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Archives: January 2016



#FabricFriday - Herringbone Wool & Stretch Denim

Hi Everyone! Its Fabric Friday again! 
I thought I would look at totally different looks using some quite different fabrics this week.
The pattern I am looking at for my inspiration is Butterick Pattern 6103. 
This is a fitted lined jacket with three different necklines and two hem variations. Design C has a classic taylored collar and a shaped hemline at the back.  
A brilliant fabric that would give a very similar effect is our Wool Herringbone Fabric. This is 100% wool and comes in three fab shades. It was just listed on the website yesterday so its hot off the press!
Ive chosen the Tan colour to showcase this week. Its a lovely colour. When you look close into the weave you can see flecks of different shades of brown and green in there. I love the buttons I have chosen to go with this shade. They look like they were made for this fabric! What do you think? All in all perfect for this cold weather! 
My next choice is our Traditional Floral Stretch Denim Fabric to create a look similar to View C on the pattern. The content of this Fabric is 32% polyester, 65% cotton and 3% spandex and is described as a stretch denim. Absolutely gorgeous. 
Again I have chosen a Dill Button to coordinate. These can only be described as a matt black with an antique finish around each hole. They blend in perfectly. A lovely jacket for spring!
Last but not least I would like to just mention our super range of Lining Fabrics. For the first jacket I would choose one of our patterned linings. These are a paisly design and would be perfect under a herringbone fabric (the gold colour as pictured below looks beautiful with it).
For the stretch denim I would use our anti static lining in black;
Just a thought! If you are making the shaped hemline, bare in mind that the lining will show (through the legs if wearing trousers). So don't go for a stand out lining (unless your happy with that look) or make the other version.
Until next time, Happy Sewing!
Annette xx

#POW Pattern of the Week - Kwik Sew 4014

Kwik Sew Sewing Patterns do sometimes get forgot about. I am also guilty of this. They tend to do a lot more practical and craft patterns. They are really worth having a brouse through from time to time.
So this week our pattern of the week is Kwik Sew 4014.
There isn't much I can talk about this pattern, except to say it is ultra easy and that the drape on the front of design A is very effective and easily constructed. So I thought I will give you some ideas on Dressmaking Fabrics to mix and match with. This pattern is designed for lightweight stretch fabrics with 25% stretch. There is a guide for this on the back of the pattern envelope. A lot of patterns do suggest now that you prewash your fabric. I personally have recommended doing this for years and I wash virtually every fabric before cutting out because once washed it can be treat that way all the time. How many times have you bought say some linen trousers and you have to hand wash them and certainly couldn't dry them in a tumble dryer. Well if you follow my advise and the advise of lots of patterns these days then this won't happen again!
I am loving my first choice of fabrics...
For the main colour I have chosen our beautiful Brishstroke Print Jersey Fabric 
This is made from cotton and model. It is a beautiful fabric that has the effect of brush strokes through it. It has a terrific soft finish and has great movement. This would be used for the under front, the back and the sleeves. I have paired it with our Loose Knitted Stretch Jersey Fabric in Coral.
This fabric is a very loose knit jersey which creates a fabric that has a lovely slubby-texture and is made from 100% polyester. 
These will sew well together but MUST be washed first as described above. One may shrink a little, one may shrink a lot. Preparing the fabrics in this way means you won't have any problems.
My next choice is a beautifull soft lilac/pale grey mix fabric. Along with this light grey coloured Jersey Fabric. This is the same fabric as the coral one in my first choice. 
The main fabric is viscose with a little lycra and the silver grey is 100% polyester as described above. Where the first choice was quite dramatic this is very subtle.
I absolutely love scuba fabric and so for my next fabric I have chosen this animal print Scuba Fabric quite similar to the fabric used in the pattern. You could use plain black skuba for the contrasting overlay.
Or you could use our revue Jersey Fabric in black. This would create more of a drape whereas the plain scuba in black would be more 'solid'.
My last choice this week for this pattern would be this beautiful spotty Jersey Fabric. This gorgeous red jersey has white spots and it teams brilliantly with the revue Jersey Fabric in red. Now you may be thinking which way is she meaning. Well the answer is either. A spotted body with a plain red drape or a plain red body with a spotted drape.
I think the revue is a fabulous fabric so it must be mentioned that you could use two of these plain colours for this top. So think of the possibilities Black/White, Black/Cream, Black/Red and more. 
Before I finish I must mention the other design on this pattern. This has a round neckline and makes use of two colours of fabric the same as the other design but would be described as a block colour design. Any of my suggestions would be suitable for this design too. 
Last but not least think about a plain tee-shirt. You could do design A without the overlay, with either neckline and by combining pieces 7 and 8 you could have 3/4 sleeves all in one colour.
See you next week,
Annette xx

#FabricFriday - Spanish Tweed with Faux Leather

Surely we can start talking about our spring wardrobe. Yes of course we can! Just take a look at this Fabric...
Is that gorgeous or what? Somewhere in the back of my mind I remembered a Simplicity Sewing Pattern (No 1324). And yes when I've looked at the pattern again this fabric fits the bill! 
But what to put with it for the trim? The pattern suggests a Faux Leather Fabric. I must admit I have never sewn in faux leather but would love to give it a try. Have any of you lovely fellow sewists got any tips for me? I would love you to share them with me. 
And so I think our burgandy Soft Faux Leather teams perfectly with the chosen tweed.
Last but not least the top calls for a jersey fabric and I thought ivory would look nice. One of my favourites is the Revue Jersey Fabric and here is two photo's of all three fabrics together. 
This next photo is showing the wrong side of the tweed fabric. I think this also looks good.
Just to throw a spanner in the works how about John Kaldor Isabella in claret. This is our stunning Jersey Fabric that has a wool feel and indeed has got 20% wool in it. So put next to your skin under this beautiful suit...what more could you ask for?!
Until next week my sewing buddies,
Annette xx

#POW Pattern of the Week - McCalls 6803

Now this is quite an interesting sewing pattern
Firstly because it is a cardigan that is sewn. Lots of people don't put the two together, they usually think of knitted cardigans. And secondly I love that there are 3 different styles of pocket to suit all levels of skill. The first pocket is the old faithfull patch pocket. 
The pattern envelope shows design A in a diamond check fabric. I know this is only a drawing but don't the pockets look wrong? I feel the checks should always be lined up but if you can't for whatever reason then try cutting them on the cross as I've suggested in the past.
View B has pockets that are sewn into the side seam. These are quite useful if you have a very busy pattern and feel that patch pockets could give a confused look to the pockets. And on that point these would be ideal for check fabrics.
The third style of pocket is a welt pocket. These are harder to sew so maybe for the more experienced sewer or you could set yourself a challenge!
My favourite fabric for this cardigan would have to be Ponte Roma. How many times do you wish you had a plain coloured cardigan to go with that certain dress. It was fine in the summer months but now in the midst of winter you need that extra layer over the dress. Lets say for instance you need it in turquoise. You haven't time to knit one, you've looked on line and you've searched the shops. Well for a few hours sewing you could have one. Look at all these brilliant colours.
I recently talked about fleece fabrics for fabric friday. Fleece Fabric would be absolutely superb for this pattern. Or how about Sweatshirt Fabric? This fabric has the most glorious soft underside and would feel fabulous against your skin.
This is a really quick sew pattern. All the bands I.e - cuffs, bottom and front band are just folded in half and sewn on with just the one seam. For those of you that have an overlocker even quicker! 
Design C has elbow patches although you wouldn't think so at first glance at the pattern. These are made out of a contrast fabric. However I would use our Elbow Patches. Most of these are iron-on and there are lots of designs.
I love these star patterned ones!
Just before I finish for today how about this idea. Make all the bands in a contrasting fabric eg ponte roma. Quite a busy fabric with plain bands would look good. If you are not feeling happy about sewing the welt pockets how about just sewing on the welt itself, in other words an imitation pocket. You could still sew the pockets within the seam. Or how about 2 shades of ponte roma and use buttons the colour of the main fabric. Endless possibilites!
Until next time happy sewing
Annette x

#FabricFriday - New Look 6315 Inspiration

Hi Everybody! 
I've just sold New Look pattern 6315 to one of our lovely customers in the Minerva Craft Centre and I just love how they have used purple and black fabrics together. I thought I will use this pattern to guide me through some fabrics for fabric friday!
I immediately thought of this Fabric. This is a gorgeous all-way stretch jersey with a lovely drape and handle. It would lend itself perfectly to this waterfall neckline of this cardigan/jacket.
The pattern is straight forward and I must say I like how they have constructed the waterfall neckline. Sometimes waterfall necklines are made using a single layer of fabric but this is not always suitable because the wrong side of your fabric shows within the waterfall effect. In this pattern two layers are used (facing) and there is also a facing band used on the hemline. When finished this will add weight to the garment and will make it hang better. 
I love the idea of co-ordinating fabrics and especially how they look on this pattern, so I have chosen a heavier weight jersey for the trousers. This as you probably know is one of my favourites... Ponte Roma!
The trousers are very easily constructed. The fronts and backs have darts. A band is then attached round the waist in which elastic is inserted. The finished trousers are quite fitted due to the darts etc and the elasticated waist is just to make sure you can get them on and off. As you will now gather there is no zip. (The skirt is constructed in the same way).
What can I say about the top apart from this is super easy. I have chosen our John Kaldor Isabella Jersey Fabric in shade Violet
This is 72% viscose, 20% wool and 8% elastane. It is described as a 'Wool feel knit' and yes it feels fabulous. I've put the three fabrics together to get a feel for how they wood look...
And yes I am liking hehe!
I was going to end this blog post for now but I've just thought of another combination for this pattern and had to share it with you!
For the jacket I have chose n this gorgeous soft touch Jersey Fabric
There is no wool content in this fabric however it certainly has a wool feel to it. It is described as being wonderfully soft and melts in your hands. Because of its softness it has a lovely drape and would be perfect for loose fitting and unstructured styles. 100% perfect for this jacket! 
Although you could use the contrasting fabrics as before I am now thinking to make the trousers in purple ponte roma fabric as is matches really well and the top in another John Kaldor Fabric which is called Roanne in Amethyst. 
I am sure you will be thinking "they are both purple, why not the same fabric for both". The jersey for the top would be too lightweight for these trousers. Likewise the ponte roma is a superb weight for the trousers but maybe a little too heavy for this top if it is being worn with this jacket. 
Just think you could mix and match all these fabrics and don't forget the skirt pattern too!
Happy Sewing,
Annette xx

#POW Pattern of the Week - Butterick 6028

I just love, love, love this week's Sewing Pattern of the week!
These trousers are semi-fitted, tapered at the bottom with a mock waistband at the front and an elasticated back. The fly fastening is in fact a mock fly fastening which indeed looks like the real thing but is much easier to sew. There is a seam down the back of each leg which is top-stitched to match the side seams. Overall quite an easy sew and very stylish. 
Looking at the cream trousers I am drawn towards our Gaberchino fabric which as the name suggests is a fabric inbetween gaberdine and chino. It has a twill weave, is non stretch and machine washable. It comes in 16 colours but my favourite for this pattern of the week would be Beige, Brown, Ivory or Khaki. 
Winnie (aka ScruffyBadger) made some trousers in this fabric a little while ago for the Minerva Crafts Blogger Network. I love her choice of colour and it shows how perfectly suited this fabric is to trousers.
The next fabric I would recommend is Our Vintage Style Floral Stretch Cotton Fabric. If you picture these trousers made in this fabric the style seems to have a vintage style and look to it. There are 2 colours, blue and fushcia or pink and lavender. They are both beautiful and remind me of a summer day.
My last fabric choice to share with you is our Aztec print stretch cotton Fabric!
This reminds me of the fabric used on the pattern. It is an aztec design, again is a stretch cotton and comes in 2 colours. Multicoloured 1 leans towards oranges with a little turquoise thrown in whereas multicoloured 2 leans towards turquoise with a little red and black thrown in. Pretty cool or what!
Until next time my fellow sewists
Annette x

#FabricFriday - Simplicity 1699 Inspiration!

Hi Everyone!
Well it's Fabric Friday again. Where do the weeks go? I know it is still pretty cold but I thought I would group some fabrics together that make me think of spring. 
I had in mind pattern Simplicity 1699. It is quite a versatile pattern for a dress, top, trousers and a jacket.
The first fabric I have in mind is this gorgeous cotton cord print. The background colour is ivory and the stand out colours are peach and black.
On looking at the pattern it is pretty obvious that the dress would look good in this. With needlecord, as with all cords, you must cut all the pieces the same way.This usually requires a little more fabric. When you run your hands first one way then the other it isn't very obvious with this particular fabric which way the pile runs but I would still advise cutting the same way. I would also advise to make a small alteration on pattern pieces 8 and 9. Piece 8 (the front skirt) is placed on the fold and piece 9 (the back skirt) against the selvedge. My recommendation is to draw a new grain line down the centre of each piece. This offsets the pieces to a different angle as in my drawing.
Because we will now have a seam down the front we need to add 15mm (5/8") onto the front edge of piece 8 in order to give us a seam allowance. The straight of the grain now runs down the centre of the pattern piece and so must be cut accordingly. To be honest I much prefare skirt pieces cut this way, they hang much better. When skirt pieces are cut as this pattern suggests then the side seams are on the bias of the grain and can sometimes stretch a little making the skirt hang longer at the sides.
I so like the idea of an ivory lace jacket and I've chosen this beautiful rayon blend crochet effect fabric to showcase today. The shade blends perfectly with the background shade of the above fabric. 
I also love Clare Ivory Guipure Lace Couture Bridal Lace. This is a more expensive fabric but if this outfit was for a wedding then I would go for this;
The pattern suggests lining this jacket and yes it will give it some body and therefore I would recommend our anti static dress lining as the best thing for the job;
However both lace fabrics would look good not lined. In order to do this you could bind all the edges with satin bias binding.
For the trousers I have chose a black needlecord fabric which when put against the patterned fabric looks and feels really good. 
Whereas the patterned one is 100% cotton, this cord fabric is 74% polyester, 23% viscose and 3% lycra but I can assure you they go together really well. I must point out though wash them first and with one being solid black maybe seperately. The lycra in this fabric would lend itself beautifully to these trousers because there are no pockets so a good tight fit could be achieved. 
I have chose a stretch cotton fabric for the top in peach;
For the purpose of display on my original picture I chose this colour because it all blends so well. However you obviously wouldn't be wearing the dress and the top together so any colour more or less would go with black trousers and the ivory jacket (remembering that the top will show through the jacket if you choose not to line it). If wearing as an outfit, the collar could be made in the ivory lace or have a self coloured collar or even a black one. Quite a lot of possibilites with just one pattern and a small group of fabrics!
Happy New Year to all my fellow sewists
Annette xx

#POW Pattern of the Week - Vogue 8945

This weeks sewng pattern of the week has a distinct 1970's look to it mainly because of the shape of the sleeves.
And here is a picture of the line drawing for this pattern;
One of the suggested fabrics is crepe and immediately our gorgeous Triple Crepe Fabric comes to mind. This is a plain fabric that comes in 22 stunning colours. It is a heavier weight polyester crepe with a textured appearance and a slight 'give' which makes this fabric drape and sew beautifully. It is perfect for dresses and this pattern especially because of the sleeves, in particular design A. 
My second choice of fabric would be our beautiful Linear Floral Print Soft Dress Fabric.
This is a beautiful directional print so care should be taken to cut all your pieces the same way. That isn't too much trouble with this pattern as there are only 3 main pieces. There are 4 colours in this fabric. The background colours are Black, Navy (as shown in picture above), Brown and Wine. 
How about something quite striking with this stripy print Georgette Fabric;
This really does have a sixties look to it. It is a fine georgette so would need lining but a soft lining like our anti-static stretch lining would blend really well. I would leave the sleeves in just georgette and at just £1.99 from our clearance section this fabric is a must buy!
Thanks for reading,
Annette xx