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Making my Wedding Outfit - The Dress

Hello again,
Well here I am making my actual dress to wear as mother of the bride for Vicki's wedding on the 4th of July!
It's even more scary than cutting out the toille. Which pieces to do in ivory and which to do in black? It was decision time!
One things for sure - I'm taking my time. You can see from the pictures it's coming along nicely. Two years ago when I decided on making a dress and coat I was convinced I would make it up in our pure silk dupion fabric. When my eldest daughter got married years ago the outfit I made then was in this fabric. 
However since then, Vicki mentioned to me we had a beautiful brocade fabric come into stock. And what two colours was it is - only black and ivory, what luck! It was a fabric we had sourced from a fashion house which means it was in limited supply, so I cut off a length of each colour and kept it to one side just in case I decided on using it. It turns out it was a good job I did as we sold out of both fabrics ages ago! 
I have spent months debating on which fabric to use. In the end it was Vicki who convinced me to go for the brocade. Her reasoning was because the coat is such a simple style, the very subtle patterning in the brocade (as opposed to the almost completely plain (apart from the slub texture) of the pure silk dupion), will make it look more 'designer'. 
It is actually much easier to sew in my chosen fabric than the polycotton was, or the dupion would have been. This is because the brocade has a little bit of stretch to it across the width. This stretchy-ness allowed me to manipulate the curves easier than the polycotton. 
When you are fitting the 'curves' together, after you've aligned the notches etc, it is then best to clip the curves. It's surprising how it elongates the seam.
Well I must say I am really pleased with the top front.
I've taken my time and all has gone to plan. So far so good. 
It's years since I've used sew on interfacing. I think most of us find that iron on is much easier. However on my dress it is suggesting sew on. This is tacked in on the main pieces. I suppose I could have ironed some on to the lining but I felt it wouldn't be quite right.
And now on to the zip. Many of you will know I do have a 'mental block' when it comes to concealed zips! But I must use them in all of these wedding outfits. A friend of mine who is quite new to dressmaking  had a go at inserting one with no help, just a brief look on Youtube and dived in so to speak. It was perfect and she has now inserted quite a few! So here goes...
First side pinned in.
First side being sewn. 
Second side pinned.
Second side sewn. I can't actually believe this - it looks perfect! I can breathe a sigh of relief now. One zip down!
And so I'll leave my dress for a while now, only because I am hoping to loose just a couple of pounds more in the next couple of weeks and it wont make any major difference to the fit, only the side seams. 
Until next time,
Annette
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My Mother of The Bride Sewing Project - The Toille

Hi Everyone,
For the last few days I've concentrated on sewing my own outfit for my daughters wedding and put the bridesmaid dresses to one side.
I decided two years ago I would wear a dress and coat for Vicki and Richard's wedding and when I saw Burda pattern 7077 I fell in love with it. 
It's quite an elegant but simple style coat. However I wasn't too keen on the dress, it seemed too plain.
The first choice for my dress was Butterick 5998.
I then found Vogue 8948.
Both of which as you can see adapt beautifully to the ivory/black theme inu using both colours of the same fabric in the same dress.
And then just recently I spotted Vogue 1432 from the latest issue.
Look closely at this picture and you can see all the panels around the bust area (this images doesn't to the pattern justice in my opinion!) 
I visualized it in ivory and black making full use of the front cut of the dress and it blew me away!
What hasn't 'blown me away' is the amount of fiddly pieces which obviously I've had the addition of sorting out into black and ivory pieces. As I did for the bride and bridesmaid dresses, I toilled this dress first in ivory and black polycotton fabric.
As the pattern suggests I worked from piece 1, joined piece 2, joined piece 3 etc,. So piece 1 I cut in ivory, piece 2 in black, joined these together than cut piece 3 in ivory and joined these together etc, etc,.
I couldn't decide which colour to do the side pieces in which are small triangles. So I did one in black and one in ivory on the toille. In the end the ivory was definitely the right choice. It defines the black stripes as in there are two on each side, overlapping in the middle. 
I have never put as much work in a toille before so I'm hoping it's worth it.
Another option would have been to have a black dress with ivory panels, rather than an ivory dress with a small amount of black (which is what I decided on in the end). I do think I suit black so I was tempted to make the dress predominately black, but it will dull the ivory of the coat. Plus I think the ivory option is more wedding-y! But the main thing at the moment is to get the fit right - colour choices can come later! By making a toille I can see how the colours look too.
Another possibility is to make the coat edge to edge and instead of the round neck on the pattern, shape it down from the shoulder seam to where the black finishes. 
As usual when sewing for myself I cut the top part of the pattern in a size 12 and shaped it down the sides into a 14. This works well for me every time, I hope I haven't spoken too soon!
One change I am making to the coat pattern is not to have pockets. If you look at the pattern they are within the hip line seam. Now because I am not doing the pockets and also because there is no shaping on this seam I am joining the pattern pieces together. 
I am just using pins because then I can always make the coat again at a later date with pockets. 
So far so good I am very pleased with how the coat toille has sewn up. There isn't much I can share with you about making up the coat toille apart from it was very straight forward. I've 2 pictures to show you. The first once here shows how it would look as the pattern is.
And this one with the neckline folded in to form a V neck.
This would show a little bit of the dress underneath. I can't decide whether this would look good or not. I think I need to try it on with my hat, bag and shoes. My hat is ivory and black and I have a black bag and black patent shoes.
Well that's it now for the toilles. I'll be back soon to share progress on the 'real' dress!
Until next time,
Annette x
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Flower Girl Dress - Update

Hello!
Today I'm concentrating on Lexi's flower girl dress. I've decided on Butterick pattern 3351 which as you can see looks quite summery. 
We went up to Coundon in County Durham to see my Nephew and family over the weekend. We had a lovely time however it's not done my weight loss any good!
I took the boned underskirt and the toille of the dress up with me and also a length of the lace fabric that the 'real' dress will be made from, so Lexi could see it.
I thought after waiting so long to see the dress she may be a little disappointed if she'd only seen the toille in plain polycotton. Lexi (who is only 5) was absolutely delighted and kept twirling the underskirt round. She cant wait to be a bridesmaid again and we couldn't have hoped for a better reaction from her about the dress!
And so to sew it!
This gorgeous fabric we have chosen is a net base with lots of little flowers sewn on to it and lots of embroidery. 
I am using the toille top pieces to line the fabric and act as an interlining (waste not want not!). I feel it needs a bit more body (no pun intended) so I'm applying my go-to iron-on interfacing (Vilene Easy Fuse). This will give it that firmness that it needs. I'm using my usual tailors tacking stitch.
For the straps of the dress we are using this trimming.
It compliments the dress fabric beautifully. At first we thought it was a trim made out of identical fabric but on closer inspection it is different. It has more beads than the fabric, but they still work together really well, in fact the beads make the straps look really special, like it was meant to be.
I am lining the trimming with our Berisford double satin ribbon in colour 419, in 35mm wide. With a matching Gutermann sewing thread (colour 111) I will now sew this from the right side with with a running stitch or a backstitch to attach them together. 
Well that's as far as I've got so far! I hope your enjoying reading my wedding sewing adventures!
Until next time,
Annette x
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Cummerbunds for the Bridesmaids

Hi again,
Well I've made the cummerbund for Jessica's bridesmaid dress since we last spoke. I can't decide whether I like it or not!
I love the bow but it could do with being a little bit bigger and I'm now thinking to do a straight band instead of slightly curved. The bow I've made (which I'll talk about later) will come in for Lexi's dress too.
For the straight cummerbund I am cutting the waist size plus 5 inches. This gives me plenty for the end seams plus a good overlap. You can always cut down but not add on! I have tacked on a piece of sew in Vilene interfacing. The width by the way I've cut at 7.5 inches. 
For the bow I've cut a template out of Vilene Easy Fuse. It measures 10.5 inches from the extreme points and 5.5 inches across the middle. They are the same size as the first bow which is now going to be used for Lexi's dress. For these four slightly bigger bows I will sew 1/4inch from the edge whereas the one Lexi is having I used the full 5/8inch seam allowance. Overall it should bring them to 1/2inch longer and 1/2inch wider. This is hopefully big enough!
I have cut the two pieces in ivory satin, 1 piece in Vilene easy fuse, 1 piece in sew-in Vilene and because I know the size of the bow I have cut the Velcro that will be attached to the bow. On all of these four I have applied the Vilene easy fuse to one side of the bow and then over on the silk side I have attached the soft side of Velcro in 30mm wide.
I have applied the sew in Vilene to the other silk wrong side. It's a good idea to trim off any excess interfacing both sew on and iron on because it can distract your line of sewing when at the machine. Pin both sides together ensuring the Velcro is on the inside! Make sure you pin towards the centre, by doing this you can keep the pins in until you have finished sewing.
Mark with two pins where you are going to sew from and too. 
Next clip the corners, there are no curved edges so you don't need to snip these. After turning them right sides out I have tucked in the raw edges and then machine sewed along the entire bottom edge, this looks fine and has saved some time!
After taking the tacking out and pressing both sides they are now ready for the buckle. This is the buckle we have chosen for the adult bridesmaids and a smaller version of the same buckle for Lexi's dress. They are such a beautiful quality crystal diamante, they will sparkle and catch the light and look gorgeous on each of the dresses.
I have sort of pleated the bow at the centre then threaded them through the buckle. I'm not sure if you can tell from this picture!
Again I have used the large hand sew tacks for the cummerbund and interfacing. It does take a while but it is well worth tacking it in. It certainly helps with keeping the interfacing straight and therefore not puckering up.
To turn it inside out I used a knitting needle, using the knob inside the cummerbund. After turning it fully through, before pressing it, I inserted the pointed end up towards the corners to push them out. A point turner is usually very good for this job but with the cummerbunds being quite long I find the knitting needle gets to these corners much more easily. If you try this be very careful not to push too hard, it is quite easy to push the point straight through!
For the next step which is the fastening I have used 50mm wide Velcro. I have sewn the 'soft' side to the underside of the cummerbund (the end that is finished).
Next I have cut a piece of the 30mm hook side to match the length on the back of the bow. This I have stitched on the top side of the cummerbund over where the 50mm was sewn.
This is where the bow will be attached too. I forgot to say I've left the other end of the cummerbund open at the moment because apparently there are going to be these unbelievable weight losses in the next four weeks!! But hey I've room to talk as I'm still hoping to lose a few more pounds before the big day haha! But to be serious it will only take a few minutes to finish each one so it's not a problem.
Last but not least I just wanted to mention that they actually feel padded. This is because there are two layers of Vilene in the middle (because I folded them in half) and with me not using iron on it feels quite spring-y. That's the only way I can describe it but I'm well suited with how they've turned out! Here are all 5 together;
Bye for now everyone,
Annette x
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Bridesmaid Dress Update

Hello!
Just a quick update today. Well here I am 'finally' making the bridesmaid dresses. We've changed our minds so many times, had a few fitting problems with the toilles, thank goodness I made them for us all. The fabric we eventually decided to use for the bridesmaid dresses is our black pure silk dupion
The weeks are flying by and because in reality the dresses are only being worn for one day I have decided to cut out the fabric with pinking shears to save on having to finish off all the seams. (Having seen my ironing board cover I'm beginning to wonder if I made the right decision!)
Next comes inserting the concealed zip. A tip I found on Youtube is to iron the zips teeth away from the tape. It really does seem to sew in easier and give an even neater and more 'invisible' finish.
I am following the pattern instructions in as much as I am putting the little cap sleeves in before the side seams. After this the lining is sewn to the dress on the neckline. One thing I am doing different is I am lining the sleeves. Whereas on the instructions it just tells you to turn up a narrow hem, I feel adding a lining will add a nice amount of body to the sleeve.
I am using our best quality lining in the standard weight. Our beautiful lighter weight lining would have been ideal if they had been more floaty dresses. 
The sleeves have gone in really well. One thing I love about these sleeves is the pleated tops, they are so easy to sew in. The only thing I am disappointed with on the way I have sewn in the sleeves is that you may be able to see the raw edge so I am trimming this down to 1/4inch and then covering the seam with bias binding. The one I am using is the stretch satin bias which is very soft and just the right width. Yes, I'm very pleased with that!
And now to the side seams. Going off the toille I need to sew 1" seams, which I will then trim down with pinking shears. Talking of pinking shears, I have near enough tried every brand and no matter how much you pay I always find them heavy handed and cumbersome for my small hands, or the other problem is they stop cutting just short of the edge. However both of these problems have been eliminated with my current pair of Hemline ones. They are simply amazing!
All I have to do now is hand sew the lining around the zip. The hem I am probably going to leave until I have all 4 adult bridesmaids together with their shoes on so I can get them all looking the same. 
Oh yes and then there is the 'apron effect'...but more on that later!
Until next time,
Annette x
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Flower Girl Dress - The Underskirt

Hi Everyone, 
I'm still cracking on with all the outfits I'm making for Vicki's wedding.
The next toille I am making is little Lexi's, but first I need to make the underskirt. The pattern I am using for this is Butterick 5901.
The structure this pattern will create will save me hours and hours of work sewing layers and layers of net fabric. It is basically rectangles of fabric (using ivory polycotton fabric again).
After the side and back seams are sewn, three strips of tape or bias binding are stitched on to the fabric. These stitching lines are shown on the pattern, so before I take off the pattern pieces I have marked these lines either with pins or I've snipped into the side or back seams.
Now the pattern just states to use 'boning' so I decided to try Rigilene at first but unfortunately it didn't hold the structure. It keeps dipping inwards at one side. So plan B, I'm using steel boning instead. 
This stuff is very strong and stiff and I'm sure will hold the structure very well. 
I have a vision in my mind of the Yul Brynner film 'The King and I' where all the Thai ladies get all dressed up in their 'English' dresses and when the King enters the room they all drop to the floor bowing to the King as is their custom. The hoops of the dresses spring up at the back and show all their bloomers!! I hope that doesn't happen to our little Lexi haha!
So, to insert the steel boning into the underskirt. The width of the underskirt is 75" so I am cutting the bottom hoop at 76", so I can overlap the two ends by 1".
The pattern suggests to cut all 3 boning lengths the same but because we want more of a graduated and softer look, I am cutting the middle one at 73" and the top one at 70". The steel boning although very hard to cut (you need to use pliers), is very easy to insert through the bias binding.
I have unpicked a little of the bias casing, then I thought of using glue to stick the ends of the boning together with masking tape over the top. But I hate using glue!
In the end I fastened the boning together with some extra strong double sided tape, then covered it with masking tape. I'm not going to sew the ends of the casing up yet. Il see how the tape holds and if there are any problems I can get to it easily.
There must be an easier way of sewing the bias tape back down. I couldn't do it on the machine so I sewed it down by hand. Boy did that hurt my fingers - in the end Vicki has to finish this bit off for me!
So after sewing two ribbon loops on the side seams to hang it up, it is now finished apart from a fastener at the back. I'm leaving this until I try the dress on Lexi.
Until next time,
Annette x
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#PatternoftheWeek - Simplicity 1320

Simplicity 1320 is my choice for pattern of the week. This pattern has been around for a while now but if when browsing through the pattern books or the website, you, like me tend to flick through so many patterns, usually because we haven't time and more often than not we are looking for a certain something. So Simplicity 1320 is one such pattern, I do think it is one we pass by without a thought. On delving deeper into this pattern I find I am liking so much about it. 
My first thoughts are that there are two distinctive designs. A, B and C have a wrap over front and a collar whereas D, E and F have no collar and a centre zip. Design A is stunning. One of my lovely customers in the Minerva Craft Centre first brought this pattern to my attention and she made design A. Like the pattern, my customer made this all in one fabric but chose some lovely co-ordinating buttons. Personally I love how it looks on the pattern, Camel wool fabric with contrasting buttons. The fabric I chose is our fur pile heavy wool and mohair coating fabric'
This is quite a heavy wool mix fabric with a soft luxurious pile. The fibre mix is 60% wool, 20% acrylic, 10%polyester and 10% mohair so lovely and warm. I couldn't make my mind up with the buttons so I decided to show you both! They are the same button just two colours and two sizes. 
This first photo shows the smaller size in tan and is Dill 316612.
The second photo shows the larger size in dark brown and is Dill 346613.
Version B I feel that would look brilliant in Washable Wool. You could let your imagination run wild with all these trims up the front and round the sleeves. 
My next choice is for version F. I love how they have worked it in two colours/fabrics. I immediately think of our padded jersey - which comes in 5 fab shades!
For a daytime look I have teamed the wine with our Chevron Wool Fabric;
This fabulous wool chevron fashion fabric is perfect for the winter season. It is heavy enough to make a jacket or coat and would also make gorgeous throws and cushions to make your home cosy and warm this winter! Remember my rule - wash your fabrics then you can sew them up together and wash the garment after. 
I've chose the wine again but this time with a superb knitted fabric that sparkles. Yes it has sequins on it...
Not too clear in my photo, sorry, but I can assure you they are there! This would look fab for evening wear. The fabric is our sequin and bobble textured jersey fabric and is described here at Minerva as a beautiful fabric with a wonderful bobbly-texture and a scattering of sequins worked across the surface. It would be lovely to use for both casual wear or for a special occasion. It has a reasonable amount of stretch - particularly down the length of the fabric and at just £7.99 per metre I think it is a fantastic buy. Just one of our many many fantastic clearance fabrics - you must have a look. 
Another choice would be using the diamond jersey with a check.
These look so good together don't you think?
This brown embroidered corduroy fabric is just beautiful. I think this jacket would look brilliant in this fabric alone but for the purpose of this blog post (and the fact that I spent ages pairing these fabrics together haha!) I am teaming it with the beige in the diamond jersey. I have to say I just love the contrast. 
Now back to the pattern! I spend that much time looking through all our beautiful fabrics here at Minerva - I want to talk forever about them. But then I forget I'm supposed to be offering you the half price pattern of the week.
One of the fabrics suggested on the pattern is fleece and on looking at the instructions there are some good tips for sewing fleece. Likewise there are some good tips for sewing synthetic suede's and leathers. May I add here that in a couple of months we have the most amazing leatherlook fabric arriving here at Minerva. It is very lightweight with a little stretch and will be fantastic for well just about anything. I absolutely can't wait!!!!! So again back to the pattern of the week. Please tell me if I'm waffling! 
I love how the pockets are constructed.The base of the pocket is sewn on to the hemline of the front piece, pressed upwards and is then enclosed in the side and side front seams. Version A (my favourite) has a little half belt at the back waistline and is complimented with two buttons at the sides. Everything seems to be clearly explained which I think even the most advanced sewers like. I think most sewers read instructions, possibly out of habit, but more in case there are any new ideas etc.
Until next time,
Annette xx
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A Dress for the Bride - Pattern Choices

Hi Everyone!
I've started work on the toille for Vicki's wedding dress which will be in ivory. Because of the nature of the dress I am using Butterick pattern 4731 for the base dress. 
For Vicki's toille I am using an ivory coloured polycotton fabric. Now if Vicki ends up choosing pure silk dupion fabric for this part of the dress (which I really hope she does) the polycotton will hang similar. If she chooses a slinky silk satin (which is the other option she is now torn between) I make have to make another toille in a silky fabric.
During the last few months I have been having a sort out of our new sewing room and here's some pictures. This is probably the tidiest you will ever see it! I don't think a sewing room can ever be ultra tidy!
So far I'm not happy with the toille I've made for Vicki's dress. I wish at this point that I had completed my pattern designing course many many years ago. I learnt enough to make small alterations, but nothing on this scale.
So I am now making another 2 toille's to try and find the perfect shape. The first one I made up is Butterick pattern 5325 which is a beautiful bride's dress with the size of train that Vicki wants. 
The second is an older pattern - Simplicity 1909 - which is now unfortunately discontinued  (though Butterick 5710 is really similar).
The Butterick pattern is more full from the hips down whereas the 2nd pattern falls straighter at the front and has a choice of two train lengths. And so I've now made 3 toilles for Vicki's dress!
We are using this extraordinary beautiful fabric for the over skirt of Vicki's dress. 
Its called 'Caroline' and is described as an Ivory Vintage Style Placement Lace Couture Bridal Lace Fabric. The applique, embroidery and beading on this fabric is applied across the width of the fabric so we are limited to the length of the train. I have cut the third toille with the longer train and then this can be cut down to the shape of the over skirt once its made. 
Well that's all for today! Il update you soon with my progress!
Bye for now,
Annette x
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7 Outfits to Sew for a Wedding

Hi it's Annette here, sorry its been a while again. 
If you a regular reader of our blog you will know my daughter Vicki is getting married on the 4th of July this year. I am making seven outfits for it altogether with Vicki's help. The brides dress, five bridesmaid dresses and my own outfit as mother of the bride. Obviously we have been planning the designs over the last year+ and finally around Christmas time we came to the final decisions. I will point out however these decisions were subject to change!! 
Vicki's bridesmaids consist of her oldest sister Alison who is matron of honour (some of you will know her as one of our guest bloggers). Her other sister Janine who is our office manager here at Minerva, my grand-daughter Jess who is our Saturday girl in the shop, Vicki's friend from university Andrea and last but not least our relatives grand-daughter Lexi, aged 5, who lives up in County Durham.
The wedding is 4 weeks away so I'm getting my skates on so to speak!
Over the past few months (since Christmas) we have changed our minds numerous times over the style of the bridesmaids dresses. We have finally settled on Simplicity 1420 for the top half.
The bottom half of the dress is going to be off an old pattern of mine which was just perfect. It is quite a straight skirt but has a tiny train at the back. There will be an over skirt made in our beautiful Sarina embroidered and beaded bridal lace fabric. The initial idea for this came from hi pattern (whih is sadly discontnud but wehave a similar a wide range of similar Bridal Patterns).
As you can see from the above photos the fabric we are using for the over skirt part it is a black tulle with ivory appliques. It is gorgeous! We toyed with the ideal of using the Naomi bridal fabric (which is similar except it is all black on black embroidery), but we thought the ivory embroidery made it more suitable for a wedding.
For the over skirt I cannot find a pattern anywhere near what we want so we are making it without a pattern! But more about that later. To complete the outfit I am making an ivory cummerbund for around the waist.
I feel this style will suit each of the bridesmaids who all have different shapes and are different sizes.
I intend to make toilles for each bridesmaid, even little Lexi from County Durham, and I am starting with Jessica's.
As I've mentioned before in my blog posts about Jess, she is a standard size 8 and usually very easy to sew for 'straight out the packet' so to speak, so it seemed the best thing to do to start with her. This part of the outfit will be made in plain black. We are going to choose between pure silk dupion and duchess satin or even taffeta but I'm hoping Vicki chooses the dupion because I absolutely love sewing with it.
Pure Silk Dupion
Duchess Satin
I am making the toilles in a plain black polycotton. I will get a reasonable vision of how it will hang with it being a similar weight fabric and also how the whole dress with look in black.
I will update you soon on how I get on!
Annette x
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8 Things to do with embroidery hoops OTHER than embroider

I don't know what it is but there's something amazing about the humble embroidery hoop. Something so simple can house something really beautiful. Though we can't all be master stitchers, can we?! Why should those talented tapestiers have all the fun? Embroidery Hoops are a fantastic crafting tool if you know what to do with them, so here's my run down of fun things to do with Embroidery Hoops other than embroider.

1. Storage

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Cute, crafty, and efficient. No I'm not describing me, I'm talking about this adorable storage solution! What I really like about this is you can make it as large or as small as you like and store almost anything you need! Sewing supplies, crayons, cutlery, almost anything! Depending on the size of hoop you're using, you could use fat quarters (some as cheap as £2.25!). 

Or why not use a trimming, wide ribbon, or even lace to create lines to clip items on to?

You could even be cheeky and make these no-sew by just folding the edge of the pouch!

2. A Snowman - or anything else constructed of circles

 

This snowman from Pitter and Glink is a great example of creating larger things from several hoops. I already have visions of pumpkins for Halloween, Bunnys for easter, all sorts! For this I'd use an Aida,  (you could easily use a polycotton or a poplin), round black buttons, half a metre of felt for the scarf and hat, then some sticky felt for the nose! I'd really like to make a leopard from this poplin though!

3. Art Work

I found this joyful little thing made by Stephanie over at The Honey Pot and she puts it perfectly when she says "It's only as expensive as the fabric you choose to use". I love the use of lace, though, and can really imagine it above the bed. (She made it for her daughter's wedding. How lovely is that?!). I can also see a plain fabric with a lace trimming over the top as a feature, if you want to tie in a colour theme. 

4. Photos

How divine is this?! Such a simple idea imagined up by Natalie at Natalme. Three (or more) Hoops, Jewellery thread or wire, and pegs

5. Dreamcatchers

Michelle at Mollymoo has made this simply gorgeous dreamcatcher from basically beads and string! Some thick wire is needed for the central shape (which can be almost whatever you want), get some embroidery floss involved (we have shade based packs here for ombre based joy!) then you can add anything you want like beadspom poms, felt shapes, feathers, bells...

6. More Art!

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I know I've already mentioned art, but more specifically I wanted to showcase this type of thing as it's really easy to make a No-Sew version. Craft Felt is amazing thing as it doesn't fray so you can cut out whatever shapes you like and glue them (or cheat and use sticky felt hehe) to a base to create some simply adorable wall hangings, and it's great for groups and kids to get in on the fun!

7. Clock!

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I am in LOVE with this idea! I love buttons anyway (ask anyone here at Minerva HQ and they will tell you) but to make them into something functional as well as decorative is lovely. I think it would be really fun to use the Dress It Up range of buttons here and you can get some really fun themes and they come in a multi pack.

For my inevitable sewing room (it's gonna happen!)

8. Wreath

A Wreath! I know, right?! This Winter Wonderland theme from Kim at Made in a Day is simply divine and I am in love with it! I have a small obsession with wreathes and I'm always impressed by alternative takes and this one has blown me away a bit. What's really fun is you can theme it so easily. Clover do a great range of flower makers (Simplicity even have a pattern for them!), maybe some craft leaves for Autumn? Or go bridal? Or why not decorate some eggs and set them in pastel coloured pom poms? I made some using Dolly Mix yarn and my pom pom maker recently.

So these are just a few ideas of unconventional ways to use embroidery hoops. Any other ideas? Share them with us :D we'd love to see them, and we know everyone else would like to see them too so type them in the comments below, find us on Facebook, Instagram or Tweet us!

See you soon!

Katie B x

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