View all the latest fabrics to arrive at Minerva Crafts... Click here »

Need help? Contact us on 01254 708068 from 9am til 5pm Monday to Friday

POSTS PER PAGE: 3 | 6 | 9 | 12

0 Comments

Q&A with Katie Betty of Crafty Crafter

Meet Katie Betty from Crafty Crafter...

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

This is going to sound like a cliche, but I've genuinely been crafting for as long as I can remember. I loved doing art in primary school, learning about new things, different artists, and using new and old materials. I think my first big crafting memory is begging my mum to buy me some clay! I had to give her a full brief on what I wanted to make with it each time I wanted to use it before I was allowed to cut into it, clearly it cost quite a bit but my mum soon saw it was worth every penny. I have a really good memory of doing Cross Stitch that my Grandma has bought me with her one afternoon when I was about 8 or 9. It felt great!  I could see the image appearing before my eyes. Lots of little bits coming together to make something amazing. Admittedly my Grandma's cross stitch was a stunningly intricate landscape and mine was Tigger but I was proud of it nonetheless! I always admired my Grandma's needle work so I felt I was being accepted into the fold when she taught me. In terms of sewing, that was from the age of about 5. My mum taught me to sew on our manual Singer machine. so I was told off a bit for sewing with only one hand when I got to secondary school! As much as I loved sewing I dropped it at school as soon as I could. It was too structured and boring! I took Food Technology instead (Home Economics) as I could be more creative. 

What is your favourite craft?

Omph! What a question. I think it would have to be Jewellery Making. I really like taking random objects and making them into wearable things! Like taking images from magazines and setting them into cameos. I do love my Comic Book Bottle Cap necklace! Second to that would be sewing. It's quick enough for me to stay interested. I really do love crocheting but it takes so long to actually look like what you're making! Though it is very therapeutic.

What was your first sewing project?

With exception to the slipper I made in year 5 (it was so good it went in the display cabinet in the school reception, o yea!) my first proper project would be converting my black flared jeans into skinny jeans. I was big into the rock scene as a teenager, and you weren't anyone if you didn't have a pair of black skinnies! Couldn't afford to buy any so I took a pair of flared jeans, turned them inside out and used my little sister as a tailors dummy. I wore them to death and they lasted me aaaaaaaaages. 

What do you love most about sewing?

Taking something ordinary and making it mine! I have an eclectic taste in almost everything in my life and that certainly extends to my wardrobe. My home growing up was very much a make-do-and-mend household. We didn't throw something away just because it got a hole in it! So my sewing career, if you will, really started there and then evolved into customising my clothing. All band shirts when I was younger were cut for males, so I'd take them in, stuff like that. Now, as a trainee sewist, not only do I enjoy making something truly my own from beginning to end, I really enjoy learning how my clothing is put together. Growing up in a town founded on the cotton industry it's in my blood and I truly have a feeling of closeness with people of the past by learning this most basic, almost forgotten, yet fantastically essential skill.

What made you decide to start blog about your sewing and crafting?

I'm quite open with the fact I have stress, anxiety depression and crafting really helped me through a particularly difficult time. I only ventured out of the house to go to work, I couldn't leave the house to do my hobbies, so I really indulged in my crafting because I could have things delivered to my door and I didn't need to leave the house. I was supporting my partner and I on a part-time wage at that time so I had to be crafty with my crafting (now you can see where my blogger name comes from :D). Then I started work at Minerva and Vicki and I shared an office. We spoke about this a lot, and how I managed to sustain my hobby through this time and my little tricks, and she invited me to be part of the Blogger Network as she thought it was a very interesting aspect on crafting. Unlike the other members of the network I had only just started my own blog so I thought I'd give it a shot! Sharing hints and tips about crafting and learning new skills on a budget. Every body loved it! I didn't think anyone would really bother about things I had to say, but the support I've had is fantastic. I still think I talk nonsense but people seem to read either way!

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

It's alright, I guess......oh who am I kidding I LOVE it! The highlight of my time as a blogger to date is most defiantly the big meet up in June 2014. I was scheduled to be working in the office that day, so when Vicki and Phil asked me to lend a hand in store on the day I was over the moon! My job was to document the day as the photographer, so I got to see all the workshops, chat with customers and visitors, learn new things, listen to all the talks and I got to meet a lot of bloggers from the rest of the Minerva Crafts Blogger Network. It was simply amazing, it was like meeting my heroes and I was not disappointed! What was really fun, was giving the other bloggers a sneak peek in our warehouse. Their faces lit up like kids at Christmas! They had never seen anything like it. It really enforced in me something I'd always sort of knew. That at Minerva, as a blogger and member of staff, I am part of something unique and truly great!

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

Super Glue, Seam Ripper, Pliers! 

What are your favourite fabrics to sew with any why?

I'm really enjoying working with Taffeta at the moment! It's really crisp and gives fantastic structure. The way it looks gives a really great finish, but without the slip and slide of some sheer or slinky fabrics that you generally tend to go towards for something special.

What are your favourite yarns to knit and crochet with any why?

Bamboo Cotton! All the way. It's so smooth and lovely. How it feels on the ball is great, and made up the texture is brilliant. You can see it's composition of each stitch clearly and has a slight sheen sometimes that just emits a subtle glow. Lovely. 

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

Customers. I'm in a very privileged position with my job in that I get to talk to crafters all day, everyday, so I get a great insight into how people are using the products I see everyday. Disney's Frozen gave us a great look into how people worked and improvised with what was on offer. It also gives us opportunity as crafters to use our talents to answer queries and solve problems. My personal favourite was a customer who was making a replica Batman costume! We discussed in great detail exactly which Batman he was working on, the best fabric for this (our faux leather was bob on), and how best to cut the panels to make the most of the fabric. He sent us images of the finished product and it was great and definitely inspiring. 

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

Jewellery Making is most definitely my 'other' craft. It's taken a side-line as I'm learning dressmaking and enhancing my sewing skills, but I'm constantly thinking "oo, that would look great on a necklace!" 

Are there any other crafts you would love to learn?

I would love to delve into wire work within jewellery making. I have a gorgeous ring that my colleague in the office made and I love that such beauty can be made from such hardy things as pliers and wire! 

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

As one of my favourite comedians would say, "Gan for it, Pet!". I would recommend it highly. Even if all you learn is to do a running stitch or sew on a button (which is harder than people say, I tell you!), it's well worth it. It's a useful skill in general, but it really boosts your self esteem being able to do these kind of things! It may be considered "old fashioned", but it's a true skill. I personally don't think it's old fashioned, but if you're still unsure, I'm a thoroughly modern person but sometimes you just have to kick it old school! Also, in the event of a zombie apocalypse you're going to be worth your weight in gold if you can make and fix clothing. It's not old fashioned, it's a post apocalyptic life skill!

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

A Bit Odd!

If you had to pick an crafting item/tool to describe your style of crafting, what would you pick?

A kilo bag of scrap fabric! We had this chat in the office one time, and the laughter that arose when I said this was hilarious! Everyone agreed whole heatedly and I'll always wear my scrap fabric heart on my sleeve ;)

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

0 Comments

Question and Answer with Sam of Stiched Up By Samantha

Meet Sam from Stitched Up By Samantha...

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

I've been making things for as long as I can remember.  My mum and Granny both knitted and my mum also made clothes for herself and me and my sister, so I was always used to seeing people doing those crafts.  I think I must just have asked if I could try them myself!  We also used to do a small amount of sewing at school.

What is your favourite craft?

Sewing, mainly dressmaking but when I'm in the mood I love to do some free motion embroidery.

What was your first sewing project?

My first memory of sewing is stitching curtain fabric samples together that my mum's friend gave me.  I don't know if they ever became anything, so I'm not sure you could really call them a project.  I also have memories of a blue sweatshirt dress I attempted to make in my early teens - without a pattern.  It didn't turn out particularly well!

What do you love most about sewing?

I enjoy the actual process of sewing, but what I really love is that I can make myself something that no one else has - and that fits me better than anything I could buy.

What made you decide to start blog about your sewing and crafting?

I'd been reading sewing blogs for a year or so before I started my own.  I realised that I was doing the same things, and having the same issues as these bloggers and thought that starting my own would be a good way to connect with like minded people.  At that time I didn't know anyone in my "real life" that liked to sew or craft.

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

I'm really enjoying it.  Everyone at Minerva is lovely and so helpful and again, its a great way to connect with others.  It's also allowed me to discover bloggers I might not have done otherwise.

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

My seam ripper, my iron (much as I hate ironing, it make such a difference to a project) and my recently discovered Chaco chalk pen.  It's a revelation!

What are your favourite fabrics to sew with any why?

I like to sew with knits if I fancy a quick project and I find that they fit well into my everyday wardrobe.  If I want to take my time over a project I like to use a nice drapy crepe de chine or viscose fabric. 

What are your favourite yarns to knit and crochet with any why?

Probably a wool/cotton blend of some sort.  I like something soft that doesn't itch for clothing, but I also like it to be reasonably easy care.  I'm not a fan of handwashing knitted items.

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

All kinds of places!  Sometimes I look for gaps in my wardrobe that I need to fill (I'm currently lacking in trousers, so I need to work on getting a well fitting trouser pattern sorted out), although the missing item has to be something I actually want to sew as well.  I probably wouldn't make plain t-shirts etc, as they are so easy to buy. I also look to fashion magazines and designers for inspiration, as well as other bloggers.  Sometimes I'll just see a sewing pattern and decide that's what I really want to make next.  Other times I'll fall in love with some fabric and have to find a pattern for it. 

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

I enjoy knitting, particularly in front of an open fire on winter evenings and occasionally I crochet.

Are there any other crafts you would love to learn?

I would love to learn silversmithing/jewellery making and fashion illustration, although the latter isn't really a craft.

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

Just go for it.  As someone said to me recently - it's only fabric!

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

Attention to detail. 

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

0 Comments

Question and Answer with Louise of Sew Sensational

Meet Louise from Sew Sensational...

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

I've been crafting since before I learnt to speak! My Christmas lists as a child always consisted of various craft kits out the Argos catalogue and I've collected ribbons, buttons and embellishments for as long as I can remember. Having been crafty from such a young age, my inspirations were most definitely Art Attack and Smart!

What is your favourite craft?

I dabble in everything and I love to learn new things - sewing, knitting, card making, needlefelting, cross stitch, bead work - I've tried them all, though my favourite crafts are definitely sewing (both dressmaking and homewares) and card making.

What was your first sewing project?

Gosh that's a difficult one! I think the first project I ever made for my blog was a cushion cover from the Cath Kidston Sew book.

What do you love most about sewing?

The escapism and the satisfaction of creating something incredible from just a few materials.

What made you decide to start blog about your sewing and crafting?

It was the summer of 2010, I'd just graduated from uni, I was living at home and I was working full-time at HMV whilst I tried to find a more permanent job role. These uninspiring conditions made me want to do something more fun with my time - I love writing and I love crafting, so the blog was founded!

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

It's great! Choosing a project for each month is so much fun and I love hearing people's reactions when they see what I've made. Hopefully I've inspired at least one person to pick up a sewing needle and give it a go - I started at the very beginning with dressmaking so if I can make things, so can you!

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

My sewing machine (obviously), my thread tin and my never-ending supply of buttons!

What are your favourite fabrics to sew with any why?

I like to give anything a try but you can't go wrong with a lovely cotton lawn - it's so soft and easy to sew with. I also love the look of chambray though it does crease very easily!

What are your favourite yarns to knit and crochet with any why?

I've only recently delved into the world of knitting so I love a good chunky yarn that knits up quickly and is nice and cosy. Crochet is a craft I'd love to get into but daren't start because I don't have room in my house for any more hobbies!

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

I check in to Bloglovin every single day to read everyone's sewing blogs - there are so many out there (all are brilliant) and they're a great source of inspiration.

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

Yes - all of them! I've recently discovered knitting and I also love making birthday cards, cutting and sticking things and almost anything that lets me make something new.

Are there any other crafts you would love to learn?

Crochet! I'm just afraid that once I start I won't be able to stop and it'll be yet another craft that takes over the house...

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

Ahh how flattering, thank you! To beginner bloggers my advice is to write about what you want - don't worry about what everyone else is doing or you'll spend week after week comparing yourself to them and wishing your blog was as good as theirs - when it already is! My advice to beginner sewers/crafters is to be determined and not give up if things go wrong - trial and error is a fantastic way to learn and I stand by that.

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

A determined, versatile homemaker!

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

0 Comments

Violet Is A Bad Girl by A Stitching Odyssey

Earlier this week Marie from A Stitching Odyssey tweeted me about the latest post on her blog. So I hopped over to take a look and was greeted with an amazing project...all made from our fabrics!
Take a look at what Marie has been making...
I absolutely love everything about this dress. It is flattering where is needs to be and is very wearable. I could see myself wearing this to work or when out meeting friends. An everyday dress I could dress up or down defending on the occasion.
You have to see it up close though to appreciate just how cool this dress it! Look at the detail...
As you can see the main dress has been made up from our wine coloured fleck jersey (unfortunately now out of stock but you can find similar here!) and the yoke panel at the top in our quilted stretch jersey. Marie opted for the glossy black (unfortunately now out of stock but you can find similar here!) which really creates the 'biker chick' look she was going for! It also some in some other scrummy colours.
I love everything about this dress. A huge thanks to Marie for letting me share this post here on the blog and of course for creating such a wonderful garment in our fabrics. To read more about this make and to visit Marie's blog (which I strongly advise you do!) please click here.
Bye for now,
Vicki
0 Comments

Question and Answer with Erin of Seamstress Erin

Meet Erin from Seamstress Erin...

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

I've been crafting as long as I can remember. My mom is an avid maker-of-things and kept me entertained as a kid by surrounding me with craft supplies.

What is your favourite craft?

Garment sewing is my obsession. But any time that I'm not actively sewing clothes and accessories I'm knitting, doing needlework, or crafting something!

What was your first sewing project?

I've been sewing so long I honestly can't remember my first sewing project. My mom sewed my clothes when I was young and I would help her by trimming threads and pulling pins. I remember the first time I sewed without a pattern and on my own and I managed to come up with a horrendous pink polka dot mini skirt that I adored!

What do you love most about sewing?

Sewing speaks to my need to make things. I love that I can directly see how the more time I put in, the better a product I get out. There is always something new for me to learn and a way for me to challenge myself and build my skills. And I get to wear totally unique, well fitting clothes!

What made you decide to start blog about your sewing and crafting?

I was working on my Ph.D. in biochemistry when I first started blogging about sewing because I needed a way to share and connect with others who had the same urge to craft and create since my peer group and daily life didn't have those connections.

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

I am honored and thrilled to be a part of the Minerva Crafts Blogger Network. Vicki and the rest of the company are sweet, supportive, and understanding. And of course I've loved the yarn and fabric!

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

Seam ripper (unfortunately), dressmakers shears, my pink tape measure.

What are your favourite fabrics to sew with any why?

I generally all-around love fabric, so it's hard to pic a favorite! I have favorites for specific garments, favorites for specific seasons, favorites for specific occasions, but you'd be hard pressed to find a fabric that I didn't like in one way or another. I have an especially soft spot for natural fibers because of how easy they are to work with.

What are your favourite yarns to knit and crochet with any why?

I love wool and usually prefer to knit 100% wool yarns. I'm also a sucker for a good sock yarn.

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

I love knitting, needlepoint, cross-stitch, embroidery (pretty much anything that involves needles!).

Are there any other crafts you would love to learn?

I can't think of a specific craft that I still want to learn, but I love learning new things, so I'm totally game if something new does cross my path.

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

Dive in. Give it a go. Allow yourself to learn by doing and be gentle on yourself when you make mistakes. Don't measure yourself against people that have been sewing for years since they've had many years to get where they are. Measure yourself against where you started and take pride in your mistakes since each mistake teaches you something new.

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

0 Comments

Question and Answer with Winnie of Scruffy Badger

Meet Winnie from Scruffy Badger...
When did you start crafting and what inspired you to start?
I have always been a crafter - it would be hard not to with a Mum like mine, who turned her hand to everything from dressmaking, breadmaking, knitting, tapestry and go-kart making. She used to have a 'make it cupboard' under the stairs where she would store powder paints, egg boxes, washing up liquid bottles, clay, loo rolls....I am a classic child of Blue Peter too, and remember the Cindy hairdressers I made following their instructions using yoghurt pots, cereal packets and of course sticky back plastic. That pre-dated the legend that was Anthea Turner's Tracy Island too ....
What is your favourite craft?
Sewing by far.
What was your first sewing project?
I can't remember that far back, but I do remember that the first outfit I made myself with a sewing machine was a circle skirt and matching top from a proper commercial pattern when I was about 10.
What do you love most about sewing?
I love that I can turn inspiration into reality through the power of needle and thread (& awesome fabric!)
What made you decide to start blog about your sewing and crafting?
I started blogging as a way to record what I was making now that I had more time on my hands with the growing up of my children.  I was picking sewing back up again and had been so inspired and excited when I discovered blogs, that being a blogger was an added element of excitement to my own making.  
How are you liking being part of the Minerva Crafts Blogger Network?
I love being part of the Minerva Crafts Blogger Network - it's a friendly little inspiring community with every reason to talk sewing and crafting, and with the opportunity to try out some of the vast range from Minerva's store - what a plum! And last summer, visiting Minerva's store and meeting Vicki and her family after so many emails was so nice, but I was also thrilled to meet some of Minerva's regular customers too, which was humbling. Of course, the whole thing felt like a party with so many other bloggers there too. 
What 3 sewing or craft items/tools could you not live without?
My Sewing machine and my overlocker - I love them both and could not sew without my sewing machine, but equally, love my overlocker so much, sewing without it would be miserable!
And the third thing?  Hmmm.  That could possibly be a cleverly shaped unpicker that i have with a brilliant pointy end that is great for turning corners ...
What are your favourite fabrics to sew with any why?
Knits every day hands down.  I love sewing knits because I love the way the fabric behaves & the kinds of garments you can make from them in a relatively short space of time.  And generally you can make things that look pretty smart, or at least 'neat' whilst feeling super comfy & then they are also generally easy to care for - if I can avoid ironing I do.  And of course, knits=overlocker=happy badger.
What are your favourite yarns to knit and crochet with any why?
I'm not a super experienced yarn user, but I do like Rowan yarns, having made both a cardigan out of the Rowan tweed which was lovely - nubbly texture and gorgeous depth of colour. I also used some that had a merino element in the most fabulous colours to make a shawlette...
What/who do you go to for inspiration before you start sewing and crafting?My inspiration comes from all over and at all times.  I love using Pinterest to keep track of what I see online, on other sewing blogs, on Pinterest itself, or general out & about curiosity.  But if I wanted to be inspired I would look back in time to the 50s and 60s ....books, magazines, photos and films....
Are there any other crafts that you enjoy doing other than Sewing?
I am trying to knit....and really enjoyed knitting a scarf for my Dad for Christmas in a herringbone stitch (simple & satisfying!)
Are there any other crafts you would love to learn?
Stained glass - it's all about the colour for me :-)
As you have inspired many others in the past to start sewing and crafting through your blog and Social Networking sites, what would you say to other potential sewers who may want to give it a try?
I would strongly urge anyone interested in sewing to give it a go.  There are all sorts of different ways to learn, with inspiration and support everywhere.  Most sewing / fabric shops / craft shops offer great beginners' workshops that you could try to see if sewing is for you, when your initial outlay is the cost of the workshop and maybe a few materials.  If you get bitten by the bug, there are so many great books, websites and classes to help you progress, but don't forget  that most sewing patterns tell you what level of skill is needed and there is a wealth of sewing patterns aimed to help you learn, you want to take it one project at a time.
Could you sum yourself up as a crafter in 3 words?
Colourful, happy, hooked
Here are just some of Winnie's makes and see all Winnie's posts from the Minerva Crafts Blogger Network;
0 Comments

Giveaway with the Sewing Directory

We have teamed up with Fiona from the Sewing Directory to bring you a fantastic giveaway this Christmas! One lucky winner will receive this whopping selection of quilting supplies and fabric, worth over £250!

The prize includes all of this:

OLFA 12" x 18" (30cm x 40cm) Cutting Mat

OLFA 45mm Rotary Cutter

OLFA 6" Quilting Template Ruler

Annie's Attic Jelly Roll Quilts Book

Annie's Attic Learn to make a Foundation-Pieces Quilt Book

McCalls Home Decoration Patchwork Quilt pattern for a quilt and cushions

Sew Easy Tonal Estimator Tool - Colour and Tone Guide

Clover pack of Wonder Clips

Sew Easy Template Marking Pencil

Sew Easy Quilters Glass Head Pins

Hemline Quilting Needles Size 9

Clover Quilting Needles Size 10

Clover Finger Presser

Clover Mesh Layout Transfer Canvas Sheet

Elbesee 8" Wooden Quilting Hoop

Over 4 metres of Timeless Treasures Quilting Fabric in assorted designs and colours

Timeless Treasure Tonga Treats pack of 40 10" squares of fabric - in bright 'Lollipop Colours'

Timeless Treasure Tonga Treats pack of 40 10" squares of fabric - in soft muted 'Meringue Colours'

So to enter all you need to do is visit the Minerva Craft’s Blogger Network which is full of ideas and inspiration from top bloggers and have a look at the posts. Then head to the Sewing Directory website and fill in the competition entry form telling Fiona which of the posts is your favourite.

All entries must be received by 6pm on Tuesday the 13th January 2015. For full terms and conditions please visit the Sewing Directory website.
Bye for now,
Vicki
1 Comment

#SewingSanta

A while back now in October I saw a tweet about an idea Lisa from StitchedupfromtheStart had for Christmas. A Sewing Santa! The idea was for people in the sewing blogging world to sign up and then we would all be sent a giftee (chosen completely at random) from all those who signed up to take part.
Lisa's idea came from reading this post from Sylkotwist, and seeing all the wonderful haberdashery she was given for birthday gifts this year. It made her wonder if anyone in her life would buy her anything for her sewing hobby. And the answer was no. I think this is true of lots of people really. My family is different as my mum and eldest sister both sew, but I know lots of our customers who come to Minerva and they don't have anybody (friends or family) who share in their sewing hobby, so they certainly never know what to buy them. And more importantly they wouldn't be able to choose a gift specific to their tastes or sewing styles. 
So, all this got Lisa thinking and she came up with the #SewingSanta idea. It's the sewing bloggers’ answer to Secret Santa…except not necessarily secret as we can all thank each other for our gifts once we have opened them after Christmas. I love the idea of choosing a sewing gift for somebody that is really tailored to what they love. And of course, Im so intrigued and looking forward to the gift that someone buys for me. 
So I contacted Lisa straight away in November. When I first emailed Lisa I checked it was ok for me to take part (coming from a company that sells all these products), but Lisa was thrilled for me to take part thank fully and funnily enough is just around the corner from us - small world isn't it! I received an email a few weeks later with the details of the person I was buying for. I spent a good few evenings reading through this ladies blog ( I will reveal after Christmas who I was buying for). I had never come across her blog before, so it was really nice for me to look through all the different garments she had made in the past and see what type of fabrics she likes to sew with. After much deliberation I think I have chosen something she will love. But something she will be able to use and wear. It was really hard to narrow it down. In the end I think I could have spent 10 times my £10 budget, but choosing the best present for just £10 was all part of the fun and the challenge. I sent off my gift in time for the Christmas post, so hopefully my giftee has received her present by now. 
These are links to the people that have taken part this year;
This morning I have received my gift in the post. I have four individually wrapped parcels! Four! On the little tag attached there was a lovely little note and it revealed my giftee was Megan. I'm guessing its Megan from PigeonWishes. Thank you so much for my gifts Megan, I'm going to save opening them for Christmas Day...if I can resist temptation!!

Thanks to everyone who took part this year, I hope even more people take part in #sewingsanta 2015!

Buy for now and Happy Christmas everyone,

Vicki

0 Comments

Little Girls Icicle and Christmas Dress

Oh my goodness...have you seen this months issue of Love Sewing magazine??
A little while ago Helen (the lovely editor of Love Sewing magazine) contacted me about an idea for a project. It sounded fantastic! Helen wanted to create a little girls party dress along an icicle theme and a traditional Christmas theme. I loved dressing up as a girl. I didn't need any excuse to wear a party dress or something fancy, whatever the occasion! So this idea really appealed as here must be lots of girls this Christmas who would love to dress up in either of these dresses - I imagine the icicle dress will be the most popular thanks to Disney's Frozen.
So we sent off the fabrics needed to make these two beautiful dresses and the hugely talented team at Love Sewing magazine got to work on creating these dresses. I love them. They have kept them simple enough to make, so you don't need masses of sewing experience to put either of these together, but the little touches make these dresses extra special. I think simply the choice of fabrics make the icicle dress adorable. Who wouldn't love to dress up in this satin-sequin-chiffon dress-come-cape as a little girl and pretend to be a princess for the day? I also love the white fur edging used on the traditionally theme Christmas dress.
Anyway, enough talking, here's the pictures of what they've created...
And here's the project shown in the magazine (pg 46);
If you would like to have a go at making either of these dresses, first grab yourself a copy of Love Sewing and here's the materials list you will need;
Icicle Dress
Liquid Satin Fabric in Turquoise
Sequins Fabric in Turquoise
Cationic Chiffon in Turquoise
Christmas Dress
Pale Gold Gloss Finish Satin Fabric
Holly Print Christmas Satin Fabric
This project has made me feel all Christmassy - it's definitely that time of year! :)
Bye for now,
Vicki
0 Comments

BHL Pattern Testing - The Sabrina Dress!

Hello Everyone!

Its been a while! I hope you have had a great summer. I've been very lucky in having two holidays this summer. The first to Florida with one branch of the family and the second to Lanzarote with another branch of the family. What with holidays, hosting the Minerva Crafts Meet Up event back in June and launching our new website you can imagine I haven't had much time for blogging these past weeks.

Talking of our new and improved website, you may have noticed that the Minerva Crafts Blog (that you are reading now) has been designed now as a place for myself and my daughter Vicki to blog about our personal sewing projects, plus 101 other things to do with Minerva Crafts and the crafting world in general. And of course we fully intend to blog each month again for the Minerva Crafts Blogger Network - our projects have been sorely lacking recently - must do better!

Part of the plan with the new-look for the blog is for Vicki and I to blog more often about our personal crafting projects - so we will be writing this blog together, with both of us contributing posts that we hope you will enjoy reading. We have some very special sewing coming up soon with Vicki getting married next year. Between us we are making Vicki's wedding dress, 5 bridesmaid dresses, my outfit as mother of the bride and various other things for the big day. So keep tuned on the blog for this!

Since we last spoke we now have our very own sewing/craft room at work! We absolutely love it! We are so lucky to do the job that we do. Having this room at work will allow us to bring you more projects to inspire you to get sewing, knitting and crafting. In the job we do we are constantly surrounded by products, people and ideas that inspire us. We hope to share some of that with you and hopefully inspire you too. We will show you a little guided tour of our new craft room in a future blog post - promise!

Another section to the newly-designed Minerva Crafts Blog is a category for ''. Now this only came about recently when the lovely girls at By Hand London got in touch and asked if either Vicki or myself would like to be pattern testers for their new PDF pattern 'The Sabrina Dress'. Well, I jumped at the chance! I havent used a BH pattern before. We've stocked them for a while now here at Minerva and I've been itching to give them a go ever since they landed. I know Vicki has too - in fact shes already got herself a copy of the Anna pattern.

Anyway, back to the Sabrina. It is a simple styled dress with princess seams. There are two variations. The first is a button up style with rouleau straps. I imagine this as a super sundress in a soft cotton fabric or linen. 

The second is a high neck, sleeveless dress with a centre back zipper. The possibilities with this pattern are endless. It could be your new 'little black dress' or it could be worked in a sumptuous sequin fabric, made longer and you would have a beautiful evening gown. Then with a little bit of alteration to the front and back piece you could make the button up front sundress into a zip up back sundress and the high neck zipped dress into a button or zip up front - so many options!

Here's the line drawings for the two styles;

I have chosen to make the high neck zip up back dress to start with. I have gone for this lovely ponte roma jersey fabric in plain black for the side panels and a black and grey floral patterned ponte roma for the front and back panels.

Like I said I haven't used a BHL pattern before so was very pleased to see their instructions are really very easy to follow. This was my time using a PDF download pattern too. I must say I do definitely prefer the speed of paper sewing patterns as opposed to PDF's, but it wouldn't stop me using one again if a PDF was my only option. I like the little comments they add on the BH patterns such as when joining the princess seams they state, "The curves of the dress front are trickier to ease, so take your time and use plenty of pins!" - so helpful for beginner-sewers.

Here are a few photos of the making process;

I particularly like the way they have described how to make the rouleau straps, although I havent made this style (yet!) I still read all the instructions when pattern testing.

On fitting my dress I realised I didn't actually need a zip as the pattern suggests because the fabric is stretchy enough to be able to get the dress on without one.

The only difference I made in cutting out the dress was to make it one inch (25mm) longer, I wanted the length to be on my knee, not above it. And so I did my usual stretch stitch hem. As I've mentioned in other posts in the past, I stitch the hem and then trim right up to the stitching and the hardest part of this is that it could be so easy to snip into the dress fabric.

I decided on using Applique Scissors this time which have quite funny-looking blades. 

They are described as a Duck Bill blade which keeps the lower layer of fabric away from the upper to allow close cutting in applique work. Why haven't I used these scissors before for my hems? They are amazing! I felt quite comfortable cutting very close along my hem and the result was brilliant.

Hope you like the finished dress. I wore it to go for a meal for my birthday. We had a lovely night and I think you always feel good when you're wearing a dress you've made.

Until next time,

Annette x

POSTS PER PAGE: 3 | 6 | 9 | 12