I am Olympia from @my_lovemade_wardrobe and I am really happy to present you today one of my favourite makes ever, the Lisa Dress.
Well, it was last summer when Athina from @akpatterns contacted me to test her new pattern. It was the Lisa Dress and I fell in love with it from the first time I saw her drafts on my email. I most liked (and yes… I still like) version 2 with scalloped-shaved cap sleeves. I think this detail gives a more romantic option to the dress!
I have made 3 Lisa Dresses so far using linen fabric, light denim fabric and this wonderful floral Cotton Poplin Fabric from Minerva this time. All these fabrics work really well for this pattern.
Especially speaking for this 3rd dress that I made with poplin, after having pre-washed the fabric, I cut size 14 for the top and size 16 for the skirt. I made this adjustment from the first Lisa Dress I sewed, so I knew I would not have any fitting issue. Sizing chart is perfect at @akpatterns so you don’t need to size up or down. Just take right measurements.
The sewing process itself is very simple as there are well-written instructions with a lot of pictures that show you how to sew one thing or another. Also, it is a quick make… I sewed this one in 3-4 hours!
The pattern features optional pockets that I really love! But, as I had included them on last 2 dresses, I decided not to sew them on this one. I couldn’t resist a fabric sash though… I find it so feminine and elegant so I made one.
For this version I used approx. 2.5m of fabric.
Overall, I think the Lisa Dress is the absolute summer dress that you can sew with many different types of fabric depending on your tastes and that you can wear it all day long. The poplin that I used for my 3rd Lisa is a really good choice as it is 100% cotton and perfect for warm days during summer. Although it’s a quick and easy make, it’s so elegant that I feel I really need more in my wardrobe!
Thank you so much for stopping by!
Until next time,
Earlier this spring I took a hard look at my wardrobe and found that it wasn’t quite reflecting my personality. I vowed to bring in more lively colors and prints with my future makes. When I saw this floral Viscose Challis Fabric, I fell in love with the color palette. The bright oranges and pinks are complemented by the subtle blue background and the floral print is balanced by earthy sage and mustard tones. It’s just so pretty.
I instantly knew this fabric would be perfect for a summer dress with floaty sleeves. Initially, I thought a SOI Eve or V9328, which would be beautiful for a summer special occasion. But since I don’t have any occasions coming up this summer, I decided I needed a pattern that would give this beautiful print some everyday wearability. Enter the Chalk + Notch Farrah dress. This pattern paired with this bright floral viscose was everything I was hoping for. It’s so easy to wear. When I put it on, I feel instantly elevated without feeling overdressed. I can dress it up with a belt and heels for a fancy brunch or wear it paired with my lilac trainers for a trip to the park or grocery store.
While this fabric had a steadier hand than most viscoses I’ve used, I still treated it the way I do all slippery fabrics. After washing, I starched the fabric to keep it from moving around when cutting. I cut the fabric using a rotary cutter and marked it using a fabric pen instead of snipping notches. I interfaced the hems and all bias cut edges. I used a microtex needle and had no problems with snagging or pulling. Though the fabric is a bit sheer, I didn’t line it since I usually wear a slip under dresses anyway.
This pattern has some really lovely details and I learned some new techniques. I must say, this pattern was deceptively complex. I was thinking that since it’s a shift dress, the construction would be pretty simple. The details however, really elevate this pattern and it is aptly described as an intermediate pattern.
The front and back yokes are both burrito-ed and the shoulder seams are enclosed. I love the burrito technique and I love the finish on the inside. The next step is to hem the flutter sleeves. There’s an option for a double rolled hem but the instructions suggest using a narrow roll hem. To toot my own horn for a minute, I must say that this was my first try using my narrow hem foot. Whoop! Whoop! I’m so happy I decided to try it out instead of shying away from something new and intimidating. It took some practice but I’m so glad I did it!
The flutter sleeves are then sandwiched between the bodice and the underarm gusset pieces. I had a pretty tough time with this construction and had to unpick each side three or four times. It was a bit of a struggle but I did get there in the end.
The side seams are stitched and pressed open leading into what should be a miltered corner. I was finding that the dress was coming up shorter than I liked so I chose to do a 0.5 centimeter double hem instead of the 2.5 centimeter hem which changed the shape at the corners. It’s not as clean as the intended miltered corner but it still looks cool and I am happier with the extra bit of length.
This dress wasn’t the quick, easy sew I thought it would be. In fact, I probably would have really enjoyed the sewing process if I hadn’t been frustrated about it not being as easy as I thought. I learned the important lesson that I shouldn’t underestimate a pattern and to give myself a bit more grace when sewing something new.
The Make Breakdown
Pattern: Chalk + Notch Farrah Dress
Fabric & Notions: 2.3 Meters Viscose Fabric
Fabric Notes: Steady, but lightweight. A slip or lining is best for dresses and skirts.
Design Modifications: Eliminated miltered corner and hemmed with a double fold at 0.5cm
Fit Alterations: Added 2 centimeters to center back yoke piece
Difficulty: Intermediate - careful around those ruffly gussets!
Future Plans: No more Farrah’s for now but my mom loved this fabric so much, she ordered some for me to make her a little top!
I definitely had some struggles making this dress but I am so happy with the finished garment. I’m so excited to wear this dress all summer! I even love seeing it hang in my wardrobe. All the happy colors bring in a bit of life and joy to my closet. Thanks for reading and happy sewing!
Hey Minerva Makers!
I finally made trousers! Actual real trousers! I didn’t even put trousers onto my #makenine list this year because I really didn’t believe I could do it. But I did it! They are of course the infamous Lander Pants from True Bias and they are made in this gorgeous petrol colour Cotton Twill Fabric.
I am really pleased with myself having completed these but they weren’t without trouble! My sewing machine decided to throw a fit and needed to be sent to the sewing machine doctors before it could sew these up! While it was in the hospital, I borrowed my mum’s old machine to make the toile. I wanted to get a really good fit so I actually made a toile out of an old duvet cover! I don’t like to waste fabric so I almost never toile but this time I think it was definitely worth it.
My measurements are 32 inch waist, 44.5 inch hip. I cut a size 12 at the waist and a 16 at the hips and needed to take the centre back seam in by 1.5cm and both the back darts in by a 0.5cm on each dart leg. I also added 2cm to the back rise and I am pretty pleased with the final fit. I am super pear shaped and I don’t think I’ve ever had trousers fit at the waist and the hips before!
The twill I used is lovely. The petrol colour is so beautiful, it comes in lots of colours and I just want to make loads of stuff out of just this! It pressed really well, didn’t fray at all and sewed up easily. At some of the thicker parts like sewing the belt loops on, I used a jeans needle and my machine was perfectly happy! I was also really pleased that the twill weave is only pronounced on one side, so there was an obvious right and wrong side. This made it really easy to work with because I didn’t have to constantly struggle to figure out which the right side was!
I think the reason I feel so proud of these is because the pattern is jam packed with what I consider ‘proper’ trouser features. They have front and back patch pockets, a button fly, waistband and belt loops. I feel like there were a few places for me to add special touches, the front pockets are lined and so I used some of the cygnus returns scraps leftover from the swans Kielo dress I made, I also added some nice buttons I unpicked off an old dress and have been saving for the right project.
I’ve never made a fly before and I don’t know if they are all this easy but this one was a total cinch! I honestly can’t believe I’ve been putting off making trousers for so long! I think there may be some work to do with the front crotch curve but I definitely think I’m being picky – I will wear these and love them and worry about further fit adjustments if I ever choose to make another pair!
Anyway, until next time – happy sewing!
Vicky @ Sewstainability
When I saw the Lady McElroy Stretch Viscose Crepe Fabric on the Minerva website I just knew that it was the fabric for me. Like so many others, I caught jumpsuit fever this spring and I have made several jumpsuits, both faux and real ones. This fabric was also planned to be a jumpsuit for a challenge I co-hosted this spring. But when the fabric came, it wasn’t a jumpsuit at all! After talking to my sister about what I should do with this fabric and sending her lots and lots of pictures, she reminded me that I´m turning 40 this summer and that I probably needed a fancy dress. I have eyed the Magnolia dress from Deer and Doe Patterns for a long time and decided that this was the perfect match for a fancy forty-and-fabulous dress!
The fabric is a glorious woven stretch viscose. It has a lot of drape. One thing really surprised me when I opened my package; the weave wasn’t what I expected since it was listed as a crepe fabric. To me, this is a high quality woven viscose with a little stretch, not a crepe. I have tried to capture the look of the fabric here:
The flower-pattern is directional in my opinion, not super obvious but still visible if you turn a piece upside down. This was a problem, since I had another garment in mind ordering this fabric, I ordered 3,5 meters. The maxi Magnolia dress calls for 4 meters in 150 cm wide fabric. I knew it was going to be a tricky business doing the layout since I didn’t want to put any pieces upside down. BUT I MADE IT! (sort of)
I wanted to make a size 42 after measuring my body. This is larger than my usual size but I have cut 42 in other Deer and Doe Patterns and that has been the right size. I don’t know if it’s the thin material, the stretch or if the garment was a little bit bigger but I could have gone down one or two sizes. Be sure to measure how long skirt you will need if you, like me, don’t have a lot of fabric to spare. I am 171 cm long and I cut the skirt pieces as intended. For a flat shoe, the dress is too long, but for my silver heals it works.
I did two adjustments to get all the pattern pieces out of my 3,5 meters. I narrowed my side skirt pieces by approximately 1 cm on each side. And the ties in the back are small pieces of fabric sewn together; I didn’t have enough fabric to do them in one length. But tied up it doesn’t show at all.
I like the pattern. I haven’t done such a fitted garment in a while and I ”forgot” that it’s a good idea to do a toile first. I was so thrilled and relieved that I managed to squeeze in all the pattern pieces, that I directly cut in my fancy fabric! I ended up making adjustments on the front and back bodice pieces to get it to fit me, it was way too big at first.
When I started to pin my zipper to my garment, I got a brilliant idea. Could I get the dress on without a zipper? The dress has a tie in the back and because of that, it doesn’t have to be super tight around the waist. I pinned it together and tried it on and SUCCESS! So I immediately omitted the zipper, it isn’t exactly my favorite part of dressmaking anyway.
So my fancy party dress is in fact a real secret pajamas. It’s fantastically comfortable, the fabric is soft and I think that it wrinkles less than ordinary viscose does.
I love my dress! It is a great fabric, very thin and light, drapey and bouncy. I love the big flowers and dramatic feel. I prefer a natural fiber on my skin and this one is a great choice, both soft and breathable. I think it worked perfect with the pattern and I got exactly the look I was going for. Did I convince you that the Magnolia and this fabric is the perfect match? Please let me know if you make a version of this yourself, even if you’re not turning 40 this year, I would love to see it!
Thanks for reading. Come and say hello over at my Instagram account, Bygousheh. Hope to see you soon.
Posted in Projects on Sunday the 23rd August 2020 by Vicki Ormerod
Hi, Lori from Girls in the Garden and I am happy to be be back again for Minerva. When I saw this army green Cotton Twill Fabric, I knew it was meant to be a pair of True Bias Lander Pants! This fabric is non-stretch, medium weight, 100% cotton and 60 inches wide.
This twill comes in 17 colors, so pick the one you like the best. I see a couple more I like for more Landers, a perfect staple.
This twill washed beautifully and was so easy to sew and press. I find the twill to be the perfect weight, especially for summer. After making my first pair of Landers, I knew I needed more in my wardrobe. I was so excited to see the Army Green color as one of the choices of colors. In my opinion, the Army Green is a neutral and will really work perfectly with so many tops and blouses I have.
I stitched the Landers on my sewing machine and serged all the edges. I did baste the outside edges of the pants to test the fit. After this test fitting, I did taper them a bit more from the high hip down, for a slimmer fit in the hips.
While making these Landers, I wanted to do something different with them. I thought of embellishment but really didn’t want to limit the garment. The hem length was always going to be cropped, just above the ankle.
Then it just popped into my head… a split hem. I did not use a tutorial for the split hem but here is a good one from Burda Style and they refer to it as a slit hem. So split or slit, either name makes for a great detail.
On my pants, I went ahead and stitched all the way down on the outside seam, allowing me to try them on for the length and marking that length. Once the length was determined, I unsewed up just enough to do the split hem. After constructing the split hem, I did double or should I say triple check to make sure each side of the split was even. Yes, I did have to unsew one side a couple of times to get them just right! My final touch was to add a bartack at the top of the split, adding stability to this unstable seam.
The button fly Is such a fun detail, reminds me of the Levi 501’s I always wore! I did have three colors of jean buttons and went with the antique copper. The contrast of the antique copper and the army green was a good combination.
This fabric is so good and so perfect for any type of bottom weight garment. I cannot be more pleased with how my pants turned out and know they will be my go-to garment this summer.
Thanks for reading,
Lori @ Girls in the Garden
Posted in Projects on Saturday the 22nd August 2020 by Vicki Ormerod
I guess I could count the number of plain garments I’ve ever made on one hand: I’m too often tempted by a gorgeous (usually floral) pattern you just wouldn’t find on the high street, but I was more than happy to give this Lady McElroy Denim Fabric a try. It’s a pretty pale grey colour, and is darker on the wrong side so could probably be used effectively to add contrast, should you wish. The fabric is excellent quality and includes a little stretch which I think adds an extra level of comfort.
Previously I have made two pinafore dresses but never any dungarees or shorts, so when the Helen’s Closet Yanta Overalls were released earlier this year I snapped up the pattern. I thought the cropped leg length could make them the perfect garment for summer layering. I cut the size 12 as I wanted plenty of ease on the hips. This size also meant that I was able to omit the zip, always a bonus.
The overalls came together nicely; I unpicked and redid the topstitching on the front patch pocket as I wasn’t happy with it and knew it would irritate me in such a noticeable place. I also spent quite a long time sewing/unpicking/sewing the part at the back where the two straps are enclosed. Even now it is far from perfect, but I’m glad I improved the original finish and will take care to follow the instructions to this section to the letter next time I make this pattern.
I’m already planning my next Yantas which I think will also be cropped and probably denim as it’s just so wearable and easy to dress up or down. I think the grey I used is an ideal tone for this time of year and it has already been through the washing machine twice and come out beautifully. I like how you can see the grain of the fabric a little and again you could probably play with this to create different effects. I know there are quite a few different colourways available and I’d love some indigo ones for a different look – contrast topstitching could look great here too.
I topstitched the seams and the edges of the straps as directed, just using the grey cotton I sewed with. I didn’t overlock the inner seams and sewed it entirely on my machine, which worked just fine. I used a couple of wooden buttons with an engraved tree motif from my stash and sewed the buttonholes and attached the buttons with my machine in about five minutes flat – it makes me happy that something I once feared is now an absolute breeze!
In short, I am thrilled with these overalls! I like the fit and the cut, and the innumerable styling options in terms of teaming it with RTW t-shirts, TATB Freyas or even a vest top for sunny days. They are comfortable to walk and sit down in and I’m happy to have made a staple garment which I can accessorise and dress up or down. The fabric was a perfect choice for my first overalls and I would definitely repurchase – I’m thinking an autumnal pinafore in olive green could be spot on.
Thanks for reading,
It's an absolute essential and pairs with every other garment I own. It's a simple sew that will never go out of style.
I'm talking about the Breton stripe top of course and one of the top free patterns of sewists everywhere- the Mandy Boat Tee pattern by Tessuti. FREE and updated to multi-sized format! Now you have the perfect pattern, you need the perfect knit. Weighty and breathable, non-wrinkling, lots of stretch and really good recovery. A neat, small-scale, stripe in contrasting colours. I have been hunting for months. Then... Drum-roll....the stripe Cotton Jersey knit arrived.
This is my favorite type of knit for a boxy silhouette because it holds some structure while being super comfortable. I machine-washed and tumbled- dried the fabric to ensure it will be fully pre-shrunk (it is cotton).
This pattern is easy but knits can be challenging if you are new to them. (If you're not, you can just scroll through and look at the pictures...its okay.) Add to that some stripe-matching and you have a nice balance of easy and challenging! This is how I do things, there are many ways to do these things and all I want to say before we get into it is : Even if you feel like you are lacking (skill/experience/equipment/resources), you can make lovely, neat, well-fitting garments. Search out methods that work for where you are right now and refine those skills.
Let's get started!
Knits often roll on their cut edges. I use binder clips ( because that is just what I have on hand, you can use any kind of clip) to stabilize the fabric while I am cutting out the pattern pieces. This helps the curling edge lie smooth AND helps me line up the stripes.
The pattern instructs to finish the neckline first. I have used twin-needles and serger techniques for hemming knits and recently I've come back to a clean and simple zig-zag. I really love the way it looks and how it holds up over time.
I set the stitch length and width both to 3 (a medium setting on my machine), and stitch just over the folded raw edge. This is also the time I like to add my label. (This is one of those tops where the front and back look very similar!)
Lovely! You can be proud of that finish.
I assembled the rest of my top with serger (overlocker), for me it has been a worthwhile investment. You can use a zig-zag or other stretch-stitch for assembling and it will be great. The only thing I want to note about this pattern is the sleeves are snug (I made size 1). You may want to whip up a muslin of even just the sleeve piece to determine your preference.
So, you have a great classic top. How about adding a personal touch? Embroidery is something I love but have done extremely little of. I tried out a simple design for fun and used lightweight fusible interfacing as stabilizer. I cut a 2 inch square and fused it to the wrong side of the garment in the desired location.
I lightly sketched a little cat on the right side of the interfaced fabric. Use a marking tool that is clear but will wash away (don't use pencil like I did. Ha.).
An embroidery hoop will hold the fabric taught. I chose embroidery floss and a rounded needle.
Stitch the pattern however you want!
To finish, I fused a second 2 inch square of interfacing on the wrong side of the fabric for a smooth and sealed surface.
I'm hoping to try out more embroidery on my home-sewn pieces, there is a ton of inspiration, templates, and tips out there.
Thanks again for reading and coming along!