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#PatternoftheWeek - KwikSew 4155

Quick, quick let's throw in another summer pattern!! Absolutely ideal if you are going away on holiday this Autumn or you may just want to add to your stash all ready for next spring/summer. If you do like the look of this KwikSew 4155 then why not take advantage of our half price pattern of the week offer (this week only) and add it to the said stash haha. 
When you look at the line art drawings on this pattern sleeve, the only differences are the length of the dress and the collar line (A has a pointed 2 piece collar and is knee length and B has a grandad style neckline, made by only applying the stand part of the 2 piece collar and is mid-calf length) yet how different do the two designs look.
What can I say about version A - chambray, chambray and more chambray, be they self-coloured as in our gorgeous range of Plain Chambray Fabrics or Patterned Chambray Fabrics with numerous choice on our website.
This range of plain Chambray Fabric is my favourite at the moment and as you will see this comes in 3 fabulous colourways. The first, as above, is a beautiful shade of Indigo Blue, the second, although the code is orderable as black we call it 'charcoal grey' as it is actually a very subtle shade of grey and the third is a stunning sky blue. For me all 3 would look good in this dress.
When you type in Chambray into the search box on our website, apart from this fab fabric, a lovely range of bias bindings and pipings pop up. For the bias bindings you will see this fab product comes in 7 amazing colours.
Now, you are probably thinking I am going to say that three of these colours and 3 of the piping colours will match the 3 chambray fabrics, unfortunately they do not match. I am pretty gutted to say the least. However I am now thinking - I only looked at these as possible matches, how about subtle contrasts? And so here I am, Saturday night, watching my weekly dose of Strictly Come Dancing while writing this blog and thinking before this goes live on Monday morning I will give you my opinion on if and how these could be used together. 
Now I want to show you one of my Favourite Fabrics at the moment. This is a polycotton at just £2.99 per metre, yes you heard that right. I just love it and I must admit I have a small piece put at one side to make my darling little Grand-daughter Emily a pretty little dress for next spring/summer! And so back to the pattern, how good will this fabric look made up in this pattern.
So you can see how pretty this will look for baby Emily but also what a fantastic choice for this Kwik Sew pattern.
Our website description is "Funky Flowers print design fabric from our budget range of polycotton prints. Beautifully printed Polycotton fabric which is made combining strands of 20% Cotton and 80% Polyester. This means this fabric is easy-care and comfortable to wear by combining the natural effects of Cotton for softness and moisture absorption with the no-iron crispness of polyester. It is a non-stretch fabric and easy to sew. This fun printed design makes this fabric suitable for a whole range of sewing, craft and quilting projects! It is widely used for anything from dresses, skirts, tops and shirts to cushions, quilting, patchwork, handbags, accessories, baby and children's wear and more! " 
Because this pattern is not lined, thought must be given to this fabric being quite thin. So many garments are lined these days with sewing patterns in the main being no exception. So the more experienced sewist could add a lining however do you really need to? Back in the day (I know I've touched on this subject before in a previous blog post) you lined coats and jackets but quite rarely dresses. So sorry for repeating myself but why not make a simple waist slip out of our Stretch Lining Fabrics (3 different weights) and hey you then don't need a lining, so for holidays amazing!
Yet again thankyou for reading and your much appreciated feedback.
Annette xx
P.S. Well here I am Monday morning back at work. Mmmmmm grey skies and quite chilly here in North West Lancs!! And talking of grey, the grey chambray is darker than the grey chambray bias binding and piping but as I said earlier what a fantastic contrast. What do you think?
Unfortunately the blue and the sky blue don't match, neither are they a good contrast but hey you can't have everything can you. 1 out of 3 aint bad!! Be seeing you xx
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Introducing Gohandmade Kits

Hi Everyone, I just had to write a post today to tell you all about our new range of Knitting KitsCrochet Kits and Sewing Kits from Gohandmade. They are absolutely adorable and we think, perfect for Christmas presents!
What makes this range special we think, is the people behind the company and the story they have created around each and every character. Their love for fairy tales is at the very heart of every little character they design and it shines through into their products.
From the designers...
"We are several (women) involved in creating our ranges – working together is quite inspiring, and we sincerely believe that our togetherness has meant that we have been able to develop something, which we ourselves think is a lovely range.
Once upon a time there was ... 
A time for fairy tales! Throughout the development process of our animals and dolls, it has been our idea to create the possibility of stories. I myself was born and raised in H.C. Andersen's childhood town of Odense, something which has always meant something very special to me and has been very inspiring in my work with all the animals and the dolls. Everyone knows fairy tales. These are some of the first stories we hear as children, and we all know what belongs to a true fairy tale. A fairy tale always takes the side of the weakest, and it is the poorest, who becomes the princess. A fairy tale always has a happy ending – good is victorious over the evil. Fantastic things happen in fairy tales, birds can speak and frogs may turn into princes. Fairy tales speak to our innermost thoughts and feelings – they can be about being alone in the world, overcoming incredible dangers, finding love or becoming a hero. The same fairy tales are told throughout the world in slightly different ways. With the super cute animals and dolls from go handmade, you can create your own fairy tales.
At Gohandmade we are doing things a little bit differently. Some people will call us nerds, because we have worked exhaustively to give our collection "that special something". We have wanted to create a collection that is unique and of a high quality, and at the same time, it's also important to us that our products can be sold at attractive prices. It is our great hope that you will also find that our needlework kits are something special and can surpass your wildest expectations."
We love this story here at Minerva and we just had to stock this range of kits! All of us here at Minerva HQ have our favourite character we want to make! Each character has its own little story we have fallen in love with and we would love to introduce them to you.
First up we have Emily and Ella, two mice girls and they are each other’s best friend in the world. 
They love to dance, are always happy and all the other animals in the forest are mad about them. 
They share all their experiences with each other. The last time they met, Arno the fishermouse was to show everyone how to catch fish with a fishing rod. A lot of fun was had.
Emily and Ella will soon be participating in the great “Mouse Ballerina Show” and therefore, they have gathered all their friends to show them their performance - but also because it is much more fun dancing when there is someone to dance for. 
With an audience, the two mouse-friends make an extra effort and their friends are also really good at applauding and giving them good advice. They enjoy this and everyone has a great time.
We love her friends Sara and Simba the elephants...
Julia and Lotta the Giraffes...
And Burt and Bart the Cats!...
Next up we have Hippo Helmut and his friends! 
Hippo Helmut and his friends often spend time together. They enjoy being together, have a lot in common and agree that there is no better place to be than with them. 
Even though they have a lot in common, they also each have their own exciting experiences from the big wide world, which they love to share with each other. Every time they get together, the day begins with a family photo and then they get busy telling their stories. 
The last time they met, Ili Pika and Junior were there for the first time. Ili Pika is a short-eared rabbit with the sweetest expression. 
Ili Pika became world-famous recently. There was great concern that his species had disappeared, but then suddenly after many years, he and members of his species appeared in China and pictures of them went viral. Everyone was unbelievably happy to see the pictures of Ili Pikas - no one can resist such a cute animal.
His friends include Fido the Dog...
Jimmi the Monkey... (He's so cheeky!)
Next up we have Lukas & Buddy the Elephants who are best friends with the other animals of the forest. They get together often and when they are not just playing a lot of fun games, they take turns telling fairy tales. 
Sometimes, if it is very exciting or almost scary, they move close together, so close that they are all in a huddle. Now, listening is the fun part.
Their friends are just the sweetest! Camille the Bear is the cutest little bear you will ever meet!
We also have Simon & Mats, the Cat and Mouse, Laura & Andy the cheeky rabbits and Luis the Mouse!
Our Duck family (which has to be my favourite!) has four members.
 Meet AndersDottiPeter and little Alfred as the youngest. 
Alfred isn’t always very happy! Mother Dotti crafted new sandals for the whole family, so on a lovely summer day they can comfortably head off with their towels and blankets. 
They can’t wait to get in the water, except for little Alfred, of course. He’s on the lookout for a sunny spot to slumber and soak up the sun.
Our next character for you to meet is Hippo Charlie who is a dear and kind hippo – and with his warm expression, he’s a popular guy. 
Here he is out in the wild with little birdie!
Little Birdie follows him whenever she has the time. Even though Hippo Charlie doesn’t understand everything she tells him, they love each other’s company.
Here's the whole bunch of friends...
Introducing Janus the Owl...
Felix & Buster the Cats...
And Mulle & Julle the Dogs...
And lastly may we introduce you to the Mouse Sisters!
All three are very loving and caring mice who enjoy being together. In the summer when the weather is nice and sunny, they live out in the countryside. None of them can do without either their pillow or their much loved teddy bear; and of course, they always sleep in their nightdresses.
Meet Cherry & Line...
Her best friend Joan with Buster the teddy bear...
Wih best friend Ida & Felix the bear to keep her company!...
Hope you enjoyed meeting these little characters and hope you love them just as much as we do! If you would like a world-class Danish needlework kit, then Gohandmade is something for you!
Thanks so much for reading,
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#PatternoftheWeek - Burda 6590

I must confess, I know I keep showing you easy peasy patterns for pattern of the week. This week was going to be different! Plenty of sewing (possibly plenty of unpicking!) Lots of lovely fiddly bits and a good measure of hand sewing thrown in. But alas I came across this unbelievably easy pattern from Burda, no 6590 and just could not pass it by. And so I am offering you this as #patternoftheweek offer at 50% off.
The main reason being I wanted to give you an idea of how this stunning Knitted Fabric would look. Just take a look at the following photo.
It is like it was made for this pattern! 
I do think that what is the purl side of the fabric is actually the right side of the fabric apart from anything else it is definitely more textured. 
Take a look at this texture of the fabric on the following close up photo...
Just look at all the different colours making up ths 'pink' fabric. It is made up of a combination of cotton viscose and silk and is just pure luxury. Not only does it come in 'pink' it comes in green and yes the same applies with the amount of colours in the 'green'.
Ideally this fabric would be sewn on an overlocker but we don't all have one (at this point I would love your feedback and advice on what sort of overlocker I should get) however all is not lost. Use the stretch stitch on your machine along with a stretch needle. Failing that use a narrow zigzag stitch or how about a stretch thread. And if you haven't got a machine, sew by hand working back-stitch using a strong thread! Haha there is always an answer.
Now to talk about this pattern, we are talking shoulder/top of sleeve continuous seam x 2, side seam/under arm seam x 2.
Sleeve hems x 2.
A band round the neck x 1 (either round or slight v-neck)
And a band round the bottom x 1. 
Version A has a fabulous gathered band round the bottom, this will not move or stretch about because it is a gathered piece of fabric that is placed over the straight band piece. Hope you can see what I mean from the following photo.
Before I finish for today have you seen our Sale Fabrics here at Minerva? How weird that one such fabric has leapt out at me and nearly pushed me over haha. Take a look at my following photo.
Now find a chair to sit in before I tell you the unbelievable knock down sale price of just £1.99 per mt. Yes you heard that right but we do not have too much left so go and have look at our sale fabrics and grab yourself a bargain. 
Yet again thank you so much for taking the time to read my blog.
Annette xx

#FabricFriday - Typography!

Our copy of the latest edition of Love Sewing Magazine came through the post yesterday here at Minerva and as usual I couldn't wait to have a good look through. So there I was last night getting lots of ideas and inspiration as usual when I came across Fabric Focus which in this edition focused on "the creative use of typography in some gorgeous fabrics". Each of the fabrics looked lovely showing letters and words but my eyes were drawn to picture 5 and I just thought Wow. I could not believe it when I saw stockists I ran (sorry hobbled with my sore knee) into work this morning and demanded (haha) to know why I hadn't seen this amazing fabric. And guess what it was ordered in to our wonderful selection of fabrics here at Minerva while I was on holiday! This Dressmaking Fabric has been one of our top sellers and I wasn't even aware of it!! Now unfortunately it is non-reorderable but I am including it as one of our #Fabricfriday posts while stocks last just to remind myself if nothing else of the amazing selection of fabrics here at Minerva. Although the orange is my favourite colour, it also comes in a fabulous arrangement of pink.
Now as usual I am teaming this with another fabric and I have chosem our Stretch Suiting Fabric which is fast becoming one of my favourite fabrics.
I have chose the mustard colour as it just blends perfectly. Where the first fabric is a stretch cotton this fabric consists of Polyester, Viscose & Spandex giving it stretch both in the length and width of the fabric. Quite a few years ago Marks & Spencer introduced a fabric into their range that was a two way stretch and was used more than anything for their ladies classic style trousers. I used to wish and wish to be able to buy this wonderful fabric but to no avail. You could get stretch in the width on many polyester fabrics and stretch down the length, as in bengaline but to my knowledge not both, until now. Our website description of this fab fabric that comes in 14 gorgeous colours is... 
"This beautiful quality suiting fabric is a classic. It is ideal for sewing into workwear, tailored styles and for every day wear such as trousers, skirts and dresses. It is machine washable, easy care and easy to sew". 
It is £9.99 per mt and in my opinion worth every penny. Wash both fabrics before cutting out and sewing!
Have a look at Vogue Pattern 1557.
This is the very popular Mondrian dress (do you remember this from the sewing bee?) As a different look for this dress why not make it in a patterned fabric (as my first fabric) with the contrast, shown in black on the pattern, sewn in my second choice mustard. Very chic don't you think? 
Just for a dress take a look at Burda Pattern 6877
I must agree with the description on this pattern that says "Use solid colour fabrics which do not detract from the elaborate finished seam lines, assuring the perfect fit. Two distinctive dresses, with a unique charm of their own, that you will love to wear". However bearing that in mind for future dresses if you purchase this pattern, I think my choice of patterned fabric would be absolutely ideal. The dress is fitted, the mock wrap would 'sit' perfectly in stretch cotton and either length would work well.
New Look Pattern 6013 shows how you could combine a patterned dress and a plain jacket...
So just two fabrics today my sewing buddies, sorry I'm off to finish reading Love Sewing.
Thanks for reading.
Annette xx


#FabricFriday - Yumminess on a Roll!

Wow Wow Wow Just take a look at this Dressmaking Fabric...
This is a printed textured felted coat weight/dress fabric. That is the official description, I will just describe it as yumminess on a roll. My next photo shows a close up of this fabric, just look at that fantastic texture.
So what to make with this yummy fabric. My immediate thoughts are Mother of the Bride or Groom outfits. My following photos show a variety of Vogue Patterns that would look amazing made in this fabric.
First up is Vogue 9039 which is a beautifull lined jacket possibly for the more experienced sewer, however if it was for a wedding say next spring or summer you would have plenty of time to take your time and make a toille in order to get that perfect fit. The variation with a contrast in version B could be adapted for this fabric with say whatever you choose for a dress underneath. I think a linen or linen blend would be perfect, something plain to pick out one of the colours in the jacket fabric. I love the collar that isn't really a collar!
Next is Vogue 9095, this is a shorter slightly less fitted jacket, again fully lined and again a contrast could be used for a brilliant visual impact.
Next is a pattern from the Very Easy Vogue range no 9068. There are 3 very different versions all from the same basic pieces so plenty of choice. As you would imagine this jacket is not lined but if it is for a wedding next summer would you want it lined? For that special occasion (just in case your jacket flaps open) I would bind all my seams inside with bias binding, say a plain ivory for this fabric but if I was using a plain fabric I would use one of our fantastic range of patterned bias bindings. This look is created in many jackets that you see in the shops and is a lovely addition to an unlined jacket or coat. This part of your jacket must not be left till the end, it must be sewn in as you go along in order to acheive a professional look. The more experienced sewer could make their own lining if so desired.
For my last pattern I have chosen a Vogue 'Today's fit' by Sandra Betzina Pattern. I love how her patterns do not give you a dress size eg 14 or 18 etc., She works completely off your measurements. So if you are say a size 12 you cannot cut out a size 12 because there is no size 12 or any other size for that matter, you have to go off your measurements. As I have mentioned previously, dress sizes on patterns do not equate to dress sizes as we know them in the shops. An excellent example of this is when buying shop garments, we've all done it I'm sure and that is we take, in my case a size 12 into the changing room and it is too big or too small so off we go and get a size 10 or a size 14, does that ring a bell? So how can we trust a size 12 on a sewing pattern to be exactly as we want it to be. Therefore I cannot stress enough how important it is to go off your actual body measurements. So any pattern by Sandra Betzina is an excellent starting point (rant over haha). 
This pattern is again for the more experienced sewer, this time using piping to create a lovely effect on the front and on the pocket edges. so how about black piping for a quite dramatic look over a black dress or a pale ivory to give a soft and pretty very feminine look, only you can decide. 
And as my daughter Vicki says in an article in the next issue of Sewing World magazine this is the beauty of dressmaking...
"Once you experience the freedom of being able to take any sewing pattern, any fabric, add your own little twists and truley make something your own, I dont think you can ever go back."
Isn't that a lovely quote from her?
My next fabric is this Chenile Textured Stretch Woven Fabric which has a very unusual weave...
My next photo shows a close up of the fantasticness (I love my made up words haha) of this fabric.
It is described as "This stunning dressmaking fabric has a beautiful chenile type texture that is lovely and soft. This woven fabric has 4 percent spandex which gives the fabric some stretch down the length. We picture this fabric being made into dresses, skirts and jackets." And so again a fantastic choice of fabric for these wonderful choice of patterns chosen by yours truly haha. This would be stunning made up for the winter months to come. Because of the 4% spandex I would love a dress in this to wear with my black jacket. So fellow sewists only 2 fabrics shown this week from our fabulous new range of fabrics here at Minerva but I hope you will agree 2 amazing fabrics.
Thanks for reading.
Annette xx

#PatternoftheWeek - McCalls 7413

For #PatternoftheWeek  this week I have chosen McCalls 7413. This is a gorgeous flattering top which would look equally nice with leggings or tailored trousers.
For version C I love how there is a main (floral) fabric and I am immediately drawn to our scuba range. Take a look at this Scuba Fabric.
This has a sort of checked/striped background with an abstract floral design in the foreground, not dis-similar to the pattern. If you are not aware of it already, Scuba fabric has the most fantastic recovery when stretched and is a heavier fabric and therefore I feel it would make a perfect choice for this pattern, especially with Winter looming! Now what to put it with? Yes you've guessed, Scuba in Plain Colours, we have the most fantastic range of plain colours in the scuba range here at Minerva. Take a look at the Cerise Pink and Black from our regular Scuba Fabric Range.
Here's the cerise pink...
Now look at them altogether
I have to say in this instance the plain scuba's are a little softer and possibly a touch lighter in weight than the patterned scuba but I honestly don't think there will be a problem when sewn together and hey how well do they look! They are all at a fantastic price of £6.99 per metre.
For my second choice I just couldn't steal myself away from the Art Gallery Jersey Fabrics. Now this fabric is £19.99 per metre but the choice and quality of these amazing fabrics is second to none. So having spent ages thinking which should I choose for today, I have finally settled on this one called 'Untangled Ribbons'. This being a gorgeous striped jersey not dis-similar to version A.
Yet again here at Minerva we have the most amazing collection of Plain Jerseys from Art Gallery that will mix and match perfectly with any of the patterned jerseys. These are priced at £18.99 per metre and are hand-picked to blend perfectly with the patterned range. I think I would choose Strawberry Kiss (as below), perfect match and such a pretty name.
Last but not least I would choose something like this Patterned Jersey Fabric for version B.
This is a beautiful silky jersey that drapes beautifully and priced at just £6.99 per metre. Again this has lots of colours in it that you could choose for the contrast so where the Art Gallery fabrics are cotton and lycra, this fabric is polyester and lycra (very silky feel to it). Apart from the blue/pink, it comes in a gorgeous orange/multi as well. So search for polyester or viscose plain jerseys and I don't think you'll have any trouble finding a suitable match. You need look no further than our Silky Stretch Jersey which comes in 15 colours and the royal blue goes really well with this patterned jersey I've suggested! And even better is the price just £5.99 per metre. 
And so back to our fantastic pattern of the week offer which you can purchase this week at half price, it is designed by Nancy Zieman (see more Nancy Zieman Patterns here) and this particular pattern comes from a range that she has designed for those of us who love to sew but have limited sewing time (that rings a few bells doesn't it!). 
She gives fantastic hints and tips in her instructions and are usually aimed at saving time. One such tip is to extend the grainline on larger pieces with a pencil and a ruler so it is visible the entire length of the pattern piece. When the piece is say the whole front of the dress, you now have a grain line that goes from top to bottom. The patterns actual grainline will probably only be about 12" long and it is very easy to think you have got the grainline straight when in fact you haven't (and don't realise it). Just try this tip on whatever you are cutting out at the moment - a good idea is to pin your piece on the fabric, even using a ruler to measure that the ends of the grainline are equally the same distance from the edge. Then using your ruler extend this grainline to the top and bottom of the pattern piece, measure the ends now and in a lot of cases there will be some discrepancy. I could go on all day talking about Nancy's tips but I'll save some for future blog posts. 
Before I go, I just want to show you the lineart drawings from the pattern where you can clearly see the different variations.
Version A has a straight across bottom edge which lies a little lower at the back and is probably the easiest version. Version B has a fabulous shaped hem at the front and slightly higher at the back and straight across. My favourite has to be Version C, I love the 3/4 sleeves but the asymmetrical hemline on both the front and back has to be the winner for me!
Thanks for reading.
Annette xx 


#FabricFriday - Positive & Negative Fabrics

It's looking like the mono look is set to run and run, certainly it will run through another Winter season. Many fabrics are now coming through to us here at Minerva with a positive/negative feel to them. Just such a fabric is this Floral Fabric, one has a black background with a white floral design and teams beautifully with the white background with a black floral design. 
How lovely are they? and I must say how gorgeous the quality is. Now take a look at Simplicity 1431.
This shows how amazing these fabrics can look when placed together. Take a look at my next photo to see them altogether. 
On version C a black trim has been applied down the front seams and around the neck, my choice would be a covered piping in black which I think would make a fabulous accent on this pattern. 
This idea of positive/negative is arriving here thick and fast, numerous patterns in numerous colourways. For example the Blue Fabrics from another floral print collection we stock here at Minerva.
The next two Fabrics are up there with my favourites...
How about using red covered piping with this navy and white. 
I know I'm showing cottons again and Winter is nearly upon us (having said that it's gorgeous out there today) but just think how many people go away during our Winter months to some sunny climate. And even if we are not going away we can plan for next summer haha. 
Before I close for today I must mention our Tutu Making Kits.
These would make an ideal gift for your ballet enthusiastic daughter or granddaugter to 'have a go' and make one for herself. Or for yourself to make for them, it gives you a very easy way of making the tutu. Here I am showing you the pink/multi version but it also comes in lavender/pink which is equally lovely. The kit includes everything for the tutu skirt and the flower (the headband and bandeau top are the models own). Once you have mastered this technique which is very very easy you can then purchase net on its own along with the ribbons and elastic and create your own fantastic versions.
Thanks for reading.
Annette xx

#PatternoftheWeek - Colette Rooibos Dress

Another lovely day today as I sit here starting to write. It won't be long before we are talking Autumn then Winter! Although my brain isn't thinking jumpers, cardigans and fur lined boots yet, I must admit I keep taking a peep through our vast pattern range for the winter months here at Minerva and start drooling!! But just before all of that I thought maybe there's time for another summer dress. Apart from the fabulous patterns from Simplicity, New Look, Burda, Butterick, McCalls, KwikSew and Vogue we now have lots and lots of Indie patterns, too many to mention them all but here I will mention Colette Patterns. Now I haven't used these yet but I can only say they fly out, everybody seems to love them. I have to say, without any doubt, that the Colette Rooibos Dress is my favourite dress in the Colette range. And so I would like to offer this pattern to you at half price for 1 week only as our #patternoftheweek.
I just love how Colette patterns are packaged.What appears to be the pattern envelope is actually a book of instructions with the tissue pattern neatly held in a 'pocket' within the back page. 
The style of this particular pattern is just yummy. The dress has an inset at the waist which comes from just under the bustline and finishes above the waistline thus creating a high waist. I find this style very flattering for me and I do think it flatters most shapes and sizes. What is described as a straight skirt to me is more of a slight A-line and just look at those shaped pocket tops. By the way these pockets are easy peasy, they are sewn within the side front seam and side seam. I've mentioned this way of sewing a pocket on a previous blog post but I haven't seen them with this unusual top edge before. 
It is a clever idea that there are three little darts on each side to shape the bustline, just one dart can sometimes give a more pointed look whereas the three darts will give a more rounded natural look.
The only thing I'm not happy with is the side zip. I much prefer zips down the centre back, to me this gives a purely symmetrical look to the sides. Personally I always seem to have difficulty fastening side zips as well and so I usually alter this each time I come across a side zip. Quite often there can be a seam down the back so no alterations are necessary, it is just a case of changing the location of the zip. However sometimes the reason the zip is at the side is because the back is cut in one piece, or three pieces as in the case of this colette pattern. As we know these three pieces should be cut on the fold so all you need to do is add onto this fold edge 5/8" or 1.5cm. If you don't feel confident at freehand cutting this extra fabric then add some tissue pattern paper to these edges with sellotape, measure 5/8 and draw a line, this will then become your new cutting line. 
You will notice at the front neckline there is a tiny collar. This is formed from a facing which the pattern informs us is made from a contrasting fabric and pressed towards the front. Could this be a fault I ask with this patterns - the front of the pattern is just a line drawing and gives you no suggestions for ideas etc. The midriff inset could be made from a contrasting fabric which would then match the little turn back collar. Or how about reshaping the neckline as in my following photo. Cut a new piece out of tissue paper so then you still have your original. Remember to cut your facing and interfacing to the same shape.
Something worth mentioning is the sizes. Now I am a size 12 in shop bought clothes but when I look at the sizes on such as simplicity patterns, I measure much more than their size 12. Most of us realise that we cut out the size that mostly matches our own measurements. It usually means I cut out a size 16 and then go on to make up a lovely fit. On looking at this colette pattern I find that a size 12 is my measurements so I can confidently cut out a size 12. 
My last thoughts on the pattern are to use piping on the pocket edges and around the neckline. The instructions do suggest this as being an option and I feel that especially if using a patterned fabric it would outline the pocket edges beautifully. Why do all that work and then hide them within a patterned fabric!
And so this is an ideal opportunity to buy an Indie pattern for the first time or indeed just to add to your stash with our offer of half price.
Now to some fabrics. My first choice would be a Stretch Cotton Fabric. Because these are 'firm' fabrics I think they will add to the overall hang of this dress, remember the slight A-line. Because there are quite a few seams in this dress I would probably go for a smaller rather than a larger pattern and don't forget the contrast middle and collar, we have a fantastic range of plain stretch cottons that would blend perfectly. My first choice is this Gorgeous Fabric...
This would be perfect and there would be a good choice of plains to contrast. Or how about this one...
This comes in two gorgeous colourways and again it would be easy to match up for a contrast.
Last but not least how about this stretch needlecord fabric...
This would take you through Autumn or here's an idea, make it a touch bigger and wear a jumper underneath. Voila you have a pinafore.
For more ideas search Colette 1006 Rooibos on google. There are so many fantastic versions that sewists have made across the world, you are bound to feel inspired. I certainly did!
Until next time 'happy sewing' and thanks for reading.
Annette xx

#FabricFriday - Zig Zags!

Zig Zags. They seem to be everywhere, no more so than in our fantastic choice of fabrics here at Minerva. 
Take a look at this pattern. Simplicity 1618. The Sizes on this pattern go from XXS (4) to XXL (26) so a size for everybody.
I wanted to show you this pattern because of how it shows the trousers in a zigzag fabric. The main photo shows vertical zigzags and the drawing shows horizontal zigzags. I'm not 100% sure I like the top but hey I love the edging on the sleeves. I much prefer the top shown as version C. These are very popular at the moment and are known as cold shoulder tops. Absolutely brilliant if you want to show a bit of flesh but like me don't particularly like showing your arms!! 
Now would you believe I am yet again showing you some quilting fabrics but I feel I have to get across to you the versatility of these WOW factor designs. First up is the kennedy print from Camelot Fabrics. It is from the Iconic range. This particular design comes in 3 colours, a beautiful pink, a fabulous mix of colours but for my photo today I have chose col 3 which is navy on an ivory background. I just love the wavy effect of the chevrons.
The next photo shows Fabric 'pinstripe chevron' in colour 3. How good will that look made up in version D
Now see what I mean about the versatility of quilting fabrics! Look at my next photo and how this Gorgeous Fabric replicates version B and E off the pattern.
Bear in mind that you can more or less always find a fabric/design in quilting fabrics that replicates your pattern which I know many of us sewers like.
We all match up the patterns/designs on the seams etc wherever possible so why on this pattern envelope does it show the top, version B, with the front seam mis-matched even though the trouser front seam is matched! This is just a drawing, why show it like that!! Take a look at my next photo you will see what I mean.
So back to the fabric. Just a couple more to wet your appetite for this week. First up is Camelot Fabrics Mixology Herringbone in 2 gorgeous shades of grey and the following photo shows the design studio Herringbone Print Fabric in colour 3, how striking is this, my favourite colours altogether.
I've shown you this pattern purely to look at some chevrons. It is quite an easy pattern with elasticated waist. Why not make some more fitted trousers, maybe Simplicity 8056. These are a classic more tailored trouser from the Amazing Fit range and would lend itself beautifully to these wonderful cotton fabrics.
Thanks for reading
Annette xx
As Coco Chanel once said, Dress shabbily and they remember the dress; dress impeccably and they remember the woman.

#PatternOfTheWeek - Quick & Easy Trousers

The sewing pattern I am offering you as patternoftheweek is McCalls 7415.
A little unusual you might think, there's not much to this pattern you might even think, but there are two reasons why I am offering this particular pattern as your #patternoftheweek.
First - this pattern features the Palmer/Pletsch tissue fitting method. There are lots of books for sale on Amazon etc., which all feature this fitting method and the reviews seem pretty good. On the instructions there are 2 very good pages instructing you on the alterations to the pattern of these trousers with numerous quick tips and professional tips included further into the instructions.
Second - this pattern is a one piece pattern, yes I shall repeat that, a one piece pattern in that there are no side seams. The clever shaping is done from the waist darts.
Now I know that some of you are going to say there are 4 pieces shown, well yes there are but 2 of these are for the waist facings and pieces 1 and 4 are for two different styles! There is the wider palameno style trouser and the narrower more bootleg design. The pattern recommends either woven of jersey fabrics so I think if using jersey, the suggested invisible zip could actually be left out with maybe a little elastic added in under the waist facing. Another suggestion would be to add non-roll stretch elastic straight to the waist in either black or white.
My only problem with this method is if you are constantly trying to lose those extra few holiday pounds (as I am, trouble is I don't lose them, then each holiday I add a few more and now those few pounds equate to a stone and a half!!) mmmm so as I was saying if you added a waist band and threaded elastic through it you could then alter this to fit!! 
So now for some suggested fabrics, well near enough anything goes! I really love the aztec type pattern shown on version B. A couple to look at are this Jersey Fabric which as the following photo shows is a striking black and white design and this Jersey Fabric which is a much more subtle colourway of olive green and ivory.
For when I make these trousers for myself I'm looking at the following two fabrics.
The first is a fabulous Knitted Fabric in a zig zag design. Now I am looking at this fabric wondering would this be better made into a top or a cardigan because it is quite loosely knit and does have a 'wooly' feel to it. Possibly make them in version D, the narrower design and maybe even take them in a little more so they would look a little more like leggings, mmmm unsure now! 
Now this next Fabric is lovely,
Yes this is very me, this is a heavier jersey but not as heavy as some of our other ponte roma's so I would think very suitable for the coming winter months. Please let me know your thoughts on this pattern (I love your feedback) and especially if you have made them and used this tissue method of fitting.
Thanks for reading.
Annette xx

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