Posted in Product Reviews on Saturday the 2nd December 2017 by Vicki Ormerod
Every shop I go into on the high street at the moment has either a sparkly dress, top or even cushion made of mermaid fabric. Mermaid Fabric is a wonderful creation of two tone sequined fabric which brushed one way creates one colour and the other to create another. For this project, I am using silver and pink but there is so many other choices on the Minerva site!
Here’s my five reasons that I really enjoyed using it –
1. It Cuts Really Easy
The fabric is a knitted fabric backing with a little stretch with a sequined front. I found that when cutting as the backing is so light I was just cutting the sequins. I would recommend cutting on a work surface (as I did) or a cutting mat and having a vacuum on hand to vac up all the broken sequins as you go.
2. It’s Lightweight To Work With
I was surprised with this one, the fabric was lovely and floaty to work with. I recommend making sure that all the sequins go in one way as you work then they will not get stuck in your sewing machine or you will loose a pin in the construction of the fabric. I’ve used it as a waistband on Miss.L’s dress but it would beautiful as a cape to really show off the drapablity of the fabric or as a homeware banner as you can literally write or add a design into the sequins. It’s like magic.
3. It Pins
Would you believe that I could use dressmaking pins on this fabric? I was amazed I could and it wasn’t a chore to pin the fabric. A little win here on that process.
4. It Sews Easily
I put a 90 needle in my machine expecting to need a 100 but I was so surprised it sewed easily. I used the cotton fabric as the under fabric to guide it though my feed dogs. My sewing machines liked it and I saved the time I’d planned in for fishing sequins out the machine. A real joy to stitch.
5. You Can Team It Up With Most Fabrics
Because it has a theatrical and drapey feel, you can pair it up with most fabrics in small pieces. Once you get to a piece over half a metre long it starts to get very heavy but small pieces such as appliqué, waistbands, shoulder straps can be teamed up with anything from a wool, denim or in my case a medium weight cotton.
A few tips I picked up whilst making up Miss L’s party dress –
Be careful where you put the mermaid fabric on your dress, we went around the high street looking at dresses and decided on the mermaid waistband. It is a very touchable fabric and very fun, but wearing a whole top or a skirt wouldn’t be advised, you might get the wrong sort of attention if you know what I’m saying. It would great on shoulder straps or waistbands.
Always brush it one way to sew, use a 90 needle and sew with a contrast fabric underneath to be kind to your feed dogs.
My next project is an appliqué cushion, it’s a very fun and addictive fabric to work with especially when I have a mermaid obsessed little girl!
Thank-you to Minerva Crafts for giving me the opportunity to sew with such a usual fabric! What would you sew?
Samantha hosts vintage craft parties and workshops at www.crafternoonteahostess.co.uk
Posted in Projects on Thursday the 30th November 2017 by Vicki Ormerod
24 fussy cut stockings from this adorable, cute dog christmas fabric, makes this the prefect item to come out year after year, ready to be filled with a dog biscuit, or even a candy cane for the kids…
- Half a metre of the dog Christmas Print Fabric in blue
- Half a metre of the dog Christmas Fabric in grey
- 1 metre of Christmas Noel Hearts Fabric in silver
- 1.5 metres of Iron on Fusible Wadding
- Gutermann Metallic Thread in gold, silver and red
- 3 metres of dark green Bias Binding
- 2.5 metres of 1cm wide and 2.5 metres of 2cm wide Silver Metallic Ribbon
Cutting (Fussy Cut Alert!):
Using a stocking template measuring 13 cms at its longest point:
- 24 in grey dog fabric
- 24 in blue dog fabric
Using the same stocking template, but making it ¼” smaller all the way round.
24 in the wadding – 12 in each direction.
Note: The wadding is ¼” smaller than the fabric template.
- Iron-away marker pen
- Quilters ruler, rotary cutter/scissors
- Templates for stocking
- Basic sewing supplies
Finished size of advent calendar: 52”x 88”
Making the Advent Calendar
Let’s create the stockings… once you have fussy cut them all out, iron-fuse the wadding to 12 of the blue, and 12 of the grey dog fabric.
Take the 1 cm silver ribbon and cut 24 lengths measuring 10 cms each, make a loop and sandwich between a grey and blue stocking (right sides together) – see photo below for ribbon positioning.
Sew around the edge of the wadding, but NOT along the top.
Make small snips on the curves.
Turn right way out, use a chopstick or end of paintbrush to push the curves out. Fold the top of the stocking inside and top stitch – see photo below.
Repeat this process another 23 times – I promise you, they come together quite quickly…
Take your piece of silver christmas noel hearts and cut two pieces measuring 50 cm x 86 cm, and one piece of wadding measuring the same, fuse the wadding to one piece of the silver fabric, and place the other piece facing up ontop of the wadding.
Take the silver glitter ribbon, cut into 4 lengths, measuring 56cms each, fold in half, and using a red and gold thread – zig-zag all the way along, thread 6 stocking along each length of ribbon and pin to each edge of the main piece of fabric (1st point is 10cms from the top, then every 15cms after this).
Sew on your bias binding, making sure you catch the silver glitter ribbon on the edges.
Hand-sew the bias binding on to the reverse of the advent calendar.
Arrange your stockings along the length of the ribbon and sew with a few whip stitches through all layers on the silver ribbon to hold in place. I also added a dot of glue on the toe of the stocking to hold them in place, but this is optional…
Add two small loops using the small silver ribbon at the top left and right corners, to hang up your advent calendar.
Fill each stocking with a dog biscuit, or candy cane for the kids.
Thanks for reading,
Michelle @ creativeblonde
Posted in Guest Posts on Thursday the 30th November 2017 by Vicki Ormerod
I am back with another product testing for the lovely team from Minerva Crafts.
On the Minerva Crafts shop the fabric is described as...
‘Fabulous quality Prada crepe suiting fabric. Self satin lined with a slight one way stretch across the width of the fabric. Because this fabric has a matt and shiny side, you can use either or a combination of both textures to create dramatic effects. This fabric is PU coated and both anti static and anti click, ensuring the highest quality for special garments. Beautifully soft with a lovely drape, perfect for jackets, dresses, skirts, trousers, waistcoats and more!’
It comes in 11 colours: aubergine, beige, black, cerise pink, dusky pink, ivory, jade, purple, red, royal blue and teal.
Originally I wanted to make a jump suit which needed 2.5 m of fabric. However later I changed my mind, but by then I already had the fabric. So although I would have made the maxi version, I had to make do with what I had. Being a kimono type bodice, I shortened to bodice in the sleeve area by 3 cm (this is a usual adjustment for me) and the skirt by 20 cm from the bottom of the hem to reduce the bulk of the skirt. This way my skirt is about knee length not as intended on the pattern on the top of the calf.
Before cutting into my fabric, which slips a little bit, I washed the fabric as I would with the finished garment. Then I tested my marking tools on a scrap of fabric. Originally used water erasable to mark it, but did not start to sew straight away. In one day the markings were gone. So I tested several types of marking tools on it. The best was the water erasable pen that stayed on for me to actually make my dress.
The fabric is surprisingly easy to sew with. Though it has drape, due to the crepe it’s quite stable. So it looks luxurious and easy to work with. Darts and pleats went in quite easy.
I did finish the raw edges of the seams as I constructed the dress. Some seams I left unfinished as I knew they would be hidden into the facings or turned over twice into a hem. Other edges I finished separately as they were to be pressed open. The fabric frays a little, not too much, but if you like your insides to be pretty as well, I think it is worth thinking about finishing the raw edges.
On many occasions I prefer thread tracing my hems, press and sew. I hurried through the thread tracing and the line was not straight. I suggest if you use the same technique to go slower on this part, the fabric tends to slide a bit when sewing on one layer, I found.
Once I put the dress on and looked at the back, I realised I chose the wrong type of zipper for this fabric. I decided to go for a normal zip. However the fabric is a bit to heavy and now think an invisible zip would have worked better. I just don’t fancy taking out the current one and replacing it.
Although when on the flat the zip is not exposed when I wear it I can see it. Good thing it’s in the back and with my hair I can hide it, which means I can leave with it.
As I felt there was a bit to much shine I used the wrong side of the fabric to make the sash. And to make it a bit different, without using a different fabric.
Though I shortened the bodice, when I tried the dress on, I felt that the V neck is way too indecent. And I’ll never dare wear the dress in public with a V neck that goes almost all the way to my waist. I thought that my modesty needs to be saved and hand stitched closed the centre seam by about 15cm.
Yes you can see my handiwork on the inside, but nothing is visible on the right side.
Although not all went to plan I do like my dress, and for now I’ll wear it with my hair falling on my back to hide the zipper mistake.
Here are my tips for working with Prada Crepe:
Though it does not look it, it is a heavier fabric. So think about what patterns work best with it and how many layers you need to sew. In my case the waist and the ties added a bit too much bulk.
Test your marking tools. Some water erasable pens disappear after a while.
Think about the closures you want to use. I think invisible zips are more suited for this type of fabric.
As the fabric slides a little, I found thread tracing your hems helps. But go slow when sewing as this fabric seems to slide a bit more when sewing on one layer.
We would love to hear and see what you make if you use this fabric. Please share your makes with us. Tag @minervacrafts on Instagram and @minervafabrics on Twitter.
Like always, thank you so much for taking the time to read my review and happy shopping!
Posted in Guest Posts on Wednesday the 29th November 2017 by Vicki Ormerod
Hi guys! I’m super excited to be sharing a make here on the Minerva Crafts blog. I usually post over at Lucky Sew and Sew and it’s nice to take a little detour (who doesn’t love an adventure, right?).
I’ll be sharing with you my most favourite make in a long time. You know, one of those makes that just feels so totally you? This is one of those. It’s me all over.
I’ve recently started to sew more consciously, a really think about my sews in a more direct way. I rarely buy any clothes from the High Street these days and that’s due to a few facts. Firstly, fast fashion doesn’t appeal to me. I don’t want to feel the need to change my entire wardrobe every season. I’d much rather have a much more well-rounded wardrobe that can mix and match for every season. Secondly, I can’t guarantee that the workers who make the garments for these fast fashion chains are being paid a fair wage. Lastly, I like the challenge of taking inspiration from a fashion label, and seeing how much cheaper I can make my own version for. A massive plus point is that I can then guarantee that my me-made garments are being made with love and fuelled by coffee and biscuits, which is a bonus!
One of my favourite brands to lust over is Toast. I love literally everything from Toast so much. They have a very utilitarian, work wear, androgynous vibe that I totally dig. One of the things they do so well is the cord work jacket. Coming in usually around the £150 mark, this is one of those items that will always be in my online basket and not in my wardrobe.
So, I decided I’d try and make my own version! I searched for jacket patterns and stumbled across the Tello Jacket Sewing Pattern by Pauline and Alice, which was perfect for the look I was going for. I hadn’t used a Pauline and Alice pattern before so I was excited to try it.
For the fabric, I went for a stunning Needlecord Fabric in Teal, which I required 2m of. Unfortunately the teal colourway has now sold out, but there are plenty more Needlecord Fabrics to choose from at Minerva. I think this would also look lovely in black too, or a gorgeous denim. The needlecord has a lovely feel to it, with a good stable drape -perfect for my work wear jacket!
The pattern comes in a lovely card packet which has it’s own Pauline and Alice ribbon tag included inside for you to sew into your make. The pattern is printed on a thicker paper than other patterns I’ve used, so it would be great for tracing your pattern size from if you weren’t cut throat like me and just ruthlessly cut into it. The instructions come in a little booklet with lots of diagrams and also has other languages included. I loved the whole presentation of the pattern, the best pattern aesthetically that I’ve come across and I really dig the instruction booklet. Much easier to use than loose bits of paper which are easy to lose and a pain to re-fold!
The jacket itself isn’t lined, but it does have facings. There’s no interfacing to iron on either which makes me fall for this pattern even more. I love the little details that all add to the finished result. The back elbows are darted and topstitched, the pockets are topstitched too, as well as the back seam. All of those little finishing touches I really enjoy taking my time over. I made sure I pressed all of the seams well to get a nice crisp finish, and I used a bamboo point turner to make sure the edges on the collar are nice and crisp also.
There were certain aspects of the pattern that I was a little nervous about sewing. The zippered pocket for instance, and the button holes. In hindsight, there was absolutely nothing to worry about at all, and by just slowing down and concentrating on each step in the instructions, there were no hiccups at all along the way – a first for me!
The fabric was a dream to sew. I hardly had to use any pins when sewing because the nap of the needlecord pretty much stuck the fabric pieces together, so that only aided time-wise on this already speedy sew. I didn’t altar the pattern at all, and the sleeves are a little long on me. But really I didn’t mind as I prefer to roll the sleeves up anyway. Overall, the fit is spot on.
I am totally in love with this jacket. Like, really in love. My husband was so impressed when he saw it that he asked me how much I paid for it because thought it was actually from Toast! When I told him that I had made it myself, he was not only relieved that I hadn’t paid £150 for a jacket, but also really proud of me for making something that looks so professionally finished, by myself. I can’t take all the credit for that though, it’s all the finishing touches that have been so thoughtfully included in the pattern that add to the finished affect. But the star of the show is the fabric by far. It makes the jacket, it really does. It looks and feels like it could be jacket that costs hundreds of pounds, but the fabric cost less than a tenner for the whole thing!
The fabric, finishing touches and timelessness of this jacket have cemented this make as not only my favourite current make, but also a make that I’m sure will last the test of time – construction-wise and style-wise.
The supplies for this jacket (fabric, buttons, zip and pattern too) came in at under £30. Less than £30! For this dream jacket that I probably eventually would have paid £150 for, for a similar one at some point. However, instead of buying a jacket, I had the pleasure of sewing one, and will get the recurring pleasure of telling everyone who will listen for years to come, that I made this beautiful garment myself – for less than £30! That’s a me-made wardrobe win!
Thanks for reading!
Carly @ Lucky Sew and Sew
Posted in Product Reviews on Tuesday the 28th November 2017 by Vicki Ormerod
I was lucky enough to get to review the Mermaid Sequin Fabric from Minerva Crafts this month. This stuff is mesmerising; stroke it one way and you get one colour of sparkles, stroke it the other and it changes. Or just do what my children do, and make pictures in it!
I was sent some of the blue/silver combination and it’s gorgeous. I was surprised by quite how soft it feels, I kind of expected the sequins to have hard edges and feel uncomfortable as they are obviously not all always lying in the same direction, but it just isn’t the case.
Having been subjected to far too many adverts on children’s TV channels, I decided when the fabric arrived to do a blatant copy of some cushions I’d seen advertised. The theory on the advert was that children would sit and concentrate better if they were playing with something soothing; I just liked the idea of sparkly cushions!
To make the cushions, I cut a square of the sequins the same size as my cushion inner (which was 16” square). I was not entirely sure that the sequins alone would stand up to the wear and tear on a cushion, particularly one designed to be played with, so I cut a matching square of muslin and hand stitched the two together well within the seam allowances. I then treated the combined piece as a single item.
For the reverse of the cushions, I used some off white Fake Fur Fabric; why not go for full on tactile while you’re at it?
I started with inserting the zip; I marked the zip length on the wrong side of the fabric, ensuring that length was centred, and then stitched from the corner to the mark on the machine. I used a heavier needle (a 100) and it coped fine with the sequins and fur. I also kept the speed down low so it wasn’t trying to race through the fabric.
If the machine had struggled, I would have removed the sequins from the seam allowance, but it was absolutely fine. From previous experience, I would be very loathe to use the overlocker on this stuff, I just stuck to my normal sewing machine and a slightly longer stitch length than usual.
I then hand tacked the zip to the wrong side of the fabric, checked the appearance from the right side and machine sewed it in. Leaving the zip open, I then sewed the other three sides of each cushion, right sides together, turned them out and inserted the cushion pad.
I’m absolutely thrilled with the finished cushions. They look so fun and both my daughters and my husband are mesmerised by them; there currently seems to be a deal that at least one of them will “draw” something in the sequinned fabric before they leave the house each morning.
The cat, however, is less than thrilled; every slight movement near the cushions causes them to sparkle and she’s desperate to find the source of the ever changing light patterns!
I have a little bit of sparkle left so I’m now in search of the perfect party top or skirt pattern to use for the remnants; it’s just too pretty to waste!
Becca @ Red W Sews
Posted in Special Offers on Monday the 27th November 2017 by Vicki Ormerod
Posted in Projects on Monday the 27th November 2017 by Vicki Ormerod
Stunning Christmas table decoration for the home…
Traditional Christmas fabrics, makes this the perfect centrepiece for the table at Christmas lunch – just add a candle.
1 metre of green Reindeer Christmas Fabric
1 metre of red Snowflake Christmas Fabric
1 metre of Lightweight Interfacing
36 Sparkly Snowflake Gems
12 6” green squares
12 6” red squares
12 5” squares of interlining
Haberdashery items (All available at Minerva)
Iron-away Marker Pen
Quilters Ruler, Rotary Cutter/Scissors
Dresden Plate Template
Basic Sewing Supplies
Finished size of table wreath: 17” diameter
Once all your green squares have been fussy cut, iron on the interfacing to the wrong side, in the centre of the fabric, repeat this for all 12 squares.
Take the red and green fabric squares, and with right sides together, sew using ¼” seam all the way round. Don’t forget to leave 2” gap along one edge for turning the squares right way out.
Once turned right way out, press and ladder stitch up the gap with a white cotton thread. Repeat this process for all 12 squares.
Take your Dresden Template, and mark along each edge using your ‘iron away’ pen, then stitch along this mark using the metallic gold thread, repeat this process on all 12 squares.
Take two squares and with red sides together, sew along your stitched Dresden plate seam, repeat this process until all 12 blocks are joined together.
Using the metallic gold thread, hand sew with a ¼” over lap the red tops.
For a special touch – well it is Christmas… using a glue gun, add sparkly snowflake gems on the inner and outer tips, and where the red tops were joined.
The table wreath is a real show piece with the candle lit.
Here is what the back looks like...
And here are some photos of the finished piece...
Thanks for reading,
x creativeblonde x
Posted in Special Offers on Sunday the 26th November 2017 by Vicki Ormerod
Posted in Projects on Sunday the 26th November 2017 by Vicki Ormerod
When the prada self lined stretch Crepe Fabric first arrived I was so pleased with the colour. With the festive season rapidly approaching I wanted to make a dress that would be suitable for Christmas parties. The fabric has a dark red matt right side, and then a super shiny satin wrong side. You could use either side of the fabric as your right side, or even use both sides as a way to highlight different panels or interesting construction of a pattern. To show off the fabric and the difference on both sides I knew I wanted to make a fancy party dress with a high-low hem, so that you would get flashes of the satin side, but with the deep red matt side being the right side throughout.
I found the Mccalls 6953 Sewing Pattern, which has an option for a high-low hem, and a contrast band. I altered the pattern so that it had no contrast band, but added approx. 6 inches to the shorten/lengthen lines, to make up for the length I lost by not including the bottom band. I wanted to have a dress that was suitable for quite fancy parties (now I just need to find a fancy-pants party to go to!) and didn't want to risk it being too short, after all you can always take length off, but you can't add it! I had 3m of the fabric, and the pattern calls for nearly 3m plus an extra 2m for the contrast band, so I was pushing my luck trying to add all that length and still get it all on. I pride myself in being able to fit a dress out of less than the requirements, and although there wasn't a lot left I just about managed to squeeze it on.
I washed this fabric on a normal 30 degree wash, and it washed beautifully. The fabric didn't fray much at all, and I decided to finish all my seams with just pinking shears which turned out fine. I worried that this fabric would be quite difficult to sew with, but it was super easy and stable to sew. I did use a Microtex Needle, and some Silk Pins to ensure that I didn't damage the fabric - I didn't want to put all this effort into sewing a party dress for it to get ruined. I did have to unpick a few seams here and there and the fabric has held up well to being unpicked and re-sewn (in one particular place I've probably unpicked and re-sewn the seam about 5 times and it's not at all noticeable).
I made a size 18 (I’m a size 12 RTW) based upon the finished measurements, but it came out huge everywhere apart from the waist. I sewed it up with fairly large seams, and then spent a morning fitting the bodice, with someone to help me pin the excess out.
The dress also was more than full length (I'm 5ft 3) and the back ended up dragging on the floor, so I took approx. 5 inches off the back blending to 3 inches off the front. The skirt hem is then finished with a very narrow rolled hem (there was no way I was going to be hand sewing a hem that long!), and I've kept it super neat because it’s such a feature of the dress.
The pattern calls for the bodice to be fully lined, but seeing as this fabric is self-lined that seemed like an awful waste of time, so I used a Bias Binding finish on the neck and the arms.
I was very, very, very, careful when using an iron anywhere near this fabric, as I don't think it would handle a high heat. I used a low heat, I moved the iron constantly and didn't use steam. I haven't damaged the fabric using this method, although it does mean it took an awful long time to iron the hem as I had to go over it 4 or 5 times to get it nice and flat.
I'm super impressed with just how easily the fabric sewed up, and how stable it was. It didn't stretch or shift at all whilst sewing, and I think it has led to a really neat finish.
I love this dress, I can't wait to wear it out at fancy-pants parties - and if I don't get invited to any of those, I’ll just be lounging around my house, perhaps with a cocktail in hand, wearing this dress because I love it so much!