Posted in Projects on Thursday the 26th April 2018 by Vicki Ormerod
This Fabric makes me feel like an absolute queen! That’s right I said it this fabric is regal.
As soon as I opened the parcel and the Crepe Fabric slid out I was speechless, It feels luxurious and expensive which at £11.99 per metre it isn’t exactly breaking the bank. Even the six year old of the house announced that it was a “very pretty” fabric.
So lets get into the details, its got a beautiful drape. But its not sheer which means its good for trousers and dresses alike and you won’t need to line it. I chose the burgundy colour which is rich and deep and sort of reminds me of one of those really expensive bottles of red wine. The fabric is silky smooth to the touch and feels like lovely against the skin!
It is a however an absolute brute to photograph, but the picture on the website is a very accurate representation of the colour.
I decided this fabric would be perfect for a dress that needs a bit more of a drape so I chose to make Butterick Pattern 6318. I knew the drape would look great on the dolman sleeves and the fabric looks lovely gathered up so I knew it would be great for the skirt and the waist ties.
Cutting into the fabric was surprisingly easy. I was worried it might shift around but I weighted it and I didn’t move. I would suggest using Fine Dressmaking Pins though because I noticed that thicker ones could mark the fabric and just to be on the safe side it is worth just pinning within the seam allowance.
I also used a walking foot because it was worried that the fabric might shift whilst I was sewing. I do think it made it easier but I did only use a regular zipper foot when I inserted my zip and that was okay, so I’m not positive if you actually need one.
In the end I was really pleased with how the dress turned out. I did a lot of pressing to get seams flat [I used a medium heat iron but make sure to test on a scrap first!] It does take a bit of persuasion to press into shape because of the bounce of the fabric but it can be done with the help of some Pressing Tools!
Pattern wise it is a nice pattern. I’ve made a few changes to the pattern pieces for next time, like shortening the waist. A few things to note are that the ties are not lined they are just hemmed around the edge. I personally think they would look better lined and it might even be nice to add a contrast lining and I’d also lengthen them because I love the idea of being able to tie them in a huge bow and right now they are pretty short. Also the side seams of the bodice and the skirt don’t match up [It is meant to be like this but I can’t work out why]. Anyway the offset side seams give me a twitchy eye so I’ve made those the same size on my pattern pieces as well.
All in all I really really love the dress. The fabric hits the mark between casual and dressy so its perfect for day to day wear but it doesn’t look out of place if we decide to pop somewhere nice for lunch or if we have a parents evening to attend at school. The looser fit on the bodice also means that its really comfortable to wear all day and you can eat a big meal in it which we all know is very important!!!
Frankie @ Knit Wits Owls
Posted in Q&A's on Wednesday the 25th April 2018 by Vicki Ormerod
Can you tell us a little bit about your blog?
My blog Bobo Bun has evolved since I started writing it in 2009. At first, I wrote about every aspect of my family life and how my creativity fitted within that. I started blogging before Instagram arrived and so this was the ideal place to connect with other creative people. Suddenly from all over the world I could have a conversation with people who enjoyed the same things as me, share stuff and have a good laugh into the bargain. I love writing and taking pictures so blogging brought these two together, plus it’s given me a wonderful place to hold so many memories. The only downside of blogging for me was and still is the difficulty to connect with a flowing conversation. My reply to a comment will only be seen if that person checks back. I used to blog a few times a week, but when my marriage ended a few years back I lost my creative mojo for a time, plus it was pretty difficult with our belongings in storage while we looked for a new home. Once my daughter’s and I were settled again I found my creativity came back in full force. Throughout this time I always used instagram, but was less frequent with my blog as I felt it needed a new direction. Now I blog about my dressmaking as I cover that and life stuff on instagram. On my blog I love being able to go into more detail about the process of making each garment, sharing which patterns and cloth I used and hopefully inspiring other people to try them out.
Can you show us a photo of your crafting space?
I used to dream of a room to myself to make in, but since my daughter’s and I have moved into a small terrace that’s not possible and to be honest I actually prefer sewing in the heart of the home. I cut out my cloth on the dining room table and I sew on a table underneath a long window so I have a lot of natural light. All of the bits and bobs I need are stored in cupboards and baskets. My treasured Sylko drawers are behind my sewing machine and this is where I keep my scissors, needles, seam ripper…everything I need immediately when I’m sewing basically. It all works perfectly for me, although a shelf for my books and a pinboard would just make it that much better.
When did you start crafting and what inspired you to start? What was your first project? What is your favourite craft?
I can’t remember a time when I wasn't doing something creative. My earliest memory is sitting on the floor when I was about five or six making an owl out of an old dress, stuffing it with my mum’s tights and glueing cake tins on for the eyes. I moved on to making clothes for my dolls who in my imaginary world went to boarding school after reading Enid Blyton’s Mallory Towers and St Clare’s. Being creative is a strong urge in me just as it is in my daughter’s. I’ve always sewn and as the years have gone by I’ve just learnt more and more which I love, there’s always so much more to tackle and learn. I also knit, crochet, quilt, embroider, make bags and felt brooches (which I sell through my small business). I taught myself to crochet after quite a lot of initial swearing and my mum taught me to knit so I’d sit still while I was pregnant with my second daughter Millie. I enjoy lots of crafts in bursts, but my first love and my passion is dressmaking every single time.
What do you love most about crafting?
The happiness it gives me. I truthfully can’t imagine a life where I wasn't coming up with ideas or making something new. My head is always buzzing with projects and ideas. I stopped looking in high street shops quite a while back as I rarely found just what I was looking for and as I am 6ft it never fitted properly anyway. Sewing means I can buy the cloth I want and either use a pattern, draft my own or pattern hack to get the exact outfit I want to be wearing. I love the individuality of it too as no one will be wearing exactly the same thing even if we have been initially inspired by the same pattern. It also means I can pretty much make anything we need, new curtains, clothes requested by my family and presents for everyone.
Do your friends and family craft along with you?
I have a few creative friends and ones for who it is full-time job, but I much prefer chatting about it with them. When I’m sewing for me I like to sew alone and lose myself in the pleasure of it. I like talking too much so I’d get distracted. That said it’s absolutely the opposite when I’m teaching as I love being part of a groups sew then. My youngest daughter is studying GCSE Textiles and will be going on to do this as an A’level this year so I do help her with technical issues and look for ideas that might help her with her projects. In the summer I’ll be teaching her and a friend dressmaking to help them with their A’level as they both want a career in this or fashion.
Who do you make things for?
It’s a mix. I take custom orders for frocks through my instagram page and I make a variety of vintage fabric bags and accessories to sell. I’ve built up such a lovely network of customers who I have known for many years through my blog that in reality I’m sending my products off to friends to enjoy which makes it even more special. I squeeze time in around family life and stay up ridiculously late to sew for myself. I did stay up until 3am to make sure I could surprise my man with a waistcoat for a family party later that day. I make clothes for all of my family as requests or surprises which they love to wear.
What made you decide to start blogging about your crafting?
I wrote my first blog post in January 2009. I followed the lovely Donna Flower who sells amazing vintage fabrics, she was so supportive and said do it, so I did. At that time, I was a stay at home mum, living in the Norfolk countryside after a career teaching in London. I was also selling my bags and accessories at markets under my small business name of Bobo Bun. I used my business name for my blog as I also do on Instagram so people could find me easily. The name comes from Bobo, the handknitted rabbit given to me by my nanny Daisy when I was one. She was my first crafty thing and is still loved to this day, she sums up all the joy and love of handmade things to me so was the inspiration for my name. I've also made my own versions of Bobo Bun bunnies wearing the outfits that Bobo wore before the moths attacked them. With blogging I wanted a way of connecting with other people interested in the same things as me. I had no idea at the time though what a marvellous world I was entering into. Several new opportunities came my way, I made new friends who are still in my life today and we natter away online, I am constantly inspired by the creativity out there which gives me confidence to pursue what I love.
What 3 sewing or craft items/tools could you not live without?
My mannequin named Foxy Lady has become an essential sewing friend. Being able to pin patterns on her and check the overall fit of a dress to see how it hangs has helped my sewing enormously. She was one of my best buys. After that it’s the seam ripper. That’s saved the day plenty of times.
What are your favourite fabrics to sew with and why?
My first love is vintage fabric, especially barkcloth which I swoon over. I love the one off nature of it, the quality of the cloth and the individual prints. Often I can only get a small amount so the cloth decides what it will become which is fun. That said, there is some amazing great quality contemporary cloth out there. I’ve got tons of pictures saved of cloth that I want to use in the future. It’s always the colours and design that inspire me. Sewing with cloth that isn’t good quality totally lets down the time spent creating something to my mind. At the moment I’m obsessed with jerseys and am constantly looking for great designs, I’ve seen quite a few on the Minerva Crafts site that I’ll be buying. My other new interest is pleather. I’ve just bought a couple of pieces to experiment with.
What is your favourite pattern you have ever followed?
Oh my word, choosing a favourite anything always makes me panic a bit because how do I say just one thing. I have so many patterns I love for different reasons. Narrowing it down a bit, I’d say Indie pattern designers are my favourite over the Big 4. My favourite pattern at the moment though and my current obsession is The Rita Blouse by Gretchen Hirst’s Charm Patterns. I have all her books and have used several of her patterns for Butterick too. I love to wear contemporary 1950’s style clothes that are fitted and ooze sass and fun. I’ve made several Rita Blouse’s as they need only a small amount of cloth, don't require an FBA for my FF’s, are really easy to make up and great to wear with everything. Recently, I pattern hacked the blouse into a fitted dress with a wiggle skirt. Next up will be one with a full skirt.
What is your favourite product on the Minerva Crafts website and what would you make with it?
I love the Atelier Brunette French Terry in black with gold spots. I’d make a Seamwork Astoria Jumper and maybe a looser fitting top to snuggle in when I find exactly the pattern I’m after.
How many projects do you have on the go at any one time?
Far too many. I have so many WIP’s that have been sitting in a bag for an age because I get excited about a new project. Currently, I’m making a dress for my youngest daughter, plus some birthday gifts, I’ve just started making my first pair of jeans, using Closet Case Patterns Ginger Jeans, then there is a dress I’m halfway through for myself and an absolute pile of cloth that I know exactly what it will become once I get round to cutting it.
What’s your favourite thing you have ever made?
Pretty much I love everything I’ve made. There’s only a few things I make that afterwards I just think no, it just doesn't do it for me, but I’m glad of what I learnt while I made them. I'd say making the Wearing History Overalls was a favourite. It was a tricky pattern adapted from a vintage one. I made a toile in an old sheet first to get the fit right. I've worn them loads since, they're especially comfy to wear at our Lindy Hop dance class. Everyday summer frocks are another one of my absolute favourites with full skirts and a fitted bodice in a pretty floral fabric. Making shirts for my man is also on my list of favourite things. I absolutely love topstitching and the professional look it gives. Men’s shirts give you a lot of topstitching opportunities.
Do you watch TV or listen to music while you craft?
Always. I’ve never been able to concentrate without background noise. It stops my head wandering off into other thoughts so I can stay focused. I sew either with the radio on or catch up on TV shows on my Macbook while I sew, not that I see much of what’s going on, I just tend to listen and look if something important happens.
What/ who do you go to for inspiration before you start crafting?
Inspiration comes to me from so many places. From watching films and period dramas where I see outfits that I’d like to copy, Instagram and blogs inspire me to find out about new to me patterns and being surrounded by fabric. Fabric always inspires me.
Do you have a crafty tip you would like to share?
Don’t rush things or be tired when you’re making. I’ve made mistakes when I’ve forgotten to wash new cloth first and then it shrinks which makes it a bit tight to wear. If I’m tired I’ve cut pieces out the wrong way round or knitted and ripped the same row again and again because my tired brain read the instructions the wrong way round. My best tip though is to not be afraid to make a pattern your own and mix it up a bit. Change the skirt, bodice or sleeve if you don’t like that bit. You could add frills, piping lace to jazz it up too. Just let your creativity wander as the pattern is only a starting point really.
Do you follow other blogs? If so which blogs?
I follow quite a few blogs, but my favourite sewing blogs are The Crafty Pinup, Like Sew Amazing and Sew Dainty. I like the fun and passion they put into their sewing.
Do you have any advice for new bloggers?
I would say write from your heart. Use your own voice and talk about what makes you tick, what you’re passionate about. Basically keep it real and then you’ll enjoy it and so will your readers. Good photos are really important too if you’re showing your makes.
What are your crafting ambitions?
For quite a while now I’ve been taking on sewing commissions for lovely customers. I was approached recently to teach dressmaking and crochet classes at The Makeplace in Norwich. I’ve dreamt for a long time to be able to help people learn to sew and inspire them with how fabulous sewing is, especially when you get to wear your own creations. As a qualified teacher, I’ve taught academically as well as creative workshops in the past so this will bring together everything that I absolutely love to do. I’ll also be teaching workshops for my Happy Shopper Bags as well as other creative classes so it’s all hugely exciting. There’s a lot of planning going on behind the scenes at the moment, class dates will be available very soon though. I also want to start my own Vlog to share my passion for fabric and dressmaking. I do think it’s pretty fair to say I’m addicted to sewing, but that’s a good thing isn't it. My other ambition is to go to one of the short courses run by London School of Fashion so I can learn pattern drafting and couture techniques.
What would you say to anyone looking to start a new craft?
Posted in Product Reviews on Tuesday the 24th April 2018 by Vicki Ormerod
I love sewing with Knitted Fabric, garments are usually easy to fit and nice and comfortable which are my top two requirements when choosing things to sew!
I hadn't made any of Wendy's patterns before and didn't have a knitted fabric sewing book so I was more than keen to get my hands on a copy and have a good excuse to spend some time sewing over the Christmas break.
Although I have sewn many jersey garments I actually know little about the fabrics and how best to sew them. I didn't realise how little I knew until I read this book! It has great information about the different types of knits there are and how to tell the difference between them. What size and type of needles to use for which type of fabric (I found this particularly useful as I really had no idea about the sizes and have to admit I didn't know the difference between a ballpoint needle and a stretch one or when to use them!). There are a few really helpful tables such as the one comparing the types of fabric and what to use them for.
At the beginning of the Book Wendy gives details of particular techniques that are important for example instructions on creating different types of waistband and gathering with elastic. These explain many of the techniques used in the book in a clear and concise way.
There are 6 basic patterns but they can all be adapted themselves or combined with other patterns in the book to create many different looks.
First the pattern is introduced, possible types of knitted fabrics you could use are discussed and how these may affect the final look of the garment. Wendy also tells you the type of fabric used for making the samples in the photographs (I found this particularly useful – it is great to be able to recreate a certain look that you like and I haven't seen this in any other sewing books I have read). All of the finished measurements are given as well as the fabric requirements and cutting layout. If there is a pattern piece that might be confusing/ difficult to deal with there is a helpful warning sign put onto the diagram with a corresponding explanation. The instructions are straight forward and the diagrams clear. As well as going through how to make the basic garment there are instructions on how to make changes/alterations such as turning the Longshaw skirt into a dress. There are little boxes throughout the instructions giving helpful tips.
I couldn't possibly decide on making just one of the items so I chose to make the Longshaw skirt and the Kinder cardigan.
I had seen a couple of Longshaw skirt instagram photos from pattern testers for the book and instantly fell in love with the pattern. I thought it would be a really complicated garment to produce as it looked so different – how wrong I was! I think it is probably been the quickest garment I have ever made and ooooooooh the pockets..........
It is made up of only two pattern pieces (yes just two!) I am a total sucker for a weird pattern shape and love to see how it all comes together.
I loved the idea of making this a statement piece by using a structured fabric such as ponte roma or scuba but due to my body shape I decided a drapey fabric would be more suitable. The fabric I chose to use was a medium weight Cotton Jersey Fabric from Minerva – fluid enough for the pattern but nice and stable so easy to sew with. I went for the grey colourway so that it could be mixed and matched with lots of different garments in my wardrobe.
The instructions were great making it a very easy sew. I love the finished garment it looks casual but with a smart twist and I can confirm that it is very comfortable!
Even though I now know how the pattern pieces come together I still love how unusual it is.
It hangs nicely and could be worn in lots of different ways.
And the pockets are just fabulous!!
Next up the Kinder cardigan! There are several versions – short, regular, and long, with short or long sleeves. It can be made in a heavier weight fabric such as ponte roma for a jacket like cardigan or in a softer knitted fabric. I made the regular length, long sleeved version. I went for one of Minerva's unusual Jersey Fabrics which looks knitted from one side but has a lovely fluffy brushed cotton look on the other side. I chose the black colourway so that it would go with everything, this does make photographing the details a little tricky.
The construction of the cardigan is slightly more involved than the Longshaw skirt but still very easy to make helped of course by the clear instructions and diagrams.
As well as going through the steps to make the garment Wendy also refers you to other pages in the book for special instructions such as taping the shoulder seams when using very heavy or very drapey fabric (or else the shoulder seams can stretch out of shape). Wendy suggests using iron on bias tape or cotton tape, I didn't have either of these but for once my hoarding came in useful as I had two pieces of clear elastic just long enough for the shoulder seams (I have also used scraps of ribbon before).
My finished garment is light to wear but warm and goes with absolutely everything! I have hardly taken it off since it was made (I should probably wash it now though!).
I can see it being a wardrobe staple.
For me 'bum coverage' is essential for most garments I make – as you can see the regular length cardigan has enough 'coverage'.
The pockets are roomy and incredibly useful – demonstrated by holding lots of gubbins during dog walks.
And of course the two can be worn together!
I will be making lots of other garments from this book - I can see a pair of Monsal lounge pants in my future as well as several Winnats tanks and a peak t-shirt dress for the summer.
Thanks for reading,
Posted in Projects on Monday the 23rd April 2018 by Vicki Ormerod
Posted in Projects on Sunday the 22nd April 2018 by Vicki Ormerod
Every sewist knows how daunting it is to cut into really gorgeous fabric! When I received this beautiful fabric, I had to make sure it was just right so I decided to make one of my favourite things… a shirtdress!
Fabric Details – This is an elegant abstract peacock print poplin fabric with the most gorgeous gold metallic finish from Timeless Treasures Fabrics, generously provided by Minerva Crafts. It is 100% cotton, medium weight, and has no stretch. I prewashed it to allow for any shrinkage to occur and ironed it on the reverse side. It did not shrink significantly which is always great. This fabric was such a breeze to work with. The more I work with cotton poplin, the more I fall in love with it (remember the polka dot cotton poplin I blogged about a few months ago?)
*Unfortunately Minerva have now sold out of this exact print, but there are loads of other gorgeous ones to choose from in the Timeless Treasures Fabric Range.
Pattern – After deciding on a shirtdress, I now had the daunting task of choosing which pattern to use. I finally settled on Deer and Doe’s Bleuet Shirtdress with princess seams and I chose to go with the sleeveless version. I love making shirtdresses but this was my first time using this specific pattern and I am so happy with how it turned out. I loved the princess seams detail, which I have not had on any shirtdresses I have made in the past. I made a size 42 but had to take the waist in about 2 inches. Next time, I will sew it up in a smaller size.
I used gold thread throughout the entire dress. I thought it would help bring out the princess seam detail but the fabric was too vibrant to get the effect I was looking for. I then finished it up with gorgeous yet simple gold buttons.
The fabric and pattern combination could not have been any more perfect. Since the pattern did not require any lining, this medium weight poplin worked great.
Styling – It can be tricky to style such a vibrant fabric but I saw this as an opportunity to bring out my dark green thrifted vintage jacket and my metallic gold shoes. It is almost like this fabric was made just for this moment. Have you ever felt that way?
Thank you Minerva Crafts for the wonderful fabric. Your fabrics are always so amazing!
Thanks for reading,
Sylvia @ The Ravel Out
Posted in Product Reviews on Saturday the 21st April 2018 by Vicki Ormerod
As a great admirer of Wendy Ward’s inimitable style I was so excited to hear about her new book focussing on sewing with knits. I was imagining stylish silhouettes that wouldn’t look out of place at the office despite being made from the comfiest knits. When the book arrived I was not disappointed; the projects that it contains are perfect – simple outlines that can be made to suit every style simply by changing the fabric choices. I simply couldn’t choose which to make first! A simple t-shirt for a stroll in the park, chic wide-leg trousers for work (Nobody would ever know I was wearing secret pyjamas!) or an elegant coatigan to throw over the lot and keep myself warm through the winter.
As I started to browse the extensive range of Knit Fabrics available on the Minerva crafts website I knew it wasn’t going to be an easy choice, they are all so lovely and I could imagine myself quickly getting carried away and planning a whole wardrobe! I eventually decided upon this gorgeous Scuba Fabric. It is a black base with beautiful cream flowers and I just knew it would make the perfect t-shirt dress for winter. As this book is written with knit newbies in mind I decided that it would be the perfect opportunity to refresh my knit sewing skills and choose a simple project with an easy to sew fabric and scuba was the perfect choice – it doesn’t have too much stretch and glides easily through the machine.
I was eager to get started and the first step was tracing off the pattern. The pattern layout might seem a little daunting at first with all the patterns in the book spread over four sheets. However, each pattern is printed in a different colour so it is really easy to find what you are looking for and can easily trace it off without getting confused with the overlapping patterns. The lines for the different sizes are also really distinct making it simple to distinguish which line you are following.
The directions for each pattern are pretty simple to follow. I chose to do the dress length version of the Peak T-shirt and had no problems. Although if you are choosing one of the variations whch doesnt just follow the basic pattern it looks as though there would be more jumping between pages required. I really liked how all the basic instructions like choosing your machine settings and hems were at the front of the book, separate from the projects. This means the project pages aren’t too cluttered (the basic Peak t-shirt is spread across three pages) and once you have mastered these basics you can get on with your project without interruptions.
I also really love that there are loads of great tips and tricks included in this book, I picked up so many new ideas about which stitches to use with which fabrics, when different seam finishes are most appropriate and perhaps my favourite – stripe matching as I do love a good stipy knit! In fact I was a little disappointed that I didn’t get to try this out, but maybe my next project will have to be a stripy one!
I am really pleased with how my make came out – the Peak t-shirt seems so versatile and in this heavy scuba fabric it makes the perfect winter dress to throw on over leggings. I chose to make the size down from that suggested as there is a lot of positive ease built in, but graded up a size at the hips to keep that loose fitting style. I will definitely be making more of these and can see this pattern becomng a wardrobe staple.
Thanks for reading,
Helen @ H's Handcrafts
Posted in Projects on Friday the 20th April 2018 by Vicki Ormerod
I am back on the Minerva Crafts blog with a review for another fabric I tested for them recently. On this occasion I had the pleasure of working with their floral print light weight Sweatshirt Fabric.
This is a mix of polyester, cotton and elastane fibres 64 inches wide. It’s softer than I expected, considering it is a sweatshirt fabric. It is also quite light, perfect for using it in spring, summer or autumn makes.
I was in such a hurry that I decided to take a risk and start cutting it straightaway, without washing it (I do advise, always wash your fabric the same way you will was whatever you use the fabric to avoid disappointment) It’s got stretch right? I was sent 2 meters of the fabric which was enough to make a dress and a top by mixing it with black coloured fabric.
When working with knits to avoid wavy hems or wavy shoulder seams, I always stabilise shoulder/hem areas before I start construction.
Be aware that because the fabric is sweatshirt type, it will shed a little and it will create a little mess, but not too much. It is a good idea to think about how you will finish the raw edge if you are not using an overlocker/serger.
For the construction of both the dress and the top I mainly used my overlocker/serger. The whole process goes really fast this way. After cutting the fabric a day before, I managed to finish both the tops and the dress during a Sewing Date with my friend Gemma.
On the dress, as the black fabric was a bit unruly, I used the lightning stitch on my machine to understitch the pocket bag to make sure the pocket stays hidden while I wear the dress.
As the front hem and the back hem were in different fabrics I thought it would be fun to use different colour knit interfacing. And for the hem, I used the twin needle with two different colour threads for the back part of the hem, just for the fun of it.
Since I’ve learnt that by using wooly nylon thread in the bobbin, using the twin needle on knits is my preferred method of finishing hems. This is what I did with the hems on the top as well. Using knitted interfacing was sufficient for this fabric. The only thing you need to be aware is to go slow and make the stitch longer for the hem. This will prevent broken treads and will make your hems look professional as if done on the cover-lock machine.
The fabric is quite easy to work with and if you have an overlocker you can make yourself a lovey dress or top in no time. The fabric is also stable enough that if you do not own an overlocker/serger you can easily use your sewing machine to sew up this fabric.
I love that my mixing the fabric with some left over from my stash I managed to make myself both a dress and a top.
Can you spot the back thread I used on the back hem? Even though it’s black it blends with the fabric. I also like that by using a different fabric for the sleeves you get the impression of several layers.
I’ve been wearing my top a lot since making it. I’ve been asked quite a few times where I bought it. ;)
My tips for working with this fabric:
interface your shoulder and hem areas, it will help prevent having wavy seams.
if available use your overlocker, it will make construction much faster and finish the seam, remember the fabric sheds a little when cut.
Used wooly nylon thread in the bobbin if doing your hems with a twin needle.
Thank you all for taking the time to read my blog post. We would really love to see your projects made with supplied from Minerva Crafts, so please do share your makes on Instagram/Twitter by tagging @MinervaCrafts or using the hashtag #MinervaMakes. I’d love to see what you create.
Posted in Projects on Friday the 20th April 2018 by Vicki Ormerod
Posted in Projects on Thursday the 19th April 2018 by Vicki Ormerod
Posted in Product Reviews on Wednesday the 18th April 2018 by Vicki Ormerod
A few months ago I was chosen to be part of the blog tour of Wendy Ward's new book 'A Beginner's Guide to Sewing with Knits'. This book came out in the beginning of the year and it sold out so quickly, that our blog tour got postponed until the second run of copies was printed. Amazing, right? There are so many talented bloggers involved and they all made some gorgeous versions of the patterns included in the book, so make sure you pay them a visit.
Before I show you what I made, I wanted to talk about the actual book. As it states it the title, it is a beginner's guide to sewing with knits and it contains so many useful information on this topic. If you read Wendy's bio in the back cover, you will understand why she is the ideal person to write this kind of book. She has years of experience in the fashion industry and she also teaches dressmaking, pattern cutting and textiles for adults since 2007. Wendy will take all your fears of sewing with knit fabrics away, helping you choose the right fabrics for each project, listing the tools you are going to need, explaining the best ways to finish your hems, to sew the seams and many many more. I will admit that there were a few things I was doing completely wrong and after I read this book I think it took my knit garments to a whole other level!
The best thing about this book though, is that it includes 5 sewing patterns. And they are for really basic, staple items in your wardrobe, which is something I really love. With their variations, you can actually make 20 essential garments! There is the Peak T-Shirt, the Derwent wide leg trousers, the Winnats tank, the Monsal lounge pants, the Kinder Cardigan and the Longshaw skirt.
I had sooo much trouble choosing only one of them to make for this blog tour. So I tried to be sensible and pick the one that I was going to get more wear out of. This was, without a doubt, the peak T-shirt. As spring has finally come, easy-to wear T-shirts are perfect for working from home and I desperately needed more in my wardrobe. To make this garment, Minerva Crafts very kindly provided us with a fabric of our choice. Choosing the fabric from their huge collection of jerseys was even harder that choosing the pattern from the book. I spent days searching for the ideal jersey for my T-shirt and the one that stole my heart was this Striped JerseyFabric. It is grey with white stripes and I knew it was going to be perfect for my T-shirt.
The first order of business was to trace off my pattern. In the back of the book there are three big sheets with full-size pattern pieces and each garment has a different color, which makes it easier to find. In the book, Wendy actually tells you which pattern pieces you need to trace for each version, which makes the whole process much easier. The pieces overlap and I'll be honest, I had some difficulty tracing them at first, but it wasn't too hard in the end. As each size has a different styled line, it makes it easier to identify what you need to trace. For my Peak T-shirt I only needed to trace 4 pieces, the front and back bodice, the neckband and the sleeve.
The instructions for the sewing part are extremely detailed and easy to follow. There are illustrations for each step, which are very easy to understand and the entire book is packed with little tips that will make a huge difference to your final garment. I made the entire top in less than 2 hours using my overlocker for sewing the seams and my sewing machine for hemming.
As for the sizing range, each pattern is available from a size 8 (UK) to a size 26 (UK). According to my measurements, I had to make a size 14. I am usually a size 10, so I think the sizes are pretty generous. The T-shirt fits like a glove, it is as loose as I like it to be, very comfortable to wear everyday. I especially like the high neckline, which is something I don't normally wear, but I actually really love in this T-shirt. It is perfect to throw over jeans or tuck into a skirt. The fabric was a joy to work with, it washed up beautifully and it didn't stretch out of shape.
Overall, I am very happy with my Peak T-shirt. I reckon I will make many more in plain colors to add in my wardrobe, as they are a very quick sew and fit great.
The book is a valuable addition to my sewing book collection and I'm sure I will be referring to it many times in the future. If you like to sew with knits, I definitely recommend it, as you will find it extremely helpful. And even if you are experienced and don't need any help with that, it is worth buying it just for the sewing patterns. They are very well drafted, staple pieces that you will enjoy having in your wardrobe. I know I am going to make at least a couple more, with the Derwent wide leg trousers being next on my list.
I hope you enjoyed my review. Make sure you visit the other blogs involved in this tour to see more patterns in action and read about their thoughts on this book.