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#FabricFriday - Evening Wear for Parties!

Hello everybody. Fabric Friday again! 
Our lovely staff here at Minerva Fabrics can't wait for our christmas party. All of our girls are talking about what to wear, myself included! Although my outfit for this year is sorted it did make me think how many sewists out there are scratching their heads wondering if they have time to source a pattern and fabrics. Hopefully I can give you some ideas woth this week's #FabricFriday!
The first fabric is a polyester jersey fabric in black with a fairly subtle silver glittery floral design. This is one of our clearance fabrics and priced at just £4.99 I think its a super bargain. 
This Butterick pattern is exceptionaly easy! For this fabric I would suggest the top of version A and the bottom of version B. For those short of time this is the ideal dress pattern, there are just 4 pattern pieces. For the other versions there is a seperate band for the neckline and either a short sleeve or a narrow hem for the sleeveless version.
Just to throw in a good idea for choice of pattern with this same fabric - look at butterick 5955 perhaps for a party at the New Year when we may have a few more lumps and bumps from indulgance at xmas!! I made this top, version B, for one of my blogger network posts. I wore it as a top in summer and I wear it over a black cowl neck jumper now in the winter months.
Back to 5955. The reason I have chose version A, apart from the fact that I love bare shoulders at party's, is I would love to wear my next choice of pattern (Butterick 5992) over it.
Just look at version B which leads me to my next fabric choice. Messina black ribboned lattice fabric. This is a sumptious fabric at just £7.99 per mt which is made literally out of ribbons which are twisted and turned and then sewn into a floral design. Yet another of our fabulous clearance fabrics!
How good will this fabric look made up as a cape?
There is no lining so as the above picture shows, your shoulders and arms will show through the lattice effect of the fabric. The only additional item you need is 3.2 mts of black 38mm satin ribbon. (Dont forget this fabric comes in ivory as well so my mind is leaning towards weddings, how different would that be). 
Because of the nature of how this fabric is made, there is no selvedge as such. I have tried to show this in the above picture so there is no need to hem the bottom. The pattern pieces would have to be placed along this edge and care taken in sewing the seams. 
Version A would also look terrific in this fabric. This fastens at the back with a bow made out of 1.9mts of 75mm satin ribbon. 
Or how about making version C in the jersey dress fabric?
My last choice of fabric this week is our 'Skeleton Leaf Pleated Georgette Fabric'. This is a black pleated georgette at just £5.99 per mt and yes it's a clearance fabric again. 
Butterick pattern 5529 is perfect for this fabric! Design D is the first style to jump out at me for this fabric. Just 3 pattern pieces. There is a centre back seam but I would be inclined to leave off the seam allowance here and cut the back out on the fold. Just a thought - how about making the band in satin ribbon. It is after all just a straight piece of fabric for this band.
A and B would equally be suitable. The piece that forms the front and lower back is cut on the bias so a lovely drape should be acheived. 
Jacket E would be stunning. The instructions for this are amongst the easiest I have ever seen. It is 1 pattern piece which is for the front and back together of which you cut 2. One of the pieces is for a self lining.
My last pattern choice for this georgette fabric is McCalls 7289;
Version A is very similar to A on the last pattern but I am including it because of Version D. Dare I say this is even easier than E on the last pattern.
Any of the tops I have suggested will compliment the dress pattern and the fabrics look quite stunning together.
Until next week Happy Sewing,

Herbie the Hedgehog

WOW!! My first post for the Minerva Blog!
Don’t know whether I’m excited or a bit scared!!! Anyway, here goes, and hopefully you will find something to help you improve your own crafting experience.
I know in my introduction to my Blog I said that I don’t usually work on projects without making some sort of adjustment. Well, hopefully, this will be one of only a few exceptions. The reason for this was timing. I wanted to make it as a Christmas present, and didn’t have much time, initially, to think of what else could be done with the basic pattern. As I was making him, however, I did think of one or two ideas that could be tried, and I have included these at the end of the post.
Herbie the Hedgehog
How Cute Is This Little Fellow?
This was always going to be a “must do“ project – as soon as the King Cole pattern arrived - we were all smitten!
Tinsel Chunky Yarn has been around for a while but the only patterns available were either for scarves and other accessories, or for sweaters or cardigans, decorated with panels/stripes. However, the designers at King Cole have now come up with a real winner in this gorgeous hedgehog pattern.
You can choose from 3 sizes, and as the pattern shows, he would look brilliant in any of the lovely shades.
My decision as to which version to make was an easy one. It had to be the largest one and it had to be knitted in Copper with a natural coloured yarn for the face, as it will be a gift for one very savvy grandson called Will! He is only 5 years old, but his knowledge and love for anything from the animal world is mind-boggling!!! If I make it anything other than as realistic as possible, he will not hesitate to tell me I have got it wrong!
All you need to get started is King Cole Pattern 9015, 1 x 50gm ball of any of the colours of King Cole Tinsel Chunky Yarn, a small amount of any contrast DK yarn, (or a 25gm ball of King Cole Dollymix DK), a pair of size 5mm knitting needles (old size 6), a pair of 3.25mm knitting needles (old size 10) a small amount of black DK yarn to embroider the eyes and nose as per the pattern, OR a pack of Trimits 9mm black safety eyes and 12mm safety animal noses (as I have used). The final ingredient is some polyester washable toy filling.
I wondered what it was going to feel like using this yarn as I have not really knitted with anything like it before (the nearest thing I would probably have used before would have been mohair). I nearly always cast on using the thumb method and that felt ok, if a little “tickly”. After the first few rows I was beginning to quite like the feel of it running through my fingers. What I did find though (but not in a bad way) was that there was very little “stretch” to the yarn, so it feels a bit odd at first, when you are pushing your stitches along your needle as you work your rows.
The only other thing that I found was that you do have to concentrate a bit more than usual, as, if you aren’t careful, you can mistake some of the tinsel fronds for an actual stitch, and end up with too many by the end of the row. You also have to be careful not to drop any stitches as there would not be much chance of picking them up again easily.
Once you get used to all of this you should find that it grows really quickly, and before you know it you have your hedgehog’s spiky body!
For those of us who love the knitting process but “hate” the sewing-up part, the next bit is brilliant – the change from body to head doesn’t involve any sewing! It is simply a change of needle size, a change of yarn and reverse your stocking stitch!
Whilst it was tempting to start sewing up, I decided that I would knit all the pieces first, then I could see what I would be working with. I knitted the ears first, and I think it almost took me longer to read the instructions than it did to knit them! I don’t think I have ever knitted anything so small!
Next I knitted the feet. That was quite fun as I wondered how I was going to end up with three toes! The finished piece looked a bit weird, but when you fold it in half and stitch it together, it really does look quite convincing.
All the bits were now done, so I started putting Herbie together by sewing up the head section first.
Next I took the plastic nose section and pushed it through the knitted fabric, right on the very point of the nose. Then I turned the head section inside out and pushed the metal ring over the protruding nose piece. It needs to be pushed as far as it can up to the back of the plastic part of the nose, the effect being to actually stretch the knitting at the end of the snout, giving it a more realistic shape. I felt that just embroidering the nose and eyes would not give the face as much character as I wanted it to have.
The eyes need to be a little bit more considered, as where you place them can give your hedgehog a completely different expression. Probably the best way is to put a small amount of stuffing into the end of the nose first to pad out the face, then play around a little, pushing the eyes through the stitches until you create an expression you like. You can then remove the stuffing to put the backs onto the eye pieces to fix them in place. The head stuffing can then be replaced.
I then sewed from his head to about half way along his tummy, and also from his bottom (the cast on edge) towards the middle, leaving a gap to put the stuffing through.
Everyone will vary, according to their own preference, as to how much stuffing to put in. I prefer stuffed toys to be quite firm, so I kept pushing more in until he felt quite sturdy but still with a bit of “give” when you squeezed him. So long as the stuffing in his head gives his face a nice shape and is well packed, it is not too critical with the body. Once you have stitched up the opening after filling, you can then adjust the shape a little, using your hands.
Once I was happy with his body shape, I then added the ears and the feet.
I started by playing around with the ears, facing them in both directions, to see which way they looked best, and, to be honest, they looked alright facing either. I ended up choosing to sew them on so that the “cup” shape faces forward. The ears are placed along the line of change in yarn, between the head piece and the body. Again, as with the eyes, the placement of the ears can create a totally different expression, so play around until you find a look you feel happy with.
I placed the feet on the underside of the body so that the toes can just be seen jutting out at the front when he is sat flat on his tummy.
This little fellow is a pleasure to knit and he could be the starting point for other variations. You could quite easily step the pattern up and make a slightly bigger version. You could also think about making him with a different filling – it could be dried beans or lentils, etc., to turn him into a “beanbag”. You could try some type of heavyweight tin/stone/piece of wood, etc, perhaps with some softer stuffing around it, to turn him into a doorstop! You could even try knitting him in a different type of yarn. One pattern, many options - all without too much thinking!
If you decide to have a go at making Herbie, I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. I’m sure my grandson will love him too!
I’m going to be bringing you another project in the very near future, and it will probably be one that has developed from things that I learned while making Herbie.
Looking forward to the next time
Anne x

Win Your Christmas Wishlist

This Christmas we have teamed up with the Sewing Directory to let several of you win your wish list to celebrate the festive season. 

With over 50,000 products to choose from you are sure to find plenty of sewing/quilting or craft supplies that you’ll want from the Minerva Crafts website.

How to Enter

To enter simply comment on this blog post letting us know what you would put on your wish list (up to the value of £100). You can choose anything you like from the Minerva Crafts website. 

You will need to create an account if you don't have one already to be able to leave your comment. This will tell us your name and address, so we can send your prize out to you straight away should you be one of the winners!

3 people will be chosen at random to receive the goodies on their wish list! It’s as simple as that!

Terms & Conditions

3 winners will be chosen at random to win their wish list to the value of £100. 

If your wish list is over £100 Minerva Crafts will chose which of the items on it to send to you. 

If any of the products chosen by the winners are out of stock Minerva will contact you to choose a substitute. The prizes can only be shipped to address in the UK or Ireland. 

 All entries must be received by 6pm on Tuesday 22nd December.

Good Luck!


#POW Pattern of the Week - Kwik Sew 4027 V Neck Jersey Tops

The pattern for this weeks Pattern of the Week offer is a very easy jersey top. It's Kwik Sew 4027.
It could be made in silky jerseys for evening wear or cotton jerseys for everyday wear. On looking through the instructions I find they are very easy and straight forward. When sewing a jersey top most patterns tend to tell us to apply some tape to the shoulder seams to stop them stretching but these instructions go a stage further. The pattern suggests to use a 1 inch wide piece of iron on interfacing and apply it following the cut edge of the back neck and shoulder piece. My thoughts on this are as follows;
Option 1 would be to use your pattern piece and cut round the neck and shoulders edge then take off the pattern piece and cut 1 inch in to the interfacing to the same shape. This would 'fit' and be ready to iron on and you wouldn't have to 'fiddle' to get it to fit round the neckline. This picture off the pattern instructions leads you to believe that this is what they have done;
Option 2 would be to use vilene iron on bias tape. It is always handy to have some of this tape in your stash both in black and white. Because this is a bias tape it curves round the neckline with ease and because it has a stitched line through the centre of it it will not stretch out of place.
As with many jersey patterns this one suggests to sew the shoulder seams and then insert the sleeve before sewing up the side seams, this makes for easy sewing.
My choice of fabrics for this pattern are endless but I have chosen 4 fabrics to share with you today.
This is a plain stretch jersey made up of 94% viscose and 6% spandex. The right side of this fabric shows a knit stitch and the wrong side shows a purl stitch. It is machine washable but I would suggest washing it before you cut it out then any shrinkages will occur then. If you have read my blog posts before you will know that I wash virtually everything before I cut it out. It is quite a silky fabric, drapes like a dream, at a very reasonable price and comes in lots of colours. Shown here in Fuchsia Pink;
This is a slightly heavier version of the above with even more stretch. It only comes in 4 colours but what fab colours they are. My favourite is the black as shown below;
This fabric is yummy yummy! It is described as natural, muted and subtle and thats exactly how I would describe it. Again it has plenty of stretch both ways so would be ideal for this top. I would wear a top made in this fabric with ivory jeans in the summer months or still find it easy to wear with darker shades of mushroom taupe or brown.
What can I say about this fabric. It has the WOW factor. It is a cotton and model fibre blend. It is described as having a beautiful artistic brush stroke design. It is quite stunning. This would look fab with black trousers or leggings and boots if you make the longer version.
As I said earlier there are endless jersey fabrics that we stock here at Minerva that are suitable for this design, why dont you have a browse and tell me your favourites.
Until next time fabric friends!
Annette x

Sirdar Noah's Ark Knit-Along Part 5 - Hatty & Hector Hippo!

MEASUREMENT To centre Back 12.5cm (5in) 
F071 Snuggly Baby Bamboo shades 158 (A), 148 (B), 170 (C) 1 50g ball each 
or shades 159 (A), 109 (B), 155 (C) 1 50g ball each 
1 Pair of 3¼mm (UK10 – USA3) Knitting Needles
Beg beginning, cm centimetres, mm millimetres, in inches, k knit, p purl, inc increase, rem remain, rep repeat, st(s) stitch(es), tbl through back of loop, tog together. M1 make 1 stitch - pick up loop between last and next stitch and work into the back of this loop. st-st (stocking stitch) 1st Row. Knit. 2nd Row. Purl. Rep last 2 rows.
(Worked in 1 piece commencing from back end) Using A cast on 26 sts. 
Working in st-st (throughout) and stripe sequence of 4 rows A, 4 rows B and 4 rows C. 
Proceed as follows:- 
Next Row. Knit. 
Next Row. Purl. 
Next Row. (K2, m1) 5 times, k6, (m1, k2) 5 times. 36 sts. 
Next Row. Purl.
Next Row. Inc in 1st st, k16, m1, k2, m1, k15, inc in next st, k1. 40 sts. 
Next Row. Purl. 
Next Row. Inc in 1st st, knit to last 2 sts, inc in next st, k1. 42 sts. 
Next Row. Purl. 
Next Row. K20, m1, k2, m1, k20. 44 sts. 
Next Row. Purl. 
Next Row. K4, (m1, k1) 4 times, k13, m1, k2, m1, k14, (m1, k1) 4 times, k3. 54 sts.
Next Row. Purl. 
Work 16 rows without shaping. 
Next Row. K24, k2tog, k2, k2togtbl, k24. 52 sts. 
Work 3 rows without shaping. 
Next Row. K4, (k2tog) 4 times, k11, k2togtbl, k2, k2tog, k11, (k2tog) 4 times, k4. 42 sts. 
Work 3 rows without shaping. 
Next Row. K18, k2togtbl, k2, k2tog, k18. 40 sts. 
Next Row. Purl. 
Next Row. K2tog, knit to last 2 sts, k2tog. 38 sts. 
Next Row. Purl. 
Next Row. K2tog, k14, k2togtbl, k2, k2tog, k14, k2tog. 34 sts. 
Next Row. P2tog, purl to last 2 sts, p2tog. 32 sts. 
Next Row. K2tog, knit to last 2 sts, k2tog. 30 sts. 
Next Row. P2tog, purl to last 2 sts, p2tog. 28 sts. 
Next Row. K2tog, k9, k2togtbl, k2, k2tog, k9, k2tog. 24 sts. 
Next Row. P2tog, purl to last 2 sts, p2tog. 22 sts. 
Next Row. (K2tog) 11 times. 11sts. 
Next Row. Purl. 
Next Row. (K2tog) 5 times, k1. 6 sts. 
Break off yarn and thread through rem sts and fasten off.
Sew side edges of body together working towards the cast on edge and stuffing as you work along. Fold cast on edge in half and close.
Using B, working in st-st (throughout), cast on 16 sts. 
Next Row. Purl. 
Next Row. Inc in every st to last st, k1. 31 sts. 
Next Row. Purl. 
Next Row. K5, (m1, k1) 5 times, k12, (m1, k1) 5 times, k4. 41 sts. 
Next Row. Purl. Work 12 rows in st-st. Break off B and join in A. 
Next Row. (K2tog) 20 times, k1. 21 sts. 
Next Row. Purl. Break off A and join in C. Work 6 rows in st-st. 
Next Row. K2, (m1, k1) 6 times, k5, (k1, m1) 6 times, k2. 33 sts.
Work 6 rows in st-st. 
Next Row. K1, (k2tog) 16 times. 17 sts. 
Next Row. P1, (p2tog) 8 times. 9 sts. 
Break off yarn and thread through rem sts and fasten off.
Sew side edges of head together working towards the cast on edge and stuffing as you work along. Place seam central to cast on sts and close.
LEGS (Make 4) 
Using C, cast on 18 sts. 
Beg with a knit row, work 4 rows in st-st. 
Break off C and join in B. 
Work 6 rows in st-st. 
Break off B and join in A. 
Work 4 rows in st-st. 
Next Row. * K3, m1, rep from * to last 3 sts, k3. 23 sts. 
Next Row. Knit. 
Next Row. K1, (k2tog) 11 times. 12 sts. 
Next Row. Purl. 
Next Row. (K2tog) 6 times. 6 sts. 
Break off yarn and thread through rem sts and fasten off.
EARS (Make 2) 
Using B cast on 7sts. 
Beg with a knit row, work 4 rows in st-st. 
Next Row. K2tog, k3tog, k2tog. 3 sts. 
Next Row. P3tog. 
Fasten off.
Sew head to gathered end of body placing head slightly to one side. 
Sew ears to top of head as illustrated. Using grey work French knot for eyes with a straight stitch to either side of the knot. Work 2 straight stitches for the nostrils as illustrated. Cut 8 lengths of A yarn 30cm, (11¾in) long to make a twisted cord tail. Make a knot at the end and cut straight. Fasten to top of cast on edge of Back. Cut 8 lengths of yarn 10cm, (4in) long and fasten together, sewing to centre of head to form tuft. Trim to allow 2cm, (¾in).
As always, please share your finished makes with us!
Bye for now,
Vicki x

#FabricFriday - Dogtooth!

Hello again. How quick do the weeks roll by! 
This week I've chosen dogtooth for my theme for #FabricFriday.
Dogtooth or houndstooth check designs are available in lots of different types of fabric although it originated in the lowlands of Scotland as a woven wool cloth. It is characterized by broken checks or abstract pointed shapes and is most often in black and white or black and cream. It first appeared in the 18 hundreds and was used for workwear. By the 1930s it had become a fashionable fabric and seems to be reinvented every 20 to 30 years
My first choice of fabric is a very traditional fabric as photographed above. This fabric is 70% wool and 30% other fibres. This fabric would lend itself quite nicely to the following patterns; 
First on my list would be Vogue 9137
This is a basic coat pattern with design D being the easiest. If I was making this coat I would cut the side panels on the cross. This would look really effective and also would eliminate having to match the checks! I quite like the idea of design C having the lapel in black and to compliment this the side panels in black. 
High on my list of patterns would be McCalls 7014.
Garment A on this pattern speaks for itself with the pockets being cut on the cross. 
For more of a challenge Vogue 9099 comes to mind. This is a tailored garment with a lot of work in it but it has to be said that Claire Shaeffers instructions are brilliant. Incidently the fabric used on this pattern is sometimes refered to as puppytooth!
My second choice of fabric is this lovely medium to heavy weight jersey in black and ivory as shown above. 
A classic pattern that comes to mind is McCalls 7016
View D is the obvious choice and how about using Dill button 390156. Love these buttons!
Again like the coat pattern the lapel could be done in black. 
Jersey dogtooth check has been used really well in Burda 6847
They seem to have used a metal open ended zip. Now my choice would be a chunky plastic zip in black to go with a black collar. I do like my black contrasts dont I haha! 
My last two pattern suggestions for this jersey fabric are Simplicity 1072 and McCalls 7244. 
Both of these give a hint of what dogtooth would look like. The simplicity one is such a simple skirt I love it, dare I mention black again... yes I would wear it with a jumper of this colour! The McCalls is a fabulous dress with very few pieces. Years ago a near circular skirt would never have been made with a fabric that had an obvious horizontal design but hey anything goes these days and I do think it looks really good.
My last choice for #FabricFriday is from our quilting range. This is 100% cotton and comes in quite a few colours.
At first glance most people see the white shapes but on closer inspection you see the black scottie dogs. How cute is that? 
For this fabric I have chose Kwik Sew 4083
I think this fabric would really suit this and guess what - black panels. 
My second choice is McCalls 7014 again but this time design C. 
With all of the colours in this fabric you could choose a co-ordinating plain cotton for the side panels. You thought I was going to say black panels again then didn't you? 
Last but not least Ive just been looking at McCalls 6936 and thought yes a bag would be great. 
I think I would have to do a bigger bag with all the junk I carry round though. Most craft patterns for accessories around the home would suit this fabric.
Please let me know how you have used your dogtooth fabric!
Bye for now
Annette x

Introduction to our new Guest Blogger

Hi there. I’m Anne Hall and I work at the Minerva Craft Centre in Darwen, Lancashire.

I have always been fascinated by anything to do with colour, so just looking at shelves full of coloured wool or fabric every day is a real treat.

Ever since I was a little girl I used to love colouring in, either drawing my own pictures or competing with my three sisters to see who could be the best one at keeping in the lines in our colouring books! It must have been genetic, as my mum was exactly the same, she always enjoyed the wonder of colour and how it could lift your spirits!

However, it wasn’t just colour. She also had a great love for all things creative, whether it was drawing, painting, gardening, knitting, crocheting, sewing, or decorating.

We were lucky that our mum did not have to work when we were little. As a result I, and my sisters, were encouraged to be creative from a very early age. This meant that we were given the “tools” to be able to pursue various hobbies and pastimes which we have enjoyed throughout our lives.

Before I was eight I could knit and sew, and I remember using my mum’s Singer treadle sewing machine to make clothes for my, and my sister’s, Sindy dolls. By the age of ten, my grandma had also taught me how to crochet.

So, when my mum bought her first wool shop when I was twelve, I was so excited to be able to choose some wool to start my first “grown up” project! I remember it was a mustard coloured sweater, and, if I made a good job of it, was promised more wool to go with it to make the matching skirt. Needless to say, from then on I was hooked!

When I was fourteen, mum took on a bigger shop. We now had even more choice – we were so lucky! I distinctly remember at the time, that ponchos had appeared on the scene - and I just had to have one. This time it was a crochet project and I made it in a gorgeous apple/lime green - I wore it for years, only giving it up when they went out of fashion. Surprising how things go in cycles, isn’t it - they’ve been very popular again recently.

Over the years I sewed for my children when they were little and knitted them many a cardi, jumper, hat, scarf, etc. For a period I actually designed my own knitwear and tapestry designs, selling them at various craft fairs. After that life changed a bit - my husband and I had our own business for 22 years, unfortunately not to do with yarn and fabric (but it did involve colour in a different way – it was an art shop!). Putting so much time into that meant I didn’t have much left for sewing, knitting or crocheting anymore!

So, when life moved on another big step and I came to work at Minerva, it was a kind of “coming home” for me. To see, and work with, all our beautiful yarns and fabric is a real pleasure. The yarns have moved on so much since my mum had her shops, and the choice of fabrics today is just mouthwatering!

I’ve already completed a number of my own projects, but I have now been asked if I would like to share some of my ideas and working methods with all you lovely people who enjoy our Minerva Blog. What I will be aiming to do is provide you with some food for thought over the coming months.

My “problem” has nearly always been, that whatever pattern or project I look at, I always seem to think “ Well, I like that idea, but what if I did this to it?” or “ I wonder if you did that with it, would it work?” or even being as drastic as taking an item in one medium and converting it into another, such as using the shape of a fabric garment and recreating it as a knitted or crocheted one. So, over the years, I have tended to take something as a starting point and then give it my own twist. Hopefully, by taking you step-by-step through various projects, and explaining how I have looked to alter, expand and enhance them with my own interpretations, you may be able to see how you can start to do something similar yourself!

I hope that through the coming months, I can help you to gain the confidence to look at some of your own projects in a new light. I look forward to bringing you my first post very soon,

Bye for now,

Anne x


Free Christmas Baubles Crochet Pattern from Sirdar

If you love Christmas, you are going to love today's free crochet pattern. Sirdar have just released this free leaflet showing you how to make your own Christmas Baubles to decorate your tree this year.
The design is quite simple to make and very pretty. Sirdar have designed the pattern to be made in Sirdar Soukie Yarn, which is the perfect choice for Christmas because this yarn is decorated with sequins. Those sequins will really sparkle and catch the light on your tree.
As you can see from the picture below, Sirdar have made theirs up in a variety of colours and you can pick your own to tie in with your chosen colour theme this Christmas - will it be traditional or quirky? I also like the idea of making these baubles in one solid colour to create a bold statement on your tree.
You will need;
A 3.5mm crochet hook
1-4 colours of Sirdar Soukie Yarn (or an equivalent Double Knitting yarn)
An 80mm Polystyrene Ball for each bauble you make
20cm of Ribbon for each bauble you make (go as fancy as you like!)
Here's the pattern instructions;
If you decide to make any of these, please dont forget to share pictures of your makes with us on our social media pages!
Bye for now,
Vicki x
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Pattern of the Week McCalls 6449 - Slippers & Booties

Well we're slowly creeping towards full blown winter, so what better time to have a Slippers and Booties sewing pattern as our POW!!
A well rounded selection of the cosiest footwear for your poor chilly toes!
Starting low leg, these remind me of those nifty slippers you get when you go to a spa, so I can really see these in a towelling fabric
Specifically our Chunky Towelling.
Moving up to the ankle bootie, these are more shoe-based but with really fun contrasts I wouldn't go for the sensible fabric just yet! Maybe a funky Fleece fabric?
Movin' on up! Why not get animalistic with some Faux Fur Fabric? I'd be temped by our Animal Velboa Fabric for some Cruelty Free Cruella DeVille Chic!
This next Turnover pair are crying out for a contrast lining! Our Sherpa fleece is single sided so is purr-fect for lining these fold over booties.
Rising high above the rest we have these stunning high leg booties with great contrasts and toggle button detailing! Our Crendon Flat 'Tooth' Shape Toggles would be flush with the side of he boot (helping prevent any trips!) and teamed with some leather cording and a Faux Suede these will really stand out around the house!
So that's this week's POW! I feel like curling up under a blanket with Hot Chocolate already!
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Katie B x

Fabric Friday - Back to Basics!

I thought I would go back to basics this week for fabric Friday. We sometimes forget what a versatile fabric polycotton is. The colour range in plain colours is huge with 36 colours to choose from! 
It washes well and is superb for Children's garments. I think this is why school children's shirts and blouses are mostly made out of polycotton. 
Think of holidays! I know its winter but come January we'll start thinking about our holiday wardrobe. Little shift dresses, sarongs, bandanas, shorts and long trousers. Polycotton would be ideal for any of these and don't forget how little room they will take up in your case. Another ideal reason to sew in polycotton especially for children, is the cost. As we all know our children grow so fast!
Another huge range of polycottons is the gingham fabric range. Now two things immediatly come to mind when I think of gingham. No 1 Back to school again - school dresses. I wore them all through primary and secondary and must admit quite liked them. Wait for this though mine were in brown!!! These days they only seem to be worn in primary but don't they look smart. Again very easy to wash. No 2 is old english tea rooms with gingham tablecloths. They look so fresh and clean with white teapots, white cups and saucers, gleaming cutlery and a small vase of fresh flowers. What a lovely picture in my mind! Again very easy to wash. There are different sizes of gingham we stock at Minerva Crafts...1/8", 1/4" and 1" as follows...
I think gingham has become very popular for Christmas makes over the last few years. My lovely friend Helen has made lots and lots of gingham/xmas fabric bunting for us to sell to raise money for Macmillan nurse in our craft centre.
This does lead me on to Christmas polycotton fabrics I have put them to good use this year by making a couple of cushions and also a cover for one of the stand chairs in our shop. 
If you don't want to pay too much for your Christmas projects (it may be that you like new fresh ideas each year) then polycotton is for you. 
Last but not least polycotton is an ideal fabric to use for a toille. I used lots of it when making my daughter Vicki's wedding dress earlier this year. I did make quite a few toilles as you may remember from my blog posts!
Have a good think what you could make from polycotton, the list is endless. And as always, don't forget to share your makes with us :)
Until next time,
Annette x

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