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Make your own Elsa Winter Princess Dress

Minerva Crafts have teamed up with Sew Magazine to bring you this enchanting Winter Princess Dress project! This enchanting outfit is sure to set your little girl's imagination alive, with its sequinned bodice and layered tulle skirt. Its super easy to stitch too, so can be whipped up for an impromptu fancy dress party or dress-up session! The top is an embellished plain white vest and the skirt features a simple gathered waistband. She'll feel like a true princess!
Here are all the materials you will need (plus a plain white t-shirt and a copy of Sew Magazine!);
Bye for now,
Vicki
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Round up of the Minerva Crafts Meet Up Event - 14th June 2014

Thank you to everybody who attended the Minerva Crafts Meet-Up! It was a fun packed day filled with activities for every type of crafter! Almost 400 people came on the day - it was fantastic to have such a great turn out! Thank you to everyone who came.

We held 3 Workshops, 4 Demonstrations, a Guest Speaker, a Presentation, a Craft Quiz, a Competition, a Prize Draw and a Golden Ticket Treasure Hunt.

The demonstrators where working tirelessly all day showing various techniques to attendees of the event;

Sue demonstrated Bag Making Techniques.

Hayley demonstrated the range of proggy craft kits and tools.

Denise demonstrated Sew Easy patchwork and quilting templates.

Claire demonstrated the fabulous new range of Eliza M and Sew Simple sewing patterns.

At 9.30am we held a Crochet Workshop and everyone who took part learnt how to make a Shopping Bag.

Next Vicki made her introduction to the day explaining all the activities we had planned

Put Video in here

Then Karen Ball of didyoumakethat made a fantastic speech about the perfect sewist and took questions from all who attended.

Claire Louise then taught us how to make a Cover Button Necklace!

Next up we held a Crafty Quiz...

The results where marked on the day, please see the winners of the quiz below

1st Place - Alison Chapman

Joint 2nd and 3rd Place - Debbie Smith and Jacqui Smith

There was also a day in the life presentation by the girls at By Hand London

At 3.00pm we held a felting workshop where everyone made a Felted Christmas Bauble

We also held a competition where each entrant stuck a VOTE FOR ME sticker on their garment and you then voted for your favourite and runner up by sticking a yellow star or a pink star sticker on the garment. Here are some pictures of some of the entrants...

At the end of the day the results for the competition where counted and the winners where as follows...

1st Place - Cindy Mellor

2nd Place - Pheobe

3rd Place - Louise Zborowski

4th Place - Samantha Gill

5th Place - Gina Pau

6th Place - Jacob

The prize draw was drawn by our lovely helper Pheobe, and the winner of this £600 prize was Miss Lorna Figures who traveled all the way from Edinburgh to be with us on the day!

And of course all the lovely ladies from the Minerva Craft-Daft Group helped with all the free refreshments - a huge thank you to them.

Thank you to everybody who took part in the Competition and who attended the Minerva Crafts Meet-Up, it was absolutely fantastic to see such a huge turn out of lovely ladies, gents and children.

The evening dinner party for the Minerva Crafts Bloggers allowed us to see all their amazing creations - what do you think to these gorgeous dresses! More details of each dress will be revealed on the Minerva Crafts Blogger Network over the next couple of weeks so keep tuned!

It was such a fantastic day and evening - one that I will never forget! 

Thank you so much to everyone who came along and to all of our helpers on the day!

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Free Pattern: The Sublime Jasmine Lace Wrap

Measurements
Wrap (approximately) when pinned out - 40 x 150cm (15 /4 x 59in)
Materials
x 2 25g balls of K022 Sublime Extra Fine Merino Lace - Shade 396 Jasmine

You will also need 1 pair of 4mm (UK8 – USA6) Knitting Needles for the main knitting (or the size required to give the correct tension). 1 pair of 5½mm (UK5 – USA9) Knitting Needles for casting on and off (or a needle 3 sizes larger than you use for the main knitting).

Tension

Don’t worry too much about the tension of your knitting for this project - most accessories can stand to be slightly bigger or smaller than intended. This wrap has been pinned out under quite a lot of tension as part of the finishing process. Doing this opens up the fabric beautifully and really shows off the stitch patterns. Once pinned out to (approximately) the sizes we’ve given, you can either gently steam the work or cover it with damp cloths and leave them in place until they are dry. Whichever way you choose to finish your work, it will be transformed by the process.

Abbreviations

  • cm centimetres
  • g grammes
  • in inch(es)
  • k knit
  • mm millimetres
  • rs right side
  • st(s) stitch(es)
  • tog together
  • ws wrong side
  • K2tog insert the right hand needle through the 2nd and 1st stitches on the left hand needle and knit them together to form a single stitch
  • Psso pass slipped stitch over – pass the slipped stitch from the right hand needle over the stitch or stitches you have just worked
  • S1 slip 1 stitch knitways – insert the right hand needle into the next stitch as if to knit but just slip it off onto the right hand needle without working
  • Yfwd bring yarn to front between needles then take yarn over the top of the right hand needle to form a stitch.

Circle the size you wish to make

Wrap

Using your larger needles and thumb method cast on 83 sts loosely . Change to your main needles and work in stocking stitch for 10cm, (4in), finishing after a ws row.

1st Row. (this will be the right side of work – rs ) K19, (s1, k1, psso, yfwd, k4, k2tog, yfwd, k1, yfwd, s1, k1, psso, k3) 3 times, s1, k1, psso, yfwd, k20.

2nd and every Alternate Row. Purl.

3rd Row. K20, (yfwd, k2tog, k2, k2tog, yfwd, k3, yfwd, s1, k1, psso, k3) 3 times, yfwd, k2tog, k19.

5th Row. K19, (s1, k1, psso, yfwd, k5, yfwd, s1, k2tog, psso, yfwd, k4) 3 times, s1, k1, psso, yfwd, k20.

7th Row. K20, (yfwd, k2tog, k3, k2tog, yfwd, k1, yfwd, s1, k1, psso, k4) 3 times, yfwd, k2tog, k19.

9th Row. K19, (s1, k1, psso, yfwd, k3, k2tog, yfwd, k3, yfwd, s1, k1, psso, k2) 3 times, s1, k1, psso, yfwd, k20.

11th Row. K20, (yfwd, k2tog, k4, yfwd, s1, k2tog, psso, yfwd, k5) 3 times, yfwd, k2tog, k19.

12th Row. Purl.

From 1st to 12th row forms the pattern. Work 360 rows more in pattern.

Work in stocking stitch for 10cm, (4in), finishing after a ws row.

Cast off loosely using your larger needle.

To Complete

Pin out wrap to the measurement given and cover with damp cloths until dry. See ball band for washing and further care instructions.

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Stretch Bias Binding

Stretch Bias Binding is the best haberdashery find for me in years! Have you ever looked at a shop-bought garment before and thought 'why cant we buy stretch bias in haberdashery shops - it must be available because it is used on garments in shops?'

I certainly have and had wondered for years why it wasn't available to buy off the roll. So here at Minerva Crafts we set about finding it and have brought you three different types, all of which are the perfect finishing touches for your stretch fabrics - you may have seen some of them being used in episode 3 of series 2 of the Great British Sewing Bee TV programme.

In the photos below I have shown you a sample piece of each of the three different types of Stretch Jersey Bias Bindings we stock. 

Cotton Stretch Bias Binding

This is my favorite stretch bias to use. It is a knitted 100% cotton jersey bias and lends itself beautifully to cotton and viscose jersey fabrics. It is beautifully soft and will drape well with your soft drapey jersey fabrics.

Satin Stretch Bias Binding

Our satin stretch bias is the ultimate, luxury finishing touch. Made from 100% polyester, this bias has a beautiful finish with a subtle shine - perfect for adding edges to garments for special occasions or on fabrics with a satin finish.

Lycra Stretch Bias Binding

This is our lycra stretch bias. This is the most economical bias in the range and as the name suggests, it is superb for using on lycra fabrics and is perfect for finishing leotard's!

I cannot recommend stretch bias binding enough! It is a fantastic product that enables you to bind stretch fabrics with a professional looking finish - a binding that will stretch with your fabric. It opens up so many more possibilities with all your stretch fabric sewing projects!

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Question and Answer with Kathryn of Yes I Like That

Meet Kathryn from Yes I Like That...

When did you start sewing and what inspired you to start?

I started sewing as an adult about 7 years ago. I was taking a fabric screen-printing class, and I wanted to make something with all the designs I was printing. Before that I was strictly a knitter.

What was your first sewing project?

It was very simple bag based on the ‘Jordy Bag’ tutorial from Craftster. A legendary tutorial from THE big internet sewing hub back in the day. I learnt a lot from that forum!

I did actually sew a bit back when I was a teenager too, I remember making a brown polyester pinafore dress which I was very proud of, and a 60s style dress out of curtain fabric that was so stiff it could stand up on its own. But my Mum helped so much with these projects that I’m not sure if they count as my own work…

What do you love most about sewing?

 Seeing badly made, over-priced clothes in the shop and thinking ‘I could make that’ (although I rarely get round to it, but that’s another story)

What made you decide to start blog about your sewing?

 When I started sewing there were hundreds of knitting and quilting blogs, but hardly anyone was writing about sewing. I remember googling for a Peter Pan collar tutorial and getting one measly result (try doing that now!). Then all of a sudden around 2007, the dressmaking community online exploded, with loads of new blogs springing up. I crammed my Google Reader full of every blog I could find, and learnt so much about sewing and new patterns and new techniques. Eventually I thought I might as well join in.

How are you liking being part of the Minerva Crafts Blogger Network?

It’s completely brilliant! When the parcel with my projects arrives it feels just like Christmas. Thank you Minerva!

What 3 sewing or craft items/tools could you not live without?

Wonder Tape, which is double sided fabric tape that dissolves in water. I can’t sew without it. It’s the lazy woman’s answer to basting.A sewing gauge, I only got it last year and I’m not sure how I managed before.My overlocker, which is a Brother 1034D. It makes seam finishing and knits so ridiculously easy. God I love it.

What are your favourite fabrics to sew with and why?

 I love sewing with rayon and drapey crepes, because the result always looks so professional and RTW. I do like cotton for tops, but it creases so much on skirts that it drives me mad. I’m also a big fan of sturdy knit fabrics, like ponte and double-knits. They are so forgiving for fitting, but still have lots of structure.

What/who do you go to for inspiration before you start sewing?

I have a Pinterest board (http://www.pinterest.com/kathryngr/clothes-and-that/) where I pin clothing with interesting details and colours, it’s a brilliant reference tool. I get lots of inspiration from sewing blogs too. I love the style of Four Square Walls (http://foursquarewalls.blogspot.co.uk/) Handmade by Carolyn (http://handmadebycarolyn.blogspot.co.uk/) Crab & Bee (http://crabandbee.com/) What Katie Sews (http://whatkatiesews.net/), Charity Shop Chic (http://charityshopchic.net/), and lots of others. I also spend hours browsing Net-a-Porter and mywardrobe.com to see what kind of details RTW garments have.

It’s easy to sew something that you would never actually wear, and I’ve made my fair share of these garments. So I’m trying to think about my style in a more considered way this year.

Are there any other crafts that you enjoy doing other than Sewing?

I still enjoy knitting although I am extremely slow. It has one key advantage over sewing in that you can knit while watching TV. I took a foundation course in textile art a few years ago but hardly ever do any drawing or arty stuff now, I’d love to get back into it.

Are there any other crafts you would love to learn?

One day I will learn to quilt, if only to start using up the mountain of scraps I have accumulated. However, I suspect quilting would actually mean acquiring many MORE fabrics for my stash, so I’m putting it off for now.

As you have inspired many others in the past to start sewing through your blog and Social Networking sites, what would you say to other potential sewers who may want to give it a try?

I really, really hope I have inspired people. I’d say to any new stitchers that sewing isn’t easy, but it is massively rewarding. Also, the things you make will never match up to the vision in your head, but that’s okay. It’s all about trying to close the gap a bit.

I have a post about sewing inspiration here - http://yesilikethat.wordpress.com/2013/02/06/sew-grateful-week-making-things-and-mountain-climbing/

Could you sum yourself up as a sewer in 3 words?

Lazy, experimental, irregular!

Here are just some of Kathryn's makes and see all Kathryn's posts from the Minerva Crafts Blogger Network;

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Interview with Crafty Magazine

Hi everyone,

This week we were contacted by the lovely people behind Crafty magazine to do a mother-daughter interview. They were interested in mum-daughter teams working in the craft industry (turns out there's quite a few of us). We thought you might like to read our interview...

- What led you to set up your business?

(Vicki) The company was founded by my mum Annette with the support of my dad Phil. My mum has always been a fanatical knitter, dressmaker and embroiderer which is what inspired Minerva Crafts. I have lots of memories of my mum sewing and knitting when I was a young child and I was always encouraged to join in and make things.

- How long has it been running?

(Annette) We opened in 1998 - so we have worked together for almost 16 years now! There have been a lot of changes in that time. We started off as a traditional needlework shop in Lancashire and over the years we have expanded into so many more ranges including 1000's of fabrics, sewing patterns, haberdashery, knitting yarns, crochet supplies, card making, and so much more that we need a 24,000 sq ft warehouse and shop to fit it all in!

- How did you two come to work together?

(Vicki) It started when I was young. My mum would be working in the shop on Saturdays and my dad always took my younger brother to football, so my Grandma used to babysit for me. One week she couldn't, so my mum took me with her to work. From that day on I was hooked and went to 'help' out at the shop every week without fail. As young as I was at 8 years old, I remember priding myself on being able to help customers. I loved everything about the shop. I worked every Saturday and summer holidays and then when I started going to secondary school I even went down on the bus every night to help out.

- What's it like working with Vicki?

(Annette) Vicki absolutely loves her job and it shows. She is probably the most enthusiastic, driven, dedicated person you could meet...definitely a workaholic. She pushes the business forward with so many exciting ideas and new initiatives and it is a pleasure to work alongside her - most of the time anyway!

- And what's it like working with Annette?

(Vicki) I count myself as one of the luckiest people in the world. I have a job that I love and I get to work alongside my family every day. Some people would hate this, but I love it. I have always been really close to my mum and we have a really great working relationship. I wouldn't change working with her for the world.

- Is it hard leaving the business behind when you go home?

(Vicki) It really is. When you have so many ideas buzzing around in your head it is almost impossible to go home and not continue working. My mum is better at this than me and does manage to shut off every now and then. I will get there one day. I'm lucky enough to consider my job as my hobby so much of the time it doesn't really feel like 'work' anyway!

- Who's responsible for what at work?

My mum takes care of the Minerva Craft Centre store and is our resident craft blogger! I look after the online side of things. It  works out well as I'm more technically minded than my mum is, and she is great in helping customers face to face and giving knitting and sewing advice.

- Who's the bossy one?

(Vicki) Its me! I know it is! I like to think of it that I'm the one that's gets things done and makes things happen - my mum would just tell you I'm bossy! Its quite funny you ask this - for my birthday earlier this year a friend of mine made me a sign to put up in the office at work which says 'I'm not Bossy, I just have better Ideas'. It really made me laugh - its not just my mum that thinks I'm bossy :)

- What's the secret behind working with your mother/daughter?

(Vicki) Its quite hard to say really. Because I have always worked with my mum I suppose I don't really know anything else. I think if you both have the same drive, motivation and the same principles, then you will succeed.

- Do you ever feel you need a bit of space, working in such close proximity to one another?

(Annette) Not really. You do get some days where we can be a bit stressed and wish the days were elastic so you could fit in everything you need to do, but its not often I feel I need space from working together.

- How do you separate work and home life?

(Vicki) Not very well! Our hobbies are sewing, knitting and a lot of other crafts, so even when we have some down time, in effect we are still working as we share all our personal projects on the Minerva Crafts Blogger Network on our website.

- Has working together changed your relationships with one another? Has it made you closer?

(Annette) I would say it has made us closer. We spend so much time together that if we didn't get on really well then it wouldn't work.

- What advice do you have for other mother-daughter business teams?

(Vicki) You have to both love what you do and be equally committed and focused. Even though you work together, you don't have to be in each others pockets every single day. Share the tasks between you that need to be done so each person has their part to play.

- What crafts do each of you do?

(Annette) I have enjoyed knitting and dressmaking for over 40 years and these are the two crafts I always come back to. I do enjoy a spot of crochet and cross stitch and have recently got into needle felting!

(Vicki) When I was younger I was lucky enough to do a BTEC in textiles at college, a degree in embroidery at Manchester Metropolitan university and then a masters degree in Design, so I have been lucky enough to be able to try so many different crafts and really push the boundaries with what you can do with different techniques and processes. Nowadays I still love hand and machine embroidery, but I also love Knitting and Sewing. My mum is such a good knitter and dressmaker so she is always on hand to help me develop my skills and learn new things!

- Whose idea was it to do the workshops? Who do you get involved to run them?

(Annette) It was a joint decision really. The Minerva Craft Centre is such a huge space (approx 5,000 sq ft) that it would have been a shame not to introduce a workshop program and craft groups. We have had a great response to them over the last couple of years, so much so that we now run 3 Minerva Craft Group meet ups every week! We run two crochet workshops alternatively every week and these are run by two fantastic ladies - if you don’t catch the crochet bug off these two I don’t think you ever will!

- What's your Mother's day message to your mum?

(Vicki) The best way to show you care is always with something handmade. I know my mum always really appreciates anything I have ever made for her. I will have to think of something special for Mothers Day.

- What's next for Minerva Crafts?

(Vicki) We are always working to improve our service, grow our product range with new and exciting lines and develop our website, and this will continue in 2014. Last year we launched the Minerva Craft Club and it has been an exciting development for us which rewards our regular customers old and new with great savings, a free membership to our Swatch Club and a VIP invitation to the Minerva Craft Club Christmas Party in December and Minerva Crafts Meet Up in June. We have had such an amazing response so far and we would like to take this opportunity to thank everybody who has signed up.

Bye for now,
Vicki

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Question and Answer with Rachel of House of Pinheiro

Meet Rachel from House of Pinheiro...

When did you start sewing and what inspired you to start?

I’m a creative and energetic person by nature. Sewing is an outlet that found its way into my life by chance. I always loved it but the feeling wasn't nurtured as creative arts as sewing isn’t very valued in Brazil. People mostly sew by necessity to obtain or reinforce their main income. It seems to be changing slowly and I really hope one day we can have a strong community like we have in the UK and USA.

What was your first sewing project?

 My 1st taster was an evening adult class in Sept 2009 . I made a denim skirt { simplicity Cynthia Rowley 2512} and never looked back. Christmas that year My fellow bought me a sewing machine and I been stashing fabric and notions even since.

What do you love most about sewing?

Besides escapism from the mundane, the opportunity to use my hands and get an outcome from my hard work. It feels go to go though the creative process of picking your materials and adapting the design to suit your personality and lifestyle. I love the social aspect of it and how many fiends I have made thought my sewing journey.

To thank the sewing community during Christmas I will release a free sewing pattern, the Brasilia Dress.

What made you decide to start blog about your sewing?

 I used to connect with others via forums and having a blog was a natural progression.

How are you liking being part of the Minerva Crafts Blogger Network?

 I’m trilled because I have connected with the people behind the business. It was lovely to meet in person a darling family, eager partner with its customers to help and encourage more people to take part. Being behind the scenes made me see all the hard work. Thanks for having me!

What 3 sewing or craft items/tools could you not live without?

 A good (that mean sharp) pair or scissors and rotary cutter

Tracing wheel & wax paper

My pincushions, I have grown quite a collection.

What are your favourite fabrics to sew with any why?

Cotton sateen ,viscose and wool. Easy to work with and I love the range of colours and textures available.

What/who do you go to for inspiration before you start sewing?

 When I start a sewing project I have only a vague idea of what I want and during the process that I develop ideas and make changes. I would say my closet is my main inspiration. Things I need and would like to replicate as starting points.

Are there any other crafts that you enjoy doing other than Sewing?

 Oh, Baking. Yumm Yummm...

Are there any other crafts you would love to learn?

 Im a very slow and beginner knitter. I wish I was better.

As you have inspired many others in the past to start sewing through your blog and Social Networking sites, what would you say to other potential sewers who may want to give it a try?

 Be yourself, don’t follow trends. Sew what makes your heart beat faster.

Don't be scared of mistakes. Its an integral part of learning and the seam ripper is your best friend. I have spent many nights undoing things but learned a great deal.

Join the conversation by commenting on things you love. Show your support to others and they will do the same with you.

Could you sum yourself up as a sewer in 3 words?

Experimental,social and fun.

Here are just some of Rachel's makes and see all Rachel's posts from the Minerva Crafts Blogger Network;

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