Hi, my name is Malin and I usually hang out on my sewing Instagram account, Bygousheh. In this review for Minerva Craft I got to try out a Stretch Crepe Fabric in Teal. The fabric is woven and 100% polyester. The thing that appealed to me first was the color. I love teal and this is teal heaven!
I had high expectations when the fabric arrived in my mailbox, and I was not disappointed. I was happy about the texture because it was lightweight and had lots of drape. It was perfect for the dress I had in mind. The stretch is a great feature. And the teal color looked really lovely although it was a little darker than it appeared on my computer.
I pre-washed the fabric using the instructions on the webpage. It didn’t have any creases when I took it out from the washer. I do recommend you use softener on this fabric, at least in cold weather. I didn’t and had some issues with static electricity.
Minerva recommend that you order 10% extra for shrinkage to be on the safe side. I ordered 3 meters. I measured the fabric pre-wash and it was 3,16 meters (thank you Minerva, I love companies that do that) and after washing it was 3,10 meters, that’s only a 2% shrinkage.
As a test, I heated the iron to max and pressed on a bit of left over fabric. The fabric did “melt” a little, shrunk and hardened a bit. When pressing and ironing the fabric, I found that having the iron hot but with a damp pressing cloth protecting the fabric was the best way to go. I didn’t think I got a good press with low heat on the iron.
I decided to try out a pattern from the Sew over It ebook “From work to weekend”. I have reviewed another fabric with a pattern from this ebook, but when I saw the crepe fabric on the webpage, I thought it screamed “the Dana”. This turned out to be a match made in heaven since the Dana is perfect for this fabric!
The fabric was really easy to work with. It´s drapey but it isn´t slippery, so cutting, pinning and sewing was pretty straight forward. It isn´t too stretchy, but the stretch was great when hemming the Dana dress, because the hem is curved.
As always, I altered the pattern a little. First of all, I graded it from a size 12 on top to a size 14 at the bottom because The Dana dress shape is quite straight and I didn’t want it to cling to my pear shaped bum.
The second thing I did is that I lengthened it 8 cm. Now I´m not sure I really needed to do that, I think it would have looked absolutely fine in the right length. I also lenghened the sleeve by 2 cm because my arms is a little longer than standard.
Finally I french seamed the enitre dress. I love how it looks from the inside with neat french seems, but I also think it´s good for drapey fabrics since you sew every seem twice. You end up with a garment that keeps the shape a little better. If you haven´t tried french seams, please do! There are great tutorials out there.
If you would like to copy my make (please let me know if you do, I would love to see it!) I must say that printing out the instructions and having them on paper is not what Sew Over It intended! The pictures come out way to small and it is really hard to see anything on the white fabric with black flowers that they chose to use. Since I always use printed instructions (my Ipad is for the Netflix movies I watch while sewing) I am all for the patterns from Sew over It with illustrations instead of pictures.
One thing that was a little tricky about the construction was finishing the neckline and front placket. I think I needed more instruction and more pictures making this part, and was a little bit surprised, as Sew over it usually have detailed instructions. It was a mess for a while, but after a little trial and error I was back on track.
I hope that I got you interested in the Stretch Crepe fabric! I love my Dana Dress, I think it´s really versatile and you can style it up of down. Wear it to work or out to dinner. The fabric works great with the pattern and I think the teal is quite flattering on my, not so tanned, skin. Since its 100% poly it´s also great for travelling, since you can´t crease it even if you want to! But, as I pointed out earlier in the review, use a softener if you live in a cold climate, otherwise it will cling to your bum, even if yours isn’t pear shaped :)
This fabric would also be perfect for flowy skirts, kimono jackets and drapy tops. Go in and take a look, you won´t be sorry!
Come and say hello on my Instagram, hope to see you soon!
Malin Gousheh from ByGousheh
I’m not sure how to describe this Fabric except that I loved being out of my comfort zone.
I decided to go back in time and finally make the blouse in Simplicity 2154. This fabric gave off a retro feel so I chose this 1960s style top.
I could have just as easily made a flowy long sleeve top but the Summer weather can get hot so I’ve already worn this blouse a couple of time.
Take a closer look at the neckline.
It has a soft collar and the bow is only tied at the centre front seam.
This fabric is soft and drapy so I was thrilled to finally make the blouse in Simplicity 2154.
The colours in this print are just a sweet ad this blouse is and it’s all due to the fabric.
This fabric only need a cool to warm iron and it washes and dries quickly.
This pattern uses bias cut armhole pieces and they sit so nicely for a smooth armhole finish.
I used a few different chalk marking tools on this fabric and they stayed on while I need these references. The chalk markings brushed off quickly once I finished matching notches and sewing darts.
The other fun part about this print is that you only need to pattern match the largest ‘swish’ around the body. In the case of this blouse, I matched the largest swish at my hips.
Some of the swishes were consistent across the centre back seam and I enjoyed the challenge of trying to line the swishes up.
All the colours in this print make it work with a few dark pieces in my work wardrobe so this project has been brilliant!
I hope you enjoy using this fabric too.
Maria @ Velosews
When the weather turns colder, we start adapting our makes to more cosy, warmer garments, such as jumpers and coats. I'm loving the trend for ‘oversized’ and have been scouring the internet and Instagram for inspiration. One thing that caught my eye while searching was the new idea of a ‘coatigan’ - a cross between a coat and cardigan, slightly bigger and thicker than a jumper but not as heavy as a coat, so perfect for those in between weather days, or if you need something to just ‘throw on’. Set on making a coat however, I filed the idea away and carried on with the search.
When I saw this Fabric on the Minerva website I initially thought it would be good for a coating make, however when it arrived it wasn't as heavy as I thought it would be - and the idea for the coatigan came back! It's a perfect medium weight for such a make - it has good structure and is heavy enough to be warm when needed. It's a wool mix blend, and has a very unique looking texture - it has fluffy wool woven in and out throughout the top of the fabric, given it a raised bobble-like feel. The Minerva Crafts website has a video on the listing which really helps to show you how this looks so do have a look. Available in Beige, it's a great neutral colour that will go with pretty much any kind of outfit, so great if you're thinking about what will go with your existing wardrobe.
A couple of coatigan patterns had cropped up during my search (there's not many) but as I hadn't made one before I opted for this free one available as a PDF download from Sew Mag called the Shauna Coatigan. I always do an Instagram search of a make to see if others have made it before, see how theirs turned out, or any problems/fit issues etc they may have had. Only a few makes cropped up when searching this pattern, and it was this post by Rumana of The Little Pomegranate that convinced me.
It's a one size pattern, so no fitting involved and I thought that it would be an easy make, however one thing I found really tricky was following a pattern without pictures! Maybe I’m so used to having my hand held when it comes to following patterns by having pictures for nearly every step, but I really had to trust myself and what i knew about sewing when it came to following these steps! I really struggled with this especially when it came to the collar/facing - I couldn't work out where it should be attached and could really have done with some help here!
The facing attaches to the undercollar and folds out to become the collar but I found where to attach this very confusing - I followed Rumana’s advice and draped the coatigan as if wearing it so I could figure it out. Other than that its plain sailing.
One thing I liked about the fabric was the selvedge and really wanted to leave it on as a design feature!
I cut the sleeves, fronts and back so that they all finished off at the bottom of the selvedge. This also had the added bonus of not needing to hem! One thing I will warn you about though is how much this fabric fluffs - because of the nature of the woven material on the top of the fabric, when you cut into it this opens the stitch which holds it down, so fluff goes everywhere! I would really recommend finishing the edges to avoid this once the garment is finished!
Pattern wise, now I’ve made it I like it a lot more than I thought I would! It's a great shape, and because it's unlined it can actually be quite a speedy make (now I’ve figured out that dreaded undercollar situation!)
It has really deep pockets on each side at the front, which are an amazing size for holding my phone, purse AND keys, so really lends itself to the whole ‘throw on’ scenario. I have pretty much lived in this for the last few weeks, and now want to make a few more in different fabrics and colours!
Thanks for reading,
Posted in Projects on Tuesday the 12th February 2019 by Vicki Ormerod
Hey everyone, I’m Nerrisa and this is my first post here on the Minerva Crafts blog.
A few things about me before I get going, I LOVE print, my mantra is ‘if nothing matches then EVERYTHING matches’, so I’m always on the lookout for more print to add to my brightly coloured wardrobe.
Secondly, all of my inspiration comes from the catwalk and high-street, I love being on trend, but as a 6ft 1 female, my body type is not ‘high-street friendly’, so I like me you’re always having to add an inch or 10 to your sleeves and hemlines, then we’ll be best sewing friends forever!
This month, I was asked by Minerva to select some fabric from the range (which is worlds hardest job FYI) and I became enamored by this spotty Crepe Fabric. I’ve seen prints like this all over the high street at the moment in cute flirty dresses and sharp shirts and so I almost instantly knew what I would make.
Once the fabric had arrived and I’d done all the prewashing and other sewing admin, I got cracking on my New Look 6524. I’ve had this pattern in my stash for a while as I love the exaggerated sleeves and straight shape, but I hadn’t yet found the perfect fabric for it - until now!
This is a really easy, super satisfying sew and it’s really great if you want to get a lot of mileage out of one pattern. I opted for view A with the floaty tie sleeves as I could really see it layered under a roll neck in this freezing cold weather or with bare legs and sandals in the summer.
In terms of tweaks, I had to add 3 inches to the sleeves as I have super lanky arms, but I left the hem as it was as I do like a shorter length. The only bit that might be a little tricky if you don’t love them as much as me is that this dress requires a 22 inch (!!) zip. I quite like inserting them as I like the sense of achievement every time I get one straight (which trust me, isn’t that often!)
I’m really in love with this dress, I always try to create makes that aren’t too seasonal and I think this will get a lot of wear year-round. For the moment, I’ll be wearing this with worlds thickest black tights and my trusty over the knee boots.
So that’s my sew for this month! In the meantime, if you would like to see more of my makes (and why wouldn’t you) or for more sewing inspiration, you can follow me on over Instagram or check out my new blog.
Posted in Projects on Tuesday the 12th February 2019 by Vicki Ormerod
Over the last year I’ve fallen in love again with dark blue denim. Constantly on the lookout for nice weight fabric in a deep denim. So when the opportunity came to review this 11oz Non Stretch Denim Fabric for Minerva came along I jumped at the opportunity. Initially I thought I would make a pair of self drafted jeans. However, when the fabric arrived it had a really nice drape and I thought it would look great as a dress. I’d been thinking about sewing a chambray dress for a while and had a few options in mind, but over the summer I had discovered the Hoodie Dress from The Assembly Line. I had seen the paper pattern in a shop on holiday, but had procrastinated quite a lot and ended up having to buy online.
The pattern is drafted for a height of 170cm and is available in single sizes. I made the size small as it matched my measurements most closely. I was a little worried that the shoulders might be too narrow as I’m quite broad there and don’t usually sew a small in anything. I basted the dress together and my fears proved unfounded as this pattern fit straight out the the packet.
The denim behaved beautifully. I pre-washed and ironed and cut the pieces out. This took a bit of careful planning as I’d only ordered 2m and the pattern requires 2.3m. I thought there might be a lot of wastage as I often find this with indie patterns. But no. This pattern requires exactly what it says on the packet. 2.3m. There is very little wastage. I ended up cutting the pockets from a bit of denim I had left from another project as I didn’t have quite enough, but the match is close enough.
I ignored the instructions for interfacing as the denim has enough body not to need it and I thought it might make the fabric too stiff. To break up the expanse of blue I used a traditional gold top-stitching thread to bring attention to the seaming and details. I sewed the pattern as instructed apart from the cuffs and hem.
The pattern calls for elastic cased in the shell fabric. I thought this might be too heavy with the denim and ended up slightly gathering the sleeves into a 3cm wide band. The hem I turned over and and made a narrow casing for some elastic cord. I used eyelets and a toggle fastening so that I could bring in the hem to create the cocoon shape of the dress.
My sewing machine handled the fabric well, with a size 90 Jeans needle and I didn’t have any problems even with multiple layers of fabric. It’s such a stunning denim to sew with.
My friends have coined this the ‘hibernation dress’; I can see why. It is cosy, warm and really comfortable, even in denim.
The fabric doesn’t really crease and will soften with a few wears. I think this might just be my secret pajamas as I really can’t believe how comfortable this denim is. The pattern is awesome too and I’ll be making more. I especially love the really deeps pockets and the hood. I’ve had requests from several friends to make one for them too. The question is can I get away with wearing it to work?
Thanks for reading,
Claire @ Ragbags and Gladrags
I am back on the Minerva Craft Blog again this month and with something that is not for kids or the home, this one is just for me! I rarely make clothes for me to wear – mainly because I often struggle to find patterns that I love that go up to my size and then struggle to justify the cost of the materials when it is simply a selfish make.
Well – it is a new year and my New Year’s resolution is to be kind to myself. I have told myself that it is OK to be selfish every once in a while, and why not make something beautiful for myself! So, when Minerva Crafts said that this stunning Atelier Brunette Stardust Fabric was available I knew that it was time for some me time!
Next came the hunt for the perfect pattern. I had heard of Blank Slate Patterns from previous hunts for clothes in my size but had never purchased any of their designs. A quick browse of their website gave me plenty of options in my size range but the style of the Valetta Top immediately caught my eye. It was loose and flowy but enough of an interesting yoke not to make it look too tent like. The pattern was a PDF download so decision made, I was ready to go.
This fabric is even more gorgeous in real life than it looks in pictures. I chose the forest green colourway and the gold embroidered dots are shiny and catch the light and the double thickness gauze is weighty but soft and not see through. The material took a bit of pressing and I think it may be one of those tops that will always look a bit rumpled but with this style I think it will look fine. The reverse side of the fabric I found had lots of loose threads where each dot had been embroidered on – I just trimmed the particularly long ones and I was ready to start cutting.
Cutting the pattern was easy and the pattern pieces were straightforward although cutting through a few of the metallic dots made me wince for my poor fabric scissors! I used the same fabric for the yoke lining which gave it some more structure since there were in effect 4 layers of fabric making up the yoke. This was particularly nice on the front V so the pieces didn’t collapse and fold down too much.
I didn’t make many changes to the top other than I left out the tie on the front V and the ties on the sleeves. I’ve had tops in the past with ties on and find I am forever fiddling with them. On the sleeves I simply inserted an elastic in place of the ties.
The instructions of this pattern are more basic that I am used to. For example, it says that you can use French seams but doesn’t tell you how or where to use these seams. The directions are in long paragraphs with multiple instructions all in one go. I found using a pencil to break them up and just taking it slow really helped. Despite this, even as a fairly new sewer, I didn’t have any problems in the construction of the garment and enjoyed how simply it went together. The sleeves especially were a breeze to insert – perhaps because I am used to making kids clothes where it is all a bit fiddly, but the gathering stitches made it so easy and these were my easiest and most successful sleeves to date.
The thing I loved most about this make was that I could try out some of my sewing machine feet that I had never tried before. The first was the overcasting foot. Unfortunately, for the small amount of sewing that I do, I really can’t justify buying an overlocker and this has always made me a little bit sad, but not anymore! This overcasting stitch does just the job on my sewing machine albeit a bit slower and without the handy cutting blade but definitely gives the edges a lovely professional and tidy finish. I know I will be using this foot a lot in the future.
The other foot that I utilised in the project was the hemming foot. I was wary of this since I had tried the similar looking rolled hem foot in the past with zero success. I did press and stitch the hem up on the very edge with my normal foot first, just so that I knew that at I had the right size hem and that I was flowing the curves of the top properly before I started. And the results? Well on the whole I was pleasantly surprised! Once I got going and got the fabric into the right position I found that it made a very neat and tidy hem. The curved bits were a bit trickier and I did have to unpick a few sections and finish them by hand but overall I think on a straight hem I will use this again.
And voila! The finished top! I really love it and I think it really suits the fabric. It is perhaps a little big around the neck and shoulders but fits fine across the high bust which is where you are told to size it from. I will definitely enjoy wearing this make and so happy that I finally have something memade to wear!
I hope you enjoyed reading about my latest project and once again, thanks to Minerva for generously supplying the beautiful fabric.
For my second version of the Sew Over It Doris Dress Pattern, I’ve changed things up enormously. I decided to make a maxi length dress that would be wearable in winter with tights and a sweater or cardi, but also floaty and cool enough to wear in the summer. I knew that I needed to make some fitting adjustments to the pattern but I wanted to do some serious hacks as well.
Next I left off the back darts/tucks and moved the waist ties to the side seam. I wanted the waist to be slightly looser than my first version so that the waist ties would actually nip things in rather than being decorative. And it ended up that by doing that I have just enough room to squeeze the dress over my head without any zipper! Let me tell you, I was beyond delighted when I realized I wouldn’t have to fiddle about with inserting a zipper.
The last adjustment I made was to the skirt. Actually, I didn’t adjust the pattern at all, I just drafted an entirely different skirt! The Doris dress skirt has several different panels that skim over the hips and then flare out at the bottom. I didn’t have enough fabric to lengthen each of those panels.
Instead I measured the waistline on the bodice pattern which was about 36 inches. Dividing that by 4 I got 9 inches. I cut two skirt pieces on the fold, one for the back and one for the front. I measured out 9 inches for the waist and 43 inches for the length. I flared it out from the top to the bottom (almost like a triangle with one point cut off) as wide as I could on the fabric. So now it’s almost like a 1/4 circle skirt.
Doesn’t this dress look amazing with my Deer and Doe Lupin Jacket?? I am so pleased with how my modifications turned out! I totally winged it and didn’t make a muslin first. I was a little worried about how everything was going to fit. Then I tried it on after the skirt was attached and it was sheer heaven.
The skirt is so swishy and gently dramatic, and the fabric feels absolutely amazing. Because I left out the back darts there is a bit of blousing in the back when I tie the ties and I love that! This dress is both simple but elegant and I am excited to be able to dress it up or down depending on the circumstance. I have a feeling it is going to be amazing to wear next summer!
Posted in Projects on Monday the 11th February 2019 by Vicki Ormerod
Ahoy there me hearties!
Sorry I couldn’t resist that greeting, its Chatterstitch here, back on the Minerva blog to tell you al about this lovely navy and white striped Ponte Roma Fabric, its such a great find.
Now I bought myself the book by @thatwendyward earlier in the year and I had been on the look out for a nice striped jersey to make up my first Kinder cardi. So, when this popped up on the Minerva website, I thought it would be perfect! The kinder is a great pattern which can be made up in three different lengths. A short waist length, a longer version which just skims the bottom and a longer one which would be past the knees. However, I decided that halfway between the two longer lengths would be perfect for this one.
When my fabric arrived from Minerva crafts I was not disappointed, and proceeded to wash it straight away. I laundered at 40 degrees and dried it over my clothes airer. It washed up so soft and dreamy to the touch.
I checked the width ways stretch and found it to be about 25% with good recovery, so perfect for my very first Kinder. I knew that it would withstand being stretched when I sat down in it and then spring back into its original shape.
So, I proceeded to cut out. Now, the back is cut on the fold so I carefully pinned the stripes together before cutting to ensure that my stripes would run straight across the back of my cardigan.
After that it was plain sailing, so to speak. It’s a really stable knit so very easy to work with even if you were a novice with stretch fabrics. It certainly behaved its self on the cutting mat (I used my rotary cutter and pattern weights on my self-healing mat) and it didn’t slip around at all. Even when I cut the back on the fold and cut both fronts together. It also sewed up with no trouble, when I used both my regular sewing machine and also my overlocker.
Now, I would say that I am roughly a size 14 to 16 in UK ready to wear and 5 feet 9 tall in old money. I cut the middle size (38-39 ¾) and there was easily enough with the 2m I had.
There are several design options with this pattern, not only the length of the cardigan but sleeve cuffs, contrast panels and pockets too! I do think if I were to make this again, I might like to vary the design slightly maybe by changing the direction of the stripes on the neck band to run vertically as an opposite to the classic horizontal of the body, or rotated on one or both of the pockets, don’t you just love those pockets? They are just so roomy, perfect for carrying all sorts of things, such as my mobile phone, car keys or change for a coffee!!
This is such a quick make, a real palette cleanser, and is so lovely snuggly and warm it was perfect for a day out at the beach, even for Yorkshire in January!
Thanks for reading,
Hi friends! I’m so excited to finally be back with another make after having to sit a few months out due to other projects. But as soon as I saw this grey/black washed Chambray Fabric, I knew I needed it! Chambray is one of my favorite fabrics to work with and to wear. It is so easy to sew, and I have yet to make a garment out of it that I haven’t loved and wanted to live in. This dress with this fabric is no exception!
I decided to go with Colette’s Hawthorn Dress pattern for this fabric because I wanted something that I could wear as the weather has been getting cooler, and chambray lends itself so well to a shirtdress.
I have to say, about halfway through this dress, I was worried that I wasn’t going to be crazy about it. I had made so many vibrant and colorful dresses over the summer, and it seemed like it might be a little drab, but I couldn’t have been more wrong! It can be styled in so many fun ways, making it much more versatile than I had imagined! On this particular day it was wet, windy and chilly, so I threw on some tights, duck boots and a beanie and it looked adorable!
Of course, I had to add pockets because that is one of the great joys of making your own clothes- no more dresses without pockets!
Hawthorn is a really beautiful pattern, as one would expect from Colette, with beautiful details. I love the sweet little collar and the shaping where it meets the front of the dress and goes down to the button placket. Those extra little details really stand out.
I also love the detail of the sleeve placket. If you have never done one before, do not fear! It really isn’t as hard as it seems when you’re looking at that weird pattern piece and the instructions. It comes together easily and looks really sharp!
The chambray has such a beautiful drape, and with the shape of this skirt, it is PERFECT for twirling!!
Hawthorn can also be made in a sleeveless version, or shortened to a peplum top, but I think I love this version best. I never really thought that would be the case because I am a sleeveless dress kind of gal, and even in cold weather I will often wear sleeveless dresses with cardigans, but I just adore this and I think I have been converted to dresses with sleeves!
I definitely recommend getting some of this gorgeous chambray for yourself! You will not regret it! It looks great, feels so lovely to wear, and is truly a pleasure to sew. I make a lot of chambray shirts for my husband (who in turn takes these fabulous photos for me!) and it holds up really well. He wears them all the time and they look fantastic! I can’t gush enough about it!
Pair this chambray with Colette's Hawthorne and I promise you won't be disappointed.
Happy sewing friends!
photos by @kenbphotos