The girls both want a very plain tee so that will make life easier. The pattern is from Threadcount ..I haven't used one of their patterns before so I'm interested to see what the smaller pattern producers come up with.
Originally I wanted to make matching tops for the three girls but the pattern called for so much fabric I'm gambling on having enough left over for baby Bonnie even though I didn't ask for 2.55metres which was called for on the pattern envelope.
The pattern calls for 35% stretch. How to check it? Luckily there is info on Pinterest and I have printed out this gauge, free from Stitchandsmile.com.She also give a lot of advice about sewing with stretch fabrics. Well worth a visit. My fabric seems to have about 40% stretch so that is ok. Difficult to decide how hard to stretch it though.The eldest girl is right on the cusp of the given measurements for M, which is the exact size of the pattern, with no ease, so I have cut the next larger size. The shaping in the armhole (armscye?-every day a schoolday?) is the same front and back, so I have made a slight adjustment to that. It went together well and the neckband seems ok.
I used a tiny zigzag and then finished the edges with a wider zigzag using the foot with the special bar to keep it all flat. It has to be trimmed neatly first but I prefer it to my foot that zigzags and cuts at the same time. I'm not good at feeding it in evenly. You don,t really have to finish the edges of jersey but old habits die hard and it feels like cheating not to do it. I decided to hem the edges with a decorative stitch rather than the conventional twin needle using red embroidery thread. The tees are so plain I wanted to give them a little decoration - but this was a big mistake, my machine became very grumpy and kept breaking the cotton. I gallantly completed the stitching with much rethreading and also a little bad language on the baby dress. I'm not sure if it was the fact of embroidering on jersey but I think a new needle would have made a difference. Hindsight is a wonderful thing!
The verdict overall is quite good. I like the fabric and the simplicity of the pattern makes it ideal for someone wanting to have their first try with jersey. The way the sleeves are cut, they can be set into either side, so thats one thing that won't go wrong. The neckbands leave a bit to be desired, they are too long I feel, and after washing may need to be redone. If I use this pattern again I would make them shorter.
The width of this fabric is very generous and there are still a few usable pieces left – just right for leggings for the rag doll I'm making for Bonnie's second birthday later this month.
This was my first project for Minerva and I have enjoyed the extra dimension of recording my thoughts as I sew. Thanks Minerva!
Posted in Projects on Saturday the 20th July 2019 by Vicki Ormerod
I decided to make the Carolyn Pajamas (Pyjamas) from Closet Case Patterns when I received the mink floral Sateen Fabric from Minerva. This pattern is suitable for those with intermediate sewing skills and is available in PDF and print formats. There are blog tutorials available on their website for this pattern should you need them.
Now let’s talk about this fabric. It is the perfect choice for these pyjamas as it gives them a luxurious look and feel. It is a beautiful colour, a dusky pink with a slight brown hint. The fabric itself is soft and silky but quite delicate and may pull and cause ladders if caught by say a rough fingernail or even an unsharp pin if you are unlucky. The fabric washes well and dries quickly.
The Carolyn pattern provides various style options including, short or long sleeves, breast pocket, shorts or pants, with or without cuffs and piping. I went all inclusive: long sleeves, pocket, pants, cuffs and piping.
I made the piping on my pyjamas using black 100% cotton fabric (cord and fabric bought from a local market) cut on the bias and giving it a 1.5cm seam allowance for ease when sewing it to my garment. This is the first time I have used piping on a garment. It was relatively easy to add and I feel it gives the pyjamas a nice finish.
The pants were easy to construct, have pockets (very important!) and a faux fly. The waistband is elasticated, so no shaping is required.
The top was a little trickier. I had to undo the back of the collar during construction due to it ruching up whilst sewing. I think this was because this part of the collar was not interfaced and the fabric doesn’t have any structure. However, this was easily rectified with the stitch ripper! The piping looks lovely round the collar as does the top stitching. It has a piped breast pocket which adds interest.
The fabric was easy to sew and not too slippery as I had expected but it does tend to fray. The pattern recommends French seams however I overlocked and zigzag stitched mine.
Due to these being pyjamas (and I won’t be wearing them out of the house as suggested on the pattern details, well in the garden maybe) I didn’t bother to pattern match the fabric and to be honest I am happy with the results.
The fit is good. The pattern is drafted for someone with a height of 5 foot 6 inches, which is my height so I kept it at the drafted length. This was great for me but would definitely require shortening if you are not as tall.
These pyjamas are comfortable and I plan to make a shorts version using the same fabric ready for the warm balmy summer nights (we can only hope).
Thank you, Minerva, for the gift of the fabric and the opportunity of featuring on your blog.
Until next time, thanks and happy reading.
Hello, again! I’d first like to say you’re welcome to all the 90s kids out there who now have the Nirvana tune (Smells Like Teen Spirit) stuck in your head. Sorry. For what it’s worth, the song played through my head the entire time I was photographing this fantastic skirt. However, the title is completely perfect for this skirt. Let me start at the beginning.
My 12-year-old son plays on a competitive travel soccer (or football to the rest of the world) team. Like any good mother, I attend almost all these games and sit with the other parents on the side line cheering on our boys. Lately, I’ve been receiving some ribbing from the other parents because I refuse to wear any spirit or team to these games. It’s not that I’m against supporting the team, I’m just against having writing or pictures of any kind displayed across my very ample bosom. That being said, I was feeling a bit guilty that I was the only one on the side line not sporting the blue and gold colors. Luckily for me, I’m a seamstress and can create almost anything my mind can dream up, so off to the Minerva website I went where I found the perfect fabric for my plan.
This lovely abstract 100% Viscose Fabric in the royal and mustard colorway fit our team colors to perfection. Not only does it contain the appropriate colors but I was also looking for something that would be cool to wear as the weather starts to heat up. Also, I needed something that I could easily wear for both the Spring and Autumn soccer seasons. This fabric checked all the boxes!
Once I had the fabric in my hands, it didn’t take long for me to decide on a pattern. Let me first say that I very rarely venture outside of my house in any kind of active wear. I really try and put on actual clothes for my day to day life and this includes the soccer fields. I knew a loose skirt would give me the ability to pair it with different tops and would be perfect for the warmer weather. The Patsy Skirt by Seamwork Patterns pretty much jumped out of my stash and was a perfect marriage for this fabric.
Not only is this skirt pattern nice and loose but the sample is sewn in a stripe and I loved the stripe play. Because this fabric has a very linear pattern, I thought it would be fun to play around with the direction of the print for the skirt band, waistband and pockets. I think the final effect is subtle, but still interesting.
I sewed a size 12, which is about an inch too big for me in the waist. However, because this sits at the natural waist and because I have an autoimmune disorder that can cause my waist measurement to fluctuate dramatically, I decided to go with the larger measurement and then utilize elastic in the waistband.
I just added elastic that was my current waist measurement (I’m currently not in a flare up so my waist is at its normal size) and then stretched it very slightly as I sewed it into the facing. I sewed the elastic just below the seamline on the facing and then attached the facing as the instructions suggested. This cinched in the waist enough for it to be comfortable both during my “normal” and “swollen” times. It’s a win, win!
I’m pretty over the moon with the finished skirt and am very excited to wear it proudly to the remaining games this season and then well into the following seasons! Thank you again Minerva for letting me play around with your fabric and if you want to see more of my makes you can find me on YouTube at TomKat Stitchery or on my website of the same name. Until next time!
Whitney (aka Tomkat Stitchery)
Posted in Projects on Saturday the 20th July 2019 by Vicki Ormerod
The minute I saw the pictures of this striped floral Jersey Fabric, I knew I needed it. The only hard part was choosing which color really. I might just go back for the rest though. It is beyond gorgeous and even more so in person. It is a pretty standard weight cotton lycra, nice and sturdy and good for a variety of applications. I think it would work well in fitted items such as leggings or a tank top as well as a skirt or dress.
I decided to sew it into a top that is a favorite in my closet already, the Mama Claire from Made for Mermaids. I have made myself a few of these relaxed dolmans already and wear them often as they are very comfortable, so I figured it would be perfect for my new favorite print fabric. I chose to do the short sleeve for this one as we are coming into ‘summer’ where I l live (I use the term loosely since it’s never too warm here but I like to pretend it is anyhow). One great feature of this top is that it can be worn front to back as well. I like the crossover in the front for now as it is nursing friendly.
The stripes beg to be matched but the floral tries to disrupt those efforts. I struggled with making sure they did and started to question whether it was possible but after I finished, I feel I reached some sort of stripe matching success. Because they are slightly water color stripes and the floral motif obscures so much of them, it was definitely a challenge. I was happy that the flowers go in both directions, alternating, so there was no direction from top to bottom to contend with.
I also saw this stretch cotton lycra denim available and thought it would pair perfectly as moto leggings. When the denim arrived, however, I realized it was more of a conventional Woven Denim though it was soft to the touch with decent drape. It would work well as a top, denim dress, etc, but still works as a bottom weight. It would definitely not work for leggings however and I was not feeling up to fitting proper jeans….so enter the Jalie Vanessa Fluid Joggers. I love Jalie patterns in general as they include child through adult in one pattern, are very well drafted and the directions are precise and to the point. Since this particular denim was so soft and supple, I figured woven joggers would give me the comfort and ease of sewing I was looking for with this project.
I did use a small faux leather scrap for the waistband detail and a faux drawstring from cotton lycra scrap. The pockets are lined in rayon challis to eliminate bulk. Even more surprising, I was able to cut these joggers in a size 6 out of just one meter of the denim despite the pattern calling for around 2 meters.
The finished joggers are most definitely comfortable but I’m not sure how fashion forward I feel in them. I made attempts at distressing the denim with pumice stone, lemon juice, sunshine, and repeated washings…. but I don’t see much of a difference after those efforts. I will have to rely on time instead probably!
I hope you enjoy my new comfortable mom-wear. It will serve me well for playing trains and chasing tricycles!!
Hello stitchers! It’s nice to be back again and with another fun, speedy project for you!
One of my make nine patterns was the Agnes Top by Tilly and the Buttons. I figured it was such a simple, versatile, quick make that it would be a nice break from the more challenging patterns on my list. This pattern really needs no introduction from me, its popularity is well established and it seems to be included in most people’s tried and true pattern repertoire. It has a basic scoop neck option, a ruched neckline option and a vintage style ruched shoulder option. Sleeve views are either ½ or full length.
I’m not sure exactly why I put off making this pattern for so long except for it just seemed so basic. All of my jersey fabrics in my stash were either very dull and uninspiring or way too bold or large scale of a print.
Minerva came to the rescue once more with this super soft Modal Jersey Fabric in a wine colourway. It looked basic enough that it will fill a huge gap in my handmade wardrobe but also the print looked interesting enough that I wouldn’t find it boring to sew either. The print consists of line drawings of little mustard yellow butterflies, it is really sweet.
I haven’t ever sewn with modal jersey before so I was eager to test this fabric out and it really didn’t disappoint…when I say this fabric is soft as butter I am not kidding! Tilly Walnes often talks about secret pyjamas and now I totally get it! I never want to wear anything else! I could see this fabric made up into baby clothes due to how snuggly and breathable it is or even a summer robe, light cardigan or wrap dresses.
Cutting the fabric out was a little more challenging than my previous recent makes due to the nature of stretchy fabrics so I took extra care when drying the fabric (after prewashing at 40 degrees as the guidelines instruct) so that it would not warp out of shape and that paid off.
I opted for the basic scoop neck version with the full length sleeves. Construction itself was very simple and I didn’t encounter any real issues sewing it up except that my overlocker didn’t seem to want to stitch the fabric when it was on a single layer such as when hemming the sleeves and bottom of the top. I put this down to my messing with the settings so I could do a rolled hem on a recent shirt. It worked well on the shirt but now I can’t remember the exact settings I had previously…lessons learned! Keep notes!
Instead I ripped out the messy overlock stitches and made a simple turned hem, stitching in place with a zig zag stitch on my sewing machine. Side note: I happened to have the absolute perfect thread in my stash for this fabric, when does that ever happen?!
One thing I would change the next time is the neckline. The pattern does suggest applying the neckband and testing the fit before finishing but I am far too impatient and just carried on. As a result the neckline is a lot more scooped than the pattern intends. Luckily for me I’m small busted so it still looks modest enough! I think the issue was partly due to the stretch of the fabric. The pattern recommends 20-25% stretch and this modal jersey has about 50%. While the extra stretch means extra comfort, I should have used a smaller neckband to adjust for this.
Even so, this is now my favourite jersey top and I can’t recommend either the fabric or the pattern enough!
Thank you for reading and happy stitching!
This Butterick 6318 Retro Dress Pattern is a vintage reissue from 1961 with an overriding ‘50s vibe. I love vintage clothing, but always gravitate towards the seventies and eighties, so when I spotted Minerva’s gorgeous floral Viscose Fabric I seized the chance to give the ‘new look’ a whirl.
To give the dress a more contemporary feel, I wanted to create something more casual and drapey than the suggested prom-style and add length (I’ve a major crush on the current mid-lower calf length dresses out this summer). This Canary yellow delight with a mixture of delicate pale and royal blue flowers fitted the mid-century bill perfectly.
As viscose goes, this is lovely to work with. It presses like a dream and whilst you do have to be careful cutting out, it didn’t slip and slide as much as some I’ve worked with in the past. And there was no shine whatsoever under heat. Rejoice!
If you’re using this pattern, take the amount of fabric advised with a pinch of salt. The instructions recommend over four metres, which seemed outlandish, so I ordered three, and managed to get a size 14 out of just over 2.5 metres - enough left over to make my little girl a skirt. This involved some unorthodox cutting practices, so brace yourselves. I laid everything out in the same direction on the grain line - so far so good - but the back skirt pieces are suuuuuuper wide… so I cut them out in one continuous piece, using the selvedge as seam allowance, and then cut that in half.
Later I overlocked these edges so you can’t tell the selvedges were involved - unless I whipped my skirt up. And I probably won’t be doing that.
The back pieces are maybe a few millimetres narrower than they should be but given the initial width and the amount of gathering required (you practically have to stuff the fabric through the machine there’s so much of it) I think I got away with it…
The pattern comes together well but while the instructions are nice and quick and the result is a gorgeous vintage-style dress, I think they threw out some babies with their 1961 bathwater. I’m fairly sure that an original pattern would have recommended stay-stitching the neckline and putting in a skirt stay. I didn’t bother with the former and lived to regret it - having to fiddle with the neckline facings and shoulder seams to get the pieces to fit. STAY STITCH YOUR NECKLINES PEOPLE!!! (That’s a shouty note to self, by the way - I fully slapped my wrists over this.)
Because the fit is quite loose at the top and the fabric drapes so beautifully, the centimetres I lost on the shoulders isn’t noticeable (or at least not that I can tell). After this initial goof when I saw there was no instruction for a skirt stay I went ahead and did one anyway. I’m glad I did. There is so much fabric in the skirt I’m fairly sure it would pull the bodice down without a stay. I used some vintage satin ribbon and it’s pretty as a baby’s christening gown inside.
I added a couple of inches onto the pattern pieces for length and gained a couple more by hemming a very narrow 5/8 double machine hem instead of the whopping 7.5cm hem advised.
The best bit about the pattern is the ties that wrap across the front of the body and tie at the back, cinching in the waist and giving it that lovely fifties silhouette.
I’m super impressed with this fabric. It’s very pretty, perhaps more pretty than I’m usually inclined to like but as much as I sewed it up with a summer wedding in mind, I also love the way it looks dressed down with trainers and a denim jacket.
It’s now waiting on my wall for a bit of sunshine, when the rays hit, I think we will be inseparable.
Thanks for reading,