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Quilted Jersey Fulton Sweater Blazer

Last year I had the wonderful opportunity to pattern test for Alina Design’s new Fulton Sweater Blazer. This amazing pattern is like a sewing dream coming true for me - a sleek and stylish blazer with the comfort of a cardigan. Only 8 pattern pieces and tremendously satisfying to construct. What more can you ask for? 
Indeed I love the Fulton so much that I made two consecutively at the time of the release, one in a ponte and one in a plain cotton double knit. Fulton works well with a variety of stable medium-heavy weight knits, given that they have a certain amount of structure, ie, not too drapery or slinky. Finding the right fabric online thus can be more challenging, if you don’t know for sure how the fabric would handle. With two versions under my belt though, I was pretty confident to know what fabric I wanted for my ultimate Fulton - a quilted double knit jersey, preferably in cotton. 
So imagine my excitement when I had the opportunity to try out just the perfect Quilted Jersey Fabric from Minerva’s new range of cozy knits! The moment I opened the package I did a happy dance for my dream Fulton coming true. This fabric is essentially two layers of cotton jersey with a very thin layer of wadding in between. All three layers are ‘quilted’ together in small diamond patterns through out. It’s lightweight and soft like a T-shirt yet has enough structure for a jacket. 
Fulton sweater blazer is unlined and this is a transitional piece in my climate. With spring and fall season in mind, I felt really inspired by the muted earthy colours on trend right now. The quilted jersey comes in several classic colours and I chose the dusty pink colour called “old rose”. 
Having made the Fulton twice before, the sewing was even more fun this time around. I chose to make the shorter length (further shortened to adjust for my 158cm height) and longer sleeve (as is). I found a fun floral jersey from my stash to accent the back facing and cuff facings. The cuffs are designed to have the option of being turned up so the florals add a pop of fun. No one will see the back facing when you are wearing the blazer but the Fulton experience is not complete without the obligatory collar photo ;-). Plus it just makes me happy every time I wear my Fulton! 
A few mods I made... Fulton is designed with a center back seam which I believe gives extra structure to the knit garment so it doesn’t stretch out. The quilted jersey behaves almost like a stretchy woven so I decided to eliminate the back seam. Visually I found it more pleasing to have the diamond patterns uninterrupted at the back. I shall see how this calculated risk works out over time. 
Also in the interest of keeping the continuous quilted pattern, I decided to skip the patch pockets. I also did some slow sewing and blind-stitched the hem by hand. Because the fabric is made of three layers, It's very easy to catch only the top layer when blind stitching. It was quiet relaxing and went much faster than I thought. If hand stitching is not your thing, I think a regular hem will be absolutely fine. I simply wanted to spend more time with this lovely fabric! 
In terms of care of this fabric, I followed the care instructions on Minerva's product page and pre-washed it in a regular warm cycle. The fabric washed out beautifully and line-dried without wrinkles. I'm so pleased to have a sleek jacket that doesn't require dry cleaning - perfect for mom life!
And we can't have a Fulton review without talking about the signature notched collar, right? Don't let it intimidate you - Alina's superb pattern making means it comes together precisely with a few clear steps. Every time I make this collar I get the thrill of accomplishing something truly satisfying. The quilted jersey behaves exceedingly well with the collar construction. It irons well on cotton setting resulting in crisp lines and sharp corners. I do recommend using a press cloth though to avoid squishing the quilted texture. 
My new Fulton is every bit as I envisioned and more. It's lightweight, super soft and provides just the right amount of warmth for transitional seasons. The modern and chic details makes an instant statement effortlessly. I love how the dusty rose colour goes with both Spring and Fall palettes. But when a fabric and pattern is so perfect, I'm not sure I'll stop at one colour - maybe a black Fulton next? ;-)
until next time,
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The Uvita Top

When I moved to New York, USA from the Southeastern USA last year, I was totally unprepared for winter. I had not experienced a northern winter in 5 years! My wardrobe was filled with short sleeved tees, summer skirts and dresses, and shorts.

Here I was, thinking I should probably beef up my wardrobe with a few more long sleeved shirts and pants. I had no idea the rude awakening I was in for! The winter was unbearably long, full of one snowstorm after another, and plenty of ice and wind.

We moved the day after Christmas. I busied myself with unpacking, setting up our household, and home improvement projects. Fatigue and winter depression set in. (This area of the country is so dreary that many people experience winter blues.) I made a couple of long sleeve shirts but what I really needed were sweaters.

Needless to say, I am now more proactive about sewing a season or two ahead. I do not want to be unprepared again! I selected this Faux Angora Sweater Knit Fabric and I have not been disappointed.

This sweater knit, in petrol, is soft and has a heathered appearance. I would call it mid-weight, and it has about 40-50% stretch on the crosswise grain. Some sweater knits don't have good recovery, which limits what you can do with it. This one clearly has some spandex for recovery so I decided it would work well for the Itch to Stitch pattern, the Uvita Top.

The Uvita Top is a dolman sleeve tee and it's a free pattern! The designer has also created an add-on pack that is offered at a great deal. Here, I have used the floppy collar and the patch pockets.

This is a great pattern for beginners. It's also fairly easy to fit because it has a relaxed silhouette. Here I have sewn the size 0 with length adjustments to my petite height. When I adjust a pattern, I usually take length from the torso. I have such short arms that I take length from the bicep area AND just below the elbow. This ensures that I have a great fitting garment!

I made sure to use clear elastic in my shoulder seams. This prevents the shoulder seam from stretching out of shape, which sweater knits are more prone to do. I constructed the garment mainly on my serger, and used my coverstitch for the hems.

Pocket finishing tip: One thing I really appreciate about this pattern is that it includes pocket interfacing for the hem area of the pockets. It can be impossible to sew a square and professional-looking pocket for a sweater knit without it! This makes topstitching the pocket a breeze.

It's so cool here this morning (July 1st) that I photographed my Uvita and it wasn't too hot! This winter I'm going to be prepared!

Thanks for reading,

Stephanie @ The Petite Sewist

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Preparing for Christmas: cards, a table topper and ornaments

Christmas time always starts with cards for me. Which ones, who to send and how many to make. And despite making a lot of cards, I never manage to send one to everybody I would like. This year I am better prepared thanks to Minerva - I got some of these gorgeous vowen cotton Christmas fabrics and I used every little piece to make cards and ornaments.  All the bigger ones went into my Christmas quilt and throw pillows that I'll show you the next time.

I love cotton fabrics for crafts! I'm no good at scrapbooking, so I make cards my own way - I sew them! For this one only needs some decent paper and scraps of fabric. You can cut out the figures (hearts, Christmas trees, ornaments etc) and just sew them to the paper. No need to finish the edges of fabrics and no need for clue. I'm really happy with those and I hope that whoever receives one from me, gets some Christmas feeling with it too.

For my table topper I used a white waffle fabric (usually meant for towels) and a strip of Christmas fabric squares all sewed together. The patchwork strip on a white fabric with Swedish weaving and cotton lace on the ends of the cloth all together makes a really beautiful table topper and it was easy to make. My patchwork squares were 7x7cm and after sewing these together and pressing each long end inside for 1 cm it leaves a strip 5 cm wide. With green, red and white cotton yarn I made a really simple Swedish weaving pattern - it's like a lace on top of this fabric. And if I get tired of this as a table topper I can always use it as a towel.

The Christmas ball ornaments are made from Styrofoam balls and the same cotton fabrics. I marked  the ball into four or eight sections, cut along the lines (not too deep) and covered each section with tucking the fabric into the cut lines. There are several videos and blog posts about teaching you to make those. Minerva's cotton fabrics worked perfectly - they aren't too heavy and don't ravel when you need to tuck these into the cut lines. I have some more balls and fabric scraps left and I plan to make even more of these and gift them to my close ones.

And finally I show my personal favourites - felt and fabric folded Christmas trees. To make them I cut one circle of felt and one of fabric (the diameter of the circle about 12 cm). I stitch these together around the edge (about 0.5 cm inside) and cut the edge with pinking shears. Then I cut the circle in half and fold each half together to make a tree. So from one circle you get two trees. I used my sewing machine to sew the folded edges together but it can be handsewn too. One can also embellish the tree ornaments with beads and sequins. These ornaments are so cute and also easy to make, not to mention kid and cat friendly!

I hope I inspired you to make some Christmas ornaments and I'll see you soon! Happy Christmas time!

Kadri @kadri_kivistik

For all the items above I used these fabrics in different colors:

Christmas Polycotton Fabric

Woven Cotton Fabric

Woven Cotton Fabric

Snowflake cotton fabric

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Gold Lame Holiday Skirt

When I was a kid I was asked to be a flower girl in one of my parents friends weddings. It was an odd request because we did not know the couple very well, I think we must have been the only children they knew. I was beyond excited not only because I got to be the flower girl but also because I got to wear a gold lame skirt- It was the 80’s!  I loved that skirt and for years after I would wear it whenever the situation allowed and many times it didn’t. When I saw this fabric from Minerva I was immediately reminded of that skirt. The little girl in me had to get the fabric and I knew exactly what I was going to make,  a  floor length, gathered waist gold lame skirt, super simple to make. 
To make the skirt I measured my waist to the floor plus an inch for the hem and 3 inches for the paperbag waist. I first thought I would make it with an elastic waistband however I thought that might get a bit bulky instead I opted to make a paper bag waist and use a black velvet ribbon for the waistband. To dress it down a bit  I imagine styling the skirt with black leggings  and a bodysuit or sweater depending on the weather. I decided to do a slit all the way up the skirt with a closure on the waistband.
I used two widths of the fabric and sewed a seam along the back. At this time I also finished the two edges that would make up the front slit. Next I folded the  waistband over at 2” and sewed a line of gathering stitches at 1.5”. The black velvet would be 1” down from the bottom and conceal the gathering stitches under it. After sewing the waistband onto the fabric the only thing left was the hem and the closure.  I choose a large metal hook and eye for the closure. 
The easiest skirt ever!
I had about 3/4 of a yard left over so I decided that I would make a quick little top to go with it. To make the top I sewed the two ends together and put a large 3” pleat in the middle. I hemmed the top and folded it over at 3” I then sewed casing lines into the back 1/2 of the top and fed in 1.5” elastic and hemmed the bottom,.  The top can be worn frontwards or backwards. It is pretty fun styled with the skirt and since I don’t have many special occasions to wear the whole gold ensemble I might have to be some version of Midas for Halloween. 
This skirt definitely inspired some dress up party vibes. The moment I broke it out Tate and Evie both joined me in playing dress up and dance party ensued. We had a tiny bit of fabric left over and made a quick top for Evie as well.  Tate then found the top that I had for myself and decided that it was actually a skirt for him. I had a very long 3” piece leftover that I was able to use as a tie to cinch it around his waist and tie a bow. The stiffness of the fabric make it look similar to Hula skirts worn by men and Tate immediately went to get his coconutlele (what he calls his Ukulele).  Evie has decided that we need to add some extra eyes to the skirt so that she can wear it as well. I am pretty sure that my kids will have the same fond memories of gold lame that I had growing up.  
To style it I wore it with black leggings and low black heeled boots and the #evieonepiece bodysuit with a black v-neck cashmere sweater. 

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Reusable Gift Wrap for the Holidays

Hello! My name is Malorie and I’m excited to share my first project here on the Minerva blog! I mostly sew clothes for myself and love to find inspiration online in the sewing community. 

We all have that friend, the one that presents you a gift wrapped expertly with tape that doesn’t show. She wraps Christmas gifts with a theme. Buys real grosgrain ribbon. Adds a sprig of pine. Maybe even splurges on that expertly designed and very expensive paper that only comes in sheets! 

I am not that friend. I love and admire those who wrap their gifts with so much thought and attention, and I even think about those picture perfect gifts as I shove my present into a shopping bag with whatever random tissue paper I can find. I say that I am trying to be as green as possible by using my leftover large format calendar sheets, previously gifted bags and craft paper to wrap--and while that is true and a part of my wrapping philosophy--it is also easy. Fun washi tape, calendar sheet, and I’m done. The only problem is, I have three kids and between their birthdays and friend birthday parties and Christmas, I’m starting to run out of my stash. I don’t make a habit of buying rolls of wrapping paper, and I hit a new low when I wrapped a friend’s gift in crepe paper. 

I started researching reusable gift wrapping as a way to be environmentally conscious and to save time and energy wrapping gifts. I’ve spent too many Christmas Eve nights wrapping while watching multiple movies like Home Alone, Die Hard, and my personal favorite, You’ve Got Mail (It’s a Christmas movie if Christmas is in it), exhausted by the end and usually out of tape. My research led me to learn more about Furoshiki, which is a Japanese wrapping cloth traditionally used for wrapping objects and gifts. The practice is hundreds of years old and there are many unique ways to wrap and tie anything from gifts to lunches and groceries. I fell in love with the idea of having something so practical and beautiful in my home. I had seen these cloths for sale in Japanese stores before but had not thought of making my own. They tick every box for me--reusable, easy to use and beautiful. For the first time, the idea of wrapping presents filled me with excitement!

Minerva has such a great selection of cotton printed fabric and I selected a print that was a little more fun and festive but also a color that would be opaque enough to cover a present from my kids’ prying eyes. I had consulted charts that had listed different sizes of Furoshiki and settled on two common sizes, 27 inches and 17 inches square. I also cut one extra large square of 38 inches and any smaller squares to use up the remaining yardage. These sizes are a great place to start but obviously you can make any size you need. Out of 4 yards I made 14 wraps. I used a rotary cutter and cutting mat which made for a fast job. While you could decide to serge the edges, or even leave them raw, I decided to fold and iron each edge ¼ inch twice to create a nice finished edge. Then I sewed each edge with matching thread. It took me about an hour to cut, two hours to iron and one hour to sew everything up. I spread the process out over several days (and tv shows) and it was a quick satisfying project. 

I love how these look together and am inspired to make more from my own stash or piece together from scraps. I made a point to try and wrap not just easy rectangles but ball shapes and stuffed animals, and I like how adaptable they are to whatever you need to wrap up. I’m just so excited about hemmed squares! Have I convinced you yet? I hope you have been as inspired as I have been to try something new this holiday season.

I can’t wait to share more projects with you! Until then, you can find me on Instagram at @maloriemakes

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Set of Pretty Underwear

Hello hello everyone! I’m Carolyn, and I’m so excited to share this, my very first project for the Minerva sewing group! Thank you so much for inviting me to be on the team! Although technically, these photos here are not of me, but of Jane, my stand-in. Jane nobly sacrifices her modesty by modelling my underwear for me here on the interwebs. Thank you Jane, and you are welcome, everyone else.

So yes; for my first project here I made a set of pretty underwear, one bra plus two pairs of matching knickers; using this deliciously vivid, tropical ocean hued Stretch Lace Fabric. I requested 0.5m; which is usually sufficient to make the three pieces. In this case 0.5m was just a teeny bit short, for reasons I shall explain later, but I still got my three pieces, no problem, and I think it worked out just fine!

Lace by itself is naturally sheer, which of course is perfectly fine for lingerie! however I decided I wanted to underline the lace with a clotted-cream polyester I had in my stash. I love how the bright blue-y green aqua looks against this gentle, not-quite yellow!

I aligned all my pattern pieces parallel to the selvedge, because the rose motifs on the aqua stretch lace are aligned “upright” this way. And this is why my 0.5m of lace was just a little bit short; the bra band of my pattern is to be cut in one whole piece! Fortunately this is a quick and easy fix; I cut and joined just a little bit of the lace at the top and bottom to get the little extra bit of width needed. I think this turned out quite fine, and the seams are fairly unobtrusive and tucked around towards the back.

For my bra pattern, I used MakeBra pattern DL03. MakeBra is a Finnish pattern company, that has designed a small number of beautifully drafted, classically styled bra patterns for a size range of 70 (AUS 10) to 95 (AUS 20), and cup sizes A to DD. They also stock some of the essential bits and pieces you need to finish off your bra; such as foam lining, hook and eye closures, elastics, rings and sliders, etc. I used some of the bits and pieces from the basic kit in Ivory, and some from the bottomless pit that is my stash ;)

For the two pairs of matching undies, I used my favourite; the Cloth Habit Watson brief pattern. When I make a set, I really like for the knickers to match the bra and each other and to obviously be part of a cohesive set, but at the same time to also be different from each other. One pair of undies is allover lace, the other has just a short length appliqued to the front. It’s almost impossible to see it without getting up really close and personal, but I used the same green thread for all topstitching and love how this looks where it makes an appearance on the creamy background fabric.

I chose a pretty fairy-floss pink ribbon to make the little decorative bows. When using satin ribbon to make mini-bows like this, I usually hold the cut edge close to a flame briefly, to just very gently and carefully melt the edge fibres just a little; this seals the cut edges so they don’t unravel or fray in the wash. You have to keep a close eye on it though and whisk it away the instant you see the edge disappearing up in the heat!

Et oh lal a! I’m so happy with this pretty lingerie set...! Thank you so much to Minerva for the lace, and for having me on the team; and thank you so much to all for reading!

Carolyn @handmadebycarolyn

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Fun and Flirty

Greetings, I’m so excited to be doing my first official blog and in collaboration with Minerva. I was so thrilled for the opportunity to partner with this awesome team and work with some beautiful fabrics to showcase my talent. I feel like a kid in a candy store once I receive the list of fabrics, how could I ever choose. It’s a rush of excitement as my mind is in overdrive with thoughts of ideas on outfits and different ways to style them. But I have to admit I truly love the feeling and welcome the creative process.

So for my first make I chose the Ponte Roma Jersey Fabric in the color Jade. I’m so in love with this color, the vibrance and richness for me could work for any season. I immediately knew I wanted to make a dress, but it took me a minute to decide on the style I wanted. I finally decided on McCalls 7683 which includes several different shoulder and skirt variations for the dress. I have actually used this pattern before to make a formal gown. This time I opted for the one shoulder bodice and circle skirt for my dress, for a nice flirty flare. The pattern was very easy to follow and there weren’t a lot of pieces involved in the construction.

This fabric was very easy to work with and the bodice came out beautifully! I’m super satisfied with the decision to do the one shoulder, even though I think the off shoulder would look just as nice.

The bottom I truly love. Who doesn’t love a good circle skirt? Reminds me of every Easter dress I wanted when I was a little girl, just for the moment to twirl and watch it flare out. And as soon as I got it on it’s still the first thing I did.

I used my serger to finish all my seams and a narrow folded hem on both the top flounce and the bottom of the skirt.

On to styling!! I think this dress can be used both casually or dressed up for an evening out. I decided to keep it simple but flirty. I chose to wear a camel colored belt around my waist to accentuate the waistline and matching heels. I think the camel color pairs nicely with the Jade while allowing the vibrance of the fabric to stand out, since the camel color is so close to my skin tone. This could also work if you wanted to add a little color to contrast.

Overall I’m very pleased with how this dress turned out! There were no modifications made and I would definitely sew this again. Thanks again Minerva for the opportunity to make such a nice piece.

DorothyLynn

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McCall’s 7726 In Navy Cotton Drill

A perfect pair of high waist pants has been on my sewing to-do list for a long time. Like many, my proportions are not standard and I struggle to find something that fits both my waist and hips. For this reason, I’ve been a little intimidated by pants, and while I have loads of great patterns saved for future use, I have not attempted many to date – but I’m really, really glad I tried McCall’s 7726, as I may have found my perfect pair of pants.

When I saw Minerva's Cotton Drill Fabric in navy, I decided this was the nudge I needed to make McCall’s m7726. I’ve seen a lot of fantastic versions of this pattern, and am a big fan of its casual but elevated look. I decided to make view B with the belt carriers and sash.

I was really excited to receive the navy drill. Navy is a staple colour in my wardrobe, so I knew it would work with the clothes I already own. The fabric itself is great for pants – it’s medium-heavy and feels very sturdy, but still very soft and pliable.

The drill is really wide (58inches) and I used 2.1m for the pants and sash, with very little leftover. I cut out a straight size 14 and did not make a muslin. A little risky I know, but I felt confident that the pleats would give me leeway to alter the pants.

The pattern was really easy to make, and the directions easy to follow. The only step I was confused by was the zip insertion – it wasn’t a method I had used before, and I don’t have a lot of experience inserting zippers in pants. The pattern instructs you to tack the crotch together, and from this point I was confused. My go-to method if I get stuck on a pattern is to search for reviews and tutorials online. I was glad to find a fantastic video tutorial by Brittany Jones, which showed exactly how to interpret the instructions. Brittany steps you through the whole project (though I only followed it for the zip insertion) and I really recommend anyone making these pants to check it out. Thank you, Brittany – you saved my zipper!

A standard adjustment I need to make to pants is to bring the waist in. I didn’t bother with any pattern alterations – instead, I waited until the pants were pieced together, and increased the pleats. After pinning the pleats together as marked and trying the pants on (in hindsight I don’t know if I recommend this – tacking may be less painful), I determined how much more I would take the waist in. I ended up adding an extra ¼ to each pleat, taking the waist in, 2 inches total.

I’m really, really happy with how the pants have turned out. The fabric looks very sleek, and I think it’s a perfect match for the pattern. They are a dream to wear – although they are fitted, they are incredibly comfortable and aren’t restrictive to move in.

I’ve paired it with a t-shirt for a more relaxed look, but the fabric and pattern structure means they are really versatile. I plan to take these from casual weekends to work in the office. I’m excited to make many more pairs of these – relaxed in linen, bright in a bold print, an 80’s throwback in denim – the list goes on.

Thanks for reading,

Colleen @c.sews

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A Party Dress and Tips for Sewing Sequin Tulle

I’m so excited to be back on the Minerva blog with another project to share with you all!

When I saw this absolutely gorgeous sequin tulle fabric on the Minerva website, I knew it was destined to become a party dress, perfect for the holidays! And when the fabric arrived on my doorstep, I was even more excited…and maybe a bit nervous…to cut into it and make something pretty.

This fabric is a black tulle with a floral pattern made from sequins. As soon as I saw the fabric, I had the idea to make a short, low cut underdress that I would “cover” with a looser fitting dress with a high neckline made from this beautiful tulle. I decided I wanted the underdress and overdress to be completely separate from each other so that I can wear them separately if I want to later on.

I started with the underdress and draped the pattern for a short, slim-fitting dress with a deep v-neck. I made the underdress out of a beautiful cranberry colored wool that I had in my stash and used a side zipper closure. I absolutely love how the wool underdress turned out and I think the color goes beautifully with the sequin tulle fabric.

Next, I used the same bodice pattern for the overdress that I had made for the underdress, except with a few adjustments. I eliminated the deep v neck and turned it into a boat neckline and instead of a side zip closure, I cut the back in two pieces so that the closure would be at the back. I also added sleeves and made a circle skirt pattern to go with the new bodice.

I sewed up the overdress using my new long-sleeved bodice pattern and circle skirt pattern. I had to cut the circle skirt in four pieces in order to get the whole thing out of the fabric I had left after cutting the bodice and sleeves, so my skirt has a center front seam, which isn’t optimal but I don’t think it’s too noticeable. After sewing together all the pieces of the dress, I left the seam allowances and hem edges raw. I finished the neckline and sleeves with black fold-over elastic. And for the back closure, I used some of the leftover wool from the underdress to make two plackets at the center back and inserted some eyelets. I then made a long tie from the wool fabric and threaded it through the eyelets for a really unique and beautiful lace-up back detail.

So to finish up my post, I thought I would share some of my tips for sewing with sequin lace fabric! Here goes:

1.     Practice on scrap fabric first to make sure the tension on your machine is right. I didn’t have to make any adjustments here but it’s always worth checking before you mess something up!

2.     Remove the sequins from the seam allowances before sewing... or at least remove as many as possible from the seam allowances. The fewer sequins you sew over the less likely you are to break or bend your needle. Also, the seam allowances will lie nicer if you remove the bulk the sequins create from them. I’m going to be honest though… near the end of this project I did end up sewing over some of the smaller sequins (I made sure to remove the large ones) and didn’t have any issues.

3.     Tie off your thread tails at the beginning and end of seams instead of backstitching. I found that backstitching often caused bunching and other wonkiness, so I tied off my thread tails instead.

4.     Trim your seam allowances short. Your seam allowances will be visible while you’re wearing the garment because the tulle is see-through, so trimming them short gives a professional look and minimizes the distracting visible seam allowances.

5.     Tulle doesn’t fray AT ALL, which is amazing in my opinion! So you can leave your seam allowances and hem raw if you want. In fact, I think the raw hem on tulle looks better than a “finished” hem because it maintains its lightness and flounciness instead of being weighed down by a hem.

6.     Try a pretty fold-over elastic to finish necklines, sleeves, and armholes on tulle garments or other fancy fabrics. It gives a gorgeous delicate finish and is super, super easy to apply: you just fold it in half over the raw edge to encase it and sew it down with a zigzag stitch that matches the color of the elastic.

I hope you found these tips helpful and might be inspired to try sewing with a fabric outside of your comfort zone. Maybe even tulle!

Anyways, I am so happy with how this dress turned out and I really enjoyed sewing it up with this gorgeous sequin tulle. I’m so ready to wear this to a party during the holidays! Now I just need to get invited to one… ;)

Thanks for reading and happy sewing!

Carmen

@adoptyourclothes

Adopt Your Clothes blog

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Oscars Worthy Holidays

Hey hey,

It’s Kten from @jinxandgunner and I am so excited to share my special holiday make with you.  When the ladies at Minerva reached out to inquire if I would be interested in collaborating on a holiday outfit with some very special fabric I took one look at the selection and thought- ABSOLUTELY, yes, but how am I ever going to decide on a fabric???

First world problems, am I right?  Well as you can see I did in fact decide on one and I was so pleased with my choice when it arrived. It is B.E.A.U.T.I.F.U.L.  To me red, green, silver and gold screams holidays but so does plaid and plaid has the added benefit of also screaming snuggly cozy, inviting winter-wear.  When I saw the fabric in person I was totally in awe.  How did they get that plaid on there??

I had a very clear vision of me in a mermaid sequin skirt with an oversized sweater tucked into the front and drinking a hot apple cider with a fragrant cinnamon stick popping out of the top.  Yum.  However, as everything was coming together I knew I had a little bit of extra fabric to work with because I’m great at efficiently cutting, so the idea of doing a little bit extra was ruminating in my mind as I worked. Slowly but surely the picture of a full nod to a tuxedo formulated in my head and before I knew it I was thinking full length sequin- ‘if I ever get invited to the Oscars- this is what Im going to wear’ ensemble. So naturally I did both.  

OK so, let’s take a step back. Let’s talk construction. I was originally thinking M7540 or Simplicity 8597 but ultimately ended up getting M7928 and M7386.  

One is for stretch fabric and one is for woven.  When my sequin fabric arrived I quickly realized there was cross wise stretch because the sequins are sew onto a light spandex-y fabric, but because they are sewn on in vertical lines, those vertical lines take out all the stretch along the length of the fabric.  Sooo I used the stretch pattern as my base, but of course I sewed up a muslin, which by the way is not a a given- unless its fabric I really treasure and/or I’ve made significant changes to the pattern I’m working with. Both were the case with this project.

Which brings me to the changes I made….  I used M7386 as my base pattern, but there were things about M7928, that I knew I wanted to incorporate into my skirt as well. I liked the idea of a peplum bottom so I traced off my pattern- because first things first, always have a back up!  Trust me- that’s just good life advice, ha and then I chopped off the bottom. Sounds wicked when I just blurt it out like that, but hey- that’s why I kept the original untouched. Below is a sketch of my changes overlaid the technical drawing from the back of the envelope.

The next step was to basically draft a circle skirt- but I didn’t want it to be toooo over the top- (yes there is irony in that), so I went with a 3/4 circle skirt. Then I cut out a muslin, made a couple of fit adjustments and those ultimately led me to bump the front of the peplum up 2” because as I was playing around with the proportions I decided I liked the look of a sloping seam line in profile.  

Then I decided to line the whole thing because I knew I was going to want to put horse hair braid into the hem, but often I  feel like that can leave a distinct ridge, so I decided to put my horse hair into the lining instead, which I think was pretty effective. It’s a softer look, but almost like having a mini petticoat built into my skirt.

After that I decided I needed to amp up the ‘me’ in this skirt- so I put an exposed metal zipper in the back which  A) I think looks so good and brings a little bit of edge to it, and B) has the unexpected benefit of distracting from ever so slightly mismatched pattern placement, lol.  I also knew that I wanted to add some tuxedo inspired stripes with grosgrain ribbon.  I love tuxedo stripes in general and I also love grosgrain details on garments, there’s just something so elevating about it.

One thing to note, is that when all was said and done I ended up with a pretty hefty skirt, so I hid some 1” wide elastic at the waist in between the self and lining and made it a little on the snug side which helps support the weight of the skirt.  I have to say though the lining is made of a thin neoprene for the top and a more medium weight neoprene for the peplum and it makes it sooo cozy.  This skirt looks like it’s crazy tight, but because everything is stretchy and neoprene has a bit of extra bounce to it, this skirt literally feels like slightly padded pajamas.

I draped the front and back bodice for this top on my dressform just because that’s something I have been getting into recently, but there are a ton of patterns that would be a great starting point, a couple free ones that come to mind are the Deer and Doe Plantain or the HalfMoon Atelier Super Basic Tank, or Tilly and the Buttons Agnes top is also probably a good option and actually the pattern I adapted the sleeves for this from.  I added a half inch to the sleeve cap off the bat to account for the fact that there is no lengthwise stretch in the fabric, and then made a muslin which resulted in adding about a 1/4” to the inside seam.

I chose to do a high boat neck in the front that dips down into a low U back. The skirt sits around my natural waist, so I did a slightly cropped top, in part because I was happy to have my lower back exposed, but I was also working with limited fabric and was fully committed to long sleeves for top drama. I did matching tuxedo stripes along the side seams of the top and decided to continue them down the seams of the sleeves as well. The bodice is lined with the same fabric I used to line the top section of the skirt and I sewed bust cups into the ‘outside’ of the lining so I could wear it fuss free. To be honest there is something going on with the sleeves and/or armsyce relationship because when I lift my arms they pull my top up with them a bit, so I did a quick fit-fix by sewing 1” elastic into the hem of the shirt, which also solved some minor gapping over my lower back.

Additionally since I knew I was thinking about building this project into a tuxedo inspired outfit, I figured I’d have to make a quick nod to a cumberband- because if you’re gonna do it, do it all, right?? So I took a rectangular scrap of neoprene from what I had used for the lining of the peplum, gathered the sides and attached two length of grosgrain ribbon to each end.  

 I didn’t get a clear picture of it, but when I tied them, I treated each side as one, so it creates a little X with a bow in the middle over my exposed lower back. 

As you can see in my picture overload I love it all and I hope you guys enjoyed reading along.  It’s so comfortable and wearable or comfortable and Oscar worthy (in my book at least), and even though I’m going to have limited occasions to wear the entire ensemble together, it breaks down into really wearable separates and more than anything, I feel so accomplished after seeing my ideas become a reality.

Thanks for reading along and if you’ve made it this far, come check out more pics at @jinxandgunner!

See you soon, 

Kten :)

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