Archives: June 2019
Hi, my make for this month was a straight choice this time.
The fabric was so lovely when it arrived and I was keen to start sewing but had to wait for the pattern to arrive as it had been delayed.The fabric was easy to handle and cut out, I checked my measurements and sorted my size. I made the high low version with simple collar and placket opening.I cut the placket on the wrong side as I forgot to mark the fabric, soon sorted.The back of the shirt yoke I decided to go against the grain so stripes traveled shoulder to shoulder and the pocket I felt this way looked better. Next make I will do the same for collar if using a stripe again.The front placket was fiddly but I got there in the end. I haven’t made a shirt for a good few years.The shirting fabric handled lovely. It's quite a loose weave and the silver threads sparkle. I chose silver buttons from my stash and I thought they were worthy for this project. The fabric worked well when constructing the yoke with the burrito method.
I chose a sateen bias binding for the bottom edge and it went on like a dream, I feel this Kalle shirt will get worn loads and I think it will come on my planned travels with me later in the year.
Give this lovely fabric a try and the Kalle pattern, I would recommend to you.A fantastic make ready for the next one :)Happy sewing,Helen @vintageshabbyoneofakind
If you can’t be eccentric with fabrics, when can you be? I can’t recall ever owning a garment with such a print. Why? Honestly, I’m not entirely convinced as to why. I can only imagine the hesitation derives from the fact it’d make me stand out. A situation I’m not always comfortable in. This is why I love having the opportunity to work with all types of new fabric prints and fibres. Minerva have given my confidence a shove in the right direction. Thank you, Minerva for always inspiring me with your awesome threads. I know animal print is very popular once again this season and with summer on my mind, I figured now was the time to go “wild” and add to my summer wardrobe.
Fabric: Lady McElroy Stretch Viscose Crepe (animal print)
Composition: 98% Viscose / 2% Spandex
First up, this fabric is stunning. The feel and drape is so beautiful, the quality took me quite by surprise. I pre-washed the fabric just to be sure and admired it as it hung out to dry.
With summer around the corner I wanted to sew some easy-wear yet still eye-catching pieces that I could pack for our hols. Packing for a family can be daunting, especially trying to keep within baggage allowances. So it was clear, I needed to sew up garments that would offer versatility to create different looks. Separates? Yes, separates!
With 3 metres to work with I wanted to make the most of this gorgeous print. I decided on:
Peach Patterns: Avalon Shorts
Republique de Chiffon: Top Camille
Peach Patterns: Mama Leilani dress
I love the style of the ‘Avalon shorts’ and they were a straight forward sew. They have cute pockets which is all kinds of awesome. The elasticated fit at the waist makes for easy fitting. I opted for the regular hem but there is also an option for a curved hem which I’d like to try in the future.
The ‘Camille’ is an elegant top that suits many body shapes. As the hem is loose, it sits nicely, tucked into my ‘Avalon’ shorts to portray a romper look. I think it has great appeal and would look just as good if not more so, worn with jeans; tucked in or left out.
There was no getting away with it, I had to make a dress as well and I envisioned this exact style in my head. I felt a feminine silhouette with the animal print would mellow the look and be more captivating. I loved this pattern and in hindsight would have used the same pattern to create my top as well as they are of a very similar style. I sewed the tie strap version but the pattern offers adjustable strap/regular options as well as varying lengths and additional ruffle options. I recommend the pattern so much! I will be sewing so many more of these.
When I bought the ‘Top Camille’ pdf, I did not realise the pattern instructions were in French only. Hands up, my mistake! I figured the visuals would suffice but as I got past the gathering stage, things started to get hazy. Google translate left me pretty drained so I emailed the pattern company but unfortunately, they never replied. In the end I seemed to figure it out for myself.
In case you are having problems from step 12, here’s what you do (I think):
12: Understitch your seam allowance to the main bodice.
!!!This is where I think many people have gone wrong and sewn a casing when in actual fact…
13: Sew your elastic together into a circle. Mark into 4 equal sections, front back and 2 side seams. Fold the flounce up, out of the way! Do not stitch this! Pin the elastic to the seam allowance under the flounce, stitching through the elastic, seam allowance and main bodice at the same time. This way the top gathers to fit the body and the flounce is free to drape over the gathered bodice.
14: Iron and iron well! At first it looked like I had done something terribly wrong as the elastic just didn’t sit right. But the instruction said to iron the ‘pleats well’ and that did help.
I’m not guaranteeing that this is accurate (to the original instructions) in any way as I just don’t know but I’m sharing my outcome in hope it will help others.
I love a romper but they can be inconvenient at times. So creating a pair of shorts and a top from the same fabric is the next best thing. Bonus: You can pair the individual elements with many other garments for a multitude of looks.
I’m so happy with these makes and I shan’t be shying away in them, that’s for sure. I think I used the best patterns I could to make the fabric and the print work for me and my style. That’s what makes sewing so fantastic! I’d love to see how others interpret this fabric into their wardrobe.
Hi Minerva, It's Aida, coming to you from Athens and this time I have to show you the simplest make I've ever sewn but that I have been wearing a lot none the less.
To start with, I was very happy to receive this Jersey Fabric from Minerva, It's a beautiful peacock feather print in the blue color way, a really lovely quality viscose and lycra blend jersey. Because I don't have a serger I don't sew often jersey fabrics, it is true that seams on jersey fabrics don't really need any finishing because the fabric doesn't fray but it does look more homemade when sewn without a serger so that's one of the reasons that I avoid stretchy fabrics in general. The other reason is that I don't have many patterns that require stretchy fabrics. Anyway, as the last months, I've been all about increasing the number of blouses in my wardrobe and when I saw this print here on Minerva I just wanted to have it and make some sort of top with it.
The pattern I decided to make is a Burda Style Magazine pattern, it's nr. 116 from the issue 10/2018. A really simple blouse with long sleeves and an interesting wrap turtle neck detail. I bought this magazine when I traveled to Germany last year so the magazine was in German and my German skills are minimal so the only problem was that I could not use the instruction. The construction of this blouse though is pretty easy apart from the detail on the neckline, I changed a few things like cutting the back piece on the fold and removing the seam, it looked meaningless to me to have a back seam especially when it had no shaping at all. As always I used a straight stitch for the vertical seams, I do this in all loose fitting patterns since the vertical seams don't get any stretch in loose-fitting garments. For all the other seams, like the armhole, shoulder seams and neckline and hems I used an elastic stitch.
Now about the wrap feature on the neckline, there are two pattern pieces to make it but as the instructions were in german I just could not understand how to assemble it, I used google translate but the result just didn't make sense and after trying to figure it out on my own with no success I gave up and just didn't make the wrap neckline, instead I just made a gathering stitch in the middle of one of the pattern pieces and attached only that one in the neckline.
I usually prefer to make garments that have interesting details but I find that there is space in my wardrobe for simpliest garments as well and the truth is that I wear this little blouse a lot so simple garments are good as well and I might make a couple more in the future.
Aida @ Ida Ada Sewing
This month I’m celebrating all things neutral. Camel, Latte, Beige, Sand, Tan, Taupe whatever you want to call it. Basics are easily over looked by dress makers but I want to celebrate simple, sews that can be worn time and time again. Considering the amount of time and effort that goes into making a garment from scratch, deciding on the pattern and choosing the fabric, thats before we’ve even got to construction, I want to shout out to simple fabrics, made well, built to last, that will be worn time and time again.
For my project I used this Portuguese Linen and Viscose Blend Textured Suiting Fabric. It has a medium weight and has a really interesting texture. When I’m looking at fabric, I always start by looking at the content, I love the drape of viscose and the crinkled, permeable signature properties of linen. It irons well and lasts a lifetime.
I was looking for a neutral coloured camisole top to replace a worn out one in my wardrobe, so when I saw this fabric I knew it would be perfect for (yet another) Ogden Cami.
But the weight of this fabric would make great paper bag waist trousers, like the McCalls 7661 or a button down skirt like this Simplicity 8019 or even a trench coat like the Deer and Doe Luzerne Trench.
The Ogden Cami construction is straight forward, I used french seams, to make the insides just as beautiful as the outside. The neckline at the back is deeper than the front, which is a great style feature. For the fit I lengthened the facing by 3 inches but I constructed the pattern as per instructions. You can use a different of colour for the facing and it can be a great way to use left over fabrics.
I dare anyone to try the Ogden Cami because it will become a tried and tested pattern. The quality of this fabric takes a simple top into something to wear time and time again. Viscose and Linen are such beautiful fabrics and blended together this fabric has a great quality. If you’re a confident sewer you could make this in an hour and a half, including cutting out. The only problem with this pattern is that you won’t know when to stop and your wardrobe will be full of Ogdens.
Hi there! This is my first blog for Minerva and I have been very excited to share this with you.
First I will tell you a little about me. I am a 27 year old Wife and Mummy who was most certainly born in the wrong era! I have been sewing since 2013 and over the last 18 months I have found my sewing skills have improved ten fold; Seriously those of you who are doubting yourself and your skills, stop it and enjoy the process, after all practice makes perfect and even the most experienced "sewists" screw up and make mistakes but keep persevering and I can almost guarantee you will turn out something you are proud of!
Soo, you know how I mentioned above that I was born in the wrong era? Well that is correct *mostly* my usual go to is a vintage pattern or reproduction vintage pattern however sometimes I rather enjoy dressing modern. This particular fabric was initially earmarked to be made into a 1950's dress from an original vintage pattern - however when I received this glorious Viscose Fabric I realised it was far too soft and drapey for a 1950's dress, generally they are a lot more structured and fitted and this fabric wouldn't of worked very well for that. This meant I had to think what would be great for this fabric, I didn't want anything too fitted or structured as it just wouldn't have done the fabric justice. After a few days of mulling over my decision whilst finishing my mums wedding dress, mums fiancé's and husbands shirt off for their imminent wedding it came to me! I went down to my sewing room and dug out my New Look 6229 Pattern, an extremely simple 2 hour (according to the front of the pattern) dress, very little structure other than a couple of bust darts.
A few days later I had finished all the wedding outfits so I could finally start on my new dress! I decided I wanted this to be maxi length, I am 5ft 10 so pretty tall and added an extra 6 inches at the bottom of the dress as the dress was supposed to be just below midi length. The patter is just 3 main pattern pieces and then two facings that fit round the neckline and armholes so no need for any additional bias binding. The dress came together very quickly, only a few evenings and it was done.
The cutting process was fairly difficult as the fabric didn't exactly want to stay still! I used lots of pins and carefully cut out my pattern, I transferred all my pattern markings the old fashioned way by doing tailors tacks. I have always found it easier to use tailors tacks rather than erasable pens or tailors chalk on more delicate fabric and especially with lots of patterning on it. The sewing process of this dress was really easy and handled well under the sewing machine, I used a standard size 70 Schmetz universal needle, it did have a tendency to move a little when I was sewing it however it was not slippery you just had to either take a little extra time and care or preferably it is good to tack before sewing, I didn't but instead I ironed my seams into place and then sewed them under the machine
I used french seams and double fold hems in order to hide all raw edges, even though I have an overlocker I do enjoy taking a little more care of the seams, all my vintage makes have had bias bound seams (useful tip, I have always bought large rolls of bias binding from Minerva Crafts as they are good quality and brilliantly priced). When it came to hemming the dress I let it hang for 48 hours. It is always advisable to let any make hang for at least 24 hours so that it can settle, you don't want to hem a make to soon and it be all wonky after it has been hanging in your wardrobe. I let this particular dress hang for 48 hours because there is a lot of drape in this fabric and I wanted to be sure it would be even when I came to hem it.
The day I did my photos for the dress I wore it all day, it was incredibly comfortable to wear, perfect for a lovely warm spring day. The fabric is very breathable and is warm enough and cool enough at the same time. I took my daughter out for a walk to a local park and it was sunny and cloudy as well as windy and the dress was great, a little cardigan on top kept me a little warmer and the breeze was fabulous! Because this fabric has lots of lovely colours in it. it works with many different accessories, in the photo's I teamed it with pink accessories but once I had done them I switched to white accessories (mainly because those are the only pink shoes I own and needed comfortable shoes for the rest of the day) and both looked perfect with it, it also looks lovely with nude accessories.
Thanks for reading! I hope this has been informative for you and inspired you!
You can find me on Instagram at @hazel_boot
That is all for now folks and I hope to share with you again soon!
Posted in Projects on Saturday the 29th June 2019 by Vicki Ormerod
Happy summer-sun-dress-time everyone. As I am writing this I am having high hopes for the future warmer months to come so I can wear this creation I have just finished.
This month I got to work with a beautiful border print poplin Fabric by Timeless Treasures.
So when this beautiful fabric became available I jumped at the chance. I love the vibrant colours and the scale of the flowers. There are a lot of stunning border prints currently available in the Minerva shop, which makes it is hard to choose one but I think this one is just to die for. I have worked with Timeless Treasures cottons before and know they are great to work with. The colours are amazing and they stay that beautiful wash after wash. Such amazing quality.
I have been wanting to make a border print summer dress for quite some time now. I have seen many vintage and vintage inspired versions and love how border prints lend themselves to full skirt dresses that really show of the material.
Since Gertie is the queen of border print dresses herself I knew I can’t go wrong with one of her designs. Check out some of her patterns for inspiration:
I ended up picking a different one to the above. I went with Butterick 6413, a pattern I have been eyeing up for a while. I love the keyhole feature and neckline of the bodice. I don’t really have anything like it in my wardrobe. The pattern comes with a pencil skirt so I decided to only use the bodice and add my own full gathered skirt to it.
I also altered the bodice to a tie front instead of the faux knot. I have made the faux knot to test the pattern before I made this version and really like it. However I didn’t want the exact same design again. I enjoy making the most of my pattern stash and change little details to create a different look from the same pattern.
I liked the idea of a bow detail and functioning tie. To create that look I extended the front bodice pieces as shown in the picture below to create a tie for each side. The assembly of the dress after that isn’t too different from the original pattern. Instead of attaching the bodice front and cinching it in with the loop to create the faux knot, you stitch around the extended ties and turn them. Then you attach the bodice pieces into the waist band as you would with the original bodice as per instructions. An easy pattern hack to change the look of this dress and making it even more my own.
I love how the finished garment turned out. It’s quite a striking dress that would be suitable for many occasions. The bodice is pretty dramatic with the off the shoulder sleeves and front tie combined with the very full skirt. I love how well it shows off the amazing print. I tried to lay out my pattern pieces in a way that the flower print gets more and more dense bodice to hem and I think I managed that well.
To make good use of the print I laid out my pattern against the grain and used the heavy floral selvage for the skirt. I literally just measured the length I wanted from the selvage up and cut along all 2.5 m of fabric and pleated that into the waistband of the bodice. You couldn’t “draft” an easier skirt.
I feel like this needs a huge petticoat underneath or I need to spin nonstop to show off the print and fullness of this skirt at all times.
Massive hair flowers are optional but highly recommended ;-)
Thank you, I hope this inspired you to make your own border print beauty of a dress.
For more (mostly) vintage inspired sewing find me on Instagram @beatricewinter
Posted in Projects on Saturday the 29th June 2019 by Vicki Ormerod
There aren’t many Sew Over It patterns which exist but aren’t in my pattern stash and there aren’t many Sew Over It patterns in my stash which I haven’t already made at least once (or in the case of the Sew Over It Heather dress nine times!). I bought the Sew Over It Work to Weekend eBook as soon as it came out and the Camille jumpsuit sat at the top of my to sew list for a few months before the right fabric came along.
This black Italian Cupro Satin Crepe Fabric seemed like a good option for a first sew of the pattern. This fabric has a slight sheen to it (which is more noticeable on one side - but in black it was pretty hard to see sometimes and I’m sure there is one pattern piece which is the “wrong” right side but I don’t think it’s too noticeable to anyone else apart from me).
When the fabric arrived, I thought it was a very fluid fabric and would be super shifty to sew with, however it didn’t shift around much at all and was very stable for the actual sewing which meant that it came together pretty well.
The pattern comes with flutter sleeves or the longer tailored sleeve which I went for. Plus it has a mock wrap top with shaping coming from the pleats in the bodice which come from the waist. This I think was the hardest part of the sew. It took a lot of puzzling over the instructions, several goes and pinning it all correctly and in the end I just went with what looked right and hoped for the best. I’m not sure I have been entirely successful, however I’ve given it my best go. The bodice does gape a bit, which I am 100% sure is down to getting the pleats wrong but it’s nothing that a safety pin won’t sort out. I’ve never yet come across a wrap dress or top, whether me made or RTW which doesn’t need a safety pin to stop me from flashing everyone but it doesn’t annoy me enough to alter the pattern (call me a lazy sewist if you like!).
The trousers are by far my favourite bit of this pattern, they are super high waisted (to the point of perhaps being a bit short in the seat and having a minor case of “hungry bum”) and because they are so high-waisted they are super flattering and make me feel about 10ft tall! They have a wide leg without being palazzo pant wide and feel the right side of the sophisticated/clown trouser line.
I really like the finished look of this jumpsuit and the sewing provided me with a few new to me techniques which made it feel like a real accomplishment. There are definitely a few areas where I would alter the pattern for future versions but this black jumpsuit has certainly become a fave wardrobe staple already!
With my latest posts for Minerva, you’d be forgiven for thinking I’m becoming a selfless sewist! I’m really not (honest!), but when I saw this Aztec Jersey Fabric I knew I had to make something for my sister-in-law Gemma (aka my personal photographer). She adores Aztec prints and loves nothing more than a maxi dress. I’ve been wanting to try Butterick 6051 for a while, so this seemed like the perfect opportunity.
We decided on view C, as Gemma prefers a full maxi rather than a dipped hem, sleeves, and a wrap neckline flatters her much more than a simple circle. I ummed and ahhed for a long time about whether or not and what to pattern match. With this kind of print some matching would be necessary to avoid offending, well, all of our eyes. But the level of gathering would mean direct matches would be nearly impossible (and in my opinion, utterly pointless). So I went to my trusty cheat of lining up the pattern instead of matching. The was particularly important for the bodice, waistband and skirt to make sure the pattern looks like it runs continuously down the dress. I also decided to line up the wrap bodice pieces and I have to say I’m pretty happy with the result.
I sew with a fair amount of knit fabrics and this was lovely to sew with. Didn’t want to stretch too much as I sewed and makes really nice hems and seams. (For reference, I used a 7/10 ballpoint needle, zig zag stitch and overlocker all my seams for a professional finish.)
The pattern was quicker and easier than I expected - it involves a lot of gathering for sure but isn’t very challenging other than that. View D even has a grown on sleeve, which takes even more complexity out of it :) It took me about 4 hours to sew in the end, which isn’t bad for a lovely summer dress. I’ll definitely be making one for myself soon!
I don’t make a lot of Butterick patterns, and my only criticism is that the instructions for making the elastic casing were unclear. The images were very unhelpful and I had several brain freezes whilst trying to figure out how the hell to make it. In short, you stitch the front on the casing and the back of the casing separately and differently. The front casing is inside the seam allowance (so not visible) and the back casing is made from the seam allowance sewed onto the waistband. There was a lot of huffing and puffing from me as I figured it out (and threaded the elastic, which given the move from one type of casing to another wasn’t fun!) but I have to say it looks good. Damn it.
When fitting it to Gemma we set the dress at an empire line to accommodate her ‘ample bosom’ and because it’s a shape that suits her better. Gemma and I have almost opposite issues with fit - I need a high waistline, she needs an empire. She is on the verge of a Full Bust Adjustment, and I’m on the verge of a Small one. BUT the beauty of making your own clothes is that you can fit them to your body. When I make my version, I’ll drop the waist slightly to sit perfectly for my shape. And this will be one of those rare occasions where we’ll actually be able to wear the same dress. Don’t you just love making your own clothes?
Thanks for reading,
Kelly-Louise @ sewandstylelou
Posted in Projects on Friday the 28th June 2019 by Vicki Ormerod
Before I say anything, can I just say look at the depth of this colour! The quality of this Robert Kaufman Brussels Washer Linen Fabric is amazing, it’s 55% Linen/45% Rayon mix, I love a linen mix because you get the properties of both fabrics so while it feels like 100% linen, the rayon also gives it great drape and fewer wrinkles. If this isn’t your kind of colour it comes in a huge range with everything from muted neutrals to vivid shades like this one.
I wanted to make a dress that would be great in hot weather, the last thing I want to do when it’s warm is to wear something figure hugging so I chose the Sydney designer dress from Style Arc as it’s super loose. This fabric is perfect for keeping the architectural cocoon shape as well as being wonderfully cool in the heat.
I always pre-wash my fabric and as linen ravels I overlocked all my pattern pieces before sewing with the exception of hems. Maybe it’s me, but I find my seams look neater if I overlock first and although nobody sees inside the garment, it give me pleasure to see everything looking neat.
Style Arc sewing patterns come with very sparse instructions so beginners tend to shy away from them but this one is good for someone who’s got a few projects under their belt. It has no zip or button fastenings and a facing for the neck line so wouldn’t be too tricky.
The most important piece of advice I would give anyone making the Sydney dress is to mark up your fabric pieces. A lot of them look very similar as do the top and bottom and this fabric doesn’t have an obvious ‘right side’, an arrow and a note of which piece it is, is essential. I used a sliver of soap as I know for sure it will wash out and works well on dark fabrics but there are lots of fabric marking options.
My second piece of advice would be to try on the bodice before you construct the skirt section, did I do that? No, I sewed the whole thing up and then tried it on and of course it was a bit too roomy and shapeless.
I pinned the bodice and realised that I could comfortably reduce each side seam by 5cm ie. 2.5cm on each side of each seam. The side seams include the internal pockets which would be a total faff to unpick – so I cheated, I left them unchanged, and only adjusted the centre seams. In this case I reduced each side of the seams by 1.25cm, I find using washy tape on the seam guide of my sewing machine works really well if you have a non-standard seam allowance. I just stitched the seams without unpicking and then overlocked the two seams together, pressing them to the side. I don’t think it matters that the side seams are pressed open and the middle ones aren’t – I call it a design feature.
I’m really happy with the final result, it’s an absolute dream to wear, my 17 year old daughter is already trying to steal it from me. The great thing about this dress is that it could totally be made for the winter in a wool or even a Ponte Roma. I know for sure that I’ll be digging this dress out every summer and wafting around and I’m looking forward to seeing how it ages, as linen only gets better with time. Thank you Minerva this is a beautiful fabric.
Alex @ Alex Judge Sews