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#PatternoftheWeek - Butterick 6288

Hello fellow sewists!
We have lots and lots of new ideas here at Minerva for the coming months so we are all looking forward to exciting times ahead. 
I have in mind quite a few patterns to offer you over the coming weeks and that's before I look at the new Vogue issue! First on my list is Butterick Pattern 6288.
Now this is quite a versatile style in that you could make it in cotton or linen for now (sleeveless version) or with the long or 3/4 length sleeves which will take you through Autumn to the Winter months. The front is like any shirt style pattern but then when you look at the back, wow there are 2 variations. Both A and B have a centre box pleat with gathers at each side and version C has actual knife pleats all along the back, worked in opposite directions from the centre box pleat out. If at some other time you decided to make this shirt top again but wished it didn't have the pleats in the back you could actually fold and pin these pleats in place on your pattern piece before you cut it out and therefore have a straight back. Maybe you could leave just the one box pleat in the centre of the back, the choice is yours. The only thing I would change permanently on this pattern would be the concealed buttons, for some strange reason I am not a fan. They are reasonably easy to sew or likewise it is fairly easy to transform those edges into just buttons and buttonholes (or how about press fasteners).
I have been looking for something to make in this first Fabric for ages. This is 100% polyester and has the most fantastic drape. This I would use for either version A or B. I would try and cut the collar, the back yoke and certainly the front patch pockets on the cross. It may be advisable to use iron-on interfacing on these pieces because of the bias stretch.
Now I am not a fan of the colour purple (it just doesn't suit me) but every time I pass this next Dress Fabric in our warehouse here at Minerva I just find I am loving it more and more and really tempted to make myself something in it! So I thought I would show you this fabric for this shirt. Again it is 100% polyester and drapes beautifully so would be ideal for the gathered back version.
One of the suggested fabrics is Chambray so I see no reason at all in recommending this next Cotton Fabric. How pretty is this Broderie Anglaise? Again this would look fab in either version A or B, in fact version B gives you the impression of this type of fabric on the pattern envelope. Some pretty buttons would look good don't you think? Both of these Heart Shape Buttons and Flower Shape Buttons in my photo blend in but at the same time stand out perfectly with this fabric. How about alternating them up the front of the shirt and even placing one each on the pocket tops.
Last but not least I do love how the animal print has been used on version C. For my final photo for today I have chose this Cotton Poplin Fabric which is a black and cream zebra effect. My initial thoughts were to make it all in cotton, the back pleats would look nice and crisp in a plain black cotton poplin but then another thought occurred to me - how about making the back in a double Georgette Fabric or even a voile or chiffon. This is quite an 'in' look at the moment being a little see-through in parts. If using a see-through voile or chiffon you would just need to interface the collar, cuffs and front facings with black interfacing and these then would be a solid black. I would love your ideas on how you would change this pattern or indeed just what you've made it up in.
And so I must dash I've some new Vogue patterns to look through :)
Thanks for reading.
Annette xx

#FabricFriday - Poplins for Kwik Sew 147

Just a quick #fabricfriday post this week. Im getting back into the swing of things after my holidays! We had a really good break - I tend to spend most of my time in the shade so I hardly have a tan haha!! 
For this weeks fabric friday I thought I would mention a couple of the quilting cottons. Some dressmakers tend not to look into quilting fabrics for their dresses etc., So I would just like to point you in this direction (again) Prices do tend to start at £12.99 per metre but this is balanced by the fantastic choice. Sometimes it feels the choice is never ending especially if you are looking to combine designs and colours.
Kwik Sew patterns have some amazing styles that give you brilliant ideas on mixing and matching these fabrics. A popular one at the moment is K147.
I love how this design has a button closure at the back, it just makes a change from a zip. I think it gives it more of a vintage look.
As with all Kwik Sew Sewing Patterns the instructions are very clear and sometimes as with this one they bring colour into it. As you can see from my next photo this comes into its own for version A because of the different fabrics used. How unusual are these pockets?
Note as well on version A how the skirt is gathered into a bottom band which blends perfectly with the little puff sleeves.
Last but not least I just love the little finishing caption in the instructions-
I honestly didn't know what fabrics to choose, I eventually settled on two Camelot Fabrics. The first being this penelope baubles in colour chartreuse and penelope cobblestone in colour grey. They both have lemon and grey in them with the right hand one (on the photo) having pinky peach as well.
I then tried to replicate the colours on the pattern and found these two stunners both from Camelot Fabrics again. The first is fretwork in shade blue and grey and the second is a beautiful Marble Print Fabric in shades chocolate brown at £8.99 per mt or £2.25 per fat quarter. They blend so well and yet are a fantastic contrast.
Although I love version A (in 2 fabrics) I think version B is equally nice and as on the pattern a  flowery design would look good. I have chose one from our amazing Cotton Poplin range at just £6.99 per mt. From the next photo it helps you to see the design size and the following photo shows you a close up of the pattern. Quite a 'modern' looking flower don't you think?
For those of you who perhaps prefer a more vintage look how about this tiny Floral Print Poplin Fabric same price, same quality. Again 2 photos the second showing you a close up.
So don't forget have a good long browse through the Quilting Fabrics and last but not least have you seen the new range of Art Gallery Jersey Fabrics we are stocking now at Minerva. Take a look at these fantastic fabrics, I'll be looking at doing a blog for these stunners in the coming weeks.
Thanks for reading.
Annette xx

#FabricFriday - Rayons & Satins

When you read this I will be sunning myself on holiday. There are 7 of us going altogether in a villa so very relaxing. Having said that we are in contact with Vicki every day about work. She keeps us up to date with any new fabrics or knitting yarns that have arrived here at Minerva. So even though I'm relaxing on a sunbed beside the pool I find I am constantly thinking about future blog posts I can write for you. My sister-in-law Tracey and myself love to go shopping over there so I'll be keeping an eye out for what is trending in the shops. I haven't had time this year to do much sewing for myself, luckily last year I made a few pairs of casual trousers and a few throw on tops for round the pool. A pattern that was top of my list but unfortunately didn't get made was New Look 6459.
This is a newish pattern that came out for this summer and is a pair of cropped trousers and a cute little top. I just love the shape of the top. The little cut-out bit on each armhole (same on the back too) adds a designer look. I had decided to make the outfit in linen. This Linen Fabric in particular for the top and Plain Black Linen Fabric for the trousers.
I love how two patterned fabrics can be put together these days. Not too long ago that was a no no. So how about the black flowery linen as above with this Viscose and Linen Fabric for the tousers...
A fabric that is very popular at the moment is Slinky Satin Fabric and I would love to show you an absolute Gem of a Fabric in our clearance range. This satin has a little stretch in it, making it very easy to handle and certainly much easier to fit. This really is a true Minerva Gem - watch our Fabric Video to see more.
I would love to team this with our Linen Look Cotton Fabric in Chartreuese Green.
My next photo shows this beautiful slinky satin with black Satin Back Dupion Fabric. For evening wear these two fabrics would look superb, whereas for daywear the cotton trousers would probably be more comfortable, especially if its a hot summers day. 
Just to quickly add one more choice - how about my last photo for today...
This fabric is called 'floral landscape' and is yet another Slinky Satin Fabric, very colourful and soft.  Again I am teaming it with satin back dupion but in the gold shade. 
Now fellow sewists I must leave off for today, I have a plane to catch (hehe) but I would just like to leave you with this which I saw on facebook recently...
Thanks for reading,
Annette xx

Pattern of the Week - Vintage Apron

It seems making aprons is very 'in' at the mo and Sewing Patterns for Aprons are amongst our best sellers here at Minerva. I would imagine that most of these lovely aprons are made as gifts for family and friends especially at Christmas time. So going on from this I am offering you as #patternoftheweek the fantastic Simplicity Pattern 8151.
By getting the pattern now, especially as we are offering this as our #patternoftheweek at 50% off it will give you lots of lovely sewing time to make some very individual aprons for your loved ones be they family or friends this Christmas time. You will see from the pattern that Denim Fabric has been used. On closer examination you will see that there are two versions. Basically it is his and hers, hers being gathered at the waist and his being a more straight cut design.
Although version A, the ladies, has been made in Denim and I must say it would look fab in a soft to handle Denim Chambray Fabric and it doesn't stop there. All the bits of stash fabrics (that are saved because they will come in handy someday!) can now be used to make aprons. Any pieces that are big enough can be used for the main piece and place a co-ordinating pocket or even a mad wild (call it what you want) contrasting pocket. Talking of contrasting pockets how about crocheting some granny squares, lining them if neccessary and using these for pockets.  If indeed you opt for a denim/chambray then you will notice on the pattern that 2 rows of topstitching are used around the pockets, very similar to jeans.
The fabric would need to be quite lightweight because the skirt part is gathered onto the waistband.
Because the bib of the skirt is cut in one piece with the skirt part, it means there are no gathers at the front, and because of this a nice flattering flat front will be achieved. 
So back to what fabrics could be used for this apron. Well the answer is virtually anything. Talking of that stash we all have, I am sure we all have at least one piece of fabric that was either bought just because you liked it and you've never found the right pattern for it or you simply hadn't bought enough (yes I am very guilty of that!) or you've bought it then fallen out with it or even a friend has  given it to you and you don't like to say no! If any of those apply to you then now is the time to have a good sort out. As I said earlier mix and match the fabrics. 
This style has a very flattering feminine look to it so it would seem right to sew it in a very Pretty Floral Fabric or similar. Pricewise we would be starting with Polycotton Fabric at just £2.99 per mt. We have hundreds of designs here at Minerva, you name the subject and we probably have a design associated with it. If you are making a good few of these aprons especially if you are donating them to a church fete or similar then this is more than enough to pay and remember all the bits could even be sewn together in various concoctions to create a 'new' random patchwork effect fabric to make yet another apron. 
Now on to version B. This is intended for the guys but I have to say I would love this one for myself. I remember when at primary school all the girls had to make an apron. The shape of the piece that we cut out was similar to version B, just one big piece and all that I seem to remember about the fit is that it was very straight up and down so to speak. I never liked it and to this day I have never made another apron. So I thought I would not have too much to say about this version but hey look at my next photo.
They have simply added two darts at each side in order to give some shape. Probably lots of apron patterns are like this but I've never looked! Simplicity have displayed it as a work apron again in denim. So for this I would use a stronger denim like our 7.5oz Heavy Denim Fabric. My next photo shows the top pocket and how they have sewn an extra line of stitching down the centre of the pocket (through all thicknesses) thus creating one pocket in two halves. This technique could be used on any of the pockets but if this apron is being used for the handyman in your life then make one big pocket and sew down the centre or even sew two lines. This will make good 'storage' for tape measures hammers etc., 
You will notice on the last two photos that a small piece of fusible interfacing has been ironed on to the corners (just next to the darts). This is to give a little extra strength for the buttonholes that are sewn there. Two very long straps are made out of fabric,  sewn on to the corners of the bib front, crossed at the back and threaded through these buttonholes before tying at the back. Remember you could always substitute cotton tape for these straps or even polypropylene tape if for the work apron.
Last but not least just in case you would like to buy your fabric at the same time as getting your #patternoftheweek at half price, I will give you an idea of sizes and fabric amounts. 
Version A fits Bust 30" to 36" and takes 1.6 mts
Version B fits chest 34" to 44" and also takes 1.6 mts
Oops did I forget to mention there is a childs version (C) of version B this fits chest 24" to 30" and takes just 1.3 mts. 
Happy sewing you lovely fellow sewists and thank you for reading,
Annette xx

Fabric Friday - Pretty Fabrics for Girls Dresses!

As summer is still with us (hope I haven't spoke too soon) I thought I would make some suggestions for children's dresses. New Look 6205 is a very girly girl pattern and would look beautiful for any summer parties. Worn with a little cardigan I'm sure they could be worn well into Autumn.
This Dressmaking Fabric is jumping out at me for version D. This is described as Bright, Bold and Beautiful. My first photo for today shows this fabric at its best and like the pattern I have teamed it with a lilac Satin Ribbon (colour 1001 Lupin). This fabric comes in at £8.99 per mt  not too expensive when you consider how much something like this would cost in the shops.
The flower (centre front) is a purchased one but you could always make the bow as shown on version A.  Or have you ever thought of getting a flower maker? Here at Minerva we have a range of Flower Makers from Clover, take a look.
My next photo shows a fabric from Timeless Treasures. 
I am going up in price here,  £12.99 per mt, but I just couldn't resist showing this Quilting Fabric to you with the white Daisy Trimming. This is a beautiful quality cotton, intended for quilting, hence the price but hey I'm sure that little girl is worth it. 
Similar to this is our Spotty Micheal Millar Fabric in apple green!
OOPs I'm going up again £14.99 per mt but what I love about this particular fabric is the unusual colour range. As you can see from my photo this shows a paler green on a darker green. But hey it doesn't stop there - how about black spots on turquoise or orange on grey or white on a beautiful shade of brown or cerise on yellow. Need I go on, altogether there are 79 different colourways to choose from. In fact need I say more!! The ribbon is shade 79 Moss from our Satin Ribbon Range.
Following on from that is another little stunner. This Floral Cotton Poplin Fabric is sure to be a favourite.
Like the picture on the pattern this fabric has a little yellow in it so Ive teamed it with a yellow satin ribbon. This time the price is much more affordable for a little girl's dress at just £6.99 per mt.
Last but not least I am showing you a Heart Print Polycotton Fabric at just £2.99 per mt in Cerise Pink.
This beautiful fabric comes in 4 colours, the one I am showing you, also a paler pink background and a blue background both with white hearts and also red hearts on a white background. So very pretty. Remember we usually have the right fabric at the right price for whatever you need here at Minerva.
Thank you so much for reading,
Annette xx

Pattern of the Week - Zebras

Zebras! I set off this week simply wanting to promote Butterick Pattern 6294 as our #patternoftheweek offer. You will realise by the time you have read this (hopefully interesting) blog post that I have somewhat gone off on a tangent and why I've named this blog post Zebra's!
The Dressmaking Fabric that immediately comes to mind is from our cotton poplin range. Although there are 2 more fab colours, for the purpose of today I have chosen it in Black and White.
This is a 45" wide fabric and is priced at £6.99 per mt. Our website description is as follows - Our 100% Cotton Poplin Fabric is the highest quality. It has a beautiful smooth, soft finish and is very easy to sew. Because of its manufacturing process, it tends not to wrinkle easily, and is somewhat water and stain resistant. Although 100% cotton poplin is more expensive than a polycotton blend, (incidentally we have zebra Polycotton Fabric too) the expense is usually considered worth it, since poplin tends to wear well and is easy care. Our poplin is a medium weight, non-stretch and machine washable. It is an extremely versatile fabric and is used for anything from clothing (skirts, tops, dresses, shirts, shorts, pyjama's etc), to handbags, cushions and accessories to baby and childrens wear, banners, tablecloths, bedsheets, bedlinen, and is extremely popular for patchwork and quilting! So is there anything this fabric won't make I ask myself!! You can see from the following photo why I have chose this fabric. 
My next photo shows 3 fabrics, the first being a fabulous stretchy Satin Fabric in a zebra design. This is a very soft and floaty fabric with just a slight stretch and apart from the zebra design it comes in a tiger and a bengal tiger design. The other two fabrics are from our slinky Satin range of Fabrics which I have chose Black and Ivory. I see this made up in version C and D. 
This tunic pattern (I would call it a shirt myself) is loose fitting and as you can see the back hangs longer that the front. The collar is a 2 piece collar, which I love sewing, a concealed button band, a full yoke and a back pleat which is very forgiving especially when on the last stretch of your holiday! Tunic C like A and B is longer at the back, again I find this very flattering. I love how they have mixed and matched the fabrics. Although I love the zebra prints, I find I am drawn towards version A shown as a plain black back with a white front and white trousers (which don't forget you get these on this pattern too). 
My next photo shows the back pleat and the yoke section, easy so far!
Followed by a photo of the curved hem.
This can be a little tricky but by following the instructions, throwing in plenty of time and a heap of patience it shouldn't be too hard. Remember you can always square off these rounded corners so you still have the back longer than the front or even trim it off so you have no splits and just an easy hem round the bottom.
Just a quick photo of the concealed buttons.
I am not saying too much about this because there is a good half page of instructions for this fastening. If it is something you don't feel comfortable with, remember you could trim off the excess and make it with just an ordinary button and buttonhole fastening.
Now my favourite photo is of the 2 piece collar.
I get quite excited at the thought of constructing a 2 piece collar, just looking at my next photo I just want to get on with it. Using patience and time as your best 'tools' you will have a very professional looking collar. See next photo
Last but not least I would like to mention top C and the trousers. The top has bias binding round the neckline and after reading the instructions I find that this binding is made out of your own fabric.
Very easy to make as are the trousers with pockets and an elasticated waist.
Now you may well ask "what was Annette on about - going off on a tangent" at the start of this blog post!! Well here goes. I just typed Zebra into our Minerva website and found the most amazing collection of zebra 'things'. First up was this amazing Velboa Fabric
This comes in an amazing 14 animal prints, from Giraffe to Dalmation and from Tiger to Snow Leopard. Velboa is a polyester fabric at just £7.99 per mt, 60" wide and is described on our website as a low pile, faux fur fabric that is especially versatile for sewing and craft. It is often referred to as 'Velboa Skin' as it is a realistic looking animal skin fabric with a low nap. As it is durable, hard-wearing, non-stretch and machine washable, it is perfect for blankets, cushions, throws, pet products, baby clothes, costumes, fancy dress and stuffed animal toys. I also think what a fab jacket it would make!
Take a look at Simplicity Pattern 8034.
What grabbed my attention as much as anything was Zebra Buttons.
Just a thought, you could make the shirt from the above pattern, version A. The back in black, the fronts, sleeves and collar in white, use a little of the zebra fabric (left over from your full zebra shirt) for the yoke and finish off with these fantastic buttons down the front (not using the concealed method of course).
There are numerous Zebra Ribbons, now apart from the obvious, trimming cushions etc, these could be incorporated into this shirt. All made in black with the ribbon placed along the yoke line at the back and front shoulders and still use the dill buttons. I'm just thinking if you have a plain black shirt that has got a bit boring then trim it up with the ribbon and replace the buttons.
Last but not least if you are not into wearing Zebra's how about stitching one! Take a look at this RIOLIS counted cross stitch kit. The title of this is "Zebras in the Savannah". Quite. stunning
Sew on that note I will close for today!
Thanks for reading,
Annette xx

Fabric Friday - Jersey Fabrics for an Easy Peasy Pattern!

I am sat staring out at this lovely sunshine thinking "well make the most of it because it won't last". Sewing wise we think "do we make more summer clothes or do we start thinking winter?" " No no no" I hear you shout "let us just think summer going through to autumn!".
One of the fabrics I love at the moment is this abstract print Jersey Fabric. This is a fabulous light to medium weight blend of cotton and viscose jersey. It comes in 4 stunning colourways which are Navy, Lime, Jade and Cerise and is priced at just £5.99 per mt.
Now would you believe I just happen to have the most perfect pattern in mind that comes in 9 sizes from a size 8 through to 24W. Take a look at McCalls 7135 version B. 
This gives the impression of a wrapover dress but it is actually a mock wrapover. Both the dress and the jumpsuit have a blouson bodice and elasticated waistline so are very easy to put on over your head for the dress and to pull up over your body for the jumpsuit. Now for the sewing on this pattern we are talking easy peasy, let's make it this afternoon type of pattern. I honestly thought there would be more to this pattern (as in facings etc) but there just isn't. Take a look at my next photo.
This is the only sewing on the blouson top! 2 shoulder and side seams and a narrow hem down the fronts and back neckline. This is such a feature of clothes nowadays, very comfortable and flattering to wear, most of the time it is a case of the less sewing the better. This in sewists terms means we can make twice the amount of clothes in the same time! My next photo shows the armhole of the jumpsuit.
I have used this method many times, it is even easier than using bias binding. When finished this (approx) 1/4" binding matches the front edge (the hemmed edge I spoke of earlier).
From here on the skirt or trouser part is very straightforward. These type of pockets can be left out if required as it doesn't alter the shape of the front pieces. See the next 2 photos.
My next photo shows the casing for the elastic on the trousers, the same goes for the dress just ever so slightly trickier with the front wrap on the skirt as well as the top part, basically it just means lining them up and making sure they both get sewn in the seam.
Now back to fabrics (after all this is #FabricFriday) I must tell you about our Tie Dye Print Stretch Drapey Polyester/Lycra Jersey Fabric. My goodness that's a mouthful! But it describes it so well. Don't just take my word for it have a look at our video for this quite fab fabric. It has a fantastic slinky feel to it and drapes wonderfully. The tie dye effect is very subtle and yet comes in these very bright colours (if you tan easily take a look at the acid yellow) and wait for this - it is at an incredible price of just £3.99 per mt.
Now before I leave for today I must mention (yet again) our Revue luxury polyester and spandex Stretch Jersey Fabric at £7.99 per mt. Our website description of this fabric is "This luxury knitted fabric from the Revue collection is a gorgeous soft, drapey and very stretchy jersey fabric. It is a medium weight with a good amount of stretch in all directions and would be well suited to sewing patterns that require an all way stretch fabric. It has a very smooth and soft texture and is washable by either hand or machine. Ideal for making slinky tops, skirts and dresses. Styles with lots of drapes and folds would really show off this fabric to its full potential." This fabric would be ideal for version C shown under the floaty jacket that is version A. How stunning would that be for the Xmas party! 
And to top that have a peep at the video of this Striking Italian Patterned Knit Stretch Jersey in Black and White. 
This fabric is, as the title would suggest, from our beautiful Italian range. It is 60" wide and is made from 56% viscose and %44 linen. It is a little more expensive at £16.99 per mt but for me is worth every penny. The jacket takes between 1.5 and 1.8 mts depending on size so will not break the bank too much! 
I thought I'd end with a little saying I found recently that is so true and apply's to us all but could actually be written for us sewists...
"Every Accomplishment Starts with the Decision to Try."
Thanks for reading,
Annette xx

Pattern of the Week - Vintage Butterick 6363

Vintage is extremely popular at the moment. Furniture, cars in fact you name it, there will be some Vintage connection. So it's no surprise how big vintage is amongst us sewists. My #patternoftheweek is just such a pattern. It is Butterick 6363 and we are offering this pattern at half price this week.
This pattern is very 1940's and how smart it is too. Prior to the war, clothes were worn longer and then due to shortages, especially in fabric, dress lengths were shortened to knee length in order to save on costs. This came about with the start of the war, the utility scheme (which ran from 1941 to 1952) and a strict rationing on fabric. The invention of shoulder pads completely changed the overall shape, they extended beyond the natural shoulder line thus creating a more masculine look but for me this period of time just oozes femininity. Another little fact while I'm on a roll haha is - this is the period where 'suits' became very popular for women because they could mix and match and also one 'piece' may wear out before the other.
And so after my history lesson back to the pattern of the week! Although my favourite is version B, I can't help but really like version A. This dress would make up brilliantly in our Stretch Cotton Fabric and yes you've guessed we have it in white. I love how they have used red ric rac braid. Just to make sure about the origins of ric rac braid I googled it and found that it dates back to at least the 1860's and was known as waved braid. So I suppose this would have been a very reasonably priced braid to jazz up some otherwise dull fabrics. And so I have no hesitation in presenting my first photo today.
The fabric as I said is our white Plain Stretch Cotton Fabric. This is such a lovely wearable fabric, that little bit of stretch makes sewing it a dream but if you prefer to be very authentic then our Cotton Poplin Fabric would make up beautifully too. You will see on the photo that I have shown it with the red ric rac and some gorgeous buttons shaped like a flower, these are Dill Buttons and are very pretty indeed. You will see we have lots and lots of Ric Rac Braids here at Minerva, spotted, glitter, frilled, to name a few but the one I have used is this one. They have used a purchased belt but you could easily make the belt for version B just using red instead of black ribbon.
On to version B Just everything about this is very me. 
I love mono at the moment, more than anything I love the simplicity of it. The fabric I have chose reflects this in that it is a simple black and white Check Cotton Poplin Fabric and at £6.99 per mt is not expensive. I do tend to use a lot of our dill buttons and this blog post is no exception! These Gorgeous Buttons by Dill do look quite vintage in that they are a 4 hole button. Here is a close up...
They are a matt black button with a silver rim and each of the centre holes each have a silver rim. Check them out on our website, they come in 2 sizes and 10 colours all with silver rims. 
Now for the piping around the neck. You could go down the traditional route and cover your own piping cord. You would use our traditional cotton piping cord, this you would cover with fabric which has been cut on the bias. Or lets make things easier, how about cutting out the middle man (so to speak) and use our Ready Covered Piping in black. It is perfect for this dress, comes in 8 colours and is priced at just 79p per mt. 
What I love about this style is that, OK worn as it is shown here, yes it's very vintage. But take away the hat, add a broader belt or a chain belt, use a slouchy bag and finish the outfit off with some ballerina pumps and hey presto it doesn't look vintage anymore. Another feature about version B is the fastening. Version A has buttons all down the front so very easy on and off but version B only has 4 buttons down to the waist so with it being fitted at the waistline - how do you get this on and off? Well down the side seam a placket is sewn (similar to a shirt sleeve opening but closed at the top and bottom) and hooks and eyes or press studs are attached to this. Hopefully the following photo shows what I mean...
I think the shoulders are worth mentioning to you as well. A pleat or tuck is made along where a sleeve would fit into a dress normally. Then after the shoulder pad is sewn in, this pleat/tuck helps create the boxy look I spoke about earlier.
Last but not least I must mention the hats! I think you'll agree it is very unusual finding this on a pattern. Version A actually ties at the back, very unusual, but to be fair it won't need much fitting!! Version D really is just a rim with a big bow attached at the back. Neither are too hard to make. The band on the hat sews on to the brim, very similar to attaching the 'stand' (band) on to a mans shirt with collar. 
So what are you waiting for get this fabulous pattern at half price this week at Minerva!
Thankyou so much for taking the time to read my blog post today,
Annette xx

Fabric Friday - Fabrics for Learn to Sew Pattern 7405

Have you seen our range of Batik Fabrics? I know I'm biased but it really is a stunning collection. A particular favourite of mine is this one. There are 6 colours - 3 negative and 3 positive. I absolutely love the turquoise positive but I must admit the ruby positive looks perfect for my choice of pattern today.
Our website description of this fabulous fabric is "This beautiful bubble batik fabric is hand printed in India and features an unusual heart design. The process for creating 'Bubble Batik' fabric remains the same as Batik but in bubbled fabric, after wax printing the fabric is subjected to a crinkling process where the ground fabric is shrunk in both warp and weft direction by 25%, creating bubbles on the wax printed areas. Areas covered with wax remain the same whereas the base fabric shrinks by 25% creating a bubbled textured appearance. Due to the hand processes involved in creating this fabric, every metre is unique and irregularities in colour and print are all part of its naive charm! It is 100% cotton and a medium weight, perfect for making so many styles of clothing including dresses, tops, shirts, skirts and more. Or why not bring this fabric into your home by making cushions!"
This Sewing Pattern is hot off the press, so to speak, I just loved the simplicity of this pattern when looking through the new range. 
This pattern is from the McCalls learn to sew for fun range which are extremely popular at the moment mainly due to the popularity of the Great British Sewing Bee. Talking of which did you agree with Charlotte being the winner this year? My views are over on my Sewing Bee blog post. See if you agree or disagree!!
There are basically 4 dresses on this pattern all from the same basic design. These include a knee length, a midi length with a shaped hemline and 2 maxi dresses one of which has a drawstring waist. There are only 5 pieces to this pattern, one of which is a tie belt for version C, one of which is for the drawstring through the neck (for this you could use cord or our fantastic lycra cord) and one is just the elastic guide! So that leaves 2 pieces for the front and back of the dress. You either cut out or trace the hemline you want. 
THIS PATTERN IS SO EASY thought I'd just mention it again haha! My next photo shows how the neckline is sewn, easy peasy!
What can I say about my next fabric, the next photo shows a suitable fabric for version C.
This is a lovely Jersey Fabric and is only £5.99 per mt. It has a fantastic drape and handle.
Last but not least I have chosen this beautiful Cotton Poplin Fabric to show you today.
This is described as a Dotty print cotton poplin and if you look closely you will see it is just that, a design made up totally from dots! When you see this fabric in the flesh you will see how the white colour in the print really makes it pop. 
You will notice I've suggested both woven and jersey fabrics for this pattern. Well that is another plus about this pattern, you can use any fabric.
So I am now off to look through the rest of the New McCalls Pattern range, it's a hard life isn't it!!
Thanks for reading,
Annette xx
1 Comment

Pattern of the Week - Butterick 6106

This pattern is BRILLIANT!! I absolutely love it. It has been around for a while and whilst there are lots of Denim Fabrics around that I could have used for this pattern, I've always felt I wanted something more. And now we have it and so my problem now is which two to choose!! This range of denims comes from Art Gallery Fabrics and is named 'The Denim Studio Collection'. My first photo today shows you two of these wonderful denim fabrics and I have chosen 5 random buttons for a look similar to the pattern.
The fabrics are called Casted Loops and Distressed Triangles. When you take a look at these fabrics on our website you will see there are 41 altogether in this range. Many with a blue base and all co-ordinating very nicely. I love on the pattern how they have chosen 5 random buttons so my choice is as follows, they are all Dill buttons and the numbers are 289035259035340830341034 and 350303. Another thought is to pick say 4 of the denims and have a brilliant time swapping the fabrics around all these little pieces till you're happy. The following photo shows the lineart of the pattern and you can see how many pieces there are and how they fit together.
The pattern is quite easy if you keep to following the instructions. As you can see from my next two photo's there is an orderly way of sewing all these pieces together just follow that order and you will not have a problem. 
All 3 versions on this pattern are very different even though the design is exactly the same. Much as I love the denims my eyes are constantly drawn to version B. The Fabric I have chosen is, in it's own way, quite similar to the one used on the pattern. When you look closely at the fabric there isn't actually any brown in it but this fabulous folded elastic/braid we now have in stock here at Minerva goes fantastic. Alongside this I have chosen these Dill Buttons and together they compliment this fabric enormously in a very subtle way.
I just had to try the black with the fabric and wow this makes it more striking, likewise I chose the same buttons but in black.
Last but not least I would like to mention another New Fabric which is described as "Distressed, Floral patterned, Faux Suede".
I can only add to this - it has to be one of the most beautiful fabrics I have ever seen and has the most luxurious velvety feel to it. As you can see from the pattern, version C, this jacket would look fab in an all over floral so hey what are you waiting for?!
I've just had a sad thought, we've no sewing bee tonight!!! Still onwards and upwards as they say and let us be our own sewing bees. And for those who don't think they can sew remember "Every accomplishment starts with the decision to try".
Thanks for reading. 
Annette xx

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