Do you ever get Fabric in the mail and you just can’t put it down? That is how I felt when this Minerva knit arrived at my doorstep. It is just the most amazing knit, not only in the feel but the drape and the colors. It is fabulous! I did put the fabric down, well, to the washing machine for prewashing. The emerald knit was just as pretty after the washing and drying.
It was time to decide what to make with this knit, I went through my patterns and decided a maxi-dress. I looked a few more times to get just the right one. This fabulous Minerva fabric deserves a fabulous pattern, and McCall’s 7591 was the perfect pattern. The description was “Fitted pullover dresses have lined bodices, front and back bodice variations, elastic waistlines and length variations.” I went with View D with some changes:
Lengthened the bodice by one inch, I am long waisted and this is a standard adjustment for me
I used the same knit fabric for the lining, I felt like I needed the same stretch and drape to make it work correctly
The front bodice has gathers at the neckline and the front lining does not have the gathers but does have a dart for shaping. I lowered this dart by 3/4”.
This fabric is a printed on design so the wrong side is white and I did not want this to show. Note on View D there is a big front slit. So with each step the wrong side would show. My solution, use the back skirt piece for the front also. Worked perfectly!!
The seam allowance for the skirt to bodice is 5/8”, I went with ¾”. The skirt is heavy with this knit and I used wider elastic for the waistline to keep the skirt up. I used 3/8” elastic for this
The front small band between the left and right front bodice was interfaced. I used an interfacing with no stretch. My small little band is shorter than the pattern shows
Small handstitches were used to close the bodice front.
As I stated earlier this fabric just floats and drapes, which I feel is perfect for this style of dress. This knit was so easy to sew. The entire bodice was constructed on my sewing machine with a small zig-zag to help with the stretch. The pattern calls for topstitching only on the armholes and back neck edge. I was having trouble keeping the lining fabric in place, so I topstitched the above areas and the front neck edge and the crossover of the bodice.
Nothing seems to say summer like a maxi dress and this fabric looks like summer too. I couldn’t have asked for a better combination and this dress looks great from front, back and side.
I think I am going to wear this dress so much for the summer months, just sitting soaking up the sunshine.
I have stated earlier in this blog post, this fabric is fabulous, head over to Minerva and get some yardage for yourself. While you are shopping, I am going to enjoy summer in my new maxi dress.
Lori @ Girls In The Garden
My latest make is one that feels way too glam to wear just around the house. The Sew Over It Sylvia Robe pattern is one I kept meaning to make but could never find the right fabric. As soon as I saw this beautiful Silky Satin Fabric I knew it would be perfect. It is lightweight and has the ideal drape, and also looks amazing! The colours are beautiful and the floral print is so unique.
I added a cuff and a tie to this pattern. It gave it a really chic look and the tie makes it a bit more wearable as a very fancy dressing gown. Plus, who doesn’t love a bow! I measured the wrist on the original pattern and added a 6 inch wide strip each side, turned it under and top stitched to make the cuff. Using the blind hem foot gave such a neat finish on this top stitching.
Being totally honest, it’s not the easiest fabric to work with. Preparation is key and also...pin, pin, pin! Silk pins were a saviour here. This fabric is delicate and these pins keep it from snagging. If you’re happy to, I would recommend pinning the fabric to a carpet or rug whilst cutting to stop it slipping about.
Overall I’m so happy with the finish. This robe would make such a stunning gift. It doesn’t take too long to make and the sizing is generous. The silky material looks so expensive and this print is so stunning, I think it has a bit of a designer feel to it!
This Silky Satin fabric was definitely worth the effort. It would be the perfect material for a fabulous matching PJ set too... I know what’s next on my sewing list!
Thank you for reading and happy sewing. Gina x
Posted in Projects on Thursday the 22nd August 2019 by Vicki Ormerod
Hi, my name is Andie Wells and I am a gingham addict. It’s been 0 days since I last wore gingham.
It’s absolutely no secret that I love gingham. I gravitate toward it in every fabric store and if it’s also seersucker fabric well…. I am just head over heels in love and need to get all the colours. I feel that way about this fabric. I’m completely head over heels in love with it. This is Gingham Seersucker Fabric in lilac. It has little flowers printed on it giving the appearance of embroidered flowers. The colour is everything. I’m a big fan of any shade of purple. I’ve been searching for a lilac gingham for a while and jumped on the chance to scoop this one up. Just a head’s up, use a pressing cloth for this fabric. The printed flowers are a bit like non-slip socks so don’t let the iron run smoothly over them. However, the fabric presses really nicely when you use a press cloth.
A sundress is a great pairing for this fabric or any gingham. I made the Cashmerette Holyoke Dress. I prefer shorter skirts though, so I shortened the skirt pieces significantly to get knee length. I am 5’3” so I took close to 15 inches off in a completely inaccurate and quick method of folding it out of the pattern. Sometimes you just have to go with what is quick. I made a size 24 GH graded to a size 26 at the waist. The only other alteration I made was to move the back straps slightly in to cover my bra straps.
The fit is almost 100% perfect. For my next version, because there will be many (and possibly several in gingham), I am going to address the slight puckers on the princess seam apex by smoothing out that line a bit. My bust is more rounded than the bust type the pattern is drafted for. The other adjustment I will make is to shorten the bodice slightly at the centre front. As you can see there is a slight fold because of a bit of excess fabric. Both of these adjustments are so minor though. It’s such a treat to be able to sew a pattern and get this sort of fit without alterations or a bunch of muslins.
Construction-wise, this pattern is super easy to make. The faux button placket and elastic back make it super comfortable to wear. Because of the vintage vibe of this outfit, I chose to finish all my seams with pinking sheers. I can see myself having a picnic in the park in this dress with a fancy vintage picnic set sitting on a handmade quilt. I just have to make the quilt! Haha.
I just love this dress/ The fabric definitely makes it perfect. Now for the big question: Are you addicted to gingham, too?
Thanks for reading,
Andie @ Sew Pretty in Pink
Posted in Projects on Thursday the 22nd August 2019 by Vicki Ormerod
Summer has well and truly arrived here in Bristol and so what better time to start making another (much needed), summer dress? As a lover of Tesuiti Fabrics patterns, and after being so pleased with my versions of their Berlin Jacket, I decided to give their Lisa Dress a go. It’s a gorgeous high waisted, sleeveless dress pattern, with gathered waist and a button down bodice. The detail that really appealed to me was the way that the bodice is raised at the front (underneath the bust), but dips down at the back, which gives it a very different and interesting shape. And as a very casual and loose fitting garment, I thought that it would probably get a lot of wear!
With this dress pattern in mind, I chose to sew with Minerva’s Viscose Popcorn Fabric. It’s a medium weight crepe fabric that is very textured, which I thought would complement the simplicity of the Lisa Dress. The colour availability on this fabric is wonderful, lots of muted ‘dusty’ tones in earthy colours and probably rather predictably, I went for the blue.
I love how clear Tessuti Patterns instructions are and this one was no exception. The photographic illustrations really help if you get stuck although I do recommend using a computer or tablet if you have one when looking at them as the detail can be quite hard to see on a phone.
The pattern itself is made up of 9 pieces and when pinning I found it useful to use longer, thicker pins because the movement within the fabric made the smaller ones slip out. I also used a lot of pins to keep the fabric still! A rotary blade might have been a better option in this instance but I’m a sucker for scissors...
As part of the pattern pieces, Tessuti recommend using Vilene shields for the neckline and armholes for stability whilst sewing, and then tearing them away afterwards. I couldn’t find such a thing online, so as an alternative I used some bad quality fine interfacing that I had knocking around, and ironed it on very lightly, so it could be pulled off easily, which worked really well.
I really love this fabric but I definitely wouldn’t recommend this as a beginner’s fabric. It is composed of 5% elastane, although because of its weight, it feels like it has much more movement and has a tendency to pull slightly as you sew. This can cause wavy seams. I used a long stitch to sew with to combat this and so as not to crush the texture too much and I also omitted some of the double stitching on the skirt pieces because of this. Another challenge I came across was pressing the garment as I didn’t want to flatten the texture too much.
One amendment that I made to the pattern was to raise the hemline by around a foot, just for personal taste.
Overall I did find sewing this dress more challenging than I was expecting, although I love the finished garment. The fabric feels floaty and airy (contrary to its weight), and the pattern is very wearable. If I were to make it again I would reduce the size of the armholes on the pattern as I find them slightly too big and I probably wouldn’t pair the 2 together again, as I think that the fabric would be more suited to a pattern with fewer seams, although as I said, I love the outcome.
I hope that you enjoyed reading my blog. If you did, please check out more of mine and my sewing partners makes @bristol_stitch on Instagram.
I usually tend to use the patterns and instructions without changing much but, as I start to feel more confident, I start making small changes. At first were the sewing techniques, as I knew which ones worked better for me or allowed me to obtain a better finishing. Only recently, I started to venture in actually changing a pattern in order to obtain a garment that I believe, will suit me better.
The same thing happens with fabrics and I usually only use the recommended type. However, this time, the fabric looked so lovely that I decided to take the risk and used a non-recommended fabric. So, instead of using a light weight, with good drape kind of fabric as recommended, I used the Lady McElroy Stretch Corduroy Fabric in colour grey, to make the Orchid Midi Dress by Chalk and Notch and do not regret it.
To be honest, I had previously made a version of this dress and for that reason, I knew the pattern and believed it could work with some minor adjustments.
I took the opportunity to try the new version of this pattern but, in my case, the difference wasn’t much. I made View B in size 0, A/B cup without changes to the bodice. To the skirt however, and similarly to what I did in my previous version, I made a few modifications.
The most obvious alteration, was reducing the skirt length by 22 centimetres, using the two shorten/lengthen lines in the pattern, although probably would have been wiser to create a third shorten/lengthen line due to the big amount I wanted to reduce.
I’ve also eliminated the pockets and front slit by cutting the front part on the fold, after eliminating the seam allowance. As much as I like the versions I’ve seen, I am not sure it would work well with this fabric weight and my body type. I don’t believe it would look very nice on me and I want a garment that makes me feel good and comfortable while wearing it. Don’t we all?
During the bodice construction and despite having a few layers of heavier fabric than suggested, everything went smoothly although I did handstitch the armhole seam to the bodice. The pattern instructions suggest to press the armhole seams to the bodice side but, due to the fabric thickness, it wasn’t working well, making the seams a bit bulky and uncomfortable while wearing. After handstitching the seams, everything was kept in place, looking much better and more comfortable to wear.
About the fabric and how it worked for this project, during the construction, I would like to add that due to the fabric nature, I did not interface the back yoke facing, as I believe the fabric is stable enough and I recommend being careful not to stretch the fabric. In fact, just like knit fabrics, using a walking foot might be helpful. Other than that, it was a pleasure to work with!
I am really happy I took the chance and made the dress with this fabric, as it is absolutely beautiful and the print goes really well with this pattern. The colours are so pretty in real life! I adore how the beiges and blues stand out against the grey. The composition is mainly cotton, however the small percentage of viscose (30%) does make a difference. It also has a bit of stretch so, it is really comfortable to wear.
Many thanks Minerva for the lovely fabric for this project and to you for reading.
After a draining winter, I was definitely ready for a recharge under the summer sun. To welcome and hopefully bring forth some warmth I pushed myself through an unrelenting lack of sewjo to sew my first swimsuit and a matching beach cover up to wear on vacation.
For my cover up, I chose the Crinkle Chiffon Fabric in black & grey. The colors and print would work perfectly with my swimsuit and the beautiful movement of chiffon really drew me in. Everything about it is just right for the drapey and breezy look I was hoping for.
The high low hemline of the Cozy Cardigan gives me great coverage and that flowing movement we want for ocean breezes.
To make the cover up you'll need basic sewing supplies and:
Crinkle Chiffon - about 2 meters
Sewing Construction Details
The Cozy Cardigan from Seen & Sewn Patterns is designed for knits, so adjustment is needed to the circumference of the sleeve and the matching cuff. I made my best guesstimate and slashed and spread to add 3/4in to the front and back pieces. Ugh. I didn't give myself enough ease, so back to the cutting table. I ended up removing the bottom 3in (plus the cuff) of the sleeve. If you'd like the full sleeve length, I'd recommend adding 1.5in or more width to each of the front and back sleeve portions.
I knew that when sewing with chiffon, seam finishes are very important to prevent fraying, so I chose to use my favorite, French seams throughout, for their security and I do love how they make the garment look so nice on the inside.
To be honest though, I had to do some googling to learn the best approach for hemming. A rolled hem is the consensus for chiffon, so I guess it was time to dust off that machine manual and never used sewing foot and give it a try.
By this point in the process of construction, my hem edge had become pretty frayed in spots from lots of trying on. It was a struggle to press the first few inches of the itsy bitsy double hem in place . It was just too frayed. Instead of carefully trimming away the frayed edge and starting clean, I went the easy route and ran it through my overlocker to trim away the frays and secure the edge at the same time. I was then able to easily sew using the rolled hem foot on my sewing machine.
The rolled hem looks nice on the outside, but not great on the inside. You can see the overlocked edge adds a little bit of bulk as well as the extra stitch lines are visible on the inside. Next time I'd cut out my pattern with an extra inch added to the length in anticipation of cutting the extra away just before hemming so I can have a nice clean rolled hem.
I'm happy with my swim cover up and gave it quite a bit of use on our vacation.
Have you sewn with chiffon yet? Tell me how it went for you.
Until next time,
Melissa E of mahlicadesigns