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Archives: April 2019

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The Merchant and Mills Ellis and Hattie Dress in Essex Yarn Dyed Metallic Linen

Hey Minerva Makers!

I jumped at the chance to get my hands on some of this Robert Kaufman Essex Yarn Dyed Metallic Linen to sew with. I mean, it’s linen, it’s blue, it’s glittery, is there a more perfect fabric?! I went for the ‘Water’ colour but had such a tough time choosing as they are all so pretty. Ultimately, I thought the glitter combined with this icy pale blue would allow me to dress up as the sparkly frost princess I always knew I was meant to be. It is soo beautiful that when it arrived I really deliberated over what to make with it; I was worried that the glittery look of the fabric might seem a bit ‘special occasion’. I didn’t want to make something that would seem like a party dress and (with the amount of parties I go to) would never get worn! Lol.

So, I went on the hunt for the perfect day dress pattern, something that would be pretty and comfortable and look great in linen. As soon as I remembered the Merchant and Mills Ellis and Hattie Pattern I knew that was the one for me! It is an absolute perfect pattern for linen, its loose utilitarian shape makes this seem like an everyday dress I would be happy to wear dressed up or down. I also love the special little details which make it really interesting to sew!

Based on my measurements (36, 32, 44) I went with a size 14 across the bust and graded to a size 12 at the waist, this was to minimise how tent-like it was at the waist. In hindsight, I could have just cut a size 12 as the 14 was a bit too wide across the shoulders, I took them in by 0.5cm at each shoulder but I could have gone a full centimetre. I think next time (and there definitely will be a next time!) I will go for the straight size 12 and save myself the bother.

I chose to go for the Ellis dress as I prefer that waistline but I shortened the length by 6 inches, this was simply to copy the length of one of my other favourite smock type dresses, the Sew Liberated Metamorphic Dress. Instead of making the in-seam pockets though, I chose to add the absolutely huge patch pockets from the Hattie version of the pattern, they are honestly ginormous, I mean – I won’t need a handbag wearing this dress!!

The linen was lovely to sew with; it presses and behaves beautifully under the sewing machine. I honestly had no problems cutting or sewing with it! It is super sparkly and does feel really soft in hand, but the more sensitive skin on my neck does feel a bit tickled by the metallic lurex threads. I’m not very sensitive to things like that so it doesn’t bother me and I can’t even feel it anywhere else. I wouldn’t have even noticed it if I had made a skirt or trousers. If you are really sensitive to textures or tags in your clothing it would be easy to make the facing out of a different fabric to negate this or just go for a lower neckline, this pattern has an especially high neckline.

I absolutely love how the dress looks in this fabric; I love the four gorgeous neck darts and the keyhole detail at the back of the neck. Any pattern that requires one button is a winner in my book – it gives me opportunity to get out the old button tin and choose a special button that otherwise might not have been used! And it means that there are no zips/buttonholes to contend with so it’s quite a beginner friendly pattern.

For linen, this fabric creases surprisingly little, and I think it will do a great job of keeping me cool in the summer months. It’s a good medium weight so I think it would be perfect for both skirts and trousers, I would love to make some linen trousers in the Midnight or Fog colourways! I think that this has basically spoiled me for all other linens, why would I sew with regular linen when I can have GLITTERY linen?! The only problem is, the camera doesn’t come anywhere near close to capturing just how sparkly this fabric is, the below picture is the closest I could get to just how glittery it is!

Until next time, happy sewing!

Vicky @ Sewstainability

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1950s Vintage Vibe Baby Girl Dress

Amanda from Deriving Mommyhood here again and I am excited to share a very special project!

My very last baby just celebrated her first birthday so I had to go all out for her and make her a head to toe outfit, and it had to be exceptional. When I received this Robert Kaufman Metallic Linen Fabric, I knew it was absolutely perfect for the job.

I wanted a sweet, vintage vibe and linen dresses on baby girls definitely hit the mark there, but I also wanted to maintain some of my own design point of view and the metallic brings it to a more modern look. The gold threading through it makes it a touch more modern, but I definitely kept it vintage with styling.

The fabric itself is soft, not scratchy. The gold threads sparkle without being uncomfortable. The dusty rose color is a soft pink with a touch of peach. Not barbie or bubblegum, shades of pink that I usually steer very clear of. I knew I wanted to use some cream Eyelet Trim and Wood Buttons to keep my vintage look, and also this Simplicity 2392 Pattern reprint from the 1950s.

I will admit, I bought this pattern for my older daughter (who is 8 going on 18) and am just now making it. Worth it to hold on to. Sparks joy, right? The pattern itself was so easy to follow, very good detailed directions. I only wish there was better finishing technique where the scalloped bodice and scalloped bonnet connect.

I did do some small modifications, mainly combining different views and lengthening the sleeves to keep baby girl warm for her winter birthday (it snowed when she was born, so lovely to watch during labor, not so lovely to drive through at night to get to hospital…). I probably could have shaved down the width on the sleeves a bit, but this way it will last awhile right??

I am certainly not a professional at embroidery but did try my best to do the simple flowers included in the pattern. I did not do quite as many as what was called for, but think this was just enough.

Along with the dress and bonnet from the Simplicity pattern (which, by the way, if you have followed along with my sewing journey you know it is rare that I don’t use PDF patterns. They definitely have my heart, but sometimes you need to dive in to the big 4 for something special) I also made Mayfair ruffle bloomers from Little Lizard King and Menta Booties from Menta Patterns because, well, I couldn’t resist using every scrap of this fabric. It’s seriously so gorgeous in person. One of those fabrics that makes you gasp when you open the package.

It’s a nice sturdy woven so sews up beautifully with no extra care. Easy to cut, no slipping around or warping. A hot iron with steam caused no harm, and I used basic size 80 universal needles. I did use some coordinating quilting cotton for linings.

This look will be one to treasure. I plan to save it and force it upon my future grandchildren. Or frame it…..now I’ll just go cry for a bit as I realize my youngest is growing up way too quickly...

Thanks for reading, 

Amanda @ Deriving Mommyhood

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True Bias Roscoe Blouse

Hello sewing friends! I'm back here on the Minerva blog for more sewing chat. Sewing and chatting, my two favourite things! This time I've made a lovely blouse for my daughter Laura, in gorgeous Viscose Fabric. So let's get going.
The FabricMy initial plan was to make a lovely drapey floaty kimono type jacket for myself. However, this was scuppered when my daughter fell in love with the fabric! She really loves the autumnal colours and I guess I knew this would happen as soon as I opened the package! It's ok, I have a wardrobe full of me-mades! This is a light flowy fabric with a soft drape and movement. Just right for a boho, hippy chic vibe and just right for Laura's errr, artistic style of dress! The qualities which make viscose float and drape so well can also make it tricky to work with. Not so long ago I would have avoided using it for this reason. Nowadays my handy weapon is spray starch, liberally applied when ironing after pre washing. It makes the fabric crisp and less slippery and will wash out once the garment is finished. I gather all my equipment before I start, it's a good start to a project and gets my creativity excited to start.
The PatternI have made the Roscoe Dress by True Bias twice before, both for Laura and me, but I hadn't made the blouse version yet. We both like wearing this style, comfortable and relaxed with a touch of hippy, novel for her but I was around in the 70's!  Laura is very petite so I made the smallest size,  still plenty of room for a big lunch. Actually this fits my tailors dummy too and I am a few sizes bigger!
Getting SewingWhen I sew I often mix up the order of making things once I am confident with the pattern. So, this time before I threaded my machine with matching thread I used a couple of old bobbins of miss matched threads. I used these for all the gathers. There are lots of gathers! This way it was easy to see my gathering threads and to know which ones to pull when I was at that stage. 
Don't forget to use a long stitch for gathering, it makes all the difference. I do all the silly things so you don't have to! As long as I didn't sew the gathers into the seam allowances all was well. I find there is also less chance of snapped threads and it's easier to evenly distribute the gathers if the threads are shorter, rather than trying to go all the way round the neckline in one go.The neckline is a lovely little opening and the bonus for me is that no interfacing is required, just a little double fold and its done. Using a small stitch length means there is less likelihood of the facing fraying as it has to be cut close to the stitching.
Another feature of this top is the Raglan sleeves. They are so easy to fit in with no easing in or fiddling required. 
And those gathered wrists are so pretty. The sleeves are 3/4 length so won't drape in your soup!Finally the pattern suggests that the ties are made by folding the raw edges in and then top stitching. I chose to sew them inside out and then turn them the right way out with a loop turner. I prefer them not to have any stitching visible to give a clean line to it and I felt there was less chance of  them moving slightly when sewn. Such a pretty top I am sure there will be more. Laura is definitely channelling the Meryl Streep in Mama Mia don't you agree?Until next time, do join me over on Instagram @marythimbleHappy sewing,Mary 
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Red and Gold Modal Ponte Roma Martha Dress

Hello everyone, I’m Kealy from Voice of a Creative. This time for my Minerva Makers blog post I chose the Modal Ponte Roma Fabric.

This Modal Ponte Roma is available in black/gold, navy/gold and red/gold. I went for the red and gold as I wanted to try a colour I wouldn’t normally go for, and I was glad I did. The fabric has a beautiful leaf print, the print is non-directional and has small details, the fabric has a lovely sheen of metallic on the gold. When the fabric arrived, I prewashed it as normal, it was lovely and soft with a good weight. The fabric is a heavier weight fabric and would work well for dresses, jumpers and maybe even trousers/leggings. The composition of this fabric is 67% polyester and 33% modal.

I decided to make the Martha Dress by Tilly and the Buttons. This is a woven fabric sewing pattern, however something I love to do is to make woven patterns with knit fabrics. I had made the Martha dress before and it fitted well so I decided I would give it a try. I researched further to check if anyone had already made a Martha dress in Ponte and found a blog post on the Tilly and the Buttons blog, as well as quite a few photographs on Instagram #sewingmartha.

The pattern itself has 8 pieces, 4 for the bodice and 3 for the skirt. Although for the skirt you need to cut some of these multiple times so the skirt has 8 pieces all together. The skirt pieces are also cut cross grain, I think this is to support the drape of the skirt. I cut the pattern as the instructions suggested, however I didn’t pay attention to the cross-grain direction needed for the skirt pieces. This was a huge mistake as in the finished garment I don’t feel as though the skirt drapes as well as the skirt on my previous Martha dress.

I made the size 5 as this best fit with my bust and waist measurements, the hip measurement doesn’t really matter with this pattern as the skirt flares out so much. When I made the dress previously I made a forward shoulder adjustment, lowered the neck line and shortened the length of the bodice at the waist. Then lastly, I adjusted the length of the skirt which is an adjustment I nearly always need to do. When the dress was nearly finished I did have to take in the side seams to better fit my body and waist. Thinking about it now, I might have done better to size down to a 4 especially as I was using a stretchy fabric.

I had already adjusted my pattern to have a lower neck line. To do this you follow the regular curve of the neck line you just cut it down more towards the bust. This might take a little trial and error to get it right, to help me I used another dress in my wardrobe as a reference. I also decided to omit the neck band instead choosing to fold the neck line over using a 1 cm double fold. I finished this with a line of straight stitch on my sewing machine.

The pattern was easy to follow, as with all Tilly and the Buttons patterns the instructions are comprehension and each step is explained well. Within the instruction booklet you have a photograph of each step as well as written instructions, there is also extra support on the Tilly and the Buttons blog.

The Martha dress is supposed to be fastened with a zip but I decided not to include a zip in the back of this dress. I felt that I might struggle to get the zip into the stretchy fabric, also I should be able to get it over my head to put it on. This made the make much simpler as I just sewed up the back after attaching the skirt and bodice pieces.

Overall, I like the fabric of the dress, it’s a great colour and design. The fabric was easy to work with and the dress came together easily. However, the dress is not my favourite mainly because I feel that it doesn’t fit as well as I wanted, although it is a really comfy and warm dress.

I like the dress better with the addition of a gold waist belt, as it cinches the dress in a little more at the waist.

Thanks for reading,

Kealy @ Voice of a Creative

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The Mallori Lane Bralette

Hi,

I am Nicoletta here, from Stitch and Cappuccino and once more I had the opportunity to try another fabric from the Minerva’s selection.

My choice was this Lurex Mesh Fabric, a very lightweight knit fabric, with stretch. I can say it is not my usual choice, but for once I wanted a bit of spark in my wardrobe. Recently the “sewfrosting” challenge had place in the Instagram community, and it made me want something more festive that the usual black pants or grey sweatshirt. So I went for the full frosting :)

When the fabric arrived I was a bit surprised of the stretch percentage in both ways. It is also very sheer: it’s a mesh! Maybe I should read better the description next time. But the “frost” effect is surely there.

For this reason, the creative journey was a little bit bumpy. When thinking about the pattern to choose, I was undecided between a bodysuit and a cropped cardigan. I have chosen the last one, thinking it would be a good wardrobe piece, to layer in the evening over a camisole or dress. Alas it was not the right decision for a stretchy fabric. I cut it and entirely made it, but I was really unhappy with the result and decided to save what I have left (I have ordered 1.5 meters) to make something else. Since I didn’t have so much left, I have opted to look for underwear patterns. I am not really experienced in underwear making, except some undies, so it was a risk again. Finally I have found something quite simple in construction and jumped into the second phase of this project. The pattern I have used it is Mallori Lane bralette, a freebie by Madalynne. I am not busty, so bralettes work for me and the plus side it is that they don’t need closure. You just need to pull on.

For the lining, I have used the remnants from my last Minerva Craft’s project, a black Viscose Jersey Fabric. It worked perfectly because of its stretch and doing so I also reduced my sewing waste! Double win.

The construction is not complicated and the tutorial is well explained also for beginners: you have to cut three pattern pieces in total. I have cut the smallest size, since I am 84 centimeters at the full bust. However I had to take in 1 cm per side to make it fit to me. This can be due to the pattern itself or the elasticity of the fabric, or both. But I have read that with underwear is quite usual to have different fit with different fabric and the best is to adjust it on the go.

What I also liked about this pattern is that you don’t need a lot of notions, which for underwear are not so easy to find, at least for me, locally. First of all, as I said, for the bralette you don’t need a closure, since you just pull on and off. For the elastic, I didn’t have in my stash a specific one for underwear, so I used a normal one. The narrow and common black elastic worked perfectly. But I had not enough for the straps, so I have made them out of the black viscose knit fabric, as you see in the picture.

I am quite happy with it, since it is my first bra, but I know that I can improve a lot. The zigzag is messy, the elastic tension could be better and so on. But I made a bra!

The lurex mesh worked perfectly with this pattern, I would suggest using it for projects where you really need stretch. I think about making matching panties ;) or maybe a crazy swimsuit for next summer? Who knows….

Nicoletta @ Stitch and Cappuccino

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Classic Navy Pinspot Hoya Blouse

The Deer and Doe Hoya Blouse was one of those patterns that didn't grab me straight away, but after a while I became desperate to make it! I love the mock wrap front and the loose, floaty shape. I chose some classic navy blue Viscose Fabric with a white pin spot to make it. 
The blouse actually takes more fabric than you think as the front bodice is fully lined in the main fabric to create the lapel detail. The hem is faced as well, which creates a lovely finish and adds some weight to the hem to help the top drape well. I used 2 metres of fabric for the 3/4 sleeve version of the blouse, which is what the pattern suggested.
This is only my second Deer and Doe pattern. I'm not entirely sure why because I love so many of their patterns. I think the instructions are thorough and well illustrated and the designs of the patterns are always a little bit different. 
The Hoya was a pleasure to make. I cut it out in an evening and sewed it up the following evening. This is my new preferred way of working, breaking a project down into chunks and spreading it over consecutive evenings. Luckily, this was a straightforward make and only required two evenings. I think this pattern is suitable for a beginner with a little experience, it's relatively straightforward and the instructions make everything very clear.
The spotty viscose was lovely to work with and is so soft. The drape is really good and it's light and comfortable to wear. I overlocked all my raw edges because I was worried it would fray. It's held up really well to being worn and washed weekly!
The top works well being tucked in as well as worn out, especially when made out of a lightweight fabric like this viscose, because it's not too bulky when tucked in. The shape is completely different and I think it looks smarter tucked in and more casual left loose. I've mainly been wearing it loose with jeans or a jersey pencil skirt.
I feel like this blouse is absolutely perfect for me. The style and the fabric combined make a top that I would pay a lot for in the shops, so it's great that I can make it! I'm definitely going to make another Hoya Blouse, probably out of another spotty viscose!
Jenny x
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The Butterick 6312 Jumpsuit

Hello, this is my very first Minerva Make, and I chose this beautiful cat Viscose Jersey Fabric and the Butterick 6312 Pattern which I received from Love Sewing Magazine at the end of last year and has the option of either a jumpsuit or a dress. I was happy to see this pattern could be used with a woven and a jersey and chose to do version B, the jumpsuit for my own version of a onesie.

As this pattern had a lot of ease I sized down to a small. I also moved the zip to the centre front instead of the centre back as with painful muscles a zip in the front is much easier for me to manage. I found this zip in my stash which matched perfectly to the colour of the fabric. I also swapped the neck bias binding for a knit band.

The pattern was a very easy make with only 3 pieces and I found with a bit of pattern tetris that due to this being at 68 inches I actually had about a metre left. The pattern came together very quickly and even includes pockets! This is my favourite lounge wear currently and keeps me nice and snug without overheating and I love the softness of the fabric and mostly I love that its covered in very colourful happy kitties and it certainly brightens up the room when I am wearing it and is my first ever onesie and I love that I don't get a cold back due to it being an all in one.

As I had a metre left I went and looked through my (rather big) stash of patterns, I thought a tank top would be ideal for this amount of fabric and suit the viscose jersey well. Eventually I found Simplicity 1203 which I received in the great big pattern swap run on Instagram last summer. I have only made a shirt from this pattern before so was pleased to find this little tank top, version A. Its a simple tank top with knit bands for armholes and neckline and a simple turned up hem. This is also a simple make but unfortunately I wasn't paying enough attention and sewed the neck knit band to the wrong side oops so out came the seam ripper. Luckily I don't own an overlocker as they require a foot pedal and due to my disability this causes immense pain and my control is not great so I use the stop start button on my lovely sewing machine. So this meant I still had my whole seam allowance still so I resewed it on the correct side and top stitched the seam allowance down and was back in action. I probably spent longer unpicking than I did on the actual sewing in the end.

This top will be brilliant for the summer and chucking on with some shorts or trousers for time out with the children. I made the size 16 using the garment measurements on the tissue of the pattern and picked the size in which the measurements were closest to my actual measurements. This size fits well for me and I will certainly make a few more for the summer just in case of another crazy hot summer like last year.

That's all for now and I hope you enjoyed this review and thank you for the fabric Minerva.

Michelle @michebemason

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The Dress with a Twist

Have you ever ordered something and then waited so impatiently that you bit your nails of? Well waiting for my latest parcel from Minerva Craft practically ruined my nails. :)  I got a chance to review the Lady McElroy Viscose Knit Fabric in Turquoise and was thrilled for the opportunity. The fabric had all I wanted for a new dress: It was in bright, vibrant colours, the material was a viscose (yey!) and it was a knit. I was in the mood for a challenge and I haven’t tackled knits in a while.

I’ve made a few garments for my kids, beanies and t-shirts, from knits the last couple of years but before that, the last time I made something in jersey was probably 1998. So when reading this blogpost keep in mind that knits aren’t my strongest side.

And let me tell you, I have never worked in a material like this one. The fabric was beautiful, soft, slinky, bouncy, and had a good amount of stretch (two ways). When the fabric arrived I noticed how incredible soft it was but not before I'd finished drooling over the vibrant colours.

I’d decided to make 7429 from the McCall’s Pattern Company. I have seen some fantastic makes on Instagram from that pattern and I thought that the knot design in the front was a great feature and hoped the design would hug me in the right places.

The first problem occurred after washing, since I forgot to put softener in. Don’t do that! The subsequent problems with static electricity gave me some headaches in the beginning. Other than that the fabric behaved just as it should. No colour changes or shrinkage at all.

The fabric behaved like soft knits do, so I had to take some extra time laying it out for cutting. And I had to take a break from laying after the front pattern piece turned out like this:

Could I really pull this off?

I was pleasantly surprised at how easy the fabric was to pin and stitch. I only had one problem, where I had to get out my seam ripper, and that was when I tried to pin the fabric with about 6 cm between my pins. Yes, I told you I´m a rookie.

If you are a newbie to this kind of drapey knits, here are a few tips:

1.      Pin, pin and then pin some more pins between your existing ones. If you do, the fabric will (almost) behave as a woven fabric.

2.      Check your stitches on a piece of fabric before stitching into the real thing. (I know that you should always do this, but sometimes I just wing it on woven materials.) This is not a fabric you want to overuse your seam ripper on. I went for a little longer stitch than I usually use to get a nice finish. You don’t want curly seams!

3.      The pattern instructs you to do the hemming in two steps. First baste and then stitch a normal stitch. I would recommend using a twin-needle instead. You get a nicer hem that stretches a little more.

4.      The inside seams I put together with the narrowest zigzag stitch instead of a regular one as it gives you a little stretch. I then overlocked the raw edges approx. 5 mm from the zigzag seam. I´m not sure I really needed to do the zigzag stitch at all, but the instructions clearly stated that it should both be a normal stitch and an overlocked one (and being a knits rookie, I didn’t feel comfortable straying too far from the instructions).

5.      The knotted part on the front of the dress was a little tricky, but not as much as I anticipated. I followed the pictures and instructions of the manual included in the pattern envelope and managed to pull it off without the use of my seam ripper.

This was a fantastic make for me, I really put myself out there and learned a lot in the process. I haven’t done anything like this before, pattern or fabric wise, and I really love the result.

I’ve used my new dress a lot already. As you can see in my pictures, I've tried styling it in different ways. I can truly recommend this fabric, it has fantastic qualities and just LOOK at it! :) 

I would recommend that you have some experience in dressmaking before making this combo of fabric/pattern, but I think the drapey fabric really features the front of the dress nicely.

Thank you for reading!

Malin from ByGousheh

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The Seamwork Magazine Amber Sundress

Hi everyone,Soraya here and I'm back on the blog again. This will be my 3rd post and I'll be making, you guessed it  ANOTHER dress!

The pattern I will be using this time will be the Seamwork Magazine Amber Sundress.

I will also be using a free A-line skirt variation. I will also be doing a few hacks on the pattern.

Seamwork is an independent digital sewing magazine.

The magazine is free, but if you choose to subscribe you pay a monthly fee, and this gives you credits. 

Using the credits you can purchase digital PDF patterns from Seamwork and Colette libraries. 

They have hundreds of patterns available and many different free variations you can make. 

2 Seamwork patterns come out per month with the magazine and they show you samples, ideas and inspiration in their issue. 

Their patterns are also really inclusive, in sizes 0-26 which is fabulous. 

The fabric I chose to use to make the dress is this beautiful red and daisy print Crepe Fabric.

I had to line the fabric with a white cotton lawn as it is a bit to sheer to be used alone. I chose white instead of red, so that it wouldn't compromise the bright white of the flowers.

As I said earlier, I am using the Seamwork Amber Dress with a few hacks/modifications. The main thing was, I hacked the neckline to make it a sweetheart style. 

I just prefer this type of neckline to the original which was straight across and boxier. I have included below steps of how to do my neckline hack. This is what the original dress looked like.

The bodice sewed up nicely and the sweetheart neckline looks super cute. 

The wide straps hide your bra straps nicely. And the fabric looks absolutely GORGEOUS!

The only problem I had with the bodice construction was that I should have done a full bust adjustment (FBA), because the bodice initially was a little too small for my bust :( 

I have a large chest and often have to do this type of modification to patterns.

This is where I got creative and added a shirred back panel to make sure it would fit and wouldn't look too odd and "mish mash" by adding extra panels in.

By adding the elasticated shirred panel, it allows the woven fabric to stretch it's amazing!And really comfortable!

Also because of this shirred panel, I didn't have to add any closures like a zipper.This also makes it easier to take on and off, as I'm not sure about you but zipping yourself up can sometimes be a challenge.

I made this panel by measuring the gap, which was about 2". 

I doubled the measurement and added seam allowance so ended up with a width of around 5.5 to 6". 

The length was the same length as the bodice plus seam allowance. 

I then zig-zag stitched over shirring elastic 2" down from the fabric edge. 

And then in 3/4" away rows across the whole length of the fabric. 

Now it fits fabulously!

To hack/modify the neckline you will only need a few tools and to follow some easy steps. 

Materials

-Ruler/French Curve

-Paper

-Pens/Pencils

-Scissors

1) Cut out the bodice as normal and trace it onto another piece of paper (I like the IKEA MALA paper as it is cheap and durable).

2) Locate the notch for the strap and using your french curve, draw a curved line from the notch to the centre front. I chose to do a light curve so it wouldn't be too pronounced and more of a soft sweetheart shape. You can make the curve more steep for a more dramatic affect. Or even do this with a straight line to do a V neckline hack. That's the great thing about sewing being your super power you can make it how you like!

3) Cut out the new pattern piece.

4) Trace the facing piece out onto a piece of paper.

5) Put the bodice front over the facing piece and trace the same curve onto the new facing piece.

6) You're now done and can cut out your bodice and facing pieces.

Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed!

Don’t forget #youcanhackit

Feel free to follow along with my sewing adventures on Instagram @sewnbysoraya

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The Mortmain Dress

Hi everyone. Becky here from Notes from the Sewing Room. This month I was excited to be asked to review an animal print Stretch Cotton Fabric from Minerva.

This print is a bit out of my normal comfort zone, so I thought it would be great to try out.

I used the grey version of the fabric to make my project, although you could always choose the taupe colourway instead if that worked better for you.

Although the description says this is the grey version, the fabric actually includes a few different colours including grey, black, white and orange making it interesting to look at and fun to wear.

What did I make?

One of my favourite ever patterns is the Mortmain Dress by Gather Patterns so I decided to base my project on this, adding in a few little changes to create a different finish.

The dress is designed to have a semi-fitted bodice, waistband and box pleated skirt. However, as I have made this dress a few times before I fancied making a few alterations.

Firstly, I lengthened the bodice by 1.5cm as well as extending the waist darts slightly on the front and back. I then lowered the neckline by drawing a curve on my front bodice pattern piece freehand – before cutting this out.

I decided to fully line the bodice, this is not a feature of the original pattern but I thought it would look nice. The original pattern includes a simple facing for the bodice instead.

For this version, I removed the waistband and rather than creating box pleats for the skirt I gathered this instead. I also lengthened the skirt by 1.5cm as well.

The pattern is supposed to include a 1.5cm seam allowance but I wanted my dress to be loose so I can either wear it with a jumper under in winter or allow me to breath easily in summer-time so I reduced the seam allowance to 1cm throughout.

If I’m honest, next time I’d probably stick with the original seam allowance as my final project is a little bit too big but I still like it.

The Fabric

The fabric has a nice amount of stretch in my opinion, not too much and not too little. It was easy to sew as it didn’t move around too much and will be comfortable to wear as the material has a bit of ‘give’ in it.

Stretch cotton is one of my favourite fabrics to work with as it looks smart and often has a slight shine on the surface of the fabric making it look a bit more special.

This is not a run-of-the-mill animal print fabric as it looks like the pattern has been painted on the fabric, a detail I really like.

The fabric is 97% cotton and 3% elastane, its medium in weight and is 56 inches wide making it suitable for lots of different tops, trousers or dress projects (it could make some fabulous fitted trousers or a pencil skirt).

I found the fabric washed well and ironed perfectly, so it would be well-suited to a project involving pleats, or like my dress, gathers.

Would I recommend it?

Yes, I would recommend this fabric. It’s fun, has a lovely print and you could use it for lots of different sewing or craft projects.

I’m happy with my dress and I am looking forward to wearing it out and about soon. I don’t really believe in keeping my clothes ‘for best’ as I rarely go anywhere that requires me to dress up so I’m planning to wear my new outfit in to the office or out for lunch instead.

Keep up-to-date with my projects

You can see my latest makes on my new You Tube channel, my blog or on Instagram.

Hope you enjoyed my review. 

Until next time, happy sewing.

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