Posted in Projects on Wednesday the 17th April 2019 by Vicki Ormerod
For my first Minerva Crafts blog, I wanted to make a gingham shirt, I think it’s a garment that can be worn year round, under a jumper or cardigan in the winter and with the sleeves rolled up in spring/summer. The fabric I used is 100% Cotton Gingham Fabric it’s a classic casual shirt fabric and it’s a dream to work with. I always pre- wash my fabric before cutting out and dry it in the same way I plan to do with the finished garment, so in this case, it didn’t go in the tumble dryer.
I chose the Deer and Doe Melilot Shirt Pattern, it’s classic, but the styling is a little more contemporary. It has dropped shoulders (the short sleeved version has grown on sleeves) a feminine cut and a rounded collar. I also chose this pattern for reasons of practicality, it has a concealed button band and my machine isn’t great at making buttonholes, so if I can hide them I don’t have to deal with buttonhole anxiety!
The pattern is beautifully drafted, and the instructions are great. I always grade up between sizes around the waist as I carry more weight around the tummy area, it means I don’t have the same fitted silhouette but its more flattering for my shape other than that I didn’t make any alterations. The instructions suggest that you sew the shirt using French seams, I felt that the poplin would be too bulky, so I opted to use a flat felled seam instead.
It’s relatively simple to do, you just trim one side of your seam allowance to half its size and fold the remaining half over so both sides of the seam allowance are encased and stitch close to the folded edge. There are sewing machine feet you can buy that do this, but I’ve never managed to get one to work so prefer to do it manually – slow and steady. A flat felled seam is a good option if you’re not using a lightweight fabric and don’t have an overlocker, it’s also very strong.
I spent time ensuring that the checks matched at the centre front, the pockets and the placket finding it easier to hand baste. The result was spot on, although with a small check like this as I move around the pattern isn’t always perfectly aligned, but I don’t think anyone else would notice.
Other than the seam finish I followed the instructions to the letter until it came to the hem. The shirt has a very deep curve at the hem, and I knew from previous horrendous experiences that I wouldn’t be able to get the curve to look neat unless I finished it with bias binding. I’ve tried to make my own bias binding before, and it was a wonky mess, but this time I used a bias tape maker, and it was so much easier to get a consistent finish it just needed a press with the iron to come out perfectly, and now my shirt has a smooth curve.
Thank you to Minerva for this great fabric, I know this shirt will become a wardrobe staple for me and it was really enjoyable to make.
Alex @ Alex Judge Sews
Hi Minerva crafters, I'm Aida, coming to you from Athens, Greece and for this post I had the opportunity to try this gorgeous Alta Moda Crepe Fabric, this fabric is soft like butter and has a bit of stretch, I was looking for a natural fiber crepe fabric and I came across this black and white print, I just love black and white garments so I was so glad when I found it and I saw that it is a viscose fabric. I remember that I had another Alta Moda fabric in the past and the quality was as good as this one.
When I ordered it I had in mind to make a simple straight shirt dress, I browsed all the issues of Burdastyle that I have and I finally decided for pattern nr. 115 from the issue 01/ 2016, this pattern has detailed instructions as it is the illustrated class from this issue. For you that don't use Burda Style, they have two patterns in each issue for whom they have detailed illustrated instructions, all the other patterns have the minimalistic instructions that you've all heard.. The truth is though that I didn't read any instructions, as I find it rather easy. I chose the pattern because it doesn't have many seams as I didn't want to interupt the gorgeous print of the fabric and because of the interesting sleeve detail.
As I said the construction is really easy. If you have sewn a back yoke in the past you will have no problem at all.The changes I made are the following: there is a central front seam which is used for the opening in the neckline but I omitted that front seam and I opened the neckline by stitching two narrow rows across the center front up to the point I wanted the opening to be and cut through that opening, if I had a solid I would have kept that seam line. The pattern is for an unlined dress but I decided to partial line it using the same front and back pattern pieces as for the fashion fabric, This pattern is designed for 1.68 m height ,I'm 1.60 m so I shortened the sleeves and for the body I didn't add any hem allowance but cut the fabric in the hemline and hemmed the dress afterwards in the desired length.
For the contrasting details I used some leftovers from my January post, it's a black crepe from Ateliere Brunete, I also made a 2 cm wide belt from the same fabric but I forgot to put the belt on when I was taking the pictures. I prefer to wear the dress with the belt to give some waist definition as I think it suits me better.
I really love this dress, it is so easy to wear as there is no zipper, only that front opening that you can tie if you want and I also feel so put together when I wear it.
Posted in Projects on Wednesday the 17th April 2019 by Vicki Ormerod
Posted in Projects on Tuesday the 16th April 2019 by Vicki Ormerod
Hello Everyone! My name is Natalie & I blog over at Threads & Bobbins. Welcome to my first post for the Minerva Blog. I’ve been a reader of the Blog and Blogger Network posts for a good while so I’m excited to start contributing myself.
I know I’m not alone when I say that I have been loving the latest book from Tilly & The Buttons. The Stretch book is literally the book of my dreams. It has a great range of projects in it and covers many staple pieces for a perfect wardrobe. I’ve slowly been working through the projects and had come to a pause on the Joni dress. The Joni is a lovely dress that can be dressed up or down. The bodice and sleeves are form fitting, with a nice floaty gathered skirt. Due to its styling versatility, I wanted to ensure that I used a fabric that made it easy to transfer from wearing it as a day dress through to a night dress.
I came across this gorgeous Soft Jersey Knit Fabric which has a nice ditsy floral pattern in a blue and purple palette. This fabric is incredibly soft and quite slinky. It’s really lightweight but it’s also so easy to handle. I almost think that this has a slight crepe feel to it!
When it comes to the Joni, I’ve felt a little late to the game so I couldn’t wait to get started with this one. The twisted bust intrigued me so much as I have never constructed anything with a twist. My measurements (B37, W32, H41) put me at a size 5. The pattern only had 5 pattern pieces; the skirt, sleeves, front bodice, back bodice & the neckline facing. I always thought that it would have a lot more than that!
The whole pattern stitched up like a dream, and of course, it helped having great fabric to work with. I’m reasonably new to using an overlocker so I was thoroughly pleased when the fabric edges glided through nicely. The twist was just a twist in the bodice. Simplicity at its finest! I didn’t make any changes to the pattern at all. As I’m only 5’1” with a short little body, I normally shorten the bodice by at least an inch. It just wasn’t needed with the Joni though as I’m quite happy with where it sits.
The fit of this dress is so flattering and it has an excellent twirling factor! If you have a look through the #SewingJoni tag on Instagram, it just looks great on everyone. This lightweight knit has been the perfect fabric for my first Joni…yes, there will be more! The book itself has a few different fabric ideas that I may try in the future, along with a few different options for pattern ‘hacks’ too. I love the idea of adding a little bit of elastic to the sleeves for a ruching effect. I’d possibly want to do that with a plainer fabric though so it doesn’t get too lost in the pattern.
Anyway, hope you’ve enjoyed reading about my Joni dress! I’m sure you’ll be seeing more of them from me in the future!
Hi sewing fairy’s,
It’s been a little while since I got the pen and paper (well ipad) out to write a blog post...I don’t actually know where time has gone over these last few months!...far too fast that’s for sure with not enough sewing hours in the day.
The black micro crown Velvet Fabric that I was sent by Minerva crafts is absolutely beautiful to touch and look at.
I have had this Pippi Pinafore pattern in my stash from Jennifer Lauren for a while but hadn’t managed to use it until I received the velvet.
Although I downloaded and printed the pattern pieces months ago when I purchased it, I didn’t actually print the instructions so I kept logging online to look at the instructions but unfortunately, I never got around to making it...until the velvet was here. This is when I realised that due to not printing out the instructions I had actually used up all my log ins to look at them. So unless I wanted to re-purchase the pattern I had to go in blind and attempt to make the pinafore using the pictures on the website of finished dresses to guide me of how it was meant to look like, luckily I actually managed to complete the dress with only the pictures to go by!
Velvet isn’t a fabric that I sew often (I can’t actually remember when I last sewed it before now so this was a test for me!) So I did find this quite a challenge as it does seem to slip and slide around.
One thing that I made sure that I did was to make sure the grain of the velvet all went the same way for all the pattern pieces as I knew I would notice if it was different.
I found some fabric from my stash for the pocket linings and the front bib lining and both the velvet and the lining fabric was very slippery together so I had to use a lot more pins than I usually would. I think if I was to use the same fabrics again then I would hand sew the fabrics together first then machine stitch them. Using the walking foot on the sewing machine did help with this though.
I used the over-locker for all of the edges of the pattern pieces that would be exposed as raw edges before I started, I would definitely recommend doing this (or using a zig zag stitch) as the edges will continue to shed ‘fluff’ for a while otherwise.
Instead of using regular buttons on the side for the opening I used the jeans buttons so that it matched the top of the pinafore bib section. These can be purchased from most Haberdasheries or fabric shops. I found it is easiest to use the wooden bread board and a small hammer so it is a strong surface to hammer in the metal pin into the jeans buttons.
This fabric has a gorgeous feel to it and it makes it a lovely dress to wear for a casual dog walk/pub lunch on a Sunday and also can be dressed up for an evening out.
I really love this dress as it is super comfortable and have worn it quite a lot since I made it.
Thanks for reading
Love Sew Tanni xXx
Posted in Projects on Tuesday the 16th April 2019 by Vicki Ormerod
I’ve started off the New Year with a sleeve drama!
This is a Sewing Pattern I’ve wanted to make for a very long time; I really enjoy the look of this style from the scoop neckline to the drama in the billowy sleeves. The top is very different from anything I’ve made before or what I have in my current wardrobe. I’ve seen many versions of this made in plain fabric, but I knew I wanted to go bold.
Now, I’m a curvy sewer, and generally, I’m a bit wary of bold colours, busy designs and normally I don’t go for Jersey Knit Fabric; for one I’ve never worked with it before and two, I always thought a jersey knit would be too clingy. I ordered two metres, but I was still a little worried about sewing this as I wasn’t sure how it would sit on me. Silly me, because the fabric worked beautifully for this make, it behaved all the way and was a joy to play around with; it was a joy to cut, it hemmed well, it didn’t slide in the machine while being sewn and it hardly needed any pressing. I think reading up on the best techniques such as what needle to use; (ballpoint/jersey) for the weave and researching the correct stitch for this fabric; (lightning bolt) helped immensely. The thread colour was also easy to match I went for the base colour of the fabric which is a beautiful rich chocolate brown and paired it with a Gutermann thread in colourwave 696.
It wasn’t all plain sailing though I did have a silly sausage moment, whereby I measured 13cm for the wrist elastic, and I kept looking at it and thinking how is this tiny piece of elastic going to go round all this fabric; the initial sleeve shape is huge. It turns out I read the instructions wrong; it was meant to be 13 inches. After reading the instructions again, I rectified the mistake and cut the correct length of elastic; the smaller piece will be put to use in another project.
So, what prompted me to go for this Floral Jersey Knit fabric? Well, the pattern asks for a stretch weave, there is a stretch percentage guide included in the pattern; the stretch of the fabric needs to come in at a minimum of 25 per cent and a maximum of 100 per cent. The composition of this fabric is 97 per cent polyester, and 3 per cent spandex and the stretch comes in well between the required percentage for this top. The fabric has a beautiful drape and is not too thick or too thin when it stretches over the bust; it doesn’t lose pattern definition or lose colour (the back of the fabric is white) which means it’s ideal for this make.
The top in the pattern is styled with structured pants, but in order to make this top feel more like me I paired it up with boot cut flare dress trousers and paper bag high waist trouser, but this top could also be dressed down and worn with jeans. The pattern itself from printing the pdf to putting it on took just over an hour and a half and I'm so chuffed with myself for trying out a Jersey Knit fabric, that I now have another two tops underway. This top is simple yet elegant, and it’s going to be the most worn of 2019.
I finished them with a bit narrower hem just to make them more wearable for me.
I lo-lo-love them so much!
Self Drafted Scarf
- I cut a long strip of fabric 68*12 cm.
- I fold the fabric piece in length ways right sides together.
- I cut the short ends diagonal.
- I sew it using 0.5 cm seam allowance leaving a 10 cm opening length ways. This will help turning the scarf right sides out.
- Press everything carefully and stitch the opening closed.
- Give a nice final press to your new scarf.
- Enjoy it!
So, what do you think? Has your sewing changed from time to time? What do you like to sew most?
Sewing pattern: 1) The Morning Glory Top by Sarah Kirsten. It is a FREE sewing pattern.
2) Flint Shorts by Megan Nielsen
3) A self drafted scarf
Size: 1) Based on my own measurements.
2) Size Medium.
3) One size.
Fabric: "Floral Viscose Challis Fabric" from Minerva.
Alterations: On my Flints I made a narrower hem.
Cost: The fabric was provided to me for reviewing purposes. It costs £5,99 per meter. Buttons for flints, Flint sewing pattern and the threads was bought by me.
Learn more about my handmade collection on my blog "Happy Sewing Blog", how I came up with this idea, the process of making it and the final collection! Let's inspire each other on Instagram, @argkalant. Thanks for reading!
Until next time,
When I opened my parcel and felt the beautiful Red Denim Fabric I let out an ‘oooooo’! The sort you make when you have your first sip of tea in the morning. This fabric was destined to be a Tilly and the Buttons Ness Skirt. I loved the style of the skirt, thinking it would be a great basic, casual skirt that could be dressed up or thrown on for the early morning school run. I chose to make the longer length.
As I suspected I was far off the pattern sizing so with a sad face I started scaling up the pattern 2 sizes. Extra paper and Sellotape later I was ready to pattern cut. I am hoping indie pattern companies will soon reflect us curvy sewists and rethink their size ranges, especially with the current #sewmysize and #sewinclusive movement on Instagram.
I used pattern weights to hold the pattern as I cut out the pattern with scissors, the quality of the paper in the pattern was excellent. I have 3 metres of this fabric, I have enough left to make a small skirt for my daughter, but I did need this length to be to cut out the long waistband (1 continuous piece x2).
The instructions were clear and the video tutorial for the zip fly is really helpful, but turn down the music if you need to watch it more than once.
I used 2 different fat quarters to be the pocket bag, simple to make but looks very professional (even if I do say so myself).
Throughout the making process you stop to topstitch along the way, I love the look of the top stitching on the denim. I used Gutermann Top Stitch Thread in yellow (no. 415). I have never topstitched in such detail before and I did have a topstitch heartache.
Things I learnt the hard way:
Top stitching is hard to unstitch
You only need topstitch thread on the spool, ordinary cotton on the bobbin (oops)
You only get 30m on a spool so with all the test pieces and unpicking, buy two!
Along stitch length 3mm is better than 2mm.
Instagram is great for advice (fellow sewist are the best).
But my sewing machine was happy as in the process of trying to figure out what was going wrong it got a full de-fluff and hoover. Plus a broken pin removed from its bobbin holder.
However it was worth the trauma, I love the detail on the back pockets and fly zip
Once the front and back pieces were constructed I pinned them around myself to check fit, hips being 2 sizes plus were fine but the waist was too large so I drew taper lines on the waist to decrease it whilst leaving ‘love handle’ room.
My machine struggled at times with the layered denim and thicker top stitch thread, so I decided not to do a machine button hole and did my first ever hand stitched button hole – it’s not quite as neat as I would like but does the purpose and is the same thread as the topstitching. I used instructions given on Di Kendall’s blog, although it took me a week to build the courage to do this.
To complete the denim look I used these Stud Jeans Buttons, I got my other half to hammer it through. I couldn’t take the pressure of doing it myself in case it went wrong.
Thanks for reading,