Posted in Projects on Sunday the 23rd June 2019 by Vicki Ormerod
When I saw this Animal Print Sateen Fabric, I knew I wanted to make a pair of cropped capri-style trousers. Finding the right pattern was a bit more difficult, but I turned to my stash. I have made the Sew Over It Ultimate Trousers before (as a wearable toile) and really like the fit and style but didn’t like the fact that they didn’t have pockets. So, I decided to add my own. Although it might seem daunting to add pockets to slim fit trousers, I actually found it really straightforward.
I didn’t want to add in-seam pockets as I thought it might look a little strange and add bulk, so I sought out a tutorial that allowed me to add pockets to the front of the legs. I found a tutorial for adding slashed pockets on the Closet Case Patterns blog. It was written for their Sasha trousers pattern but can also be used for other patterns.
This is a really nice pocket style as the pocket piece goes across the full width of the front of the trouser which gives extra support across the stomach. The pocket addition involved drafting my own pattern pieces using the Sew Over It pattern pieces as a guide. In total you have to draft four pieces: front and back lining, the front and back facing. The first are cut from lining fabric and the latter two are the main.
Once I had added the pocket pieces to the front legs, I sewed up the pattern as normal. The fabric is a dream to sew with. Although it has some stretch, I used a normal (non-stretch) needle to sew the pants up and also my overlocker to finish the edges of the pieces before sewing. If you haven’t sewn with a cotton sateen fabric before, I would definitely recommend it – especially for a fitted trouser pattern. The stretch allows for the fabric to keep its shape while being really comfortable to wear. What you cannot see in the images of this particular fabric is how soft to the touch it is. It’s not shiny, but soft, which is really lovely. It feels really luxurious to wear.
I found these trousers to be a really quick sew – even with the pocket additions. The only tricky part with adding the pockets is making sure that the concealed zip is sewn into the seam carefully as you add a couple of extra layers with the pocket pieces. This means that one side of the zip is sewn to a few layers so you might want to widen your stitch on this side to make sure your machine copes with the extra bulk. My only regret is that I didn’t draft a waistband instead of using the facing pieces; the rise is quite low and I found that the back facing tends to turn out when wearing them. However, the fabric is a great match for this pattern and would also make a great matching blazer or jacket for a fabulous trouser suit!
Thanks for reading,
Dani @ Pocket or Two
As the hot part of the year approaches, my attention turns to cooler sleeping solutions. I am a hot natured person and would love to sleep in arctic temperatures but that is not very feasible. The electric bill would be astronomical… but I would sleep well! Enter Cotton Lawn. This is such a lovely fabric for so many applications and a joy to work with as well. Cotton lawn is perfect for pajamas; it’s cool, lightweight, sews and presses easily as well as takes buttonholes wonderfully. I decided not to do classic pajamas and opted for my own spin. I chose a camisole pattern and a free pajama bottom pattern.
For the camisole, I chose the Itch to Stitch Crystal Cove Cami. The bottoms are the Walk the Plank pj bottoms from Patterns for Pirates with added patch pockets on the bum. Gotta have a place for the phone! The floral print Cotton Lawn Fabric from Minerva worked perfectly for these projects. I could not be happier with the results and they are so lovely to sleep in. I chose the teal colorway and the tiny flowers are so sweet. I enjoyed working with this fabric immensely. It laundered, pressed and sewed so well, never a worry it would not do what I needed.
The camisole pattern has a unique feature to it which is what drew me to it. The split back adds a bit of fun to an otherwise utilitarian garment. You can choose to do a narrow hem on the curved back pieces or finish with bias tape or even a ruffle. I went with a narrow hem, I had no difficulties achieving that with this fabric, it behaved beautifully. I finished the facing inside with just an overlocked/serged edge, though you could finish it with bias tape for added fun and flair. The bottoms are a one piece pattern and I self drafted the patch pockets after measuring my phone. I use this pattern for the majority of my pajama bottoms now, they are so super quick to sew up, I can easily sew a pair up in 45 minutes or less. They also make great sleep shorts for the kids.
I did raise the armscye and neckline a bit to add a bit of modesty and I am not a huge fan of my bra showing for when I use the cami as a regular top, as well as widened the straps to cover my straps for the same reason. The changes were quick and easy to make and the cami sewed up fairly quickly as well. It is a very straight forward pattern and unless you add a ruffle or some other fancy finish to the back pieces, it comes together rather fast.
Whether you are after some adorable pajamas or a sweet summer dress, this cotton lawn is a wonderful option. I could see something like the Seren from Tilly & the Buttons in this lawn or even a structured skirt with pleats or a button front. Any of those would be perfect ways to use this fabric. I hope you enjoy whatever you choose to make with it, I think you will!
Sew, Laugh, Repeat
I’m back for another Minerva project! I really enjoyed making and writing about my first make and I am really happy to get a chance to do that again!
As soon as I set my eyes on this Stretch Cotton Twill Fabric, I knew I had to get it! It is a lovely floral fabric with red and pink flowers on a black background. It is thicker than I am used to but thought it would be perfect for a more structured garment. As soon as I received the fabric I remembered a shorts pattern that I had seen and loved in a “Maison Victor” magazine (Don’t you love this magazine?!) last summer and I was convinced it would be the perfect match! I particularly love the shorts pattern because the shorts are a good length and a small paper bag waist with an elasticated waist so no fastenings required!
So, I set myself up, with my magazine, the Sunset shorts pattern in hand and my pins and scissors. I had to trace it from the pattern sheets and that was fine but I am not used to have to add seam allowances all around so had to pay attention to that.
When I started cutting I loved the feel of the fabric, it is sturdy so it doesn’t move when pinned, basically a breeze to cut out!
I decided to pick a leftover plain pink fabric for the pocket lining (I love using a different fabric) and started sewing them.
I had practised the patch pockets before and they are my favourites! They were fairly easy to sew but I am glad I used tailors’ tacks to mark where to place them. Then I moved on to the front and back of the shorts.
I used my overlocker to finish the edges and prevent fraying and sewed front and back together. Then I had to move to the waist and I admit I found that step less simple (also due to the fact that the magazine is in French and I have learnt to sew and understand the technical terms better in English!) A few notches had to be transferred and I had to use the correct ones to be able to fold the right width of fabric on the inside.
Then I made the waist tie (glad I had a fabric loop turner; I could have really struggled without one because of the thickness of the fabric) and inserted the elastic in the waistband.
I finished by overlocking the hems, turned them and stitched in place. Et voilà!
I am so delighted with the result and love the fabric and pattern! I totally recommend this fabric and I think it would work very well for trousers or a skirt!
Hope you enjoyed ! Take care! Xx
PS: I had a tiny bit of fabric left and decided to make some shorts for my daughter ( I love assorted clothes!) . I was so lucky that there was a child shorts pattern in the same magazine (originally a pyjamas pattern (the Banna Pyjama shorts, but hey, who cares?) so I used it and made her matching shorts in no time. Don’t they look cute?
Hello! My name is Aimee, also known as the Sewing Scientist. Today I want to share with you my new top that I made with this jade and neon orange Stretch Crepe Fabric. I was drawn to this fabric as the colors were eye catching and the geometric print was unique.
First off, let me tell you about this fabric. It is lightweight and has beautiful, vibrant colors. It is a woven that is 100% polyester, but it does have a small amount of mechanical stretch. The geometric pattern is fun and unique. It is also a bargain at £5.99 per metre. When I received this fabric, I knew I wanted a fun summer blouse that was work appropriate. I picked the Winter Wear Designs Amuse Boho Top.
The jade and neon orange stretch crepe is perfect for this woven pattern. I am 152cm tall and did not remove any length from the pattern for my height which makes my top more of a tunic length on me. I cut my sleeves to be ¾ length and these ended up a bit longer than I intended as well. The Amuse Boho pattern also includes dress length options as well.
I used the fabric cross grain on the front and back yokes to add a bit more detail. My yokes are lined in a techno crepe. Which happens to be the same fabric my pants are made with. My pants are the Greenstyle Creations Everyday Yoga Pants. I love that both the front and back bodices are gathered where they attach to the yoke. The neckline is intended to be finished with bias binding but I decided to do a knit band. I happened to have some knit that was the same neon orange. I added a cuff to the sleeves as well to make it a more cohesive look.
The Amuse Boho pattern called for the sleeves to have encased elastic. I’m not fond of elastic in sleeves and love the knit band as an alternative. It is easy for me to push my sleeves up a bit and they stay firmly in place. My neck band and sleeve bands were both cut at 2” wide and at 80% of the opening.
I love curved hems but they can be challenging to hem on wovens. I serged the hem and then ironed the hem up 2cm. Since this crepe has a bit of stretch, it was easy to get a nice curved hem easily. The pattern can be made with a split hem but I opted to make a regular hem.
I absolutely love my finished top. The crepe is perfect for our hot summers in North Texas. It’s light enough that it doesn’t feel hot and will protect me from the sun when I’m outside. The longer sleeves will be perfect to wear to work as it is always cold in the office building. The bright colors will make me happy every time I wear it.
Thanks – Aimee @ Sewing Scientist
Posted in Projects on Saturday the 22nd June 2019 by Vicki Ormerod
So two posts back I told you all that I couldn't resist a good floral print and I'm back here today to show you proof of that!
When this floral Cotton Lawn Fabric first popped up at Minerva my first thought was love at first sight. My second thought was it needed to be a dress in my life.
I had originally thought a summery light Sew Over It Betty would be the way to go. I wanted a pattern that wouldn't be too busy so that I could really showcase the large blooms on it and my mind always goes towards the Betty dress when I see a bold print. Plus what's not to love about that silhouette of the sleek bodice and full skirt...
But then my fabric arrived in the post and plans changed as they are bound to do with my tendency towards being fickle, especially when it comes to patterns. Honestly the amount of times I get fabric with the intention to make one particular thing and end up making something completely different is ridiculous. I’m like a magpie – “Oooh! Look at the shiny thing over there!!”
The fabric I chose this time is lightweight and possesses an almost floaty quality to it. Along with those beautiful qualities of course comes the fact that it is a bit see through. So first things first, I knew I was going to need to underline whatever I made with it in order to not have it too sheer (I want this to be a dress I can wear to work and there is absolutely no room for inadvertent stand in the wrong light and see right through my dress moments in the school library. LOL).
As I mentioned my pattern choice was changing rapidly upon receipt of the fabric! I felt that the Betty really benefits from a fabric with a bit more body to it, so that was off the list. I've made a rayon challis Doris dress before (another Sew Over It pattern) and wore it to death so knew lightweight would go well with that pattern but that wasn't really the style I wanted for this particular floral. So I batted a few – ok several if we’re being totally candid here - other ideas around in my head and then finally settled on Selkie Pattern's London dress with that sweet keyhole neckline.
I've been eager to make one since Selkie's kick-starter campaign. I knew that the fluttery sleeves would lend themselves well to the lawn fabric and the lines are simple enough to still showcase the floral print well. I've not made the London before so I did do some deep stash diving to come up with a similar fabric that I could make a muslin with. I often play fast and loose with whether or not to muslin something but when it’s a new to me pattern designer and something that needs more attention to fitting I do like to err on the side of caution a bit more. Instead of doing a full dress though I just did the peplum top version so I could gauge fit the length of the bodice, knowing that if that worked out the skirt portion would be good to go and once my test peplum top was out of the way I set to work making my dress.
I used a plain black lawn that I had in my stash to underline the dress. To do that I simply cut out one of my floral and one of my solid black and then put the two pieces together and sewed them as if they were one. I left the sleeves unlined because I wanted that bit of a sheer effect to them and also didn't want to take any of the floaty, fluttery-ness of the cotton lawn away from them.
I didn't have many changes to make based on my muslin. I added length to the bodice to accommodate my long torso and then shaved off some at center back so things would hang better with my swayback.
Unfortunately, I had done just the tucks on the bodice like I had on my blouse muslin and whilst it looked fabulous on the blouse it looked far too loose and baggy on the dress. I had initially chosen the tucks instead of the darts because I do usually prefer a looser fit to my clothes to start with but there is relaxed fit and then there is just plain baggy and my bodice was well on the side of baggy. I also found that when I tried on the dress at the length it was intended to be that I needed to take several inches off to take it up to a good length on me. As much as I love the look of a midi length skirt or dress it does not love me. Every single time I try that length it ends up looking just plain old frumpy on me. So my stitch ripper and I had an hour and a half long date and some bad words were said as I removed the zip then the bodice from the skirt.
Onwards and upwards…
I'm so in love with this dress now that I’ve fixed it up! It feels so feminine, yet easy to wear. I like that it'll be safer to wear on windy days thanks to the straighter skirt (don't laugh... this is a constant battle for me - who will win? Sarah or the great gusts of wind that come rolling across the prairie seemingly out of nowhere the minute I wear a full skirt).
I found the pattern very well written and easy to sew and I've been eyeballing up some other floral fabrics on the Minerva site for more versions of the dress and top. I definitely enjoyed the process making my Selkie London dress (that is once I got past the seam ripping and swearing part of the process! LOL) and I feel like I'm going to get a lot of wear out of this dress so I would really like to have a few in rotation this summer!
So as promised, I'd say this is definite proof that I simply cannot resist a beautiful floral fabric! I can also pretty much guarantee that this won't be the last of the florals you'll see from me. Although it won't be next time... I have something totally different in the works. So I'll close off for now and get cracking on it! Happy crafting till we meet again!
Sarah @ Prairie Girl Knits
This month I’m pleased to have finally got my hands on some much coveted Atelier Brunette Fabric. Dreaming of a long hot summer, the Stardust Double Gauze in off white with gold embroidered spots is calling out to be made into a summer dress. It comes in a range of colours from forest green, ochre to midnight blue, so there is a colour to suit every taste.
The fabric is buttery soft and would be great for childrens clothes as well as for floaty skirts, dresses or loose blouses. As the name suggests the fabric is constructed with two layers of gauze together and is light and comfortable to wear. It’s so soft to touch, it would be great to make into baby muslins with any left overs. I used the scraps of this dress to make some washable cotton pads to take off my make up with, I didn’t want any scraps of this fabric ending up in the scrap bin.
After a lot of thought I decided to use the Lilou Pattern From the Tilly and The Buttons Love at First Stitch Book. It has a fitted bodice, with a gathered or pleated skirt and an invisible zip. I wanted a simple pattern with a simple silhouette to this dress to really show off the fabric. I gathered the skirt and moved the darts on the pattern so it would be nipped in at the waist.
The pattern has a lined bodice but I decided to fully line the dress simply because off white can be more transparent and I didn’t want to have to worry about what I wore underneath it, had I chosen on another colour I wouldn’t have needed to line it. For the lining I used a Cotton Poplin Fabric and used the pattern for the fashion fabric for the lining pieces.
The pattern came together easily, I added pockets because well every dress needs pockets. I placed the pockets a little lower than normal but I didn’t want to create any extra bulk around my waist.
Honestly, this fabric is totally worth the hype, the quality is second to none. It is so soft to touch and the specks of golden embroidery elevate what would be just another summer dress into something really special. I definitely see myself making more summer clothes from the double gauze in the future, I have been eyeing up the Ochre colour for a button down dress maybe the Seren Dress. The full range of Atelier Brunette dress making fabrics would all make beautiful garments to hang proudly in your wardrobe.
Posted in Projects on Friday the 21st June 2019 by Vicki Ormerod
If I could paint a picture on the theme “woman by the seaside”, I’d paint her in white linen dress, that is a given. I seem to have a very strong connection of linen and summer in my mind. And because I was planning my holiday in beautiful Cadiz, Spain some time ago, I decided it is time to be that woman in a white linen dress!
When the Material arrived I screamed out of joy in the office. It is just something my bubbly personality likes to do, to express excitement :) The fabric I was so kindly gifted by Minerva is so much more than I imagined! Soft, delicate, beautiful and drapey.
Because it is slightly transparent, I decided to line it with basic white viscose. I simply cut the front pieces, the back piece, the shoulder yokes and the collar piece out of viscose as well and sewn it with the linen by a very long straight stitch in contrasting thread. Then I sewed both layers as one. After I finished the seams with an overlocker I took out the contrasting threads easily.
It worked perfectly!
If you haven’t guessed already, I chose the Sew Over It Penny Dress Pattern - it is so feminine and laid-back at the same time. I didn’t do any adjustments to the bodice, but I decided I prefer a half-circle skirt to the original full circle pattern - I think it is more flattering for my bodyshape. I also wanted it to be short, because I like to dress playfully and fun when I’m on holiday! ;) But seeing the pictures (and catching the skirt in the wind, haha!) I admit it needs some added length - maybe a ruffle? Or lace around the hem? Please let me know your ideas, I feel I am a little lost here!
When we arrived to Spain and I opened the luggage, the inevitable happened: the linen was so creased I thought it can never be ironed ever again! And because I didn’t have the iron in our Airbnb anyway, I did something else: I took the dress on the hanger with me to the shower. Strange, you think? Yes, you are right. But I hung it up on the shower curtain bar and showered myself. The steam and little drops of water soaked into the fibres and then I left the wet-ish dress on the hanger, the line straightened itself during the night! When I opened the closet in the morning, the dress looked perfect.
I know few people who would never buy linen because it creases, but you know what? This shouldn’t stop you from wearing it, because linen has so many benefits!
- It is a natural fibre, therefore it is very nice to the skin, especially in hot weather. It is breathable and light, it doesn’t get sticky to the body.
- Linen is made from flax, a very ecologically friendly plant. There are no pesticides needed and it needs significantly less water than cotton!
- Science says the fibre is 12 times stronger than cotton, which makes it more durable - you can wear your linen garment much longer!
- It gets softer the more it is washed. Do you think your new linen dress feels so soft? Wait after few washes! :)
- It can be worn in the summer as well as in colder parts of the year. It is perfectly fine to wear linen with tights and more layers - it cools you in the summer and warms you in the winter.
So many pros, right? I decided I want to enjoy them, so I accepted the creasing and went for it! By the way, I have to admit that this Minerva linen does not wrinkle on the body at all. I have no idea why, but it is just perfect! And it also comes in a wide variety of colours and shades.
So here I am, enjoying my long Spanish holiday, practically living in my white linen dress :)
Thanks to Minerva for providing me this gorgeous fabric and making my vacation picture-perfect!
Posted in Projects on Friday the 21st June 2019 by Vicki Ormerod
A versatile fabric in the perfect Summer colour…
I’m delighted to review this gorgeous coral French Terry Fabric which I’ve made into a classic everyday top.
This May I signed my first #memademay pledge, it was to sew everyday tops that were perfect for my lifestyle now. After sorting through my wardrobe in the Spring (I’m currently on maternity leave) the pledge jumped out at me as a great way to make simple stylish makes with beautiful fabrics.
I wanted to share how I made my pledge – I gave myself thirty minutes (I work better if I have a time limit!) and I laid my handmade wardrobe in one pile and my RTW wardrobe in another. Instantly I could see where the obvious gaps were in my handmakes. This was a fabulous exercise to do as I realised that I really needed to make some easy to wear casual tops. I was buying terry fabric tops that could be worn with jeans and jeggings. I don’t have the time in the mornings to look put together so a capsule wardrobe of colourful tops that flatter really is the obvious win.
With it’s floral all over dandelion print this fabric makes a great addition to my wardrobe. I’ve put it to the test with lots of washing (ah those babies!), these photos were taken after a few washes and the fabric hasn’t bobbled or pilled and has retained its colour.
This fabric is perfect for looking dressed up with it’s pretty modern floral print, I loved that I didn’t need to pattern match when I was cutting out, so the fabric does go even further. Coral is such a feel good colour to wear; it adds warmth to my complexion and I’ve spied lots of matching jewellery / accessories in the shops at the mo to make it look more dressier.
I cut out my top using pattern weights, it was so quick to cut out and the fabric didn’t fluff everywhere. I also like that the terry isn’t too fluffy to wear but lovely and soft on the inside and great for our British Summers when you need an extra layer.
The pattern is the Tilly And The Buttons Frankie Top from Tilly’s Stretch book, a brilliant book to add knitted items to your wardrobe. The style is a baseball relaxed cut top with raglan sleeves, a round collar and choice of sleeve lengths. I cut the long sleeves and added a little bow on the front as a cute surface decoration. The fabric had a little stretch and drape in it and would be perfect as a layer on top of a t-shirt. I made my version a size bigger but it fits me on the shoulders and the neckline. I only used my sewing machine to stitch up the make to show how easy it is to make a professional finished garment with a good quality fabric.
I stitched up my top using an 80 needle and a twin needle for the cuffs. I followed the stitch size to the book and the knitted fabric was so easy to stitch, it didn’t move and slip under the feed dogs or get caught. It was a joy to stitch up and I would love to make another version as it feels casual but dressy all in one top. Any top that I can wear with my vintage pearl earrings get the thumbs up from me.
I loved reviewing this fabric because it really is effortlessy classic, comfy and the print is perfect from early Spring to late September. You can read all the pledges for #memademay2019 here and get inspired, as I did.
Thank-you Minerva for gifting me the fabric in return for an honest review.
Samantha writes a creative craft blog www.crafternoonteas.com and lives in Derbyshire, UK where she crafts and sews inspired by vintage crafts for everyday life.