Posted in Product Reviews on Saturday the 18th August 2018 by Vicki Ormerod
Greetings from southern Ontario. My name is Joanne and I am primarily a quilter. So when the opportunity to review the 9 Piece Hexagon Template Set was available I said “yes please”.
I could not have imagined what an amazing set this was and how many options it opens up to the quilter. First of all the packaging. There are 9 Hexagons in the set. The smallest is 1” across and the largest is 5” across. If your work area is anything like mine those very small hexagons would get lost in no time. The packaging takes that into account and is resealable so that all the templates can stay together.
The features of the individual hexagon templates have been well thought out with the quilter in mind. If you do English Paper Piecing each template is ¼” smaller that the size above it. This means you can trace template C on your paper and use template D for your fabric and you will have exactly a ¼” seam all the way around. And with all the various sizes from 1” to 5” you can make hexagons of many different sizes. I don’t tend to do English Paper Piecing (yet) but this set makes it so tempting. I have done a little but found all the cutting out a challenge. This set would help take care of that.
As a quilter I am considered a piecer and the second really great feature on these templates is that the ¼” in from the corner is cut through the template so you can mark that exact location with a pencil. I used a mechanical pencil and have both regular lead and a white one. The thin lead fits comfortably through the small hole and marks that sometimes elusive location. This is the spot you need to stitch to when you are making “Y” seams. Some individuals just avoid patterns with this feature because it is hard to get that spot just exactly right and if you don’t you either get a gap or a pucker on the good side of your work.
The templates are of high quality acrylic and using a rotary cutter with them is easy. I put my fabric on my rotating mat and placed the template on top and zip, zip, zip I had my fabric cut.
I stitched one set of three hexagons together after marking that elusive corner start and stop location. It was very easy to do. And with a wee press of the iron I had a finished “Y” seam that was smooth and flat without a gap.
I had not seen these particular items beforehand and was cautiously optimistic that they would be useful. I can say without a doubt this set exceeded all my expectations. It is neat, organized and clearly had someone behind its development that had asked all the right questions and found some good answers.
Thanks for reading,
Joanne @ quiltsbyjoanne
Why is it that sometimes you get a new piece of fabric it sits in your stash for months (or even years), and sometimes you sew it up the moment you get it. When this latest Fabric landed on my doorstep from Minerva I pre-washed it and got it dry within a few hours and by that evening it was already cut out, and was beginning to take shape. I’d also formulated a plan to go and get buttons to finish it off the next day, and within 36hours of my Minerva parcel of fabric being delivered I had a new dress. I was headed out for afternoon tea that weekend, and I didn’t plan on making a new dress, but when this Deco fans fabric arrived I realised it was perfect for the Art Deco themed afternoon tea I was going to.
Here’s a bonus pic of my sitting in a very luxurious chair enjoying my afternoon tea.
Minerva call this a quilting cotton, and as a result sell it by the fat quarter as well. Don’t let this put you off using it for dressmaking though, remember those days back when sewing first began to become cool again and everyone was making vintage style dresses out of quilting cottons? I know the first dress I made was out of quilting cotton, and why not - fun prints and an easy to work with fabric is a winner in my book. This particular fabric comes in 3 different colourways, I used the grey, but there is also a yellow and blue colourway.
I used the Sew Over It Vintage Shirt Dress Patternto make my dress, and as I’ve got quite a few of these in my handmade wardrobe already I knew that I could make this up quickly and that I don’t need to make many adjustments to fit my body shape. The fabric is on the narrow side (45inches) and it’s directional, so I had to be very neat with my cutting layout to make sure I got my dress out of 3m of fabric. I also tried to pay attention to pattern matching ensuring that the “fan” print ran across the dress and between the bodice and skirt section consistently. I managed it pretty well, and I’m really pleased with how it looks.
I love the Sew Over It pattern range as the instructions are really clear, and every step is explained in a lot of detail. The vintage shirt dress is a great introduction to sewing collars, as the pattern holds your hand throughout the process and there isn’t any tricky collar stands etc to contend with. The pattern doesn’t have any darts but the shaping is through the pleats at the waist seam, in this Camelot cotton the pleats iron to give you sharp looking pleats which hold their shape really well, event after a wash.
Just a small word of warning when making any shirtdress, make sure you get the button placement correct. I always tend to ignore the button layout plan on the pattern and put them where I think they should be, taking into account my bust and making sure there is no gaping. When I took these photos I realised that I probably needed one more button to protect my modesty, I’ve since added an extra button at the top, and it means I don’t have to be on guard every time I wear the dress.
I’d highly recommend this fabric to beginners, those looking for a quick make, or a project where the fabric design needs to be centre stage. It was beautifully easy to work with and has washed and worn really well, even after a jam-packed day at the seaside the fabric didn’t crease and it was a joy to wear.
Posted in Projects on Friday the 17th August 2018 by Vicki Ormerod
Hello everyone, I am Kealy from Voice of a Creative. This is my first blog post for the Minerva Crafts blog.
I chose this beautiful Brushed Cotton Fabric with a paisley pattern. I loved the look of this fabric because it had a detailed paisley pattern but also a huge range of colours. I knew that I would be able to pair this fabric with so many accessories. The fabric is also super soft and would probably be good for pyjamas but I decided I would get more wear out of it if I made a dress.
I decided to make the Honeycomb shirt dress by CocoWawa Crafts as I had seen so many beautiful versions on Instagram and thought the fabric would really suit a looser fitting dress. After making my toile I decided to would make a hacked version of the Honeycomb dress because I felt this would suit me better. I chose the sleeveless version with the buttons.
The first change I made was to the neck line, normally this pattern features a cute mandarin collar but I changed this to a v neck instead. I made this change because I learnt from my toile that I found this style of collar quite uncomfortable on my neck so I needed to make it slightly lower so it felt more comfortable. When I was cutting out the pattern pieces for the bodice I cut properly around the middle bodice piece and then just cut it downwards from the shoulder seam in a slanted line to where the first button hole should go. I also cut about half an inch away from the shirt yoke neck piece. I finished the neck line with some unfolded bias binding as this helped to give more structure to the neck line and stop it from gaping.
The second change I made was to double the length of the ties so you could wear them a variety of ways. To do this I simply folded the fabric and then cut the tie pattern piece on the fold, then followed the instructions to sew it together. The ways you can wear the ties are to wrap them round and tie them at the back into a cute bow, or you can wrap them around twice and then to the front and tie in a bow. You could also just tie them in the front. This allows you to shape the dress around your waist and helps you mix up your look from day to day. I sewed the ties in the middle of the 2 front panels rather than at the sides.
The third change I made was to reduce the width of the skirt by cutting 1 inch off either side of both skirt pieces. I also changed the gathers to pleats to give a more structured look. I added a box pleat at the centre back and then matched the second pleat with the back darts. At the front I pleated the middle piece using the same method as the back but moving the pleats closer together here.
I also chose to leave off the buttons and instead sewed the front together panels together, in the future I would consider cutting this on the fold to eliminate this step. I kept the pockets in this dress though because who doesn’t love a good pocket.
The Honeycomb dress uses the burrito method to add the yoke, this was quite tricky at first but I finally got there with the help of the instructions and sew along video on the Cocowawa Crafts YouTube. It was great to learn this new skill and build up my knowledge of sewing techniques.
Overall I loved working with this fabric, it is soft and has great drape. It was easy to sew and is so versatile with its many colours. It works well for this pattern and I know I will get a lot of wear out of this dress during the summer. I like the finished garment and I am considering how I can hack the neck line on other patterns in the future.
Thanks for reading,
Kealy @ Voice of a Creative
About the Fabric
When I was asked whether would like to blog for Minerva Crafts I immediately jumped at the opportunity to try out this Scuba Fabric. I've never sewn with it and I wanted to know what all the fuss was about. The fabric I chose is ivory colored with a bold gold repeated print on it. My boyfriend said (when I wraped the fabric around me, because let's face it, we all do) that I look like the Pope. My stepdauther mentioned something about the Queen and I just barked at them that they just had "no vision" (you know what I mean).
One panel (I don't know if this is the correct word in English; in German it would be called rapport) measures 65cm until the print starts repeating itself. Since 65cm is enough to make a decent length skirt without any repeats I knew I wanted to make a border print dress. The fabric does not curl while cutting, it's easy to wash and you can even iron it on a low temparature (not that you need to apart from the sewing bit). I got a full 3 metres but ended up using 2.3m.
About the Pattern - B6556
When I hear border prints my mind goes straight to Gretchen Hirsch and her patterns which is why I finally had a good enough reason to by her Ultimate Dress Book. Somehow I feel drawn do square necklines therefore I wanted to alter one of the her bodices in the book to a square neckline with a simple facing. About the same time my lovely sister brought me my requested Buttrick patterns that I had ordered "from her" a while back (because of the shipping costs to Switzerland we ask each other what we need respectively to bulk order). And then it hit me. In there was the new Gertie pattern B6556 with a perfect square neckline and a borderprint skirt all ready for me.
On a side note: How distracted can you be that you forget which patterns you ordered a while back???! It tends to happen to me more frequently the last few months...
Switching from Wovens to Knits
Now the B6556 is designed for woven fabrics and I had a stretchy one to work with. This means that apart from making the usual adjustments (FBA and swayback) I had to take the stretch of the fabric into account when chosing the right size. I recently discovered a new method of finding the perfect fit, no matter the type of fabric I use. I do not want to go into great details here because it's all about the fabric. But generally knit garments that fit close to the body are designed with negative ease so the measurements of the finished garment are actually less that your measurements. How much in the negative is up to designer (or your preferences), however, because this fabric has a print on it I did not want it to stretch out too much or it might distort the pattern. Also, bear in mind that the Big Four pattern companies tend to add a lot of wearing ease. For this pattern - even though it is supposed to be close-fitting - the wearing ease is about 8cm! What, you say? Yes that was my reaction as well!
So, based on my high bust measurements (add the standard 2" B cupsize) I would be a size 16 finished bust with a full bust of 104cm which is 3cm smaller than my actual full bust. Side note: If I went with my full bust measurements the pattern would indicate for me to make a size 20 (can you imagine how the shoulder straps would constantly fall of!).
I added an FBA for the full amount of those 3cm (in hindsight I would not have needed to do this and just go with the negative ease of 3cm). This widened the waistline to 2cm (see picture) wich meant I now had a finished waist of 86cm which is just a few centimeters less than my actual waist (even here I adjusted for the zero ease measurements which again was not necessary).
I noticed on a few of my garments that sit at the waist that I have to do a swayback adjustment of about 2cm. On this pattern (I measured the pattern pieces after the FBA) I noticed that I needed to add these 2cm to the front that came out just a little short this time. I guess my upper body is just strangely curved, haha.
Also the pattern calls for a lining which - because it was aready a heavy scuba - I did not want. For that reasen I took the interfacing pieces and used the as facings for the neckline.
Lastly when making a woven pattern with a knit try to guess (measure) if you really need a zip. For this one you don't need it (yayyy!).
Construction of the B6556
The cutting process was very easy. Cutting scuba is amazing let me tell you: Nothing moves around, nothing curls - fantastic.
To check the fit I sewed the whole bodice up in a simple straight stitch and my walking foot on my Bernina (2.2 length). Straight stiches on a knit, are you insane? No, it actually worked fine. I think this is due to my scuba beeing a heavy double knit fabric so there are actually two pieces of fabric "interlocked" together. You can press it down by hand and while stretching it, the polythread presses down the layers of fabric also, which makes the seam slightly stretchy. No don't go stretching it like a crazy person ok? It's just for fitting purposes.
While fitting I noticed that the adjustments I made to the bust and waist area were not necessary and I had to widen the dart and take in the side seams. But you know what? I don't mind taking it in as long as the back and front necklines and the shoulders are on point. This 'fit as you go' approach is amazing. Anyway, I with these minor adjustments I was able to achieve a perfectly fitted bodice.
I made the skirt as instructed by the pattern (first I basted the pleats of course) and even added pockets. But alas, I only noticed that I attached it the wrong way around (you don't need a zipper remember) when the bodice was already attached to the skirt - so the pockets are facing backwards. As of now I have not turned it around because I do not plan on using the pockets, but you never know!
The facings are partly stitched down by the armseams and partly handsewn to the main fabric. I used to hate handsewing things but lately I noticed that I actually enjoy the finished result and it sort of became meditative.
The armholes I just turned under. Now I wish I had researched methods to do this differently or chosen a narrower hem because it slightly destroys the neat look I got from the dress overall.
I left the hem of the dress unfinished and neatened the edges. Usually I don't go for this unfinished look but the dress looked so lightweight with the unfinished seam I decided to leave it like this and I just love the look of it. You really don't notice it at all (but you would certainly notice a slightly bulky seam).
The scuba fabric holds the shape of the pleats very well, the look is EXACTELY as I imagined it. Because this is a heavy scuba the weight of the skirt part slightly stretches the bodices, so make sure your waistline is on point to start with or else it will be too low!
So, what do you think? There's really nothing papal about it :-D (even the boyfriend said it lookes beautiful, ha!)
Nadine @ lifewithnaba
Posted in Product Reviews on Thursday the 16th August 2018 by Vicki Ormerod
Hello again! I’m excited to be back on the Minerva crafts blog with my review of Sublime Isla DK Yarn. This is one of my favourite yarns, it’s a lovely mix of 50% cotton and 50% bamboo which makes it super soft and silky. It’s machine washable at 40 degrees so is perfect for making garments. I selected colour 625 (Ida) but it was a difficult choice as all 10 available colours are lovely, there’s a shade to suit everyone. The yarn is supplied as a hank so there is a bit of preparation required before you can start knitting or crocheting which can be a bit frustrating if, like me, you are keen to get started (but it’s worth the effort to form a useable ball, so you don’t end up in a tangled mess!)
My crochet projects so far have mostly been blankets, scarves, and amigurumi toys, so I set myself the challenge of making an item of clothing! I chose the Fan Stitch cardigan from the book “learn to crochet, love to crochet” by Anna Wilkinson as I loved the fan stitch design. This pattern is also available on ravelry.
Anna’s patterns are designed for people who are new to crochet. I would say this pattern is not suitable for an absolute crochet beginner as some of the terminology used is a bit confusing in places (initially I struggled to get the pattern right and found it easier to follow the diagram rather than the written pattern when starting off), but it would suit someone with some previous crochet experience. The cardigan is made in 5 pieces which makes it quite a portable project – I made quite a lot of my cardigan pieces on long car and train journeys!
The pattern is designed for use with an Aran weight yarn and a 6mm hook. I used the Sublime Isla DK yarn with a 5mm hook which meant the pattern worked up slightly smaller than the original. This wasn’t a problem for me as I didn’t want my cardigan to be too long, but it’s something to bear in mind if you are in between pattern sizes.
I modified the pattern slightly, making the sleeves longer by adding two more sets of pattern repeats before shaping the shoulders. You could also add more pattern repeats to the back and front pieces before shaping the armholes and neck, to make the cardigan longer. I decided to add the same stitch pattern used for the button band to the bottom of the cardigan, and I added a treble crochet band around the cuffs and at the top of the patch pockets, which I think really helps to finish off the cardigan.
Sublime Isla is a lovely yarn to crochet with as it’s so soft and smooth. The strands are quite loosely attached so sometimes it can be possible to snag a strand when making a stitch, but the yarn twists as you use it, making the strands hold together more firmly. Sublime Isla gives lovely stitch definition and the fan pattern of the cardigan really stands out using this yarn. I used 3 hanks of sublime Isla to make the small size of the fan stitch cardigan, with a little extra yarn required for my pattern modifications.
I’m so pleased with my finished cardigan, it fits perfectly and I’m proud of myself for making my first crocheted garment! I will definitely be attempting some of the other patterns from Anna’s book. I would recommend trying sublime Isla for your next knitting or crochet project as it’s a delight to use.
Thank you so much for reading, I hope to be back again soon with my next product review!
Hi again from a sunny South Yorkshire!
As soon as I saw this Fabric I just had to have it and I had the perfect summer dress in mind in the Simplicity 8608! This is the second version of this dress that I have made now. The first was in a cotton voile fabric which was quite floaty in comparison to this cotton which is a fair bit more structured. That being said I absolutely love it and got so many compliments on it when I wore it to the local shopping centre!
I set about marking out the darts using this handy little chalk pen. I find this much easier to use than the triangle bits of chalk! Definitely worth the money! This fabric pressed really well even though I still used my trusty clapper on all the seams!
It is a fairly quick make even with all the ruffles! The first time I made it I have to admit I was a little daunted by the 13 pattern pieces and it spent quite a while sat on my sewing room floor with me just looking at it wishing I’d not started such a mammoth task! Of course I was being melodramatic as it really does come together quickly once you start sewing. I knew what was in store this time so as soon as the fabric had been pre-washed I set about cutting it out with the confidence I had lacked last time I made it.
So all pieces cut and ready for sewing I quickly cracked on! That was until I realised that when I got to the main ruffle which starts at the centre front and goes all the way round the curve and round the back of the skirt and back round to the front again was cut wrong! WTH!! I knew I didn’t have enough fabric to recut the ruffle (due to the fact these aren’t straight ruffles they are cut in circles!) Ok not to worry I thought perhaps I can still make this work. Fortunately it seemed that in my new found confidence (ho hum!) I had actually cut 2 pieces wrong. This now meant that the dress had to cross the opposite way to which the pattern suggested!! Well that’s ok I thought…until I started to wonder if it was the same policy with cross over dresses as it is with buttons and buttonholes. Is there a reason it crosses this way?? You know, like if a shirt buttons a certain way that’s because it’s a mans!!! Perhaps someone can enlighten me.
Anyway mine now crosses the opposite way to my other one and opposite to which the pattern says to cross. I absolutely don’t care though I love this dress and the pattern .
The pattern calls for a small hem but I am quite enjoying doing a rolled hem on my ruffles at the minute. Probably due to the fact that my new overlocker is an absolute dream to thread and no faffing with tension dials as it does it automatic. I also made sure to press and understitch the facings as this really does help to keep them sitting as they should do.
I recently got myself a gathering foot as the last time I made this dress I got right to the end of the ruffle and the bloomin gathering stitches came unfastened! Fortunately I made it work but I wasn’t risking that happening again. So off I go and attempt to work out the new foot! Well easier said than done I think as it gathers as it goes so you need to adjust the length of the frill before you start gathering it. I couldn’t figure how or where to gather the ruffles as the pattern pieces are circular so decided that until I’d figured how to use it properly (and the fact that I didn’t have enough spare fabric if it didn’t work out) I would revert back to the traditional method of lengthening my stitch to max and reducing my tension and then running 2 lines of stitching parallel to each other. This time though I wasn’t risking the gathering stitches coming undone so decided to break the sections into 3 so that should it come undone it wasn’t the whole lot needed re-doing and just that shorter section!. I definitely think the gathering foot will save time in future makes though once I’ve got it sussed as it allows you to attach the ruffles to the garment at the same time therefore saving time not having to ruffle, baste then attach. If any of you out there know the secret to adjusting the length of these circular ruffles, please let me know. I’d be forever grateful!
I decided this time to make belt loops and attach them one at each side seam in the hope it would stop the belt slipping around. I did this just by measuring the size of the loop I wanted and then following the same process as the make up of the belt so no raw edges on show! All that’s left to do now was finish it off properly by adding one of my garment labels. I think that’s just given it the finishing touch!
Hey presto another holiday make finished! I absolutely love this dress and can definitely see myself sat outside with a nice glass of red wearing it in the South of France! The cotton gives it a little more structure and I think the bright colours of the floral really set this dress off and make it a little more eye catching.
Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed it!
Bye for now
I must admit, I don’t really do loungewear. I’m either dressed up, or I’m in my pyjamas. My feeling is that if I’m going to get dressed then I’m going to really get dressed, and if I’m not going to get dressed then why on earth am I changing out of my pyjamas? Either way, loungewear felt like a bit of a missed opportunity to me.
But then I saw this gorgeous floral print Sweatshirting Fabric on the Minerva craft website, and it coincided with my copy of Tilly and the Buttons’s new book Stretch arriving and I knew that I just had to make myself a pair of the Stella jogging bottoms. It’s like the fabric was calling to me. This burgundy/ wine colour that forms the background of the digital print, is such a fantastic, rich hue and I think it makes the otherwise-girly floral print a bit more edgy, and therefore more wearable, for my wardrobe at least.
As well as being super-comfy, these joggers ended up being – dare I say it? – flattering and that is entirely due to the thickness of the fabric. It’s drapey without being see-through, sturdy and warm without being bulky and it was super easy to work with. I didn’t have any problems with it slipping or stretching and it didn’t even slide or curl when I laid it out to cut on the floor. As with any stretch fabric, I suggest using a ballpoint needle and a stretch stitch on all the seams, but if you’ve never tackled a knitted fabric before, I would wholeheartedly suggest using this one for your first project.
I needed to stock up on some extra haberdashery materials for these trousers, such as extra-wide elastic for the waistband (that’s what gives it that lovely supportive structure around the waist), a drawstring, and some stretch interfacing for the pocket bags, but all those things were relatively inexpensive and readily available on the Minerva site.
This was a really quick make. I cut it out and completed it in about four hours total. To be honest, the most laborious task was tracing off the pattern because, as with all Tilly and the Buttons patterns, the clarity of the instructions make complex techniques (like sewing a buttonhole in stretch fabric!) seem really easy.
Thanks a million Minerva, this may be my favourite make so far …
Posted in Product Reviews on Wednesday the 15th August 2018 by Vicki Ormerod
This beautiful lightweight dressmaking fabric is a light and floaty woven viscose chalis with large flowers and foliage across it. The flowers are approximately 10cm in size so it’s just a perfect bright summer fabric. I did worry that with the lightweight nature of the fabric it could be a little sheer, however it has great opaque nature whilst still being breathable. The quality of the print is also great and I feel that it wouldn’t fade over time.
The lightweight quality of the fabric makes it versatile for a summer make because it is breathable and light to wear. It presses well, which makes it a good option for a semi-fitted garment.
A summer dress in my mind needs to be skimming and comfortable. A wrap dress is just the answer, especially to suit this beautiful weather that we’ve been having in the UK recently. The Sew Over It Eve Dress just seemed to suit this fabric perfectly, and could carry the large print well. The Eve dress has two versions, a more boho romantic look perfect for summer and another more sleek and elegant dress suitable as an everyday dress. I have chosen to sew version 1, with statement relaxed sleeve and a dipped hem. This version would look great as a wedding outfit too.
The Eve dress is only fitted at the waist with a tie and a gathered yoke for fitting at the bust so picking a size is simple by just using the pattern measurements.
I cut out a size 10 from 3m of fabric which was ample. The pattern recommends 3.2m but with past experience of Sew Over It, they do slightly over estimate their fabric requirements. The fabric is easy to handle despite it being lightweight. After reading other reviews of the Eve dress, I was aware of how easy it could be to stretch out the front wrap piece. You sew in stay tape to stabilise this piece but I have seen recommendations to use the fabric selvage as it has the same weight as the fabric that you are using. The back piece is made up of 2 pieces but in reflection I feel that I would change this to 1 piece, cutting it on a fold, which will help continue the pattern when the fabric has a large print this this viscose.
The Finished Dress:
Putting on the Eve dress for the first time I just wanted to dance and spin around the garden. It is super comfortable, but elegant and feminine. The ties are long, so I wrapped them around finishing at the front tying at the wrap over waist.
The gathers on the yoke give enough drape to fit over the bust, but with a larger bust I do wonder if further gathers may need to be added so that it wouldn’t pull up the waist.
The sleeves offer cover but without any restrictions and are very on trend to what I have seen on the high street. The notches only match up for the longer sleeved version so I had to just go with my gut to how they fitted.
The dipped hem it’s a great feature and would look wonderful when wearing heels. It would also accommodate a taller person without having to add any extra length to the dress. You could easily mix up the versions to create a straight hem from version 2 but with the short sleeves.
A wrap dress is just a perfect feature that will fit right into my summer wardrobe. I’ll be taking it on holiday to wear in the evening for dinner and drinks. If I receive any formal invitations in the future I will look to the Eve dress first.
Posted in Projects on Wednesday the 15th August 2018 by Vicki Ormerod
Welcome to my review of some beautiful Cotton Poplin Fabric in blush colour. Although it’s called blush I would personally describe it as more of a peach, apricot or even soft coral colour. I think of blush as a pale peachy pink but this is much bolder. In some of my photos the material looks quite pink but it is best represented in the first couple of shots.
I thought I would research on the internet the different types of cotton fabric and was amazed to find there are at least 32 different materials made with cotton! Cotton poplin can also sometimes be called cotton broadcloth. It is supposed to be a medium weight cotton with a tight weave that’s suitable for dresses and blouses for example. I was pleasantly surprised to find this one was really quite fine in texture and lovely and smooth - almost like a lawn – obviously great quality.
About a year ago I made myself the McCall’s M7542 blouse in view C with short fluted sleeves. I’ve wanted to make it again in a different view and thought this fine cotton fabric would lend itself well as it drapes nicely. It was a toss-up between the pleated sleeve and the long fluted ones and the fluted won through!
This is a great pattern as it has 5 different sleeve options: tulip, long fluted, short fluted, gathered bell and pleated.
The blouse has quite a high curved neckline with a small opening at the back, fastened with a hook and eye. There are no zips to worry about so it’s quite easy. The bodice comes in two different lengths to choose from - a cropped length roughly to the waist and a more normal length to about the hip. I chose the hip length.
So it’s a really versatile pattern and the plainness of the fabric I thought would show the sleeve shape off perfectly.
I don’t like my blouses too snug around the hips so I graded my pattern from a 10 at the bust out to a 14 at the hip. There is quite a lot of ease in the pattern and my actual body measurements would have put me in a 12 grading to a 14, but taking the ease into account I sized down.
The only other alteration I made was to do a button and Rouleau loop fastening at the back of the neckline as I think that’s so much nicer than a boring old hook and eye!
The bodice is a simple construction with two bust darts, side seams and a centre back seam. The neckline is finished with an interfaced neck facing. I used a combination of sewing machine and my Overlocker but an Overlocker is not required.
The sleeves are not too tricky to make. They come in two parts - the normal sleeve part that you attach at the shoulder seam and a lower sleeve which creates the fluted part. This lower sleeve is a large circle of fabric with a hole set in the upper part of the circle which produces the flute which is longer at the back than at the front. This poplin is nice and wide so you can cut the circle out with plenty of room.
To finish off the hem of the fluted part, you sew a line of stitching 1.3 cm in from the raw edge. This gives you a firm line to fold the fabric back along.
Once ironed you then trim off the excess fabric close to the line of stitching along the folded edge.
Finally you fold the hem up again along the raw edge where you cut the excess material away and stitch it in place. It sounds complicated but it’s very well described.
Attaching the fluted part to the lower edge of the sleeve is also quite straight forward. Again you stitch just in from the seam allowance from the raw edge around the inner hole. You then clip the seam allowance at regular intervals up to but not into the stitched line. It is then easy to fit the sleeve edge to the lower sleeve. It went in very smoothly with no puckers in sight!
The Rouleau loop for the back fastening was simple to achieve but you have to remember at what stage to sew it into the facing/centre back seam and at what distance from the neckline raw edges - taking into account the seam allowance.
I simply took a piece of fabric 1” wide. I folded it in half wrong sides together and pressed it. I then folded each long edge in again to the centre fold line and pressed the folds. Next I folded it in half (now 1/4” wide and machined along the open side. I then made a loop and stitched across the end of the loop to hold its triangular shape.
Finally I calculated how much I needed so that there was 5/8” of both ends of the loop within the seam (I allowed more and trimmed afterwards) and enough protruding to fit over the button of my choice.
I pinned it between the facing and the centre back with enough allowance above it so it would sit perfectly once the facing seams had been sewn. I hope you will agree it makes a really nice feature.
I’m really pleased with the final results. I love the colour and feel of the cotton. I think it could be dressed up or down - worn with jeans or a really nice pair of more tailored trousers.
I also considered making a dress - perhaps the Lisette 6168 or a summer jacket. I so often choose a patterned fabric but it was nice to use something plain with a pattern with features that would show up nicely.
Thanks Minerva for the lovely fabric as always!