View all the latest fabrics to arrive at Minerva Crafts... Click here »

Need help? Contact us on 01254 708068 from 9am til 5pm Monday to Friday

POSTS PER PAGE: 3 | 6 | 9 | 12

« < 1 2 3 4 5 6 > »

#FabricFriday - Broderie Anglaise

Just a quick look today at some of the amazing fabrics arriving on our shelves daily here at Minerva. Still thinking Summer and holidays, beautiful Broderie Anglaise comes to mind. 
First to show you is this Broderie Anglaise Fabric in both Candy and Cerise. This 100% cotton fabric is 140cm wide and has a most unusual Broderie Anglaise design that is different sizes of circles and a lovely co-ordinating border on both edges. This fabric is £13.99 per mt and it 'gets away' from the traditional 3 or 5 hole broderie anglaise we are used to.
A simple design would show this fabric at its best. Something like version A on Vogue Pattern 8766. This could be a fabulous sun-dress for your hols. 
Particularly view A...
The hemline is perfectly straight so would cut brilliantly from this fabric. The top front panel is virtually straight across, this just may want a little tweak to get it absolutely straight and the back panel is definately straight across. When you put the side panels on the fabric on the straight of the grainline you will probably see the top is not on line with the border. In cases like this it is quite acceptable to tweak it around a little. Lets face it we are talking about a piece of fabric approx 6" by 12" at the most that is being twisted a little off grain. Now remember this bodice is boned, these pieces are stitched to other piece at the sides and the bottom edges and there will be an interfaced facing along the top edge. So although I do not, in any other circumstance, mis-align the grainlines, I think we could be allowed to break the rules a little in this dress. Also take a look at Version B How swish would that look with a frill around the bottom.
All in all a good pattern with it having 2 top variations, 3 skirt variations and different sleeve lengths. Unfortunately the flared version would not be suitable for this fabric because it is a semi-circular style. If you want something more flared you would need a pattern with a straight gathered skirt.
Still thinking of Broderie Anglaise my next choice of Fabric comes in 4 pretty summery colours; Green, Pink, Lilac and Jade. Again this fabric has a striking border on both edges. 
I know we will all think differently but in my opinion, I have saved the best 2 till last! First is this Jungle Green Broderie Anglaise but it will certainly go with anything Khaki. I love the 'striped' panels of pattern and yet again the border is amazing. I would make full use of this border without a doubt. 
White as always can be simply stunning and this is no exception. Check out this White Broderie Anglaise. One of our lovely customers only yesterday chose this fabric for a cute boxy top to wear alongside a beige Blades Linen Fabric ankle length wrap-over skirt. I think this will look awesome, don't you?
Thanks for reading,
Annette xx

How to Cast on your Knitting Projects by Helen

How often do you find yourself about to knit a pattern and it calls for a particular type of cast on – but you don’t know that so you instead you just stick to your tried and true method? Well in fact there are merits to different types of cast on; some provide a stable edge that doesn’t curl, others allow lots of stretch, whilst some are better for ribbing or they can even be decorative.

The long tail cast on is a strong and stable cast on with little curling whilst providing a decent amount of stretch making it great for hats, sleeves and cuffs.

  1. To begin your long tail cast on you need to start with a long tail. I usually take about 1.5 cm for each stitch – but if in doubt always leave more!

  1. Tie a slip knot in the yarn. To do this wrap the yarn twice around your index finger on your left hand from left to right.

  1. Take the left-most loop and lift it over the loop on the right, leaving it on your finger.

  1. Next take the other loop and lift it over again – this time dropping it off your finger.

  1. Put the loop that was left on your finger onto your knitting needle and tighten.

Now comes the fun part!

  1. Hold the needle in your right hand with the tip pointing left. Take both pieces of yarn in your left hand with your palm facing down and hold the tail end over your thumb and the ball end over your index finger.

  1. Now you need to twist your left hand anti-clockwise so that your palm is facing up. The tail end of the yarn will still be wrapped around your thumb and the ball end of the yarn around your index finger.

  1. Take your needle and hook the tip of it, from front to back, under the length of yarn coming in front of your thumb

  1. Next hook the needle, from back to front, under the length of yarn in front of your index finger.

  1. Bring that second loop of yarn (from your index finger) under the first loop (on your thumb).

  2. Dropping the yarn off your thumb and finger tighten the stitch you have just made on the needle.

  1. Repeat steps 6-11 until you have cast on the desired number of stitches.

Thanks for reading and hope you enjoyed this mini tutorial! Also, see my review on the new Prym Ergonomic Knitting Needles!
Helen @ HSHandCrafts

Q&A with Sophia from Jessalli Handmade

Can you tell us a little bit about you and your blog?
I’m Sophia, the creator of Jessalli Handmade. I started my blog to show my customers behind the scenes in my studio and the production of my handmade personalised gifts. But it grew into a platform to share everything about my handmade life, latest makes and crafting discoveries. 
When did you start crafting and what inspired you to start? What was your first project?
I’ve been crafting since I was tiny. My Mum taught me to sew. She used to make all our costumes for school plays and ballet showcases. I used to love wearing what she made me, and I was always interested in it. So she taught me how and the rest is history!
What is your favourite craft?
I love sewing. Sewing is my life. I’ve only recently got back into dressmaking, after many years of making soft furnishings and gifts. It’s come back with a bang though and I’m totally addicted. 
What do you love most about crafting?
I love the whole process, from drawing out ideas, the making and then the satisfaction of having something no one else has. That’s why I think I love making gifts for friends and family too. It’s more personal. 
Do your friends or family craft along with you?
Mum loves to sew with me. She used to help me a huge amount back in the day. I’ve tried to get my sister into it, but she’s more interested in baking (something I’m awful at!). Everyone else loves what I do, but doesn’t necessarily want to help - especially if it takes more than 15 minutes!
Who do you make things for?
Everyone. My mum always asks me to embellish her clothes with my designs. My friends love me making outfits for them. My sister likes me to customise her shop-bought items and most of my family love receiving handmade gifts. I’m always busy. And then of course I actually have a business to run too! 
What made you decide to start to blog about your crafting?
It was a way for my customers to see me making their precious items. I wanted them to be able to see into my studio and all the processes of making. I’m so glad I did. 
What 3 sewing or craft items/tools could you not live without?
Small Snips, Medium Dressmaking Scissors and my beloved machine Maggie. 
What are your favourite fabrics to sew with and why?
Most of my products and gifts are made from Cotton Fabric. But dressmaking wise, I love to sew with Jersey Fabric and Ponte Roma Knits
What is your favourite product on the Minerva Crafts website and what would you make with it?
At the moment the Multicoloured Fleck Soft Sweatshirt Fabric in Pink. I love baby pink right now and think a gorgeously cosy drop-shoulder sweater would be amazing. 
How many projects do you have on the go at one time?
Gosh, too many. I maybe have 3 or 4 orders all ‘in the making’ at any one time. Then 2 or 3 personal projects too. I’m always in a state of making. And I love it like that. 
Whats your favourite thing you have ever made?
I’d have to say, now, my Palm Leaf print Holly Jumpsuit. It was my first project for the MCBN and so different to what I usually make and wear. But I’ve totally fallen in love with it and want to wear it all the time! I love how an item of clothing can make you feel so good!
What is your latest WIP (Work in progress)?
At the moment I’m actually making another Holly Jumpsuit for my best friend. She’s got a ball to go to and we thought a bright red crepe version would look stunning. Luckily we found the perfect red polyester crepe on the website!
Do you watch TV or listen to music while you craft?
I always listen to music. I usually go through Spotify playlists and listen to anything from acoustic tracks to 90’s pop songs!
What/who do you go to for inspiration before you start crafting?
Pinterest. If, say, I have a sweater pattern and am thinking about making a floral print variation. I’ll type in ‘floral sweater’ and see what looks great and what colours I think would look good on me. Then I can search for fabrics that are as close to my vision. 
Do you have a crafty tip you would like to share?
Always have a good quality sharp pair of scissors. You will not survive without them. 
Do you follow other blogs? If so which blogs?
I try to. It’s hard to find the time to read and follow all my favourites. Youtube is now a great way for me to easily catch up with what they’re doing. I love watching Lisa Comfort from Sew Over It, and love reading Studio DIY.
Do you have any advice for new bloggers?
Only write about what you love. However, If you’ve made something you’re not proud of, share it anyway and share your mistakes. You’ll be surprised at how invaluable that information is to others. No body is perfect!
Could you sum yourself up as a crafter in 3 words?
Perfectionist, Passionate and Pattern obsessed! 
What are your crafting ambitions?
My one ambition is to have a Handmade wardrobe. As in, no matter what I’m doing or where I’m going I’ll have something I’ve made that I can wear! 
What would you say to anyone looking to start a new craft?
Don’t hesitate. Everyone has to start somewhere. And most importantly, have fun!

Pom Poms from the Patchwork Fairy

Hi Minerva readers,

It's Alison here from the Patchwork Fairy and I am guest posting on the Minerva Crafts blog. Today I've been making Pom Poms! This highly addictive, creative activity is enormous fun and provides quick results, so really good if you like to see a finished product on the same day you start making it!

The little Pom Pom Makers from Clover come in different sizes and, not surprisingly, make different sized Pom Poms! I've been using a 35, 25 and 20. To begin you need some Yarn and some Sharp Scissors. First I used some sharp sewing scissors but it was hard going cutting through the yarn so I recommend very sharp pointed embroidery scissors or something similar to avoid sore fingers!

Once you work out how to open it up fully it's quick and simple to wind your yarn round the extended arms on both sides. My first attempt didn't end well as I failed to notice there are two plastic arms on each side of the maker, and both must be extended out!

I decided to make a two coloured Pom Pom by using pink yarn one side and silver on the other. It is important to keep winding the yarn round until the centre of the dip in the arms is filled in level with the sides. The pink below is filled in completely but I'm still winding the grey.

Once both sides are wound level it's easy to close up the Pom Pom maker tightly as although the ones I used are fairly small they are easy to handle and don't flirt open or come undone easily.

Using your very sharp scissors, hold the Pom Pom maker by one of the hinged ends to help keep it closed while you cut between the two sides of plastic. After cutting it stays together firmly enough for you to tie a piece of yarn round the middle to secure it before pulling the plastic sides apart and popping out a cute little Pom Pom!

No matter how neatly I wound the yarn I always had one or two stray sticky-up bits longer than the rest but they were soon sorted out by giving the Pom Pom a quick trim! But - here lies one of the hardest parts of making these - knowing when to stop trimming!! Now I appreciate how restrained hairdressers have to be in their work - it's just so addictive trimming up the little guys into fluffy neat balls.

Is this one done or does he need another clip?

I made quite a few Pom Poms in the three sizes - you can see below the sizes of the makers and the end results. I couldn't just line them up for a photo shoot without giving them a quick tidy up though - it's a wonder they didn't end up even smaller!

I think I'm going to make more and use them in groups as a hanging mobile but I also got my glue gun out and covered a cardboard letter 'C' with some pink yarn then stuck some Pom Poms to the front to make a hanging room decoration for my granddaughter Charlotte!

There are lots of things to make with Pom Poms - Pinterest is full of ideas! Want bunting but can't sew? String some Pom Poms together - leave a long tail when you tie up the middle and tie them to a length of ribbon! Going out? Make some super small Pom Poms in embroidery thread and tie or glue onto earring findings! Have fun!  

Alison @ The Patchwork Fairy


Needlecord Morris Blazer & GBSB Pencil Skirt by Julie

I was excited to be offered the opportunity to review a Dressmaking Fabric for Minerva Crafts. I opted to receive 2 m of ‘Leaf Print Stretch Needlecord Fabric’. However, when the fabric arrived, to be honest I wasn’t initially thrilled; it just wasn’t a print I would usually be drawn to. It is available in 4 colourways and I was sent the green. This has a bright green background with a distinctive dark green leaf print, all interspersed with embroidered lines of contrasting cream thread.

It was obvious that the fabric itself was good quality, with a substantial feel. I pulled across the width of the fabric and found it had a decent amount of stretch (I estimated 15 to 20%), with excellent recovery. I also measured the size of the leaf motif to be around 8”. 

Next, I did what I often do when trying to visualize the potential of a new purchase. I draped the fabric on Dolly the dressform, stood back and pondered. Hmm, what to make? 

This is not a flimsy drapey fabric. It is described as medium weight on the website, but I would personally put it into the medium to heavy weight category. Having said that, it was moulding itself to the dressform, so I wouldn’t describe it as being stiff either. This fabric holds its shape well and in my mind was calling out for a pattern that would make the most of its stretchability. 

I decided to put the fabric into a cool wash and ponder its future. I don’t usually tumble dry my makes, so chose to air-dry overnight. As with other needlecords I’ve used, it came out of the machine covered in bits of fluff – a bit of a pain, but the nature of the beast.  It seemed to hold its colour well though and ironed beautifully.

I had recently made a ponte roma version of the Grainline Studio Morris Blazer Sewing Pattern and knew that this great little pattern worked best with stretch fabrics, especially those with a firm structure. Seemed like the stretch needlecord and Morris Blazer were calling to each other. 

The Morris Blazer pattern indicates that the facings should be interfaced, but due to the needlecord’s weight, I decided to risk it and not to bother. I cut out the pattern pieces using my trusty rotary cutter. It cut easily and didn’t fray much. It sewed like a dream, the stitches sank into the fabric in a very satisfying manner. I have heard that corduroy can be a bit tricky to work with (the pile can cause the fabric to ‘walk’ while it is moving through the machine), so to combat this I used a walking foot and plenty of pins.  In the event I had no problem at all.

I also took extra care when pressing – I used offcuts of the needlecord fabric as a pressing cloth to avoid marking the pile. I was pleased with the way the blazer turned out using this fabric – it had a lovely structure, which worked perfectly.

Since this is a wide fabric (56”) I had enough fabric left over to make a Great British Sewing Bee pencil skirt for my daughter. 

At which point it occurred to me that I had effectively sewn a suit out of 2 m of needlecord fabric!

So in summary, although this wasn’t my usual style of fabric print, it had a lovely quality, which I enjoyed working with. In the end I surprised myself with how much I liked the 2 garments I managed to make with just 2 m of this fabric. My daughter has a new skirt and I have a new jacket. 

Thanks for reading,

Julie @bumblyflower


#PatternoftheWeek - Butterick 6019

I couldn't believe it when this weeks #PatternoftheWeek jumped out at me from the screen on this glum rainy day! Butterick 6019 is just brimming with sunshine, holidays and a little vintage thrown in for good measure.
Version A has a full circular skirt, a mock crossover front, a wide halterneck strap and most interestingly 2 panels of shirring at the side back. The front is made up of an actual bra shape which comes in 3 cup sizes, a combined A/B plus a C and a D. As you would expect there are a few pieces which form the bra part but the instructions seem quite clear. The following 2 photos from the instructions show how the front band which gives the illusion of a cross over front is attached. 
The shirring on the back panels is made as follows. You can possibly read the instructions on my next photo but to sum this section up the elastic thread is wound onto your bobbin. Your machine is set to a long stitch and then you just sew in lines parallel to each other keeping the elasticized fabric as taute as possible. 
I have just learned a very useful tip here and that is - "If you want the shirring to pull in nice and tight (more than it already is) use a steam iron to lightly press each section. The moisture and the heat will shrivel up the elastic from below and pull in the fabric nicely" 
Some people, including myself, find inserting shirring elastic via this method quite tricky. Great for someone who is using this method constantly because you get used to how tight to wind the elastic on to the bobbin. For someone using it only occasionally, there may be a few hiccups in getting that tension just right. So in my humble opinion, my prefered method is to set your machine to a small/medium width zigzag stitch, lay the shirring elastic down on to the wrong side of your fabric and simply zigzag over it ensuring you don't catch any of the elastic! Practice first which width to use, you need the stitch to be wide enough so that the lengths of elastic can be pulled through these  'tunnels' but narrow enough to not look clumsy from the right side. Once all the rows of elastic have been stitched you then sew down one side with a straight stitch, this will capture and therefore enclose all the ends of elastic from one side of the panel, you can then pull all the ends from the opposite side and 'gather' them till they feel at the right size. Hope that makes sense.
The bodice is lined as you would expect from something so intricate, but the bit I like most is that instead of using interfacing for the cups, Batting is used. The bra sections are cut out in batting then the seam allowances are trimmed off. The cup is sewn together by putting the edges together, I find this much easier sewing by hand.
Because of how the cups are formed and the bodice of the dress is boned, there is every chance the smaller busted woman could wear the dress without a bra and feel comfortable.
These elasticated sides will give you a very snug fit with the freedom of movement you need if say you are at a wedding and you are wearing it all day and night.
So not the easiest of patterns, a little fiddly in parts but altogether very effective. 
The photo of view B is aimed at evening wear but worn with a little cropped jacket this would look so good for a wedding. The skirt (like the top) is a mock wrap over so when completed the whole front does look like a wrap over dress. The top is constructed exactly the same just the halterneck strap is left off. I love how they have used red in the pattern photo. Satin is suggested and for me Satin Back Crepe Fabric would be the answer with the shiny side as the right side, this fabric will drape beautifully through those pleats and folds of the dress.
Alternately the crepe side could be used for the main side and a feature made with the shiny side of the satin for the diagonal front band. Another feature could be made by adding a large diamante button to the waistline where the 'wrapover' meets. These Diamante Buttons would be ideal, see how the red would show through those little 'petals'.
The following photo shows a more solid Diamante Button, how fab would this look.
These are both shank buttons so try sewing the shank within that waistline seam, it will 'nestle' more into the folds of fabric and definitely resemble a brooch. Hey why not dig out that gorgeous diamante brooch you have hidden at the back of the drawer, this dress will give it a new lease of life!
And now on to my favourite for today (having just shown you the red satin and the diamante buttons I'm unsure now which is my favourite!!) but hey here it is.
I'm off again with the knitting patterns because I'm thinking why have half a handmade outfit when you can have a full me-made outfit!! 
So first on my list is the fabric, our Stretch Chambray Denim Fabric at an amazing £6.99 per mt. This is quite fine for a stretch chambray so would make up fab in this pattern. I must point out that stretch chambrays aren't ideal for a full circular skirt (just before anyone pulls me up on that point hehe) but as long as you realise that those side seams may 'dip' a little, you will be fine and hey are dipped hemlines not in fashion?!
So on to the Knitting Pattern which is by Stylecraft (no 8417) which is knit in Life DK Yarn
This is a fab little elbow length sleeve style. The sleeves and the top half of the cardigan are done in a lace pattern with the bottom left plain. From this you can assume it would be fine to knit the whole cardigan in stocking stitch for those who don't want to tackle a lace stitch. Some may think that a lace pattern on top of a flowery fabric is too much but I think the plain section of the cardigan separates the two and therefore actually enhances the whole outfit. The yarn I have chosen to go with it is Special DK shade 1822 which is described as Pistachio. It matches perfectly with the flower in the fabric and is so fresh looking. My choice of buttons are these Irregular Shaped Buttons from Dill, they are a little lighter than the yarn but when you look at the photo, for me it just bursts into life. Just look at that photo again!
If you prefer a more conventional button how about these Marble Effect Buttons. These are a little darker and don't stand out as much.
If you are feeling a little wacky, then our 'Selfmade Buttons' could be just up your street! Each button says Selfmade around the bottom of the button so you can tell the whole world you've made this fabulous outfit. Pity it doesn't say "Just out of interest I've made the dress as well" hehe. 
Next is a photo of all 3 buttons for you to see how they all look, I must admit my favourite has to be the first one. 
Just to throw a spanner in the works and for those who love pink, how about Stylecraft Special DK in 1827 Fuchsia Purple. This again looks stunning with this fabric. I've teamed this with these Square Buttons which I've shown on the yarn and then the fabric. What do you think?
Leave a comment and let me know which is your favourite - the green or the pink!
Until next time thanks for reading,
Annette xx

Galaxy Fabric Espadrilles by Emma

Make a pair of shoes in an afternoon, from one fat quarter? If you consider espadrilles to be shoes, then that is almost exactly what I did. 


I was thrilled to be asked to review the Prym Espadrille Soles for Minerva Crafts. I've always fancied a pair of bespoke shoes, and this is a very affordable way of having some unique footwear.


The packaging contains a pair of soles, and tucked in the upper card fold is the pattern for standard espadrilles. The size of the soles is on the back of the packaging, in European notation. I'm a size 3, which is usually a 36, and yes, I know that's small for an adult, and yes, I do have problems finding shoes to fit. I was delighted therefore, to find that Prym cater for pixie feet too. 


However, the pattern describes 36 as an English 3 1/2, and sadly I'd agree with that. Please bear that in mind if you are selecting soles for yourself. I'm not deterred though. I loved making these, and I'll make more, for my normal footed family, and I'll work out a way to make them to fit me. 

The soles are coiled rope, with a rubber base. I was surprised and pleased to see that the base has quite good grips on it. 


You don't need much fabric to make the outer, and you could quite easily make an outfit with matching shoes. I used one fat quarter for both outer and lining to demonstrate that it could be done, but obviously you could use as many as you like!


The pattern DOES NOT include seam allowances. This gives you the flexibility to chose your own seam allowances, but do remember to add it! 


I traced the pattern, and added markings. You'll need two fronts and two soles (sides) for the outer fabric, and the same for the lining fabric. The front piece isn't symmetrical, and one of the front pieces for both fabrics needs to have the pattern reversed before cutting out. It's worth marking on the right side of the fabric which is the inner side, and which is the outer. It is possible to work out which is which, but I found this much quicker.


The Fabric I used is called 'Galaxy' and is a quilting weight, so I added lightweight interfacing to the outer pieces, to add a little extra stability. I left the seam margin without interfacing, to help reduce bulk in the seams.


If you're wondering, I did fussy cut the outer front pieces; a fat quarter was ample room. The pattern on the sheet I had goes up to 42, a U.K. size 8, and this would also fit inner and outer pieces on one fat quarter; maybe not if you fussy cut though!


The soles don't come with instructions, but instead direct one to the Prym website, where there is a PDF of clear instructions with photographs of the stages.


I chose to machine sew the parts that I could. This is very straightforward, and they turned easily. I sewed up the gap by hand, not my best work, but I don't think it's too obvious now the shoes are finished. These are the pieces sewn and pressed; I've put a pin in the outer side, but this isn't something you'd need to do if the lining was different to the outer. Don't they look good?


The next step is to pin the pieces to the sole. Start with the sole piece, then add the front.

I couldn't resist trying them on. I was able to walk in them, carefully, and although they are too big for me, I love them already. The material was bought for quilting, but I think it looks much better as shoes.


Pinning carefully is important at this stage, even if you can resist trying them on. The pieces have to be hand sewn onto the sole, and it is worth taking the time to angle the pins into the shoe so they don't catch you. The instructions advise to remove the front again, but I just removed the pins near the sole piece, and left the front mostly pinned in place.


Prym make an Espadrille Thread, but I used Embroidery Thread, as I had this already, and in quite a close colour match. I didn't separate the threads.


I have this useful set of Sewing Needles in my tool kit, and used the carpets/heavy work needle. It has a large eye, and is a sturdy needle with a sharp point. 

The fabric is sewn to the sole using blanket stitch. I found it a bit difficult to sew the front bit where it overlapped the back. I'm quite a slow hand stitcher, and this bit was done in front of the television, so the ‘afternoon make’ stretched into evening too. 


Once both parts are attached, you can slightly alter the fit by how far the front overlaps the back. It doesn't reduce it half a size though! Use back stitch for the side seam. I wondered about continuing the back stitch all the way across the front, as it looked quite decorative, and I might try this on another pair.


Don't they look cute peeping out under my jeans! 

They do slip off when I walk, but I’ve folded the back down, and wear them like that. I might try some elastic in the back, as this was loose even when I padded them out to make them my size.


Do I recommend them? Yes. They were fun to make, and I have plans to make some for other people, and for myself. There are other Espadrille Patterns for different shoes styles too that I'd like to try too. I’ve been asked for some with Christmas fabric outer, and fleece or plush lining; don't they sound comfortable?

Thanks for reading,

Emma @ Hot Tea on a Hot Day


Making Your Own Espadrilles with Thimble Bee

Hi guys, 

Thimble Bee here again, and this time we are looking at Espadrille Soles. I don't know about you, but these bad boys have been showing up all over my instagram feed recently, so when I had the opportunity to review them, I jumped at the chance! They are espadrille soles by Prym, and I requested my size (size 3) and was  SO excited to get started. 

I started by watching a few videos and reading a few blogs on how to make espadrilles, as one thing that this packet lacks is instructions (like seriously). After watching a few videos I mustered up the courage to gather my supplies and get started. I chose a super vibrant red as I wanted them to be really summery and match my predominately blue wardrobe, and for the lining I had a few scraps of Rifle Paper Co fabric so I decided to use them, because who doesn't like shoes with a pretty lining? And that reminds me of one VERY good thing about these soles, they are the perfect project for using up scraps. 

So, by watching various vlogs and reading various blogs, I found out that the pattern pieces that come with the soles do not include the seam allowance, which means you have to trace them and add whatever seam allowance you desire. If I hadn't found this out from other sources then I would of been in a serious spot of bother. So remember people, add your seam allowances! Next, after I had traced my pieces I looked to the internet for some inspiration, and the types of espadrilles that really enticed me where the ones that had a tie around the ankle. So with the back piece I essentially just cut it down to just cover the ankle bit and then drafted some ties to attach to them, which I forgot to include in the picture (go me).

So after that I cut out all my pieces and began to assemble the shoe. 

I used the traditional blanket stitch to attach the pieces to the soles, and what I have got to say is that the assembly was very easy, and it was a nice change to be able to sew something in front of Netflix, but, as I think it's a big issue, there was still a lack of instructions on the packet, so most of what I did was taken from the internet. Anyway, I managed to finish them anyway, and I was SUPER happy with the look, maybe I made the ties too wide, but that's a minor detail. But, my world came crashing down as when I put them on, they were super big, so I decided to gift them to my mum, shes a size 4, they were still to big for her. So, I gave them to my sister, who is a size six, and they fit her?! I don't know whether it's because I changed the back, that they became big or whatever, but I compared them to my RTW espadrilles and the soles of the Prym shoes were still much larger. Nevertheless, I will try again, and try to make the shoe to look like the one on the packet, and see if that changes anything. 

So guys, my one bit of advice is; size down. They were beautiful shoes, and a great make, but far too big. 

That's it! Until next time. 

Thimble Bee


Floral Satin Retro Dress by Carmen

Hello all! My name is Carmen and I have a sewing blog over at Carmen Sews.

I was so excited to team up with Minerva Crafts to create this guest project post for their website. For this project I wanted to create a simple summer project that is versatile and simple for anyone of all skill levels. I chose the Simplicity Sewing Pattern no 1059 which is a retro dress with pleats in the shoulders with an optional wrap tie at the waist.

I have had this pattern on make list for a while and was excited to make this dress with one of Minerva Crafts' beautiful choice of Dressmaking Fabrics.

I chose to use this Fabric which is a colorful floral satin.

This print is so perfect for summer and is lightweight enough to handle the summer heat in Florida where I live. 

The floral detail in this fabric is to die for and fits perfectly with my tropical climate. I would highly recommend this fabric if you are creating a light and easy summer frock such as a dress or light blouse and the bright pink hue of this fabric is so girly and right up my alley!

I used to be quite fearful of working with light and slippery fabrics; however, I feel that these types of fabrics become easy to use with practice and are worth the extra effort!

I chose to cut this fabric with a Rotary Cutter which decreases the chance of fabrics like satin or rayon from moving around or shifting while cutting.

This method will avoid inaccurate cutting of your pattern and will decrease the chance of making crucial mistakes that could ruin all of your hard work that you have put into making your garment. I would definitely recommend this method for anyone who is just beginning to venture into working with fabrics that are slippery and harder to handle that other fabrics. 

I also use pattern weights in this process to hold down the pattern and to further avoid any shifting.

I sewed this dress together making sure to hold the fabric gently to avoid any movement or shifting. 

While sewing with slippery fabrics I would also suggest pin pin pin! You can never use too many pins and please use as many as you feel comfortable with. This will ensure that no shifting will take place and that you will be left with a smooth seam without bunching which can sometimes occur with satin. 

Overall, this fabric was incredibly easy to work with and to handle. 


This pattern calls for the addition of a regular Dress Zip; however, I chose to use a transparent Invisible Zipper just because I love the look of invisible zippers, have never tried a transparent one and was curious on the results that I would achieve.

I use a regular zipper foot to insert my invisible zippers however, if you have an invisible zipper foot you can use that if you feel comfortable. As I used the regular zipper foot I made sure to pull back the teeth as I sewed down the tape. The result was great, however this same look can be achieved with any invisible zip of any colour.

I chose to make this pattern with the tie/scarf included in the pattern, I was afraid that if I did not use the tie I would look boxy in the dress and would not be happy with the result. I am very glad that I chose the tie option because the use of the tie shows off my figure in a flattering way.

I did shorten this dress about 3 inches because it was surprisingly long and I felt that this style of a dress is more flattering on me a tad shorter than the pattern calls for.

I love the result and I feel that this would be a go-to dress for a fun summer evening date night or a day by the pool.

Thank you so much to Minerva Crafts for collaborating with me and thank you all for reading this blog. I hope that you you all go out and create something wonderful for summer!


Have a beautiful day!


#FabricFriday - Focus on Gingham

I flicked through a recent edition of 'Glamour' magazine and my eyes settled on a page just brimming with ginghams. Sure enough on typing Gingham Fabric into our search box here at Minerva I found there to be much more available from us than just the £3.99 poly/cotton version. This particular Fabric as you can see comes at an amazing price and is very good quality. I wish I had a pound (as they say) for every metre we've sold over the many years at Minerva for anything from school dresses to tablecloths. But now, what do we see, it is extremely fashionable. And so I'm going to select a few different gingham prints today to show you for #FabricFriday.
Just look at the pretty little gingham dress and pants on New Look Pattern 6520, although this is just a drawing of the dress you can see how the 1inch Gingham Fabric would look superb.
Throw in some white polycotton for the little collar and hey presto you have a gorgeous very reasonably priced dress for your little one. After all the speed they grow at it isn't worth paying too much for fabric.
For the growing up (fast) young lady how about New Look 6444
This is a fab romper, jumpsuit or dress. Look at version B, which teenager wouldn't like that? Especially made in 1/4inch Gingham Fabric.
I have just seen the most perfect fabric for New Look 6491.
The fabric is this Gingham Cotton Fabric. I know this is a clearance fabric but I cannot believe it is only £2.99 per mt and 60" wide. The quality is simply stunning and I can only recommend you take a serious look at this. If not for now then add some to your stash.
And now for something completely different, I have never seen a Gingham Cotton Voile Fabric. Well now I have, not only that but a Floral Burnout Gingham Voile!!!
My goodness, this is again, something else in fabrics and yet again (I can't believe this) just £2.99 per mt.
Something floaty or floaty sleeves maybe. Vogue 9239 has such sleeves and would look quite pretty in this. These sleeves are pretty much 'in' at the moment.
Or just something simple like New Look 6510, ideal for holidays and because this fabric is nice and fine it won't take much room up.
Happy Gingham Sewing and thanks for reading,
Annette xx

POSTS PER PAGE: 3 | 6 | 9 | 12

« < 1 2 3 4 5 6 > »