I love fabric. If you’re here reading this, you probably do too. I easily fall in love with colour or texture, buy the fabric without a project in mind and stash it for future projects. This time it was different; when I first saw this Atelier Brunette Jacquard I actually gasped and knew exactly what to make with it.
I’ve had the Bellatrix Blazer Pattern for almost 3 years, I bought it on an impulse because I loved the style so much. I’ve been on the lookout for a nice fabric to pair it with and I think this was meant to be.
The jacquard is softer than what you’d expect but still has enough body for a jacket. I think the cotton gives it a smooth hand, it feels really nice to touch on the right darker side. The wrong side feels a bit scratchy though, that’s where all the lurex is concentrated.
I used the right side for the jacket with contrasting collar and pocket welts and used fusible weft interfacing. I interfaced the sleeve head - this is not included in the pattern, but I think it gives the sleeve a bit more structure and it helps it stay round, especially if you don’t use a sleeve head roll (which I didn’t). This is where I almost fused the interfacing to my pressing cloth for the second time that day!
I was worried the fabric might be fussy and give me a hard time. I think of jacquard as a fraying, difficult to work with fabric that doesn’t like heat and pressing. I don’t know about other jacquards, but this one was really easy to work with. Again, it might be the cotton content. It pressed beautifully and took steam with no issues.
I lined the jacket with some light slippery satin. The pattern didn’t include separate pieces for the lining, or any instructions to add extra length and width, which I think are needed if you want a comfortable jacket. I added a 1” pleat at the center back and about 1” length to both the bodice and sleeves.
I wanted to make a pair of matching shorts so I can have a complete party outfit (it was my birthday last month!). I looked for a pattern with some sort of design detail that would allow me to play with the contrasting sides again. As expected, Burda didn’t disappoint, I found this pattern with a pocket detail. I had to alter it a bit because the design was showing the same side of the fabric but it was easy to add an extra seam and use the other side of the fabric.
My initial plan was to use the right side for the shorts too. But the wrong side felt a bit rough and I didn’t want to add a lining so I used the other side. The insides are black, I made sure to use the black side for the inner waistband too. The center front seam is a little itchy so I might bind it at some point, but with tights season quickly approaching I don’t think I’ll do it very soon.
It’s been really nice working with this fabric, it’s great for party outfits but works as daywear as well. I will be wearing my jacket and shorts to work, but maybe not at the same time :). If you decide to make something out of it, make sure it’s something that is lined or doesn’t come in direct contact with the skin, the lurex can be a bit scratchy.
I loved making this outfit and I am absolutely in love with the result. Thank you very much Minerva!
Geo @ facutinsufragerie
I’m Hannah from Binky Bunny Creations and I’m really excited to be here on the Minerva Crafts blog. I love sewing and I really love to create so I’m delighted to have the opportunity to review this beautiful marble print Quilting Fabric.
As you can see in the above photo, I used Turquoise, Vivid Green and Vivid Purple, but if you’re not a fan of bright colours, this fabric is available in a vast range of other colours. There are so many colour options available that I’m sure there will be something to suit everyone’s personal tastes.
I loved using this fabric because it’s really easy to work with, although you will need to iron your project as you go along because the fabric is 100% cotton.
I thought that since this is my first blog post for Minerva Crafts, I’d start by making something simple, so I decided to use this fabric for a patchwork purse.
I love patchwork because I think it’s a great way to make your creations look that little bit more special. It’s also fun and adds intricacy to a simple sewing project. This fabric is perfect for patchwork because it’s not at all slippery, which makes it easy to sew all the small pieces together. It’s also the perfect weight, because it’s not light enough for the seams on the back to shine through and it’s not heavy enough to make the seams bulky either.
If you’re looking for a sewing project to use this fabric for, I’ve created simple step by step instructions (shown below) for how I created this patchwork purse.
What you will need:
- 3 colours of Marble Print Cotton Fabric
- 3 x 11mm Hemline Sew on Metal Snap Fasteners
As shown in the image above, you’ll need to cut 40 squares. This takes time but it’s worth the effort. It’s important to be slow and careful as this will help your accuracy and may give your project a better finish. If your fabric is creased then I’d suggest you iron it, as creased fabric could be difficult to cut neatly into regular squares
This step isn’t essential, but I find it really helps me because it’s so much easier to sew the pieces together in the right order when they’re already laid out. It’s a simple way to make patchwork a little bit easier. I hope that this extra step helps you too
I just used white thread for this step because that’s what my machine was already threaded up with from my last sewing project. The colour of thread doesn’t matter because as long as your stitches have the right tension, the thread won’t be seen on the right side of the fabric. Try your best to make sure that the edges of the squares you are sewing together are aligned correctly and that you use the same seam allowance on them all so that when you get to step 5, all the squares match up and are as shown in the diagram. It’s very difficult to get them perfectly aligned so don’t worry if they’re a little bit out, the great thing about patchwork is that you want it to look handmade, so small errors really don’t matter.
It can be hard to pin the squares together because they’re quite small so you might want to tack the pieces first. I would recommend using Wonder Clips. Not only are they easier to use than pins, but they don’t leave any holes in your fabric.
For your patchwork to look neat and lie flat, this is really important. When I’m pressing seams open, I find it easier to use a mini iron
It’s a good idea to measure and mark out where each snap fastener is to go before you sew it on. I would suggest using tailors chalk or tailor tacks. I would also recommend sewing on each snap fastener with thread that matches the colour of the square it’s on.
If you have any questions about these instructions, I’d be happy to help, send me a message on Instagram!
If you make a patchwork purse, I hope you have fun! I’d love to see them so please tag me on Instagram if you post them there.
Thanks for reading and happy sewing!
Hello lovelies!! I am so excited to be writing my first ever product review for Minerva Crafts! As soon as I saw this Forest Flowers Cotton Poplin Fabric, I knew I needed to have it and I knew exactly what I wanted to make with it.
I had recently finished a shirtdress using McCall’s Pattern 6696, also using a cotton poplin, and it turned out to be one of my favorite (and most highly complimented) dresses that I’ve made, but there were a couple tweaks that I knew I wanted to make to it. First, I knew that I wanted deeper pockets, and I have a specific pocket pattern that I have started using to replace all other pockets because I have found it to be my favorite. It is from a Butterick skirt pattern (B5285) and I just keep a traced copy of it in my sewing desk now so that I always have it handy.
I also knew that due to this particular fabric not being wide enough to accommodate the skirt from M6696, I would need to switch that out as well. I just happened to have my Christine Haynes Emery dress pattern sitting on my ironing board, so I checked to make sure that would fit the fabric, and it did, so I used that.
Rather than pleating the skirt, as M6696 calls for, I just gathered it because it was easier and also I like the way it looks better for this particular dress. I chose to go with version A for a sleeveless dress, but one thing that I found after completing it is that if you’re going with the sleeveless version, you can size down for the bodice. It fits much looser than the one I made in Version B. Next time, I will size down.
If you’re part of the Instagram sewing community, you will have undoubtedly seen many beautiful versions of this dress. It’s so popular for a reason - it’s a great pattern and makes such a classic, stylish and comfortable dress! You will have also heard many tips and tricks to make it a little better. One that I experienced (this is my third M6696), and that I heard many others say is that the sizing runs a bit big, so it is pretty safe to size down with this one. I went down one size, and as I said, with the sleeveless version, I probably could have gone down another size - at least in the bust - and then graded out to the waist.
Another tip you will have likely heard is to take out some of the fullness in the back bodice piece, where there is a generous amount of gathering. I did not take any of that fullness out for my last two dresses, and it doesn’t look bad, but this time I took 2 full inches out, and I like the way it looks much better. No puffiness in the back - much more to my liking.
So with those tweaks, I set to making my shirtdress, being very careful to make sure that I kept the print of the fabric going in the right direction with each piece of the dress. MAKE SURE YOU PAY CLOSE ATTENTION TO THIS!!! I’m screaming this at you because even though I thought I was being so careful, I still somehow ended up cutting both front skirt panels out with the print running upside down:
I know that I am the only one who will ever be able to tell this, because the print is so small, and when I’m wearing the dress you can’t tell at all, but I was still bummed about this oversight. Oh well, I guess that’s part of the charm of handmade clothes, right? Imperfections and all of that...
Anyway, besides that little blip, I had a blast making this dress. This fabric is not only gorgeous, but it sews up like a dream! It is the PERFECT fabric for a shirtdress. And I think it turned out quite lovely, if I do say so myself!
Go grab some of this fabric! It's even more beautiful than the photos convey. How lovely would this dress be in every color?!
I think I'm going to have to get some more and make another!
Happy sewing, friends!
Posted in Product Reviews on Tuesday the 18th September 2018 by Vicki Ormerod
Posted in Projects on Tuesday the 18th September 2018 by Vicki Ormerod
A few words about the fabric, although this is a quilting fabric it is not that stiff to make it unsuitable for clothing, it is actually quite soft and is of a very good quality, the colours are just as they looked in my screen navy blue, purple, white and a coral red that I just love. I've been wearing the dress I made constantly and I can say that the fabric does not wrinkle too bad, there is only a slight wrinkle mainly in the back of the dress created while sitting but that does not bother me.
My initial plan was to make a shirt dress with it and that is exactly what I did. I've made McCalls 6696 twice before and my first version is worn non stop almost year round, it was time to make another one and this print was perfect for it.
I made it in size 14, short sleeved and used the pleated skirt version, what is great with this pattern is that it comes in different cup sizes offering a fantastic fit.
Making the pleated skirt it means that it requires quite a lot or yardage and although I had 3 meters of it, due to the fact that this fabric is 114 cm wide I had to be a creative while cutting the pattern pieces so I cutted the bodice on grain but I had to cut the skirt on the cross grain to make it work. Also I had not enough fabric to cut the button band and the waist band so I decided to cut them along with the collar from a red cotton fabric I had in my stash turning them into design features. I really like how the different direction of the chevron and the contrasting fabric look and I think after all they make this dress even more beautiful.
As this was the third time I used this pattern I really had no issues at all while making it and I actually find it now a straight forward make, my only problem was the buttonholes, my machine has a one step buttonhole feature so that should not have been a problem but I was not concentrated at all while making them and I ended up with the buttonholes on the top part of the dress beeing wonky and a bit smaller, I don't feel like correcting them at the moment so probably I will not do anything until they fell apart. I used some shell look button that my mum had in her stash and I think they look pretty nice.
All in all I love this dress, I like the vintage look of it, at least that's how I see it, and I l'm glad I shortened it to above the knee.
Posted in Product Reviews on Tuesday the 18th September 2018 by Vicki Ormerod
Spoiler alert – I love this fabric.
This is this plain washed Chambray Denim Fabric and it is possibly the nicest fabric I have ever worked with. It comes in four different colours, including grey-black and three different blues. (I used the light blue colourway to make my dress, but have since decided that I really need clothes in all the other colours too). The chambray is very wide at 145cm/58in, which means that you can fit quite a few pattern pieces on to your length of fabric, making it good value. It is made up of 100% cotton fibres and was incredibly soft to touch straight from the packaging, and this only improved further upon prewashing.
The chambray is very lightweight with a good amount of drape, making it suitable for all kinds of dress making projects. A Kalle Shirt by Closet Case Files, for example, would look great made up in this fabric. So too would the Myosotis Dress by Deer and Doe. The only consideration with such a lightweight chambray is whether or not you might want to line some garments. (I didn’t line my dress, but I think it looks fine anyway). It is a stable woven fabric with no stretch, so is great for beginner sewists and those who want to move on from quilting cottons. When sewing and pressing it behaves similarly to a polycotton, yet it also has the added bonus of good drape without any of the difficult slippery properties of a viscose.
The pattern I used to make my dress needs no real introduction as it feels like everyone in the sewing community made it last summer. This is the Reeta Shirtdress by Named Clothing from their spring/summer 2017 ‘Playground’ collection. It is a midi-length shirtdress with patch pockets, short sleeves and a flat collar. The pattern recommends using a light or medium weight fabric with drape. Rayon and viscose appear to be popular choices for the Reeta dress, but the plain washed chambray also fitted the bill perfectly. The fabric was easy to work with making the cutting out and sewing up processes a pleasure. The stability of the fabric meant that the construction of the dress was as straightforward as using a quilting cotton. The drape of the chambray, however, means that the dress hangs much better than a quilting cotton would. This fabric really is the best of both worlds.
At first the only change I made to the pattern was to shorten it by about seven inches. (For reference I’m about 5’ 6’’). Halfway through sewing this dress, however, we brought home an eight-week puppy. Suddenly all my sewing time became puppy time. As such I took a few shortcuts during the construction of the dress. The major change I made was to omit the drawstring waist. (I’m not particularly a fan of the drawstring waist, but once I knew that time was in short supply I decided definitely to leave it out). Worn with a belt I think my finished dress has a similar appearance to that of the pattern illustration anyway. The other change I made due to personal preference (and speed) was to leave out the vents in the side seams, I just added one less button to leave a bigger split at the front instead.
The Reeta dress made up in this chambray is exactly what fashion people might call ‘a transitional piece’. It works well with tights, boots and a comfy cardigan in the cooler months, but easily would look just as good in the summer with sandals and a basket bag. Denim also always seems to go with everything else you already have in your wardrobe, so anything you make from this fabric would become a staple. In fact I think I really need to go and make up several more garments from this chambray…if the puppy will let me of course!
Thanks to Minerva Crafts for sending me what turned out to be my dream fabric and thank you all for reading.
Karen @ hyacinthbloom
Crochet is one of my favourite crafts and I have quite a collection of crochet hooks gathered over the years. Some were inherited from my grandma, some have been gifts, others I just seem to have acquired! Recently I’ve started asking my kids to give me lovely soft handled hooks for my birthday or Christmas. It makes it easy for them to get something they know I’ll love plus I end up with all the hooks I’ll ever need – win win!
My hooks need a safe place to be together when they are not in use so when I saw this lovely Ikat fabric with the same print in several colours I knew it would be perfect for a crochet hook case.
To make a case for your crochet hooks you’ll need:
Fabric Print A (mine is the orange here)
1 piece 36.5cm x 19cm – the main body of the case back
2 pieces 30cm x 11.5cm – the flap
1 piece 25cm x 13cm – the central pocket section
1 piece 8cm x 9cm – the little pocket
Fabric Print B (mine is the Teal here)
1 piece 36.5cm x 19cm – the main body of the case lining
2 pieces 8cm x 13cm – the side pockets
1 metre of matching ribbon
1 piece of Thin Wadding or fleece 36.5cm x 19cm
Matching sewing thread
Use a 1cm seam allowance throughout
Turn and press a small double hem on the top of the small pocket piece and topstitch.
Layer one of the side pockets with the small pocket, both right side up and the central pocket piece right side down as shown in the photo.
Stitch the layers together then attach the other side pocket to the other end. Press all the seams open.
Turn and press a small double hem all along the top and topstitch.
Lay this pocket piece onto the main body lining piece and pin the corners. Mark the main central pocket at 1inch intervals with pins.
Stitch in the ditch of the seams down each of the 2 side pockets then stitch down each of the pinned 1 inch intervals. I like to start stitching about ½ cm down from the pocket top, back stitch up to the edge then stitch in a straight line down to the bottom. To further secure the seams I then sew the threads on the top of the case back through to the wrong side and knot them with the threads on the back. This may be over fussy and you might just want to trim the threads!
Take the 2 flap pieces right sides together and stitch round 3 sides, leaving one long side open. Clip the corners and turn right side out. Press then top stitch the 3 stitched sides.
Now you are ready to assemble the case.
Lay the thin wadding down first, add the pocketed piece right side up. Take 1 metre of ribbon and fold it in half. Lay it on the right side, just above the top of the small pocket and pin in place. The ends of the ribbon are towards the inside of the case, twirl them round a bit so the stay in the middle and can’t get caught in the stitching. Add the flap piece at the top centrally, raw edges together. I leave the pins in the corners of the pocket pieces just to make sure they don’t move, but if you do that be very careful when you turn through later.
Lay the main case back piece on top, face down and pin carefully all around. Stitch all round the case leaving a 10cm gap. I like to leave the gap in the middle of the bottom edge.
Trim the corners and any bulk of the seams, then turn right side out, press and top stitch all round the main case rectangle. This will close the gap and neaten the whole thing up. If you have a walking foot use it for this and you have quite a few layers to get through here.
Now put all your hooks in their new home. Maybe mass produce them for gifts for your crochet loving friends!
The flap folds down to keep everything safe.
Then roll the case up and tie with the ribbon and you’re ready to go.
If your ribbon is very frayey then just melt the ends with a flame – be careful of your fingers if you do this.
The 1inch wide pockets are wide enough for soft handles hooks, or larger hooks or even 2 or 3 thin hooks.
Thanks for reading,
Julie @ sumoftheirstories
I wanted something along the lines of a Longchamp bag or better still, Goyard. I drew out the shape and worked out the dimensions I needed. I also drafted an internal zip flap, recessed into the bag - for added security.
For the full dimensions and details, check out my blog, but read on for the low down on the fabric!
First things first, the fabric was lighter and stretchier than I’d imagined. Quite a rubbery finish - which made it very tricky to stitch on the right side - the underside has some kind of fabric backing and didn’t pose a problem under the machine.
I tried a Teflon foot first, that didn’t do anything. Next I tried a roller foot… nope! Even the walking foot couldn’t keep on top of it, so I knew then that topstitching was off the menu. That was fine, I was making a bag, not a pair of jeans!
With the right sides together this fabric sewed up pretty well. There was a tiny bit of shifting here and there, but so long as I didn’t go too fast I could keep it at bay.
There was a tricky bit when I was sewing on the strap carriers: I was worried that the bit of foot coming off the edge of the webbing would stick to the face of the bag. To stop that from happening, I used a small folded up piece of cotton cloth behind the foot, covering the top of the bag, but giving me a clear run at the webbing. This worked a treat.
I think the most dramatic part of this make was when I had to shorten my metal zip. I’d never done this before, I’d always been afraid I’d end up ravaging the zip tape to shreds. But, do you know what…? It’s just about as easy as everyone says it is! With just a bit of elbow-grease those zip teeth came right off.
With the bag finished, there are a few things I might have tried differently. I wondered if a light interfacing along the seamlines would give it more strength. This would hold the cutouts down around the seams, but I don’t think that would notice/ matter too much. If I’d had some tissue paper to hand I think that would have been the answer to the topstitching issue; I’d have laid it over the right side of the fabric, stitched through it then torn it away.
But none of that matters now - the bag looks great and I think my friend will love it! I’ve even got a bit of fabric left to make matching purses for her daughters… we’ll see!
It’s time to cosy down for autumn!
These pyjama bottoms were a delight to make. The Flannel Fabric was a perfect match to the pattern. I’ve had this pattern for a while and have always been intrigued as to how a one piece pattern can work, but it does, beautifully and easily.
So easily that I shall be whipping up several pairs of these for friends and family for Christmas.
I made Simplicity 8022, an ‘easy to sew’ pattern. It comes with several sizes for children, teens and adults. There is just one pattern piece and you cut two of them for the two legs. Simples. And so the pattern will fit everyone in the family.
However the pattern piece is very large, the sizing is generous and it won’t necessarily fit on your fabric twice unless you buy lots of fabric, which then makes them quite expensive! I had two metres of this gorgeous brushed cotton and couldn’t fit the pattern piece one under the other, so had to turn the fabric round and cut crossways. The design is therefore facing in a different direction but I don’t think that matters at all. Bear that in mind if you make this pattern, especially if your fabric is narrow. I made a size small, and they are generous. I am 5’4’’ and a Uk size 10/12.
And also bear in mind that you will need a large table or floor space for cutting out! The fabric is cut in a single layer – I have a large fold up party table which I store behind the sofa and then bring out just for cutting out. It’s been one of the best bits of ‘sewing kit’ I have bought!
Construction is so simple. I sewed the seams and overlocked them for neatness, and then the waistband is made easily by folding over the top of the waist and threading elastic through. Warning – the crotch is very long as you can see in my photos! I’ll shorten the waist by 2 inches the next time I make them!
And also, what would make them perfect is the addition of pockets but as there is no outside keg seam for inseam pockets I think I may add a simple patch pocket on each leg just for prettiness and maybe a tissue!
These would be brilliant in all sorts of fabric, I used this lovely soft but warm brushed cotton flannel. I think it’s perfect for Pyjamas for winter. But for spring and summer a cotton or cotton lawn would be good and even a viscose for floaty Pyjamas.
I used 1 inch elastic which is recommended and gives the perfect about of gatherers. I little flamingo label is actually just woven ribbon but quickly indicates the back from the front!
These pyjama bottoms have been worn and worn as they are so comfy. I wear them with a tee shirt for lounging. The fabric has washed really well and I am very happy with them.
I recommend the fabric and the pattern and wish you cosiness this autumn time!