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Simplicity 1197 Cotton Canvas Coat

Canvas is a fabulous fabric. It's sturdy and durable. It's easy to work with and wears well. Many of us use it often for home decor projects. But it's also a great option for outerwear. Coats made of canvas are excellent for cooler weather.
I loved the look of this navy blue Cotton Canvas Fabric at Minerva. It's bright and cheerful. The bold floral print put me right in the mind of being ready for springtime. How great for a reminder of those blooms. And I look forward to wearing it in the fall as a last reminder of warmer days. Plus, it's available in a number of other shades.
I decided to use the canvas with a reproduction pattern from the 1960s, Simplicity 1197. I've been trying to work my wardrobe into one that includes a vintage vibe but that also often has a modern aesthetic. This pairing was great for that mission.
My measurements are 37" 30.5" 39". According to the back of the pattern envelope, that puts me in a size 16. However, I find it really useful to take a look at the amount of ease included in paper patterns. Based on those numbers, I decided to cut a straight size 12. It still provided plenty of ease for wearing over long sleeves and sweaters. I think the only change I would make would be to shorten it a bit at the waistline in order to make it fit my petite frame a bit better.
This pattern is not too difficult, but it does have a number of pieces as well as steps. I found it helpful to mark off each pattern piece as I cut it in order to be certain I got each. For example, each sleeve had two pieces in both the main and lining fabrics. The back also includes a center seam. The benefit of this is that you can use narrower fabric and still fit the pieces. However, you do need to consider pattern matching across seams. With the busy floral on this canvas, I didn't worry about it. I felt it hid any mismatch quite easily.
Some of the steps are tedious, as it involves quite a bit of hand sewing. However, it really meant that this coat has a professional look to it. I chose to hem the main fabric by hand in order to make sure the stitching wasn't seen from the outside of the coat.
I paired the floral canvas with a polyester lining from my stash that matched perfectly. I love how nice the fully lined coat looks. The bottom of the lining hangs loose, but it is attached by French tacks at the seams. It definitely reminded me of nice ready to wear clothing I've owned.
A favorite feature is of course the pockets. I had never before created pockets like these. However, following the directions slowly made them successful. They look absolutely fabulous. The welts are just like professional coats I've purchased. I adore when my handmade garments are undistinguishable from ready to wear.
I recommend both the fabric and the pattern. Of course, this floral canvas is a bold choice for a coat. Not everyone may be willing to use it for a large garment like this. It could also be a lovely skirt or used in smaller pieces. However, I think it's a fabulously fun fabric for outerwear. It stands out and puts a smile on my face.
Thanks for reading,

Embrace the Plains

Hello, I’m Adelle, I am on a mission to create a handmade wardrobe. I’m excited to be reviewing this Plum Florenza Crepe Fabric from Minerva.

The Fabric:

In recent times I have begun to embrace the plains. When I first began dressmaking I was firmly in the pattern fabric camp. Walking into a fabric shop I would head straight for the pattern fabrics, but in recent times I have found myself living plain fabrics more. It allows me the show off the dress pattern more, and also it’s filled some gaps in my me-made wardrobe when wearing separates.

I was very lucky to be allowed by Minerva to choose the fabric for my next product review from their immense range. And with my pattern choice in mind I settled on this florenza crepe dress fabric in the warm plum colour. Minerva has 51 colour ways for this fabric and it was a difficult descision to settle on which colour for my project. I’ve been loving the warm autumnal colours this season, so I went with the plum colourway. This polyester crepe is a light to medium weight fabric with lots of drape. It’s very soft and has a smooth finish.

The Pattern:

Sew Over It recently released a new ebook ‘My Capsule Wardrobe: Work to Weekend’ and the Kate dress will be a perfect work outfit. It has a fitted bodice with a collar for a chic smart look. The skirt is in several panel pieces and has slits to allow the skirt the flow.

It is an intermediate pattern as it contains a hidden button placket and a collar with a collar stand. With this in mind, I first made up the shirt version in some cotton lawn. There are parts to the pattern that requires some thnking, but the instructions are simple to follow accompanied with clear photographs. The pattern notches are particularly important so don’t forget those!

The Sew:

The dress requires quite a bit of fabric, almost 4 m for a size 12 version. I made up the size 10 version with a few adjustments to the bust darts which appear to be quite high. It was a project that I broke down into small manageable steps. First making the button placket, then adding the collar, and then adding the skirt.

The fabric did have a tendency to pucker so I increased my stitch length slightly and took time to press with a cool iron. I think next time I would use my walking foot attachment to give more stability.

The dress has front buttons but contains a side invisible zip. I admit that sewing buttonholes fill me with dread. No matter how many times I practise they go wrong on my project. This time I was lucky! However you could get away with sewing up the front and adding fake buttons because with the long zip you can still get it on and off .

One improvement I would like to see to the Sew Over It patterns is to include the pattern reference letters in the instructions. I had labelled my pieces A,B,C etc but these aren’t refrenced so I had to keep referring back to the start to work out which piece was needed

The Finished Dress:

Putting on this dress I do feel like I’ve stepped out a 1950s post war moment. And I actually love that look. The bodice fits beautifully after making adjustments to the bust dart. I love the hidden button placket and I feel with each shirt I make my collars are becoming neater.

One part I was a little disappointed with was the slits. They just clapped open exposing the inside and my overlocked edges. I sewed all the dress panel seams up and I think even with a heavier weight fabric I would do the same.

Thank you Minerva for letting me choose this project. It’s going to feature in my winter work wardrobe quite a lot.

Adelle x

@button_and _pip


The Secret Pajamas Club

I’ve finally joined the secret pajamas club and could not be more thrilled with my first Moneta dress by Colette Patterns. I paired this simple pattern with Minerva’s Deluxe Viscose Jersey Fabric and wow is it soft!

I washed and dried my fabric right away and was happy with how well it faired, no pilling like I sometimes have with other lower quality fabrics. The Moneta dress is a .pdf pattern, but I had purchased it ahead of time and sent it off to a .pdf printer. I was able to get to work right away.

The instructions estimated the pattern would take three hours to complete and I was up for the challenge, so I set my cell phone timer and got to work. I chose style three, the ¾ length sleeve option. I was trucking right along until I needed to hem the sleeves and the neckline. I was using my newest sewing machine, the Husqvarna Viking 400, and decided to take the time to learn how to use a twin needle with this machine. I had a few tension issues and ultimately decided to use Heat-n-Bond soft stretch lite fusible web adhesive and was able to achieve a much more polished look; one I was happy with.

One other difficulty I ran into making this dress was when I reached the instruction about cutting elastic. It wasn’t clear to me how long to cut my elastic and I cut it too long, ultimately making the skirt too large to add to the top. After ripping the seam and elastic out I realized that the elastic should be the length of the circumference of the torso portion of the top. Adding the skirt portion back onto the top portion went much more smoothly the second time!

I ended up taking an extra hour or so making this dress, adding stay-tape in the shoulder seams and understitching and stabilizing the pockets, as well as experimenting with my new sewing machine. I’m really happy with this make and will definitely make it again. When I do I will likely add a neckband and shorten the top about an inch so the waistline hits at my natural wait. I may shorten the length of the skirt too. And I can’t say enough about how much I love this viscose jersey knit which was a dream to sew with and launder, plus a wardrobe staple color. I’m dreaming about my next Moneta dress in a soft heathered gray for my Easter dress.

Time estimated: 4-5 hours

Size: small

Fabric used: Deluxe Viscose Jersey Fabric in Franch navy, 92% Viscose, 8% Spandex

Care instructions: machine wash cold, tumble dry low

Cost to make dress:

pattern - $14

.pdf printing - $5

Fabric - $15 value

*used existing thread and fusible web


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Stretch Crepe Camille Jumpsuit

If you follow me on Instagram you’ll probably know that episode one of Alice-May versus the Sew Over It Camille Jumpsuit was not without its trials and tribulations, so it may surprise you that when the opportunity arose to make one for my first Minerva Crafts blog post I jumped at it. Nope, I’m not sure what I was thinking either, but I really wanted to nail the fit issues on this one and make my dream power suit.

The Fabric

My first jumpsuit looks great when it is fresh off the ironing board but the instant you breathe it creases so much you might as well have rolled down a hill through a few small forests in it. It also has no give in the hips and the sleeves are so tight you can forget getting anything down from the top couple of shelves at the supermarket. I felt like both of these issues weren’t to do with the pattern but were to do with the fabric I had chosen so I wanted to make it again in a crepe fabric with slight stretch.

This Lady McElroy Stretch Crepe Fabric in the most beautifully obnoxious shade of royal blue was perfect for the job. I’m a big fan of colours which stand out on a rainy day amongst all the black and grey. A good primary colour has the ability to put a smile on my face no matter how blue I’m feeling (pun intended).

The fabric has a right and a wrong side that wouldn’t be noticeable to any non-sewist looking at it. I’m not sure which is technically the ‘wrong’ side but I put the more textured side next to my skin as I preferred the look of the less textured side. I was a little concerned that the texture would be itchy on my sensitive skin but I can confirm that I have been wearing it all day at work (with a bandeau to make the neckline safe for work) and haven’t had any issues.

The Pattern

Once I had chosen to go with a stretch crepe to fix the sleeves issue I decided to make a few extra adjustments.

  • Lengthened the sleeves to full-length to combat those pesky cold wrists

  • Shortened the trousers by 3 inches

  • Lowered the neckline by an inch

  • Used the method of finishing that the Eve dress does – ironing stay tape to the wrong side, folding it over and topstitching in place. I did this as the fabric is quite thick and springy and I didn’t want to have to battle with facing poking out every time I wore it.

The pattern is relatively straightforward but it does have a lot of steps so be prepared for an involved make if you choose this pattern. I skipped the pockets this time as I knew I’d only be wearing it for evening and at work where I don’t need pockets. Also, last time I did this pattern the pockets were a source of immense frustration as the way they described how to insert them was unnecessarily complicated.

The Result

Overall, I am happy with how my jumpsuit turned out. In hindsight I definitely should have made a toile before sewing the bodice as it would have made the process a lot smoother! The neckline which I thought would only be an inch lower turned out to reach right down to my navel… so I had to unpick the waistband and redo it. Even after that the neckline was still too low so I had to hand stitch it up.

The weight of the crepe really suits this pattern as the trousers have excellent shhwiiiing and it doesn’t cling. Even though this pattern doesn’t recommend stretch fabric I definitely would recommend it. In this blue that superman himself would be jealous of I got my power suit in the end!

Thanks for reading,

Alice-May @ thestitchedit


A Kielo and a Wedge of Swans

Hey Minerva makers!

Did you know that the collective noun for swans in flight is a wedge of swans? I love silly facts like that and I kind of love that the folds of the Kielo dress mirror that wedge shape! Am I thinking about this too closely? Probably!

Anyway, as soon as I saw this Lady McElroy Stretch Viscose Fabric I knew I wanted to make it into a Kielo Dress. It’s such a pretty shape and displays the fabric beautifully; I am also hoping that it can transition through the seasons quite nicely. I was tempted to make the sleeved version but I want to be able to wear this in summer so I decided to make it sleeveless and wear it with cardigans/jackets in the spring.

Named Patterns recommend a light and drapey fabric with a minimum 20% stretch and this fabric fits the bill perfectly! I don’t know about you but I always find it hard to find nice wovens with stretch – the sample Kielo on the packet is made of a stretch chiffon and I always think it looks so light and beautiful and floaty - I wanted to replicate that with this fabric. It has a really fluid drape, is completely opaque and not as lightweight as I had expected; it feels like beautiful quality. I was actually a bit nervous that the fabric wouldn’t have enough stretch so I sized up one size but I don’t think I really needed to.

I love the Kielo shape but I am not much of a maxi dress person so I do tend to shorten them (this is the third one I’ve made!). This time I folded the pattern up by 18 inches to take it from maxi length to just above the knee. Beware! It’s a good job I wanted a shortened version as the recommended fabric layout supplied in the pattern has you rotating the back pieces upside down to fit next to the front piece – no good if you have a directional print like this one!

If you’ve not made a Kielo before, the back is usually cut as two pieces with a centre back seam and there is a long dart running up and down each side. Because I knew the darts would ‘interrupt’ the swan pattern quite a bit, I chose to cut the back on the fold so that the print is somewhat preserved. This did mean there was a little less shaping in the back but because the ties cinch in the waist quite a bit I don’t really think it matters too much.

The pattern instructions give two options for finishing the arm and neckholes – they suggest that you can just turn them in and topstitch or they also give the option of binding them. I chose to bind them with some strips of self fabric I cut on the bias and I’m really pleased with the finished effect – it looks neat on the outside and beautiful on the inside! I also had no problems whatsoever making the straps – something I’ve struggled with in previous makes as I’ve had straps trying to twist while I am sewing them. To combat any potential twisting, I cut the strap pieces parallel to the selvedge and fully interface the straps with lightweight interfacing. Using this method they sew up beautifully and thanks to the interfacing they retain their flat shape while worn. I am really pleased with how crisp and beautiful the ties are in this version!

I absolutely love this dress, the Kielo is one of my favourite patterns and think it looks great in this fabric which was beautifully easy to work with and (unlike some viscoses) doesn’t want to crease! Hallelujah! In the ‘flying squirrel’ picture below, I had been wearing that dress all morning with the straps tied around me and you can see it’s not creased much!

As always, thank you to Minerva for the supplies and until next time, happy sewing!

Vicky @ Sewstainability


A Stripey Tilly and the Buttons Nora Top

For my most recent make I went full on cosy! I love sweatshirt weather and though I mainly wear dresses, I can't resist throwing together a quick sweatshirt and the roomier the better around winter time to hide the excess hibernation cake! They are usually pretty quick to run up and I knew I wanted a quick and satisfying Sweater out of this lovely Fabric, which is a striped loose knit in Blush.

I have found that the perfect solution to this is the new Tilly and the Buttons Nora Top. I have made this several times and it has a real slouchy and relaxed silhouette and it is super quick to sew up. I have made the t-shirt version previously but for this I cut the version with the high neck, though I knew from the feel and drape of the fabric that this wouldn't sit upright but I wanted to embrace a relaxed look. I also chose the long sleeve option. I also made a high-low hem by having a shorter front then back hem. I needed a metre and a half to do this and I used pretty much all of the fabric.

The fabric really does have a loose knit and because of this it has it's pros and cons when it comes to working with it and wearing it.

Pros: it's super light and easy to manipulate, meaning stripe matching is super easy. It is really breathable to wear. It has a lovely drape to it.

Cons: it needs lots of weights when cutting as it moves around because it is so light. It needs a vest or something under it to be decent! I was more than happy with this look though and wore a white vest under my top.

The pattern did come together really quickly and I used my sewing machine to ensure that the stripes were lined up and used my overlocker to ensure that my seams had stretch and were finished. I chose to overlock first so I could use the seams to easily and neatly complete my stepped hem. The sleeves are set on the flat,which is always good news for me. They seemed very long though and I had to shorten them significantly!

I feel the colours in the stripes go really well together, I'm not usually one for wearing pink but the combination of colours meansu that it's not sickly pink and it goes with lots of different garments in my wardrobe. I can see this becoming a staple in my wardrobe. I'm pleased with my stripe matching and the relaxed style of it. It's perfect for walks on the beach and lazy winter days.

Thanks for reading,

Emma @ emmaandhermachine


Boiled Wool Berlin Jacket

Hello everyone, it’s Suzanna from Threadquarters back today to share my latest make for Minerva, and I’m pretty excited about this one.
I have had my eye on the Tessuti Berlin Jacket for some time now and when I saw that Minerva stocked Boiled Wool Fabric I knew it had to be my next project. They have quite a wonderful selection of colours in this boiled wool, so deciding which to go for was tricky. I narrowed it down to either a classic black, which I knew I would get so much wear out of, or a fun pop of colour with the royal blue. In the end I followed my heart, rather than my head and went with the royal blue - and I am so glad I did. The richness of colour is out of this world!
The Berlin Jacket calls for fabric which doesn’t fray, such as a boiled wool, or perhaps a ponte roma. If you were to make it up in a ponte it would be a really cosy, snuggly coatigan, which I have to admit I’m tempted to try soon. The reason why you need to use fabric which doesn’t fray is down to the rather unusual construction method. ’Normal’ seams are only used for the side seams, while everything else is constructed by simply laying one layer on-top of the other and sewing a few mm away from the edge! Thus, your edges are exposed and susceptible to fraying. This unusual construction method did take a little bit for me to get my head around, but the instructions are pretty clear, and with a bit of practice it ends up being incredibly easy. I would suggest doing a couple of practice seams before moving onto your fashion fabric. Do also be aware that unpicking stitches in boiled wool is not fun (ask me how I know!). I did have a couple of occasions where I didn’t manage to catch the underlying layer and ended up with a little hole - so just go slow, and be careful! 
Another tip I have is when you are sewing the shoulder and back neck seam, roll up your front piece so it fits into the space in your sewing machine. This will make things a lot easier. 
I also found that because you sew so close to the edge, it did have a tendency to creep underneath the foot - I got around this by occasionally feeding the edge under the foot with either the point of a pin or your seam ripper (obviously you keep it well away from your sewing needle!) 
The pattern comes in sizes XL - XXS and I cut a size S. Due to the style lines of the jacket, which has dropped shoulders, you do end up with a fair bit of room in the shoulder, chest and arms. But I do notice that it tapers in towards the hips, and I have less room there. It doesn’t matter really though because there is not a front fastening, and it is meant to hang open. Top tip if you are wearing this in the winter months is to get a gorgeous scarf to wear with it and keep your front warm!
One of the amazing things about this pattern is that you only need 1.5m of fabric - to make a coat! I even managed to squeeze a couple more inches of length, as I had read reviews that some people felt it came out a little short. I have to say I’m really happy with the length mine ended up.
I’m not the neatest when it comes to cutting out fabric, I must admit, so I was a little bit nervous cutting this because I knew the raw edges would be exposed. So I took my time, and made sure my scissors were super sharp (I’m in the dressmaking shears camp, but of course a rotary cutter would do a beautiful job) and the edges weren’t too bad. But once it is all sewn up you can go back and neaten up any wobbly bits if necessary. I have to say that when I first started making the jacket/coat I wasn’t sure what I would think of the raw edges, but now that it is complete I am totally won over. It gives it a really modern, contemporary vibe, which I absolutely love. Bonus, it is so quick and easy to make - double bonus that no one will realise how easy it actually was to make and will be super impressed with you that you made a coat!
Thanks for reading,
Suzanna @ Threadquarters

Polka Dot Scuba Skirt!

Hey there, It’s Wendy here on the blog today to talk to you about a lovely new navy and white polka dot Scuba Fabric
It seems that scuba has been having its moment in the spotlight for the past couple of years now.
Have you sewn with it yet? Eager to know what the fuss is about? Quite fancy sewing up some scuba but don’t have a clue where to start?
Well hopefully I am here to help you out with my beginners guide to sewing with scuba.
What exactly is scuba?
Before I answer that, let’s start by saying what scuba is not - it is not wetsuit fabric.  Let me repeat that  - it is not wetsuit fabric. Maybe its because of ‘scuba diving’ or maybe it's the springy qualities of both fabrics that lead to this common mix up, but wetsuits are made from neoprene not scuba.
Scuba is actually a stretchy double knit fabric. It’s really similar to a ponte, with its fine knit gauge, soft touch and smooth finish.  But what makes scuba stand out (pun intended) from ponte is the structure and body it gives to garments.
Tips for Sewing with Scuba
When you’re sewing scuba you need to treat it in the same way you would any other knit fabric.  So make sure you are using a ballpoint or stretch needle and stitch seams with a ‘lighting bolt’ stitch if you are using a regular sewing machine. You could, of course, also use an overlocker if you have one.
For any straight stitching I like to increase the stitch length on my sewing machine when sewing scuba, this results in fewer (if any) skipped stitches. You could also use a walking foot but I didn’t bother with one.
Because scuba is a knit fabric it is not going to fray so there is not need to finish your seams unless you really want to.  I left the seams of my skirt unfinished and, full disclosure, I left my skirt hem raw too. So liberating!
Sounds good, so what can I make with it?
Scuba is a warm fabric that is not particularly breathable so think structured winter clothing rather than floaty summer dresses. It looks great as winter dresses, skirts, structured tops, blazers… I’ve even seen it work brilliantly in handmade lingerie.  One of things to remember with scuba is that the fabric is going to hold its shape well, so you can really make a feature out of those pleats and gathers, like I did with my skirt.
As soon as I saw this scuba I knew I wanted to make a box pleat skirt and chose this one from the Great British Sewing Bee book ‘ Sew Your Own Wardrobe’ by Tessa Evelegh.  It’s a very simple pattern and I made a couple of changes to make it even simpler. 
I stitched in my pleats and attached the skirt waistband as per the instructions but because the scuba is stretchy there is no need for a zip closure. So, I omitted the zip and just stitched up the side seams. I added a stretch interfacing to the waistband but the scuba is so thick and stable that I don’t think it was really needed. 
With the seams and hems left raw, this was probably the quickest skirt I have ever made. It was all done in well under an hour and I genuinely love it. The scuba is perfect for holding the shape of those box pleats.
Look how great it is for twirling in too!
Hope you enjoyed this blog post and I’ve encouraged you to give scuba a try for yourself. 
Until next time,

All the Firsts!

This is a blog of firsts for me; the first time writing a Minerva Crafts Blog post, first time using an overlocker (thank you Father Christmas!), first time using a knit fabric, first time using a twin needle and the first time sewing an elasticated waistband. Phew! What could possibly go wrong?!
Before I get started, let me introduce myself. I'm Sophie from @whatsophiesewed. I've only been dressmaking since summer 2018 when I saw a dress in a shop and thought to myself "I could make that" and so I did. I've loved learning new skills and I'm looking forward to learning so much more on this sewing journey! 
Minerva Crafts kindly sent me this stunning Jersey Fabric and I thought it would be perfect for a Moneta dress by Colette. Now I know this dress is very popular so I thought it would be a good choice to start my journey with knit fabrics. Being a Betwixtmas project I thought it would be a good comfortable choice as the elasticated waistband would help with my festive overindulgences! 
I love the pattern and colour of this Jersey. It is in the wine and black colourway and the pattern is rather subtle in its use of colours. I thought it would make a perfect smart/casual dress. 
So, let's get started!
I chose to make up version three and my measurements are 34-29-37 which put me at an xs in the bust, medium in the waist and a small in the hips. I cut a small top and graded it to a medium at the waist and cut a small skirt piece. 
I also knew that I wanted to have a longer three quarter length sleeve rather tha  one that ended at the elbow so I lengthened the sleeve pattern piece buy cutting it in half and adding 3.5 inches to the pattern piece. I also had to grade from  the shoulder to ensure that the sleeve wouldn't be too tight. 
The pattern pieces were easy to place in the recommended layout, although it was a little bit tight so I'd perhaps order an extra 10%. I ordered 2.5m as per the instructions. 
I started following the written instructions which I noticed didn't include stabilising the shoulder seams. I tested on a scrap using both the clear elastic and a narrow ribbon and decided to go with the clear elastic. I sewed it on using my overlocker but next time would definitely use the sewing machine so it's easier to control. 
It was quick to use the overlocker to sew the shoulders together. When it came to setting the sleeves I decided to use hand baste the pieces together before sewing with the overlocker as this is only the second time I've set any sleeves. This was successful and I'd definitely use this technique again. 
By now I'd found the online instructions of the sewalong. These instructions were a lot more detailed that the ones downloaded with the pattern. They suggested overlocking lots of the pattern pieces before sewing together. This gave me plenty of practise using the overlocker. 
The instructions said to hem the sleeves and neckline but I saved this til nearer the end as I didn't want to faff about swapping needles over on my sewing machine. Next time I make this dress I'll overlock the hem and neckline before construction as I think it'll be easier to do. 
I found the skirt easy to sew up and the pockets were straightforward to place once you matched up all the markings. I found that the pockets were a good size too. 
Now it was time to get the twin needle out and have a go at all the hems. I practiced on piece of scrap fabric and it worked really well - but when I made a start on the sleeve hems it just kept jamming. I could have cried! I persisted with both sleeves but decide to switch to a zigzag stitch for the neckline and skirt hem. 
I did find sewing the elastic on a little bit daunting, but had read online about making extra markings so it was easier to get an equal placement and nice looking gathers. I found it straightforward to sew the bodice onto the skirt but did take my time over making sure no fabric got caught up underneath the gathers. 
I'm so pleased with my finished dress and I ended up wearing it out for dinner on New Year's Eve. The fabric was a dream to sew with and this dress will be perfect to put a bit of a spring in my step in the dank winter days. I'm really pleased with the fit too. 
It took me a couple of afternoons to put it together. I'm actually wearing it back to front as I prefer the slightly lower neckline and the pattern placement. The dress as it is on dressmakers dummy is the correct way round. 
I'll definitely be making another Moneta in the future. 
Thank you once again to Minerva Crafts for the lovely fabric. 
1 Comment

Discover French Sewing Patterns

I am Elisenne and I run the bilingual French/ English blog, where I compile my exciting sewing adventures (!!). This is my first contribution to the Minerva Craft blog and I hope my articles will be the opportunity for Minerva Crafts fans to discover French sewing patterns in a particular.
When offered the opportunity to chose a fabric, I immediately fell in love with this white dots on black background Crepe Fabric – the dots are 2cm wide, so big enough to give it a retro look; but the black and white makes it easily wearable in all occasions– depending on the pattern you choose of course… But more on that soon!
I initially thought I would make a skater dress, the garment that I wear and sew most of the times; so I ordered 3 meters of fabric. But when the coveted parcel arrived, I realised this type dress was not an option: the fabric is too soft for a circle skirt; and slightly transparent so it would have required a lining, not something I had considered. But I immediately started visualising a floaty, long skirt, with ruffles. I started looking for patterns but nothing suited me – and then the miracle happened: having received my fabric on Monday, Vanessa Pouzet published her amazing La Boheme skirt pattern on Thursday, I sew the dress on Friday and we took pictures on Saturday, in the middle of London snow. Incredible but true!
La Boheme is a floor-length wrap skirt with an all-around ruffle. It is an absolute beauty, static, in movement, not even mentioning when you twirl around in your garden…
A few details about this pattern:
It is only available in PDF but Vanessa’s are the easiest PDF to print and assemble I have ever used! It took me only 30mn to print, assemble and cut.
At the time of writing the pattern was only available in French; but my little finger tells me that at the time of publishing the English translation will be available too (I even know who is working on that!!). Vanessa’s explanations are crystal-clear and full of humour.
In terms of level of difficulty, I would definitely recommend it for beginner: only five pattern pieces, no technical difficulty, and a very quick make.
As for the fabric, I found it quite challenging to cut, as it did move a lot – I should definitely had used some spray starch here! But it was totally worth it as it suits this pattern so well, it gives it a beautiful floating effect. Despite the slight transparency, I did not have to line the skirt, as the wrap does the job!
I mostly followed the pattern instructions but the slight changes I made are detailed here.
In conclusion I absolutely adore this dress and I hope many sewers will try it, in many different fabrics – my next one will be in a thick silk, which should make it look completely different!
Thanks for reading,
Elisenne @ Six Mignons

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