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Get Spotted!

Hi, it’s Karolina from I’m super excited to be working with Minerva Crafts for the first time! Time to introduce myself a little bit ( the boring part ). I’m originally from Poland and I moved to the UK 5 years ago to study. I graduated from Salford University and Manchester Metropolitan University with Bachelor Degree in Fashion Design. At the moment I’m working as Model & E-commerce Assistant in Fashion Company here in Manchester. I’ve created my blog purely to show my DIY projects which now turned into the spinning wheel of Sewing, Fashion & Travel website. Enough about me! Let’s talk about the most interesting part!
Let’s start from inspiration for this project. I must say I was highly influenced by Pinterest. I can make the miles scrolling thought that app with my thumb! I saw a few summery dresses and I combined what I like the most into one drawing and that’s how it started. Before I do anything I have to see the visual representation of what I’m making ( it’s just the way I work). In my sketchbook, I draw multiple variations of this dress ( midi/ mini/ long sleeves/ balloon sleeves/ open back all sorts of stuff ). Finally, I decided to make tie front skater dress.
To make a pattern I used a basic bodice block by W. Aldrich which I draw myself while I was at Uni ( Yes, I still got all my work from Uni and some stuff can be really useful! ) I traced the basic bodice block onto paper and started to draw wanted shape of my dress from the sketches. After a while, I had all my pattern pieces ready ( skirt front, skirt back, bodice front x2, bodice back, waistband, sleeves x2)
Then I lay out my pattern pieces on calico fabric and started to make a toile. This is a next thing I got from Uni. Before we could make our final project we had to “test” our pattern. I really love doing it because there is nothing more frustrating than wrong measurements or missing pieces in the middle of sewing, especially when you work on the pattern you’ve made yourself.
When I finished my toile I realized the tie panels were too long and the excess fabric was just hanging and looked unflattering. I adjusted my pattern and called it my final. This was the process which takes the most time for me. Next step was to cut out all the pieces from polka dot Crepe Fabric and join all the pieces together ( Easy! Cause I’ve already known everything from my toile) It took me approximately half a day to finish that dress and I’m super pleased with how it turned out.
My dress featured Frill short sleeves, A-line skirt shape, Tie Front Bust. I’m so in love with this dress and I feel like it would be a great shape to go for a picnic, beach or even cocktails with friends.
I hope you liked my first post here! Let me know what do you think, I would love to hear your opinion! I shall see you next month with the next cool project! Looking forward to it! You can follow all of my makes at
Love xx

Polka Dot Arielle Skirt

Hey Minerva Makers!

It’s Vicky from Sewstainability here with a review of this Polka Dot Stretch Cotton Sateen Fabric. First thing’s first, I‘d like to clear something up - am I the only one who thought that ‘Sateen’ meant shiny? I know, I know – put me in the corner with the dunce’s hat on – I confess I am a fabric simpleton sometimes. I think it is partly down to the fact that there are no fabric shops where I live, I don’t get to touch them often and learn their names. I am so grateful to websites like Minerva for getting me my fabric fix!

Anyway, when I ordered 1m of stretch cotton sateen, I sort of expected it to have a sheen to it, despite it being cotton. I was interested to try it even though I am not really much of a shiny fabrics person – I was therefore completely thrilled when I opened my package and this beautiful fabric came out! It is a good medium weight, not shiny at all with a really decent amount of stretch, I am definitely going to be ordering more to make some of the Sew Over It Ultimate Trousers!

When I ordered the fabric I knew I wanted to make an Arielle Skirt from Tilly and the Buttons. I took a gamble only ordering 1m of fabric but as I have seen so many people talk about what a great scrapbusting pattern it is I thought it was a safe bet. I cut a size 5 at the waist and graded out to a 7 at the hips and managed to get the whole skirt out of 1m so it was a total bargain! I do confess I had to turn the facing pieces against the grain to get the whole skirt out of 1m of fabric but as these pieces are fully interfaced it didn’t matter if they are cut with the correct grainline or not (although don’t cut them at an angle as they might twist and go all kinds of weird!)

I used my Sew Easy Metric French Curve to grade out the side seams to fit, I cut a size 5 at the waist and a 7 at the hips but it was too big when I basted the side seams together so I had to take it in about a centimetre at each side to get a good fit. I was really aware I have seen a few on other people that look like the buttons are really pulling and I wanted a smooth front so I was wary of taking it in too much. It’s still a little loose at the waist and I think I will make it a tiny bit smaller next time. I also added one inch to the mini length as I am 5’ 7” and I am happy with this length on me.

As the fabric is a good weight and completely opaque I decided not to bother with the optional lining. I did notice after finishing the skirt that there is a tutorial on the Tilly website for finishing the facings with bias binding and I do wish I had done that, some gorgeous yellow binding would have been a lovely pop of colour inside – but I guess it is lesson learnt for next time!

I chose some yellow buttons from my stash to contrast the navy and white polka dot and made sure to sew the buttonholes with yellow thread so that it’s obvious the yellow buttons were a deliberate design choice and not an afterthought. I didn’t want it to look like I just didn’t have any navy or white buttons! I really like the blue and yellow combination and I think it will get a lot of wear during autumn and winter with some cosy tights and boots.

Thank you to Minerva for sending me this gorgeous fabric and don’t forget you can find all my sewing adventures at Sewstainability.

Until next time – happy sewing!



Gretchen Hirsch 6380 Dress

I love a vintage look. So it's no surprise that I'm a big fan of Gretchen Hirsch and everything she designs. I've wanted to use this Sewing Pattern for a while, but didn't have the right fabric.
But having worked with crepe for the first time recently, I knew it would be ideal. So when I got the chance to use this beautiful Crepe Fabric, the two just seemed like the right fit.

This pattern has some gathers which create a gorgeous draping effect. And this crepe is so beautifully soft that it hangs perfectly.

Let's just take a moment to appreciate how well this fabric hangs.

Isn't that just perfect?

Despite its soft drapey qualities, the fabric was very easy to work with. It didn't creep when I was cutting it, like soft fabrics can do. It generally stayed put when I was sewing it, and it wasn't particularly prone to fraying. Wins all round!

I made a few changes to the pattern. Firstly, I sewed the neckline up a little bit at the bottom of the decolletage. Purely for modesty sake as I'll likely wear it to work.

The pattern is supposed to be fully lined. I only lined the skirt with some slinky blue lining fabric I had in my stash.

I didn't line the top as I will be wearing this in an air conditioned office which is prone to being very stuffy. The fewer the layers, the better.

The original pattern has puffy sleeves, which I personally don't like on me. Instead I added a shorter cap sleeve with a pleat on the apex for movement.

Again, just take a moment to appreciate the fabric. Look at how it drapes!

And I also didn't take the zip all the way to the top. It's purely practical to start it further down, it makes it easier to pop the dress back on after a sweaty lunchtime gym session.

A few people who have reviewed the pattern, have commented on it being too open for their taste. Well not me. I have a chest tattoo which I'm pretty proud of, and this dress shows it off to perfection.

Overall I'm pretty pleased with how this turned out. There are a few little things that I'm not so pleased with, but they certainly won't stop me from wearing it.

Would I make the pattern again? Initially I wasn't sure, but it was a simple make and feels lovely to wear. I'm beginning to envisage it in a cotton lawn.  So I may well make it again. With pockets of course.

As for the fabric, I love it! It's soft and drapey and will be lovely to wear. I'm desperately hoping I have enough left to make a top.
Thanks for reading,

How To Do Fashion Dragor Dress

My name is Emily and I'm a vintage sewing blogger over at The Pretty And The Kitsch! When Vicki invited me to be a Minerva crafts blog contributor, I was so thrilled that I nearly fell off my seat and needless to say, I said yes immediately!
For my first Minerva Crafts make, I chose this gorgeous 1/4" check Corded Gingham Fabric in yellow, because I thought it would make a wonderful vintage inspired Summer sun dress - I even had a pattern in mind right from the start: How To Do Fashion’s No. 1 Dragør sewing pattern. I knew that the combination of this gorgeous yellow gingham and the No. 1 Dragør pattern would be a match made in heaven!
When my fabric arrived I was over the moon - it was even better than I could have imagined! The colour is beautiful, a wonderfully vibrant buttery yellow! In fact, everything about this fabric can be described as "buttery" - the feel of the fabric itself, the way it cuts, pins and sews, this fabric is just amazing and is definitely one of the highest quality fabrics I have ever used and I couldn't be more impressed by it!
Since the heat wave was already in full swing (complete with heat rash!) and I was dying to wear my cool summer dress already, I got to work immediately - after washing the fabric first of course! I made view 1 of the No. 1 Dragør pattern, in UK size 6. I'd made this pattern once before so knew that the pattern measurements were true to size and fit me beautifully everywhere except for the bust, which has some gaping due to my smaller bust size. To take care of that, I simply shortened the shoulder straps by about two inches and that cleared up the gaping nicely.It was such a joy to pin the pattern pieces to the fabric that I decided to sew the majority of this dress by hand - why let a machine have all the fun of sewing when I have two hands and am smitten with the tactile experience of working with this lovely Gingham, right?
One of the features of this dress that I really love is the cute gathering just under the bust. This fabric was wonderful for that part of the dress and it was easy to get really soft, pretty gathers.
The fabric is quite sheer, so I knew I would have to line the bodice and wear the dress with a white petticoat or slip. I didn't want to line the bodice with a fabric that would possibly show on the right side of the garment, so I chose to line it in the same gorgeous yellow Gingham as the rest of the dress. I only recently learned how to line a bodice but I'm so thrilled that I did, because it is such a satisfying skill to have and makes the bodice of a dress look as neat and tidy on the inside as it does on the outside!
The fabric does fray a bit, and since it is sheer, I didn't want to use any seam binding that could show through to the right side of the dress, so I opted to finish my seams with pinking shears, which also helps to give this 1950's inspired dress a more authentically vintage look on the inside of the garment.
I refined my box pleat technique for this project - any excuse to up my sewing game! While I was able to sew a decent pleat before, I wasn't really happy with how they turned out and wanted to work on this technique so that the dress would look as lovely as possible.
How I Did The Box Pleats:First I pinned the box pleats into place in the directions indicated by the pattern and then ironed them so they would stay put and be nice and crisp.
Next I basted them down by hand across the waistline of the skirt, but within the seam allowance.
After I made sure that the basted pleats looked right, I took the skirt over to my sewing machine and stitched just below the basting stitches, but still within the seam allowance, for added strength and durability.Then I removed the basting stitches.
This is actually the only part of the dress that ended up being sewn by machine! I'm really pleased with how the box pleats look, I think they turned out quite nicely! It really helped that the fabric behaved wonderfully the whole time and didn't try to shift or slip around while pinning or sewing, and that the Gingham irons so beautifully! For reference, I used the "cotton blends" setting on my iron and had  no trouble getting a nice, crisp pleat this way.The dress came together quickly - even with the majority of it being sewn by hand and the insertion of the side zip - before I knew it I was hemming the skirt! I used a blind hem stitch to try and make the hem as invisible as possible from the outside and I think it turned out well.
The No. 1 Dragør dress made up in this gorgeous yellow Gingham from Minerva Crafts is the perfect Summer dress and I absolutely adore it! The fabric is light and breezy on top of being beautiful, which makes it a wonderful fabric to wear at this time of year and the combination of the fabric and pattern makes a classic yet casual vintage inspired Summer dress, perfect for wearing to a picnic, the beach, camping, a BBQ, an outdoor concert, or anywhere else life may take you!
Thank you so much to Vicki and everyone else on the Minerva Crafts team for allowing me to be part of such a wonderfully talented community of makers! I feel so honored and I can't wait to start sewing my next project!

Cut Out Faux Leather Jacket

Hi! I am Geo and this is my first time here. I blog on ‘Made in my Living Room’ from time to time, but I am quite active on Instagram.

My first post is going to be about this beautiful floral cut out Faux Leather Fabric. I love fake leather and I found this design very intriguing, I haven’t seen anything like it before.

The edges of the cutout design are not even, they follow around the flowers and leaves, but the tulle extends about 15-20cm (6-8in) beyond.

I thought this feature of the fabric would make a great midi skirt, with the pleather just below the knee and then the tulle going down to mid calf. I imagined myself walking around looking like this lovely lady on the left, but I ended up looking like a much shorter version of her.

Obviously it didn't work out. In this photo here I have already cut the tulle in a desperate attempt to make it work.

I had to change direction so I decided to make a cropped jacket with very little design lines, similar to a French jacket. I started looking for patterns designed for leather jackets, they are designed with little or no ease in the sleeve head ( I don’t want to try easing in any leather!). I found this Burda Style pattern that was exactly what I needed - one piece front with bust dart, the back is cut on fold, the opening is a centred zip (which I skipped) and a basic jewel neckline. No diagonal zips, no collar, no unnecessary seams.

I cut open my skirt and placed the jacket pattern on the fabric and - hallelujah - there was enough fabric to cout all jacket pieces.

Unlike most leathers, real or faux, this fabric slides easily under the pressure foot. I didn’t need to use a teflon or roller foot. I used a standard 80 needle and it worked great. I didn't dare go next to it with an iron though, so instead of pressing the seams I topstitched them all. I think it looks quite good! (I can’t believe I’m saying this about an unpressed garment :D)

I chose a plain faux leather for finishing the raw edges. The main fabric has those cut outs that might stick out when folded around the edge, so the plain one works better here. I followed this tutorial for binding around corners.

The hem is cut on the selvedge, so I left it unfinished. I think it looks nice with the floral design waving around.

The sleeves were cut on the selvedge initially and they were reaching the base of my thumb, that’s where I usually like my sleeves to end. But after trying it on I though bracelet sleeves would look much nicer on this light summer jacket. I tried to replicate the uneven edge of the hem by snipping around the cutouts in the fabric.

Looking back I think my main issue with the skirt was the size of the pleats - too small and too many. But even though my skirt was a big fail, all is well that ends well. I have a great jacket perfect for summer evenings. And the fabric was very easy to work with, compared to other faux leathers I’ve used. It’s not sticky at all, it glides under the presser foot and you can use pins as the marks quickly disappear after you take the pins out. And if you think it’s too hot for leather jackets, the cut outs in this fabric make it breathable.

Thanks for reading, I hope you like my jacket. What would you do with this fabric?


Calypso Crochet

I was very pleasantly surprised by this Yarn; the images really do not do it justice or even convey how luxurious and soft it is. A delightful yarn to work with as glides around my crochet hook and fingers with ease. It has an almost silky feel and is incredibly soft to the touch. Perfect for a garment to cosy up in. A double-knit weight, 100grams per ball with a generous 306yds/280m. made up of 97% Premium Acrylic with 3% Polymide.

I choose a Crochet pattern I have had on my to-do list for a long time, this along with many other delightful crochet and knitting patterns can be found at There is also a YouTube Video channel called InternUnet, where you can find tutorials on many of the patterns available.

This particular shrug/top pattern both intrigued me because of the modern and pretty design elements and also because of its unusual construction. A perfect partner to wear with feminine clothes and for when those summer evenings start to get a little fresh.

The colour I choose was Clearwater blue, and as you can see by the photo it is a very fresh colour, with graduations of tones including white with a sort of bobbly texture.

The main sections of the top is made using Treble stitches (UK Terms) but worked from the start of the sleeve up and then continues from the underarm section where the row is increased to include and start the front and back body sections of the top. I added a few extra rows to the sleeves as I wanted them to be longer and again a plus for this pattern design which makes minor adjustment easy because you can try it on as you go and add or subtract rows accordingly.

Once the sleeve and body section have been finished for the one side, you just repeat for the other side and then join both sections at the centre back with your hook or needle. I used my hook and joined using the front loops from one section and the back loops from the other to create an invisible join.

A few more shaping rows along each of the front panels and then you are ready to start the lovely motifs which are for me the main attraction of this top not only because it looks so pretty but by adding them you naturally join both halves of your garment.

These motifs are worked in a join as you go method, two side by side up the front sections of the top and are sort of little squares consisting of petals and chain loops. It took me a little while to get my head around it but the video tutorial is particularly good if like me you get lost sometimes with written instructions. I am a big fan of crochet charts.

The motifs then divide to allow for the front V of the top and singular motifs around the back of the neckline. I have used the same colour throughout this top, but you could use alternative colours say for the motifs to really make it a statement top and it would work equally well in cotton yarn too. I have noticed that depending on what time of the day I took the photographs of my work in progress, the colour looks slightly different, so I ventured outdoors between the dreadful rain we have been having to do my supermodel bit. I may have failed on that score, but you can really see in natural light the lovely colour of the yarn and the finished top.

If ever I wanted a cosy jumper or top to snuggle in Calypso would be the ideal yarn for me. Currently I believe there are around eight pastel colours available, so hopefully King Cole will bring out a range of colours with a rich winter colour theme. A definite winner in my book.  

Thanks for reading,

Liz @lizjcrafts


Mimi G Jessica Dress

A while back Mimi G was starting out on her own pattern company adventure and if you signed up to the website on a certain day you got the Jessica dress pattern for free. The Jessica was for me the perfect sundress, with dainty little straps and buttons all down the front and I thought it would be flattering with the gathered waist. When I saw Minerva’s yellow Gingham Fabric I knew this was going to be a perfect match! It would almost be like a little girl’s school dress but flattering and comfy I mean what more do we need in a summer dress!

I started out uming and ahhing about which size to cut, and if I needed to do a Full Bust adjustment which on princess seams seamed absolutely terrifying! But with a little bit of advice from Georgina (SewintheGarden) we decided the difference in my bust size and the pattern wasn’t enough and I could tweak it once it was made. I cut out the 2xl and hoped for the best.

I made this dress whilst on a sewing day with some Peterborough sewists so it was lovely to have a bit more space to cut out my fabric, also it was a bit warm so I was glad I didn’t have anything too drapey that would fly away with the windows open!

I used my usual cheat to make the gathers on the skirt, I hate messing around with long stiches and pulling it tight to I used a piece of elastic cut the same length as the bodice but stretched out and wide zig zagged over it around the skirt top. This always creates such perfect gathers for me and seems so much easier than evening out long stitches. Jenny (Jennysticthed) taught me a cheat for the straps too so I didn’t have to turn them inside out! I just folded the pieces like bias binding and sewed down either side like I have top stitched them! Blooming perfect and so much easier than turning things right side out am I right?

The only changes I made to this pattern were to take about 2” out of each strap length as it felt like it would lie far too low for me, the picture here is before i took the length out the straps.. I also swept the two sides in a little more at the top of the most as often with large busted patterns I find it gapes a lot in the cleavage area so I pulled it in slightly. Also, through fear of gaping boob buttons I sewed the front completely together and hand sewed the buttons on as decoration and not functioning. This not only saved me doing about a million button holes but also meant I feel a lot safer in the dress as it’s not going to pop open at the buttons.

I have worn and worn this dress since I finished it. I only put on pocket on as I didn’t want it to look too twee but now I’m thinking about putting the second pocket on as they are soo useful. They are very oversized pockets so it become the perfect dog walk dress as I could fit everything in my pockets and not need and extra bag for keys of my phone.

I got a little confused with the button plaquette whilst making this dress as the instructions weren’t brilliant and I think I’d got a bit too hot my then and my brain had melted. I had already sewed the bodice together wrong, unpicked it, then sewed it exactly the same again! As I wasn’t using buttons holes properly though I don’t think it mattered. Also, the instructions didn’t tell you when to finish any edges to I didn’t end up finishing anything properly so I fear this dress may not last very long so I will go back and put bias binding round all the seams I can get to.

The yellow gingham has been a dream to work with. It's got a lovely drape to it and the cotton has been perfect to sew. It was lovely to have something stable to sew for a change. It's been perfect for this weather too which lots of natural fibres in it's kept me quite cool and a cuteness overload!

I can definitely say now I know what I’m doing I will be using this bodice again. I think on my next one I may add a circle skirt to it and see how it goes. It’s the perfect calf length sun dress for all this hot weather we have been having!

Thanks for reading,

Rudy @ roodles-runique


Sew Over It Eve Dress

What is your summer wardrobe statement piece? For me, it's a wrap dress in pretty florals. Especially when it's a wrap dress with fun flutter sleeves and swishy hi-lo hem like the Sew Over It Eve dress. I got the Sewing Pattern earlier this year for a summer wedding and have been keeping an eye out for the prefect floral fabric to make it since.
When I saw this gorgeous Viscose Challis Fabric from Minerva, I immediately knew I've found just the right fabric. With its pale pink background and vibrant tropical floral prints, it has a romantic and retro feel that just says summer fun. The fabric itself is silky and cool on the skin, and drapes beautifully, perfect for a floaty design like the Eve dress or a beach cover up. I believe Lisa Comfort had made a kimono top out of this very same fabric. Maybe that's also why my mind immediately went to a Sew Over It pattern?
I prewashed the fabric and it almost had no wrinkles after line drying, which is awesome for a viscose challis. I think I cut the pattern pieces out the moment it dried because it's just one of those makes you want to wear as soon as you've got the idea into your head! The large scale floral also means no pattern matching needed so it's instant gratification!
As with all Sew Over It patterns, the instructions are super clear and the steps are easy to follow. The construction process went like a breeze with no tricky corners to turn at all. I especially like the way the neckline is constructed with stay tape instead of facing or binding. It's simpler to sew and less bulk for warm weather. The pattern even includes the exact length of the stay tape for each section of the neckline so there's no guesswork whether your fabric has stretched out. 
One tip for stay tape: check your fabric's selvedge and see if it's sturdy and wide enough to use as stay tape. Most often than not it is! And it's usually just the right weight and colour for your project. Or you can find ready to use stay tape here. Remember it has to be a straight grain tape, not bias cut. The resulting neckline is firm yet light weight, hugging the bodice beautifully with no gaping, which can be a problem for wrap dresses not drafted well.
Also as with most Sew Over It dress patterns, I shortened the length for my 158cm (5'2) frame. The Eve dress is drafted for the taller ladies for sure and I took off a whopping 15cm (6 inch) all around the hi-lo hem! I think if I kept the original length it would have floor length at the back. Since it's such a full skirt, I opted to just shortening the pattern pieces at the hem and lost some of the fullness. The dress ended up just about knee length in the front for me with plenty of fullness to swish around.
I can't wait to wear this dress to the summer wedding next month. The fabric turned out so well in the wash so I don't think I will keep it on the hanger until then. With such a pretty floral and silky fabric, it's perfect for the heat wave we are in right now and I'm sure I will be wearing it in heavy rotation. I especially love the flutter sleeves which keep shoulders covered from the sun while being breezy and flirty. It's one of the those dresses that can be easily dressed up or down with the right accessory. It's so easy to throw on and fell instantly feminine and put together. 
Until next time, I will be twirling in my new favourite summer dress! Thank you Minerva!

DMC Amigurumi Crochet Kit - Cupcakes & Treats

I was drawn to this Crochet Kit because to me the gorgeous photos of the amigurumi cakes together with the bright colours of the DMC Natura Just Cotton Yarn created a winning combination! Already excited about making the cute little amigurumi cakes featured on the front of the box, my excitement went into overdrive when I discovered the booklet inside contained even more designs! Suddenly I couldn’t make my mind up about which one to start with …
The kit comes with a full instruction book (written in 6 different languages) detailing how to crochet, basic stitches required, how to work in the amigurumi style, an explanation of how to read crochet charts and then the instructions for each cake available in chart form. A very concise and useful booklet! There is also a poster with photo tutorial instructions ranging from how to hold a hook to how to make a magic loop. As a crochet designer, I was confident about what I was doing, but I was impressed by how thorough all the instructions were.
After a good look at the options I chose one of the cover designs; the simple cupcake with a cherry on top. The cake, which is designed in 2 halves, crocheted up really quickly and easily. Once stuffed, I sewed the two parts together and it was finished!
As I had been crocheting the first cake I was mulling over which one to make next and had decided that the cream and strawberry jam one would compliment it nicely. It turned out that the instructions were very similar to my first cake with the addition of a simple colour change for the jam. In fact, this cake worked up so quickly I just kept going, almost forgetting to stop and take any progress photos! Again, the construction was in two parts and the only change I made was to crochet through both sections to join them, instead of sewing as instructed.
I had enough stuffing left for one more cake and I knew this one was going to be a chocolate one … but which one to choose because there are such a large selection of chocolates and chocolate cakes listed in the instructions! Thinking that it went most closely with the other cakes I had made, I chose a swirly icing chocolate cake. The crochet instructions for this cake were slightly different, more increases and decreases were needed to create the shape, which kept things interesting.
Next I needed to add the sprinkles or French Knots -  a sewing stitch which, no matter how many tutorials I watched I just couldn’t seem to get the hang of! I decided to be bold and give them a go knowing that if things didn’t go to plan I could always just do multiple stitches one on top of the other!. I was so surprised to find myself doing them no problem!! The finished result looks amazing and I am so happy with my chocolate cake!
There is plenty of thread left over to make more cakes, but sadly the stuffing has run out and I have none in my craft stash. I am pleased to see that the Minerva Crafts website has 5 different listings for Toy Stuffing available to choose from, including a natural wool one, so I don’t need to look far to restock!
I would thoroughly recommend the DMC Amigurumi Crochet Kit to anyone looking for a fun crochet project.  Some prior crochet knowledge would be helpful, but not completely necessary since the instructions are clear and concise. Once finished, I am sure that as well as looking cute on a shelf, small children would have great fun playing with these little treats!
Thanks for reading,

Selfless Sewing

As soon as I saw this fox print Crepe Fabric come up on Minerva I knew it was too cute to resist. I nabbed it quickly suspecting my sister-in-law Gemma would fall in love with it - if not, I could always make myself a fun summer dress. I’m an unashamedly selfish sewist, but I wanted to contribute to Sew Over It’s selfless sewing challenge for April. As Gem takes all the photos for my blog (handy sister-in-law to have), she seemed the perfect recipient of some selfless sewing! And as suspected, she fell in love with the fabric.

Gem started a new job recently at a photography studio, and having worked in uniforms for years she has had trouble finding tops for work. We thought a fox blouse might be smart and fun, and as this make was intended to be part of the Sew Over It selfless sewing challenge, the Sew Over It Pussy Bow Blouse Pattern seemed an ideal choice for this fun foxy make.

When the fabric arrived I was amazed at how rich the colours on the fabric are. In fact, when I got to work with it the only way I could tell the right of the fabric was that the blue is *slightly* richer. It really is beautiful. It’s slippery as you would expect with a crepe, but with a dual attack of pins and pattern weights it was straightforward to cut smoothly and accurately. The fabric marks well with carbon paper too, my preferred method of tracing pattern markings, which makes the whole process a lot easier. 

I decided to brave pattern matching (glutton for punishment, I know), but only on the centre front seam where it would be most visible. Luckily it’s pretty stable when sewing, and doesn’t slip around too due much texture of the fabric. The match isn’t perfect, but I decided not to keep basting and unpicking to get it 100% on the nose. The fabric is good quality, but I’ve had bad experiences with unpicking lightweight fabric and ruining the integrity of the seams. For the sake of my own sanity, I also lined up the direction and level of the foxes at the side seams. Proper pattern matching always seems redundant on side seams to me, as they aren’t really seen! 

I always make my life harder by slip stitching rather than top stitching things like cuffs - I just think it gives a neater finish, inside and out. Now, slip stitching crepe sounds like a nightmare but I have a little cheat. I sew the hem in to the seam like so...

It means everything lines up perfectly, and no stitching is visible on either side!

Downsides? Pressing this fabric is not much fun. But when is crepe? It’s also definitely a fabric that needs finishing - I used my trusty overlocker, but French seams would work too.

The pattern wasn’t the most appealing for me from the Sew Over It collection, but after making it I think it’s great - and it’s really satisfying because is sews up so quickly. I made the Sew Over It Clara Blouse recently and although it’s lovely, it is much more fiddly to sew. I like the style, but I might steal the sleeves from the Pussy Bow next time I sew it.

Gemma’s verdict? Her reaction when she tried it on was sheer delight at how the top fit and sat over her bust. Being a bigger busted woman, she often has a problem in this area (one I, sadly, do not share!) It’s a little shorter than she would usually wear, and I agree it needs a bit more length. I think Sew Over It tops are always a bit short as the Sew Over It ‘style’ is usually tucked in. Overall It’s a fun, pretty blouse, and the lightweight fabric is perfect for working in the photography studio which can get really warm!

And I’ll definitely be making more, - for Gem and for me - adding a couple of centimetres on the bottom of the pattern. Why not, when you can run it up in an evening?!

Thanks for reading,

Kelly @ sewandstylelou

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