Archives: February 2018
Posted in Product Reviews on Wednesday the 28th February 2018 by Vicki Ormerod
Hi everyone! I'm Isa, writing to you from Portugal. Usually you will find me over at my blog Uma Crafter Portuguesa Com Certeza but today I'm overjoyed to be writing my first product review for the Minerva Crafts blog.
When Minerva launched a call for reviews for the Fall-Winter collection of Named Sewing Patterns I jumped at the chance to try them out, as I never had the chance to try a pattern from Named before. I chose to test out the Stella Shirt Dress Pattern as I was already interested when I saw it at the pattern launch.
I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the printed pattern: it comes in a sturdy paperboard package, and it’s printed on a nice quality hefty paper. Both the shirt and dress patterns are composed of 7 pattern pieces.
I decided to go for the dress so I traced only those pieces and cut them out of a Georgette Fabric – a swishy sheer fabric that seemed similar enough to the recommended chiffon. For lining I used the light Stretch Lining Fabric that allways feels nicer against my skin than other acetate linings.
I cut out a size 42 and made a 3cm full bust adjustment, and shortened both sleeves and hem, as I’m definitively not a Finnish beauty ;) (I’m 1,64 m tall). Each sleeve is composed by two pieces and I pondered on cutting the sleeves on one piece only, but as it was for testing purposes, I decided against it. In this pattern you’ll find a seam down the front, so you should consider it if you’re pattern matching. There’s only one piece for the back skirt and one for the front.
I was really pleased with the quality of the instructions – the instructions not only contain instructions for lining your dress, but also included instructions for French seams at the sleeves, and the waist is beautifully finished by the casing. But alas I wished they had found out a way of bagging the lining for the bodice, or gave enough room for French seams at the raglan seams. These seams are only 1cm wide, so if you’d like to get a nicer finish than a serged or zigzag seam consider enlarging that seam.
Even though I didn’t make the shirt version I gave a look at the instructions and the sleeve placket construction looks quite interesting – there are no openings and the excess fabric to let your hands get through the cuff is folded in and secured closed with snaps. This sounds like a great alternative to whoever loathes sewing sleeve plackets. For the shirt dress the cuff hems work as casings for a bit of elastic.
The finished dress is super comfy, really light and airy. I think the fabrics I chose work really nicely with the pattern. I’m quite happy with the quality of the dress yet to be truthful about it I think it isn’t really me, I’m quity busty and I think the blousy raglan seams only enhances my bust, or maybe I should have just gone with my default navy and black colors for the fabric, I was trying to choose something different but the print really overwhelms me :S. But, if I use a cardigan over it, I think I can pull it off, what do you think?
Happy stitching everyone :)
Posted in Projects on Tuesday the 27th February 2018 by Vicki Ormerod
Hi, Naomi from Naomi Sews again! I sometimes feel that my lovely husband Matt gets all the negatives associated with my sewing. I disappear into the sewing room for a couple of hours on a weekend, make myself something nice and leave him to entertain himself! One of my make nine plans though was to make him a Seamwork Paxton, and amazingly only a month or two down the line it has materialised into reality!
I spotted this really interesting Quilted Jersey Fabric and loved the teal colour. I thought that it would be a great option for this sweater. The fabric feels quite thick, because it is made up of two layers bonded together with some batting between. It still has a good amount of stretch, though the cut edges do fray quite a bit.
I decided to solve the fraying by making this up entirely on my overlocker. This was a great idea in theory, but in practice the fabric was a little bulky to feed through neatly, especially in areas like the neckband. This unfortunately meant that in a couple of places I didn’t quite catch all the layers in the overlocking. Mostly I’ve been able to go back in and sort it, but I think next time I would baste the layers in place first or consider using another less bulky fabric for the band and cuffs.
One of the options with the Paxton sweater is to add elbow patches. I thought that would be quite fun and wanted to try out these pre-cut Patches from Prym. They have a ‘mock-suede’ side, and a side that looks a bit like fusible interfacing. There are some rudimentary instructions with the elbow patches, indicating iron temperatures and timings. I made sure to test a scrap of my fabric under the iron before going ahead just to check it didn’t change the fabric properties. I didn’t have any problems, and the patches adhered to the fabric really well.
Having the patches already fixed in place did make topstitching a doddle! I didn’t have a suitable colour of topstitching thread, so I used two strands of ordinary gutermann sewing thread which has worked fine. As indicated in the Paxton instructions, I increased my stitch length to 3.5mm, and used a new topstitching needle to give the best chance of sewing smoothly through this slightly thicker layer. As you can see, it has turned out beautifully.
Overall I’m pretty pleased with this sweater. The elbow patches ended up a touch low on Matt using the pattern markings, but it is very quick and simple to put together. The only part I'm not totally happy with is the neckband. It doesn’t quite sit right, and I think it might be a touch too long. I don’t mind enough to take it off and do it again though, and Matt seems to like wearing it anyway!
I guess that is my sewing good deed done for now. Does that mean I can go back to sewing for myself again now?
Posted in Projects on Monday the 26th February 2018 by Vicki Ormerod
I'm going to be truthful, I've seen this amazing Lady McElroy Tropical Stems Cotton Poplin Fabric floating around on instagram and the amazing things other sewists have made with it and it was love at first sight. Strictly speaking, I'm more of a solids kinda gal as they're easier to wear, but the colours and print on this beauty really won me over. When I was given the chance to test this fabric I literally did a big 'WHOOP!' and immediately started to form a plan of what I would make with it.
I went back and forwards a few times before deciding exactly what to make with it. It's a large, bold print and I'm petite at 5ft 3" with wide hips, and I was a teeny bit worried about whether it would suit me and be wearable. I had no doubt that I would love whatever I garment I made in this stunning fabric, but whether it looked good on me and was wearable is another story completley.
I've had my eye on the Dove Blouse Pattern my Megan Nielson for some time. I totally dig the big floaty bell sleeves. Very 70's (which I'm also totally diggin' right now). I've put off making this blouse before because again, I just didn't know if this silhouette would suit me or not. I decided that if I loved the pattern and the fabric enough, I couldn't really go wrong. So I went ahead and printed out the PDF version of the Dove Blouse pattern and taped it together. I went for an XL going on my hip measurement.
Meanwhile 2m of this delicious fabric arrived at my door and my heart broke a little just seeing how stunning it is in real life. The print is amazing, the colours perfection and the feel of the fabric is exquisite! It's a very soft cotton which has lots of lovely drape. perfect for the Dove Blouse! I prewashed my fabric within 5 minutes of it arriving in my house, eager to cut out my blouse!
Cutting the blouse was a cinch. I managed to play around with the pattern placement and used up just 1.5m of fabric (leaving just enough left over for me to make a mini Ogden Cami for my daughter. Win Win!). Cotton poplin is easy to pin and cut. No fraying on the edges, so simple and straight forward. I went for view 3 of the Dove Blouse and chose to opt for the biggest sleeve option. Go big or go home, right?!
I don't actually tend to work with cotton that much and I forgot how pleasing it is to sew with. Hardly any pinning needed and it took a good press like a dream making the seams so crisp and lovely. I ended up taking about an inch off of the length of the sleeves before attaching the bottom full circle part of the sleeve, as the sleeve was just sitting a bit too low. Not a surprise though - as I mentioned I am a little shorter than most patterns are drafted for. The one part I was a little apprehensive about was hemming the bottom of the floaty sleeves. A full circle is never easy to hem is it? But, this fabric made it easy as pie! I pressed as I went and i didn't even need to pin as it held the press so well.
What I love about this make is how the blouse is a relatively simple pattern and so it really lets the print of the fabric take centre stage. This fabric was the perfect weight for this make, it holds the shapes well whilst still allowing for enough floatiness in those delicious sleeves.
I'm so happy with this make. All of my reservations about the style have completely disappeared. This fabric and pattern are a match made in heaven! It is a great versatile wardrobe staple and I can't wait to make some more!
Thanks for reading,
Carly @ Lucky Sew and Sew
Posted in Q&A's on Sunday the 25th February 2018 by Vicki Ormerod
Can you tell us a little bit about you and your blog?
My blog is called Sewing Adventures in the Attick. I decided to call it this, because I my sewing studio is actually located in a converted attic, and is my favourite room in the house. I started my blog from the need to try and keep a record of my makes and share with the amazing sewing community my impressions about patterns, fabrics or supplies I use in my projects.
When did you start crafting and what inspired you to start? What was your first project?
Oh, I was always interested in the clothing. As a child, I used to draw fashion sketches, and dream of actually making them. However, during that time in Romania, I did not know how to go about finding a sewing machine or how to learn how to sew. Hand sewing was not an option. I tried making dolls’ clothes by ruining old clothes or pillowcases and then gave up. Then when I moved to UK, over 10 years ago now, I was gifted my first sewing machine and there was no turning back. I like sewing so much because I make for myself a select few garments that are unique for which I did not pay an arm and a leg. My first project was a simple top. It was similar to view C of New Look 6464 (no longer in print). I no longer have the pattern nor the top. But I remember how happy I was for making it all on my own.
What is your favourite craft?
For me, sewing garments is my favourite craft. I’ve tried other crafts such as knitting or quilting but I just not enjoy them as much.
What do you love most about sewing?
I’d got to say its spending time doing something I love and at the end of it I have something useful. Also, for me sewing is a way of expressing my creativity while solving problems. Many times, I’ve made mistakes that required me to figure out solutions to bring my projects to completion without having to start again or completely abandon them and feeling I wasted my time.
Do your friends or family sew along with you?
I tend to sew alone. My family is not really into crafts. I am the only one obsessed with it. I have a friend with whom we sometimes get together for a sewing day, when we sew together all day. At the end if we manage to finish our projects we might even have a little photo shoot to have a little memory keepsake.
Who do you make things for?
Mainly, I sew for myself. I am quite selfish when it comes to sewing, also because I find it hard to part with my projects. But, I am known to have made a few gifts for my friends and family. All with the help of my cat, Bella, who checks out the project mostly by sleeping on it.
What made you decide to start to blog about your sewing?
The main reason I started my blog was to keep a diary of my projects as well as to improve my English, as it is not my first language. Slowly, it became a way of me to connect with others who love sewing as much as I do, as well as to share my opinions about patterns or fabrics. I feel very happy when my ramblings about sewing are useful to others or they find inspiration in my words.
Do you have a favourite snack when sewing?
No, I tend to be so engrossed into my sewing that, I actually forget about snacks. Which is a good thing, because chocolate is my downfall and need to stay away from it. Sewing helps me do that. However, I do enjoy the odd drink while I am doing sewing related activities such as blog writing or reading sewing literature (this includes, blogs, books or magazines about sewing).
What 3 sewing or craft items/tools could you not live without?
Hmm… This is quite difficult for me. But If I a to pick only 3, I’d say my sewing machines (includes my overlocker), my SimFlex Sewing Gauge (marking buttonholes or button positions is a dream with this) and the unpick (I never fail to use it almost every project I have the need for one). My collection of unpicks is extensive. I have them everywhere, so I never run the risk if not finding one when I need it.
What are your favourite fabrics to sew with any why?
I do not really have a favourite fabric to work with. I try to challenge myself to work with any fabric. The main thing about the fabric has to be soft against the skin. I used to work mainly with wovens that were quite stabile while working with them. But, with a few tricks up one’s sleeve tricker fabrics such as knits or silks can also be nice to work with. Besides, liquid fabric stiffener that washes out, works wonders on most fabrics.
How many projects do you have on the go at one time?
I try too keep myself on track by working on one project at the time. However, sometime, when I make something a bit more complicated, from which I need a bit of a break, also work on a simpler make to get some instant gratification by having something completed.
What’s your favourite thing you have ever made?
Another difficult question for me. I don’t really have a favourite make of all time. Usually my favourite one is also the last project I have made. So at this moment in time, I’d say that the outfit I made for a sewing challenge in December is my favourite.
What is your latest WIP (Work in Progress)?
Right now I am working on a product testing project, using a poly-cotton to make a jumpsuit.
Do you watch TV or listen to music while you sew?
I do both. Sometimes I watch TV, other times I listen to music. It all depends on my mood. But there is no rule to it, as I’ve spent many days sewing without TV or music.
What/who do you go to for inspiration before you start sewing?
I do not have a particular process that inspires me to sew. Over the years. I’ve amassed a huge list of projects I want to do, that I don’t need to spend time deciding what to sew. I just need to decide what to sew next form my To Do list. I do sometimes get distracted from my To Do list by new patterns I discover on Instagram or Pintrest or by my wish to join in with sewing challenges going on in the Sewing Community.
Do you have any advice for new bloggers?
Do not be afraid to do it. You do not have to try to come up with something new, that no one else has written. Just write about what make you happy and be yourself. Remember that it’s a hobby and you do not have to stress yourself in creating the perfect blog from the start. As many other things blogging is a learning experience, just embrace it. You never know where it will take you.
Could you sum yourself up as a sewer in 3 words?
Not necessarily, but I’ll try: fabric hoarder, sewing gadgets lover and perfectionist.
What would you say to anyone looking to start a new craft?
Just try it! You never know if you do not try. I do advise, start small with a little kit, see if you like it. These days for most crafts you can find introductory lessons/workshops where you can use the tools and materials offered by the provider.
Posted in Guest Posts on Saturday the 24th February 2018 by Vicki Ormerod
Posted in Projects on Friday the 23rd February 2018 by Vicki Ormerod
Posted in Product Reviews on Thursday the 22nd February 2018 by Vicki Ormerod
Posted in Projects on Wednesday the 21st February 2018 by Vicki Ormerod
Posted in Projects on Tuesday the 20th February 2018 by Vicki Ormerod
This month I was offered some lovely fabric from Minerva crafts, Lady McElroy Flora Songbird Cotton Poplin Fabric in jade was the one I chose with the option to make up a pattern I own.
One of my personal favourites is the Burda Young Shirt Pattern 6849, I have made it before and know it to be a lovely fit and style. When my fabric arrived I loved the pattern instantly and the soft feel was suited to holiday wear, with my shirt pattern I had the idea to turn it into a shirt dress. This is something that is on my ‘to make’ list for this year so that fitted the bill perfectly.
It only needs a little tweaking to do this so should you decide to purchase this pattern you can do the same. All you need to do is lengthen the shirt pieces where it is marked on the pattern ‘lengthen or shorten here’. It is already a long line shirt so it skims the hips, just follow the line down and I allowed it to taper out just on a little A-line. You need to remember you will also have to lengthen the button panels to match your chosen length.
The next adjustment I made was to shorten the sleeves, the only reason I opted for short sleeves was because I didn’t order enough fabric for a dress version of this pattern. You could keep the long sleeves or if you would like to shorten them like I did just lay on your pattern piece and decide on a length. Again this is easy as there is a lengthen or shorten line to follow.
The fabric was lovely to work with, no fray which is always a bonus and a nice amount of give for easing when working on sleeves etc. I would suggest taking care when working with pins that you don’t mark the fabric and use the correct needles.
I really enjoyed working on this fabric and I am going to take a look at the other designs, having made this dress from the shirt pattern I feel there will be more to come.
I decided to keep the shirt shape at the bottom but you could cut straight across depending on your preference. I also kept the shoulder seam topstitching as it adds to the finish but didn’t add the front shoulder panels, this is optional on the shirt pattern.
I hope this post has been useful in showing you how you can adapt a pattern to create more garments. The pattern is easy to follow and the adjustments easy to implement just take your time and have a clear mind about what you would like to achieve.
The Lady McElroy fabric was very forgiving when I needed to ease my collar in place, just remember to go lightly on the pins. I find sometimes a bit of light tacking can be useful with a fine needle just to make things stay put while you machine.
There will definitely be a few more of these dresses appearing in m y wardrobe this year. Thank you Minerva crafts for the fabric.
Dianne @ Sewing Green Lady
Posted in Projects on Monday the 19th February 2018 by Vicki Ormerod
It was great to be given the chance to try out and review one of this seasons Vogue Sewing Patterns as Vogue is one pattern company I haven’t used before.
I choose V1559 as I liked the classic button through shirt dress style with its unique designer touches of being off the shoulder and the separation of the sleeves from the bodice.
We can all find a place in our wardrobe for a denim dress so having looked though the fabrics I decided on this glittery Denim Fabric, which has a small percentage of stretch, and took advantage of Minerva’s thread matching service so I would have the correct shade at hand straight away. However I found with the amount of topstitching I should have ordered two.
The design shows contrast fabric panels in the bodice and for the waistband but as this fabric already had the glitter I decided to keep it all the same.
Now for the cutting out, I have never used a pattern with as many pattern pieces! Thirty in total and twenty of them to be cut in interfacing as well.
Comparing my measurements to the finished garment measurements I graded between sizes to gain the best fit. I’m glad I used the finished garment measurements as a guide as using the patterns body measurements it would have suggested making a size bigger at all points and the dress would have turned out much to big.
With lots of pattern pieces of course there are a lot of instructions. I found these to be very clear and well written so the dress was easier to construct than I first expected. But as the pattern suggests it is more suited to an intermediate sewer rather than a beginner.
With this dress there is a lot of top stitching detail so I used chalk to mark lines where needed and took my time to get a neat finish.
The final steps included a lot of hand-stitching the linings down so the inside looks as good as the outside.
And adding the seventeen buttons! I choose to use jeans buttons so got to hammer those on instead.
This dress is definitely not a quick make but is worth all the effort. There are so many little steps to the construction that I would advise you to fit regularly during construct as it would be difficult to alter some parts once finished.
The dress made up pretty true to the finished measurements stated but I hadn’t taken into account my small shoulders and arms so I had to adjust the shoulder band. I could have possibly shortened the sleeves slightly too.
Overall I love my new dress and really enjoyed using a Vogue pattern. It is one to take your time with but following the detailed instructions helps get a more professional finish. I will be back looking at the rest of the Vogue range now.
Happy Sewing :)
Nicky @ Sew N Snip