I’ve had the Meridian Dress from the Papercut Patterns Geo Collection on my wish list ever since it was released and have been keeping my eyes peeled for the right fabric. This geometric print Silky Crepe Fabric from Minerva is the perfect match. The crossover detail at the front definitely requires a fabric with lots of drape which this has but for me it’s the print that I love the most I’ll always choose a graphic print over a floral.
If you’re ever tempted to buy any of the Papercut patterns I seriously recommend that you buy the printed version as the packaging is not only beautiful with a seriously cute instruction booklet but look at how easy it is to store your cut pieces when you’re finished. This pattern is designed for a ‘skilled’ level but as the instructions are so detailed I think a beginner with a bit of experience could sew this up without any issues and learn a few techniques along the way. There are options for long and short sleeves and two length options. I opted for long sleeves and the longer length although I did reduce this by about 5 cm.
Sewing with the silky crepe was fairly easy, I used a Microtex Sewing Machine Needle which always gives the best results on fine fabrics. I also found that adding a strip of lightweight interfacing either side of the centre back seam helped not only reinforce it for the invisible zip but gave a nice crisp fold for the keyhole. Talking of invisible, I was delighted with how easy it was to create the pleats by using the lines in the pattern, how’s this for pattern matching!
I was intrigued to see how the bodice was constructed to give the crossover and thought it might be a bit of a challenge, in fact it’s really quite simple to sew. When it’s finished you end up with two fabric ties that wrap over at the waist and tie at the back. My version is slightly more fitted than the samples from Papercut, which I still think works well and I’m very happy with although I’m now tempted to make another and size up to see how that looks.
The back has a button and loop closure with a keyhole detail. Even though the zip is invisible, you will still see the zip pull, so I wanted to make sure they matched. The red in the print is quite pink/magenta and I had no joy in trying to exactly match a zip but I think using a cherry red has worked well and really doesn’t look out of place at all.
The fabric feels lovely to wear, it does have some static cling, so I just wore a slip underneath. Minerva Crafts have an anti-static lining fabric so you could easily add a lining or make a slip. I’m really pleased with the final result in this fabric, it feels dressy but you could make it in a linen for example and choose the short sleeved option and you’ve got a great summer day dress which is what I’ll probably do when I make my next one.
See you soon
Alex @ Alex Judge Sews
Hi, Naomi here again with a review of some Beautiful Fabric and a make which has a distinctly spring/summer feel to it. The fabric is a soft jersey knit and is a blend of polyester, viscose and elastane so it has a lovely drape. It has quite an unusual texture to it which is tricky to photograph from the right side but is a bit more obvious on the reverse, with a slight crinkle.
I’ve decided to make the Givre Top by Deer and Doe. It’s the first time that I have used one of their patterns and I was really drawn to the curved seam line over the bust. Cutting out is never my favourite part of the sewing process but I am a big fan of using my rotary cutter and pattern weights to prepare knit fabrics.
To highlight the seam a little more, I decided to colour block the floral fabric with a small scrap of solid blue jersey from my stash. Aside from the seamlines this is actually a pretty easy jersey pattern to construct and I didn’t really use the instructions all that much. I just checked the seam allowances and off I went.
There are quite a few seam lines to get matched up so if you want them aligned precisely it is a good idea to baste them in place first. If, like me, you didn’t and find they aren’t quite perfect don’t stress about it though. They are all underneath your arm, so it is very unlikely that anyone is going to be getting a very close look!
I wasn’t sure if this fabric would quite have the 50% stretch suggested by the pattern so I sized up one size. Now that it is complete, I think it would have been fine. The whole top feels a little big, particularly the shoulder and the sleeve, so if I were to do it again, I would just use my usual size. It’s certainly not unwearable though, just a bit less fitted than my usual style. I think it would also be fairly easy to take in the side and underarm seams in the future if I find that it irritates me too much.
I’m not sure if it is the size that I chose to make and the resulting fit but the seamline across the bust doesn’t look as curved in my version as in the marketing pictures. I do like the navy and floral for spring though. It is making me feel brighter and jollier just looking at it! I think as makers it is easy to see all the flaws in the things we create and I am trying instead to see the practice, skills and lessons learned.
This is one of the first things that I have made for myself in a while, having done quite a bit of sewing for my little boy, so it does feel nice to have made something just for me. There is something magical about starting out with cloth and it becoming something wearable at the end of the day!
Thanks for reading,
Naomi @ Naomi Sews
Posted in Projects on Friday the 21st June 2019 by Vicki Ormerod
I won’t lie, I never thought overalls were going to be for me. It’s the small waist/big hips conundrum again and I just thought they weren’t going to fit or suit me. And I’d accepted that.
And then I went to the Women of the World Festival in Exeter in November last year and all my feminist sisters were wearing overalls. They looked super stylish and I. Could. Not. Get. Enough. Of. It. I knew then I’d have to tackle it. I’d just have to make myself some overalls.
There have been so many awesome versions of the Closet Case Patterns Jenny Overalls on Instagram, I knew they would be my go to pattern. I especially loved Sarah’s Flamingo pair :) I found a cute and cheap needlecord in a local fabric shop and decided to make a toile first. With something like this I knew I would be grading between sizes and playing around with fit so a toile was ESSENTIAL (I’ve been a bit lazy with toiles lately, sue me!).
As always with my size and an all-in-one, I had to grade pretty heavily between sizes. I graded the bodice from at 8 at the bust to a 10 at the waist and then the trousers from a 10 at the waist to an 18 at the hips. I’m getting pretty handy with my french curve and getting the gradient right so I was pretty pleased with the results. But I found the pattern came out waaaayyyyy bigger than the sizing advice. At an 18 I actually graded to a size a fair bit narrower than my hips, and then 10 at the waist was a stretch. But both were acres too big leaving a nice big gap down the back. Oh well, it’s a toile and they still look good with a belt :) Given the bagginess, I cut this pair off to ¾ length as the full length made me look...well the less said about that the better.
So, toile made and sizing figured off I went to make the Real Deal in this beautiful Lady McElroy Floral Needlecord. I’m getting a bit obsessed with Lady McElroy Fabrics...their prints just make me swoon. I chose the brown colourway as most of my clothes are rather *ahem* bright and I thought the brown might make my overalls more muted and practical. I was very tempted by the yellow though..in fact I still am. I revised my grading making a straight 8 for the bodice, and grading from an 8 to an 18 in the trousers. I decided to add the pockets this time - I omitted them on the toile as I was concerned about how bulky my hips would look in general. As they didn’t I added the pockets on the Real Deal as, when wearing the toile, I kept trying to put my hands in my non-existent pockets. It just feels natural! Adding the pockets definitely made the side seams and the lapped zip more challenging and as this was only my second lapped zip ever, I’m pretty proud of myself. Just don’t look too closely at the inside, ok?
The Jenny Overalls include A LOT of top stitching and again it’s not perfection but I’m pretty happy. The thread colour matches really well, which helps - I love that on Minerva you can add a colour matching thread to your fabric order. I live in a rural area and we don’t get a huge range of thread colours in our haberdasheries and matching colours online is a fools errand. Next time however I must up my thread order to two reels - as is typical, I ran out of thread JUST towards the end. Luckily I just had a couple of seams and hand stitching to do so a close enough match was good enough.
The fit is infinitely better this time round and as I’m learning to love my body shape and size [link to post], I really feel comfortable and powerful in this outfit. And I will definitely be making a fun pair next. I’m quite tempted by these Art Gallery Dinosaurs...
Thanks for reading,
Kelly-Louise @ sewandstylelou
Posted in Projects on Thursday the 20th June 2019 by Vicki Ormerod
The super generous ladies of Minerva were nice enough to send me some more fabric to test out and this time I was lucky enough to get my hands on this hefty Washed Linen Fabric in taupe. I knew as soon as I saw it on their website what it wanted to be. Dawn Jeans by Megan Nielsen, without a doubt. It’s finally nice out here, summer is peeking through the rain clouds every other day and I couldn’t get the idea of breezy linen wide leg Dawn ‘jeans’ out of my head.
When the fabric arrived I threw it in the wash immediately because even though it already had ‘washed’ in the name for someone that sews as much of her clothing as she can, I can be pretty careless with my laundry settings, and don’t even get me started on what my husband will do if I’m not around. So I like to wash everything on hot from the get go. If it’s going to shrink at some point in its life I would rather it be sooner than later. When I pulled it out of the dryer (yes I dried it too). I knew I had made an epic-ly good decision. This linen has the softness of a linen but an incredible body.
It has the soft wrinkles of linen, but because the fabric is on the heavier side, the fabric doesn’t succumb to the wrinkles in that all-encompassing way that linen is known for. I think that makes this fabric much less messy looking, and also gave me confidence that they will make for a long lasting pair of pants.
After patting myself on the back for a good fabric decision, I moved onto the pattern. There were some adjustments I was going to have to make to fulfill what I was envisioning in my head but I knew the amount of effort I would have to put in would be well worth it. First up I knew I wanted my pants to be work appropriate so I was going to have to get rid of some of the more iconic ‘jeans’ details. That meant getting rid of the back pockets and belt loops. Easiest hack ever, am I right?? Just don’t cut them out and don’t sew them on. C.H.E.C.K.
OK, next up, in line with the theme, I wanted the remaining front pockets to look a little more business casual, so I decided they needed to be turned into slash pockets. This was seriously so easy. I was working from a print out of the PDF pattern so I took the opportunity to make my adjustments before cutting out all the pieces so there was already extra paper around the pieces to work with. The adjustment itself was easy peasy, I just connected the top edge of the pocket to the bottom edge with a straight line. I did it first on the front leg piece, because that most accurately shows you how your change is going to look and then I transferred the same change to the pocket bag on the side that you will sew to the front leg. Since making the front pockets into the slash pockets, it is adding to the height of the pocket opening. I didn’t have to worry about adjusting the pocket facing, that piece that you sew to the pocket bag so it looks like the pocket bag is made out of the same fabric as the rest of the pants are.
The last style change I made and probably the most challenging was to get rid of the back yoke, though honestly it wasn’t that hard either. In pattern making when you are adding a yoke to a pants pattern you would take a pant sloper with back darts, draw in your yoke, separate the two pieces, close the darts on the yoke, smooth out the curves if necessary and then add seam allowances. If there was still a portion of the dart on the remaining leg section you would divide it in two and take it off the side and center back seams, and then add a seam allowance of course.
Knowing this I figured I could reverse engineer that process to ‘add back’ the yoke. I basically measured the height of the yoke at the side seam and at the center back and then subtracted the seam allowance x2 - this is because there is a seam allowance at the hem of the yoke and the top of the pants, right? Right. Then I extended the side seam and center back seam on the back leg pieces by that amount just continuing the existing angles at which the center back and side seam of the leg piece were made. Then I drew in the new waist with my hip curve ruler and added seam allowance. Then I measured this waist and compared it to the original waist at the top of the yoke piece, to see how they stacked up. I was expecting my new waist to be longer but they were almost identical, which would have been great but I wanted darts centered between the center back and side seams because I wanted the volume around my butt to be a little more distributed than just coming from the side seams and center back. This may have been overkill, but its just wanted, so I adjusted the angle of the center back to open up the waist until I was able to add a 5/8” dart.
Aside from having to sew the darts closed and not having to sew and attach the yoke the construction was basically the same. One other minor adjustment I made was to leave off almost all the top stitching. In places where I felt I had to add top stitching to ensure the integrity of a wearable garment- ie the curve at the crotch, across the pockets, down the side seam to just past pocket level and up and down the front and back crotch. I used matching thread.
In the end although I actually pattern tested these when they first came out, I still had to make two small fit adjustments. The back rise was about an inch too long causing bunching at center back below the waist band and around my beautiful darts, so I pinned it out - 1” at center back grading to nothing at the side seams, I checked it out in a mirror and then committed and cut it off along the top of the back legs. After looking at the pics I took for this post I think there still might be a tad bit of extra that could come off no more than 1/4”, but whatever, I dare someone to call me out on that in my everyday life.
Additionally and truly surprising because I am pretty short (only 5’2”), there didn’t seem like there was going to be enough fabric to give these pants a proper hem. So since I was going to have to go the extra mile to give these pants a hem facing anyway, I decided to give them a nice 2” long beefy one. I looooove how that turned out because it makes it so the wide hem of these linen trousers doesn't collapse on themselves as I walk around.
I know these changes might seem like a lot when reading through them one by one, but truly I feel like they took longer to write about than to actually do and I am so happy with the result. Pictured here I’m wearing them with a cropped Made by Rae Gemma tank, but I think they are really going to go well with my Deer and Doe Meillot button up top as well, and more importantly than anything, whether they are dressed up or down, I feel awesome in them.
As always, thanks for reading my review and following along on my minor pattern hack adventures.
Hello, I’m Adelle, I am on a mission to create a handmade wardrobe. I’m excited to be here to review this Lady McElroy Stretch Viscose Crepe Fabric from Minerva.
Viscose Crepe fabric is a perfect lightweight fabric choice for summer dresses. It has a great amount of drape which just lets the fabric dance and move. The added stretch is just enough to make it perfect for a fitted dress as it gives just that little bit of comfortable movement in the places that you want it.
The colour is described online as mulberry and it’s scattered with blue and pink floral designs. I love this colour as it is a great colour to move through from autumn into spring.
The Seren Dress from Tilly and the Buttons is a button down dress with wide straps and a separate waistband. It comes in several versions and I choose to make the knee-length hemline with the added flounce.
I made it up in a size 3 which is my usual size for this pattern brand but I needed to lower the bust darts by 4 cm. this was an easy adjustment to make. You cut out the bust dart in the pattern piece, drop it down and grade the side seams.
The fabric is woven and although it does have an element of stretch, it was easy to sew up with. The instructions from Tilly are brilliant to follow and once you make up the bodice and then the skirt, they attach together with the separate waistband. The button placements are detailed on the pattern however I like to plan their placement after trying on the garment to ensure that they are placed correctly at the bust to avoid any gaping.
The Finished Dress:
I love this summer dress and it’s no surprise why it was so popular last summer. I was a little nervous that the flounce would be too much but because the fabric is light, it sits lovely and adds the extra something to the dress.
The fit of the dress is great and the adjustments to the bust darts worked out perfect. Again the stretch of the fabric really does make it a comfortable dress to wear.
This dress is going to be perfect for when the sunshine arrives and decides to stay.
Thank Minerva for gifting me this fabric. My summer sewing has begun.
Hi everyone. Becky here from Notes from the Sewing Room.
This month I was asked to review a light-weight purple spotted Cotton Sateen Fabric from Minerva.
I was immediately drawn to the print of this fabric as I’m a big fan of spotty designs and thought the bright colour would be perfect to wear during the summer.
What did I make?
I used the fabric to make a swishy summer skirt, perfect for the warm weather I’m dreaming of. I’ve included a few pictures of me wearing the skirt on my recent holiday.
The garment I created was a simple self-drafted gathered skirt. I’m not someone who usually drafts my own patterns but this was just a case of measuring across the fabric (I used the full width) and measured down to my desired hem length. This was made easier by the spots all running in a clear line both up and down the fabric.
To make the skirt I used a tried and tested waistband I know already fits me – this is from the Sew Over It Tulip Skirt. These two pieces of fabric were cut on the fold to form both the inside and outside waistband.
I then drafted two skirt pieces – one on the fold for the front of the skirt and another two separate pieces for the back of my project.
The fabric is 44 inches wide and my waist measurement is 28 inches, this allowed me lots of room to gather the fabric into the waist band.
I used chalk to draw directly on to the fabric to create my pattern pieces, always double checking my measurements before cutting anything.
I literally folded the fabric so the edges of the selvage were together (the tightly woven edge of a fabric) and then drew a straight line across the full width (for the front section of the skirt). I then repeated this process to cut the back skirt sections, although then cut along the folded section (I ironed this first to ensure I cut the correct line) to create two separate pieces.
I needed two separate pieces at the back so I could add in a lapped zip.
I measured the skirt length and marked this on my fabric including the amount I needed to turn-up my hem (I overlocked the hem and then turned this up twice to finish it).
My skirt was designed to come down to my knees but if you were trying this out, you can cut the fabric to match your personal preference (measuring the length of a skirt you already have and enjoy wearing is a good idea).
As the skirt is made from a light-weight fabric, I decided to use French seams to sew the side seams of my project together. This creates a neat finish on the inside of your project. If you haven’t sewn these before there are lots of tutorials online if you type ‘how to sew a French seam’ into your favourite search engine!
I then sewed two rows of basting stitches to the very top of my skirt (within the 1.5cm seam allowance I had allowed before cutting out my project) to gather my skirt evenly across both the front and back sections.
It can be tricky to make sure gathering looks consistent around your skirt, so just try your best. I’m sure my gathering is not perfect but I think life is too short to worry about this too much.
The waistband was attached right sides together ensuring I had caught in all of my gathers and they were as even as I could get them.
I decided to include a lapped zipper in my skirt in a similar shade of purple. Again, there are lots of tutorials about inserting these types of zips online if you search ‘how to sew lapped zipper’. I decided to use this design feature as a change to my normal invisible zip plus I already had a ‘normal’ purple zip in my stash ready to be used.
The inner waistband was then added by sewing this right sides together with the front waistband. I under-stitched the seam allowance to allow my seam to sit as flat as possible.
After overlocking the bottom of the exposed inside waistband seam, I then turned my skirt the correct way around (folding the inner waistband to the inside) before stitching my waistband ‘in the ditch’ from the outside to hold this in place. You could always sew this by hand inside instead if you preferred though.
The fabric is very floaty and has a lovely drape to it. I think it would be great to use for summer skirts, tops or dresses.
It has no stretch though so is not suitable for any projects where this could be a problem. It’s made of 100% cotton and washed well.
Did I enjoy this project?
Yes. I decided I needed a light-weight outfit in my wardrobe for summer so I thought a simple gathered skirt would fit the bill. It was easy to make and sew, so I’m pleased with the result.
Keep up-to-date with my makes
Hope you enjoyed my review. Until next time, happy sewing.
Posted in Projects on Thursday the 20th June 2019 by Vicki Ormerod
Hiya, me again – The Welsh One.You will not believe this but I thought I would be adventurous and work with something other than floral! I went for polka dots this time in this lovely Viscose Fabric!I seem to have a long list of patterns that I want to make so always have something kind of half planned. The Simple Sew Utility dress had been on this list for a long while. I had just not found the right fabric to make me want to desperately sew it. That was until I had the polka dot fabric in my hands. It is such a lovely fabric, really smooth and soft with a lovely drape. It is really lightweight and was relatively easy to sew with. As always, I cut my fabric with my rotary cutter. I love the way it glides through fabric giving it nice clean cuts. I also use my pattern weights to stop the fabric moving when cutting.The pattern is a loose fitting style dress featuring kimono sleeves, a drawstring tie and pockets. It has front pleats at the waist which I love, as it adds that little bit of detail.
When it came to sewing the pleats, I thought it was going to be a little tricky but followed the instructions and got through it fine. I just had to make sure I had all the markings in all the right places. I used my wonderclips to hold the pleats in place then stitched along them removing the clips as I went.
The pattern pieces are quite large making it super easy to put together. There are also no sleeves to sew in which makes it an extra easy sew. The neckline is finished off using binding. You can purchase binding in most places. I made my own out of the fabric I had left once I had cut all my pieces out. I really wanted it to match.
To make the binding, I cut a strip around 2 inches wide and made it long enough to go around the neck. I folded over one side about a quarter of an inch and pressed. Then I used my clips to hold it right sides together around the neck and stitched in place. To hide the raw edges, I folded the binding over, then topstitched making sure I caught the binding underneath to secure.
Sewing the cuffs was really easy, I folded it in half right sides together and stitched the one side to join. Then folded it wrong sides together to create the cuff.Adding the cuff was super easy too, I placed the cuff over the sleeve end joining the raw edges and stitched around it. My freearm on my machine is awesome for these little jobs. I finished the seams with my overlocker, using rainbow thread – I just love the colours! I had to remember to press my sleeve cuffs, I hate to admit it but I forget to press most things as I get way too excited!
Adding the pockets to the skirt was not as complicated as I thought it would be. They went in with no problems at all. It was quite simple, sewing the one piece right sides together on the skirt, flipping over and topstitching to keep in place, then sewing in the second piece to make the pocket.I don’t know what it is but I find making drawstring and straps therapeutic – I know, I must be mad... it’s just the way you sew the pieces together, turn them inside out and it becomes a drawstring/strap! The whole turning it inside out excites me as it’s magic! Though it maybe because I have my handy loop turner tool....The channel required some elastic on the back piece to gather the fabric a little and buttonholes on the front for the string to be fed through. I added some interfacing before sewing in the buttonholes to stabilise the fabric.Attaching the drawstring channel to the skirt and bodice was a little tricky but I took my time and got there in the end.The fabric behaved really well when sewing them together even though it is lightweight, it hardly moved. I used my clips to hold the bodice and skirt together and removed when sewing.
@the_craftee_welsh_oneThis was a relatively easy sew though the fit was a little bit off. If you are planning on making one, I would definitely advise sizing down. I will be making more, after adjusting the pattern pieces as it really is a great dress for the office.
Until next time..... Tee x
Posted in Projects on Thursday the 20th June 2019 by Vicki Ormerod
This Fabric is absolutely beautiful, it is so silky and it is a lovely light pink colour with a huge floral design. I don’t often sew with slippery fabrics but this fabric really caught my eye so thought I would challenge myself. I stepped out of my comfort zone with this fabric and was almost a little scared to cut into it!
I deliberated for quite a while on what to make with it and kept changing my mind. I eventually decided on the Sew Over It Kimono pattern, there are only 4 pattern pieces so I thought it would be a perfect pattern to test myself on a challenging fabric. It did shift around quite a lot when cutting out so I would recommend using a rotary cutter to cut out the pattern pieces on fabrics like this. I’m glad I didn’t choose a more complicated pattern for this fabric!
The kimono has two different versions a short length and a longer length. Kimonos are great for using as a cover up during the day or night, as beach wear or as a dressing gown. I chose to make the longer length to show of the design of the fabric and for me it will be a lovely summer dressing gown when the weather starts to warm up. The pattern is simple to construct and doesn’t have any fastenings to worry about. The instructions are very detailed and have great images to go with them.
I went really slowly when sewing, trying not to make any mistakes, I think the fabric would leave holes if you were to unpick any stitches. I also made sure the fabric wasn’t hanging off my sewing table at any time to reduce the amount of shifting under the sewing machine. It was quite tricky working with such a slippery fabric, I won’t lie I was glad when it was finished. I would like to try this pattern again in a different fabric, maybe one that isn’t as slippery..
I am happy with the finished results, I did end up with a couple of snags from the pins. I am going to invest in some clips for when I work with a slippery fabric again as it is a shame. They are only tiny but I know they are there!
Thank you for reading and happy sewing.