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#PatternoftheWeek - Vintage Style Butterick 6284

There is so much at the moment about vintage. Wether it's sewing, knitting, crocheting (70's especially). It's up there at the moment very trendy!
In March McCalls launched "The Big Vintage Sew-along". There are 20 patterns involved in this sew-along and the aim is for you to join in the sew-along fun. Share your vintage sewing experiences and photo's. There are vintage workshops and Tea Parties up and down the country and all information can be found at
18 of the best sewing bloggers are involved, quite a few of whom write blog posts for us here at Minerva. One such blogger is Amy Thomas who is not only a member of the Minerva Crafts Blogger Network, has her own fantastic blog named Almond Rock but is also the Editor of Love Sewing magazine. If you get chance have a look at Amy's blog. I love how she has shown us her sewing room. Like her I am very lucky to have a dedicated sewing room both at home and here at Minerva. I will say mine does not look as pretty as Amy's but there are some fab ideas there, I think I may pinch some!
And so with vintage style in mind, our #patternoftheweek here at Minerva for this week is Butterick 6284. We have 50% off this pattern for one week only!
This is a vintage inspired pattern which I would say is probably late 50's, early 60's. This dress has a Dolman sleeve, which means the front sleeve and front bodice are all one piece, the back sleeve and back bodice are all one piece and joined at the shoulder with one seam that goes all down the arm. 
Just look at the shaping within the top part of the dress. The centre front is smooth and the side fronts (even though it is all one piece) are gathered on to it. I would imagine this to be a very flattering style for most people. Look at the shape of piece 1. Once you've got your head round the shape, everything looks straightforward with this pattern. 
And now for some fabrics, mmmmm where should I start. As shown on the pattern, flowers look the part on this style dress don't you think? But equally many of the cotton prints have a retro look to them and therefore would look fab in this style. Again it gives you this look on the pattern. My first choice is a beautiful stretch cotton fabric. This is described as "Fabulous for your summer wardrobe, the 'Firenze' stretch cotton collection offers stunning prints on to a top quality fabric. Stretch Cotton is perfect for making dresses, tops, shirts, skirts and more and the small amount of lycra content gives this fabric that little bit of stretch which, whilst is still very easy to sew and handle, offers you great comfort whatever style of garment you choose to make!" 
I would describe this as "A vintage look with a modern twist"
And remember if you are pretty new to sewing and you make a teensy weensy mistake, a very busy floral will hide it!! 
This next fabric has just been listed on our website literally a few days ago, hot off the press so to speak. I am stunned, how gorgeous is this? 

Our description is "This beautiful linen and viscose blend is very soft and drapes very well. It would be lovely for making summer skirts and dresses. This floral design is ever so pretty with shades of purple, turquoise and gold."

Another 'hot off the press!!' is this cotton lawn fabric, check out the brown and grey...and this yellow is pretty amazing too!

If you are a girly girl or just fancy being ultra feminine this next fabric fits the bill.

It is so pretty with all the pink hearts in different patterns. This is a cotton poplin and will sew up perfectly for this dress. Just be careful though if you have a little girl or granddaughter. They are going to be exceedingly jealous!! 

For something a little more retro looking I have chosen this beautiful cotton poplin fabric;

It comes in 2 shades. I love the one above but for those of you who prefare a little more colour version B is a little brighter.

If you're feeling a little quirky or maybe I'll change that to "a lot quirky" how about standing out in the crowd and make this dress in our jigsaw print polycotton fabric. WARNING wear your sun-glasses before looking at the following photo!!!

I presume there will not be many of us about to make a dress in this fabric (send me a photo if you do, I would love to see it). I've just mentioned it because I want to...and I kind of wish I was daring enough to sew/wear this haha! This is the first time we have had a jigsaw design in polycotton, we have a fleece fabric in a jigsaw design that is very very popular for us here at Minerva but lets face it fleece isn't suitable for every sewing job so its great we now have this versatile polycotton.

And now after that mad moment I will end today with yet another newbie. Check this gorgeous fabric out;

This is a light weight stretch cotton sateen fabric. Take a look at our fabric video of this fabric, you really get a feel for the fabric watching how it moves and handles. The black and white dogtooth check design is bold and striking and perfect for creating a monochrome look for your wardrobe. This is a fabulous addition to our range, lets face it dogtooth checks are usually limited to woolens aren't they? 

And sew I will leave you today with this...

If someone tells you that you have "enough" sewing supplies and don't need anymore, stop talking to them. You just don't need that kind of negativity in your life haha!!

Thanks for reading!

Annette xx


#FabricFriday - Fabrics for Cardigans

Well I am a busy bee at the moment. I'm knitting, crocheting, sewing and blogging and not enough time to spend on each! I am sure you will know where I'm coming from. I'm still crocheting the bag I was telling you about last week. This is one of the squares that make up the front or back;
I'm thinking of lining it in a bright yellow and putting a zipped pocket in it. What do you think?
Another project is a cardigan/jacket for myself. I'm knitting this Sublime Knitting Pattern in a grey pure wool.
For my granddaughter Jess I am sewing a top from Burda pattern 6850  in a soft sweatshirt fabric
In between all these I've been knitting/crocheting for our latest granddaughter due in May.
And apart from all these I am blogging on Vogue Pattern 8430  which I mentioned in a #FabricFriday a few weeks ago.
And so here I am, dare I say relaxing at the mo with my laptop in front of me about to start telling you about some wonderful fabrics for this weeks #FabricFriday!!  I've been looking at McCalls 6802 for a while now and I love how they have got 4 completely different looks from the same pattern pieces.
Version A has been made from fleece. I think it would look fab in Mini Leopard Print Fleece Fabric.
The casing around the waist, which will hold the cord is made by applying bias binding along the waistline. Stitching along the bottom and the top of the binding and just threading the cord through. The hood is made from the same piece as the front facing and all the edges are just turned under and stitched. Easy peasy! Version C is more of a cardigan style and I think it would look fab in this Fabric. This is a beautifully soft stretch towelling effect fabric. It is a medium weight and due to the nature of the construction of this fabric has a little give.
I love how the pocket is sewn on. The lower edge of the pocket is sewn on to the hemline.
The pocket is then folded up towards the front piece and the outside edge of the pocket is edge stitched onto the front piece and the inner edge is sewn within the facing seam.
I am now looking at version B. This is cut from the same pieces as version A but with 3/4 length sleeves and no casing around the waist. On this version the pockets have been inserted in the side seams but you could still use the pockets of version C if you want. This fabric is one of my favourites (even though I haven't sewn in it yet) and the mustard is my favourite shade. It is available in a few pretty shades but I will warn you it is a clearance fabric so won't be there long - a few colours have sold out already. It is described on our website as a gorgeous quality stretch polyester, viscose and lycra jersey fabric. Perfect for tops, dresses, skirts and more. This fabric is constructed from two layers, the base layer is a stretch jersey and the top layer is a decorative knit with stunning intricate detail. It is a medium weight with a lovely drape and handle. Easy to sew so great for beginners! On my next photo I have tried to show you the double layer of the fabric and I think you'll agree it looks a perfect weight for this pattern.
Up to a few weeks ago we had the perfect fabric that looked like version D. Unfortunately it was a clearance one and now it has all gone but not to be beaten I searched till I found this gorgeous striped jersey fabric.This is described as a lovely quality stretch jersey fabric made from a viscose blend which results in an ultra soft and smooth finish. The fabric has quite a lot of stretch in all directions making it good for sewing patterns that require all way stretch fabrics and it drapes really well. The stripe is approximately 25mm (1") wide creating a dramatic effect, especially the black and ivory. It is a light-medium weight which would be lovely for making summer dresses, skirts, tops, wraps, sarongs and more. Machine or hand washable. We recommend sewing this fabric with a ballpoint or stretch needle to avoid skipping stitches. 
As you can see from my next photo I have chose the orange/marl grey (limited stocks now sorry) and the ivory/marl grey. The orange one, so nice for summer and the ivory just perfect at any time.
Now I seem to have come across a problem! It could be I've missed something but at the moment I've read and re-read the instructions and I do think there is an error on version D. The cutting out instructions are showing us to cut two of piece 7 (this is the collar/front section) thus giving us one piece for each side. On the sewing instructions they are not telling us how to finish this collar/front edge off. If it was to be doubled like version C, then because of the shape of this piece we would have to cut out four of this piece, sew each set of two right sides together, turn them right sides out and then join the two raw edges to the neck and front edges of the cardigan. Surely if it was to be a single layer then it would have told us to hem the edge? For this reason I have double checked the fabric and although there is a right and a wrong side (as in knit side and purl side) there is no difference in colour so it could be used as a single layer. However I think I would make it a double layer and join it to the body following version C.
So hey ho although it is annoying when there is a mistake in a pattern, it is very rare thank goodness. Like I said I may have missed something, so if you already have this pattern and had no problem with it, please leave a comment, I'd love to know!
And sew fellow sewists remember "you can't buy happiness but you can buy fabric and that's pretty close" !!! 
Annette x
P.S. check out this vintage sewing blog post by Amy who is one of our fantastic bloggers on the Minerva Crafts Blogger Network!
These are the patterns Amy has made if you would like to take a further look at them; Vogue 9127Butterick 5209Butterick 6582 & Butterick 5748.

#PatternoftheWeek - Butterick 6033 by Connie Crawford

I have chosen for this week's pattern of the week Butterick 6033
Now at first glance I would imagine you are thinking "why has Annette chose that pattern. It's pretty much an everyday dress". I must admit version B is not very becoming to say the least but as is usual with me I like to look beyond the front cover! This pattern is designed by Connie Crawford exclusively for Butterick. She is well known in the sewing industry for creating patterns with a vast size range. This pattern is typical with a size range that covers sizes 3-4 right through to size 6x or 42w-44w which is bust size 66-68. Be careful there are two size ranges when ordering - the MISS size covers up to bust 42-43 and the WOMAN size covers from 44-45 to 66-68. All in all 12 sizes!!
I have a 2.5 metre piece of fabric in my stash that I would love to make in this pattern. It is a beautiful mix of 55% linen and 45% cotton and as you already know linen keeps you cool in the heat;
As you can see in the following photo this fabric does quite resemble the one used in the pattern. From that I know I will have a similar look.  
Apart from the terrific size range in Connie Crawford's patterns, she does give good advice on altering your patterns. She does say "The biggest difference between full-figured women is the arm proportions, with some figures having very thin arms, some having average fullness while others have a much fuller upper arm."  So to accommodate these differences we need to have narrower or wider sleeves and to accommodate these sleeves we do need to have smaller or bigger armholes. I would add to this that I personally don't have a 'fuller' figure but do have bigger arms. (That diet is beckoning!) And so these instructions do give quite clear instructions on altering the size of the armhole.
Some explanations of pattern alterations can be very hard to understand and sometimes say for just a small alteration on the cup size of a dress they can be very complicated. However the following photo shows Connie's alteration to a slightly smaller or bigger cup size. I think most of us could do these simple alterations, don't you?
The following photo shows this alteration being put into place. This would be better done at the toille stage.
This next photo shows alterations to the waist and hips, again best worked at the toille stage.
The last two photo,s from the pattern show the top-stitch detail that can be done on this dress. I must admit if it is quite a busy fabric like the one I have then my opinion is it does not need it. However if you use a plain fabric or two contrasting fabrics then top-stitching it would look pretty good.
Although this is quite a plain dress it is pretty stylish and would be suitable for most occasions. So yes my first choice would be a patterned linen! We have a brilliant selection of patterned linens but as I sit here typing away my daughter Vicki is listing hundreds (and I mean hundreds) of new fabrics for the coming season, of which there are lots of new linens and linen mixes. I just have to share a few with you. My first pick is this amazing John Kaldor Fabric - an avy and white floral linen and viscose.
If you like the idea of navy and white but don't fancy linen, how about this gorgeous polyester crepe fabric with a striking large flower print. As you would expect from John Kaldor, this fabric is the best quality polyester crepe and will be a dream to sew and wear.

It is hard for any photograph to actually show how stunning this fabric is, having seen it in the flesh so to speak. I can only say you won't be disappointed. In fact take a look at our video of this fabulous fabric.

Last but not least how about this lovely abstract black and white fabric from our clearance section. At just £2.99 per metre 

I'm off now to make my grand-daughter Jess (yes that's right, the one that's size 6-8) a short boxy style top in a lovely sweatshirt fabric. Could possibly fit some more crochet in too!!!!
Annette xx
P.S. Dont forget, if you would like to sew this pattern, we have 50% off for one week only!

#FabricFriday - Summery Top Fabrics

Well here I am back at work! I am so lucky, I love my job. While I have been on holiday in Wales I have been knitting, knitting and more knitting!! My eldest Daughter Alison, as I mentioned previously, is expecting her third child. So, much as I love knitting it is nice to be back working with our lovely fabrics again.
Just to deviate a little!! I am also crocheting for the new baby, but alongside this I am crocheting a fabulous bag out of King Cole Raffia. If like me you love crochet just take a peek at this King Cole Crochet Pattern. I am making the bag in the top right hand corner. This is basically two large granny squares for the front and back, two handles and a long thin strip for the sides. I'll keep you informed how I'm getting on with it. 
And so back to fabrics.
I'm thinking of loose cotton tops for the summer and I think Simplicity Pattern 8090 fits the bill perfectly.
The pattern envelope gives some good ideas of fabrics to use. Cottons are definitely the most suitable for these tops and as there are literally hundreds of Cotton Fabrics to choose from here at Minerva, I don't think you're gonna be stuck for choice!!
What first drew me to this pattern was design B, I love how they have used two different size checks. I quite fancy it in pale blue. What do you think?
The larger gingham is made up of one inch squares and the smaller gingham is 1/8 squares. I love how they have attached the 1/8 gingham. It is used just at the front and gives the impression that it is a separate top underneath. Here,s a closer look at what I mean.
The ginghams I,ve used in the photograph above are our large 1" Gingham Fabric and our smallest 1/8" Gingham Fabric.
Version A would look lovely just in plain white cotton poplin but I like the idea of white broderie anglaise. It is so fresh looking.
Now version F is a little different in that there are no buttons. This is a sleeveless pullover top.I've decided to suggest Polycotton Fabric for this top. This is a very versatile fabric that combines the softness and moisture absorption of cotton with the easy care qualities of polyester. It is also easy to work with and very price conscious at just £2.99 per metre. Just look at the huge range of colours. Incidentally polycotton is a great fabric to use for toilles!
They have used a fairly wide flat lace which is gathered on to piece 14 (this is the underneath bit that you don't see) so again gives the appearance of a separate top. I think you could easily substitute a pre-gathered lace, this would save a little work! In the following photo I have shown our lemon polycotton alongside this beautiful lace trimming which is a broderie anglaise pre-gathered cotton lace. The finished piece of lace or the length of the pre-gatherd lace is approx 1/5 mt so check your 'bits' box. You never know you may just have the perfect piece.
My next choice of fabrics to show you today is for version E .
Our website description this Beautiful Dress Fabric as follows...
"This stunning fabric has a beautifully bold acanthus design printed on a cotton poplin base. Poplin is an extremely versatile fabric, you can make tops, skirts, dresses, shirts, shorts and more! You can also experiment and make soft furnishing projects for the home or even patchwork quilting".
I haven't got green fingers as they say so I googled acanthus and came up with this lovely picture and yes there is a strong likeness don't you think?
Before I say tara for today I thought I would just mention that on each version there is a cute little tab which is sewn into the back seam. A button is sewn on to the back to 'fasten' this tab. For most of the version's this button would just match the front ones but on version F (the lemon one) there are no more buttons. So you could make a feature of just this one.
These buttons look gorgeous on this fabric don't they? The fabric here is cotton poplin fabric, a little higher in price at £5.99 per metre but it is 100% cotton. The button at the top right of the photo resembles a flower. It would probably be too big for the size of the tab but you could always make the tab a little bigger. The other buttons in the photo come in two sizes. The smaller one would be fine on the tab the size it is. I just think either button would look lovely with this lace. 
And sew that is it for today. I'm off looking to find Monday's pattern of the week! Let me know if you have any suggestions :)
Annette xx

#PatternoftheWeek - McCalls 7262

I so hope there is no more snow! 
Spring is my favourite time of the year. In our 'sewing world' it feels great to be able to start planning our summer wardrobe. I must admit I try to make garments that will take me through spring, right through summer and to wear with a cardi around Autumn time. Not asking much am I? So as a top layer for all these wonderful garments that I am about to make (oh my goodness I wish I had more time to sew) how about this next pattern.
This loose fitting sweater coat and poncho pattern is our pattern of the week here at Minerva.
I usually leave my absolute favourite fabric till last but today I can't wait to share with you this gorgeous textured stretch jersey fabric. It has a subtle textured surface and is a fabulous medium weight that drapes and hangs extremely well. It has a good amount of stretch making it suitable for all way stretch knit patterns. It is 96% polyester and 4% spandex but I would still wash it first though. And at just £8.99 per metre I think it's a good buy!
Yes I'm looking at the mustard or 'thatch' as it is called, this is so me. 
Version B is just climbing out of the photo to me shouting make me make me! Version A shows how and where it fastens, up the right side and this creates a beautiful cowl collar. Any of the shades in this fabric would look lovely in ths style but this next fabric has more of a slub in it similar to version A.
Watch a video of this fabric here.
You can see the similarity to the picture on the pattern. This fabric is made from viscose and elastane and yes will still drape really well. Alas, there is just the one colour but at just £4.99 per metre it is worth adding to your stash. That's if you can bear to stash it away haha.
Version C forms an actual poncho with buttons up one side to the shoulder. One of the suggested fabrics is ponte roma and I have no hesitation in recommending ours. This is such a good weight for this type of garment and you could use complimentary or contrasting buttons. Heres the delicious forest colour, but there are so many to choose from!
Last but not least I want to show you this gorgeous quality ponte stretch jersey.
The printed design is a velour finish which is soft and fuzzy to touch! I think I would make a feature with some really big bold black buttons!!
Well I'm off to wales shortly. I am spending time with my lovely family. Seventeen of us altogether!! I'm busy knitting at the moment for my eldest Daughter who is expecting a little girl in a few weeks time. The knitting is going with me so no sewing this week!!
Annette x

#FabricFriday - Trieste Peachskin

Trieste is a beautiful fabric and I am choosing just that for my #FabricFriday post this week. I have briefly mentioned this fabric before, suggesting it a few times on various blog posts. We describe it as follows; 
The Trieste collection is a gorgeous soft and drapey peachskin. Not to be confused with microfibre, peachskin is the highest quality, very finely woven polyester fabric. Because this fabric is woven so finely (down to 0.001 denier) it means this fabric does not crease easily. Perfect for occasions when you need a fabric that will not crease such as travel wear or special occasion wear for bridesmaid dresses. It is a medium weight fabric that  is perfect for making lots of different garments but is particularly suited to loose unstructured styles such as Jackets, Dresses, Tops, Skirts, Trousers and more. Peachskin has a beautiful softness and drape whilst still retaining body and weight unlike any other fabric. It is very easy to sew (when you use a very fine needle) and comes in a wide range of colours for all occasions. 
Yes I know I have shown you this description before but there's no harm in showing it again haha. The following Sewing Pattern is a brilliant example of where trieste would be used at it's best.
I would imagine that trieste has indeed been used for this pattern. The drape of the top and the 'hang' of the trousers/culottes is exactly what you get with this fabric. The range of colours is amazing and my choice for this pattern would be Cocoa Brown for the jacket, Ivory for the trousers/culottes and Tan Brown for the top.
The top has a cross over front with the back hanging a little lower than the front. The trouser/culottes have a shaped waistband and pockets set within the side seam. The jacket is lined (you could actually self line it) with a lovely little cut out V shape on the front edges. There is actually a step-by-step video of instructions by Mimi G (the designer) on the simplicity youtube channel.
Evening dresses, cocktail dresses in fact any occasion dresses will look just wonderful in Trieste, our fabric choice for this Friday. Here I've chose a random selection from literally 100's of evening/cocktail dress patterns available here at Minerva. First is Butterick Pattern 5710;
I've teamed this with the red trieste, very christmasy don't you think. This pattern is cut on the bias and will hang beautifully in trieste as will the gorgeous cowl neckline. Take note of the shaped hemline on the long version. 
Now look at Butterick Pattern 5987;
The skirt on this pattern is gathered at the waist so yet again the trieste will hang perfectly. My favourite style is version C. I just love the one shoulder look but with the addition of the sleeve.
 On closer inspection version B has a diamante trim around the waist.
The trim on this photo is our Crystal & Bead Couture Bridal Lace Trimming and looks remarkably like the one on the pattern.
 Perhaps you would prefer something just on the front.
If so then our Diamante Crystal Band Couture Bridal Lace Applique would fit the bill so to speak.
The last trim above is our Heavy Crystal Diamante Couture Bridal Lace Applique Trimming which at 80mm wide could be a little too wide for some people but hey ho anything goes when you make it yourself. I think it looks beautiful. So much sparkle!
This next pattern choice is Vogue 1474 and is designed by Tom and Linda Platt.
How stunning is that? Look at the detail at the back. With a design such as this the wrong side of the fabric shows so because trieste is the same on both sides, it is very suitable for this pattern.
Not all ball gowns are floor length, take Simplicity 4070 and McCalls 7316.
Both of these are knee length. The one that stands out to me most on the simplicity pattern is version C I love the hemline. Do they call this a bubble hem? I'm not sure but I love it anyway. On the McCalls pattern I love the layers of the skirt on version B but also it is giving you ideas for some pretty summer dresses. 
Last but not least look at McCalls 7154. This has to be my favourite today.
It reminds me very much of the dresses worn by 1930's film stars. In fact it says on the front of the pattern "The archive collection circa 1930". Just look at the back of this dress.
This is by no means an easy sew. There is an awful lot of work.There is an overbodice, an underbodice, yolks, stays, pleats and a shaped hemline. The wrong side shows so yet again trieste will sew a treat. On that note I'll leave you now because I feel the need to sew!
Annette xx

Q&A with Carly from Lucky Sew and Sew

Hi everyone,

A little while ago I stumbled across Lucky Sew and Sew and asked Carly if she would like to do a Q&A so you could find out a bit more about her and her blog!

Carly said yes! So here goes...

Can you tell us a little bit about you and your blog?

My blog is a little insight into my life in general - a culmination of the sewing for my business, sewing for myself and my family, my children, my mad life. I try and keep things as real and honest as possible. Being a wife, a Mummy and having a handmade business is a lot of guess work, frustration and going-with-the-flow. I want to share what makes me happy, what i'm up to, any tips and tricks i've found, my achievements and even my battles. Trying to make a living from what makes you happy is tough, but if I can do it, then so can anyone, and I hope to enforce that with my blog.

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

I've always been more creative than academic (although my art teacher at school would have said otherwise!). I've always loved crafting and made a lot of things for my wedding myself. It wasn't until after my son was born, in late 2012 that I first tried my hand at sewing. Unfamiliar with my post-baby body, and not ready to go shopping for new clothes yet, I decided to sew my own vintage-inspired dress. I borrowed my Mum's sewing machine, bought a vintage pattern and some fabric (I couldn't read the back of the pattern properly yet and ended up with 6m of fabric!), and just went in blind. The pattern was several sizes too small, so I even had to grade it up - I had no idea what I was doing! Suprisingly, it turned out really well, and I felt a massive surge of satisfaction from making something myself. The love affair with sewing started then.

What is your favourite craft?

Most definitley sewing!

What do you love most about crafting?

The freedom that it gives you to create something completley unique. I love that.

Do your friends or family craft along with you?

My Mum and I sew together alot. Lucky Sew and Sew is a joint venture for us both. I also try and involve my children with crafts when I can, although they are a little bit young at the minute. My three year old loves to press the foot pedal when i'm sewing, but his most favourite thing to do is to pick out fabrics that he likes for me to sew him something from. He also loves to look at my vintage sewing pattern collection with me, he loves the drawings on the front of the packets!

Who do you make things for?

Everyone and anyone I can! I think sewing gifts is so much more thoughtful and personal than simply buying something. I always have a huge list of gifts to sew at Christmas time, and usually cut the timing quite fine! This Christmas I made rather a lot, including embroidered slippers for my Dad, a dress for my Mum, a bag for my Mother-in-Law and a vintage dolly family for my baby daughter, amongst other things.

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

I started blogging to keep a track on what i've made and what i've been up to. It's really easy to forget when you're busy, and it's nice sometimes to take a step back and look at what you have acheived.

Do you have a favourite snack when crafting?

I can't really snack while I sew as I'll end up with sticky fingerprints on things! But my husband likes to bring me cups of tea which keep me going.

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

seam ripper, good quality scissors and an overlocker!

What are your favourite fabrics to sew with any why?

I absolutley love to sew with Scuba Fabric! If you haven't come across it before, it's like the fabric that scuba suits are made from, hence the name. It's thick, very stretchy and very versitile. It comes in the most vibrant prints too, which I love!

What is your favourite product on the Minerva Crafts website and what would you make with it?

I love the pink houndstooth printed scuba fabric. I would make a lovely swimsuit or bikini for the summer from it.

How many projects do you have on the go at one time?

Too many! My mind never switches off! I often have orders for lingerie, a project for myself, and also a couple for the children, as well as working on new designs for Lucky Sew and Sew. I have a sewing journal where I try and keep note of my projects so that I don't have too many all at once and can keep track.

Whats your favourite thing you have ever made?

I recently purchased the Roberts Collection pattern from Marilla Walker and made myself some dungarees. I LOVE this pattern, it's so straight forward and quick to sew, so rewarding too. I haven't stopped wearing my dungarees since they were completed!

What is your latest WIP (Work in progress)?

Another pair of dungarees, from the same pattern actually! My first pair were a deep denim, which I added pockets to. This pair is made from a floral stretch cotton twill.

Do you watch TV or listen to music while you craft?

I can't watch the TV, I find it too distracting! I sometimes listen to an audiobook, but usually I listen to music, I find it really motivating.

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

I find inspiration in a lot of places. Museums, vintage shops, magazines. If I'm trying to think of a new design for Lucky Sew and Sew, I usually sit with my sketch book and make a few rough ideas. I then fine tune them and talk them over with my Mum before starting a sample. I find Pinterest can be great for inspiration, but when i'm feeling a bit lost or have a creative mind-block, I like to go for a walk and get some fresh air to clear my mind. I think having too many ideas can cloud your creativity, so it's good to connect with nature, get grounded and then it's easier to focus. I live by the sea-side, and the salt-sea air really cleanses the creative mind!

Do you have any advice for new bloggers?

Try not to worry to much about what you think people might want to read and instead write about what you enjoy. Writing about something you have a true passion for will be far more engaging than writing about something which you think you should be writting about.

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

Needle and Thread - my two favourite things!

Thank you so much for that Carly! Please take the time to check out Carly's blog for more!

Bye for now,



#PatternoftheWeek - All Year Rounder New Look 6889

This is one of those Sewing Patterns that has a basic shape with each version having just a slight variation. Pretty much all woven fabrics are mentioned in the suggested fabrics. So this to me means an all year round pattern.
 And so my first choice is for version A. This could easily be worn as a pinafore so I would have no hesitation in recommending our embroidered stretch Needlecord Fabric;
This is a stunning needlecord that is decorated in a pretty floral design that is couched onto the fabric. The RRP on this fabric was over £20 per metre but now whilst nearing the end of this gorgeous fabric we are happy to present it at just £2.99 per metre. The 'knots' on the shoulder are sewn separately and added after bias binding has been attached. Therefore you have the option of leaving these off if you want. 
I love version B. This is the plainest version on this pattern and a lightweight Chambray Fabric would be a perfect choice.
Our website description says of this Fabric "This fabulous chambray denim has a beautifully soft and smooth finish. Chambray is a light weight denim and is great for making dresses, shirts, shorts, skirts, tops and more - it is such a versatile fabric. It would also be great to use in interiors! This beautiful range of chambray is from our luxury collection of designer fabrics. By feeling this fabric you can instantly see the quality. Available in beautiful shades of denim - a sky Blue, indigo Blue and charcoal grey."
The pockets are a handy addition on this version but obviously you could add the pockets to any of the versions. They have a very cute top edge in the shape of a sweetheart neckline! This is easily achieved by means of a facing.
Alternatively the top edge could just be hemmed under to form a straight edge. 
Version C would look stunning in this Fabric don't you think? The only addition to version C is two ties, one on each shoulder. These are attached at the under side of the shoulder seam then fastened into a knot which will show on the right side. I would probably add the pockets to this version but set myself the task of matching the pattern of the pockets to the main fabric. I love the sense of achievement you get when this looks absolutely perfect!!
We have lots and lots of cotton fabrics to choose from but in trying to keep similar to the pattern I decided on a lilac cotton poplin fabric for version D. 
Now the neckline changes on the last two versions. It appears to be a gathered neckline but it is in fact a drawstring threaded through a casing that is made with bias binding. 1/4 inch wide ribbon is used for the drawstring but you could use a narrow cord or even a narrow round elastic. I've left my favourite till last again. Just look at this Cotton Lawn Fabric...
I have already made a top in this fabric last year for my holiday but I would have no hesitation in using it again. I can say from experience it washes like a dream and is so beautiful to handle when working with it. There is the addition of sleeves on this version which i must admit I am quite drawn to. All in all I'm very happy with my choice of pattern of the week. It is a very reasonable priced pattern at any time but at half price for this week I think it is a wise choice to keep in your stash of sewing patterns. Yes I have a big stash too!!
Must dash, I'm off to choose next weeks pattern of the week :)
Annette xx

#FabricFriday - Florals

Is that sunshine I see out the window? Yes it is. Hope there's no more snow!! It feels like fabrics are coming out my ears at the moment. We have so many new fabrics arriving here at Minerva Fabrics on a daily basis. It's mind boggling!! I thought this week I would look at some flowery fabrics And yes when I saw the sun shining I thought good idea. This first fabric is a beautiful quality cotton poplin fabric featuring a pretty floral outline design. 
The flowers are 'drawn' in white on a coloured background. It is a  medium weight with a soft finish, this fabric is perfect for making dresses, tops, skirts and ideal for incorporating into your patchwork quilting designs. It comes in two lovely colourways but my personal favourite is the coral. There are so many dress patterns where you could use this fabric but one that really stands out to me is Vogue Pattern 1392.
How lovely is that neckline? Beautiful beautiful summer dress or thinking ahead it would also make a gorgeous evening dress. I love how the top of the dress is constructed. The following photo gives you an idea of the construction.
The next photo is showing both fabric and pattern together.
There is a little bit of boning to go in this dress and that is two pieces in the side seams and two small pieces running up the front  So if you've never used boning before but fancy having a go then this could be an ideal pattern for you. Although the notions on the pattern just say how much boning you need (which you could use any). when you get to the instructions they are showing covered boning. It is a little more expensive than other bonings but boy does it save you time and in my experience is much easier.
I think the next Fabric is stunning and the following is our description on our website;
"This beautiful Tapestry Floral print Jardin fabric is a beautiful quality stretch cotton sateen. The design is so unusual. From a distance is looks like an ordinary, very lovely floral print, but when you look closely you can see the flower design is made up from thousands and thousands of what look like tiny tapestry stitches. It adds a really interesting edge to a traditional print fabric. This is a woven fabric made from cotton with 3% spandex. The spandex content makes this fabric stretch across the width, resulting in a fantastic easy to sew, easy to care for and really versatile fabric. You can make so many different styles with this fabric. The stretch gives it the added advantage when making fitted styles, because it is easier to get a great fit with a fabric that has a little stretch, as it is much more forgiving. You could make trousers, skirts, dresses, tops, lightweight jackets, suits, waistcoats, shorts, jumpsuits...the list goes on! Its sateen finish gives this fabric a much more expensive look than its reasonable price tag! Those who try this fabric almost always use it again!"
This fabric would look fab made in the above pattern but Butterick Pattern 6240 has caught my eye.
You can immediately see which design I am seeing made up in this fabric. Version C!!
However the only differences between the three versions are the sleeves - short, long or sleeveless and the hemline. There is a slight error I've found on the pattern description and that is with the hemlines. The pattern front shows version A with a straight panelled skirt, version B has a draped front straight hem and version C has the draped front but with a dropped hemline. When looking at the instruction sheet however it shows all three versions with a draped front and a dropped hemline.
Having looked through the instructions all versions are made with a panelled skirt. The overlay does have a dropped hemline so I think it is version B that is shown wrong. I'm sure this will be rectified shortly by Butterick. 
Version A would look terrific in either Triple Crepe Fabric or Prada Crepe Fabric.
I've saved version B till last. This Fabric has been on my favourites list for a while and I think it would look brilliant. Very similar to version B.
Until next time fellow sewists.
Annette xx

#PatternoftheWeek - Vogue 1491 by Zandra Rhodes

I hope you like my choice for pattern of the week. It is from the latest Vogue collection and designed by Zandra Rhodes. So yes you do expect something wacky, weird even but usually something wonderful. Here is our half price pattern of the week
This very floaty top and elasticated trousers are surprisingly easy to make. The trousers have only two pieces, front and back, which as you can see from the pattern Zandra has used two different colours, red for the front and black for the back. Quite a statement look don't you think! The floaty top is very unusual in how it is cut out! The next photo is the main piece of the top
I know what you are thinking and Yes those three 'holes' are the neck and sleeve openings! Further pieces are added to the main piece which gives it its shape.
As you would imagine the centre hole is the neck and is bound with the same fabric but you could use bias binding. The sleeves are sewn into the two remaining holes. Where possible French Seams have been used for the top as this completely encloses the raw edges. So this is a good seam to use with any georgette, chiffon or voile. 
My choice of fabric for the top would have to be this Georgette Fabric. This is a new fabric from our clearance range. Lots in at the moment but it will soon go at just £2.99 per metre.
How brilliant is this? It is described as a 'Ribbon Embroidered Crinkle Georgette Dress Fabric'. I would describe it as very floaty and therefore highly suitable for this stunning design. For the trousers I have chose Triple Crepe Fabric. It is described as 'The most beautiful quality heavy crepe fabric - you wont believe it until you feel it! Triple crepe is a heavy weight polyester crepe fabric with a textured appearance and a slight 'give' which makes this fabric drape and sew beautifully. It is perfect for dresses and skirts, and heavy enough even for trousers and jackets to take you through the winter months'.
Quite stunning.
I just love one of the other colourways in this georgette fabric too. Yes it has beige in it! Actually beige and black. My other choice of plain fabrics would have to be Prada Crepe Fabric. The description says 'Fabulous quality Prada crepe suiting fabric. Self satin lined with a slight one-way stretch across the width of the fabric. Because this fabric has a matt and a shiny side, you can use either or a combination of both textures to create dramatic effects. This fabric is PU coated and both anti-static and anti-click, ensuring the highest quality for special garments. Beautifully soft with a lovely drape, perfect for jackets, dresses, skirts, trousers, waistcoats and more!'. These I would make in all black (they would be a good addition to any wardrobe). Ive just realised the prada comes in red too!
Don't they look brill? And so from the wacky to the more sensible! Possibly something for everyone?
And sew thats's all for this week fellow sewists.
Annette xx

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