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Scuba 6013 Dress & Matching Headband

Hello crafty people, this month I have been sewing for the upcoming holiday party season.

I got this lovely black and gold Scuba Fabric to work with and immediately thought of making New Look Pattern 6013. It’s actually a pattern suggesting woven fabrics. However it has very few seams and makes for a great pattern for stable knits like ponte roma, scuba, interlock and heavier jerseys. I made a couple of knit dresses from this pattern last autumn/winter and loved them. They are so comfortable whilst you look like you made an effort to dress.

So for this fabric and version of the pattern I decided to use a contrasting fabric to make it a little more edgy and interesting looking. I went for a Faux Stretch Leather Fabric in black for the raglan sleeves and a wide band around the hem. I also bound the neckline in the contrasting fabric.

There were a few alterations I made to the pattern to make it work in a knit fabric:

  1. I went down a dress size from what I would normally cut out to create negative ease so the dress would fit nice and snug. I would recommend only thicker, heavier, more structured knit fabrics with decent recovery, so you get a nice fit without showing any lumps and bumps through or stretching out throughout the day/night when wearing the dress.

  2. I cut the back panel on the fold and skipped the zip. I can get the dress on and off without any zips easily, so I saved myself some work and supplies with this step. The neckline in wide enough too.

  3. I didn’t use the facings that come with the pattern but drew a neckband instead. I basically measured around the neckline and shortened that measurement by about 2-3 inches. I preferred that finish as it added another nice contrasting detail to the dress.

  4. I left the sleeve edges raw. The faux leather doesn’t fray and I think it looks quite nice with just the cut edge.

I am super happy with how this dress turned out. I can see myself wearing this during Christmas/New Years period as the gold print makes it quite festive in my opinion. Maybe even on a night out during that time. We’ll see. I might have to turn into a party girl for a night hahahaha. Maybe I can figure out a way to dress it down.

I did end up with a few scraps big enough to make a headband accessory. In my last post I made an accessory for my dog Chuck but since he’s not a party boy (he prefers the outdoors), I kept this one to myself. I was inspired by vintage turban style headbands.

This is super quick and easy project that you can literally whip up in minutes using jersey scraps only. It is a great way to add a pop of colour to your winter wardrobe too.

All you need is 2 scraps of jersey either of the same colour or contrasting. Measure your head circumference (in my case 23”) and subtract 1-3” to create negative ease so your headband sits nice and snug around your head. The amount depends on your material. The stretchier the fabric the more I would subtract. I subtracted 2” of mine. Then decide how wide you would like your headband to be. I wanted mine to be about 5” wide. Double up that measurement and add 5/8” seam allowance to that measurement for each side. Or if you are me and lazy, eyeball it.

The small rectangle is for the piece that gathers the headband and gives it its turban look. Mine is 7”x6”.

Fold both pieces over long side to long side, right sides of the fabric facing another. Pin and sew. I sewed mine on the overlocker but you can do this on a regular sewing machine using a zig zag stitch. Turn both pieces inside out.

Now we stitch the short ends of the tube we have created together. I like to have the seam we previously created to run along the center of one side of the tube. This will be the inside/wrong side of the headband and the seam won’t show that way. Pin the short ends together right sides (no seam) facing.

Now fold the small tube through the headband and around. This time have the seams facing another. You won’t be able to turn this piece once sewn. Sew the short ends together. 

Voila, you have a turban style headband. I like to finish mine by hand stitching the small loop in place so it covers the headbands’ seam and its own seam stays towards the inside of the headband.

Now where is the next holiday party at? I’m ready to go. I’ll be bringing the cocktails……

Thanks for reading,

Beatrice @beatricewinter


Luxury Crepe Christmas Dress

My ideal holiday dress is something that looks special for the day, a new debut, but that I can still get use out of for the rest of the year. In this make I definitely filled that quota. I opted for a red dress, which is distinctly Christmas but still versatile. I picked out a Luxury Crepe Fabric that was a dream to work with.
Crepe is vey easy to work with. It sewed up so beautifully. After pre-washing the crepe it had the loveliest feel. Crepe is a very easy fabric to have a dressy look. Crepe has a lot of drape which is perfect for a dress.
I wanted to make the Orchid Midi dress from Chalk & Notch. I sewed up a size 4. It fits pretty well everywhere except the armholes. If I were to make this again, I'd add more room to the armcye and maybe more room to the back yoke. I don't normally have issues in these spots, but I did have the same issues in the Fringe dress by the same designer. So if you have made something form Chalk & Notch before, any adjustments needed for those are probably the same on this one.
Since I am making this dress for Christmas, I made the long sleeve version. Crepe isn't a winter fabric, but most inside places will have the A/C so I lighter fabric in long sleeves is the way to go for me. 
Everything in this pattern has a wonderful finish. Chalk & Notch really took time to make sure each aspect has a nice finish. The crepe made finishing pretty easy. The yoke encases some seams, she uses interfacing on the hems which made folding and finishing very easy. 
I'm so excited to wear this for the holidays. I love it so much I'm using it for my engagement photos as well. 
Merry Christmas,

Bethan in Black (Is this the slinkiest dress I’ve ever made?)

Hi Minerva Readers, It’s Claire from ragbagsandgladrags and I’m sharing my latest make here with you today. This has to be one of the slinkiest dresses I have ever made.

Minerva Crafts sent me this beautiful burnout Velour Knit Fabric. I wasn’t quite sure how sheer this would be. I was wondering if it might be as sheer as a devore, but it isn’t. As soon as I handled the fabric I knew it needed to be a slinky dress and the fabric is just perfect for party wear. I’ll certainly be wearing this in the run-up to Christmas.

I’d considered the Kielo Wrap Dress Pattern and this would look stunning in that pattern. I also considered the DP studio 003 Asymmetric dress, which I made in a ribbed jersey last year, but as I knew I need to wear a slip under this fabric I thought that the thigh-high split might be a problem.

However, I did use this pattern as a basis for the dress I made. I used the pattern pieces from the DP 003 dress as a basis of a block for the dress. I simply traced the front pieces up to the centre front line and overlapped the lower front piece to create a hip length block. The back piece was used almost as is with a centre back seam, which allows for shaping at the waist - great if you have a swayback like me. I used the sleeves from the DP pattern. Why use this particular pattern? Well, it’s the first I have found where the shoulders are wide enough and the armscye deep enough for me. I used size 40 for the bust/ waist grading out to 42 at the hip. I also drafted a boat neckline and slightly flared the skirt to the hem (Waist to hem - approx 42 inches).

I’m really pleased with the final dress. It fits me perfectly and it also looks stunning on my daughter, we’re a very similar size so she agreed to be my model for this dress. I think it might be borrowed from me quite a lot.

The dress came together quickly with only 5 pieces to sew together. I sewed the centre back, then the shoulders - using some twill tape to stop it stretching out (this fabric is very stretchy). The sleeves were set in flat. The seams were all overlocked as I went along to neaten them. The side seams were sewn and I popped on the dress to check the fit. I needed to take the waist in just a little, I did this and neatened the seams. So far so good, the fabric was well-behaved sewing the vertical seams and I didn’t have any issue with the shoulders. I thought this was going to be a super quick make as it had only taken me just over an hour to cut out and sew to this far…

… the next step wasn’t so simple. I decided to sew a band which I would turn to the inside of the neckline to give a good finish. I’ve done this many times on T-shirts and never had an issue. This fabric didn’t like this at all. The cut edge curled quite a bit and the velour and burnout sections behaved differently under the needle. The burn out areas stretched more than the velour sections. The fabric is actually quite bulky when there are three layers of it. Once I’d finished the neckline it was not lying flat. So I spent ages unpicking. It's really hard to see the stitches on this fabric! I should have left the neckline unhemmed or just turned it under and topstitched. This fabric would handle a simple finish like that. That’s what I did at the hems and it worked fine.

However, once I’d unpicked the neckline, I’d managed to stretch the fabric a bit too much. I ended up using a piece of black fold over elastic to encase the neckline edge, which I turned to the inside and topstitched. All my messing about with it meant it doesn’t lie quite as flat as I’d like, but you live and learn.

Apart from my neckline fiasco (which isn’t the fault of the fabric), this dress went together well. I’m already planning how I will style it. It’s a must to wear my silver glitter shoes with it. I will wear this with a nude slip underneath. It’s not actually as see-through as I thought it would be. It’s the perfect dress to sling in a case when on holiday as you could pull it out of the bag and wear it straight away.

This fabric lends itself very well to form-fitting garments. It would make a great fitted t-shirt or dress. The good amount of stretch means that it’s super comfortable to wear, Bethan could run around the garden in this comfortably, she said she felt like Morticia - from the Addam’s Family. I can see that - can you?.

It could also look stunning as a bralette or cami top. It has a beautiful drape and would make a stunning kimono cover up or Kielo wrap dress. As it doesn’t fray, hems and edges can be left unstitched (so wish I’d done that!). It's easy to sew on a regular sewing machine - I just used a narrow zigzag.

Claire @ ragbagsandgladrags


Little Red Dress

This is my first blog post for Minerva Crafts, so it just had to be a dress to fit the occasion, and boy is this an occasion dress.

Minerva has such a huge selection of fabrics, but as soon as I saw this beautiful micro crown Velvet Fabric I knew I had to have it, and that I had to have it in red! I didn’t have a pattern in mind, but I knew the style I wanted, and given that the fabric is only 44 inches wide I went for the extra half meter just to be safe, and ordered 2.5meters.

I googled ‘party dress patterns’ and it didn’t take me long to find the Simple Sew Loretta Jewel Neck Dress, the thing I loved so much about this dress was the stunning neck line. This pattern doesn’t expressly list velvet as a recommended fabric, nor I am sure, will many others, but it calls for a mid to heavy weight cotton/satin/crepe etc, so I was certain that this would be perfect in the velvet. And I am of the opinion, that if you love a fabric, just go for it!

Now I am a stickler for the rules, so as soon as the fabric arrived it went straight in the wash on 30C. I am hoping that this isn’t going to be a dress that gets dirty so I will only need to wash it at 30C once made up!

The velvet came out of the wash absolutely perfect, and it dried really quickly on the radiator, so I was able to get started straight away!

Cutting out the velvet with right sides together was so easy! The velvet seems to naturally stick together so once you lay it out there is no slipping or sliding as you pin your pattern pieces down or cut.

This was also very useful when sewing right sides together, I even gave up using pins half way through the make! However, when fixing in the zip it was a different story! Pins were essential! I actually pinned, then basted, and then finally stitched! You should note that the fabric is very different on the wrong side, so when doing the hems etc, and sewing wrong sides together the fabric behaves very differently.

The only other extra bit of sewing I did was to under stitch the facing, which the pattern did not suggest, but it definitely needed it to stop It from shifting out, as the fabric did not stay in place from pressing alone, owing to, as I mentioned how different the fabric is on the wrong side.

Whilst I mention pressing, the wrong side of this fabric stood up well to the heat of the iron, but I would recommend using a pressing cloth or some greaseproof paper between the right side of the fabric and your iron, as I did manage to mark mine a little, but luckily for me it was only on the inside seam of the back split! So no one else needs to know about that little mistake!

I paired my dress with some lacy black tights and some killer black heels and I feel absolutely amazing wearing it! It makes the perfect party dress!

If you are looking for fabric to make that perfect little red dress, then I can certainly recommend this beauty! You are sure to feel glamourous and sophisticated dressed in red velvet, and I am certainly considering giving it another go in black or navy for a completely different look!

Thanks for reading! If you want to see more of my makes, you can find me on Instagram or check out my website

Until next time!



Fat Quarter Project Ideas from the Art Gallery Colour Master Box

I was asked to review  this incredibly beautiful box of ten coordinating Fat Quarters from Art Gallery Fabrics. As there are so many different colour combinations to choose from I used the "pin" method and ended up with the Vibrant Violet box. I would not have been disappointed with any of the colour combinations.

At first glance the collections seem expensive, but so far I have made three items and still have over half the box of fabrics left, with smaller leftovers too, so is this value for money? YES!

I made a bag, who doesn't need a bag for every occasion? I made a coin purse, so useful when on holiday I find, and I made a holder for my key-card and door keys. I plan to make a spectacle case, and a cover for my kindle too.

These are the fabrics I didn't use - enough for a whole collection of other delights. I really cannot stress the value for money you get with this collection, and being Art Gallery fabrics each fabric piece is of the highest quality and coordinates perfectly.

I used this book as a basis of my design, but you could use a commercial pattern or just go where your imagination takes you.

Projects like this can be easily adapted to suit your needs and you can add zips, pockets, fastenings as your whim takes you.

This is the box of fabric.

And these are the beautiful contents.

The Bag

I chose my design and the fabrics I wanted to use. To keep it simple I didn't purchase and findings but you can easily buy metal ware to attach handles with, sliders to make adjustable straps and there are all sorts of fastenings to explore.

I worked on the fronts and backs separately and stitched them together when each was finished. I have stitched a strip of fabric to make a  pocket  right sides to the top of the bag, right sides together. And in this photograph I have drawn a rectangle exactly 7" long and have stitched around the outside. To make a zipped pocket I need to ship into the corners and turn it right sides out.

This leaves a letterbox type opening. I attached a zipper to the inside with double sided basting tape and top stitched all round on the right side. This is the easiest zip insertion ever! To make the pocket the fabric needs to be folded in half and stitched down the sides. Just tack it to the top and press.

To make the front I made a lined patch pocket and inserted a tab between the upper and lower parts of the bag. I fastened this close with a plastic popper. This will be great to keep my ticket safe.

Attach bag interfacing to the front and back, there are many types to choose from depending on the finish you want. I used an iron on foam type interfacing.

Moving to the lining. I used quilting quality cotton for this as I would have needed to use two of my fat quarters and I wanted to keep them for another project.

The first thing I did was to make a thin strap to hold a key ring - always useful on the inside of the bag to keep something at hand or indeed for security.

The key ring I made attaches to this nicely, keeping my cards and keys safe.

I made two patch pockets, one for each lining piece. These can be made the size you want them to be. One of mine was stitched down the centre to make a pocket for my mobile, the other was left large but I added a closure.

An easy way to make the strap is to use fold-a-band waistband facing. Iron it on and top stitch down each long side. I needed to join two pieces of fabric, matching the design perfectly.

Sew the bag front and back together and the front and back lining together, but first cut out a two inch square at each corner as shown. Don't sew this corner. Stop stitching when you reach it and start again at the other side.

Squash the corners together and stitch, this will give a lovely box shape to your bag.

Leave the bottom of the lining unstitched, attach the straps to the right side of the bag and then put your bag inside the lining and stitch all around the top edge.

Pull the whole thing through the opening in the lining and slip-on stitch it closed.

This is the finished back with the zipper open showing the fabric I used to make the pocket.

This is the front showing the pocket.

You can make your bag however you want, adding pockets of any size or shape - there are no rules, the more creative you are the better!

The inside of my bag has plenty of pocket space.

I kept my pockets fairly low down to avoid things from tipping my bag over if it was put on a table.

The finished front. Note I added a popper to close it.

The finished back.

The Purse

There were no instructions with my purse closure. But some of them do have a template.

The one I used is the sew-in type, some you just glue the purse into the frame.

I looked on the internet and found a template for my size frame, there are plenty of different templates if you don't have one, also I easily found written instructions describing how to cut the fabric.

The square cut out in this photograph has the same function as the square cut out of the base of the handbag, it forms a nice flat base.

Attach the interfacing to the lining. I used a heavy weight iron on Colene.

Stitch the sides - the photograph  shows where to sew,it is easier to see on the lining.

Then squash the corners together as before forming a base, and sew them 1/4" from the edge. Press using a sleeve roll.

Put the lining inside the purse wrong sides together and tack the pieces together along the top edge.

Start to push the fabric into the frame and tack it in place.

Then take some strong top-notch stitching thread and sew the clasp onto the purse. The stitches will show on the inside so try to be as best as possible and you may want to match your thread to your lining.

And that's it! I just went around the top with some fray - check, the whole thing took me an hour.

I really like this little purse. It would easily be made longer to accommodate sunglasses - in which case I would use a thicker wadding in place of the interfacing and maybe do a bit of quilting too. These clasps come in all sorts of shapes and sizes.

The Keyring

I have to carry a card key around with me plus door keys and I like to keep them together so I came up with this idea.

This could also be used as a business card holder.

Using my card as my template I cut out lengths of fabric, interfacing and lining to fit roomily around my card with a wrap-over. The wrap-over part I trimmed to make a semi circle shape.

Make sure that it is the right size for your cards.

Fold a small piece of fabric to make a loop and top stitch. Insert your key ring.

Tack your key ring to where you want it, I wanted to put mine at the bottom fold line.and tack it in place facing inside. 

Tack or iron the interfacing to the lining and place right sides together with the main fabric.

Stitch all the way around leaving a gap to turn it through to the right side. Make sure that the key ring is tucked inside before you start to sew.

Pin the sides together and top stitch close to the edge. Press.

Add a popper to close.

I made a couple of these as they are so useful, they make great items to sell at craft fairs too.

I really love this collection, it will be perfect to take on holiday as it is so lightweight and will be fabulous for carrying my water kindle, door key and currency.

The fabrics really are beautiful, no matter which collection you choose you can be assured that they all coordinate perfectly.

Angela @ sewangelicthreads


Mock Wrap Dress

I have been on the lookout for a stretch jersey fabric to make a dress for some time and have never quite found the right fabric, so when I received this Art Gallery Jersey Fabric from Minerva Crafts I knew exactly the pattern I would use.  The fabric is an Art Gallery stretch jersey medium weight knit – Line Drawings Bluing.  I love the pattern on the fabric, an off white modern floral outline on a denim blue coloured background, feminine without being too fussy.
My chosen pattern is a mock wrap dress by McCall’s 6884 with only a few pattern pieces and easy to follow instructions.  I used pattern A but with the skirt from pattern B as I felt my hips may make the dress gape in the wrong places.
Stretch fabric, in general, can be difficult to work with, from laying out the fabric, to managing the edges that may curl and also cutting and stitching. This fabric is no different and extra care is needed when cutting the pattern pieces to ensure they are cut accurately and the fabric is not stretched out of shape. I still cut all my fabric with scissors but would be interested to know if a rotary cutter would have been better with this jersey fabric. I didn’t take too much time trying to match the pattern on the fabric and roughly ensured the sleeves were similar.
I followed the pattern instructions exactly as I don’t often stitch with knit fabric.  I ensured I stay stitched the required edges, double stitched the seams & neatened the edges with a zig zag stitch.  I have an overlocker that I inherited from my mom but am yet to study the instructions and have a go with it and this would have saved time when stitching the dress.  Instead, I sewed two seams close to each other & then neatened the edges with a basic zig zag stitch. However, stitching with a traditional sewing machine achieved great results as long as care is taken to avoid stretching the fabric whilst stitching.
The pattern starts with hemming the inner front edges and making the belt.  A neat finish was achieved along the edges by creating a small hem with two folds and stitching with straight stitch. The fabric belt was easy to turn right side out and create crisp corners, compared with some cotton fabrics I have used which can be bulky in the corners even with trimming and clipping. All that was required was a light iron on the seams.
I advise lifting & placing the fabric pieces on top of each other carefully rather than smoothing the fabric as this would cause it to become misshapen. I also tacked the side seams as detailed in the instructions whereas I often just rely on pinning. I was slightly anxious about stretching the fabric when handling and stitching and made sure I didn’t pull the fabric when on the machine, and let it feed through naturally. I wondered if the side seams would be quite thick to sew as they consisted of 2 layered front pieces, the belt and the back piece but there was no problem and it sewed with ease.
The fabric is very forgiving to handling with no fraying nor creasing and is perfect for the dress I chose to make. 
I love the finished result and it is a dress that can be worn for many occasions and an ideal fabric to pack to take away on holiday. There is enough spandex to maintain its shape but also very forgiving and not clinging in the wrong places.  It is also a fairly quick pattern to make up, even using a traditional machine and double stitching the seams.
I will definitely sew with knits again in the future and plan to master the overlocker – this particular fabric is ideal for many patterns that require a stretch knit fabric & I’m hoping there is enough fabric left to make a basic vest or t shirt.
Thank you to Minerva Crafts for the beautiful fabric and to everyone for reading my review. 
Helen @ justsewhelen

Floral Faux Leather Simplicity 1194 Rock Chic Ball Gown

Making this dress took me on a whirlwind of emotions. I started excited, hopeful, next came confusion, and fury at my inability to sew netting in a straight line. Then relief as I approached the finish line and finally exhilaration as I realised it was all worth it and the dress was magnificent! Let me explain in more detail…
The Fabric I’m using for this make is the polar opposite of what I usually opt to work with and not something I would have considered sewing clothes with had I not been given the opportunity by Minerva Crafts. For this review I’m using a fabric comprised of faux leather flowers, decoratively stitched onto a tulle backing! The faux leather and tulle are black and the stitching is white, although it appears to have more of a silvery sheen to it than stark white.
I was expecting the fabric to be quite thick and heavy but it was actually a lot more delicate than I had imagined it could be. The tulle backing on the cut out flowers has a really lovely sense of movement too because where the flowers are stitched down, the edges of some turn up slightly giving it a 3d effect you wouldn’t usually experience in clothing.
I knew I needed a full skirt to really show off this fabric so I chose a spectacular pattern I had been wanting to use for a long time: Simplicity 1194. It is a 1950s ‘party dress’ with an exaggerated skirt, built in petticoat, and beautifully decorative neck and shoulder straps. I had really high hopes for this design, however, I did underestimate how tricky I would find the whole process using a fabric I had no experience with (the faux leather and the tulle for the petticoat). But, the finished dress is amazing (modesty has no place when I’ve worked so hard!) and definitely ‘one of a kind’. I’ve done the hard bit so you can now take all my tips and suggestions for using this fabric and pattern and breeze through your creation without any unforeseen problems!
The skirt on this pattern is big, like, really big. I had two metres of fabric to use for the whole dress whereas the pattern advises you need nearly 3.5 metres. Given the qualities of the fabric I was using, I reduced my skirt pieces down by a third and was still confident I would have enough to give it body and flare – now it’s finished I’m happy with this decision and would advise if you’re also using this fabric or another thick one such as brocade you could easily do the same. Because of the multi directional design on my leather tulle I was also able to turn my pattern pieces in either direction, which helped me fit everything on.
The dress pattern gives you instructions at the beginning for a couple of different methods of gathering and you can choose which you prefer to use. I initially stuck with my usual technique and sewed two lines of basting stitches, and pulled the tail ends to gather the skirt top edge. This method will not work on fabric of this thickness/strength, and my threads just snapped before I had got anywhere. My second choice was to zig-zag stitch over a long piece of string and gather the skirt along it. This worked wonders and I used the same technique for gathering the netting for the petticoat too.
I was slightly concerned that my machine would struggle to sew through the gathered leather when attaching it to the bodice but I used a 100/16 ‘Heavy’ Klasse needle and had no problems at all – the needle seemed to slide really easily through the faux leather so I didn’t have any issues from that point of view. A new needle is definitely recommended so it’s as sharp as possible to make sure it glides easily.
Another positive of this fabric is that it doesn’t fray so I was able to save a lot of time not having to neaten edges. I was careful however to trim down each seam allowance (after sewing) as far as possible to eliminate as much as bulk as I could – this is especially important at the waist seam so the gathers don’t ruin the sleek shape of the bodice before it ‘poufs’ into the skirt.
Now comes the part I found most difficult – sewing the petticoat. Netting is so porous and pliable I thought it would be easy to sew, and it is, it’s just the ‘keeping in place while you’re sewing it’ part that caused me the most problems!
My suggestions to avoid any fights with said netting would be:
  1. Clearly mark the sewing lines for the netting onto the slip. I made dashes initially but my stitching line kept getting going off track so I drew solid lines which I could follow it all the way round.
  2. Typical dressmakers pins won’t hold the netting in place. I used safety pins periodically along the lines. The length of netting is sturdy where it’s gathered along the string so it then isn’t too difficult to keep the unpinned areas in order while you stitch.
  3. My final tip… slow and steady wins the race. It is not worth rushing this slip because you will have to unpick it and sew it again if you do.
I considered scrapping this step and just using a separate petticoat but I’m so glad now I stuck it out. Having a built-in net skirt makes this dress feel so extra special and authentic. Plus, it’s such a confidence boost to know that you can actually ‘do it’ if you just persevere and read the instructions 50 more times – don’t give in to the negative thoughts!
I made two changes to the bodice of this dress. Firstly, the black iron-on interfacing wouldn’t stick to my tulle/leather so I ironed it to my lining (I used plain black cotton). It stuck here fine but I did experience some stretching in the bodice pieces before I attached it to the lining and wondered if having the interfacing attached would have helped prevent this. In hindsight I would suggest if you’re using the same fabric as I was, to use a sew-in interfacing and attaching it to the bodice like the pattern instructs and not the lining. You could also add some stay stitching to avoid any stretching regardless of the fabric you are using. The second alteration was to add two darts to the upper edge of the front bodice, about 3 inches either side of the centre. Although I had reduced the size of the bodice to fit my measurements it was still gaping at the top (this could have been because of the slight stretch in the fabric). These darts did the trick and I love the fact it gives a slight ‘cone bust’ impression as though I’m wearing authentic 1950’s undergarments!
Now it’s finished I simply adore this dress. It is so different from anything I’ve made before; faux leather, built in petticoat, ball gown skirt… I’m definitely going to be working with this fabric again (because I’ve had a request to make a wiggle dress out of it!) and now I won’t be afraid of netting next time it crops up in a pattern! If you want something truly unique for the festive holidays then I would highly recommend getting your hands on some of this wonderful fabric.
Thanks for reading – happy sewing!

Homemade Christmas Magic

For the last few weeks I've been busy sewing up some very festive makes for the small people in my life. Working with some beautiful fabrics and notions from Minerva Crafts, I'm so pleased with how they've turned out. All the details of the patterns and fabrics below.

Dreamland Pyjamas

The Dreamland Pyjamas pattern blends the classic style of poplin pyjamas trousers with the comfort of jersey. If you’re new to stretch fabrics this pattern will teach you how to work with jersey and add a simple neckband for a professional looking finish. The pattern comes with a choice of appliqué motifs, or you can let their imaginations go wild.

Made with...

Mini Star Print Cotton Poplin Fabric (red)

Plain Premium Quality Cotton Spandex Stretch Jersey Knit Dress Fabric (ivory)

Non Roll Peterstretch Waistband Elastic (25mm)

Fuse A Web Bonding Web

Flo Dress

The Flo Dress is a classic little girl’s dress. It has a lined bodice, invisible zip and gathered skirt. You can play around with fabrics, ribbon colour and the amount of gather on the skirt to achieve a gorgeous party dress. Perfect for twirling.

Made with...

Plain Shot Taffeta Dress Fabric (silver)

Berisford Glitter Satin Ribbon (25mm)

Concealed Invisible Closed End Zip (light grey, 9 inches)

Pat-a-Cake Apron

The Pat-a-Cake Apron is an easy kid’s apron pattern. Perfect for using up scraps, it can be made over again as an ever-popular gift. The bias binding edges gives it structure and the personalised detail is a hit with every little baker.

Made with...

8oz Washed Denim Cotton Dress Fabric (indigo blue)

Cotton Bias Binding Tape (red, 25mm)

Fuse A Web Bonding Web

Twinkle Twinkle Skirt

The Twinkle Twinkle Skirt is a great beginner’s project. The simple construction of the elasticated waist is not only easy to make, but comfy to wear too. You’ll also learn how to sew concealed pockets (perfect for sweeties) and embellish with appliqué star motifs.

Made with...

4oz Washed Denim Cotton Dress Fabric

Non Roll Peterstretch Waistband Elastic (25mm)

Fuse A Web Bonding Web

There is currently a 20% discount code on all Sew Me Wear Me patterns. Just use the code MINERVA20 at the checkout. Valid until 14th Dec 2018.

Happy Christmas sewing,

Alice x

1 Comment

Simple Sew Bella Dress

I was drawn to this Jersey Fabric from Minerva as it is so vibrant and cheerful. It is also 62” in width so you get a lot of fabric for your £8.99 metre! The fabric itself is a floral jersey knit, it almost has a crepe appearance to it but is more of a scuba weight.

I knew exactly what pattern I wanted to make the fabric up in and that was the Simple Sew UK Bella Dress. It is a structured jersey pattern and I knew that this fabric would cut the mustard and so I set to work!

I received this pattern as part of a pattern swap I was involved in on Instagram. The idea being, in a nutshell, that you swapped unwanted patterns with fellow sewists. The event was a great success and I was fortunate enough to receive this pattern. I was excited to get it made up as it looked really straightforward and is slightly off the path with regards to what I’d normally choose. That said, I liked the general style of the dress…I just have a tendancy to be drawn to less fitted dresses, or shirt dresses so it was a new sewing venture for me as well.

I started off by cutting the pattern, the fabric posed no issues at all and although I did choose to finish all of my seams on the overlocker, I don’t think this was actually necessary as the fabric doesn’t fray at all. It is stable and easy to cut. I was a little nervous to sew the darts in but as you can see below, this went smoothly and without issue. This was a first time for me sewing darts into jersey and whilst I took it much more slowly, actually it was just as easy as sewing them into cotton!

This was probably the hardest part of the make! The rest of the dress is extremely straightforward. The pattern calls for a 22” zip to be inserted under the arm, however I wasn’t sure this was going to be necessary in this fabric as it has a great stretch and recovery. So, I basted from under the arm right the way down to the hem and tried it on to see if I would be able to easily put on and remove the dress without a struggle! To my elation, it went on easily…no zip…hurrah! Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind inserting zips but if I can get away with it, I’m absolutely going to!!

The sleeves were the other part I was slightly worried about as I hadn’t gathered jersey before either! Again, this sewed easily and only a small gather was required for a perfect fit into the armhole. After this has been done, the dress is all but complete! The sleeves and neckline are hemmed, I imagine you could bind them if that’s your preference. If you are just after a quick sew though, this pattern can be made up start to finish in a mere couple of hours…and I’m not that speedy!

The completed dress is multifunctional, you could wear it to work but equally you could dress it up for a night out. It’s a very versatile pattern and particularly in this fabric, I think you could wear it across a number of occasions. I’m still getting used to it as it is a little different from my normal style but it’s really growing on me. I love the fit and the jersey is great and hold the structure of the dress perfectly. I’ve already had a few compliments wearing this little number so I’m thinking I may whip one up in a plain fabric as well so I can go to town on the accessories! Ha!

Well, I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this little blog. See below for pictures of the finished dress. I hope you like it as much as I do. Be sure to treat yourself to a little of this fabric before it disappears out of stock…I can think of so many patterns it’d be great for. In fact, I think I may have just enough to squeeze out a Tilly and the Buttons Coco top! Ha!

Happy Sewing folks…!

Emma @thezipperfoot


Christmas Bouquet Project

This Crochet Thread can be found on the Minerva site under the Knitting / ‘Crochet’ menu and is described as follows: Cebelia is a 100% cotton, long staple yarn, mercerised twice to give it strength and brilliance. Cebelia is recommended for small or medium sized work requiring great precision and a resistant and stiff finish

Available in 39 lovely colours from pastels to beauiful bright colours. The ones I chose to try were ideal for a Christmas project I had in mind. There is approximately 260 meters on each 50gram ball and the suggested hook size is 1.75mm. I used a size 2mm hook which worked perfectly.

The pattern I am using is by Nicole Galan from My Picot, Crochet Flower e-book available from her website, There are so many patterns in this book, it was hard to choose but I wanted big and bold, so I went with the Roses for the main flowers.

As I started to crochet the first flowers, something I found invaluable was my yarn spool made by a local woodturner. I found I could stack two of the yarn cakes I was using on top of one and another and the yarn flowed off the spool very easily without knotting. Go check out his lovely wood pieces on Instagram @woodturnerme and Etsy. My favourite hooks to use with this and any yarn is the Tulip Etimo gold range, a pleasure to use especially with such fine yarn.

The Roses were made up of several parts and sewn together in the shape of a rose, which meant I could shape and slightly change how each rose looked, making for a more pleasing design. All the flower patterns come with both written and chart instructions, which were very easy to follow. There are plenty of leaves patterns to choose from too and I tried a few until I found my favourites.

As I finished the flowers and leaves I placed them in my bowl ready to be blocked. If you have never blocked your work, its surprising the difference it makes, even with little crochet items. Firstly, I spritz them with water and peg them out on my foam board using long pins into the shape they need to be and let dry overnight. You can see the difference with the little white flower, with the before and after blocking and how much nicer the shape is, this will make a big different when assembling them later.

I had made enough flowers for two bouquets and thought it would be nice to put them on a embroidery hoops so it would make a nice display and be hung easily. You can purchase a wide variety of crochet hoops from the Minerva site, I bought a 6 and 8” hoop which worked out perfectly. I used some thick plain fabric as my base on the hoops. You can glue your flowers to the fabric but I decided to sew mine. It took ages to find the placement I liked best and on the smaller hoop, embroidered some complimentary leave in the darker green to help the composition.

I finished the backs of the hoops by turning in the excess fabric inside the hoop, then gluing some felt backing in place, so it would sit nicely when hung. Last thing to do was the colour some silk ribbon with my Winsor and newton prolife pens and tie on to the stems in little bows.

I love the dimensional aspect of these, the colours and textures using the DMC yarn make a perfect match and with the wide variety of colours available the possibilities are endless. They are very cost effective too with plenty of yarn on each roll so will go a long way. I hope you like my floral bouquets, now who shall I give them too?


Instagram @lizjcrafts


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