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Maternity Agnes Dress

I was so looking forward to this Fabric coming in the post as I wanted to make another ‘Tilly and the Buttons’ maternity Agnes dress. I asked for the orange/coral colour and it’s very vibrant. The crinkle texture is perfect for making dresses as it glides over panty lines and so a bodycon dress is ideal for this fabric. It is composed of 68% cotton, 28% polyester and 4% spandex. There are white threads on the reverse to create the crinkle so it’s easy to tell right side from wrong side.

The fabric is super easy to cut with a rotary cutter, no pulling or snagging. 

This pattern is perfect for a beginner as there are only 5 pieces, front, back, neckband and two sleeves and the instructions are simple and easy to follow with colourful photographic help. I used a 2.5 zig zag stitch for the shoulder seams, side seams and to attach the sleeves. I also used stay tape from Minerva on the shoulder seams to reinforce them.

I always use sewing clips for the seams instead of pins because I find them quicker to work with. In the above photo I’m about to start sewing two parallel lines of straight stitch between the notches to create the gathers for the baby bump. Remember to leave the tails of the thread long before and after sewing so you have plenty to pull to create the effect that you want. Once I was happy with the gathers, I then zig zagged down the side seams and then finished the edges with my overlocker.

Next, I added the neckband after making it slightly smaller than the pattern so that it sat flat and neatened the seams again with my overlocker.

Jersey hems always looks better if finished with a double needle; two rows of perfectly parallel straight stitch so this is what I did after attaching the sleeves.

So here is the finished dress it hugs baby bump perfectly and fits the shoulders really well. Zoe is so happy with it and she’s hoping for better weather before baby appears so she can wear it more.

Thanks for reading

Charleen @charleenmakes

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Cotton Waffle Betty Dress

Psssstttt! Fellow sewists. Let me holla at you for a minute,

Did it ever occur to lil ole me, that I could and WOULD be bestowed the title of Minerva Maker? TBH it never crossed my mind, after all I’ve only been sewing a little over a year, and have no formal training, WHAT-SO-EVER! Yet, here I am, and I’m completely stoked!!!

What does a girl make for her induction into such an elite group? A dress of course!!! I made mine from Minerva’s Cotton Waffle Fabric in ivory.

Now, I’m full of #blackgirlmagic and so, my wardrobe is typically full of colour or print, or both, but it was the texture of this waffle cotton that caught my eye! When I selected it from the array of beautiful fabrics, I had a particular dress in mind. That quickly changed once the fabric was in my hands, and I ended up sewing the Betty Dress by Sew Over It. Though I’d never made this pattern before, I thought the simple, but elegant silhouette (with a fitted bodice and full circle skirt) would allow the fabric to shine… and sewists, that it did!

Let me confess up front, my body is far far FAR from average! It’s clear that I’m nobody’s muse, and I’m cool with that. It just means that I had to go about my standard adjustments: I’m short waisted, with a forward neck, sloping shoulder and mom-boobs. That meant shortening the bodice, lowering the darts and adjusting the shoulders of the pattern before cutting out my fabric. I opted for a size 12 bodice based on my high bust measurement, blended out to a size 14 at the waist. I then performed an FBA to accommodate my D-cup. Having made the adjustments on paper, I made a toile of the bodice and was pretty pleased with the fit. Now, this may seem like a lot of work to many of you, but I’ve taken a particular interest in the fit of my #handmades. I agree, learning to fit can be tedious, but for me, well worth the effort. I mean, why bother sewing up a dress from beautiful fabric, only to have it fit like RTW? Don’t get me wrong, I’m no expert, but I think I’m at least on the right track!

Let me tell you this: - my absolute favourite thing about sewing is the customizability resulting in a finished product that’s unique to me. For this project, I added pockets, because everything must have pockets, you feel me????

Additionally, though the pattern did not ask for it, I interfaced the CB, before installing my zipper, and tacked my facing to the main dress at the side seams. A girl’s gotta step up her sewing game, right? I will say that it took me a minute or two, to figure out how to finish the shoulder seams in this pattern as per the instructions, and it definitely took me a lot longer to hem the full circle skirt. That being said, I can report that cutting and sewing this fabric was a breeze – no shifting and wiggling about, but the fabric was prone to fraying so I finished all my seams with my serger.

Make no mistake, the Betty Dress did require a good 3 ½ meters of fabric, because of the full circle skirt (which I cut on the crosswise grain). I also realized, a little too late, that the fabric is slightly transparent, so my facings are visible. Just keep that in mind when you choose your project, as you may need a lining. All in all, the twirl-a-bility of this dress has me completely satisfied!

Before I take my bow, let me say thanks to Minerva for choosing me to be a part of this elite group. If you wanna peak at my work, check me out on Instagram @unsewcial.

Gotta love you and leave you until next time,

Kris

Bust: 41.5” * Waist: 33.5” * Hips: 42”

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Love Jalie Patterns!

Hi everyone, it’s Andréanne from the minimal approach on Youtube.

I am really excited to share with you my latest makes with Minerva fabric. This fabric is high quality 100 % Cotton Poplin. It was the first time I worked with cotton poplin from Minerva but definitely not the last. It’s really soft and stable, so truly easy to work with. It doesn’t wrinkle and it’s not thin. With warmer days coming up, I know I want to make more very confortable, breathable clothes to lounge around the house. 

Since the size of the print is pretty small, I also know it would probably look a little bit childish and perfectly casual.

Initially, I wanted to create a dress. Although, I received the fabric around the summer collection pattern release from Jalie patterns. I wait for their release because they make such fantastic basics. All of their patterns offers a large size range from kids to women. Jalie patterns have a special space in my heart because my mom used to create a complete wardrobe for me using their patterns. Also, Jalie is a mother-daughter owned company. They have a large variety of bodysuit and swimsuit patterns.

I decided to make the Michelle Camisole view B which features a front and back facing. I’ve realized that what makes facing successful for me is to understitch it to the seam allowance. I hem the camisole with a rolled hem stitch and I am pretty satisfy by how it all turned out. This pattern fits true to size so I didn’t make any adjustment.

I love the V-neck on this camisole, it’s elegant and not too revealing. I also like the flared side seams. This will definitely become a staple in my wardrobe and I already plan to sew another one. The width of the straps are also ideal for me because they cover my bra straps completely.

Then to match this top, I made the Simone paper bag waist culottes. I really like the details on this pattern. First, the pockets are great. Then the high wait and the width of the front tie. I also really like that the waist tie is not going all around the back. I feel like it would create too much bulk.  I love how the bright color of the cardigan looks with this photo.

I made the short version because I want to wear them during warmer days. Now that I’ve made them, I really want to make a second pair in black full length. This future pair would be totally work appropriate. 

The other great thing about these two patterns is that they are both so quick to sew. I made both garments in 1 day. I really enjoy sewing these makes, the pattern instructions are well written and so clear. The fabric is stable, easy to press and the perfect weight. I highly recommend using this cotton poplin.

Thank you so much for reading my post and happy sewing !

Andréanne

xoxox

The Minimal Approach

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Jumpsuit Season

Hiya buds! This is my first post for Minerva and I’m beyond exited! I’m so happy for this and hope you will like my posts too. I make stuff over at @Malinsyr (which translates to Malin sews since I’m Swedish and I know if I ever let the nick go my fellow MCBN friend Malin Gousheh (@Bygousheh) will steal it! Haha) – I mostly make clothes for myself but when in doubt I fall back into making kids clothes, so you might see a lot of that to.

BUT, let’s get into it: I choose to make the clothing piece of the summer 2019 – the jumpsuit! I read the MCBN a while back and saw my other fellow MCBN blogger Red Sews chambray version of Vogue 9075 and thought that I had to make one for myself!

I think it must have been nerves because nothing went right with this make. I wouldn’t say that it’s a hard pattern but I ended up doing all mistakes possible but I think I saved it in the end!

The jumpsuit is made in a gorgeous Crepe Fabric, with sort of abstract pansies on it. I love the fabric so much, it was a delight working with except for my obvious jitters! 

So, what errors did I end up doing then? What didn’t I do wrong?

1. I didn’t lay the front bodice piece on fold… and started cutting. I did however end up with right amount of fabric, since I realized mid bodice my error and could “make it work” to quote Tim Gunn.

2. I shortened the bodice and it ended up being a most unpleasant history. Thankfully I fixed that as well

3. I bought a way too short zipper and had no time buying a new one because of me wanting to wear the jumpsuit directly. So I made it a design choice instead ;)

4. It ended up being way too wide, I don’t really have neither a waist nor length in bodice so I'm used to always widening and shortening stuff but this time it ended up being up wrong all the way. I blame myself for cutting corners in reading instructions and not doing a muslin – I’m lazy and need to pick up my game! Haha

I do however love the finished result. I love the width in the pant and I absolutely love the blue tones in the fabric.

I know that a lot of shorties like me don’t really like the mid-leg length on pants ‘cus “it makes you shorter”, I however have promised to send myself a whole lot of love this year so I’m doing my very best on not caring on what’s “slimming” or “flattering”. I’m going for what I like and feel comfortable in, not minding if it makes me look 10 cm taller or not. And I like the mid-leg length on everyone! 

I must say that I’m a bit interested in doing a dress version but after me made may I’ve realized I need more separates, so that might be my future projects. 

Thanks for this opportunity! I hope this will be the first of many :)

Malin @malinsyr

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Simplicity 2580 Viscose Jersey Dress

I am always excited waiting on my parcels from Minerva and from the time I request them I am anxiously awaiting the arrival, I was certainly not disappointed with my latest choice, this abstract floral Viscose Jersey Fabric.

When it arrived I was blown away with the pattern and the quality of the fabric, the website picture does not do it enough justice. The pattern is abstract and absolutely stunning, the fabric is soft and has such a wonderful drape that I decided a maxi dress was in order. This would showcase the design of the fabric and also the drape and handle to the best advantage.

Pattern used was Simplicity 2580 view C but in the max length. This pattern is designed for stretch fabrics, is a lovely pattern to work with and the fabric is just sublime and sews like a dream. 

The bodice is double fabric which gives it more substance and enables the dress to sit beautifully without any bulk. The skirt hangs well and drapes and swings as you move but without being clingy. The instructions were clear and easy to follow.

I made most of this dress on my over locker and used my cover stitch machine for the hems and sleeves.

You could sew on an ordinary machine using a stretch stitch if you don’t have an over locker but the over locker and cover stitch machines when sewing jersey give a really professional finish.

I used seam tape on the shoulders, this prevents sagging and stretching of the seams when worn (can be found on the Minerva site). I was able to cut out, sew and finish this dress in under two hours and you can see it on Sadie (my dress form).

I took this dress on my travels to Florida, this is me posing by the pool at the villa and is me posing beside an orange tree. A further advantage to this fabric is it can be rolled up stuffed in a suitcase and requires no ironing, bonus easy pack and easy to wear straight out the suitcase. Another great point is, it was easy to wear casually with flip flops but could easily be dressed up with the addition of some chunky jewellery and high wedges.

I had enough fabric to make a cheeky wee top. I cut round an existing dolman sleeved tee shirt and again used over locker and cover stitch machine. This showcases how versatile this fabric is. My tee shirt is again both great for casual wear with jeans and when worn with black trousers and some statement jewellery is also great for a more formal look. It also is stunning with a white skirt or white jeans

Can you tell I absolutely fell in love with this fabric as soon as I saw it and just adore my makes? I am all set for summer now.

Thanks for reading,

Norma @nrb308

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The Lurex Scuba Butterick 5966 Coat

Hello to all Minerva Crafters! I’m Elisenne, I run the French/ English blog www.sixmignons.com and I am back on the Minerva blog with my second project: the Butterick 5966 coat, made in Minerva’s Metallic Lurex Scuba Fabric.

First let’s have a quick look at the fabric.

This is a medium-weight scuba, so perfect for a structured garment such as a coat, a jacket or a pencil skirt – but it will definitely not work for a dress. The fabric is made of two layers: a plain white scuba underneath; and a metallic gold net on top – do not fear, they stay firmly attached to each other when cut, sewn and washed (I was a bit worried initially). And I nearly forgot – being a scuba it does not fray! No overlocking needed, hurrah! This fabric is really easy to work with.

As for its look, the Minerva’s website gives a very good idea of the effect of this fabric: it really shimmers in the light. Some of my pictures caught this effect but not all.

As for the pattern, B5966 is the result of the long search for a coat with flared line AND with various cup sizes (full bust adjustments are my nightmare and I avoid them with a passion). The coat is midi length, with princess seams and concealed button closures. This scuba coat was actually my first try at this pattern, it was a long and tortuous project but we got there in this end. I am very pleased with the end result but I would not recommend this pattern for a beginner as the explanations were not super clear; and I would strongly advise to go a least two sizes below what your measurements indicate – I went down only one size and took ages taking 5/8’’ off everywhere. Oh well…

A few pictures of the details: concealed buttonholes, princess seams, full lining.

And big plus of this coat: it is a perfect match with my recent Spring makes, which I’ve name the “Rose Gold” collection!

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A Ponte Coco Dress

I was so lucky to receive this Ponte Roma Fabric from Minerva. 

It’s a medium weight knit composed of 98% polyester and 2% spandex. The dogtooth checks are small and the fabric is very soft to the touch with great stretch recovery. I pre-washed the fabric at 30 degrees and it dried very quickly.

For some time now I’ve wanted to create my very own Tilly and the Buttons Coco dress so when I saw the fabric I knew straight away what I wanted to make. 

The black and white dogtooth checks are timeless as well as the coco dress so I think I will get many years of wear out of this dress; super bonus.

As always Tilly’s instructions are concise, very clear with lovely colourful pictures. The pattern is made from heavy weight paper which is so much better to work with than the usual thin, fragile pattern paper from other companies. I usually trace my pattern pieces but I didn’t bother this time. When it came to cutting out the fabric pieces I used a cutting mat and a rotary cutter. My cute donut pattern weights are from etsy. The fabric was so easy to cut using the rotary cutter which I find is much more accurate. It didn’t snag or stretch and another plus is that it’s easy to tell the right side from the wrong side as the pattern is only on one side; something which I’ve struggled with in the past. 

The only alterations to the pattern that I made were to the length because I read on reviews that it is quite short and I wanted it to sit on the knees.

The instructions suggest reinforcing the shoulder seams with stay tape or ribbon, I happened to have some narrow ribbon from ‘The Works’ in my stash and it worked perfectly.

The shoulder seams, side seams and neck band were all stitched with a 2.5 zig zag stitch and then the seams were finished using my overlocker. 

Although the fabric has stretch, it was really simple to sew together and didn’t stretch through the feeds.

Next I set up my machine with a double stretch needle and I took up the hem and the sleeves with a neat double row of black stitches.

So here is the final product- I love it!

Thanks for reading,

Charleen @charleenmakes

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Wedding Guest Dress

I’m so excited to join the Minerva Makers Team! Little did I know it but the timing couldn’t have been better. You see I selected this beautiful ivory and black polka dot Stretch Sateen Fabric without knowing exactly what I would make with it. My default thought is almost always a dress (you’ll learn that about me), but I also considered a jumpsuit or two piece set. At the time I was finishing up a wedding guest dress so I set this fabric aside to work on after my trip. Unfortunately my wedding guest dress was a complete fail so I needed a plan B and ASAP because the wedding was in a week. Then I remembered my Minerva fabric!

This John Kaldor stretch sateen is described as having a “very expensive look” and being “a dream to sew and wear” and both statements were accurate. The sheen, weight and slight stretch all screamed semi-formal despite the arguably casual polka dot print and the slightly matte finish eliminated any issues with slipping while sewing. Fraying is the only issue and it was minimal.

I initially chose Vogue 9252 because it stood out as a quintessential wedding guest dress by being both simple and elegant, but I had no luck finding it locally. So I moved on to McCalls 7720 as it had similar features such as the princess seam bodice and full hi-lo skirt. The McCalls differed in that it featured a V-neck (which I actually preferred), a pleated skirt and a feature I’ve never tackled, boning. The only feature it lacked was in-seam pockets, but I decided I wouldn’t want to weigh down the dress with my heavy phone so this became a non-issue.

If you are familiar with my sewing journey you know I hardly ever make a muslin, but due to my limited time frame and inability to source more fabric quickly I sewed a muslin of the bodice. Now I sort of cheated by using the lining fabric, but I did a test fit and it truly paid off this time. I discovered I needed to size down and modify the shape of the bust curve slightly. In my hurry to finish this project, I sewed the bodice together before I realized that the instructions called for the bodice to be interfaced and I debated whether that was truly necessary because the weight of the fabric seemed substantial enough to carry the dress. Ultimately I decided to trust the pattern directions and take the bodice apart, add the interfacing and resew. Fusible interfacing was all I had in my stash and this fabric took the pressing and steam wonderfully. It was worth the extra effort as the bodice had more structure and laid nicer.

I’ll admit I was a little nervous when the time came to add the boning as I had never worked with boning before and had no time for any more mistakes. Luckily for me the installation was simple, though I’m sure there is room for improvement next time. I asked for a few tips on Instagram and one was to remove the boning from its casing and instead encase it in the seam allowance. Another tip was to press the boning on a low setting to remove some of the curvature.

Ribbon straps are called for per the instructions, but I prefer fabric straps. So I cut four 1” x 18” strips of fabric and sewed 2 strips together right sides facing using a ¼” seams along the long edges. Then I trimmed and turned each strap before substituting them for the ribbon.

The dress calls for a skirt lining and there are separate lining pieces for a less full skirt, however I opted to omit it for a few reasons. I was short on time, I didn’t have enough fabric on hand, but most importantly I felt the fabric didn’t need a lining due to its opacity and luxurious feel. If you use a lighter fabric I could see adding the lining. If you use the lining you will also need to utilize the hem band that I also omitted for a horsehair braid hem. This was also my first time working with horsehair braid but I felt it was necessary for my desired fullness, especially since I had omitted the lining. The installation is very similar to hemming a circle skirt with bias tape. Simply line up the horsehair on the right side of the fabric and sew very close to the hem edge then flip the horsehair under and blind stitch the horsehair to the underside of the skirt. I elected to hand sew my hem because I haven’t mastered my blind stitch foot on my machine.

In the end I am in love with the dress and almost glad that my original dress didn’t work out! I felt elegant all night and I’m sure it will get a second wear when the right event comes up.

Thanks for having me,

Tiffany @tipstitched

TipStitched

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Flock Print Off The Shoulder Summer Top

Hi everyone! It's lovely to meet you all, my name's Jess (@oh.sew.original - go check me out) and welcome to my first Minerva Makers blog post!

I'm so excited to be part of this amazingly talented community of sewists and I look forward to sharing my future creations with you all.

From looking at my fabric stash, I have a bit of an obsession with sheer fabrics, so when I saw the flock print Stretch Mesh Fabric in beige at £3.99 per metre I knew I had to have it.

From the photograph and when it arrived, it definitely has more of a pink undertone with the slightly raised, soft, velvet like feel to the detailing. First opinions of this was that it was quite stiff, meaning that you wouldn't be able to use it directly against your skin. However, once it was washed to allow for any pre-shrinkage, this changed and it was definitely more pliable.

After a little trial and error I decided to pair the mesh with a beautiful lilac bridal fabric that was gifted to me by a friend who no longer had any use for it - the two colours work really well together and the pattern I finally plumped for was the McCalls M7543 in the off the shoulder dress.

The fabric was easy to cut and to handle and didn’t fray but when it came to having right sides together for pinning, the velvety detailing would create a type of friction making it difficult to move the layers of fabric accurately without pulling the mesh out of shape in the wrong way. This lead to an awful lot of pinning and careful laying to make it work! I've got a fair bit left, so I'll put something such as tracing paper between the pieces next time.

In hindsight, I should have taken more care looking at my choice of fabrics and the pattern itself because when it came to trying it on, it was shapeless, the lilac was too thick and didn't hang the way I had envisioned it. And it just didn't suit. For me personally as well, I felt the dress washed me out quite a bit - I need a bit of sunshine clearly!

So in a mad 10 minutes of night sewing, I cut the dress in half around 17 inches from the bottom hem to create a top (the pattern offers a variety of lengths to make tops and tunics as well as having the options to have different sleeve and strap variations).

I had the lilac undertone through the main front and back pieces and decided to leave the sleeves to just the lace as I loved the effect it gave; it looked so delicate.

This did mean that I had to do french seams on the sleeves and neatened the armhole edges with some leftover bias binding from another project. So you didn't see the unsightly elastic around the arms, I made some matching casings as well to attach.

I love the finished garment! It will be perfect for summer days paired with shorts or jeans and the leftover mesh is going to be fashioned into a beautiful beach cover-up!

Thanks for reading! I'll see you soon!

Jess @oh.sew.original

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Viscose Faux Jumpuit

Hello again readers, I’m back!

I’m so excited to be reviewing this beautiful Viscose Challis Fabric.

The design is just adorable, although I wish I’d discovered it sooner as it would be a perfect Easter outfit. This faux jumpsuit works wonderfully as a light and airy summer staple but it’s so comfy I feel I could also get away with wearing it as pyjamas.

The Fabric

This viscose is incredibly soft and has such a lovely flowy drape and the print is so charming, covered in an array of sweet little bunnies.

It was an absolute dream to sew and glided through my sewing machine, I did use a fair few pins but

mainly because I like precision and I wanted to make sure my seams were even as I frenched them all. 

Despite the fabric being slinky and flowy it was not at all challenging and pressed really nicely.

The little splashes of colour throughout the fabric are a nice feature and really make it pop. It truly is the sweetest little design. I think it would work perfectly as a kimono or a pretty blouse.

The Pattern

I used the So Over It Silk Cami for the top and Tilly and the Buttons Marigold Trousers for the bottoms and the effect is exactly what I was going for. What I especially liked about this whole ensemble, aside from how great it looks, is the fact that I know it is 100% completely unique. I love knowing that out of the billions of people on this planet I’m the only one wearing this. It’s one of the reasons I started sewing in the first place. I made a few toil versions of this outfit and I wasn’t overly keen on the fit and I wanted to get it right. I first sewed the top at a size 14 but made the final version in a size 10 and the fit is perfect. The fabric makes this outfit so versatile. I love that I can wear both together as a faux jumpsuit or individually, they make the cutest beach trousers and the top looks great tucked into high waisted jeans.There are so many styling options I never feel like I’m just throwing on the same outfit.

Finishing Touches

When it comes to viscose, I believe the only right seams are French ones. They may take a little (or a lot) of extra time but it’s so worth it for the finish.

I used French seams on both the top and the trousers and it encased them beautifully, I’m glad I took the time to do them.

I had so much fun with this project, I’m a true lover of viscose and fabric like this is the reason why! It’s the perfect summer fabric, airy and lightweight, I loved wearing it at the beach and it helped to keep me nice and cool during the hottest parts of the day. If you want something really adorable and breezy this summer then this fabric is for you, I’m already thinking about getting more as I have so many ideas of what to turn it into. I think a kimono is next!

If you would like to see more of my projects then you can find me on Instagram @this_charming_make

I hope you’re all having a fabulous summer,

Happy sewing

Marie x

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