Posted in Product Reviews on Monday the 16th July 2018 by Vicki Ormerod
I was really thrilled to be asked recently by Minerva Crafts to review their new Anchor Multi Colour Stranded Cotton Embroidery Thread. I chose a few skeins to try in the colour 1349 which are different shades of blue and purple. But there are lots of other gorgeous colours to choose from. As this is multi coloured thread the colours change every couple of inches. Just like other embroidery thread there are 6 strands of cotton which separate really easily depending on how many strands you want to work with at a time.
Before the embroidery thread arrived I had time to think about what I would like to make with it. I have worked with embroidery thread before but I had never tried the multi colour variety so this really appealed to me.
Earlier this year I had purchased the Let’s Sew pattern by Ursula Michael. It’s a cross stitch pattern which is mainly back stitch so I knew it would work up quite quickly. I just fell in love with this pattern as soon as I saw it and thought it was a really clever design. I loved how all the sewing related words together made up a sewing machine. I have just looked on line and this pattern is still readily available on some UK and US websites if you would also like the pattern. I paid about £5 for a printed version and it arrived really quickly.
I chose white 14 count aida fabric from Minerva to stitch my project. The fabric stitch count you choose is entirely personal preference. I’m at the age now where I need a magnifying glass if the stitch count is too small! I also chose white fabric because I wanted to frame my finished project in a simple white frame. I thought this would really show off both the design and the multi colour embroidery thread I used to stitch it. For a totally different look you could also use a darker coloured aida fabric with a lighter colour embroidery thread which would also look really nice.
I used a standard embroidery needle with a wooden ring embroidery hoop to stitch my project. Both of which Minerva sells. The pattern uses 2 strands of thread at a time which gives a lovely stitch definition. It’s been a while since I’ve done any proper cross stitch and I’d forgotten just how addictive it is! I worked on this off and on over a few weeks and before I knew it my project was finished.
Before framing I gently hand washed the fabric and hung it out to dry. This is because being white and handled a lot whilst stitching, it can become a little discoloured from handling. Once it was dry I gently ironed the reverse side on a low heat setting. Then it was ready for framing.
And here is my finished and framed project. I am really pleased with how well it turned out and I think this design really shows off the multi colour embroidery thread really well. I shall be hanging it up in my craft room.
Thank you so much Minerva for letting me review this lovely embroidery thread and I am absolutely thrilled with my finished picture.
Thanks for reading
Yvonne @ by-yvonne
I had some preconceived notions of what Corduroy Fabric is, kind of a denim substitute. This fabric isn’t that. I had plans to make some jean style trousers with it, but when it arrived it was just soooooo soft and drapey and fine, I had to use the drape for some other, more dramatic purpose. Although the fabric is a woven it has some give, a sponginess if you will, across the width which will make it comfortable to wear. And the colour?! Very bright and saturated, I love this kind of deep pink, particularly with denim.
I prewashed this fabric on a normal 30 wash, then tumbled it. For some reason I expected it to shrink and I definitely expected it to have some colour fade. I actually measured it when it came out of the dryer and no shrinkage, no fading either, and it actually got even softer in the wash (which I wasn’t expecting either as my sons’ cord trousers seem to shrink and go crisp!).
I had 2m to play with and for some reason the idea of the I Am Cassiopee kept popping into my head, but as a wide, short top, not as the dress it is intended to be.
I already had traced off the pattern in anticipation of the right fabric turning up, so it seemed that fate had decided for me! (this IAM pattern requires some tracing work as the pattern pieces are overlaid, Kevin T. Cat Esq for some reason loves the Minerva Swedish Tracing paper though so we enjoy the work!)
I made no alterations to the length of the bodice, I wanted this short, flared look. If I were to make the dress version I would add about 10cm to make that seam hit my waist (I am 5’10).
I halved the length of the skirt bit to get the top effect – I literally folded the pattern piece in half.
You need to consider the nap or direction of cord before you cut it, it is a bit like Kevin T. Cat in that to stroke it one way is really nice, the other not so much. So consider the amount you order as there is no scope to flip pattern pieces upside down for economy. I can happily confirm I managed to get all the pieces the right way up (YAS!! WINNING!), and this cord stayed put while I cut. No sneaky shiftiness, grainline where I expected it, hardly a need to put pins in. No drama here.
The fabric also stayed put while I sewed. No pins, no swearing, no drama. Now that is not to say I had a seam ripper free experience. I can confirm this pattern company uses a 1cm allowance not a 1.5cm allowance, not that I know anyone daft enough to just rush in to sew the sleeves on a top without checking. Ahem.
I have heard of fancy techniques to press cord and preserve the nap/texture. I didn’t employ them with this, because it is so fine, it seemed to press well without any need to press onto velvet or anything.
And it works. The style and colour and weight of this are perfect for spring with my dark denim. Plenty of room for air to waft about and plenty of drama to wear if not to sew! The pattern will be used frequently I think as bit of a quick fix for in between more complex makes, I like the idea of it in a white cotton jersey next.
I have in my virtual stash (a.k.a. Minerva saved for later basket) more of this cord, I would like to make a Merchant Mills Trapezette for my Niece, and for me I think some wide leg trousers and because of the give in the fabric a nice fitted shirt. The colours available are all pretty lovely.
Thanks for reading
I admit it, I am a sucker for wrap dresses. Maybe it's because I was denied the style for so long due to poor RTW fit issues but now that I can sew my own wardrobe I cannot seem to get enough. The newest Spring pattern releases from McCalls, Butterick (B6554 and B6543) and Vogue (V93113) all feature a version of the wrap dresses and I would love to make them all eventually but the first to be made is the McCalls M7745.
My love affair with prints and vibrant colors stayed true with this project. This navy floral Jersey Fabric is composed of polyester, viscose and elastane, has the perfect amount of stretch and is opaque so it does not need to be lined. (Thank you Minerva Crafts for the gift). I decided that the McCalls Spring Collection M7745 would be the perfect pattern to show off the beautiful print and made view D top with view B skirt. I am not a big fan of could shoulders and this raglan style is timeless so it was an easy decision to make. Who does not love a floral maxi dress to sashay in during the warm weather months?
My favorite part of this fabric is the orange/ rust Carnation amongst the red Dahlias, pink carnations and the white the name of the white flower eludes me...). It is the least repeated flower pattern on the fabric but the color pops against the navy background and it stands out amongst the sea of red, pink and white. I also love that all the colors are super saturated and bold and the floral prints are large in scale so that their details can be seen easily. No wallflower here, this floral jersey; It's my kind of fabric.
I prewashed the fabric and air dried it to account for shrinkage, which was insignificant.
Does anyone else feel a sense of satisfaction after the fabric have been cut out? This picture makes me smile.
The wrap dress pattern itself is very simple with only six pattern pieces so this is a very easy project to make, even for beginner sewers. I used rotary fabric cutter to cut out my fabrics (no problems encountered) and the sewing process was free of troubles (My sewing machine is Singer Quantum Stylist 9960). I used a ballpoint needle with on stretch stitch setting and did not have to use any special foot for this fabric. I used 1/2 inch grosgrain ribbons for the ties at the waist:
The unhemmed dress hung for a few days while I waited for the fabric to settle.
I can tell you that this will not be my last time making this pattern. It is so flattering on my figure, easy to make and makes me feel feminine. The skirt drapes beautifully and has great movement when I walk. I love the no hassle of wrap dresses since it's impossible to wrinkle and for their ease of wear. Go ahead and make something wonderful with this fabric and love your new wardrobe addition!
Thank you Minerva Crafts for giving me the opportunity to try this fabric, I love my new dress!
Today I will be sharing with you my review of Gutermann’s “Ring a Roses Long Island Garden” Poplin Quilting Fabric in the grey colourway. I was so excited when it arrived through my door, the details are stunning. The fabric has a beautiful array of colours ranging from pink, pistachio green, pale blue and orange on a grey background. Unusually it is quite wide at 56” instead of the usual 44”. I can’t complain as it means I might yet be able to squeeze two rompers out of the generous 2.5m I received. My youngest (we like to call her Madame Shannanigans) was instantly thrilled with the “orange flowers” dotted around her resultant romper.
This is the first time I have opted for such a busy print but the circular repeated pattern really called out to me. At first I was unsure if it was too much to use it as a main fabric but upon holding my delightful bundle it just screamed “Barefoot Romper” (Twig + Tale) to me. With that I set about printing the pdf pattern, navigating through the countless options and trying to piece the pattern together correctly. Later I would find that the pdf instructions contained illustrations on how to piece each option… *head-hand* but on the bright side the hour I spent was not wasted since I did not make any mistakes! Navigating the Twig + Tale instructions was a little bit like those adventure books I read when I was little where you had to skip so many steps forward then jump back a page. Overall though the instructions are well written and easy enough to follow.
Twig + Tale had a 3 year anniversary for their barefoot romper pattern recently so I nabbed it up in love with the dream of my children living their days in the wild forests playing in sparkling streams under dappled sunlight…. Have you seen Twig + Tale’s marketing? It is that good! I didn’t have any solid intention of making rompers though, so for a few months it was just sat forgotten amongst my chaotic pdf pattern collection. Along came my beautiful fabric from Minerva and suddenly I was inspired. I ended up choosing a gathered yoke, full length romper with broad halter ties which could either be tied around the neck or conveniently through an anchor loop in the back. I made a size 4 since my children are in no way small, so I was hoping to roll the legs up and let her grow into it.
This fabric is lovely to work with, it is quite crease resistant, washes well and easy to cut. I didn’t use many pins whilst sewing except for adding the facing which turned out to be a labour of love as I kept getting a seam caught. Some nights I should just acknowledge it is time to go to bed.
For this romper, I chose to use the Gutermann fabric as the main body and found some lovely dusky pink scrap fabric for the contrast pocket. Feeling inspired, I freestyled some pintucks all over the fabric to create a more organic feel for some textured treasure pockets. Instead of grey I decided to use some contrasting pink thread which coordinated perfectly with my fabric choices. Since learning the zipper foot trick for edge stitching I have been fearless! For this romper though it did mean a lot of interchanging between the normal foot and zipper foot since there was edge stitching, contrast stitching, under stitching… Lots and lots of narrow stitching!
Usually I work like a mad woman through the night so my girls can wear their new creation the next day in time for church and photos. It’s not really a dedication thing, more like a disorganised crazy lady thing. You will be pleased to know I finished this before midnight on a Saturday so that we could get a few cheeky shots in before church started. Morning came and little Madame was delighted with her new romper but she was not in a good mood for photos. Cue – Bubbles. Seriously. Is there anything bubbles are unable to fix? We plodded to the park times two since the first one was really just a bit of green and I am thrilled that she felt comfortable enough to climb and run around in her romper. Someone even commented on how practical her treasure pockets were! The barefoot romper is definitely a winner for me. Madame Shannanigans either resembles an Oompa Loompa or Pierrot the clown due to the generous but darling ease built into the crotch area.
Thank you Minerva again for letting me review for you. It has been so much fun coming out of my comfort zone and trying something new!
Come visit me on Instagram @MadameShannanigans for more of my sewing adventures!
Posted in Projects on Saturday the 14th July 2018 by Vicki Ormerod
I had the challenge of creating a garment out of this fabulous dimensional bordered Chiffon Fabric.
I had to have a good think about what to make out of this very slippery fabric! This dimensional border is made up of beautiful strips of pointed petals. So I was trying to decide which direction I wanted the petals to fall in.
I decided I wanted to make a funky cowboy style modified Tilly and the Buttons Rosa shirt.
I changed it by making it sleeveless, for the summer. I also decided to do the collar stand without the collar piece.
I prewashed the fabric and I was expecting some disruption of the dimensional border but it held up really well!!
I started by cutting the yokes of the shirt as this was the piece I chose to use the border for. I decided to pin them to the back of the fabric so that I could cut the pieces accurately I pinned the right side petals to ensure these were pinned out of the way. I wanted the petals to fall with a bit of volume to show off the texture of the material. I cut the pieces so that the petal strips were ‘upside down’ so this created volume.
I haven’t worked very much with chiffon but I know that it is notoriously slippery! So I made sure to use pattern weights and lots of pins!! But it seemed to work well!
I used my rotary cutter to try and reduce slipping while cutting. Which worked to a point! I Put french seams on every seam to allow the wonky edges to be enveloped! Being as sheer a fabric as it is I needed to use a ultra fine interfacing to make the button stand. I wanted to use translucent/sheer interfacing however I found that light weight white worked just as well.
I put a rolled hem on the bottom to reduce the bulk of having a french seam on the bottom so it would sit better. I am happy with my end result and can’t wait to wear it in the summer months!
Overall I think this fabric is great for all sorts of things, whether it be formal/informal. The cream colour with navy polka dots is a great combination for having a white/cream top without it being a solid block of white. The dimensional border is funky and spices up any garment.
This is the second rosa I have made so thought I would maker a few slight changes to it. Which I have already spoken about.
Catch you all soon guys!
By Lucy Designs
Posted in Product Reviews on Saturday the 14th July 2018 by Vicki Ormerod
Posted in Projects on Friday the 13th July 2018 by Vicki Ormerod
So, I had been looking for some “Linen Look” fabric to make a summer dress, I’m particularly fond of natural fabrics and was really interested to try out this Fabric which is a blend of cotton and ramie.
Neither did I, however thanks to Auntie Google I am now enlightened!
Ramie is a natural fibre and it comes from an herbaceous perennial plant which is a member of the nettle family! Who knew? Fascinatingly this is one of the oldest fibre crops and has been used for at least six thousand years. It had even been used for wrapping Egyptian Mummy’s due to its resistance to bacteria!!
Also, if such things concern you it is not only natural but also sustainable as the stalks are cut above the roots which are left in for another crop.
Anyway, enough of the history lesson let’s talk about this loveliness!
The cotton and ramie linen look fabric was advertised as suitable for tops, shirts and skirts, but may need lining for dresses.
So, when it was delivered I was pleasantly surprised with the thickness and quality.
I had planned on lining my shift dress, but it was un-necessary to do this.
The pattern I used was a brand new pattern from a new pattern company called “Pattern Sewciety” and I was one of the lucky sewists chosen to test this, its called the Audrey shift dress, I did however hack the pattern as I love pockets (who doesn’t love pockets) this is actually their first ever pattern onto the market place!
This saved me the added work and the expense of the lining, as this is a summer dress which I’m planning on wearing in hot weather I really wanted to not have the extra weight of the lining and went ahead with the construction unlined.
Before cutting the pieces out I pre-washed my fabric and line dried it before cutting as the website warned the fabric could shrink by up to 10%. Washing also improves the texture of linen as it softens with each laundering. I also need to mention that I did think that the appearance after washing was better, the texture of the fabric seemed to come alive, before washing it looked a bit flat and lifeless but after, the weave really became apparent. I only wish I’d photographed the surface before washing!
It did wash really well, and it ironed like a dream. The darts, and hems on the bottom and sleeves pressed beautifully and the appearance is truly crisp.
However, as its very like a linen it also required all the seams to be finished as it did fray a bit, although not excessively.
Being woven and natural, it was a really easy fabric to sew with and would be an ideal fabric for a beginner. It doesn’t slip around when cutting it or sewing with a machine. It also has no stretch so didn’t distort whilst manipulating.
The colour I chose was light grey but the Fabric is available in 19 different colours! I also gave my dress some contrast pockets with scraps of purple linen and matching purple top stitching around the sleeves and hem, what do you think??
I for one, am really pleased with it and although I’ve predominantly made this as summer wear I think it would also look great with tights and a turtle neck in a delicious shade of aubergine for the autumn!!
Although this is marketed by Minerva as a clothing fabric I also think that this cotton raime blend would work really well in a home furnishing environment as napkins or a table runner, the lovely neutral shades would sew up beautifully for use in my dining room!!
Mmm now there’s a thought!
Posted in Product Reviews on Friday the 13th July 2018 by Vicki Ormerod
Posted in Projects on Thursday the 12th July 2018 by Vicki Ormerod
Hello everyone! I am Olympia and for my second post here on Minerva Crafts Blog I chose to provide you a step-by-step tutorial on how to sew a dress for your little princesses within one hour!
For my own project, I chose the Fairyville Fabric by Camelot Fabrics in Deep Burgundy, which is 100% cotton, super soft and ideal for kids apparel.
So, let’s sew it step-by –step!
For this dress I used (I made a 18/24months size, so dimensions are for this size, please change them for smaller or bigger sizes) :
A piece of main fabric , dimensions 48cm * 80cm
Two pieces of main fabric, dimensions 7cm * 36cm (each one)
85cm of elastic (2cm wide) (45 cm for the bust, 2*20cm for suspenders)
Optionally a safe detachable brooch
Sew the dress back seam (48cm sides) , surge or zic-zac the edges and press open.
On bust side, fold 1cm and trim it.
Fold again 5cm and stabilize with pins.
Sew 2 cm from the upper edge (these will be the frills on bust).
At this point put marks for suspenders (it is important to mark them now because it is very difficult to find the exact point after having inserted the elastic on bust).
I usually put them 8cm left and right from dress center, so be sure to find correctly the center in the front of the dress.
Now sew 4.5 cm from the upper edge of the dress to create the tunnel for the elastic and insert the elastic.
At this point your dress will look like this in photo.
Prepare the suspenders (sew the 36cm side, turn inside out and insert the elastic to each one). Then attach them at the points you have already marked at step 3.
Now hem your dress.
Please note that all seam allowances are 1cm and hem allowance is 2 cm (included on measurements).
Step 7 (Optional)
Create a fabric flower safe detachable brooch (I made this one using a free tutorial I found on pinterest).
Hurray!!! Your dress is totally ready!!! Enjoy it!!!
If you need any further help please feel free to leave me a message here or on my Instagram account @olypateli.
It will, also, make me so happy to see all the dresses you will make using my simple tutorial so please tag me on Instagram when you post them there (@olypateli)
Until next time,
Hi. I'm Cheryl and I blog over at Time To Craft. I love to sew and fortunately all my family are more than willing to wear the clothes I make. I'll admit, it was easier when the children were younger. A swirly dress or a fun shirt, magicked up overnight as a surprise, always went down well. Now that I have two teens, there is a little bit more negotiating about the style they are willing to wear. I don't mind. After all, if I'm going to put the time in sewing, I don't want to see the item languishing in the back of the wardrobe.
Leggings are always in demand. My two daughters are tall and slender. Off-the-shelf leggings are usually either creeping up the ankles or baggy in general. The fabric snags so easily leaving holes. Both girls soon figured out homemade leggings were going to last longer, as I tended to use fabric that could withstand the rigour of daily life.
I've read about scuba fabric and had a pretty good idea that it would make great fabric for leggings. It stretches, is thick and doesn't fray. Maybe a bit more hard wearing than the usual legging fabric.
Never one for going for a boring choice, I suggested to my middle teen that gingham leggings were the way to go. I had images of Doris Day or Grace Kelly. She went for it. Although my preference for blue gingham was over-ruled by the safe teenage option of black. We used the black Gingham Scuba Fabric. I prewashed it, and managed to lose the pre-wash measurements, but it didn't seem to shrink significantly.
The fabric stretches both ways. The stretch from selvedge to selvedge is greatest. I opted to arrange the leggings legs to go down the fabric and the stretch to go horizontally. I felt the leggings would hold their shape (less knee bagging) and she would appreciate more give when she moved. I could be wrong, but so far so good as she has worn them and hasn't complained.
The fabric is thicker and less liable to fray, making it really easy to work with. It kept its shape as I cut it out and sewed it together, unlike some finer stretch fabrics I've used. It is slightly shiny and the gingham pattern is only printed on one side of the fabric.
I used my usual sewing machine with its stretch stitch settings, as I don't have an overlocker. I used a ball point needle as recommended for knit. I like to test both straight stretch stitch and the zigzag version in both directions on new fabric, to ensure that my stitches are going to cope with the extra pull. They passed the test and made a very neat finish. Nice edges that don't pucker, nor are they bulky. I feel confident that the legging seams won't split the first time my teen reaches down to touch her toes or turns a cartwheel. Nor the hundredth time she does it, for that matter.
I used my favourite legging pattern Simplicity 2156, making size 14 years old. We've finally reached the biggest size for this pattern. Leggings are very simple to make. I whipped these up in a matter of about an hour, with the inevitable interruptions. Just two pieces of fabric, sewn together and a length of elastic added. Simple.
I've left the hem for the moment, to see how they wear and to extend the life of the leggings as my teen continues to grow.
She's pleased with them. They are comfy and easy to wear. Even if I wanted them back now, I'm not sure I could make her part with them. Time will tell if she wears them out and about.
As so often is the case with children, one of the others has taken a fancy to the fabric too. She'd like a pair of shorts for the summer. There should be just enough to make her a pair. I'm confident that it will give a good stretch to make the shorts comfortable, but hold their shape, so they don't reveal more than she intends.
I'll be opting for scuba fabric for leggings from now on. Minerva Crafts have a big range of Scuba Fabric in different prints as well as solid colours to choose from. If you've not made leggings before, or worry about sewing stretchy fabric without access to an overlocker or serger, then I can recommend giving it a go. Scuba fabric makes it just that little bit easier.