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Dimple Fleece Frankie Top & Monsal Lounge Pants

Hello everyone,

As soon as I saw the Supersoft Dimple Fleece Fabric I fell in love. I mean what is not to love? Those printed giraffes are the cutest I’ve seen printed on fabric. I was excited about this fabric before I got it, but when I received it, I literally started jumping around with excitement. The fabric is very soft. It’s softer than I imagined a 100% polyester fabric would be.

I chose to dive straight into making my outfit. I like to take risks when it comes to sewing. However, it’s recommended to pre-wash your fabric before you start sewing with it, just to avoid your project shrinking afterwards. I always wanted a pyjama that I can also wear as lounge wear, just because I can be lazy and not come out of it.

For the top I used the Frankie top pattern from Tilly and the Buttons’ book called Stretch. I’ve made the top in the past and I love the raglan sleeves on it. Also, that meant that I already had the pattern pieces ready to use.

I found the fabric quite easy to work with. When cutting fur to the pile I made a little mess as there were small threads falling off. But, this was not as bad as when working for faux fur or velvet.

To reduce the bulk in the seam around the neckline, I used a piece of scrap fabric to cut the neckband. I only used my sewing machine to top-stitch the neckband flat.

To make the top I used coordinating thread and used my overlocker for construction including the hems. But, if you do not have an overlocker like me, you can use the sewing machine – lightning or zig-zag stitched is good for stretch fabrics. I would in this case think about how you will finish the raw edges, purely because pile fabrics tend to shed pile threads.

For the bottoms I used the Monsal lounge pants pattern from Wendy Ward’s book A beginner’s guide to sewing with knitted fabric. I skipped the trousers on this version and did not add a waistband. I used the overlocker/serger for most of the construction except for the part where I added the elastic. For this part of the construction I used the sewing machine – zig-zag stitch.

I feel my day is brighter just by being in this outfit. It might not be the most flattering outfit I own but it is comfortable, makes me smile and keeps me warm. During the cold weather when it’s bleak outside this make be feel better.

My tips for working with this fabric:

  • this fabric has a pile so make sure all your pattern pieces are facing the same direction. You also need to be careful to make sure the giraffes are the right side up on your finished garment.

  • Although the print is perfect for kids projects, I’d keep in mind that the fibre content is 100% polyester, which might limit the type of project where you can use this fabric.

  • Test stitches on scraps of fabric to make sure you have the correct settings. Usually a lightning stitch is just perfect, but if your sewing machine does not have this stitch, a small width zig-zag is suitable as well.

  • If using a sewing machine for construction, consider finishing the raw edges with a wide zig-zag to stop the fabric from shedding threads from the pile.

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog post. And please do share your makes on Instagram/Twitter by tagging @MinervaCrafts and/or using the hashtag #MinervaMakes. I’d love to see what you create.

Simona

Sewing Adventures in the Attick

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McCalls 7313 Super Smart Heavy Jersey Dress

This past month I have made what has to be one of my favourite makes for a long time, this super smart heavy jersey dress. I was excited to receive this Fabric from Minerva this month, the pattern is so eye catching and the weight of the fabric is just perfect for the colder days. It is a textured jersey knit and it is also available in red and grey. My only dilemma now is that it was intended to be a work dress but after trying it on it looks far too nice to wear for work.

I chose to use McCall’s 7313, this pattern is designed for a beginner and I would say that when partnered with this fabric it is the ideal project for a beginner. 

The fabric doesn’t have any fray so there is no need for special finishing there (not unless you want it of course) and it behaved really well while being cut holding its shape well. I would imagine that this is going to be a wash and wear dress as after I washed the fabric when it arrived it didn’t require any ironing. This particular fabric would be ideal for winter tops, skirts or cardigans too due to the perfect way it holds its shape.

The view of the pattern I chose to make was view B, it looks to me as if B and F are the same style, just your length to suit before any final finishing. We are after all, all different heights so no one pattern is going to have the exact right length for you.

This pattern has only a few pieces so it is a really quick make, it does include a casing for elastic at the waist but as this fabric has such a good amount of stretch I decided not to use any elastic. I attached the front top to front skirt, and the back top to back skirt and then shoulders and sleeves. This meant that I could have a continuous seam down the sides, I then tried the dress on and pinned it to make it more fitted at the waist without the need for the elastic. This is of course personal preference and the dress will have pretty much the same look without doing it my way, the only difference will be a little gathering at the waist where the elastic draws it in.

The long sleeve length was spot on for me, with just a small hem I didn’t need to make any adjustments there at all. I will be making another dress in the same style soon and I am going to take a look on Minerva for different colour ways of this type of fabric.

I have a reasonable sized piece of this fabric left so I think I may be able to squeeze a sleeveless top out of it. With that in mind looking at the pattern I would imagine you could mix it up and do contrasting sleeves for this dress or maybe a different colour skirt. It might be a good way to use up any leftover bits of fabric and create something completely different.

I am now looking forward to a night out so I can wear my new dress, thank you to Minerva for the wonderful fabric.  

Dianne @ sewinggreenlady

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Seaweed Print Culottes!

I can't wait to show you this Crepe Fabric. (Thank you, Minerva!)

But first, I need to honestly discuss the Sewing Pattern I used.

It was late Saturday night. I had tucked my sons in to bed, sat down to my machines threaded and fabric cut, ready for a simple, relaxing, sew session. Three hours later- I looked down at my fuzzy navy bathrobe, covered in bright thread bits from what felt like the millionth unpicked seam.

“Eat.” My husband's voice was accompanied by a plate of cheese and pickles pushed under my nose.

I growled something like gratitude, I've learned hunger commonly precludes seam-ripping!

I have made this pattern once before, early in my sewing journey, and I had no recollection of its difficulty level or time involved. I assumed it would be much smoother this time, after all my vast experience and skill development. (Ha!) It doesn't have too many pieces nor does it use much fabric, considering the amount of ease in this style.

The long and short of it is that I managed to sew the pockets and side pieces wrong, about 4 times over. Don't be over-confident like me, mark those pieces really well! Despite struggling through it, I still don't think it is a difficult pattern, and maybe...I was really just hungry.

Final thought: How great would these be in chambray or linen, with a bib hack! (The pattern includes some suspender-style pieces.) The flat front waistband is very flattering and the back elastic waistband is very comfortable. The only thing I would change is the crotch height, its quite low even for a culotte style.

To the fabric!

I am certain I chose this print out of pure nostalgia. I grew up steps from the pacific ocean and most of our childhood days were spent on the beach collecting shells, rocks, and seaweeds- just like this! Turning over large rocks to unearth tiny, scurrying crabs. Popping the natural buoys formed in that funny inflated brown kelp.

This colourful crepe fabric has an amazing amount of drape. It is weightier than other crepes I have worked with so these pants have great “swish” movement! Perfect for spring and summer styles, its cool to the touch.

I pre-washed the fabric in warm/cold and tumbled dry as usual. There was no perceivable shrinkage.

During construction, it pressed crisply with no melting/sheen (always do a test with the iron, no matter what!) and that is something I truly appreciate, especially when pleats are involved. It wasnt slippery to sew at all, I'd venture that's owing to the fine pebbly texture. (Another “Thanks, I made them, FEEL THE FABRIC” garment on the books.) Lastly, the fabric frayed very little, despite the amount of unpicking here. As a new-ish sewist, I really appreciate easy-to-sew fabrics that allow me to try more complicated construction techniques and not be totally hung-up.

Culottes are here to stay, in my wardrobe. I basically wear them 3 ways: 1) with a co-ordinating top for the faux-jumpsuit (honestly, faux-jumpsuit over true jumpsuit, forever.) 2) with a cami and jacket for slightly dressier 3) with a slouchy sweater for when the weather won't fully commit to Spring. (Like today.) Tell me, are you team-culottes?

Until next time!

-Cortney @s.is.for.sew

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Simplicity Vintage 5225 Black Panther Fur Jacket

Hi guys!

Sarah from Wanderstitch here again, with another fur coat - this time, it's for me!

I couldn't resist this beautiful black Faux Fur Fabric - and I knew I had the perfect pattern to make with it: vintage Simplicity 5225, a fur jacket pattern from the 1980's.

This fur is different to the two furs I've used so far - the pile is much shorter. I loved the way it looked - so smooth and glossy, really luxurious! Totally recommended if you're looking to make something special, especially to go with evening wear.

I used my previous learnings from working with fur to help with this jacket - that is, to cut with scissors instead of a rotary cutter (so you don't chop the pile), use a ballpoint needle (so that you don't split the fibres of the backing), and don't iron the fur pile from the front (just trust me on this one!).

You'll also quickly discover that pins are not up to the job of holding together two layers of fur - Wonder Clips are definitely the way to go here!

Fur can be quite bulky, so after you've sewn a seam you'll want to trim the pile from the seam allowances (do this afteryou've sewn the seam - if you do it before you sew the pieces together there's a risk that your seam might wander and you'll end up with bald patches on the outside of the garment!). You can try pressing the seams open, but I've never really had much luck with this. I find a better method - although more time-consuming, for sure - is to hand stitch the allowances to the main body of the coat. The finish is well worth the effort, I promise.

As this coat is plain black on the outside, you KNEW I would have to go crazy with the lining, right?! I've had this animal print satin for a while now but not used it because I just hadn't found the right project - then when I saw this luxurious black fur I *knew* that it's time had come. Black and gold is such a luxurious pairing and I'm so happy with how it looks. I even added some gold piping to the inside around the lining - this is quite a simple addition to make to any coat but it really takes the finished item up a notch! Don't be limited by ready-made piping either - it's supereasy to make your own with 2mm Piping Cord and some Satin Bias Tape, or if you want a truly unique garment you can cut your own bias strips from whatever fabric you like!

For the pocket bags of coats, I've stopped using lining fabric. I find that it's just too flimsy, and even if you overlock the edges or finish them some other way, eventually the weight of a phone/wallet will cause a hole to form because the lining fabric frays too easily. My new approach is to use the main outer fabric for the half of the bag that's attached to the back of the coat, and Flannel Fabric for the other half of the pocket bag that attaches to the front of the coat. I use the main fabric for the back half so that if the pocket gapes a little, you won't notice because the pocket interior looks the same as the outside of the coat. The flannel half you don't see from the outside, but it's a lot sturdier than lining fabric and it feels nice and cosy on your hand, too :)

The coat closes with some black thread-covered Fur Hooks - it's the first time I've used these, but they are really easy to install. Just make sure you have a good strong needle and a thimble handy! One mistake I made was to put them too close to the edge of the fabric, so that when they were closed you could see the hook. I moved them back further which solved the problem - now they are completely concealed under the overlap at the front.

I've made a couple of fur coats now, and feel quite comfortable with the techniques needed to work with the fabric. It's really not as scary as it seems - just take your time and go step by step, seam by seam. 

Treat yourself to a beautiful fur coat for next winter!

See you next month - happy sewing!

Sarah // Wanderstitch

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Baby Proof Sewing

Inspiration

Hi everyone! I'm back, attempting some more baby proof sewing. This means easy access for breastfeeding and suitable to camouflage baby sick. I found this great lightweight fabric that has enough stretch for boob access and black and white motif that should hide any baby drool and vomit whilst at the same time looking cute! I've had the New Look 6403 in my pattern stash for a while and went for option B with some self drafted frills for the sleeves.

Fabric

The fabric used is a black and white soft Jersey Fabric, which has a great drape. I had to be careful when sewing to make sure the seams did not pucker.

Design

I cut one size up so that the t-shirt was more of a relaxed fit and then cut off an inch from the bottom of the sleeves. I assembled the t-shirt as per the instructions and then created a frill using a rectangle of fabric, gathered, and sewn on at the sleeve hem.

The fabric ended up quite bulky at the gathered seam so I top stitched it down to the sleeve cap, leaving the frills to hang.

Assembly

The fabric was hard to pattern match as it was so light but I think that I've managed or as best as could be with the shape of the pattern.

Would I do anything different next time?

If I were to make this again I might use less fabric to create the sleeve frill so that the seam was not as heavy. I'm really pleased with the fit of the pattern so I'm going to keep this as my t-shirt staple pattern. The bottoms also look like they would make great PJs so I'm keeping an eye out for some suitable fabric.

Jesse is yet to throw up on it so I'll keep you posted on how that goes :)

Supplies

Black and white soft jersey fabric x 2 metres @ £6.99 p/m 

Matching Gutermann Sewing Thread x 1 @ £1.95

Pattern New Look 6403 @ £7.50

Total Cost: £23.43

Time to make: 2 hrs

Love Claire & Jesse x

Made at Mine

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Kwik Sew 3835 Silver Foil Harem Pants

Greetings fellow sewists! For those who would like to know who the new face is, my name is Callie and I have a blog over at CallieMakes where I blog about all the things I make. What a wonderful sewing community there is here! You all inspire me every day, so it makes me very happy to be able to share some of my own sewing adventures with you here, too.

As a sewist, do you find that you tend to gravitate towards working with knits over wovens or vice versa? I’ll work with either, but I still tend to be one who favors wovens over knits. Sure, to fill in those wardrobe gaps, I’ll make a knit top, sweater or pant from time to time, but I still opt for the wovens. Well, just over a year ago I worked with a foil knit for the first time. As I’m sure every sewist likes to spend time doing, I was window-shopping some fabrics online and came across these dazzling foil knits and it was--as the cliché goes—like a moth to a flame. 

I just had to make something fun out of this glistening Material. I made some pretty cool gold joggers out of that first foil knit but the fabric tended to be awfully slinky due to its weight. It was very light which made it a bit of a frustration to work with. Thankfully, the foil knit I used for this project was not at all a frustration. The weight was perfect to use for this very simple pants pattern. I used a Kwik Sew Pattern 3835 for harem pants because I thought I already have some gold foil knit pants, now I need to make some silver! And who doesn’t need a pair of silver harem pants in their closet?!

In all realness though, if you are a beginner sewer, this is—as its name sake implies—a quick pattern of 4 pieces, and it is great if you want to make a fun fashion statement but your skills may still need that easy construction. Or even if you are an advanced sewer and want something fast and fun to make, it’s a fine pattern for that too!

As far as working with foil knits, here are some of my recommendations:

·         Be sure to use a jersey knit needle (size 10 or 12)

·         Threading your bobbin thread through that tiny hole in the arm of the bobbin case helps--it’s good to thread this when working with lighter/finer weight fabrics, but it helps with the jersey knits, too, in that it helps stabilize those stitches.

·         Use a stretch stitch (like zig zag) or serger since you’ll need that ease in the waistband and leg cuffs.

·         If you need, use a lightweight interfacing to stabilize the foil knit. (I didn’t need to use any for this fabric because the weight was just right).

·         If you decide to use this pattern, before you cut, know that it calls for ¼” seam allowances, so you may want to consider going up a size if you like to use larger seam allowances.

‘Til next time,

Callie @ calliemakes

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McCalls 7757 Crepe Trousers

Hello sewing friends!I'm Poppy Flowers from poppyflowers.wordpress.com, where I post all about sewing and my handmade life. Today is a very special day for me as this is my first post on Minerva's blog. I'm feeling grateful and excited being part of Makers Team and meeting you all!
Before I bore you with the intro let's talk about fabric! I saw this Polyester Crepe Fabric and the abergine colourway stole my heart immediately. As soon as I got it I could not think anything different than my current favourite pants pattern, the McCall's 7757, option E. It is a summer pattern but I have used it already twice for winter garments. If  fabric is light to medium weight and with a nice drape, believe me, it's gonna work!
Wide legs, pockets and elasticated waistband, these make it beginner friendly or ... just a brain free weekend! So I grabbed a cup of cocoa and Friday night the process began. I lay my fabric down (I always fabric cut on the floor!) and because I don't own pattern weights I use random items (here, "things" from living room!) and in a little while I began with sewing.  
Process is as simple as sewing inner legs of front and back, for each leg, and then sewing the crotch seam. Next morning I added pockets and sew the side seams but stopped my sewing for the day. Final steps happened on Monday and were the casing for the elastic and hemming.
I mainly sew it on my sewing machine and finished seams on serger. Hems are almost always hand finished for me and so are here, this is time consuming but hems hang better always.
Extra step I did are adding pocket stabilisers (satin ribbon on the front inner piece) and pocket stays (cute "ribbon bow" machine stitch on the outer lower pocket, instead of the traditional bartack).
Last but not least -and with a complete no need but I do it with all of my garments(!), on the inner waistband, I wrote my name (decorative stitches are always looking better when using rayon thread and stabiliser).
I really like this pattern, it's always so comfy wearing elasticated waistband and I love everything cinched waist! Next time I will not add pockets as although I like the practical use of them, I definitely don't need more fullness around my hips!
Fabric has a deep colour and satiny feel, that makes the garment a bit more on the formal side but I like contrasting and wearing it with a cozy pullover and enjoy wearing it in the mornings.
This is it. Thank you for sharing your time with me, I hope you find it useful, inspiring or at least interesting and thank you Minerva team for the trust!
Until next time, stay creative on all aspects!
xo xo,
Poppy 
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Edie Top Dress Hack

Hello everyone, I’m Kealy from Voice of a Creative. This time for my Minerva Makers blog post, I chose this lovely Floral Jersey Fabric Blue and Orange.

This fabric is available in one colour and features a blue background with a mix of orange, white and green on the flowers. This is a lovely light weight fabric and would be perfect for t-shirts and dresses. It was easy to work with when cutting and sewing, its composition is a mix of polyester and elastane. I love the addition of the colourful striped selvage!

When I received the fabric, I wasn’t quite sure what to make from it, partly because I have a standard self-drafted jersey pattern which is my go to for jersey. However, I felt like trying out a different pattern. I have recently seen several posts on Instagram featuring Agnes and Freya dress hacks so decided to try this out with another jersey top pattern. I decided to go for the Edie top from the Sew Over It E-book Work to Weekend and then add a skirt to it. I liked the look of the slash neckline and three-quarter sleeves, as they are different from my normal dress pattern.

My first step was to cut out the fabric, I cut the front and back of the Edie top as directed on the fold of the fabric, cropping it at the waist line.

For the skirt I took my waist, hip (on my hip bone) and widest hip measurement. I quartered each measurement, so I could draft the skirt piece. I drafted the pattern on brown paper, first drawing the fold line then marking each measurement starting with the waist, hip then widest part before drawing a smooth curve between them. To get the length I measured from my waist to my knee then added an inch, again I marked this on the pattern piece. An image of this is below.

After drawing out the basic skirt block I added a 1 cm seam allowance to the top and side of the skirt block. I also added 2 inches to the fold line, as this will allow me to add pleats to the skirt later. This is shown below.

I didn’t make any adjustments to the pattern other than to crop it at the waist seam, the shoulders and neck line on the Edie top seem to fit me quite well.

The most challenging part of the make was the neckline on the Edie top, this requires you to use seam tape interfacing. Seam tape interfacing is a strip of interfacing with a line of chain stitching down the middle. To do this you need to iron the seam tape on, round the neck line and on the shoulders for the back piece. You then need to stitch this within the seam allowance before folding over and adding a double line of stitching. The trickiest part is sewing across the shoulder, but I just took my time and it worked out well.

To construct the dress, I joined the shoulder seams and finished the neck line. I then joined the front and back top pieces to the front and back skirt pieces. I added pleats to the top and skirt pieces. To do this I measured 4 inches from the fold line and then folded it over by half an inch. Finally, I sewed the side seams and inserted the sleeves before finishing the sleeve hems and skirt hem.

To finish the hem of the dress I folded the edge of the fabric over by 1cm and then again 1cm, before stitching with a double line of stitching.

Overall, I love the look of this dress, it feels quite glamourous with the slash neck line and floral pattern. The shoulders fit me well, as does the skirt, I know I will get a lot of wear out of this dress. This fabric was a great weight for making a dress out of, I will be looking at more of these fabrics as I know it is easy to work with and turns out well. The only change I might make is to shorten the sleeves slightly, as these sleeves fall right in my elbow crease which could be a little uncomfortable moving forward.

Thanks for reading,

Kealy @ Voice of a Creative

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The Nina Lee Mayfair Dress

Hello,

As I write this post, it is snowing outside but, all I can think about at the moment are warmer Spring days. I might sew a couple more colder weather garments but my thoughts and sewing plans are now directed to Spring and Summer, my absolutely favourite time of the year and consequently, favourite clothes to wear and sew.

As soon as I saw this Lady McElroy Viscose Jersey Fabric, I knew it would have to become a dress. I adore the contrasting blooms against the turquoise main colour and as the print is large, I thought a dress with big panels would showcase the beautiful print and make it stand out. For that reason, I decide to make the Mayfair Dress by Nina Lee Patterns.

Based on my measurements, I made a size 6 graded to size 8 at the hips. I opted for the mid sleeves and knee-length options that will make it perfect to wear in Spring and very likely, during UK Summer weather as well. The only change I made to the pattern was shortening the length of the skirt part by 3 centimetres. A change I make in most patterns, as I am not tall (at all).

Due to the composition of this fabric being mainly viscose, it gives it a beautiful drape but, as with most knits, it needs to be handled carefully in order to not stretch while sewing. I also used a walking foot and a jersey needle as I usually do when working with knits and everything went smoothly, even in the trickiest parts. I had to be particularly careful making the neckline, in order not to stretch the fabric but, a neat finishing makes it all worth it. Not only looks beautiful but also avoids having a seam itching my neck. Perfect!

Another part of the dress construction that I had to be careful with, was the gathering of the dress front. I used clear elastic to obtain that effect but maybe next time I will try gathering using three rows of running stitches and see if it looks better. If the end result is worth it, I really don’t mind working with the elastic.

The two trickiest parts during the construction, are also the ones which result in my favourite parts of this dress and for which, the quality of the fabric plays a big role. I really adore how lovely the fabric drapes at the front and gathers at the neckline.

Making this dress was actually quite fast and gratifying. I had no big issues working with this fabric, in fact I had no issues at all, just had to be cautious as I usually am with knit fabric and the result is a lovely dress. The colours are absolutely gorgeous and it drapes beautifully. I am sure I will wear this dress innumerable times as soon as the weather allows me to.

Many thanks Minerva Crafts for the gorgeous fabric for this project and to you for reading.

Happy sewing,

Maria @ fairiesbubblesco

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Making It Work!

I figure I should start off by introducing myself since this is my first Minerva Crafts Maker blog post. I am Anna Marie, known on social media as @seams_so_stylish. I have been sewing for close to 5 years come February 2019. A few breaks here and there, due to life but I’m now back in to the swing of things. I use to blog on my own site, but I gave that up to focus on other things, so this opportunity to be a guest blogger here allows me to get the blogger feel I miss.

Now on to the garment, initially when I requested this Jersey Fabric and stretch Faux Suede Fabric I wanted to make a top and a skirt. The fabric arrived and I thought I want to combine this into one garment. So happy with my vision I went to cut out my fabric and began to sew and realized even though the super soft stretch faux suede was light weight, the structure of it was heavier than the knit. And my perfect project was becoming a mess. I started freaking out a bit, this is my first project for Minerva, it can’t be a failure. I have to save it.

So I walked away from the project and came back. What I did to make this project work.

  • I put slits in the side seams to allow the faux suede to relax.

  • I topstitched the facing down so it would always lay flat. I was using the faux suede for facing, with the knit it was heavier and it had been interfaced.

  • I recut the sleeves out of the jersey, originally it was going to be the faux suede but it didn’t have the stretch I needed. I added some left over mesh I had laying around the house to give the sleeves a little more detail.

  • I wanted to make sure the sleeves both had a beautiful flower, so I made sure I cut those separate from each other to get the flower. Overall I am happy with my save of this project.

The Faux suede is lightweight but firm and if looking to combine with other fabric I think more of a structured fabric like a Ponte, stretch woven will work best.

Pattern Notes

Simplicity 8059 View D

This is a pretty straightforward pattern. 3 main pieces. Back is cut on fold. You have the two fronts, and sleeves, then there’s the front ties and facing front and back.

Assembly of the pattern is pretty quick. Now as much as I love a good cardigan I prefer a more fitted cardigan/duster, because I carry more weight at the bottom and I don’t like excess bulk on me, this pattern I was concern a little until I saw the little back casing detail. It gives you not only detail but also a more fitted look.

I have short shoulders, so I thought this pattern was a little long in the shoulder area, and the sleeve caps had an excessive amount of ease. I ending up cutting off about an inch. The sleeves are long, but this intended per the pattern design, and you kind of bunch them up on your arms, it works for me.

I think this is a great beginner pattern, not time consuming. It is sized for stretch knits only. My only caution would be to if you're mixing fabrics just to make sure the stretch is the same and the weight of the fabric is equal. Other than that a perfect project for anyone.

You can make this for a swimsuit cover-up, a house coat/robe, which is what I will use mine for. Especially vacationing when you want to be comfortable but don’t want to look like you have on a robe.

Styled Photos

Well until next time Sew On!

Anna Marie @seams_so_stylish

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