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Service Update

We would like to reassure our customers that we are still operating but please expect delays. We ask for your patience in these uncertain times.
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The health and safety of our customers, team members and wider community is our top priority. We have several members of staff off because they are high risk or because of school closures, so we are operating with a skeleton staff. 
Please bear with us as we cut your fabrics and pick and pack your orders, we are currently aiming to dispatch your order within 5-10 days. We will endeavour to resume our usual speedy service as soon as possible, whilst keeping everyone safe.
We’re also experiencing some delivery delays as the Royal Mail themselves are under huge pressure due to an increase in volume, so please allow extra time for our parcels to reach you. Please allow 10 working days (20 working days if you are outside of the UK) from the date of despatch, for your parcel to arrive before contacting us.
We are still shipping worldwide to most countries but please allow extra time for your orders to arrive once you have received a dispatch email.
Our Customer Service team is totally inundated. Please only contact us via email at sales@minervacrafts.com to help us respond to you as soon as possible. We’re prioritising emails about orders, but our team are working really hard to reply to each and every one of you, so please be patient with us during this unprecedented time. We ask you not to send multiple emails with the same inquiry as we are working through them in date order and this will move them to the back of the queue (as they will be grouped together with the most recent email).
We are always extremely grateful for your custom, now more than ever in these uncertain times. We would like to say a HUGE THANK YOU to everyone who has placed an order with us.
We know that for many of us, sewing and making provides an important lifeline and now, more than ever, we need to continue sharing positive craft experiences. We stand ready to serve, and hope that our website and social channels can be a source of support, inspiration and joy at this difficult time.
Thank you for your continued loyalty, particularly during these uncertain times. We hope you will find solace in your sewing and distraction from worrying thoughts. Stay safe and well.
The Minerva Team.
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Free Face Mask PDF Pattern

McCall's Patterns have very kindly created a free face mask pattern for us to share.
Download your free PDF pattern here.
They are recommending tightly woven cotton fabrics, our suggestion would be cotton poplin which you can find here.
You will also need some 3mm-6mm wide elastic which you can find here.
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A Floral Mix-It Up Dress

Hello there, I’m Elsa from La Casa Cactus. I’m a French seamstress and I’m delighted to be here to show you this month’s make.

I had never worked with scuba. I never felt it too. So, when I saw that I could have some to try, I didn’t hesitate.

I chose to sew some floral fabric because finding florals that do not look like you raided your Grand-Ma’s closet is tricky (at least, in France). These flowers transcended the beauty of the fabric. I had other plans for this fabric, but once in hand, I knew what it would become…. I do love a nice dress: it is versatile, it is pretty, and it’s also extremely flattering on everybody.

That floral scuba was meant to become a dress. 

My favorite knit pattern for a dress is the Mix It Up by George+Ginger. It offers a heap of options and I just want to sew them all.

The size range is great because even my 14-year-old can have her own Mix It Up (MIU in short). I decided to blend a size 12 bust to a size 14 waist and hip and because it’s not spring yet, I chose the long sleeve option. My torso being rather short, I shortened the bodice 1” to have the seam between the bodice and the skirt hit right at my natural waist.

The front neckline is the “leaf” whereas the back is the “horseshoe”. I love how the leaf shapes the bust. Due to the firm stretch in scuba, the leaf neckline also has a push-up effect I haven’t envisioned!

The bodice is also fully lined with scuba. You are advised to understitch the lining so it won’t show afterwards. It is much cleaner on the outside than topstitching in my opinion, especially on scuba.

I love wearing colorful homemade bras, but I hate the straps showing. I added some bra strap holders at the shoulder seams. You just have to have a pair of snaps, some thread and a needle. It’s easy and quick. Very rewarding and no bra straps showing, even on low neckline!

I chose to sew a long sleeve dress because I don’t have any. And look at how it is under a coat: just the perfect length to be warm and pretty.

Hemming half circle skirts can be a bit tricky. My advice is to serge the edge first and then slightly gather it. You will get a nice round hem once folded and pressed. Or you can also use some water-soluble double-sided tape, my go-to for recalcitrant hem (and zipper tape, and buttons, etc).

Speaking of pressing, scuba is a temperature-sensitive fabric, you may want to use a pressing cloth to prevent it from melting. You can also steam it, and put a clapper on your neckline. Sharp and nice, even on stretchy fabrics and you will get no marking on it.

I may have silver hair, but I do love a good twirl factor!

Scuba is a knit fabric. It has a beautiful drape, is rather stretchy and it’s a pleasure to sew with. I used both my sewing machine and my serger. My Janome serger settings were typical, just a bit lower on the differential to account for the stretch in the fabric. I used my walking foot on my sewing machine, paired with a 75 stretch needle. My sewing machine is a little old lady and when it comes to new fabrics, she is a bit temperamental, but I was glad she worked with scuba flawlessly!

Sewing that Minerva scuba fabric was great. I had the wrong impression that this fabric was rather thick and a bit stiff, but not all. It’s drapey and it has a really nice shine on it. I now want to sew flowy floral cardigans or flare pants for spring. Totally manageable, isn’it?

Just feeling cute in my dress!

Thanks for reading,

Elsa @ www.lacasacactus.com

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The Lea Dress

Hi there I’m Kathleen. I’ve been sewing for a few years now, but this year I’ve tried to be more thoughtful with my makes. This Lea dress definitely fits into my autumn/winter wardrobe.
This Stretch Suiting Fabric is not your typical suiting, as the name would suggest it stretches. Although this fabric does stretch slightly in both directions, I would still treat it as a woven and not like a jersey. Because it has a slight stretch it is perfect for more fitted garments. The stretch suiting feels softer and has more drape than a typical suiting, but it does still hold it’s structure and has a bit of stiffness to it. I would say this fabric is a good medium between a drapey viscose and a stiff quilting cotton. There are lines across this fabric, which aren’t visible from afar but up close they are ever so slightly raised.
I love this shade of green, unfortunately my camera didn’t always pick it up. It’s closest to the photo above, I would describe it as an army green or a dark olive green.
Although the Lea dress is designed with spring in mind, I knew with this fabric it would be perfect for Autumn. I also plan on pairing it with tights in the winter, and will probably still be wearing it when spring rolls around.
This was my first time using a sew over it pattern. The Lea dress is actually from issue 2 of the Lisa Comfort magazine, which is still available on the Sew over it website. I did get a little stuck a few times, but the photos accompanying the instructions really helped. It is a well drafted pattern with thorough instructions. There is a lot of extra finishing touches that really elevate this dress, like how the turn up cuff is drafted.
The fabric handled nicely. I used a universal needle not a stretch needle in my machine. I used a walking foot to stop the fabric from stretching as I sewed. You don’t have to use a walking foot, but I did find it really helped keep everything flat and smooth for this project.
This pattern doesn’t go up to my size. I didn’t have anything similar in my wardrobe to help me with grading so I had to use maths to grade this pattern up to my size. I needed to add 5” to the bust and 10” to the waist. To add to any pattern the maths is simple, if the pattern piece is only half of the finished result it counts as 2. So if you have half a front and half a back that’s now 4. Whatever you need to add to the pattern needs to be divided by 4. For example my equations were 5÷4= 1.25 or 1 ¼” and 10÷4= 2.5 or 2 ½” so that’s how much I needed to add to the two pattern pieces. The Lea dress has 4 skirt pattern pieces so that now totals 8, of course that’s only for the waist adjustment. The equation was 10÷8= 1.25 or 1 ¼” that’s how much I had to add to each skirt pattern piece.
The grading went fine, in fact I ended up taking an inch off of the bust and waist once I’d tried it on, I could’ve taken the waist in another inch due to the stretch in the fabric but I quite like the looser fit.
The issue I had was I didn’t move the dart placement over, so when I joined the bodice and the skirt together the darts and skirt seams no longer matched. The dress was perfectly fine and I could’ve left them not matching, but I knew I would love wearing my dress more if they were matching. So I unpicked them and moved them over.
I actually got stuck on the sleeves. It was my own fault though. It instructs you to to sew the sleeve hem at 5cm for some reason I converted this to 1” so when I tried to turn the cuff up it wasn’t working. Eventually I realised my error and now I have beautifully turned up cuffs.
There are 11 buttonholes to sew.  My machine has a one step buttonhole function which made this process easier. It only struggled with one buttonhole which was near the waist seam, there was just too much bulk so it wasn’t able to do the buttonhole. In the end I turned the dress upside down so the bulk was further away and this worked. If you didn’t want to do buttonholes you could use snap fastenings.
I also took a whopping 5” off the length. This dress is designed as more of a midi, but I much prefer knee length dresses.
I would say this pattern is suited to an intermediate sewer. It is a more intensive project, with handstitching, facings, understitching and some of the skirt panels being slightly on the bias, and as I said before 11 buttonholes and buttons. This dress took me almost 8 hours from cut to finish, not including the 2 days I had to let it hang before evening out the hem. But it was a labour of love. With all the extra steps my dress now feels luxurious and expensive. I would not be able to afford a dress finished to this standard on the high street..
The only down side to this dress is it doesn’t have pockets. But these can easily be added into the skirt side seams if you wanted.
Thank you for reading Kathleen xx
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Sewing with Slinky Satin

I'm back with a new sew! 

This sew is also new for me in that I've never sewn with Satin before--ever! 

I chose to use this Satin Fabric from Minerva to make the recently retired pattern Stella by Sinclair Patterns. This pattern has been on my to-sew list for a long time but I never had the time or the right fabric to sew one, so when I saw the satin, I thought 'now is my chance!' 

It was definitely a learning curve for me to sew with satin. 

Satin is a more slippery fabric and if you use the wrong needle you can easily cause little runs in your fabric. So, before I started sewing, I researched what needle to use, what settings to set my sewing machine at and for any pointers to sew satin. 

Some things I found out were: 

Use a fine needle. 

Set your stitch length between 2.2 and 2.5. 

Do an extra line of stitching on seams that will get wear.

Be sure to finish your seams well--satin frays pretty quickly.  

Use lots of clips or pins (in your seam allowance) as satin is slippery.

Set your iron to polyester to avoid accidentally melting the fabric.

Use a press cloth when pressing from the top.

And, another interesting thing I found out is that when you cut satin on the bias it definitely shifts more than, say, a quilting cotton. The stay stitching is super important to keep things lined up and shaped well. 

It would also probably be easiest to do a rolled hem if you know how. I still haven't dared to change the settings on my serger so I did a regular hem which works, but with the curves is a little more tricky. 

Satin is a super drapey, flowey, lightweight fabric that is perfect for tops such as the Stella and dresses. It takes an outfit to the next level in fanciness as it is somewhat shiny and quite silky. 

As with most Sinclair patterns the Stella top is a good pattern. 

They retired it recently (after I had it all printed and traced for this top!) as it didn't have all the features of the newer Sinclair patterns.

But, the instructions are clear as always and I'm always impressed with the finishing details on the patterns. 

The back has bias binding and the front has all the seams hidden as well. 

Even the shoulder seams are hidden so it is a very clean finish. 

The back has a seam which creates a more flattering shape and the front is a cross-over front. 

You could use two different fabrics to make a more unique top. 

I do think I would wear a top underneath as in my life as a mom my children often tug on my clothes or the top gets shifted while carrying them. It would then show off my belly and I personally prefer not to have that happen. 

A top like this would be perfect for an office job or a date night--especially in this satin fabric! 

This lovely fabric also comes in an ivory color. 

It is almost fifty-nine inches wide and is made of polyester. 

I'm definitely happy I got a chance to try this fabric out. 

I've had the chance to learn new things and stretch my sewing skills a little. 

Thanks for reading,

Fenna @fabuloushomesewn

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Sweater Knit Kielo Dress

Hi, Vicky here, you can find me at vickymyerscreations.co.uk where I share many craft related tutorials, plus refashions and sewing projects.

Initially planning a light weight cardigan, once this Sweater Knit Fabric arrived I had a change of heart. I spotted the Kielo Pattern on line and fell for the unusual shape and design of the dress. I used the PDF version, if you have not a bought a print at home PDF pattern before I love how many designs there are. You print only the size of pattern you need (you can learn how to tape up a PDF pattern here).

I strongly suggest washing your fabric before you start as it could shrink during the first wash and you would be so disappointed. This fabric is made with polyester and elastane, but it almost feels like cotton, super breathable, described as a medium weight it was a little lighter than anticipated but is perfect for this dress. It’s a delight to sew, and hardly creases, a perfect combination.

The pattern has good clear instructions which I advise you to read through before starting. I love how the pattern makes no assumptions about your sewing knowledge, teaching you how to finish edges, transfer marks from the pattern to the fabric, start and stop seams amongst others, basics which are not always covered in a pattern.

The neckline and armholes are finished with stretch bias binding, this was my first time at using stretch bias binding, thankfully this was far easier than I anticipated. The dress looks a far more complicated sew than it is, four darts, four seams and the edges – the website has a free add on for long sleeves, perfect for winter months.

Before you start take the time to check the tension on either your overlocker or sewing machine overlocker stitch to ensure your seams lie beautifully flat when pressed. As I picked the project up and down I made a silly error, practising my seam tension on one of the pattern pieces… thankfully with a bit of patience I was able to unpick my practice seams!

I made a few errors as I went but I think the next time I sew it up it will be a 2-3 hr sew. It really does pay off to read instructions properly before you start!!

I love how the dress flows beautifully. At 6” tall I am delighted with the length of the dress, no pattern adjustments required. One of the aspects of sewing I love, which I am sure you relate to, is sewing items that fit you. This dress is perfect for a day trip out but also elegant enough for evening wear, I love how slimming it is. I prefer the design when wrapped around the front and tied at the back.

Will I make this dress again? My Mum and daughter have both put in a request for one so that is a resounding yes!!

Vicky @vickymyerscreations

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Twinning Fish Dresses

  

Hi again guys! Today I’m blogging about a Rico Cotton Gauze Fabric navy blue. Since last summer I’ve wanted to make a Jessica dress, a sundress pattern from Mimi G. I had a fabric planned for my Jessica, but when I got a chance to review this cotton gauze I changed my mind. I had a talk with Vicki from Minerva about the amount of fabric to order, since some cotton gauzes can be very see-through and some not. We decided that I should order a bit more so I could make the dress in double layers.

But when the fabric arrived I was surprised to find that it already was double layered! A second layer of gauze is sewn to the back of the main fabric and it isn’t see-through at all. See picture below.

So, since I now had a lot of extra fabric on my hand, I decided to twin with my daughter and make her a sun dress too. I chose the Bree Dress pattern from Bebekins patterns. I fell for the back which has a really nice feature that I’ve never tried before.

I washed and dried the fabric and I think it shrunk about 2%. I didn’t iron it, it doesn’t crease so heavily and I´m fine with the light creasing cotton gauze has.

If you look at the fabric, do you see a directional or an un-directional print? I didn’t even think about it, I just laid my fabric out and started to put out my patterns pieces for the two dresses. It wasn’t until I held one of the bodice pieces upside down, that I saw that the fishes look a little bit better on one side. Of course it was the side that I DIDN’T choose. I hadn’t cut the Bree dress yet, so I changed direction on that dress, see if you can spot the very small difference between them.

Cutting and sewing cotton gauze is so effortless, especially after more difficult fabrics like viscose. I made this dress in a flash, hardly pinned the fabric together, it stayed where you put it :). I do change the needle to a thinner one when I work with cotton gauze. My machine doesn’t like the regular needle when I work with these types of material.  

I wanted my bodice a bit more stable so I did the top in double layers, but  the skirt in a single layer.

I like both the patterns but I had a little trouble with the instructions of the Jessica dress; they weren’t all that informative at times. The instructions for the Bree dress were, on the other hand, almost too informative. I got lost in all the text.

Cotton gauzes give you garments that look less crisp than cottons lawns. I wanted that effortless holiday-inspired look for our dresses, but if you prefer a more ironed, flat and crisp look, you should look for a more tightly woven fabric.

This was my most enjoyable sewing all year! Easy, effortless sewing and we got two super soft and chic sundresses. We have already worn our dresses a lot and took them with us on vacation. Since it doesn’t crease much it’s something I can highly recommend. We both love fish dresses and the only person that knows that one is upside down is me. (And now also my sewing friends :)). And finally, if you want to order this fabric, don’t worry about doubling the order since the fabric is already doubled.

Thanks for reading. Come and say hello over at my Instagram account, Bygousheh. Hope to see you soon.

Malin

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Little Green Daisies Dress

Hello Minerva Crafters, it’s Marlies from madebyLIESL back again today to share this little green dress covered in daisies.

The Fabric

You gotta just love this fabric. It is a medium weight Cotton Jersey Fabric, available in this green and also in coral, grey, turquoise and yellow. I had a difficult time choosing which colour and obviously eventually went for the green one.

When I picked this fabric, a vintage dress with a low neckline popped into my head. Receiving the fabric I chose otherwise. Often I decide what to make in front of the mirror holding the fabric in different ways. Draping it like it is the dress. Then I discovered that the fabric should be closer to my face. Turns out this green was the perfect choice for my skin tone.

The Pattern

The dress I made was already in my pattern stash. A fitted princess seamed dress with cap sleeves. On top of the skirt is a longer semi-peplum. Searching through the Minervacrafts website I found a pattern which easily can be turned into the dress I’ve made. Namely New Look 6094.

As the basic dress you can use the fitted dress. If you want to recreate the semi-peplum, you could use the flared/pleated skirt for it. Just cut an asymmetrical line in the paper pattern of the front skirt and cut it a bit narrower at the shorter side. Attach the semi-peplum in the waistline and one longest side seam. I’ve mistakenly reversed my pattern piece before cutting the fabric. So my longer seam is on the left side instead of the right side as stated in the instruction of the pattern I’ve used. Ah well, it doesn’t really matter.

The Construction

When putting the dress together I used a stretch needle and a stretch stitch. I’ve serged the seams which wasn’t really necessary, because the fabric doesn’t fray. I just like the finished look. The fabric has a medium weight so it is flattering (doesn’t show any lumps or bumps) and is also easy to iron.

I finished the hemlines with a stretch twin-needle. Just perfect. I even made a little belt out of this fabric. Turns out the dress didn’t really needed a belt. So I probably will wear this belt as an accessory in another outfit.

The Photoshoot

Before shooting the photo’s for this blog I found many daisies walking the dog. So I had to bring them as an accessory. I even tried to make a chain of it like I did when I was young.

I love the outcome of the dress! It’s super cute and so comfortable.

Do you want to see what more I’m up to? Check my Instagram or one of my other blogs.

Thanks for reading.

Love,

Marlies @madebyliesl

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Black polka Dot Jersey Pauline Alice Aldaia Dress

When I first received this Jersey Fabric I knew I wanted to make a jersey dress from it. The fabric is a stretch cotton, with 5% spandex content, so has great recovery and is comfy and breathable to wear. I absolutely love spotty fabric, my husband rolled his eyes when this turned up because I was wearing a skirt in very similar fabric when I opened it.
I have several knit dresses in my repertoire, including the Colette Moneta dress, which I have made several times. I wanted to try something different for this fabric so purchased the Pauline Alice Aldaia dress. This pattern comes with lots of different mix and match bodice and skirt options so is great value as there are several dresses within the pattern.
I opted for version C, which is a round neck, princess seamed bodice and flared panel skirt. The shape is perfect for me as it skims over the hips and is fitted at the waist.
I had 2 metres of fabric, so was just about able to get this dress from that. I opted for the short sleeves as fabric was getting a bit tight. The fabric has a non-directional print which saves fabric when cutting out as the flared skirt pieces can be tessellated together.
The pattern has a lot of extra details, such as a neck facing and sleeve facings that give a really clean finish. There are also darts in the back bodice to improve the fit, and the princess seams on the front bodice add shaping too.
This is a very well thought out pattern, I can see why it's been so popular. I really like the other bodice options and would like to try them out too.
The fabric was absolutely perfect for this pattern, as I thought it would be. It is very easy and stable to work with and has the right amount of body for the skirt. It has a great stretch and recovery and so far has washed really well. I wear this a lot for work as it's so comfy and I often don't bother ironing it. It is also available in lots of other colours.
One thing to note is that the skirt comes up quite short. I was expecting it to be close to knee length. I actually quite like it, but do prefer a longer skirt generally so will lengthen this a few inches next time I make it. Also, there are no pockets on this dress, so I would add some inseam pockets next time I make it as the skirt is flared enough to accommodate them without it distorting the shape.
This dress fits really well and is very comfy to wear. I love the neckline shape on this view, it makes it a very everyday wearable dress. The fabric in this colour is perfect for work and this dress is great to wear in the office (sitting down) all day. It's not so great for site visits and climbing scaffolding, but I have actually worn it with black leggings and that makes it more versatile for my job!
I'll definitely make this dress again, I'm really tempted by one of the bright coloured versions of this fabric as this one has turned out so well!
Jenny x
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Red Gabardine Skirt

Hello again, I’m Izzy and I’m on Instagram @topstitchrollhem

This time I’m delighted to be bringing you a review of a lovely, bright red Gabardine Fabric.

I’ve really started widening my colour comfort zone in my fabric choices this year – it used to be a combination of black, khaki and blue all the time – so the opportunity to sew with this gorgeous red fabric was really exciting. I find it can be difficult to interpret reds on screen, and I would say this one is a bright but cool lipstick red that tones slightly towards blue, rather than a deep or orange-y red. Perfect for pairing with pinks and blues, exciting!

The gabardine has a lovely twill weave which is really subtle but catches the light nicely. It’s a medium-weight fabric with a soft hand, a bit of stretch and good recovery. It’s not sheer at all and it’s a perfect bottom-weight material, though I can imagine it working really nicely as a fitted dress as well. It took me a while to decide how best to put the fabric’s attributes to use and eventually I decided on a wrap skirt.

I used the skirt portion of Vogue 8784 (view B) for this skirt. I like how secure the wrap is (always a worry otherwise!) and how the shaping at the front is formed with diagonal pleats, which is a bit different from other wrap skirts I’ve seen. I decided to shape the outer front skirt panel into a curve for a point of difference, which I’m sure I’m supposed to have measured and marked carefully but which I actually just used a big serving platter to trace around and curved the corner using that!

Once all the difficult decision-making bits had been done, the skirt came together really easily. The fabric does fray a little so I overlocked all the raw edges with my favourite rainbow overlocking thread, as well and overlocking the hem before turning it in for my favourite cheating narrow hem finish.

For the waistband, I considered using the main fabric but in the end went with some leopard print grosgrain ribbon which I attached from the top side using a zig zag stitch, as I wanted to preserve the full width of the ribbon as the waistband. It closes with two sets of hook-and-bars and feels very secure – and not a zip in sight, hurrah!

I’m really pleased with the fit of this skirt and how well the fabric shows off the pleats at the front. Also thrilled to have a skirt that is appropriate for work in such a fun colour! I’m really looking forward to wearing it and I’m hoping it will work in all seasons to bring a bit of sunshine into my days.

I’ve already got more plans for sewing with gabardine (I can imagine the Closet Case Patterns Pietra Pants working wonderfully well!) and hope to see some other people creating exciting things with it soon, too.

Thanks very much for reading!

Izzy @topstitchrollhem

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