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Archives: March 2019

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Ring Ring Wrap Top

Ta-dah!!! Isn’t this print fun?

The Fabric

This Cotton and Steel Rayon Fabric has all the great attributes of rayon/viscose: it’s light and soft and it drapes beautifully. It works great for loose tops and I think it would make a gorgeous summer dress. I haven’t worn a dress in a long time but I am seriously considering one for the rare occasion when I do want to wear one. Or maybe a top and a pair of culottes to make it look like a jumpsuit?

Rayon is usually soft and slippery but I had no issues cutting or sewing this top. The only problem is that the print is slightly off grain. It is very difficult to tell, I actually folded the fabric for cutting making sure to centre the rings and I cut the main pieces like that. I only noticed the difference when I ripped the tie belt pieces. Ripping goes with the crossgrain and that’s how I noticed the print is off - from one end of the belt to the other the circles are not in a straight line.

You will need a fresh needle as this fabric is very tightly woven. I don’t bother to change the needle for every project and I did notice that my machine was struggling going through 3 layers. The fabric is very light so it was easy to tell the needle was just not sharp enough. After changing the needle it all went pretty smooth.

I made some piping from cotton cord (prewashed) and some scraps of navy rayon to accentuate the design lines. I’ve piped the edges of the tie belt too, just to make it stand out against the bold print.

The Pattern

I bought this Sewing Pattern recently when I saw Beth’s version. There are plenty of wrap patterns in Burda, but I liked the details on this one - soft gathers at the shoulders, shoulder yoke and dropped shoulder with cuff.

A lot of reviews said the top is very short. I am short too :D. I measured the pattern and it seemed long enough for me, but once the top was ready I could tell I needed more length. I think the blousing above the tie made it even shorter, so I added a 2” hem band.

The only alteration I made to the pattern was a small round back and the overall fit was ok. It is mostly a loose fitting top. BUT I am short :D. And the pattern has a well defined waist at the back with deep darts, plus the way it’s closing at the front left me with a too long top above the waist. The bad news is that in a wrap top this means gaping at the bust. The good news is that my tall slim sister was visiting when I finished sewing and it just happened that the top fitted her perfectly!

Ignore the photobomber! :D :D :D

Geo @ Made In My Living Room

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Rae Pants in Rayon Challis

If you are very into sewing and the latest sewing patterns and releases, then you wouldn't have failed to notice the latest book release which pretty much everyone and their mother either purchased, was gifted or borrowed towards the end of 2018 - Breaking the Pattern by Named Clothing. A collection of 20 patterns that showcase the clean-cut Scandinavian style Named Clothing is known for, it's full of tips and help as well as full instructions for each make. As soon as I got a copy I knew it wouldn't be long before I would make something from it - I just needed to decide which would be first!

The festive season is always a funny one - we make so much effort for one day, and then there's this weird in between week between Christmas and New Years where we don't really know what day it is, what we are doing or even if we can be bothered to do anything! This is the perfect time to crack on with some sewing, and I decided something from this book was on the table (literally my sewing table!) With a possible new years outfit in mind and wanting a fairly quick sew (by quick I mean hopefully made in a day or less!), I decided on the Rae Pants, a loose-fitting trouser that has front slits that look very stylish but also has my favourite practical elements - an elasticated waistband, in-seam pockets and wide leg fit.

Now one sewing confession I have to make - I very rarely buy the suggested fabric from a pattern! More often I buy fabric with an idea in mind, but then match to a pattern later, or just tailor what I really like the look of. However in my excited state to make something from this book, I decided to be good and actually get the suggested fabric. The pattern recommends a Rayon Challis Fabric and I went with a plain block colour (again unusual for me!). This one on the Minerva Crafts website comes in so many colours!

I went for Navy Blue, and as soon as I received it I was in love - it's beautiful! It's very soft and drapey, very lightweight that will breathe really well, so I’m thinking for more summer weather makes this would be amazing! It is a much darker blue than it looks on the website, so keep that in mind if you're hoping for a more royal blue. Cutting out the pattern however proved tricky due to the slippery nature of the fabric, so I would recommend using lots of pattern weights and a rotary cutter in order to ensure you cut your pieces correctly.

I was apprehensive about starting a pattern from a company I haven't used before, but managed fairly well! The book has step by step instructions, and a mixture of line drawings and photos to show you what to do. My first hurdle which was unexpected for me was the first step - sewing the in-seam pockets!

The photo wasn't very clear to me, and I couldn't quite work out where to place the pocket to the seam, and spent quite a well frustratingly trying to work it out - unfortunately I had to unpick several times, and with this fabric you really don't want to be doing that as it makes it snag and leaves holes. In the end I just inserted them the way I usually add pockets to my garments and moved on - falling out of love with a make before I had really  started wasn't my plan! It was fairly plain sailing from there - even creating the slits on the front legs was a lot easier than I thought it would be! I love this as a design feature - gives the trousers a sexy look without trying!

Fit wise I had to chop a lot from the bottom of the legs - around 7 inches! They were way too long for me, being on the shorter side I’m used to having to always hem a bit more than stated, but this was quite a lot more! On reading the book a bit more I realised the block for the patterns are based on a woman whose height is 5’8 - nowhere near mine! So do keep that in mind when cutting out your pattern as you may want to shorten the pattern piece before cutting into your fabric.

I'm also not too sure about how high the slit comes up my legs because of this, so would consider making it close a little lower - when I walk they fly open so much its almost as if I’m not wearing trousers but shorts instead! Waist fit is great, as its elasticated so you can fit to your preference. The waistband is a good size, not too bulky or too small. And the fabric! Although I had reservations while sewing (I worried that it might be too thin) it's worked out perfectly. The cut of the pattern gives enough weight to the trousers for the best drape - the legs swish out enough to reveal the split making you feel very sassy as you walk. I also think that they will be very adaptable for your wardrobe - team with a great pair of boots and a long sleeved top/jumper (and possibly some tights underneath if needs be!) for the colder weather, but come to summer and it would be great with a pair of sandals - and we all love a multi weather garment!

Thanks for reading,

Gemma @ginger_doodlesdesigns

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The Gable Dress with Pockets

Hi guys,

Soraya here again, this time with my second post for the Minerva Crafts blog! Yay! Today I want to show you my latest make using this gorgeous navy and pink Jersey Fabric.

As mentioned, I used this lovely navy and pink floral design jersey knit fabric. It is a light to medium weight and has a lovely about of drape. It stretches in both directions and would be perfect for tops, dresses cardigans etc.I thought it would be a really great option for the pattern I wanted to use.

The pattern I used was the Gable Dress Bundle from Jennifer Lauren Handmade. The Gable Dress is a 1950’s vintage inspired jersey knit dress. It features a classic “slash neck” neckline and a gathered or pleated skirt. It also has POCKETS! Woo hoo! Who doesn’t love a good pocket?

Also because it is made for a stretch fabric it is going to be comfortable and a little more casual.

I purchased the pattern in PDF format from Jennifer’s website. She is an Indie pattern designer from New Zealand (which is our neighbour down here in Australia).

She has sooooo many cute vintage inspired patterns that you can whip up in no time! Her size range is also great and goes from a 6 to a 24 so is really inclusive for all. Also with custom cup sizes, so you can get the best fit possible. You also have a few sleeve length options, as well as a colour blocking option as well.

The pattern is pretty easy and actually quite quick to sew up.It would be a great beginner pattern for someone who isn’t super confident sewing with knit fabrics.

Here is what the dress looks like on. I chose a half length sleeve and a gathered skirt.

The skirt is so sweet and flowy especially in this jersey knit fabric. However, the waistline is more of a “dropped waist”. I usually prefer a higher waistline as I have wide hips and a big bust, so I need more waist definition to chinch me in.

Here is a picture of the waistline gathers so you can see the drape.

I absolutely love the slash neckline, here is a close up of it on my dress form so you can see it better. It is definitely so much easier than sewing on a neckband. For all of the straight stitching I used wholly nylon in my bobbin and increased the stitch length. This allows for the stitching to stretch slightly without popping, and is an awesome trick!

For the pockets in the skirt, I made them in a contrast pink fabric that I had left over (from what? You’ll see in a second) for an extra POP. The pink ties in with the darker pink sections of the print and ties in super nicely.

Around the same time, I was making this dress I was also pattern testing for the extended size range of the Helen’s Closet Blackwood cardigan.

I bought some pink cotton elastane in the same pink colourway as the pink in the print so I could wear them together and co-ordinate a whole “me-made” outfit! And here they are!

I think this is a GREAT Autumn/Spring transitional outfit. Super cute and comfortable for sure!

Feel free to follow my sewing adventures on Instagram, I post a lot of my planning, sewing and finished makes there @sewnbysoraya

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Quilted Patent PVC Bag

I recently made a basic PVC coated tote bag and now wanted to understand the construction of bags in a bit more detail. This black patent Quilted PVC Coated Fabric is a great design to make a bag – just thick enough to be sturdy but also handling well for sewing.

The fabric is pre-quilted and arrived folded.  If larger dimensions are being used ensure any PVC fabric ordered can be rolled for delivery as it can leave marks on the finished side.  If it will be delivered folded rather than rolled make sure you order extra to allow for some areas that may have fold marks visible.

I love the shine on the fabric, and I planned to make a craft bag that looked like an everyday tote bag from the outside but with all the relevant storage inside.

I do a lot of hand embroidery and often want to take some supplies with me, threads, hoops and works-in-progress and also my iPad where my designs stored.  I cut the fabric to the dimensions 17 inches x 13 inches with a 3 inch box corner, giving a final base width of 5 inches – I always make things using metric measurements but somehow it made more sense to work in inches for a bag.  It was easy to mark the dimensions on the back of the fabric with a pencil and to cut with scissors.

I hadn’t got a piece of fabric in a large enough quantity for the lining/pockets but had a bundle of cotton fat quarters that I had bought for cushion covers, along with a co-ordinating grey cotton.  I decided to use this bundle to brighten the inside.

For inspiration, I used the internal pockets of my Kipling bags  – on one side a key tag, phone and pen pockets with pleats to add depth.  On the opposite side were a couple of wider pockets large enough to fit 7” embroidery hoops.

The pocket sections were planned out and it surprised me how much length is required for a continuous pocket & I allowed approximately a centimetre on either side of each pocket for folding under, which creates the depth.  Before attaching the pockets, I doubled over the fabric, stitched right sides together, turned and pressed to make a double-sided pocket.

As with all my shop bought bags, I like a key chain, and these are really simple to create and secure in the side seam before stitching the bag lining.

Another point of learning for me was adding a Stiff Interfacing, ideally iron on although I only had sew in.  I attached it after creating all of the internal details/pockets but in hindsight if I had attached it first, the internal stitching would have secured the fabric to the interfacing.  Consequently, I overstitched some of the pocket seams to fix the interfacing and stop the fabric draping.

I designed the bag to have a deep base and a padded central pocket for my iPad.  However,  I mis judged the internal size and the central pocket was too wide at the bottom once the corners were boxed, but it is still a useful pocket and may even be good for my camera.

Working with PVC it’s important to do some test stitching on a small piece of fabric and for this fabric I reduced the machine tension and increased the stitch length.  I have a Teflon foot and it may have helped slightly however applying even tension with both hands whilst stitching allowed the fabric to flow more easily.

It is also important not to use pins because marks are left with any piercing of the fabric. Sewing Clips like these are ideal but as I had none I improvised with clothes pegs, although they are a bit clumsy!  I also found masking tape useful as it doesn’t leave a sticky residue.  However, I did use pins along the zipper gusset but only along the stitch line.  Similarly, any unpicking will leave needle holes.  

To keep all of my bits & bobs secure I wanted a top zip and added a gusset made in the same black PVC fabric.  I used a chunky plastic zip, on this occasion an open ended one, which I stitched closed with a small tab on the end.  Because the zipper was added after the lining was made, I stitched it in place with a very narrow seam and it is actually hardly noticeable and is a simple way to add a zip.  There are many tutorials online describing how to add a zip to a bag.It was fairly difficult to sew all of the layers of the gusset when folding in the edges and the corners and I should probably have made it with one side PVC and one side lining fabric to reduce the bulk.  It did turn out ok but I had to stitch really slowly on my domestic machine.

For the handles I cut two pieces 6 inches by 30, folded in both long edges and stitched two lines of stitches.  To secure to the outer bag I stitched a 3 inch long section approximately a third in from each end.  The handles are long enough to carry on a shoulder.

Although not perfect on this occasion, I’m really pleased with the bag & inside pockets and have a much better understanding of the construction of a more detailed bag using this PVC coated fabric.  I love the finished patent bag, which appears sophisticated & expensive looking.

Overall, I will use PVC coated fabric again , including patent effect, & I recommend sewing on a test piece to get used to the feel and the required machine tension.

A very attractive bag can be made quite easily, and the fabric would also work well for smaller pouches due to its great flexibility.

Thanks to Minerva for the fabric and to everyone for reading.

Helen @ JustSewHelen.com

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Tie Collar Moneta Dress

As a child I hated dresses. I would never wear them because I always felt it was too girly. I just wanted to be free to run around in my pants. In the last couple of years, though, I have discovered how comfortable and free dresses can really be.
Because of this realization I've been adding more and more dresses to my wardrobe, especially those that can be worn for every day activities. I'm a mom with two little girls, so I need to be able to move and breathe and get things done.
Enter the Moneta dress by Colette. I'm sure if you haven't made one yourself you've seen others in the sewing community. It is easily the comfiest, most easy going dress pattern I own. It sews up quite quickly, so a person can have an entire wardrobe of Monetas in no time. In fact, I've told my husband I want my closet filled with them.
This polyester Jersey Fabric was a dream to sew my latest dress. It's very soft and has great stretch and recovery. The light pink floral motif is just right. It pops against the navy blue of the background without being flashy. That's just the sort of thing you want in a cozy every day dress.
Although I have seen a number of other seamstresses make the Moneta, I don't see a lot of the collar variations. They are a free pack of collar patterns for creating an entirely new look for your dress. You will find a bow, a roll, a tie, a Peter Pan, and a scalloped collar in the add on. I chose to go with the tie collar for my version. It seems a vaguely nautical vibe.
I also took the opportunity to add some fun pockets. The pattern includes a pocket piece. I chose to make it from quilter's cotton to avoid bulk. Plus, I love knowing I have crazy pickets even if no one else does.
Since I wanted this to be a nice dress to wear during the colder months, I made it with the 3/4 sleeve pattern. One aspect of the pattern I don't like is that there's no chart for printing only parts. I previously had sewn a sleeveless version, so I only needed the sleeves and collar pieces. I had to scroll through the pages to find just those pieces by myself. It was tedious but saved paper and ink. I would prefer a chart that could have helped me locate only what I needed.
I would definitely sew both the fabric and the pattern again. The fabric curled a bit, but it didn't make it difficult. Instead it is soft and lovely. I have received compliments on the colors while I'm out and about. It's a fantastic floral for anyone feeling a little overwhelmed by some of the more outlandish flower patterns out there. The dress pattern is quick, easy, and great right out of the box for me. This has become my new favorite dress. Hope you get a chance to make one yourself and try out some of the collar variations.
Get sewing,
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Floral Dress with a Twist!

Wow, did you see this floral Jersey Knit Fabric yet? In one of my favorite colors: rust! I’m excited to show you what I made of it. Oh yeah, before I forget my name is Marlies and everything I create I share as made by LIESL on several social media channels.

Back to the fabric. It is light weighted, with a lot of stretch and in real life the print is even more gorgeous. The wrong side of the fabric is much lighter, though, so make sure you don’t stretch the fabric to far, because then the colour seems lighter.

When I ordered the fabric my plan was to make a dress. And, this time I sticked to my plan. Wasn’t sure what kind of dress, but the way the fabric flows made me think of a dress with a twist or drapery effect.

Only once before I used a pattern with a twist in it. Wasn’t a success back then. The skirt had a twisted knot at the front and didn’t do my shape any good. Wore it once, I guess.

My mother in law is quite a fan of drapery and twists in her sewing and I love the way her dresses compliment her figure. I also came across this twisted themed challenge on Instagram so I thought I would have a go at it again. So happy that I did.

On Pinterest I found several inspirational looks, floral themed and even in the perfect colour. I used a pattern that is similar to Burda 6411 or McCalls 7429. When I was placing my pattern pieces on the fabric I took into account how the flowers would eventually end up in the dress. So they would complement my shape rather than be oddly placed.

I added some puff to the sleeves again. Like I did on my version of the Named Kielo wrapdress. Another made by LIESL #minervamake and featured on this blog. The balloon shape I created by cutting the sleeve pattern like shown in the photo. With masking tape I constructed the pattern again, making the sleeves much wider. Gathering this fabric at the bottom of the sleeves and stitching it to a cuff, ta-da lovely sleeves.

Sewing up this dress went really fast. It was quite a straightforward sewing project. I only had to reinforce the neckline and the shoulders by ironing small strips of interfacing onto them. I overlocked all of the seams, but it wasn’t necessary. The fabric doesn’t fray at all. In all it’s such a lovely fabric to work with.

I love the outcome of the dress! It’s super feminine and so comfortable.

Want to see what more I’m up to? Check my Instagram.

Thanks for reading.

Love,

Marlies @madebyliesl
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Horse Riding Proof Leggings!

Today I’m sharing with you the leggings that I’ve made. Although they may look and function as normal athleisure leggings, I specially adapted these to be horse riding proof! For that I moved the inseam a few centimetres forward to prevent the leggings from rubbing the legs where they lay onto the saddle. And that worked! I’ll show you what I did.

For this project I used Simplicity Pattern 8561, which I picked out of countless leggings patterns mainly because of the curved seam at the seat. When taking a look at RTW horse riding bottoms, you see this shape a lot. What more got my eye were the deep pockets in the side panels. I don’t know who invented these, but that person deserves an award. Horse people all know the struggle of bringing your cell phone while riding. In most pants that’s nearly impossible because the pockets are too small and positioned right at the hip where you bend. But not with these leggings! No fear the phone will bother you or fall out while riding (or doing any other exercise!), that’s a win! The only thing I needed to alter on this pattern was the placement of the inseam. In the picture where the old and new pattern pieces lay on top of each other you see how I moved the seam 5cm forward at the knee, 3cm forward at the ankle, and graded in between.

I made view D of the pattern in size M. I measured in between size M and L, but decided to pick the smaller size because the fabric stretched a little more than required. The waistband I cut a little wider, cause my stomach commonly needs a little more space than a pattern accounts for. To finalize the perfect fit, while constructing I first pinned the inseam to measure before sewing it. That way I knew I had to let the seams out a little on the thighs and take them in on the calves, and the fit was right straight away!

My leggings are mainly made out of Ponte Roma Fabric in navy blue. This is quite thick jersey with 4 way stretch and nice recovery. That is exactly what you need when making leggings, cause you’ll want to be able to move without hindrance.

On the side panels and waistband I used Scuba Fabric with a floral print in black and teal. I love cheerful fabrics and especially flower prints! Those are not available on RTW horse riding bottoms, so now I was making my own I took my chance to incorporate that. The scuba has a little less stretch than the Ponte Roma, but still enough for the pattern. Typical for scuba is to show the (white) subsurface of the fabric while stretching on the width of the fabric. To prevent that, I cut this scuba on the cross grainline where it still stretches sufficiently.

In the waistband I used special Non Roll Peterstretch Waistband Elastic. If you are familiar with elastics rolling around this is a good option to try! I had never used it before but really like how firm it is and how it stays in place.

For the real athletic look I decided to sew the leggings with flat felled seams. I always thought that this was only possible using a coverstitch machine, but you just need a serger! It wasn’t even hard to do, and gives a really professional finish. I decided to this way add some extra pop of colour. The teal stitching matches the scuba and really combines the navy and black fabrics to a whole. Another advantage of flat felled seams is that there are no seam allowances rubbing on the inside of the garment.

There’s a post on my own blog where I tell you all about making flat felled seams. 

Although this all started as an experiment, it turned out as a huge win! The leggings feel really nice to wear. I thoroughly tested them during a two hour trail ride and there was no trace of discomfort. I’m really curious how long they will last, because the fabric seems to be a little thinner than the fabrics used in RTW riding pants. All in all, I’m really pleased with the result. The pockets just make me very happy, just like the flower print and colourful flat felled seams!

Love,

Sewingridd – www.sewingridd.com

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The Soft and Floaty Maddie Top

I love a good soft floaty top, they are nice and cool on hot summer days, worn with skirts or shorts but they are equally useful all year round layered up with a cardigan.

This floral print soft Woven Fabric was just perfect for a flowing top that I’ll be able to wear all year round. The colours will work for any season and on cooler days I’ll just pop on a jacket, cardigan or scarf.

I chose the Maddie Pattern which is available as a free download PDF from Sew Magazine.

The only drawback of a downloadable PDF pattern is that you have to download, print and assemble the pattern. This takes almost as long as the sewing!

I washed the soft fabric before I started sewing, I always do, just in case it shrinks a little, or the colour runs at all. Better to find out now rather than when your sewing is finished!

I made my own bias binding for the neck and sleeve edge using my lovely Bias Binding Gadget, I love this little piece of kit, it’s so useful. Cutting this fabric on the bias was a breeze as I could just follow the flower design.

I did drift a little from the instructions when it came to the bias binding around the neck. I tried the top on before attaching the binding as it felt would be a teeny bit wide for me if I did a regular bias binding facing so I applied the binding as double fold bias binding which stopped it getting any wider.

I made a size 10 Maddie top as I’m normally a 10 in shop bought clothes. This did come out a little on the generous size so I will try dropping down a size next time I make this top.

There will be a next time, it feels really comfy on and I think it’ll be a really useful addition to my wardrobe.

Happy Sewing,

Julie @ Sum of their Stories

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Viscose Jersey Elliott Sweater and Tee Dress Hack

Hello everyone, I’m Kealy from Voice of a creative. This time for my Minvera Makers blog post I chose this beautiful floral Viscose Jersey Fabric.

I was excited when a chance to work with viscose jersey as this is my favourite fabric to work with. This fabric is a 96% viscose and 4% lycra blend. You can get this fabric in blue, grey, green and rust colour waves. I decided to go for the green version, as I liked the look of the different tones of green, also this a different colour choice for me. The fabric itself is soft, drapes well and has a good weight without being too stretchy, a perfect viscose to work with for a jersey dress.

Inspired the Sew Over It Thea Dress I decided to make a looser fitting dress which could be cinched in with a belt or tie.

I decided to use the Helens Closet Elliot Sweater and Tee pattern, as I have had a lot of success with this pattern in the past and I feel it fits me well. This pattern also already has a boxy shape which would make altering into a dress much easier, I knew this would work well with this fabric. I used my croquis from My Body Model to draw out the design to check it was what I wanted to make. I loved the sketch so decided to go ahead with the make.

The main pattern adjustments I made were to lengthen the main body part and then slim down the sleeves. I made the large size and didn’t make any adjustments other than to hack it into a dress. To lengthen the pattern to a dress, I first measured from where the neck line would fall on me down to my knee to get the length, this was 35 inches. I then I folded the fabric and then placed the front pattern piece on the fold, again measuring from the neck line down 35 inches. I marked this place on the fabric.

I used pattern weights to hold down the pattern piece and then cut the top part of the dress, before moving the pattern piece down to the mark I had measured previously. I made sure to keep it straight along the fold. I then cut the bottom part of the dress, I measured the pattern and checked it would fit around my hips/widest part before doing this.

When I cut out the back-body piece I again laid it on the fold of the fabric but lined up the front dress part on top of it, using the front piece as a guide to cut the dress. I then cut out the sleeves and neck band as the pattern recommended as I would change the sleeves later when sewing the dress together.

I wanted to slim down the sleeves as the drafted sleeves on this pattern are a looser fit. To do this I simply sewed the sleeve together with a 2cm seam allowance rather than 1 cm as the instructions suggest. I pivoted at the under arm join to go back to the 1cm seam allowance for the side seams. Although after trying the dress on I decided I need to slim it down further so use a 2 cm seam allowance down the whole side seam.

I added belt loops and a tie to the dress to bring it in at the waist. For the belt loops I cut two rectangles measuring 4.5 by 2 inches. I put right sides together then stitched down one side before turning it out the right way. I measured where my waist was against the body pieces, this was 12 inches from the neckline for me, I put the belt loops into the side seam of the dress at this point. I double stitched over them to give extra strength as this will probably be a point of strain.

For the tie I cut two rectangles measuring 90 by 2.5 inches, I used the full length of the fabric I had but you could piece the tie if you needed to. I used my quilting ruler to help me measure and mark this first also cutting it on the fold, so I could be more accurate. I stitched the rectangles with right sides together and pivoted at the corner to finish one of the ends. I turned the whole thing the right way around, pressed and then folded the open-end inwards before top stitching. I decided I would thread the tie through the belt loops and tie in a bow at the back.

I also tried adding a belt instead of the tie for a different look. This is another idea if you didn’t want to make the tie piece.

The dress can also be worn without a belt as well, maybe with leggings for a more relaxed look but I prefer the look of the cinched in waist, as I feel this suits my shape better.

I finished the hem with a double fold of 1cm and then topstitched with a straight stitch on my sewing machine.

I was also pleased that I could use my over locker throughout this project to finish the edges. I feel overlocking edges has really levelled up my sewing, my garments now feel so much more profession.

I love the final dress, it is super comfy but already I feel stylish in it. It’s a slightly different shape than I would normally wear but I feel the shape and colour suits me well. I will definitely use this hack again to make many more of these, I am considering buying this fabric is another colour wave as I really liked using it.

Thanks for reading,

Kealy @ voiceofacreative

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The Deer & Doe Opium Coat in Grey Wool Coating

I’d been wanting to make a coat for sometime so I was really happy to receive this Coating Fabric from Minerva. The fabric is a wool acrylic blend and is thick and heavy. It is soft to the touch, but the backing is treated with a plastic-like coating and so unsuitable for any unlined garments as it is unsightly and I think it would be itchy too. The fabric does not fray which is great saving time and thread from neatening edges.

I decided to make the Opuim Coat by Deer and Doe Patterns. This is a fully lined swing coat with origami welt pockets and the option of a belt. I chose the beltless version. The lining fabric was a cotton lawn from the local market as was the grey antistatic fabric I used for lining the sleeves.

The washing instructions on the Minerva website suggest this fabric should be hand washed. I wanted to wash the material before I started cutting out so I bit the bullet and washed the fabric in the machine on a wool cycle with gentle detergent. Before washing I drew a 5cm by 5cm square on the corner of the fabric to give me an idea of any shrinkage that occurred. I was expecting a small amount of shrinkage however, none occurred. Yay!

This pattern has many pieces (54 in total (I think!)) and it took me a while to cut out. As the coating fabric is thick it was hard work on the hands. I like cutting out with scissors but maybe I should have opted for my rotary cutter for this fabric.

The fabric sews and irons well. Initially I was worried about flattening the pile on the fabric by ironing, which does occur to some extent. However, I don’t think this has a particularly detrimental effect on the garment. To get nice crisp seams on the coat I used plenty of steam and a tailor’s clapper.

As stated earlier this fabric is thick and I had problems stitching my origami welt pockets. This was because I needed to sew through five layers of the fabric. My domestic machine could not cope with this. To overcome this, I recut the pocket welts and instead of using the coating fabric for the facing of the welt I chose to use the lining fabric instead and thereby removing the bulk. For neatness I also decided to hand stitch the welts to the coat.

The remainder of the coat was fairly easy to put together. However, the collar was quite difficult again due to the thickness of the material and initially it did not sit flat so I needed to unstitch it and redo it. Alterations were also required on the shoulders as these were too wide for me.

Overall, I am happy with how the coat has turned out although I’m not in a hurry to make another one as I did find it quite challenging. The fabric is lovely, heavy and of good quality. I will definitely enjoy wearing this coat and love the fact that it’s a great eye-catching colour.

Thanks for reading this post and to Minerva Crafts for the fabric.

Joanne @jomaycock74

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