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King Cole Alpaca Slipper-Socks by Lauren

Hello everyone. I’m Lauren, a sewing / knitting addict and I want to share one of my most-recent knitting projects.

Just a bit of background for you – I knit baby clothes and accessories in my spare time, and sell them in my Etsy shop. But it’s rare that I actually knit anything adult-sized. However, recently I’ve made an exception.

My brother - after complaining about his cold feet for the 14th time - jokingly asked me to make him a man-sized version of the baby booties I knit. Challenge accepted mate!

After looking on the Minerva Crafts site for appropriate slipper-sock patterns, I found this one: King Cole 3275. It looked perfect - cosy, chunky, fun to make; they also bore a strong resemblance to the baby-boots I make, which was an added bonus!

The pattern recommends using King Cole Baby Alpaca DK, which I’ve used before on another project in the past and loved. It’s such a soft yarn and the colours are lovely. I ordered 5 balls – enough to make a pair of slipper socks in the largest size – in the camel colourway.

After working with this yarn for a while, I still love it. It is wonderfully soft, with a slight halo, and although it can be a little splitty, I found that this became a lot less of an issue after I had got used to working with it.

The only down-side I found with the yarn is its suitability to this kind of pattern. As it’s hand-wash only, I do wonder whether it’s a little impractical for an item you wear on your bare feet, on the floor. So far, they have been hand-washed a couple of times and still look good. Being a pretty heavy-duty item, the yarn has shown some signs of wear on the sole of the foot, but I think this is understandable and not really an issue for my brother.

The slipper socks are constructed in three parts, the sole, which is done in basic garter stitch, the upper part of the foot, and the leg and leg linings, which are done in rib and stocking stitch. Making them up was fairly straight forward, I just safety-pinned all the pieces in place evenly, and used a whip stitch to attach them.

I think it came out really well, and overall the pattern was fairly easy to follow. However, it did take me a lot longer to make than I expected. The only other issue I had with this make, was that the finished article didn’t really come out as I first expected. The pattern cover art makes the slippers look really sturdy, as though they are similar to an actual boot, when in fact, they don’t stand up on their own and are more of a sock when they’re off the foot. I think it was probably a bit silly of me to have that expectation though, after all, they are only made of yarn, and when they’re on the foot, they look great :) I could perhaps try some of these Slipper Soles next time.

Overall, I’d definitely recommend the King Cole Baby Alpaca yarn to anyone who wants a super-soft, fluffy DK wool, that comes in loads of colours. I’d probably also recommend the pattern too, but I’d just say to bear in mind that they might not look like the pattern illustration.

Anyway, my brother likes these slippers a lot, and has so far not complained anywhere near as much about having cold feet, so that seems like a winner to me!

To find out more about my makes, just nip over to my website and say hi – www.craftworksblog.com

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Sew Over It Betty Dress Pattern Review by Emily Wrinkle

If I were to say that the Betty dress surprised me, it would be quite the understatement. Whenever I start a sewing project that involves a new and untried Sewing Pattern I am usually very nervous. Will it fit? Will it be flattering? Will I actually like it as much as I think I will? Some people would consider this a benefit of the sewing adventure, but I like to stay within the confines of familiar patterns.
However, I have long admired the Betty dress. I first spotted it several years ago, perhaps shortly after it came out. After my success with the Sew Over It Doris dress I sewed up for the Minerva Crafts Blogger Network, I was rather excited to try another of their lovely patterns. Inspired by the 50’s with a classic fit and flare shape that I find to be quite flattering, Betty was the obvious choice.
I decided pretty quickly that a simple black and white Polka Dot Fabric would be absolutely perfect. The cotton fabric I chose from Minerva Crafts is absolutely gorgeous. It is sturdy and just right for a circle skirt. Cotton or cotton blends are definitely my fabrics of choice. They are so easy to work with, and I can just toss them in the wash! (I don’t know about you, but I really don’t want to bother with hand washing all of my me-made garments.) I did pre-wash my fabric before cutting out my dress. That way I didn’t have to worry about the finished garment shrinking.
I did make one adjustment to the pattern before starting the dress. I knew from making the Doris dress that a size 12 in the Sew Over It patterns works really well for me if I do a FBA (Full Bust Adjustment.) I thought I was going to have to lengthen the bodice just a smidge, but after doing the FBA it wasn’t necessary. The original bust measurement for a size 12 was 37 inches, so I added an inch and a quarter FBA to the front bodice piece. Overall it  added two and a half inches to the bust measurement bringing it up to 39.5 inches. After this small change, I stitched up a toile of the bodice,
To my surprise, it was nearly perfect! I had to tweak the shape of the bust dart to get rid of some awkward puckering, but that was it. I did change the neckline to a gentle v-neck after seeing how the toile looked. I have found that boat or bateau don’t look quite right on my busty shape. Showing a little more skin around the neckline is much more flattering. Since I cut the bodice mock up out of the polka dot fabric, I ended being able to use it as the actual bodice for the final dress.
Sewing the rest of the dress was a piece of cake. I have made plenty of circle skirts in my time, so there were no surprises there. I waffled back and forth a bit about it, but I did end up adding in-seam pockets to the skirt. Pockets aren’t hard to do, they just aren’t my favorite thing to sew. The final result is definitely worth it though! For the all-in-one facing, I followed Lisa’s tutorial on the Sew Over It Youtube channel. She explained everything so clearly that I didn’t have a bit of trouble following along. It is such a clever way to finish the neck and armhole edges! It made the insides of the dress look very neat and professional.
Once the dress was finished and I could properly try it on, I found a couple of things I would change for my next rendition. I would raise the depth of the back neckline so that it won’t show my camisole underneath. The back neckline gaps across my shoulder blades, but that could be easily fixed by pinching half an inch or so out of the pattern piece. The straps are right on the edge of my shoulders. They don’t slip off or anything, but they do restrict some of my arm movement. I could resolve that by moving them in about an inch. I also added some bra strap keepers on the dress straps to avoid any wardrobe faux pas. I will definitely be doing that in any of my future Betty variations.
Final thoughts? I love this dress more than I thought possible. I wore it for half a day without the facings tacked down or the skirt hemmed. I didn’t want to take it off! And once it was completely finished, I wore it for two days straight! It is probably one of my all-time favorite dress makes, which is saying a lot. I am already planning at least one more with some stash fabric. Wouldn’t it be amazing sewn up in a heavier, more cold weather appropriate fabric? Plus this polka dot version will be the perfect transition piece. I can wear it with cardigans or sweaters, and it would look so cute with some boots and my denim jacket. Also, I’ve never been so tempted to drown myself in tulle and chiffon to make a petticoat! How adorable would Betty look with a super floofy petticoat??
Thanks for reading,
Emily @ Emmy Couture
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Burnside Bibs by Jo

I admit it, I almost lost my nerve on this one. Pink dungarees? Pink SPARKLY dungarees? It seemed like a good idea, and then, in the freezing temperatures of February, like an absolutely insane idea. But then I finished them, just as the days started to get longer and the daffodils came out, and a little voice in the back of my mind said ‘see, I told you so.’ Because these will be perfect for spring and summer. Perfect for picnics, and playdates, and pretending I’m a glittery Land Girl down the allotment. Yeah, pink dungarees for the win.
The pattern, the Burnside Bibs from Sew House Seven, is one I’ve had my eye on since it came out. Which is strange, because I don’t think I would have considered something like this when I still bought ready to wear. Something about the novelty of sewing a dungaree, combined with the flattering jumpsuit-like cut, really appealed to me. It has two versions, and I’ve made a straight version 2 with no fit alterations, other than using my hip measurement for the size throughout, rather than grading (for me, this meant going a size up on the waist and bust, but I figured those two areas had a loose fit so the hip was most important). Version 2 has a looser fit, which is usually my preference since I favour a relaxed style, and a straight bib. Version 1 is more fitted through the waist, with an invisible zipper and a curved bib. If I were doing a dressy version, in black viscose perhaps, I would be tempted by the zipper for a closer, sexier fit, but as it is, the ties cinch the waist in quite nicely. In terms of sewing, I was surprised at how fast and easy this was. It’s marked as an intermediate pattern, and while I consider myself an intermediate sewist, I’m also lazy and sew a lot of beginner patterns - this is absolutely doable for a beginner. It has a lot of topstitching, which is often a bane of mine, but the construction is simple and the (really nice and sturdy!) instruction booklet is clear and concise. If you’re on the fence, honestly, give it a go. 
For the fabric, I knew I wanted linen, and I couldn’t resist this shimmer finish Linen & Rayon Blend Fabric - it’s a total steal at this price. It’s just a touch lighter weight than I would normally choose for trousers though, FYI. I think it works, luckily, but it would also be fantastic for a summer dress (and at the price, I would go for one with a large yardage requirement like the full skirted B6453!), or a light jacket. The metallic sparkle finish on one side is actually quite subtle, and the plain reverse side is looks great in it’s own right. 
My favourite thing about linen, I think, is how beautifully it washes and ages; it gets better over time. In terms of the life of the garment, natural fibres always have the edge for me not just in terms of texture but also because they can be dyed. Here’s a trick I started doing last year; when I’m sewing a natural fabric, in a very light colour, I take it as a given that eventually the garment will fall victim to spaghetti stains (at best), so I use 100% Cotton Thread. That way, I always have the option of throwing the whole thing in with a packet of Dylon Dye and, ta da, problem solved. Last year’s white linen tops are this year’s emerald green, and next year maybe the batch will be espresso brown, but you get the point: planning for longevity. 
But this year, PINK. So, as you can see, another Very Serious Garment for my Very Serious Life. 
Thanks again for reading. Next time, I will see you on the Minerva Crafts Blogger Network!
Jo x
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The Style Arc Lauren Boyfriend Shirt by Sonny

I love button down shirts. Made up in slinky silk or a super sharp shirting fabric, a beautiful button down paired with skinny jeans is my failsafe look for day-to-night dressing.

So when Minerva Crafts kindly invited me to blog about one of their Style Arc Printed Patterns, I knew at once that the Lauren boyfriend shirt would be the one for me!

With its relaxed fit and oversized cuffs, the Lauren combines classic menswear shirting features with unexpected details. This pattern is designed for non-stretch, woven fabrics, from light to medium weight, but I would definitely advise using a shirting fabric like the ones listed on the Minerva site to help you get the best finish on some of those tricky-to-construct details.

And speaking of tricky-to-construct details, here’s a quick rundown on what you can expect to be sewing for the Lauren (tip: prewashing and pressing are key to achieving a lovely finish on all of these techniques).

- Inserting a collar, collar-stand and a particularly tricky cuff construction and insertion

- Precisely placed buttons and buttonholes

- Sleeve insertion

- Inserting a box pleat

- Hemming

The Fabric

This fabric is absolutely stunning. I wanted to make a really classic, wearable shirt so I chose this Shirting Fabric. At £4.99 per metre, it was fantastic value for money and it was a perfect match for my Lauren. The fabric felt very crisp and starchy when it came out of the packet and I had expected it to keep its structure but after prewashing (at 30degrees) it softened to have the most beautiful love-worn texture. You can see that it looks almost like seersucker in this picture (I promise it’s pressed!) but I love the slightly crumpled, tousled effect in a borrowed-from-a-boy-the-morning-after-the-night-before kind of way.

How long did it take to make?

I’m a marathon sewer, and I’ll happily sew from dawn till dusk and then well into the night. I completed this in one evening and a full day, and though I had some difficulties with the sleeve insertion (more on that later), I really enjoyed taking my time with all the little details that make it feel like a ‘proper’ shirt.

Skill Level

The difficulty is listed as Medium-Challenging on the packet. However, I’ll be honest; Style Arc’s instructions leave a lot to be desired, so I wouldn’t recommend this pattern to anyone who had never made a button down shirt before. Though there are a number of tutorials on Style Arc’s website that offer help with some of the trickier techniques required, they weren’t hugely helpful to me, and it was a pain trying to search through their blog posts for tips while I was trying to focus on sewing.

Fit

If you are between sizes, go for the smaller size, seriously. I usually sit between a UK size 8 and 10 and have a larger bust. I didn’t want to bother with an FBA, but didn’t want to risk any boob gape-age (y’all ladies know what I’m talking about) so I decided to cut a size 10 and really embrace the oversized look. It ended up being massively oversized and I actually took off a whopping two inches from both shoulder seams and another inch and a half on either side of the bodice. Generally though, I think that the shape would be flattering on lots of different body shapes, and if you’re keen on hacking patterns, there is a lot that you could do with the Lauren.

The Great Bits

I really like the Lauren shirt’s oversized pocket detail and the exaggerated dipped hem at the back. It’s really flattering paired with jeans, and if you hacked the bodice to make it dress length then I think it would make a really great summer shirt-dress made up in a linen or linen blend. The collar was surprisingly simple to insert and looks great buttoned up or open, which was a nice surprise, as I like to mix up the styling of my shirts. And though initially I wasn’t sure about those massive cuffs, in the end they were really fun to make and I think they look pretty great.

The Not So Great Bit

No matter how hard I tried, I could not get those cuffs to fit without significantly gathering the sleeve – and when I tried that, it was uncomfortable to wear and made me look like an awkward marionette doll. It took me a good couple of hours and a lot of seam ripping to realise that the pattern pieces were just not built to fit together and so I ended up taking a good inch and a half off the sleeve where it joined the cuff. Again, maybe there was a special technique to inserting this cuff, but since there were no instructions on how to attach them, I had to improvise, but in the end it worked out all right!

Thanks again Minerva for giving me the opportunity to try out this pattern, it challenged my skills and gave me a shirt that I know I’ll wear again and again.

Xxx

Sonny @sew_london

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Luxury Crepe Vogue 9252 by Kelly

It may have only been a couple of weeks ago that we were at home enjoying a February snow day (or as it became known in my house, sew day), but I’m already thinking about my summer wardrobe. One of my goals for 2018 was to plan my sewing better, so that I wasn’t sewing summer clothes at the end of August that I never got the chance to wear. Nope. Didn’t happen last year AT ALL. I’ve been stockpiling summer patterns since the beginning of the year, so when I was asked to review Minerva’s new range of Luxury Crepe Fabric fabric I knew exactly what I wanted to make with it - Vogue Pattern 9252. Although I’m usually a print kind of girl, I found this luxury crepe in Bottle Green hard to resist.

Now I’m no fabric expert (although after Love to Sew’s Fabric 101 podcast, I’m learning), but I knew I would be dealing with something relativity light and drapey. When the fabric arrived I was really impressed with its quality - it lives up to the product description of luxury crepe. The fabric is super soft, substantial (I'm always happy when a crepe isn’t see-through) and very stable to sew with. This was the first time I had made Vogue 9252 so I had to refit the bodice, which I lined with the same fabric. I’m pleased to report it stands up really well to unpicking and re-sewing (!). It didn’t weaken the integrity of the fabric at all, which is something I have struggled with with crepe previously. This was a really good indicator of quality for me.

The dress was one I just *had* to wear out for the dinner the night I finished it - despite the fact it is a summer dress, and it’s still winter. Luckily the dress and fabric work well with a pair of tights, so I think it’ll make a good dress for an evening out whatever the season! The whole things falls really beautifully, and the weight of the fabric gives the skirt a good swish. I just felt unashamedly elegant wearing it. And who doesn’t want that in a dress?!

My thoughts on the pattern are as always to do with sizing and ease. I chose the size on my upper body measurements due to the shape of the dress, and yet it was still far too big around the shoulders and under the arm pit. These are however common fit issues for me. The alterations I made were to shorten the straps (by about 2 inches!), and to grade the side seams to take the excess ease out from under the arms. As always, the faffing with fit was worth it and the bodice fits beautifully now. And of course, the dream feature for any woman - it has pockets!

Overall? As I think you’ve guessed, I was really impressed. At £11.99 per metre, the fabric is a really reasonable price for the quality that you’re getting. It sews beautifully, it drapes beautifully - it’s a winner for me. And you know what? It’s good for twirling too :)

Thanks for reading,

Kelly @ sewandstylelou

All photos by GCP Photography

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Review: The Mini Iron

This is most definitely a gadget that I didn’t know I needed until I got it. An amazing little thing that once you’re started using, you can’t imagine your sewing and crafting life without it!

This Mini Iron is so very compact, comes with very easy instructions and dials and a small beaker for pouring water into it for the steam function. Because it’s probably been designed as a travel iron, it comes with a two pin continental plug (as you can see in the pics above). I haven’t got a travel adapter and was only ever going to use it for my sewing, so my husband kindly fitted a three pin plug to it.

You can see the difference in size when you see it next to my regular iron –

I have used this fabulous iron so much. From pressing small seams, to collars and cuffs, small darts, hems, tricky to get at plackets, baby clothes and lingerie. It’s excellent for getting into small places and the steam function is brilliant and so easy to fill through the little hole.

For the purpose of this review, I took photos whilst pressing the leg hems on boxer pants I’m making for my husband, the Comox Trunks by Thread Theory Designs. The mini iron is perfect for getting at the leg hems without pressing lots of other bits that you don’t want to! It’s so comfortable to hold and manage.

Can you tell that I love it?! I recommend you all have one, it’s always plugged in alongside my big iron and makes the weekly ironing a much easier job as well as all my sewing activities.

Thanks for reading,

Ali x

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Shift Dress in Luxury Crepe Dress Fabric by StefMakes

There is no denying that when it comes to clothes and prints, I love plains. Patterns (and certainly stripes!) have their place but, in my books, you just can’t beat a wardrobe basic that is as versatile as it is lovely. So, when Minerva gave me the opportunity to review their Plain Luxury Crepe Dress Fabric, I jumped at the chance of getting my hands on some. It is a lovely material. The drape is to die for and it really does feel quite luxurious to wear. It was just a question of what to make with it.
Now generally speaking, I love a shift dress. They have become a wardrobe staple for me, for both work and play. What I have less of however are shifts with a little more detail. Shifts that work well as a transitional piece from day to night with a bit of something extra going on in the finishing. With the curved hem and sleeve detail, New Look 6467 turned out to be just the job.
I decided to go for the teal and, oh my, I absolutely love this colour! It’s not a hue that I have very much of in my wardrobe and there is a large array of shades out there when it comes to ‘teal’, but this one is just so gorgeously rich.
This crepe fitted the bill just perfectly and it really complements the transitional day/evening look I was aiming for. With the right accessories, the dress can be completely transformed (belt and boots for the day time and a chunky necklace for the evening perhaps). Initially, I was a bit hesitant to make up a shift dress with it; I was worried that I wouldn’t be making the most of the drape and that it might be too lightweight. On balance, it turned out to be not too much of a problem, which only goes to show how versatile this fabric is.
I didn’t line the shift but I would definitely recommend a cami underneath because, in bright light, it is a little sheer. I’m also not sure how it will react on the static front and I haven’t given it a proper test drive yet. In any case, at this time of year it is advisable not to leave the house without a good vest and multiple layers! Just me? OK.
In terms of composition, I began by overlocking all my pattern pieces. I had made a toile first and discovered that it is difficult to finish the seams once it is sewn up due to the curved hems and the need to have the seams pressed open. It also proved beneficial in stabilising the fabric. The neckline, the sleeve and hem facings are all stabilised further with a lightweight fusible interfacing.
Stitching the curved hem and sleeves was particularly fiddly, especially with such drapey fabric. I made my toile in a lightweight chambray which had a little more structure than the crepe and therefore was generally easier to handle and a bit more obedient. I managed with the crepe though and, whilst the hem does have a slight wave due to the contrast in weight from the main body of the garment, I think I got away with it.
So it turns out that this crepe is just heavy enough to be a really versatile fabric with a lot of potential. Whilst I consider my shift to be a pretty successful make, a floaty blouse would have also worked really well and perhaps been a more obvious choice. Something like a pussy bow blouse would look amazing in this fabric. I’m glad I stuck to my guns and persevered though, because I do really like the finished garment.
The overall finish is clean and neat, although there is literally nowhere to hide when it comes to the top stitching. Frustratingly, my thread was slightly the wrong shade but hey, life’s too short!
With the toile under my belt, I was able to adapt this version to suit both fit and purpose. Adjustments included:
- Elimination of the zip: it was plenty big enough to get over my head without a zip. I didn’t want to have a lumpy seam if it wasn’t necessary.
- Addition of buttons: I added two faux button closures at the back and a key hole opening just because they look pretty and make for a more evening-y vibe.
- Removal of the side seam pockets to eliminate bulk.- I cut a size 12 but reduced the side seams to 1cm (from 1.5cm) to allow for a little more ease.
And there we have it. One more shift dress to add to the collection. Except this is just that little bit more special, made all the more lovely by the Fabric. As for the colour, well I think I might just make everything in teal from now on…
Ta ta for now!
Stef @ Stef Makes
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Eastern Jewels Blanket Pack Review by Nicky

Crochet blankets bring back childhood memories of my Nan sitting on the garden bench with the blanket she was working on spread out before her. In fact wherever she was her crochet wasn’t far away; a randomly coloured piece using up left over bits of yarn that had appeared from somewhere!

So I jumped at the chance to try out this kit for the Eastern Jewels Blanket Kit. A riot of glorious colours put together in a fantastic design of tiles. A lot more sophisticated than my nan’s colourful creations and I must admit I felt a little overwhelmed at first when the large bag arrived.

The kit contains fourteen 100g balls of Stylecraft Special Double Knit yarn which is 100% acrylic and machine washable, enough to complete the make, plus two booklets. One providing the charts as to which colours are required for each section. The other giving the instructions of how to complete the octagons, squares and triangles that make up the blanket as well as instructions on bringing it together and edging. The only extras you need are crochet needles (3.5mm, 4mm & 4.5mm), a wool needle and stitch markers.

As I was going off on holiday I took enough wool with me to get started. It’s great having a transportable project and has started numerous conversations on the train!

The pattern book list the stitches you need to crochet but doesn’t give actual instructions on how to do them. As I haven’t done much more than a basic double stitch in years I started up with an internet search of the basics. Numerous references came up so there is plenty of information out there.

Starting my first octagon I did find it a little daunting and ripped it back a number of times as I didn’t get it quiet right. In the end I wrote myself a little checklist of stitches to stop myself getting confused between my trebles and double trebles!

Once the first one was complete I found starting the second much easier and as it one progressed the stitches and pattern flowed much better as I started to remember the sequences. So if you haven’t crocheted much before don’t be put off. As each tile has the same design, just different colours, it becomes so much easier as you go along.

I found it very additive watching each tile grow and as you do a round at a time it’s something you can pick up in a short interval. As each round is a separate colour there are a lots of ends so I found it best to sew these in as I went.

I blocked each tile as I completed it as I find that easier than trying to block the blanket a a large piece. I do this by pinning the damp piece to an old notice board and placing by the radiator to dry.

It always amazes me how the design improves even more after blocking.

As the pile of blocked tiles piled up I was to impatient to wait so started to join together. Following the instructions and chart the edges are matched, with right sides together and joined by double crochets.

This gives a really neat join on the back and the front.

These are such a fantastic rainbow of colours that I wouldn’t have dreamt of putting together myself but the compliment each other so well.

It is a blanket that is worth taking time over and for me it’s still a glorious work in progress but I’ll be showing off the finished result soon!

Thanks for reading about the journey so far!

Nicky @ Sew N Snip

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Lady McElroy Foliage Fabric Review by Georgina

Sew... I really struggled to pick one of the new Lady McElroy Fabrics but being a massive fan of leaf prints I knew I had to pick the Foliage Fabric Design


The fabric is 100% cotton and is super soft. Minerva describe it as a cotton poplin. Its green foliage print looks really lovely against the blue background. The foliage design is made of different types of leaves which really makes it stand out from the single leaf designs. One of the leaves also has a red stem which creates a lovely pop of colour. 


With Spring just about here I decided to make a pair of Named Ninni Culottes. Although the pattern suggests a knit fabric it's definitely a pattern that's also suitable for woven fabrics. 


Always prewash your fabrics, especially cottons. Minerva recommend washing at 30 degree but I always use my eco 40 degree cycle so pre washed using this settling and the fabric washed fine. If you aren't sure about which temperature to use either go for a cool temperature or put in a swatch at your normal cycle and see how it comes out. Life's too short to faff around with washing at lots of different temperature so love a fabric that I can shove in on my normal wash.


Another pre sewing task is to iron your fabric. I love a hot steamy iron so tried it out on a small corner section and they creases came out instantly. The fabric is a dream to iron. This is a good sign for when you have to press all your seams. 

Once washed and ironed it's time for cutting out. My rotary cutter glided through the fabric. So far this fabric has been amazing to work with but how it sews is also very important. 

The Ninni culottes are a simple style with wide straight legs and an elasticated waist. And yes they have pockets! Using my trusty Gutermann thread I had no issues sewing with this fabric. It just glided through my machine with no tension adjustments needed. 


This fabric has a lovely drape which makes these culottes look like a skirt which I love as it means I don't have to worry about accidentally flashing my knickers on a rainy day! I'm looking forward to getting lots of wear out of these culottes throughout the warmer Spring days and summer sun. 


The Lady McElroy Cotton Poplin Fabrics are perfect for so many garments whether it be these culottes, a cute dress or a circle skirt. There are so many gorgeous detailed designs you will want them all for your stash! I definitely need some of jade flora songbird, robyn, hut city and cocktail hour....
Thanks for reading,
Georgina @ Sew in the Garden
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Swedish Tracing Paper Review by Ali

Wow, this stuff is seriously fabulous. I’m not usually a tracer, I find it a bit of a faff, I usually cut straight into my patterns. But recently I’ve wanted to make different sizes of things and it seems rather extravagant to buy another pattern.

So, I was thrilled to test this beautiful Swedish Tracing Paper. I’m a mature lady and I wear glasses for reading and close work so I was concerned about seeing the pattern markings through the paper. However it was really clear, in daylight and at night time. I had no problems with tracing over all the markings.

The Swedish tracing paper is thick enough to withstand lots of pinning and usage, but transparent enough to be able to see through. It folds up easily so the new traced pattern pieces can be easily stored.

I am a convert – I shall be using it a lot now. Recently I have been making The Comox Trunks boxer shorts for my husband and this seemed to be the perfect pattern to test out the tracing paper on. My two sons and my husband are different sizes so it means that I can use the pattern for all of them.

Here are some pictures to illustrate how easy it is to use. It comes as a roll and can easily be stored under a bed if, like me, you don’t have a sewing room!

If you do a lot of sewing for others or if you want to keep your patterns in their original condition, I recommend you buy a roll of this lovely stuff!

Thanks for reading,

Ali x

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