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Archives: May 2020


Free Face Mask PDF Pattern

McCall's Patterns have very kindly created a free face mask pattern for us to share.
Download your free PDF pattern here.
They are recommending tightly woven cotton fabrics, our suggestion would be cotton poplin which you can find here.
You will also need some 3mm-6mm wide elastic which you can find here.

A Floral Mix-It Up Dress

Hello there, I’m Elsa from La Casa Cactus. I’m a French seamstress and I’m delighted to be here to show you this month’s make.

I had never worked with scuba. I never felt it too. So, when I saw that I could have some to try, I didn’t hesitate.

I chose to sew some floral fabric because finding florals that do not look like you raided your Grand-Ma’s closet is tricky (at least, in France). These flowers transcended the beauty of the fabric. I had other plans for this fabric, but once in hand, I knew what it would become…. I do love a nice dress: it is versatile, it is pretty, and it’s also extremely flattering on everybody.

That floral scuba was meant to become a dress. 

My favorite knit pattern for a dress is the Mix It Up by George+Ginger. It offers a heap of options and I just want to sew them all.

The size range is great because even my 14-year-old can have her own Mix It Up (MIU in short). I decided to blend a size 12 bust to a size 14 waist and hip and because it’s not spring yet, I chose the long sleeve option. My torso being rather short, I shortened the bodice 1” to have the seam between the bodice and the skirt hit right at my natural waist.

The front neckline is the “leaf” whereas the back is the “horseshoe”. I love how the leaf shapes the bust. Due to the firm stretch in scuba, the leaf neckline also has a push-up effect I haven’t envisioned!

The bodice is also fully lined with scuba. You are advised to understitch the lining so it won’t show afterwards. It is much cleaner on the outside than topstitching in my opinion, especially on scuba.

I love wearing colorful homemade bras, but I hate the straps showing. I added some bra strap holders at the shoulder seams. You just have to have a pair of snaps, some thread and a needle. It’s easy and quick. Very rewarding and no bra straps showing, even on low neckline!

I chose to sew a long sleeve dress because I don’t have any. And look at how it is under a coat: just the perfect length to be warm and pretty.

Hemming half circle skirts can be a bit tricky. My advice is to serge the edge first and then slightly gather it. You will get a nice round hem once folded and pressed. Or you can also use some water-soluble double-sided tape, my go-to for recalcitrant hem (and zipper tape, and buttons, etc).

Speaking of pressing, scuba is a temperature-sensitive fabric, you may want to use a pressing cloth to prevent it from melting. You can also steam it, and put a clapper on your neckline. Sharp and nice, even on stretchy fabrics and you will get no marking on it.

I may have silver hair, but I do love a good twirl factor!

Scuba is a knit fabric. It has a beautiful drape, is rather stretchy and it’s a pleasure to sew with. I used both my sewing machine and my serger. My Janome serger settings were typical, just a bit lower on the differential to account for the stretch in the fabric. I used my walking foot on my sewing machine, paired with a 75 stretch needle. My sewing machine is a little old lady and when it comes to new fabrics, she is a bit temperamental, but I was glad she worked with scuba flawlessly!

Sewing that Minerva scuba fabric was great. I had the wrong impression that this fabric was rather thick and a bit stiff, but not all. It’s drapey and it has a really nice shine on it. I now want to sew flowy floral cardigans or flare pants for spring. Totally manageable, isn’it?

Just feeling cute in my dress!

Thanks for reading,

Elsa @