I think this is a great beginner pattern, not time consuming. It is sized for stretch knits only. My only caution would be to if you're mixing fabrics just to make sure the stretch is the same and the weight of the fabric is equal. Other than that a perfect project for anyone.
You can make this for a swimsuit cover-up, a house coat/robe, which is what I will use mine for. Especially vacationing when you want to be comfortable but don’t want to look like you have on a robe.
Well until next time Sew On!
Anna Marie @seams_so_stylish
Posted in Projects on Wednesday the 17th April 2019 by Vicki Ormerod
For my first Minerva Crafts blog, I wanted to make a gingham shirt, I think it’s a garment that can be worn year round, under a jumper or cardigan in the winter and with the sleeves rolled up in spring/summer. The fabric I used is 100% Cotton Gingham Fabric it’s a classic casual shirt fabric and it’s a dream to work with. I always pre- wash my fabric before cutting out and dry it in the same way I plan to do with the finished garment, so in this case, it didn’t go in the tumble dryer.
I chose the Deer and Doe Melilot Shirt Pattern, it’s classic, but the styling is a little more contemporary. It has dropped shoulders (the short sleeved version has grown on sleeves) a feminine cut and a rounded collar. I also chose this pattern for reasons of practicality, it has a concealed button band and my machine isn’t great at making buttonholes, so if I can hide them I don’t have to deal with buttonhole anxiety!
The pattern is beautifully drafted, and the instructions are great. I always grade up between sizes around the waist as I carry more weight around the tummy area, it means I don’t have the same fitted silhouette but its more flattering for my shape other than that I didn’t make any alterations. The instructions suggest that you sew the shirt using French seams, I felt that the poplin would be too bulky, so I opted to use a flat felled seam instead.
It’s relatively simple to do, you just trim one side of your seam allowance to half its size and fold the remaining half over so both sides of the seam allowance are encased and stitch close to the folded edge. There are sewing machine feet you can buy that do this, but I’ve never managed to get one to work so prefer to do it manually – slow and steady. A flat felled seam is a good option if you’re not using a lightweight fabric and don’t have an overlocker, it’s also very strong.
I spent time ensuring that the checks matched at the centre front, the pockets and the placket finding it easier to hand baste. The result was spot on, although with a small check like this as I move around the pattern isn’t always perfectly aligned, but I don’t think anyone else would notice.
Other than the seam finish I followed the instructions to the letter until it came to the hem. The shirt has a very deep curve at the hem, and I knew from previous horrendous experiences that I wouldn’t be able to get the curve to look neat unless I finished it with bias binding. I’ve tried to make my own bias binding before, and it was a wonky mess, but this time I used a bias tape maker, and it was so much easier to get a consistent finish it just needed a press with the iron to come out perfectly, and now my shirt has a smooth curve.
Thank you to Minerva for this great fabric, I know this shirt will become a wardrobe staple for me and it was really enjoyable to make.
Alex @ Alex Judge Sews
Hi Minerva crafters, I'm Aida, coming to you from Athens, Greece and for this post I had the opportunity to try this gorgeous Alta Moda Crepe Fabric, this fabric is soft like butter and has a bit of stretch, I was looking for a natural fiber crepe fabric and I came across this black and white print, I just love black and white garments so I was so glad when I found it and I saw that it is a viscose fabric. I remember that I had another Alta Moda fabric in the past and the quality was as good as this one.
When I ordered it I had in mind to make a simple straight shirt dress, I browsed all the issues of Burdastyle that I have and I finally decided for pattern nr. 115 from the issue 01/ 2016, this pattern has detailed instructions as it is the illustrated class from this issue. For you that don't use Burda Style, they have two patterns in each issue for whom they have detailed illustrated instructions, all the other patterns have the minimalistic instructions that you've all heard.. The truth is though that I didn't read any instructions, as I find it rather easy. I chose the pattern because it doesn't have many seams as I didn't want to interupt the gorgeous print of the fabric and because of the interesting sleeve detail.
As I said the construction is really easy. If you have sewn a back yoke in the past you will have no problem at all.The changes I made are the following: there is a central front seam which is used for the opening in the neckline but I omitted that front seam and I opened the neckline by stitching two narrow rows across the center front up to the point I wanted the opening to be and cut through that opening, if I had a solid I would have kept that seam line. The pattern is for an unlined dress but I decided to partial line it using the same front and back pattern pieces as for the fashion fabric, This pattern is designed for 1.68 m height ,I'm 1.60 m so I shortened the sleeves and for the body I didn't add any hem allowance but cut the fabric in the hemline and hemmed the dress afterwards in the desired length.
For the contrasting details I used some leftovers from my January post, it's a black crepe from Ateliere Brunete, I also made a 2 cm wide belt from the same fabric but I forgot to put the belt on when I was taking the pictures. I prefer to wear the dress with the belt to give some waist definition as I think it suits me better.
I really love this dress, it is so easy to wear as there is no zipper, only that front opening that you can tie if you want and I also feel so put together when I wear it.
Posted in Projects on Wednesday the 17th April 2019 by Vicki Ormerod
Posted in Projects on Tuesday the 16th April 2019 by Vicki Ormerod
Hello Everyone! My name is Natalie & I blog over at Threads & Bobbins. Welcome to my first post for the Minerva Blog. I’ve been a reader of the Blog and Blogger Network posts for a good while so I’m excited to start contributing myself.
I know I’m not alone when I say that I have been loving the latest book from Tilly & The Buttons. The Stretch book is literally the book of my dreams. It has a great range of projects in it and covers many staple pieces for a perfect wardrobe. I’ve slowly been working through the projects and had come to a pause on the Joni dress. The Joni is a lovely dress that can be dressed up or down. The bodice and sleeves are form fitting, with a nice floaty gathered skirt. Due to its styling versatility, I wanted to ensure that I used a fabric that made it easy to transfer from wearing it as a day dress through to a night dress.
I came across this gorgeous Soft Jersey Knit Fabric which has a nice ditsy floral pattern in a blue and purple palette. This fabric is incredibly soft and quite slinky. It’s really lightweight but it’s also so easy to handle. I almost think that this has a slight crepe feel to it!
When it comes to the Joni, I’ve felt a little late to the game so I couldn’t wait to get started with this one. The twisted bust intrigued me so much as I have never constructed anything with a twist. My measurements (B37, W32, H41) put me at a size 5. The pattern only had 5 pattern pieces; the skirt, sleeves, front bodice, back bodice & the neckline facing. I always thought that it would have a lot more than that!
The whole pattern stitched up like a dream, and of course, it helped having great fabric to work with. I’m reasonably new to using an overlocker so I was thoroughly pleased when the fabric edges glided through nicely. The twist was just a twist in the bodice. Simplicity at its finest! I didn’t make any changes to the pattern at all. As I’m only 5’1” with a short little body, I normally shorten the bodice by at least an inch. It just wasn’t needed with the Joni though as I’m quite happy with where it sits.
The fit of this dress is so flattering and it has an excellent twirling factor! If you have a look through the #SewingJoni tag on Instagram, it just looks great on everyone. This lightweight knit has been the perfect fabric for my first Joni…yes, there will be more! The book itself has a few different fabric ideas that I may try in the future, along with a few different options for pattern ‘hacks’ too. I love the idea of adding a little bit of elastic to the sleeves for a ruching effect. I’d possibly want to do that with a plainer fabric though so it doesn’t get too lost in the pattern.
Anyway, hope you’ve enjoyed reading about my Joni dress! I’m sure you’ll be seeing more of them from me in the future!
Hi sewing fairy’s,
It’s been a little while since I got the pen and paper (well ipad) out to write a blog post...I don’t actually know where time has gone over these last few months!...far too fast that’s for sure with not enough sewing hours in the day.
The black micro crown Velvet Fabric that I was sent by Minerva crafts is absolutely beautiful to touch and look at.
I have had this Pippi Pinafore pattern in my stash from Jennifer Lauren for a while but hadn’t managed to use it until I received the velvet.
Although I downloaded and printed the pattern pieces months ago when I purchased it, I didn’t actually print the instructions so I kept logging online to look at the instructions but unfortunately, I never got around to making it...until the velvet was here. This is when I realised that due to not printing out the instructions I had actually used up all my log ins to look at them. So unless I wanted to re-purchase the pattern I had to go in blind and attempt to make the pinafore using the pictures on the website of finished dresses to guide me of how it was meant to look like, luckily I actually managed to complete the dress with only the pictures to go by!
Velvet isn’t a fabric that I sew often (I can’t actually remember when I last sewed it before now so this was a test for me!) So I did find this quite a challenge as it does seem to slip and slide around.
One thing that I made sure that I did was to make sure the grain of the velvet all went the same way for all the pattern pieces as I knew I would notice if it was different.
I found some fabric from my stash for the pocket linings and the front bib lining and both the velvet and the lining fabric was very slippery together so I had to use a lot more pins than I usually would. I think if I was to use the same fabrics again then I would hand sew the fabrics together first then machine stitch them. Using the walking foot on the sewing machine did help with this though.
I used the over-locker for all of the edges of the pattern pieces that would be exposed as raw edges before I started, I would definitely recommend doing this (or using a zig zag stitch) as the edges will continue to shed ‘fluff’ for a while otherwise.
Instead of using regular buttons on the side for the opening I used the jeans buttons so that it matched the top of the pinafore bib section. These can be purchased from most Haberdasheries or fabric shops. I found it is easiest to use the wooden bread board and a small hammer so it is a strong surface to hammer in the metal pin into the jeans buttons.
This fabric has a gorgeous feel to it and it makes it a lovely dress to wear for a casual dog walk/pub lunch on a Sunday and also can be dressed up for an evening out.
I really love this dress as it is super comfortable and have worn it quite a lot since I made it.
Thanks for reading
Love Sew Tanni xXx
Posted in Projects on Tuesday the 16th April 2019 by Vicki Ormerod