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Stripe Bodycon Dress: McCall’s 6886

Hi All,

My name is Q, and I'm back on the Minerva Crafters Blog today sharing a more casual look using this amazing stripe Scuba Crepe Fabric I received from Minerva. I'm excited to share this look using the McCall's 6886 Pattern. It's an older pattern, but very popular in the sewing community. I hope you enjoy this post. Now, let’s talk fabric!

Fabric:

As soon as I saw this fabric I knew what pattern I would use, and how I would style it. Does that ever happen to you? Typically, I struggle with picking a pattern for fabric, but not this time. This fabric screams summer days and cool nights. Right?

I received 3 yards of this beautiful medium weight knit stripe crepe fabric in black and wine. It has a great amount of stretch and I could not wait to cut into it.

Pattern and Modifications:

For inspiration, I usually search for the pattern I plan on using on both Instagram and Pinterest. Can you believe the McCall 6886 pattern was posted over 900 times on Instagram? I'm sure you've already made this pattern several times over. I'm late to the party, but that's fine even though this pattern has been in my stash for a long time. I could never find the right stripe knit fabric to create the look I envisioned until now. Since the pattern has several neck variations and lengths that are all great I decided to make View E; the V-neck knee length version. I used the quarter inch sleeves from View C to complete the look. Surprisingly, I was able to sew the dress together quickly, but I spent most of the time on fitting. Good thing I had my seam ripper handy! I initially cut a size 8 for the bust and graded to a size 12 at the hips. However, once I tried the dress on I realized that I could have cut a size 8 for the entire dress. I placed the dress on my mannequin, and it was swimming in the dress. I knew it was not going to look much better on me, there ended up being too much fabric at the back of the dress and around the hips, so I made the following modifications:

1. Removed 2'' from the side seams

2. Graded 2'' from the hips to the hem

3. Removed 5/8'' from the sleeves

For the sleeves, I thought about taking them in another 3/8'', but at that point, I was tired of removing the zigzag stitches, lol.

Styled: I wanted this look to be casual. I’m always on the go, and my routine is not conducive to 6-inch heels all the time. Most days you will find me in flats or sneakers, and as of lately I've been sewing dressier items. So, I figured I needed a casual dress to add to my wardrobe. I paired the pull-over dress with white converses and a denim jacket. I love being able to pull out a simple dress or outfit and having the option of dressing it up or down. This dress fits into that category, and I love that!

This was a fun and simple project and I cannot wait to make several more of these dresses. Thanks, Minerva for the supplies and thank you for reading!

Until next time Happy Sewing!

Q @moore_2q_style

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My New Favourite

I try not to play favourites, but this is my new favourite. 
When I was sent this Lady McElroy Linen Viscose Fabric to review, I knew immediately that it was the right call: it’s just my style. The colour palette is so me, it matches my tattoo. If I were to ever get another tattoo, roses and orange blossoms would be contenders to go with my peony: the botanicals in this print are oranges, roses and peonies. On an emerald background. I love it so hard. I also love a large scale print, and this one is enormous! Bigger than I expected, to be honest. It repeats only twice along the width of the fabric, so you can use it like a border print. I’ve cut my skirt on the cross grain, so that the print runs along the bottom. If you’ve ever worked with some of the other Lady McElroy linen viscose blends, you should also note that this is lighter weight - positively airy.
I was dithering about the right pattern for this project for a while, and ended up purchasing this Burda Style 6340 separately for my summer plans. I knew I wanted a few longer skirts this year. I wanted them unfussy and easy to sew but with a little more romance than your straight-up-and-down maxi. I liked the wrap style of this, and as it’s basically a half-circle, it moves beautifully. I think it’s quite elegant without going full ruffle, which would be too dramatic for me most of the time. The fabric drapes beautifully in this style. I suppose it would be easy enough to draft a circle wrap skirt, but in this instance I was happy to let Burda do the work for me: the grainline markings for instance, are spot on, and do a lot of the work for you. Burda has a reputation for clear but rather sparse instructions: the only thing I would add is to make sure to stay-stitch the top of the skirt. This is a large skirt to haul around while you're working, and it could easily get stretched out the way it’s cut. I should also note that this is the longer length as is, view A, but I’m 5’2’’. I believe it’s intended to be more of a long midi, but I usually have to shorten patterns by about 4 inches, so in this case I did nothing! My favourite kind of adjustment. Anyway, if it were any longer I couldn’t have managed the pattern tetris. I used every single bit of my 2 metres, coming in well under the recommended fabric requirements. 
So, to say I love the finished result is rather an understatement. If you follow me on my blog or on Instagram, you might have seen that I’ve been planning my spring sewing using the Design Your Wardrobe series, and this is the first look that has come from that process as well. It’s very satisfying to see it come through the process of creating a mood board: it is just what I wanted. 
As always, thank you for reading! Jo xx
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Peacock Feather Print Ruska Dress

Animal print is very on trend this season (although to be fair when is it ever not in some various form?) and there are lots of different prints you could go for. Leopard is always a classic, while zebra and snakeskin has its moments. One that I particularly love but isn't used as much as it should be is feather prints, in particular peacock feathers. I've always been fascinated by peacock feathers - they hold such beauty, the bright jewel colours making them eye catching and giving off an air of royalty. It fits so well into making stunning prints, and this fabric is no exception.

As soon as I saw this Jersey Fabric on the Minerva website I loved it - bold and beautiful, and being available in 4 colourways means you can go as bright as you like (the pink colourway would make a particularly bold statement). I went for the Navy colourway, as I liked the subtle tones and thought it would look great as a statement dress - one of those items of clothing that needs little dressing up and speaks for itself. It's a stretch jersey knit, with LOTS of stretch, so is perfect for closer fitting dresses. A medium weight, it's lovely and soft, with great drape, and really lends itself to clothes that are part of the ‘secret pyjamas club’ - so cosy it's like wearing loungewear!

I've been working through the Named Clothing book ‘Breaking the Pattern’, and have surprised myself with how easy I’ve found the makes to be. They look so stylish that I thought they would be really complicated to make!

They have a knit chapter, with several knit dresses and I decided this fabric would match perfectly with the Ruska Knit Dress. If you have never sewn with knit fabrics this is a great pattern and fabric to start with, and isn't any more complicated than woven fabrics. Because of the stretchy nature of the fabric, fit is fairly relaxed, and you don't have to worry about finishing the seams as the fabric isn't prone to fraying. You also don't need to use fastenings such as zips or buttons, as the drape and stretch make it easy to get on and off. This means knit garments are usually fairly quick and easy to sew, and I found this dress especially so!

I really can't explain how speedy and simple this dress was to sew up - I even surprised myself and had it finished in 2 hours (including cutting out the fabric!) There are 4 pieces - front, back and sleeves, and then a neckband for a turtle-neck collar.

I added stay tape to the shoulder seams to prevent the fabric from stretching whilst being worn (which is recommended in the pattern) and used a combination of zigzag stitch and stretchy triple stitch to sew (again, the pattern is very helpful and says which parts would benefit from which stitch). The most ‘complicated’ part (if you can really call it that) is attaching the collar, other than that you sew the front and back together, attach the sleeves, and boom, you're done!

The side seams open into slits towards the bottom of the dress on each side, which gives an interesting little feature (and allows you to have some ‘walking room’) but you can omit these if you prefer a straight silhouette.

As always when making dresses, I worry about the length being too long on me, but this dress is a great longer length (again, easily adapted if you want a shorter length) and the longer sleeves give it a more upmarket feel - a garment that I could dress up or be more casual. And as I mentioned, the fabric really is a perfect match for this pattern - it's so soft and with the relaxed fit of the dress makes it a really comfortable garment to wear.

I would highly recommend for beginners and advanced sewists alike to add this staple to their wardrobe - it would work in both colder and warmer weather depending on how you dress it, and who doesn't like a multi-season make?!

Thanks for reading,

Gemma @ginger_doodlesdesigns

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Skull Chiffon Sade Blouse

When I saw this sheer gothic print Chiffon Fabric I immediately knew I wanted to create the Sade Blouse from Breaking the Pattern with it.

In the book, the fabric used has a good drape but is far more stable than this shifty chiffon. I knew the fabric choice would make it a bit of a challenge and I was determined to take my time and make this a slow sew make.

In my mind, this fabric would work perfectly for this simple pattern but did need a couple of adjustments to work perfectly.

This was my first make from the book, which I had as a gift for Christmas, so I was interested to see how the sizing worked. I know that Named patterns draft for a tall figure and as I have a long torso I did not make any adjustments to the pattern and cut a straight size 3.

There are 4 pattern pieces. Front, back and front and back sleeve. Bias binding and a ribbon are also required. I made my own - more on this later.

I took my time cutting the fabric out, cutting from a single layer to prevent excessive shifting of the fabric - it is quite slippy and if you’re not used to using fabric like this I do suggest stabilising it with either spray starch or the gelatine method. (make a weak gelatine solution up. I suggest 2 sheets and 1.2l of hot water. Soak the fabric and then allow to dry naturally. Iron without steam and sew as normal. Once the make is complete wash the gelatine out.)

I cut the body and sleeve sections without stabilising the fabric and it went ok. As the fabric is quite sheer and lightweight I used french seams throughout and a size 70 microtex needle. All the hems are double folded anyway so I just made sure I trimmed them carefully to keep them neat.

I decided to make my own bias binding. I did use the gelatine method for stabilising the fabric for this as I knew it would be incredibly difficult to control otherwise. This worked well. I made enough bias strip to use for the ties at the wrist and hem, but sewed this more like a rouleau strap and turned it out the right way.

The pattern has you leave the ribbon loose in the casings at the sleeve and hem. However, I stitched through the casing at the seam lines to secure the ties and ensure they wouldn’t work their way out. I also added a catch stitch at the wrist to keep the open edges together and halfway down the sleeve opening as I like a bit more coverage than the open sleeve gave.

I love the overlapping back, the sizing is good and dart placement, back width are all spot on - which is something I sometimes have an issue with. I was surprised how short this top came up. It’s good with my high waisted jeans, but if you like to wear a lower cut skirt/ trousers, I’d be tempted to add a bit to the length.

I’m very happy with the garment and think it works well in the light chiffon fabric. I love the fact that I have something unique to wear and it proves that this fabric is not just for scarves/ overlays. I also love that it’s not floral! I think I’ll get quite a lot of wear out of this over the next few months and the style will certainly transition well from spring into summer as well as being a nice top to wear on a night out.

See you next time

Claire

@artcoopsville

ragbagsandgladrags

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It’s Robe Time!

Hello Minerva crafters!
Don’t you just love a garment that is extremely versatile? I made just that! This long robe can be worn as a dress, be thrown over a bikini at the beach or compliment a simple top and jeans or shorts. Or even just as a robe when getting out of bed in the morning. 
The colours of this Lady McElroy Fabric are just to die for. I knew I had to have it when I saw it online.
When the postman delivered the package with this fabric I immediately started pre-planning my sewing project. I had an idea in my head and translated that on my Pinterest Robe board. Like I do very often.
Then I tried something that I haven’t before: I pre-styled my outfit. I took out my jeans, shoes, accessories and another fabric for a silk top. So I could see if the different pieces were a match….and they were! I am definitely doing this pre-styling more in the future.
A robe styled piece was on my to sew list (and it still is in a shorter version...I’m never done... ;)). I imagined that this fabric would be ideal for it. Especially for a summer version! Light and airy.
I used a pattern for a simple robe and adjusted the pattern by adding an overlay in the front and widening the sleeves by simply drawing them wider. This made my pattern just like Vogue 9253. So if you want to make this as well you could easily use this pattern. 
While sewing I enjoyed the colours so much! The blue matches the blue of my wall and the orange of the flowers just made me smile. Just my kind of vibrant colours and perfect for the summer.
The fabric is a cotton poplin dress fabric and perfectly suitable for a (lined) summer dress or blouse and obviously a robe. The fabric doesn’t fray but I serged it anyway with a combination of different colours, just love a neat finish. The hem I just folded in, so didn’t serge that. Pinning and ironing this fabric went very well. So the finished garment has a very neat look.
The robe is closed by a belt made out of the same fabric. The loops are placed in the side seams. For an optimal closure I added some smaller straps. One piece on the inside of the right side seam and another piece on the inside of the left front. By tying this before closing with the belt, I make sure if worn as a dress the closure is well tight. 
I can’t wait to wear it on holiday. We picked a warm destination. I picture myself on a terrace by the pool ever so casually throwing my robe over my bikini sipping a cocktail or strolling along the lively boulevard in the evening…Bring it on!
Thanks for reading!
If you want to see more of my makes, you'll find them and loads of sew-inspiration on my Instagram account. See you there!
Cheers,
Marlies
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The Holiday Trinity!

Hi Sewists! I’m Andrew, this flamingo Cotton Poplin Fabric really caught my eye and I’m so glad to have got hold of some of it! You see, I work as a hairdresser and we have to wear black clothes. Since I’ve been sewing my own clothes I’ve been pushing that boundary to include black-based-fabrics. I could definitely get away with a shirt like this at work in the summer!

The fabric arrived quickly. It pre washed well, ironed crisply and the colours are just as rich and vibrant. I used the Bernie shirt pattern from the La Maison Victor magazine. It has short sleeves, a back pleat and a really cool little collar.

The beauty of a nice crisp design like this is pattern matching. To match the pocket, I traced the design from the front of the shirt onto the pocket pattern piece. (I use an iron-away pen so that I can use the same pattern piece next time.) Then I use the pocket template to find the part of the fabric that I need.

The one downside to a well structured cotton is that it can be tricky to ease in the sleeves without creating puckers. To avoid this, I run a line of stitching, inside the seam allowance, over the sleeve head. I hold my finger tight behind the presser foot so that the fabric bunches up behind. This creates a sort-of concertina effect making it much easier to ease the sleeve in. You can see the curve of the shoulder already forming in the photo below.

The short sleeve is really short on this pattern, and I wanted a nice turned cuff. This is the easiest method I know for finishing a cuff and I love the look of it too. I fold the hem up to the wrong side by 4cm. Press it then fold again at 4cm. Make sure the raw edge is exactly inside the fold.

Stitch it from the wrong side just 5mm from the edge. This catches the raw edge in the fold and you can flip the cuff down and press it into place.

This shirt is drafted with a straight hem, which I was looking forward to sewing for a change. I usually use bias binding on my curved hems nowadays as it’s much easier and neater than trying to keep a double-fold even. But with the straight edge, this was going to be a breeze… until I caught one of the pieces under the blade of my overlocker! Thankfully it was not too deep and right where the hem would have curved anyway, so I cut the other side to match - crisis averted!

They’ll see me coming in this!

This fabric is only 112cm/ 44” wide, so I got 3m for a shirt. This is generous to start with and as I ended up making a short sleeve, I had a reasonable bit of fabric left over. If I was really careful I could maybe squeeze out a couple more pieces…

Please welcome the #HolidayTrinity… kicking off with the Bernie Shirt…

The Elbe Bucket Hat (free pattern)

And some self drafted shorts…

The cotton poplin is perfect for hot weather. Now I’m not quite sure which came first, the holiday booking or the outfit… but either way, I got to wear it pretty quickly! I couldn’t wait to team it up with my new flamingo T-shirt and here I am at Queen Hatshepsut‘s temple in Luxor - there was no chance of me getting lost from the group!

Thanks for reading. If you want to see more of my makes you can find me on Instagram @sewandrew or my blog SewAndrew.com

Happy sewing!

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Love Cadbury Purple

It didn’t take much thinking about how I would use this lovely Crepe Fabric from Minerva.

Style Arc has a lovely tunic style – Rae Tunic – that has shoulder split seam you can include or not.

This fabric is perfect for this top. It’s light-weight. It has great drape. It’s not see-through. It’s very affordable. You only need a cute button to finish off this tunic!

This style also has a curved hemline and is loose so it’s such an easy top to wear when it’s hot and humid, like it is in Australia at the moment.

The only adjustment I made was the length. You can see from this stripe fabric that it’s a tad too long for my height.

The pattern does state the centre back length is 72cm so you can see why I folded out 8cm out of the pattern length.

There is still plenty of length to cover my behind.

The fabric is floaty and doesn’t take much to iron.

Once washed, this fabric dries quickly. This fabric comes in a huge colour range so you can definitely find the colour you’re looking for.

When I chose this fabric to test I really loved the range of colours but I really wanted this purple because it stands out so well with white. This colour is fabulous worn any time of year but in my case I really wanted a strong Summer colour.

I wore the test version to the office to test out the sleeves. The split sleeve feature is noticeable but not glaringly office. I love that once this trend ends, you can still use this tunic style without the sleeve split.

This was the first Style Arc pattern I used so I had to make the test version first. I make test versions to ensure the pattern fits well when I cut more expensive fabric.

In this case I wanted to see what the Style Arc instructions were like. They are easy to follow and there really isn’t much you can get wrong sewing up this style.

This is a great fabric that compliments Rae tunic pattern.

Thanks for reading,

Maria @ velosews

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Swingy Raglan Dress

Hey all! I always love a chance to sew with linen, and I'm glad to be sharing my this swingy raglan dress that I made recently with this people print Linen & Viscose Challis Fabric.

Swingy Raglan Dress: Burda 3-2013-113

Total confession here: I'm really slow about using patterns. Such was the case with this little gem from the March 2013 issue of Burda. I swear I got to this one 6 years after the fact because I could never find the right fabric. It needs a lighter weight fabric but one that has good body too. This linen/viscose challis is absolutely perfect as would be any of Minerva's Challis Fabrics.

Cool Design and also Short Torsos

Fitting is a funny thing. Proportionally, my torso is long on my short 159ish cm frame. Even so, I end up shortening most jackets and almost always dress bodices. I believe Burdas are drafted for a 168cm height, so this makes sense .

Knowing this, I did make a muslin of this dress from another challis that I had on hand. I'll finish the hem when it warms up here in Colorado. I may end up taking off the skirt and shortening the bodice before I finish it. In total, I ended up shortening the dress by a whopping 15cm. 2.5cm came off the bodice and the rest from the hem.

I do really love all the design details on this pattern. There really is a whole lot going on with this dress. Let's list it out:

  • front and back princess seams
  • center front vertical gathers
  • raglan lines on a gathered hem sleeve
  • slight v-neck with ties

The weight of the linen/viscose is absolutely perfect for all of the gathered elements.

French Seams and Swingy Hems

I finished off the insides completely with french seams. The fabric is light enough for it, and linen doesn't serge well.

The only tricky bit of this dress was the hem. A big portion of the skirt is on the bias, so I hung it overnight to let it settle. And settle it did, with some pretty lumpy parts dipping far below the regular hemline everywhere else. Usually I'm good at being able to mark these things on my own. This time, it was impossible for me to do it, even with a dress form.

I resorted to husband help. In grand dramatic fashion he exclaimed that he was going to stab himself with pins in an attempt to help me out. Of course, he did a perfectly fine job pinning in level. No husbands were harmed in the hemming of this dress!

A True Popover Dress

I sincerely hate side zippers, so I decided to forego this one. The head hole is rather large enough, and this isn't a super fitted style.

It's super comfy. This dress even meets my absolute gold standard of being a woven garment I can play violin in. My violin students have been seeing a lot of this dress in the last couple weeks!

After this dress, I will definitely be looking again at the couple lengths of viscose challis in my stash!  I'm super looking forward to the spring and summer when I can swap my boots for these coral wedges! 

Many thanks to Minerva for providing this lovely linen and thank you all for reading!

~Elizabeth, Elizabeth Made This

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A Very Groovy Kew Dress

I am dabbling in a very different era of vintage (for my own style) today. I am usually more of a first half of the 20th century kind of vintage/retro enthusiast but this project has taken me a bit further into the future to the 1960s/70s.

I had been eyeing up this gorgeous Lady McElroy Cotton Lawn Fabric for a while so I was over the moon when I got the opportunity to create a dress from it for the Minerva Crafts blog. It’s the most gorgeous floral print and the colours are just to die for. When I first saw it I wasn’t aware of the scale of the print and thought it was smaller. But now there is a video on a lot of the fabric listings on the website which I find super helpful.

Anyways, as soon as I saw the fabric in the flesh I thought 1960s/70s hippies and flower power all the way. And I also knew instantly that I wanted this to be a maxi dress, I just needed to pick the right pattern.

I have recently branched out from the big four pattern companies to independent sewing patterns and OMG!!! I am so in love. My first indie pattern I ever made was the Nina Lee Kew Dress and I absolutely love it. After having made the shirt dress version before I wanted to make the strappy sun dress version at some point too. So I thought why not do a little pattern hacking and turn this into my 1970s floral sun dress of my dreams?

I didn’t need to do much to the pattern itself to create the style I wanted. I like the neckline, button front and strap position. The straps are wide enough and placed perfectly to hide bra straps. So all I did is lengthen the skirt, following the cutting lines to the desired length all the way around. The original pattern has a high-low hem so keep that in mind when lengthening and measure from the waist down. Otherwise you might end up with a train… unless that’s what you are going for.

I also decided to line the dress. The material is a cotton lawn and slightly sheer in bright sunlight. I am planning to wear this on holiday and hopefully in the summer (fingers crossed we get one here in the UK).

To line it, I cut the bodice pieces and skirt pieces out of navy Lining Fabric I only cut the skirt panels for the short skirt and levelled them to the shortest length. That way the dress won’t be too warm in the end. I assembled the dress and lining and then basted the layers wrong sides together. After that I handled both layers of fabric as one layer (the main fabric) and sewed the facings on.

I decided to use Poppers instead of buttons on this dress. I did that on my fist ever version, too. I love using poppers, especially on garments that ask for a lot of buttons. For one they are quick and easy to do, they come in a variety of fun colours and they don’t require any button holes. My machine likes to challenge me sometimes on button holes and I didn’t want to risk any messy button hole issues on this beauty. I used a combination of apple green and dark turquoise as both colours are to be found in the print. I also thought having two colour is more fun than just one.

I am super happy with this dress. I think it’s a great style showing off the print beautifully. The large scale print really needs to be shown off by turning it into a big(ish) dress. Now I need to find a big floppy hat and someone who can put some Farrah Fawcett waves in my hair and I’m good to go and join Charlies Angels.

Until then I will be my Charlie’s Angel. He wanted to be part of the “photo shoot”, too.

My best flower power styling….too much?

Thank you very much for reading. I hope to see you soon.

Until then you can find me on Instagram @beatricewinter

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Liverpool Jersey Kielo Wrap Dress

My latest make is the Named Clothing Kielo Wrap Dress in Navy Liverpool Jersey Fabric. Now, if, like me, you had never heard of Liverpool Jersey, let me try and explain it; it has a very loose waffly, crepe style texture. It feels quite sustancial and definitely high quality, with a bit more substance and bounce than a casual jersey. I would definitely say it was a bit more dressy for either work or evening wear. 
The Kielo Wrap Dress seems to suit everyone and I have seen so many people making them and having made one recently, I cannot believe that I have left it as long as I have before I made one. This will be my second and I made some changes. I made the dress knee-length instead of full length as I do not get as much use out of full length dresses. I also included sleeves and lowered the darts by about an inch and a half, which I would recommended to anyone trying this pattern who has a fuller bust.
Using this fabric was a pleasure, it does not have as much movement as other jerseys so cutting out was quite easy, though the pattern is quite fabric hungry and although I had two metres of fabric, I only just made it and I had to cut the ties in two pieces rather than on the fold. The fabric is quite bouncy and needs quite a few pins to secure it, for example, the dress requires darts at the back and I would not usually use many pins on darts, but I had to use quite a few to lay it flat. When pressing the darts in place, the iron needed a low setting as a hot iron made the fabric quite shiny. I also chose to stabilise the shoulder seams as the fabric is quite heavy, so I used some blue ribbon and caught it against the shoulder seams to do this. 
I ran up the ties, again this is something that I would use limited pins on but the fabric did move quite a bit and I needed lots of pins, which is a pain along a long length like this for a sewer with limited patience! Once these two tricky bits are complete, its a quick sew from the sleeves the pivot point and to the point to the hem. Then you hem it and it is complete!
I love this make, the drape of this jersey is exactly what is needed for a dress like this and the crepe texture makes it feel quite smart and dressy. I hope you like it too. 
Thanks for reading,

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