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Stripes and Crepes

Hi everyone, it’s Monica of That’s Sew Monica. I am so excited to be taking part in my first blog post for Minerva. As soon as I saw this multicoloured Stretch Crepe Fabric, I knew that I had to have it.

I wasn’t sure what I wanted to make but I ordered 4.5 yards and knew that I wanted to play on the stripes. By the time I received my fabric, I was dealing with a lot for the month of May. I had a pipe bust in my bathroom that had me out of my home for weeks and then when I started finalizing the dress, I stepped on a sewing needle and it broke off in my foot and had to get emergency surgery. Yes, May was certainly a month!  Needless to say, I needed to finish my dress and make one that I would be very proud of through everything I was going through.

Enough about that stuff let’s get back to the dress. When I received the gorgeous crepe, I was in love instantly. My mind started flowing with ideas. I went back and forth from a dress, to pants and a kimono. I even went out and took a mini poll with some of my sewing friends. They were all torn as well. Inspiration looks were flowing but all I could see in my mind was a play on stripe, a deep v and off course a bishop sleeve. I just love that sleeve style for me.

The fabric is so easy to sew with. I did a sketch first with what I had in mind and then I went looking for a pattern. 

I knew I would draft something but I also wanted a pattern. I was torn. I decided to do a little of both. I love frankensteining patterns and enjoy meshing pieces of my favorite patterns to create. It helps to build on my creativity. I wanted the neckline of Vogue 9253 and the style of the multilayer and sleeves of McCall’s 7834

For those that know me, I love a sleeve and the bigger they are the better for me. I chose to do a larger bishop sleeve than what it called for in the pattern.

To achieve the look, I cut the following pieces from McCall’s 7834 1 Front, 2 Back, 7 Sleeve, 10 Front and Back Skirt, 12 Ruffle and from Vogue 9253 I cut pattern piece 1 Upper Front. I laid the Vogue bodice pattern over the McCall’s front pattern piece to determine the neckline. Instead of cutting into the pattern I folded it in. For the sleeve, starting from the armhole I went out on an angle to about 5 inches of my desired with making sure to keep the armhole at the desired cut line. For the skirt and back part of the pattern I chose to make that area more fitted. I measured my waist and hip and cut the pattern to the measurement. I also added a zipper to the back of dress that included the back-pattern piece and a portion of the skirt back so that I could get in and out of the dress with ease. For the bottom portion of the skirt, I used the ruffle and measured down to my desired length I wanted the dress. I love long flowing dresses even though I’m only 5ft tall. I love wearing tall shoes and if I must wear flats I can always tie it up. Since the length was cut out prior to my unfortunate foot accident I didn’t shorten the length. It helped to hide my orthopedic shoe. The fabric has a slight stretch which is comfortable and gives a nice flow.

The stripes were the reason I chose this fabric and I wanted to make sure they were highlighted. For the left bodice I cut that horizontally and the right one vertically.  

The skirt front and back I cut horizontally and the bottom vertically. For the belt I cut that horizontally as well. For finishing I chose to serge the insides. I did use bias tape for the facing and for the long hem that I had to do, my rolled hem foot came in handy. It helped keep a straight stitch and even hem along the bottom.

I love this dress and look forward to wearing it everywhere. The colors are vibrant and fun and all I want to do is have fun in it.

Xoxo

Monica @thatssewmonica

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The Gable Top

Hi everyone!! I'm Isa from Uma Crafter Portuguesa com certeza and I'm thrilled to be back here on Minerva's blog.
Today I'll be reviewing the lovely Cotton Jersey Fabric. When I first saw the fabric it reminded me of chilly mornings and stylish seaside wears - what would be more appropriate in this fabric than a breton top?
I decided to try out the Gable top by Jennifer Lauren Handmade in this lovely fabric.
The fabric behaved wonderfully in the wash, it has a really soft comfy touch and a super smooth surface. Even though the stripes are printed on and not woven in the fabric, they resisted a very hot iron without any sticking or discoloration. The pattern I used is a really simple sew that you can construct using only your serger (except for hems of course). I added a small split on the side, purely for added interest.
The trickiest bit would be the neckline. Jennifer Lauren recomends that if you don't like such a high neckline as a slash neckline you ease it in on the inside and tack it down. I did just so, using my tailor's ham to help me with the shape. I lost the flatness of the neckline but I'm hoping it will improve with washing.
And that's it, a super quick make that you could do in an afternoon. I used a bit of trim to add a label so I could easily identify the back when dressing.
Thanks for reading,
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Crepe Jersey Knit Bobby Dress

Hello, fabric lovers! I am so thrilled to be here on the Minerva Crafts Blog. I have long admired the posts from other bloggers on the network so it’s a genuine pleasure to be sharing my first garment made with fabric from Minerva!

Let me just start out by saying that I am obsessed with this Lady McElroy Crepe Jersey Fabric in brown. I am not sure that description really does the fabric justice. It’s not just brown-- it’s leopard print!

I have sewn with quite a few different jersey knit fabrics but this was the first time I’d heard of a crepe jersey. I typically think of a crepe fabric as a woven so I was very intrigued about how the fabric would look and feel.

It’s a lightweight knit but because of the crepe texture and the viscose fiber content, it has sort of a heavy drape. It’s quite stretchy but has good recovery since there is 4% spandex in the mix.  

The texture is very subtle but when you look at the fabric closely it has the twisty yarn, crinkled texture that makes crepe fabric unique. I will definitely be on the lookout for more crepe knits to add to my wardrobe since this one looks and feels beautiful.

I love the leopard print on this jersey! I’ve used animal print as accents in my wardrobe, mainly shoes and hair accessories but this is my first time having a full garment made from an animal print. I’m very excited to work this dress into my handmade wardrobe.

Since I was using a fabric that seems like quite a statement piece, I decided to stick with a silhouette that is more familiar to me. I used the Seamwork Bobby Pattern to make my dress.

Bobby is a sleeveless dress with a lined bodice, wide elastic waistband and an a-line skirt. It features a v-neckline and there is a bonus pattern piece for flutter sleeves that is available to Seamwork subscribers.

This dress was fun and fairly quick to sew. I went up one size in the bust based on the finished garment measurements and I’m really happy with how it fits me. I made a size 10 at the bust, graded to a size 12 at the waist, and a 14 at the hips. I lengthened the bodice by 7/8” based on a few other sewists recommendations when I researched the pattern on Instagram. (My measurements are 37” bust, 32” waist, and 44” hips. I am 5’7.5” tall.)

I found the instructions to be very thorough on this pattern. There is an interesting burrito method used to attach the lining to the main fabric (I used the same fabric to line the bodice since this knit is lightweight.) The lined bodice keeps everything looking neat and tidy inside.

I highly recommend not skipping the step of reinforcing the neckline with knit interfacing or clear elastic. I used knit interfacing on mine and the neckline still got a bit stretched out when I was understitching the lining. I was very thankful that a trip through the washer and dryer got it back into shape.

The wide elastic waist is comfortable and it gives great definition at the waistline. I love the length of the skirt. It feels very luxurious to have the crepe jersey swish around my legs when I walk.

I’m excited to start wearing this dress! It looks great dressed up with my platform sandals and simple jewelry and I can see myself wearing it a few different ways, too. It will be very cute worn with my jean jacket and sneakers or with a cardigan and flats. I can tell this will be a year round staple in my wardrobe!

Thanks for reading!

~Teri

@teridodds1/Fa Sew La
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Crepe Tea Dress

I received 4metres of this beautiful Crepe Fabric with a bold floral and geometric design. It had a vintage feel, so I decided to make Butterick 6380, a vintage style tea dress by Gertie. This pattern had been in my ‘to do’ list for a while. I actually got this pattern free with Love sewing magazine but is also available for purchase.

I prewashed the crepe, it had a beautiful drape perfect for this style of dress. I sprayed starch onto the fabric to help stiffen it for cutting and sewing purposes. I used a 1cm seam allowance throughout. I changed to a finer needle in my sewing machine and a walking foot to help with the slippery fabric. I overlocked throughout the process as the crepe does fray with handling.

Unfortunately, I was off the size scale of this pattern (common problem unfortunately), so I retraced all the pattern pieces upsizing to a size 24. I added 2.5inchs to the skirt length. I hacked the sleeve to create a flatter sleeve by adding extra width and length to the bottom half of the sleeve.

The dress is fully lined, I think when out in the sunshine this dress would need to be lined as the fabric mixed with sunshine could give you a drama moment (seeing your silhouette underneath). I lined the bodice but didn’t have enough fabric to line the skirt so I’m wearing a separate underskirt. With only having the bodice lined, I handstitched the base of the bodice together within the seam allowance to hold them down.

I used the rolled hem on my overlocker to hem the sleeves and skirt section. This gives them a lovely floaty appearance and doesn’t take as much cm’s off the length as traditional hemming.

I used the suggested pattern method of a lapped zip, which was a little trickier in crepe. If I was to make the dress again I would use an invisible zip which I’m more familiar with and position it a few mm further down to get a neater top finish with the lining.

I tried the dress on throughout the making process as I was warned it might not fit. The waist band sat too low, almost on my hips, so I unpicked it from the skirt and shortened it by 4cm.

I love the style of the dress but not sure if it suits a busty figure, being a G cup, I found it a little too low. For the photos I had to pin it to my bra cups to stop them being visible. I think I will hand stitch the cups together, extending the centre seam by about 3cm and see if that makes it a more comfortable wear. It would be a shame not to wear such a pretty dress.

(…a little while later) Yes it does make it less revealing! I think in a future version I would extend the length of the tabs by 3cm too. this would mean the bust gathers are more spread out giving a little extra bust coverage.

The fabric is bold and of good quality. With the nature of this crepe you can wash and hang the dress to dry, no need to iron. Perfect for busy people!

Plus, once you’ve finished being lady-like in your vintage tea dress you can play rugby with your children (he he he)...

Thanks for reading,

Charmaine @cham.west

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The Snuggly Monroe Top

Hiiiiiii :)

Back in February, team Minerva sent me a fluffy little package containing 1.25 meters of this beautiful wool jersey knit blend in silver/grey. I had dreams of snuggly winter nights (and windy winter days) cuddled up in this wool, letting it keep me warm through the blustery cold. Then it got lost in transit… for weeks.  :(.  Thankfully it finally turned up at my door step but of course by the time that happened the worst of winter had already passed. Well, I’m not one to have my dreams poo poo'd on by poor luck and especially when I pulled it out of the package and saw (and felt) the drape and body of this fabric, I was like, ‘oh heck no. I am not re-envisioning my dreams.’ I figured winter will come back … it (unfortunately) always does.  So I forged on.

And can I just say I. love. this. shirt.  Sometimes I make a project and I’m like. OK… this is pretty nice, I think I’ll wear it but it’s not like a top-of-my-drawer reach-for-every- time-staple. This might very well land into that later category. I paired this fabric with the FREE Monroe top by Tissuti patterns. To be honest, I originally wanted to make the Mandy boat Tee because of the Love to Sew podcast- if you listen I’m sure you know exactly what that means. If you don’t… it’s time. Get to it. You’re welcome.

Anyways, when I went to the landing page to download the Mandy, I saw the Monroe and I literally just took a 90 degree hard turn towards the Monroe and never looked back. After braving the first half of winter I knew I needed more turtle necks in my life and when I saw the Monroe it was like little harps started playing in my ears. “la la la- sew me up- ding a ling and ling” -obviously more harp-y though :)

According to the Minerva website this fabric is 85% acrylic and 15% wool and is 66.4” wide.  According to me, it has a medium amount of beefiness and a decent amount of crosswise stretch. Right out of the package it seemed like it was going to work perfectly for the Monroe of my dreams, it had the stretch I wanted to make my shirt comfy and the width the accommodate the pattern pieces for this relaxed style. There was one thing that had me a little worried though, it has the slightest amount of scratchiness to it. I mean, wool is sheep hair after all so what do you expect. I had a moment of pause thinking about whether I should still pair it with something that would be against the sensitive skin of my neck but I forged ahead anyways deciding I could always cut it off if I hated it (sewing super powers for the win!). I am soooo glad I just went for it. For me, because this turtle neck sits snuggly against my neck instead of shifting all around (like a cowl might) any sensation of scratchiness disappears right after I put it on. 

So those were challenges 1 and 2. First the fabric getting lost, then a little self doubt on the pattern matching… but theeeeen… then when I printed out my pattern, for some weird reason (I swear this wasn’t my fault) when I measured the little box on my print out, I discovered my printer had printed it at 85%.  What?!  So I spent a couple days, dilly dallying about trying to guess how I should size up and in the end I decided to just cut out a larger size than I normally would. I couldn’t be bothered to faff about anymore, my dream sweater had waited long enough. So I cut out the size 2/3 when I would normally cut out a size 1 and moved on with my maker-life.  And again the crafting-gods shined down on me and everything turned out spot on. Except the sleeve length which was somehow like bracelet length? This was obviously not inline with my vision of ultimate snuggliness so I cut out some extra long cuffs and made my dreams come true. Boom.

All the heart eyes. OK, so let me tell you whyyyyy I think this fabric and pattern turned out to be a match made in snuggly heaven. The drape and body of this fabric is so yummy. It gives weight to the pattern pieces without dragging them down and it also keeps this extra wide shirt close to my body preserving my body heat, while still letting my body breath. The pattern has dropped shoulders, so the heft of the fabric that I love for the warmth and drape, doesn’t get pooled into my arm pits (a big pet peeve of mine).  The cross grain stretch allows the sleeves to be fitted and the neck to be snug without feeling choke-y or stifling (another pet peeve of mine). Lastly, this make was q.u.i.c.k. quick.  I threw this through my serger like I do with all knits and honestly I think I spent more time writing up this review for you than I did sewing it.  Lol. To be fair, I also did one of my all time favorite knit cheats. I didn’t properly hem my Monroe, I did a quick serged edge hem which I enjoy much more than actually hemming knits and again I think this fabric has the right body to pull it off beautifully.

So anyways, there you have it. I don’t know how many more opportunities I will have to wear it before winter is well and truly over but I know for sure it will stay on the top of my sweater pile waiting for me to grab it first thing come next winter.

Thanks for listening and happy making!

Kten @ Jinx & Gunner

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Cloud 9 Avila Top

What can I say about this Cloud 9 Cotton Lawn? It felt like sewing cloud material. Words that pop into my mind when thinking of this is soft, diaphanous and fine. The abstract paint strokes look like they are being viewed through a hazy filter. It all makes for a delectably lovely sewing fabric.

Sustainable Organic Fabirc

It’s eco credentials are impressive too. The cotton is 100% certifiable organic. Cloud9 Fabrics are a leading source of reputable certified organic cotton using low impact dyes. Choosing cotton from the Cloud9 range was quite a challenge because their range features beautiful colours and attractive designs. In the end it had to be this Avila design which is part of the Frolic range.

The fabric is very soft and lightweight and ever so slightly opaque. That is to say that it is not as transparent as sheer fabrics. In the pictures I am only wearing a bra underneath.

Burdastyle 03/2019#103

I wanted to make a simple style garment to emphasize the abstract paint print. Luckily I had just received my March Burda magazine and when I saw the blouse, it all fell into place. Burdastyle 03/2019 #103 is v neck blouse with half length sleeves and a tying belt. The pattern doesn’t have any darts – any shaping is achieved through the belt. I traced size 38 based on my bust and waist measurements. The fit is spot on, I made no alterations. The pattern comes in size EUR36 –EUR44.

Sewing with Fine Lightweight Woven Cottons - Tips to Save Time

This was my first time sewing with diaphanous batiste like fabric and I learned a lot. Here are my tips for getting the best out of finer fabrics like this cotton lawn.

1. Sharp needles

They need a very sharp needle – the needle memory on this fabric was quite strong in the sense that due to the fineness of the fabric the holes were distinct when thread was removed. So I highly recommend using sharps needles.

2. Reduce thread tension

Similarly, check your sewing machine tension. I had to reduce my tension by 1 point to get a non puckered seam.

3. Reduce stitch length

Additionally I had to reduce my stitch length from my usual 2.5 to 2.0 to get an even stitch that didn’t look like I was trying to gather it.

4. Change needle plate or use stabilising paper

If you can change the needle plate to a circle one then do so because this fabric is very fine it can easily get pulled into the feed dogs especially at the beginning of sewing a seam. You know that thing that happens and you feel like the machine is trying to ‘eat’ your fabric. If your machine doesn’t come with a straight stitch needle plate then don’t worry, you can easily use stabilising paper underneath (in my case I tried baking parchment) and it did the trick.

To wrap up I can’t emphasize this enough – do some test sewing on a scrap. Once I had the setting correct for the fabric, sewing it was a pure joy. I am very partial to fabric that responds well to a steam iron and this fabric just loves the iron.

Sewing Construction Details

For interfacing I used a lightweight woven interfacing on the facing and cuffs. I finished all seams with an overlocker in orange tone threads for a bit of contrast. I staystitched the v neckline to keep it laying flat against my body. This is a necessary technique for wide necklines.

Verdict

It turned out a beautiful top that is striking in its simplicity.

Style notes

I styled my top with my handmade trousers in black cotton sateen and black wedges. With the tie belt I not only look chic, I also feel chic. Win/Win! But more importantly the fabric feels lush against the skin - like a summer’s cloud kiss. Perfect for hot summer days when you want something breathable and light. I can see this working with a red linen skirt or culottes. Team with some wide legs pants for a sophisticated look.

Thanks for stopping by!

You can find me dancing on my YouTube channel or my blog saturdaynightstitch.

Hila

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Deer and Doe Sirocco Jumpsuit in Pink Floral Cotton Jersey

Sometimes you see a fabric and know instantly what to make with it - that was what happened with this fabric from Minerva. It's a stunning floral Cotton Jersey Fabric with a black background and fuchsia pink flowers all over it. I just love the contrast in this print, the colours are so vivid and bright! So... perfect for a jumpsuit you might say?!

That's what I thought anyway, jumpsuits are storming the sewing nation this year and the latest release by Deer & Doe does not disappoint - the Sirocco Jumpsuit. It's a mock wrap jersey jumpsuit pattern with pleats at the front and back bodice and front leg waist seam and darts at the back leg waist seam. It has slanted front pockets too which tie in nicely with the pleats and the legs taper toward the ankle. It is also finished with a wide neckband and short sleeves.

Looking at the finished size measurements you could be forgiven for being a bit confused - there's a lot of negative ease at the waist! So the recommendation is to use a fabric with 60% stretch and I would definitely abide by this! The cotton jersey I used just about had this amount but it was close. So I decided to size up at the waist from what I would normally make  just to be sure. This meant I cut a 34 at the bust and hip and a 38 at the waist. The final waist measurement for this was 23 inches so I cut a scrap of fabric this length and just made sure it stretched around my waist ok.

I graded between sizes on the pattern to get the fit I needed, this was easy for all of the pattern pieces except the front leg piece due to the addition of the pocket. The slanted pocket piece is the same shape for every size so I placed the top outside corner of the pocket piece where it would sit on the front leg piece and then angled it so it met the 34 size outside lower corner of the hip. The pocket piece ends up a little short of the leg hip seam so I then made a mark on the pattern where the pocket piece finished and joined this mark up with the actual line of the 34 size outside leg seam. I had no idea if this would work but it did! It means that the angle of the pocket is a few degrees out of what it's meant to be but I don't think it notices. The only other pattern alteration I made was to shorten the leg pieces by 2inches (I'm 5' 1").

The fabric is a light to medium weight cotton jersey and it was really easy to cut and sew, the flowers on it do have a direction so bear this in mind when cutting out. I used a full 2 metres of fabric for this size and I only just fitted all the pieces on. I thought about interfacing the waist and neckband pieces to give the fabric a bit more stability however this majorly affected the stretch of the fabric despite using stretch interfacing so I quickly decided against this!

Because the pattern doesn't have any fastenings; you climb into the trousers and then pull the sleeves on one at a time, this is where the 60% stretch comes in! A stable knit is definitely recommended for this reason as it would be very easy to stretch the neck out of shape after a few wears. This fabric however, despite being on the lighter side of medium weight copes with this fine and recovers from stretch well.

The instructions are very clear and the diagrams make it really easy to see what to do next. I used a stretch (lightning) stitch to sew all the seams together and then also overlooked all the seams once sewn. This definitely helped keep all the seams more stable yet still stretchy enough to get in and out of the garment.

I tried it on once the neckband was on (to prevent any stretching) and the side seams were basted together to check the fit. I realised it was going to be a little baggy through the hips and legs still (I have no hips whatsoever) so I just took an extra 2-3cm out throughout the hips and legs which helped enormously. The rise I didn't alter but I think next time I will shorten it in the hip section by 3-4cm as it is a little long in the body on me.

The whole garment only took a few evenings to complete. It was generally a very quick sew! The leg length was still a little long on me so I took them up by a further 5cm and I finished the hems and neckband with a twin needle which I really love the look of.

Overall I am completely thrilled with this make. It's definitely secret pyjamas as it's so so comfy to wear. I really like the neckline too and the addition of pockets is a major win for me. I'd recommend this pattern for anyone that's sewn a few knit garments before and is looking to delve into making a more fitted jersey garment.

This fabric would also look fab in a simple long sleeve jersey top or summer dress - anything that shows this gorgeous print off!

You can follow me and see more of my makes @holsstevens on Instagram.

Happy Sewing,

Holly x

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Georgette Goddess Dress

It's that time of year of less layers and more colors. I was excited to work with this gorgeous mint tone Georgette Fabric. It's drape is so beautiful and semi sheer. The weight is perfect and more than anything it's comfortable! I used one of my favorite Vogue Pattern V9253 to create the perfect maxi dress.

Working with this fabric requires a little technique. Nothing overwhelming, just to keep in mind that there is a pleating throughout and it's the same as working and matching up stripes. I needed to strategically place the patterns top bodice pieces in opposite directions than the skirt pieces. I got 5 yards of this 45” fabric. I wanted my stripes going horizontal on the bodice and vertical at the skirt as this works for elongating the frame.

Georgette can be a bit tricky sewing if your not use to it. I always make sure my tension, stitch length, needle and machine foot can accommodate the fabric. It makes for smooth sewing. Everyone is different, but I sew lightweight material at a slower pace than thicker wovens. I wanted a rustic feel to my dress so I left the sleeves unfinished as well as the hem but I did serge all other seams. I chose an invisible zipper closure for the back.

I was excited to style this piece in an unexpected way. I always like to give my outfits a street factor, no matter how dressy. It was so fun to pair a black boot with this ultra feminine dress. Also a little touch with the vintage gold brass purse. This dress is so versatile with limitless opportunities for styling.

I am so loving this Georgette fabric that I want it in all the available colors for summer. I can see it in a Palazzo pant, a top or even a duster. It's so dreamy and definitely my new play piece.  

Thanks for reading,

Warlene @warlenerene

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Cerise Cotton Lace Shift Dress

When I chose this pink Cotton Lace Fabric from Minerva to review, I wasn’t sure quite what was coming my way. I knew it would be bright but I wasn’t too sure about how thick the lace was or how big the design would be, it’s sometimes difficult to tell on screen.

I was very pleasantly surprised when it arrived. It has a matte feel - no shine like you sometimes get on cheap polyester laces - the handle of it is almost like a guipure lace and it has quite an open texture - lots of space to show a contrasting colour through (or some skin if you’re brave). The design is a medium repeat and the fabric has a lovely scalloped edge.

Once the fabric arrived I deliberated about what to make. This fabric works best with simple designs that don’t disturb the lace - so no complex seam lines - keep it simple stupid! With this in mind, I considered both a pencil skirt and a shift dress. The dress won!

I have made this pattern up before in about 2011 in some black eyelet cotton and knew it was the right choice for this fabric. It’s an adaptation of a free pattern that I found on Burdastyle. The dress has bust darts and a little waist shaping at the side seams and fish eye darts in the back to give some definition. The fit is relaxed. I altered the pattern to omit the sleeves, have a boat neckline at the front and a gentle V back and a centre back zipper. I think I may have graded the pattern up as well but can’t quite remember as I’ve traced this a few times now.

Obviously, with an open fabric like this you really do need to have a lining underneath and I chose to underline the lace and then treat it as one layer. I did not add a lining as the 2 layers of cotton are quite enough for a summer dress.The neck and armholes are finished with a bias facing.

I sourced my cotton underlining locally as I was unsure about what colour to use so I took my fabric to my local store and placed it over a range of different colours. I had considered pink on pink, but I think the match would have to be perfect and it wasn’t. This colour looked fantastic on black but the turquoise really made the cerise pop. and I just love that colour combination.

This Linen-Look Cotton Fabric in turquoise is similar to the one I used.

I decided to really take my time with this dress to ensure a great finish even though it was a simple make, taking your time can really pay off in the end. I cut my lace out in a single layer and then basted it to the cotton underlining within the seam allowance.

Once the pieces were basted I sewed the darts and pressed them flat. I was a little concerned that they would be rather too bulky but they pressed really well. The shoulder seams and side seams were then sewn and I inserted an invisible zip in the back. This is the only area that really does concern me as I worry that the zip might catch on the lace but so far so good.

All the seam allowances were neatened with the overlocker which kept the layers together. The hem edges were left loose so that the full effect of the scalloped border can be seen. The underlining hem was pressed into place before construction and hand stitched after everything else was finished.

The leftover turquoise cotton made bias binding which was machined to the outside of the dress and turned inside to form a facing and hand stitched down. I made the neck edge next to the zipper a little tight and it’s caused the fabric to curl in but a good press should solve this.

I’m really pleased with the outcome of this dress and it meets my criteria of wearing bright things - it certainly will turn heads!

See you all next time

Claire

@artcoopsville

ragbagsandgladrags

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Designer Stitch Bridget Top in Gorgeous Stretch Crepe

Hello everybody, I am Camelia from @calcedoniasewing and I am here to share with you a new project made with a Minerva fabric. This time I used this gorgeous Stretch Crepe Fabric. When I saw this fabric I had in my head a dress but upon arriving I had to change my plans as the fabric was too light and a bit see-thru for a dress, at least for an unlined dress.

To make the fabric work and because I had enough meters I decided on a double layered top. Two years ago I made the Bridget Top form Designer Stitch and I knew there were a lot of sleeve options there and a V neckline option like the one I had in my mind. I knew that my pattern was not fitting anymore so I printed a new one in size 3B. That is the great thing about this pattern, that it has cup sizing!

The original pattern has a zipper closure at the center back, which I omitted and cut the back on the fold, eliminating first the 1.5cm seam allowance of the zipper, bust darts, waist darts for the front and the back and the neckline is finished with facings. The fabric is so soft and drapey so I decided to adjust the pattern a bit and the major change was to rotate the bust dart into the hemline and by doing that you get the extra fullness at the bottom. To make it double layered I cut two fronts and two backs with adding 5 cm extra length to one of the fronts and one back, making that my inner layer. Because I had these two layers I knew I could omit the facings so you could say that the top is "self-lined " so the layers are attached at the neckline.

As I mentioned the fabric is light and I couldn't just sew the necklines together, a little support was needed. Normally I use this Vilene Iron Stay Tape  but I had none so I cut a strip of interfacing and sewd a row of straight stitches and used it as stay tape. It works great! To keep the interfacing not showing I applied it on the right side of the longer ( inner ) layer and to sew the top I sewed right side of the outer layer to the wrong side of the inner layer and when it was done you can see both good sides showing. This pattern uses industrial seam allowance and the neckline seam allowance is 6mm, that is nice because after sewing there is no trimming to do. Only understitching and everything is turning very neatly.

Also I sewd the shoulders of the inner layer right sides together to get a very clean finish to the inside. The layers are only at the neckline attached, the side seams are finished separate with french seams and only the armholes are finished with the serger. The sleeves are a single layer. Even if the fabric is pretty light it was very easy to sew, non slippery and actually easy to work with. 

Also for the back, to add a bit of fullness I rotated the shoulder dart into the hem. 

I love this top! It is really nice when working with a pattern and modifying things and the results are meeting expectations. Well, I made a toile ( test garment) before I went cutting in my nice fabric, I love making a toile, that makes sewing so much fun, I get to test fit and silhouette and I know that the final product will fit me in both size and style. 

The jeans I am wearing are from a few years back and made with the Ginger Jeans Pattern from Closet Case Files.

One of the things I love on Minerva webshop is that on a lot of the fabrics you get a video of the fabric, that is very helpful if you want to see the drape or stretch of the fabric. Here is my modeling video of the top, I love the drape and movement of this fabric 

Happy sewing!

Camelia @calcedoniasewing

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