This one is my first post on Minerva blog :) I’m so glad to join you! Let me first introduce myself… My name is Sylwia. I come from Poland, but now I’m living on the south-west coast of Norway. Like most of Polish people, I moved because of economics. I write about this, because it had a direct impact on starting my sewing adventure. When I came to Norway it took me a while to find a work. I had a lot of time and rainy days (225 per year) didn’t help me to get used to new place of living. I had to find a hobby to get by with new situation. One day, while browsing internet, I found a very interesting sewing blog and at the same time I thought “this is it!”. I bought sewing machine and that’s how it began. Now, after five years, I’m writing the post here and I’m a member of sewing community.
My favorite sewing projects are definitely dresses. I love making them! I like the most evening gowns and maxi dresses in boho style. When I saw this Penelope Beaded Lattice Lace Fabric, my first thought was that I will make a glitter evening gown, which I can wear during New Year’s Eve party. I imagined how it’s going to look like and I ordered 3 meters. When I got the fabric, I’ve changed my mind and decided to sew something easier than gown. It was the first time I had an opportunity to sew beaded lace. This one is quite heavy and I wasn’t sure if my gown turns out as I planned. I chose easier and safer project, because I’m not advanced seamstress and I didn’t want to waste this beautiful fabric.
First I checked my fabric stock and found a viscose jersey in nice sand gray color. It matched perfect Penelope. Instead of sewing dress, I’ve decided to make a simple jumpsuit. My idea was to sew comfortable and elegant garment that can be worn during special occasions. I mixed two patterns that I used in previous sewing projects. To make bodice I used one of Burda Style patterns (I don’t remember which one). To make trousers I used McCall’s 7577 - this one is actually a jumpsuit. I love its wide legs and it’s one of my favorite patterns.
After I cut the fabrics, I basted pieces of lace to corresponding jersey pieces and treated them as one layer of fabric. Before sewing I had to remove beads from seam edges to avoid sewing machine failure. I think this was the worst moment of making the jumpsuit. Beads were everywhere in my flat ;) I’m not going to write more about sewing process, because it wasn’t complicated and I made it much easier by pulling elastic in waist. I avoid sewing zippers if only I have an opportunity to do this.
I really like how the jumpsuit turned out. It’s very heavy but it doesn’t bother me to wear it. Now I’m counting days until New Year’s Eve… I’m going to shine!
Thanks for reading,
Hello Minerva Makers,
The closer we get to Christmas, the more social occasions call for something a bit special and at this time of year, something sequinned is a must. I especially love that people seem to be more free with when and where they wear their sparkles. Breakfast sequins? Yes please! Brunch sequins? You know it! Dinner sequins? Always!
When I saw this fabric on the Minerva website, I immediately knew that it would be winging its way to me. My initial inspiration lay in the monochrome geometric pattern, which was outlined by glass beads. It was just begging to be made into a shift dress in the 60s mod style and so I settled on the Inari Tee Dress by Named Patterns.
Also, there was a practical element to my inspiration. When working with heavily embellished fabrics such as this, I prefer to let the fabric to speak for itself and don’t want to add any unnecessary seams or bulk. I didn’t have any darts or fastenings on this dress, but should you opt to use a different pattern with a fabric such as this, you may want to remove any sequins or beading from within the seam allowance.
Doing a test with some scrap fabric and a heavier needle is recommended, otherwise you run the risk of damaging your machine and needlessly wasting needles. Not all sequins are the same thickness, so some will be fine to sew over while others may need to be removed. I was able to get away with sewing across the sequins using a Schmetz 70/12 universal needle (I usually sew with a finer, 70/10 needle) and just removed the beads from the seam allowance. I did this with my quick-unpick. Also, don’t throw away your surplus sequins or beads because once you’ve sewn your dress (or danced really vigorously!) you may want to fill in any little bald patches. It’s better to remove too many and sew them back in, than to jam your machine or damage your frock!
When it came to neckline options, I decided to go with a facing so that the neckline could sit nice and flat. To stop the facing from popping out during wear, I simply hand-sewed it down in places using small stitches, which were not visible from the outside. It’s so satisfying to see a facing sitting flat!
I elected not to line the dress because the wrong side of the fabric wasn’t scratchy, despite the embellishments being sewn on to a really high standard. As it’s a loose dress, the hem and sleeve cuffs don’t rub against your skin very much. I also think that if I want to wear it with a slip at a later time, the option is always there.
The end result was a lovely cacoon dress – my first attempt at this sort of shift. I loved the gentle shaping. This dress is lovely and so versatile for a variety of occasions, I’m thinking cocktails by the pool, canapes with colleagues, dinner with a show (so comfortable to sit and move in) or even family BBQs.
Until next time,
Brooke @ retronovella.com
Hi Minerva family, my name is Tisa Taylor and this is my first collaboration with Minerva. Boy Oh Boy I’m SUPER excited!! Can you tell? LOL…. I blog over at www.simplytfashions.com and share my makes on IG (same handle) as well. When Vicki reached out to me to join the team, I was like….”ME”??? She put the biggest smile on my face and it has not left since!!
As I saw this Lady McElroy Animal Print Chiffon Fabric I fell in love! I knew I had to have it, but if I’m honest I was slightly dreading it. Why you ask?? Because it’s chiffon!! Chiffon and I don’t always get along, but I put all my fears and dislikes aside and went for it because I loved it so much. I immediately knew I wanted to make McCalls 7685 with this fabric. My hope was to have it made in time for my birthday August 28th and wear it for my birthday dinner, but unfortunately that did not happen due to everyday life and the time this pattern needed to complete.
Making this dress has forced me to push my sewing skills to the next level. The pattern calls for gathers, lining, boning, and narrow hems. All things I run from when making a garment, but I knew it was time. If I say it was easy breezy, I would be telling you a story. I had to walk away several times from this project, gather my thoughts and my sanity and come back. The gathering gave me the blues, but I was determined to complete it.
I finished the dress, tried it on and jumped for joy. “It’s PERFECT” I said!! The fit is perfect! I called my husband over in excitement and asked him to zip me up. He proceeds to zip the dress up and I couldn’t believe the words that came out of his mouth next. “OH NO…I think I pulled to hard and broke the zipper!!!” As you can image my face and the thoughts that were going through my head…. I almost had a heart attack!!! He then had to cut me out the dress, because the invisible zipper got stuck. Needless to say, I was just tired but REFUSED to be defeated!! I put that smile on my face (the one that Vicki gave me), replaced my zipper, and kept it pushing.
I am so happy with the end results of this dress. It truly was a labor of love. I learned so much from this project. I mostly learned to have the courage to face my fears. The one thing I would have done differently would have been to make the dress 4 inches longer. I love long dresses and the walk away appeal they give. I cannot say I will sew another chiffon garment in the near future, but it will always stay in the back of my mind because the end results are always so rewarding.
Lots of Love and Many Blessings!
Hi Minerva Crafters. It's Q, and I'm back on the blog to share my newest make. I've wanted a teddy fur coat for the longest time. When I received the Teddy Fabric, I didn't delay making the coat. After finding inspiration on Pinterest, I picked my pattern and started cutting. My husband thought I was crazy to cut and sew a fur coat in the summertime, but why not? I'll be ready for when the weather changes.
I used Simplicity 8797 view A to create this loose-fitting lined coat. The pattern offers several length variations with a classic lapel and one-button closure. The pattern was quick and easy to sew together after cutting all the fabric. However, working with fur requires patience. Here are a few tips that I used to complete the project stress-free:
- 1) Before cutting, I identified the direction of the fur and laid my pattern pieces on the back of the fabric.
- 2) I traced the pattern pieces and transferred all of my markings before cutting the fabric. This step was time-consuming, and I was ready to walk away, but it was worth it. I didn't have to think about holding the pattern in place while cutting.
- 3) I started cutting the fur, one layer at a time. I ended up using the tip of my scissors to cut the fabric lining. I also gently pulled the fabric apart to separate the seams.
Note: During this step remember that you are cutting the fabric one at a time. If you have to cut two pieces of fabric, you will need to turn your pattern piece before cutting the second one. I made this mistake and ended up with the two front pieces for the right side only.
- 4) I tucked the fur between the seams before sewing. I used clips and pins to hold the fabric together.
- 5) For thick fur, I would recommend trimming the seams with tape. I skipped this step, the fabric and seams were not bulky.
The oversized pattern would have been too big for me as is, so I made the following modifications to the fit.
• Took in the side seams 2 inches
• Took up shoulder seams 2 inches
• Took in arm sleeves 1 ½ inch
I chose four yards of the brown Teddy fur fabric from Minerva. This heavyweight fabric is available in multiple colors. The fabric is soft, lightweight, and easy to sew. I was prepared to experience shedding while cutting and sewing. However, I did not experience any shedding, which was surprising. For the lining, I used brown fabric I found in my stash. I’m always so surprised when I can find enough fabric in my stash, lol.
I styled my Teddy fur coat with a rib knit dress and black platform pumps. I love the final look of this coat and cannot wait to wear this during the colder season. Thanks, Minerva for the fabric and thank you for reading. Until next time, Happy Sewing!
For my first Minerva Makers project I wanted to sew something I could wear all year round with my favourite tops. I had originally planned to make shorts but I’m three toiles in and deep down the garment fitting rabbit hole. So for now I decided to use my favourite skirt pattern – the Ada skirt by Make My Lemonade (formerly known as Wear Lemonade).
There are three reasons why I love this pattern:
- It has a curved waistband with an elasticated back so it doesn’t stick out awkwardly at the waist
- It has a tie belt so I can nip it in at the waist for a fitted look but also loosen it for comfort after eating
- Most importantly, it has huge pockets! They’re big enough for both my phone and purse and they’re perfect for keeping my hands warm in the colder months
I used 1.7 metres of Lady McElroy Stretch Cotton Sateen Fabric and had a small amount left over for testing buttonholes, tension and stitch lengths. This medium weight fabric has a lovely sheen and is available in navy and black. Many sewists hate wearing black – it’s plain, it doesn’t photograph well and it's associated with office wear and funerals. But it can also be a great canvas for colourful embroidery, bold buttons and decorative topstitching.
I chose to decorate the back pocket so it can be easily removed and replaced when my embroidery skills improve. Considering it’s only my second attempt at embroidery, I’m fairly happy with the results. Sure, it’s not particularly neat but it’s on my bum so no-one is going to be looking closely enough to notice the imperfections! But just for you, here’s a close-up photo (it doesn’t look too bad if you squint):
I’ve since read that you can get a neat outline by split stitching the outline before filling it in with satin stitch so I’ll try that next time. I have a couple of dresses that need mending so I’m thinking of fixing the holes with some chunky embroidery.
I drew the design on to Sulky Sticky Fabri-Solvy, a non-woven water soluble stabiliser. If you buy it in sheets rather than a roll, you can also cut it down and use it in your printer. I drew my design in pencil but I’ll use a marker pen in future because the drawing faded over time so I had to stitch it from memory towards the end (which resulted in some oddly shaped leaves).
I cut a size 40 based on my measurements of 29” waist and 38” hips (approximately a UK size 12) and the fit is great apart from the excess fabric at the back. I think a swayback adjustment would fix this issue so I’ll try that next time. I’ve never photographed the back of my Ada skirts before so it’s the first time I’ve noticed the problem.
If you’re planning to make this skirt and you’ve never sewn a corner seam before, the pattern instructions for this part aren’t very detailed so here’s a video tutorial on how to do it. The trick to getting a pucker-free corner is accurate measuring and snipping right up to (but not through) the corner stitches. If you do it correctly, you may be left with a slight pucker like this which will smooth out when pressed with the iron:
Posted in Projects on Wednesday the 14th October 2020 by Vicki Ormerod
I’m very excited to share my latest project for the Minerva blog. I’ve always loved Vintage dresses but dressing head to toe vintage every day requires far too much work for me so instead I like my dress style just to have a vintage influence. With this project I’ve decided to be a little more authentic and sew an original 1952 Vogue Pattern and stay true to the era by sewing without the mod cons like overlockers and invisible zippers.
The pattern is a Vogue original reprint from 1952. It’s very feminine with a fitted bodice and full circle skirt. Squared neckline front and back with a contrasting fabric for the banded trim, straps and contrast hem.
The fabric is a black Jacquard Fabric. I used a vintage silk to line it which I picked up from a deceased estate of a seamstress . She left her vintage stash to a friend who then sold it. I was lucky enough to pick up 60 meters of different fabrics! I loved using the lining from this collection as it added to the authenticity of the vintage style. It even smelt vintage (like mothballs!!) The neckline trim and hem are from some black velvet I had in my stash.
Luckily I had 4 meters of the jacquard fabric as the full circle skirt takes quite a bit of fabric! Originally I was going to add the contrast hem in the same fabric but it is cut on the bias and requires a lot of fabric. Even with 4 meters I didn’t have enough. That’s when I decided to add the velvet. I’m glad that I did as I think this really adds to the luxurious look of the dress.
As always, for prepping I prewashed the fabric and popped it in the dryer before giving it a good press with my steam iron. The fabric didn’t seem to shrink too much which is most likely due to the percentage of polyester. It was a beautiful fabric to sew. The needle and thread seemed to glide through it and I got away without having to pin too much.
I wanted to try and stay true to the 1950’s era and sew with vintage techniques. I used pinking shears to finish my seam allowances and inserted the side zipper with a regular dress zip rather than an invisible zipper. The bodice was constructed along with the lining and then I slip-stitched the entire neck band on. I attached a grosgrain ribbon waist stay and I also hand basted the hem before machine sewing the contrast velvet hem.
The only adjustment I made to the dress was to shorten it by about 10cm. I am very petite so this is a normal alteration for me. Before hemming it I let the dress hang for 24 hours to allow the fabric on the bias to “set”. Luckily I did as after hanging it the hem had dropped a lot in certain areas. It was a huge job getting the length even as the skirt is so big. The dress is also very heavy but I love it as it really feels like a vintage dress should feel, weighty and luxurious.
My photos were taken at my local Council Hall. I decided to wear some gloves and (cheap) pearls to give it a little touch of 1950’s. I hope I’ve inspired you to make your own vintage dress!
Annie @ sewthispattern.com
I say try again as my first attempt was an epic failure simply due to a really poor fabric choice and then I had lost confidence in trying again.
But the quilted knit appeared....., I loved other sweatshirts on Instagram, especially loved the raglan sleeves. Here in Australia it’s deep winter and I was lacking a me made jumper of sorts. So it seemed like a perfect fit. I made a straight size 4, as that is how I measured on the sizing chart.
The first step was choosing the perfect matching ribbing for the quilted knit. I have an unusually large collection of ribbing. On a trip through the south west of Western Australia a few years ago, I picked up bags and bags of ribbing for <$50AUD and I barely have to ever buy ribbing now. The most popular colour I have is definitely Navy/Dark blue. So there was a plethora of choices - as this photo shows.
The ribbing I chose was a perfect match for the knit fabric, but I only had a very small piece, so that made my decision easy. The ribbing was only going to be used for the neckline and the top was going to have a self fabric wrist band and hem band. I wasn’t sure if the Hem Band, in particular, was going to have sufficient stretch and if it would work. With nothing to lose I gave it a go anyway.
Nerves aside, the construction was really very simple. Aside from joining the hem bands in the middle with my sewing machine, I used my overlocker to construct the entire sweatshirt. I use a bucket load of pins to keep things aligned, go really slow and make sure I keep the pins away from the blade and needles. No easy task on the wristbands that’s for sure.
I was going to topstitch the neckband but found it actually sits well and I don’t think the shirt needs any more stitching lines.
One tip I will give is how I mark the front and back pieces. I’ve tried various different ways over the couple of years I’ve been sewing, like writing a giant B or F on the wrong side of the fabric, but without fail the marking rubs off or becomes difficult to see. Now I run a length of contrasting thread through the back piece, somewhere near the hem (so it’s easy to find when doing fiddly neckbands etc.) and this make it so much easier to distinguish. Especially important on patterns like the Linden where the front and back pieces are very similar. This is especially important if you sew in short bursts like I do!!
I also almost forgot to share!! My other favourite secret tip is the Rajah cloth. When ironing knits that don’t want to iron flat i.e this knit fabric, the Rajah cloth is amazing and chemically sets the seam.
It gives you that crisp clean finish you get on woven - but with a knit.
I am really happy with how this one turned out. The fabric, whilst not exceptionally thick, is warmer than it appears plus really comfortable. Next time I will size down and make a size 2 as I think this one is a touch big, especially at the neckline. In fact I’ve already started!!
Thanks for reading,
Posted in Projects on Sunday the 11th October 2020 by Vicki Ormerod
Hi guys! I’m super excited about this blog! If you don’t know me, my name is Macy Knight, and most people know me for my Instagram is Macycamile. Minerva outdid their selves with this Amazing Fabric, once again! I thoroughly enjoyed making this dress, it was super fun, now let’s get into the good stuff!
This Minerva fabric is perfect for any holiday or fun party dress. It is a flowy-see through mesh fabric that has floral embroidery right above the fringe. The fringe on the fabric is slightly thinner than the regular type of fringe. The color of the textile is an off-white and would be appropriate to add another fabric underneath as a lining so that way it would not be see-through. For some parts of the dress I had to remove flowers and fringe from the strips so that I could fully give the dress detail in some areas.
For the start of the overall garment, I made a basic off white, spaghetti strapped dress. I used the pattern B6627 from Butterick, just for the base, from there I built on top of the dress using the Minerva fabric. To start it is really important that the dress fits exactly how you want it to. I first started by taking some of the lace pieces and cutting them in a straight line. After cutting the pieces I took off the access material and I pinned it along the edge of the dress following the neckline. I layered each row at least two times so that the fringe would not be so transparent. The second added row adds more depth to the fringed areas.
After I pinned the neckline down, I temporarily left it with the raw edges and all. I revisited that part very last. Next I moved on to the second row, and focused on how it would lay & kept building from there. I would constantly cut a row off of the mesh then pin it and move on to the next. The second row, however, was a special row due to its different angle and the fact that I also used extra embroidery flowers around the torso, but I also left that part until the very end.
For the layers that had the lace showing above the fringe I first cut off the lace as close to the fringe that I could without damaging the flowers. Next I would sew that piece down where I had pinned it and then put the lace part on top of it and then sew it down again. It will create the illusion that there is only one thick row of fringe. Lastly, the fourth row and so on, is the original fabric. I simply added it in its original state to the bottom of the dress. It left a sheer flirty appearance. For the very last step, I had to revisit all those place that needed lace put on to the top. I pinned down the cut out lace pieces to the top and the sides and sewed them down. Wallah! I was finished.
The styling for this dress was fairly simple, just due to the fact that the dress was already busy as it is. I paired the dress with white strapped heels and silver floral earrings. The earrings were relatively big in size, however, they weren’t overbearing. I chose to do my makeup a bit fancier, just due to this being a holiday and party dress. I always think a red lip is perfect for the holidays and the colder season. I am in love with this fabric & the dress. I cannot wait to wear it for the holiday season. Thank you Minerva!
Hello Minerva followers, my name is Nicole Golsteijn-Cnoops, I am a Dutch hobby seamstress, blogger and fashion addict. Just this June I turned 50 and I am very proud that I have been invited to the Minerva Makers team. So let me introduce myself a bit more.
Sewing is my passion given to me by my late grandmother. When I was a teenager I loved to sit next to her when she made garments for me. For my 18th birthday I got my first sewing machine. For years I have sewn off and on, mostly dresses and easy patterns from magazines. But a few years ago I decided to take my sewing skills to the next level. I went to a sewing school to start learning how to draft patterns myself. The best decision I made.
For this first Minerva project I chose to draft the pattern myself, a button down dress. I selected a floral Scuba Crepe Stretch Fabric. And I must admit, red is way out of my comfort zone. But when I saw this floral red scuba I loved it. The fabric is perfect for dresses.
Button down dresses are a hot fashion item this autumn and you can make them in every length you like. The length of the dress I made is 75 cm from the waist, I am 1,78 m tall. I would have made it longer if I had more fabric, but I only ordered 2,5 meters.
The dress pieces are at full length, no waist seam. Because of the wider skirt you will need at least 2 times the length of the dress and 1 time the length of the sleeves. Besides that you will need about 11 buttons, one for the collar and 10 for the front. In the Minerva shop you can find similar patterns for buttons down dresses, like the McCall's 7387 Pattern.
So as I said, it was a bit of struggle to get all pattern pieces out of this gorgeous fabric. But I am so happy that I managed it.
At our fashion school I found the best buttons to match and I hope that the dark green colour of these buttons make it appropriate to transfer the dress to autumn too. The button fly is stabilised with interfacing but I am not 100 % satisfied about the buttonholes. Luckily this doesn’t show when they are closed.
So let’s get into styling the dress. Having a lovely late summer this weekend I styled the dress with a white leather belt and my Adidas Stan Smit.
This look is my most favourite. I think by its colour the dress is more spring and summer.
Through autumn you can wear a dress like this with boots and a black belt. And for an autumn dress, I would prefer the 10 cm extra length.
Well I can’t wait to go on our late summer escape to Turkey in October. Guess you know what I will be wearing there….
Thanks for reading,
Nicole @ Bobbins & Buttons