Hello once again, and welcome to my review of this floral Ponta Roma Fabric. When I saw the selection this month I automatically went for this choice as I had a great pattern in mind that I really wanted to use.
The pattern I had in mind to use is one of Athina Kakou’s, it’s the Nikki Cardigan. This is a really great and easy pattern to work with.
As usual with all my fabric, I prewashed this Ponte Roma fabric. Minerva recommends washing at 40 degrees, but my I washed at 30 degrees, but this time I have a new washing machine that washes for about an hour cycle. And then as usual I put the fabric in the tumble dryer on low heat as I like to wash and dry my fabric as I would wash my completed garments. With every fabric, if you are not sure about what temperature to use, always do a test wash on a sample.
I find this fabric drapes really well and has a very soft finish making ideal for tops and dresses. I found the fabric really easy to work with. As the little flowers are all over the fabric, there is no worrying about pattern matching.
When laying the pattern pieces out, I used my pins to pin the patterns into places, no weights needed and I used my scissors to cut the pieces out with ease. Others may use a rotary cutter, but I found using my scissors were fine for this fabric.
Sewing with this Ponte Roma was a breeze. I used my overlocker for most of the garment, and then my sewing machine for the top stitching.
This cardigan was really easy to make and the fabric is really soft and great looking, I am so looking forward to getting a lot of use out of this and wearing this cardigan during the Autumn and Winter months.
Thanks for reading, until next time, and Happy Sewing.
Posted in Projects on Wednesday the 16th January 2019 by Vicki Ormerod
- Color options: Black, Dark Grey, Ivory, Navy Blue, Rich Red, Rose Pink, Silver and Tan
- Composition: 100% Polyester
- Weight: Medium
- Woven, Non Stretch
- 3 different views with short, mid and long length options (I chose view B)
- Side slits, optional pockets and ties
- Size range 6 – 22
- Finish seams/serge before sewing pattern pieces (specifically the pocket pieces)
- Press the shoulder flaps - I didn't press the flaps enough :(
- Understitch (A LOT)
- Walk away if you're frustrated or if you're not satisfied with your project. Allow yourself to make mistakes and learn from them
Posted in Projects on Wednesday the 16th January 2019 by Vicki Ormerod
I’m so thrilled to be writing my first Minerva Crafts blog - and equally thrilled with the fabric they sent to me! As soon as I saw it I knew I had to make a McCalls M7542 trumpet sleeve blouse out of it. Check out the gorgeous dark wash embroidered Denim Fabric I used.
As you always should, but I rarely do, I started this project by pre-washing and drying my fabric in the manner I intended to wash and dry it after my project was finished. In this case I washed the fabric by itself, in case of bleeding, in cool water and used a low heat setting in the dryer and was pleased with how white the embroidered flowers remained after washing.
Once my fabric was prepared I laid it out on my cutting mat and began to play around with the best pattern layout for the material. The front bodice pattern piece is cut “on the fold” so I was very careful to align the scallops on both the top and bottom layers, making the low-point of one of the scallops the center of the bodice. I’m very happy with how the front of the bodice looks, but didn’t think about how wide each pattern piece was and therefore at what point in the rise or fall of the scallop the pattern pieces would meet at the side and back seams. I’m not sure how I would achieve better pattern matching at these seams without modifying the width of the pattern pieces, but enjoyed the learning process. Do you have any tips you could share with me on matching scallops at seams? If so, please comment below!
It is important to note that this fabric is directional and the embroidered, scalloped edges do not mirror each other. Make sure you purchase enough fabric when you make your next project with this fabulous fabric. I had one metre of fabric, which was just enough.
This may be the first pattern I have ever made a second version of, and since I made my first McCalls M7542 earlier this fall I was able to remember I few things I wanted to do differently on my second version. For example, I use a serger to finish all seams in my sewing projects and serged the center back seam together in my first blouse, but serged each side of the back seam separately this time, which allowed for a much smoother keyhole at the top back of the blouse. I also hand tacked the neck facing to the shoulder seams and like how it lays more smoothly than my first blouse. I need to go back and tack that neck facing down as well!
Clipping seams is a very important technique in this pattern, especially at the insertion of the trumpet or lower sleeve to the upper sleeve. I can’t overstate the importance of stitching at the interior circle’s stitching line and clipping right up to that line.
I extended the front and back bodice pattern pieces by one inch, turning up the hem directly below the scalloped edge and stitching in place. I debated whether or not to stitch directly on top of the embroidery, but ultimately decided it couldn’t be seen from a moderate distance and I preferred not to have any denim showing below the scalloped edge.
I would highly encourage sewers to try this pattern. It was a quick and trendy sew that I found very rewarding. I’m thrilled this is my first “tried and true” pattern and can certainly see myself making more versions of this pattern with different sleeve options. You can see my first version on my blog here! Follow my blog or instagram for my most recent makes.
Time estimate: 5 hours
Material used: embroidered denim fabric, 100% cotton
Care instructions: machine wash gentle cold, tumble dry low
Cost to make:
pattern - 9.75 value
fabric - 14.99 value
*hook and eye, thread from my stash
TOTAL: 24.74 value
Posted in Projects on Tuesday the 15th January 2019 by Vicki Ormerod
When you think of embroidery transfers what do you think of? Tray cloths? Tea towels? Thank goodness things have moved on. (Though I love a pretty tea towel).
When I received these fabulous little Sublime Stitching Transfers from Minerva all I could imagine were outfits for the garden. I could see aprons, utility belts, bags and Tidies when I looked at the cute garden symbols. Granted the kneeling gardener wasn’t going to be so easy to place but all the bugs and tools you could dream of playing with.
I started with an apron. I’m a pinny girl whether I’m in the kitchen baking or in the garden. I like to pop out for 5 minutes in whatever I’m wearing so this is the perfect excuse to make a garden apron to save my decent clothes from soil and plant stains. It would also give me somewhere to put my secateurs or handful of tomatoes when doing a random wander through the greenhouse.
These transfers are a joy to work with. I copied them and cut them out to play with first. This makes it much easier to work out what you might do with them or where you might place them. You do need to remember that they’ll be mirrored when you press them on though.
I searched through my stash for the right fabric. I had an oddment of Cotton Drill Fabric that was just the right size for a half pinny. I could see bugs and snails wandering over my apron. I started with the snails, they had so much character. I thought they’d look cute sliding along the hem. I considered lady bugs coming out of the pocket too. Love a lady bug.
After deciding on the snails I measured out their placement on the hem line making sure that they sat above the actual hem to give me room for a small hoop.
I cut the snail out of the transfer paper and set it onto the fabric, you need the iron to be quite hot so this definitely isn’t for delicate fabrics. I ironed on the transfer and then moved onto the next placement until I’d fitted them all in. The transfer lasts for about 6-8 pressings. I found that if it didn’t seem to catch everything a mechanical pencil was quite good at defining details. It was also handy if I had a gap between stitching and the transfer had faded a bit.
Once the transfer was all set I rummaged through my Embroidery Floss. Minerva have a great range to choose from. You could also use a fine perle thread.
I used 2 strands to stitch with to give a nice cover and make it manageable when threading. If you’re working with a hoop, I prefer the finish of hoop work, make sure it’s nice and tight so your work is supported whilst you’re stitching. I worked in stem stitch to give a good outline as this tends to work well with curves. Body first and then the outline of the shell.
Now although the fabric is a camo green I wanted a bit of colour in my snails. I started with lime green, outlining in a green that was nearly the colour of the base fabric.
I stem stitched around the edge first working my way into the centre until the shell was filled in. This was not a quick sew and it gave me a chance to zone out for 20 minutes when I had a moment to work on it.
Once I’d stitched in all of my shells I realised if this post was ever going to see the light of day I would need to get straight on and make the pinny. I had to forgo the lady bugs sadly. I used some black cotton to make the pocket. This is a rectangle of fabric folded in half, stitched and turned through a small gap. That’s not a rectangle I hear you cry! No, when I started to pin the pocket on it looked a bit…boring. I folded down the top corners and hey presto! A much better and more usable shape. I used a variegated thread to stitch the pocket on and then played with the stitch patterns of my machine.
I used a cotton webbing for the waist tie. I tried several colours, Pink, cream, purple…black was the only one that seemed to work. Practical too.
So now I have a pinny to gather my remaining tomatoes and get digging in the garden at the weekend. There are several designs in this range, which will you use?
I’m thinking maybe a skirt of snails or lady bugs next. I might try these transfers with free machining for speed. Come and see how I get on over on my blog The Fabric Wrangler.
There are some things which you don’t realise you need in your wardrobe until you sew them up and instantly fall in love. This is what happened with my latest make. This Demin Chambray Fabric in navy arrived, and it’s exactly the shade of iconic blue jeans, a really dark deep blue.
I always choose fabric first and then think about matching it with a pattern. I thought that I would want to make a denim look shirtdress. I went through my pattern stash and couldn’t find anything that jumped out at me. As it’s getting colder, I wanted something I could wear with tights, and also something which I could do some topstitching on. As I was pondering what I could make with the fabric, a jumpsuit sprang to mind, and I knew exactly what I wanted it to look like. I hunted high and low for the right pattern and in the end settled for the McCall’s M7330. I wanted to make a long sleeved, full length version with all the pockets which needed 3.2m. I tried so so hard to make it fit and played a huge game of pattern Tetris, but just couldn’t quite get it to work, so I settled for short sleeves, full length trousers, and most of the pockets.
The fabric is super stable, and quite stiff so sewed up like a dream. There are a few points where my sewing machine had to work really hard to get through all the layers, but it came together really well. The instructions leave A LOT to be desired, and It’s definitely a pattern to make once you have a fair bit of experience under your belt. The fly zip seemed fairly logical, but I did a fair amount of unpicking (and at one point gave up with the unpicker when I had overlocked, sewn and topstitched the waistband, and just took the scissors to it, and have a shorter waistband oops!).
I didn’t use a special topstitch thread but kind of wish I had done, as I do think it gives a more professional finish to the garment. I also choose to use jean buttons (the type you hammer in) for the button placket as I really wanted a workwear overalls vibe.
Despite there being quite a few pattern pieces to this jumpsuit, and topstitching, it came together fairly quickly. It’s also super comfortable to wear, and the fabric doesn’t crumple at all whilst you wear it. If I make this jumpsuit again I would add a little bit to the length of the legs, because although I’m only 5’ 3”, it’s a little bit ankle grazing.
I was going for the overalls/workwear look and think I achieved what I was aiming for. I think as an autumn transition piece it also works well and will hopefully see me through winter and into next spring. I’d be really keen to use the fabric again, and perhaps I still need to make that shirtdress that I originally intended to make, but am so pleased to have a comfortable, hard-wearing, and stylish jumpsuit in my wardrobe.
Thanks for reading,
Chloe @ Handmade by Chloe
Fanciful florals are not just for summer, they illuminate a winter wardrobe.
Sometimes a project happens serendipitously without any effort. This was the case when I set eyes on the Lady McElroy Scuba Fabric. The mixture of a technical fabric with a digital print that echoes a traditional vibe sparked my imagination. I confess it took very little time for me to realise what the eye catching splurge of colourful bright teal posies against a deep sultry burgundy background wanted to become. The saturated colours are so darn glorious.
Vogue V1486 is a designer pattern which I have a great fondness for. I have after all made it 4 times now. It is a two piece pattern that includes a crop top designed by Australian based fashion designer Nicola Finetti. I have all of the Vogue designer patterns by Nicola Finetti. His back story is quite fascinating. He used to be an architect before moving over to high fashion. His designs are quite bold while embracing femininity. His signature style is romantic, sensual and wearable garments. The label creates some truly beautiful garments – a smorgasbord of inspiration.
I made a size 12 without any fit alterations. I did make a style change with the pockets. The original design has in-seam pockets at the upper skirt yoke. I have tried this before and I did not like how the style line was compromised when I used the pockets. They pulled away with the weight of whatever was in my pocket. My little experiment with patch pockets seems to have worked. This is better than the side seam pockets for me!
I moved the zip from the centre back (where it’s supposed to be exposed) to the right side seam. Purely so I could cut the back piece on the fold (or perhaps to avoid pattern matching across the CB too…). The wide straight waist band does not sit well on my contoured waist. The fix is easy in this case – I just use one waistband piece that I fold in half lengthways. This literally reduces the width of the waistband by half which is perfect for me.
So to sum up the alterations – zero fit alterations plus 3 design changes :1) added patch pockets, 2) moved zip to side seam, and 3) reduced the width of waistband by half.
I find that scuba is not a fun fabric to work with. This is a personal opinion; but I am quite partial to a fabric that responds to steam and heat. There is something incredibly satisfying, dare I say orgasmic? about a seam that lays perfectly flat after a burst of steam iron. Scuba doesn’t do any of this – that is not to say that you don’t need to press it – quite the contrary, you do as there is a difference between an unpressed seam and a pressed one. Low iron setting over a pressing cloth obviously to avoid a shine.
What scuba lacks in its refusal to be completely dominated by a steam iron – it more than makes up for in its daily use. Scuba doesn’t crease. EVER. And I so love that quality – its easy care at its best. I throw my scuba skirts in the drier and boom! That’s all the work I need to do. Scuba doesn’t stain very easily either which is a godsend with my 5 loving kids. The colours remain as vibrant as the day it’s bought. That’s why my scuba garments get worn a lot. And why I continue to buy scuba.
When sewing with scuba use ball point needles. I shan’t pontificate – let’s just say I have learnt from experience.
This midi length floral look works in so many ways. Layered with a tonal rollneck this look could easily take me to spring giving it more mileage. If you are after something that is elegant and supremely wearable then do give scuba a go.
It seems like only yesterday that the sun was shining and I was stuffing my face with ice-poles to keep cool in the otherworldly heat we experienced this summer, and yet all of a sudden it would seem that winter has truly descended. The air is cool and crisp, there's a chill in the air, and the drizzly showers are persistent.
I can't speak for other people's children, but my two womb fruits seem to never want to wear layers. They want to wear as few clothes as possible at all times (in an ideal world they could and would be naked 100% of the time) and so trying to keep them both warm and dry during the colder months is no easy feat.
The rate at which children seem to grow is almost comical. They'll keep a steady height for a few weeks, you blink, and they've shot up a foot. It's for that reason that I refuse to buy them new clothes every time they have a growth spurt. Instead, I try to sew things for them that will last a good length of time and also be a multi-purpose garment.
So with the weather situation in mind, and the fact that my son has grown out of last year's rain coat causing a problem, I set about making him an appropriate garment. What I needed is a jacket that would be waterproof, get rid of the need for layers and last a good long while.
It was then that I stumbled across this Soft Cell Fabric from Minerva Crafts. It's a waterproof outer, with a fleece back. That's two necessities ticked off my list - rain proof and like two layers in one. It has an all over forest print, almost like a camouflage print that I knew my son would love, and would fit into his current wardrobe nicely.
I then went about picking a pattern. I wanted something quite simple but also versatile. I checked my stash and I happened to have New Look 6398 in there which I hadn't gotten round to using yet. It's actually a really handy pattern to have as you could pretty much make your entire child's wardrobe from this one pattern! There is a jacket option which I figured with a few tweaks, would be the perfect base for my son's rain jacket.
My son is a tall and slim just turned 6 year old. I decided to go for the size 7 so that the jacket would hopefully last a year or two. The pattern calls for a lining for this jacket, but as my fabric has a fleece back, I skipped that part. Instead of using the interfacing pattern pieces to cut interfacing (which wasn't needed for this sturdy fabric) I used those pattern pieces to make a neck facing, cut from the same fabric as the outer.
I used all of the main pattern pieces - back, front, sleeves, pockets and facing - and instead of following the instructions I just sort of winged it. Because I wasn't using a lining there were a few steps in the instructions that I didn't need to follow, or needed to do differently to allow for only using one fabric.
If I had used a separate lining, I wouldn't have needed to think about the hem or the edges as they would all have been encased between the outer and lining fabrics when turned through to the right way. So, neaten up my version of this jacket, I used the interfacing pattern pieces as a neck facing. I joined them to the main jacket, right sides facing, turned back into the right way and top stitched to keep the facing from poking out.
I had a little head scratching moment when it came to the hem though. Because the fabric is quite thick and sturdy, It wouldn't sew well when I tried to do a single turn hem. I managed to remedy this by using a little bias binding along the bottom edge, and I actually love how it looks!
This was a really quick and satisfying sew - it took me about an hour from start to finish. I haven't added buttons yet because I have a feeling my sewing machine would not create a clean and crisp buttonhole on this thick fabric, especially as the neck facing is there too meaning it would have to go through two layers of the fabric. Instead I have some black metal poppers that I will use and I think they will add to the look of the jacket nicely.
The sleeves are quite long, and if you look on the pattern artwork you'll see that the sleeves are supposed to be turned up. That's just another plus to add to this jacket as it means that as my son grows, this jacket will grow with him.
My son is really over the moon with his new jacket. Not only will it stop him from getting completely soaking wet when caught in the rain, but it means I also don't have to wrestle him into a jumper before heading out, thanks to the fleecy lining. A jacket we will keep for years (hopefully!).
Thanks for reading,
Carly @ Lucky Sew and Sew
I love styles from all eras of the 20th century but my favourite is definitely the 1960s. I adore the simple cuts, bright colours and modernity of sixties fashion, a style I think looks just as fresh 50 years on. This was the decade of shift dresses, swing coats, mini skirts and big earrings. It was also the golden age of home sewing so there is a wealth of original patterns to be found out there.
For me, one of the key looks of the 1960s was an a-line shift dress or mini skirt with a matching swing coat and a roll neck top. I had been dreaming of creating such an outfit for some time so when I saw the beautiful selection of Coating Fabrics available at Minerva, I decided to make my vision a reality.
I was immediately drawn to the Wool Blend Coating Fabric in Silver Grey, as I thought this would be perfect teamed with icy pastel colours and white tights. As the fabric is a generous 60 inches wide, I ordered three metres, confident this would at least be enough for a skirt and coat.
I started with the dress, which I cut out from just under one metre of the fabric. I went for option B, the simplest, and left out the sleeves to allow me to wear it over a roll neck top. I love the funnel neck option on this pattern but I thought it would prevent the dress from sitting nicely under the matching coat.
I made a size 12 but followed the size 10 cutting line around the neck, as I often experience gaping in this area. The pattern doesn’t include a lining but I decided to add one to create a more professional finish. I find this also prevents skirts and dresses sticking to my tights.
To do this, I cut out the dress pieces from a silver lining fabric in my stash. I then pinned the front and back facing pieces to some iron-on interfacing, which I cut out and attached to the wrong side of my lining around the neckline for stability. I sewed the front and back lining pieces together at the shoulders and then sewed the lining to the dress around the neckline and armholes, wrong sides together. I then bagged out the dress by pulling one side through the shoulders. Don’t forget to sew the side seams of the dress and lining pieces together after bagging out, not before.
I finished my dress in no time, as the only tricky step was the concealed zip. Sometimes it takes me a few attempts to get this right but this time it turned out well first time. I would recommend buying a concealed zip foot for your machine and opening out the teeth with a cool iron.
Now it was time to start my coat, which I managed to cut from the remaining two metres of fabric. I even lengthened the sleeves to make them full length rather than bracelet length. I sometimes find Simplicity patterns have a little bit too much ease for my liking so, after checking the finished garment measurements, I cut out a size 10 instead of my usual size 12.
This coat would have been a super speedy make but I decided to finish off all of my seams and hems with bias binding. I made this myself using some floral cotton from my stash. It looked so pretty against the silvery grey wool. As if this wasn’t time consuming enough, I sewed one side of the bias binding on my machine but then sewed the other side by hand using a slip stitch. I wanted to avoid visible stitches and although I love the neat finish I achieved, I’m not sure it was worth the time it took.
I planned to use cover buttons using the same fabric as the coat but I loved the addition of the floral print so much I covered them in that instead.
I’m absolutely thrilled with the finished coat and I couldn’t be happier with how it looks with the dress. The fabric was really easy to work with and at just £7.99 per metre, it’s good value too.
When I first tried on my outfit I felt as though I had stepped straight off the set of Mad Men. However, given the fact I was in North Yorkshire at the time, perhaps Heartbeat is more apt.