Have you ever had plans to create a look and found a few inspirations that stopped you dead in your track?
Well, this is exactly what happened with this beautiful Indigo Chambray Denim Fabric that I selected for my first blogpost with Minerva. I have always wanted to add a light-weight chambray denim jumpsuit to my collection of denim looks especially for summer. I was ready to cut but struggled with deciding what to create; a garment that will be worn or stored in my closet. As an educator, most of my makes are created for work. I love selecting fabrics and makes that can be worn all year round and styled more ways than one.
I am totally in love with the set and am really satisfied with the entire two-piece look. My first make was the palazzo pants using McCalls Pattern M7786 View B size 16.
The top pattern is Mimi G’s summer pattern, Simplicity 8927 which is definitely a scrap buster. I had enough fabric left over to create either an Ogden cami or this super cute crop top. I love the design lines and knew I wanted to challenge myself with button holes. It was truly a challenge as I was using the wrong buttonhole foot on my machine and after 2 failed button holes on my actual top, I decided to visit the local Vikings dealer to figure out the issue. I didn’t realize that I have been using the wrong buttonhole foot which was causing the issue.
Even though my 3 test button holes were perfect, my actual garment buttonhole failed. I was so happy when I was able to complete all buttonholes and buttons on my machine at the dealer and decided to shoot the set the minute I got home.
I am ecstatic my top did not end up in the UFO pile and the fact that I stayed the course with the matching set made just in time for my summer vacation. Even though the pants are a little harder to get on due to the short elastic style in the back and my waist to hip measurement, I am loving the drape and fit of it especially the wider waistband.
The construction of the pants is very straightforward and the pattern instructions are clearly written. My favorite design element is the flat front curve waistband and the side pockets. I added an extra inch to the top and bottom to create a wider waistband. In addition, I ensured that I added a piece of light to midweight interface to stabilize the side pockets.
I probably will not sew this pattern again but recommend it if your waist to hip measurement range is a difference of 10 inches or less. For example, if your waist is 30 and your hip measurement is 40, this pattern will work. My high waist is 29 inches and my hip measurement is 45 to 46 (a difference of 16 to 17 inches) so it was an extreme challenge to stretch the back elastic to go over my hips to get it on.
This Chambray Denim Fabric goes down as one of the softest and most versatile lightweight denim I have worked with. It sews up beautiful and I am totally in love with my matching set. I will rock it and mix it all summer long with different tops and bottoms.
Thanks for reading and be sure to stop by my personal blog at Overdriveafter30!
There's an old saying that goes “You can't make a silk purse from a sow's ear.” Whatever the meaning of that may be, today I'll show you how I made a silk haori-style jacket, printed with multiple animal species' ears on it. Don't worry! Its not as weird as I just made it sound. In fact, its gorgeous, and quirky in all the right ways. Lets get to it.
This is a beautiful light-weight Silk Fabric in a cool-toned neutral colourway, with a Victorian lace-style print. Framed within the lace is lithograph-like portraits of various animals, including flamingos and giraffes. The combination of traditional with comically-cute is refreshing and sure to spark some creativity!
The fabric drapes nicely but doesn't weigh down. I think it will lend itself perfectly to blouses and dresses and a light cover-up- like this one!
I chose the Kimono jacket pattern by Sew Over it. This is a simple haori style with drop sleeves and 2 length options. ( I made the long length, I am 5'9” or 175cm for reference.) This is an easy pattern for any sewing level and doesn't require much fitting. It sews up in an evening at a relaxed pace.
To prepare the fabric, start as you mean to go on. In other words, if you will hand-wash your silk henceforth, hand-wash it now. I machine-washed mine on a delicate cycle in cold water and hung to dry. (In case you can't tell, it came out great.) I pressed on silk-setting with my non-steam iron and used my usual muslin pressing cloth. I didn't get a super crisp fold but here I am not too particular about that. I used a universal needle in my sewing machine, a slightly shorter stitch length, and didn't hit any snags sewing it. (Haha! Get it? Snags? Because silk...it really didn't though.)
As I mentioned, its a nice evening sew, and the animal faces gave me a chuckle as they ran by. I added a lace trim to the bottom hem for interest as well as some added weight. I simply sewed it by machine to the front of the finished hem. Beautiful!
I have been thinking quite a lot about scraps and how to use them. I make a concious effort to cut fabric out as judiciously as possible but still manage to accumulate quite a pile. (There are a few poufs/dog beds in my future!) The obvious scrap-busting project from a silk garment is a scarf but keep any sizable pieces for pockets, linings and even facings in other garments. A silk scarf is lovely and timeless and makes a thoughtful gift. This is a rectangle measuring 20”x35”.
I used a rolled-hem foot on my machine but there are ways to finish the edges by hand or with a serger (Youtube is your friend. And mine.) I really enjoy the rolled-hem foot. The key is to keep the fabric folded at just the right width as it runs through. I started on a very slow-speed until it became more natural. You can conquer this technique, if you haven't already!
I like to have a scarf handy (looped through the strap of my bag) in case of wind and/or at the beach- when even a pixie-cut can get wild.
Do you like sewing with silk? How about giraffes and flamingos? Go for it!
Thanks for reading,
I must confess that I am truly enjoying making all the summer dresses. Maybe, I am exaggerating a little bit but I am making mainly dresses and this project is no exception.
This pattern has been in my wish list for some time but only recently felt more confident to actually buy and make it. The pattern is the Butterick 5748, a reproduction of a 1960’s pattern.
Because I haven’t used Butterick patterns that much and also because the bodice is meant to be fitted, I used the lining as a toile so that even if some adjustments were needed, I wouldn’t waste too much time or fabric. Please mind you, I do not think that a muslin is a waste of time, I was just trying to speed a little bit without skipping an important step.
In the end I didn’t need to make more adjustments than the ones I usually do and made a size 8 graded to 10 at the waist and hip, taking 4cm to the skirt. However, I did make some small alterations. This dress is fully lined but I omitted the skirt lining as I thought that if I was going to wear a petticoat it wouldn’t be really needed and instead, handstitched the bodice lining encasing the waist seam. Also, instead of a regular zipper, I used an invisible one. Not only do I prefer the way it looks but also I find it easier to attach, especially if I only sew the skirt side seam after attaching the zipper.
Now, about the fabric, I used a Waffle Cotton Fabric in colour Cornflour Blue and I must say that I thought the fabric would be a little different. My fault entirely, as the description is very clear but, I imagined it more like a pique and in reality, it has more of a 3D effect and waffle describes it perfectly. Although not being what I had in mind initially, it surprised me how well it worked with the darts (there are 6) and even inserting the invisible zipper.
I did not find the fabric hard to work with but I found it helpful to use a walking foot. The fabric is not stretchy horizontally or vertically but if cut on bias it is slightly more stretchy than other woven fabrics. That is all alright but because it is a circle skirt, I had to trim a little off some areas before hemming. This would have happened with other woven fabrics as well I suppose, as the instructions advise to hang the dress for 24h before hemming and trim a little if necessary.
I found the fabric works well for making clothes, it feels nice to wear and it feels really nice for warmer temperatures. In the end, I have a dress that I really like, the colour is very beautiful and I might have had a little bit too much fun twirling while taking photos. Now I know why my girls keep asking me for dresses with circle skirts!
Many thanks Minerva for the gorgeous fabric for this project and to you for reading.
Posted in Projects on Friday the 18th September 2020 by Vicki Ormerod
Soraya back on the blog again today!
This month I made a gorgeous animal print wrap front dress and I'm absolutely in love with it!
It turned out super pretty and was well received when I shared it sewcially on Instagram!
The fabric I chose this month was this beautiful Leopard Print Scuba Crepe. It has a lovely crepe texture to it but a soft smooth scuba back.
The pattern I used was a the Simple Sew Lena Wrap Dress. Simple Sew is a UK based indie pattern company that currently only sells paper patterns. I believe I got my hands of the Lena Wrap Dress Pattern, free with a magazine.
I think the company name is really spot on as a lot of their patterns are super easy and simple to sew up.They have a lot of staple pieces and a few knockout dresses. All in all, very pretty.
The Lena Dress has a faux wrap front. This is great as you don't have any risk of it popping open on you. Adding to its ease of wear and construction it doesn't have any closures, you just slip it over your head! So, no need to keep retying or readjusting! Yay!
The Lena also has colour blocking options as the skirt is in 2 pieces as well as the waistband being its own separate piece.I think the overall finished dress turned out amazing!
Due to it being made of a scuba crepe fabric it is going to be perfect for the cooler weather. I feel like because it also has the 3/4 sleeves it is its own complete outfit, which is great. If I get cold though, I think paring it with a slinky black cardigan would work perfectly.
I decided to style the dress with coordinating black flats, with my hair back in a black headband and a sassy red lip. I feel a real 60's vibe.
All in all I’m very very happy with this dress and fabric. It is absolutely gorgeous and I’m glad I can add it to my handmade wardrobe. Super flattering and well-fitting straight out of the envelope it is just dream.
Hopefully my beautiful make will inspire you to make something! Leopard print is making a comeback and I’m so happy about it! Don’t be afraid to try out new prints and textures and make it your own.
Feel free to follow along with my sewing adventures on Instagram @sewnbysoraya
Hi everyone, it’s Christine from @the_alchymyst here and I’m delighted to be here sharing my version of the Tilly and the Buttons Cleo dress with you.
I have to admit I’m a little late to the Cleo party. I’ve seen so many lovely examples of this dress online but even though I love a dungaree dress I’d never got around to making myself one, so when Minerva offered me the opportunity to try some of their fabulous printed cotton Needlecord Fabric I jumped at the chance to make my very own Cleo.
The polka dot needlecord I used comes in a choice of black, red or navy and I chose to use the black colourway. It’s a medium weight 100% cotton needlecord, soft, but with enough body to hold its shape. The printed spots are approximately 4mm in diameter – big enough to make a statement without being overpowering.
The pattern, as with all Tilly and the Buttons’ physical patterns, is printed on a lovely durable paper which is heavier than the tissue you might be more used to and comes in a strong paper packet with a beautifully printed instruction booklet containing easy to follow, friendly directions and clear photographs of each step. You have a choice of two length options for your Cleo - mini or knee length. I chose to make the knee-length version with front split.
Pattern pieces are provided for optional large top and smaller hip pockets, which can be added in any combination. I went for the top pocket and rear hip pockets and due to the patterned fabric, chose to omit the contrasting topstitching, although I would definitely add it on a plain fabric as I think it fits the styling of the Cleo very well. You also have the option of using a pinafore style button and button hole closure or the more traditional dungaree buckle fastening. I chose to use the buckles and jeans style buttons because I love the retro-styling look they give. Also there was something deeply satisfying about whacking in the jeans style buttons with a hammer!
The pattern is sized from 1 (UK 6) to 8 (UK 20) and is true to size, I cut a size 5 (UK 14) at the bodice/waist tapering out to a size 6 (UK 16) at the hip line and was very pleased with the fit.
My Cleo was fun and easy to sew, going together in an afternoon and is very comfortable to wear, as you can see I walked several miles in it whilst we were shooting these photos. It is also extremely versatile, especially in this lovely corduroy and I can imagine wearing it with a snuggly long sleeved top and woolly tights in the colder weather just as much as with a t-shirt in the summer.
I am completely smitten with this pattern and am already planning my next Cleo, maybe in a nice stretch coloured denim this time…
Thank you to Minerva for the supplies and thank you for reading.
Posted in Projects on Wednesday the 16th September 2020 by Vicki Ormerod
The Pattern: Cali Faye Collection -Dress . 47
I’ve had my eye on this pattern for a while, procrastinating over the fit and whether or not it would work for me. Having a ‘triangle’ figure with a petite top half I was nervous about the fit. I loved the style of the dress and how pretty it looked on the pattern. I did some research, checking out #dress47 so I could get an idea of what types of figures this pattern did suit. As it turns out, it suited them all. Inspired and reassured, I decided to go for it. I went ahead and purchased the pattern and had it printed A0, saving me a heap of time piecing pages together.
The Fabric: Robert Kaufman Union Chambray Denim Fabric
I’ve not had a lot of experience of sewing with denim fabric so it was something on my ‘Have a go’ list. I admire denim dresses but more often that not, the ones I see on the high street are quite heavy and stiff. Neither trait you’d want in a dress.
The chambray denim I chose to work with is a 100% cotton, lightweight fabric with a Herringbone pattern. Colour: Indigo.
When it arrived, I couldn’t quite believe how beautifully soft and drapey it was. Super soft and smooth to the touch. It went straight into the washing machine so I could get going the very next day.
The herringbone detail is so dainty that from afar, its almost absorbed into the weave. It’s only up close that you really appreciated the delicate aesthetic.
Are you ready…?
My goodness, what a success! I am in love with the elegant style and although the midriff is on show, I don’t feel as overly exposed as I expected I would. The fabric turned out to be the star of the show as it lent itself beautifully to the drape and gathers.
The size chart for this pattern was invaluable. It stated that the waist measurement was the key measurement to determine your size. The top, tied together at the midriff is easily adjustable and the hip area had a lot of give thanks to the gathers. So having the waistband sit, snug but comfortable was the key element.
Here’s where the lovely Sarah Blaho, the designer of Cali Faye collection helped me out. I contacted her as the size bracket I fell into with my waist measurement was one size but on the 'Finished measurement’ chart my waist fit into a different size category. Sarah kindly advised me to go with the size best suited to my waist so I ended up going down a size. The deviation comes in the elastic element of the back skirt panel. Because I’d gone down a size, I didn’t have too much excess so my elastic tugs only slightly to the waist.
I read a blog post by a lady who had made 2 of these dresses, 1 with elastic in the back and 1 without. I found this really helpful as I didn’t think I’d need to add the elastic. However, she wrote that when she moves in the dress without elastic, the waistband starts shifting around, moving up the body and side to side. The dress she made with elastic stayed put and aesthetically looked so much better. I was sold, elastic it was. As I had less fabric to work with I did not use the amount of elastic recommended in the chart. I went the long way around, safety pinning the elastic in place, trying the dress on and checking for a comfortably, snug fit. This paid off and I am so glad I took this extra step.
As you can see, I did not manage an invisible zipper. I don’t know, I just can’t seem to crack that technique. Luckily it didn’t bother me for very long. Thrilled that I had actually inserted a functioning zipper, I busily set about hemming the sleeves and hemming the skirt.
The pattern offered pockets too. As I knew the pockets would be right there, near the zipper tape; I made the decision to leave them out. I didn’t want any excess stress in the zipper department!
The dress pattern is designed so that the skirt hem falls around the knee of a 5’7” form. A mere 5’3”, I thought I’d not deviate the pattern just yet and that I’d adjust the hem at the end, once it’s on and I can get a clear view.
I tried it on and I loved the extra length. With the additional skin on show on the top half, I felt the extra length in the skirt helped balance out the skin/cloth ratio.
This dress is a winner in my eyes and I can’t wait to wear it. The fabric worked amazingly. I never had a fabric gather so easily! The light weave of the denim did result in fraying throughout construction, so something to bare in mind when cutting your own fabric pieces out. Maybe think about serging edges before constructing your garment?
The dress pattern is classified as Intermediate/Advanced level. I didn’t think there was anything too tricky, other than the zipper for me! I’m so glad I gave it a go. It’s just stunning. I feel so proud.
Amazing pattern, amazing dress. Happy gal.
Posted in Projects on Sunday the 13th September 2020 by Vicki Ormerod
Hi Minerva Crafters,
Welcome back to the Minerva Crafts blog. Today, I am back on the blog sharing my review of McCall’s 7848 using this beautiful Coating Fabric from Minerva. Lately, I’ve been sewing jackets and coats nonstop. I remember a time when I was uncomfortable with the idea and kept putting it off. However, after completing my first blazer and moto jacket, I'm feeling more confident. I have found that I'm getting better after each coat or jacket I sew.
This textured woven coating Fabric comes in blue and coral. I made my coat using the coral pattern. The heavy woven non-stretch check fabric is beautiful with a mix of blues, pinks, and purple throughout. I wanted to make sure I matched up the stripes as much as possible so I cut the front and back pattern pieces one at a time. I did not take the same approach for the sleeves and neckband. I later realized that I didn’t match the grainlines, so I wasn’t sure whether the stripes would match or not. Sure enough, it worked out very well.
Pattern and Modifications:
To create this coat, I used the McCall 7848 pattern. The fitted lined coat pattern has a front zipper, side seam pockets, and an option to use contrast sleeves. Also, there are length variations, an option for a hood with a contrast band, and tie belt.
I chose version C without contrasting sleeves and cut a size 10 for the top and size 12 for the skirt. I made several modifications listed below:
Reduced the bodice side front by 1 ¼ inch
Reduced the side seams by 1 inch
Reduced the sleeves by 2 inches
Reduced the sleeve cap by 1 inch
Inserted fusible fleece to the sleeve cap. This helped eliminated the sleeve from collapsing
Replaced the 30-inch zipper with five 1 inch buttons
For me, most of the modifications listed are standard and I typically have to adjust the bodice to fit me properly. However, I struggled with deciding between a zipper and buttons. I initially inserted a pink 30-inch separating zipper. However, I was not in love with the result and felt that something was missing. I walked away from the project for a few days but could not figure out what was missing. After showing the coat to my husband, he recommended replacing the zipper with buttons immediately. He thought the coat was not flattering with the zipper up to my neck with a stand-up collar. I eventually removed the zipper and installed the buttons and that changed the entire look of the coat.
Besides the modifications, the pattern was simple to construct. Of course, it does require a few techniques. However, if you've made a bodice and skirt with buttons and zippers before you will be able to create this coat.
I styled this coat casually with my me-made white linen wrap top, (details of this top is on my blog), light denim jeans and white converses. This coat is one of my favorites. The fabric was a dream to work with and the colors are striking. I am in love with the final look and I can't wait to brighten up the winter months with this beautifully bright textured coat.
Thanks, Minerva for the supplies and thank you for reading!