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Archives: July 2016

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Fabric Friday - Pretty Fabrics for Girls Dresses!

As summer is still with us (hope I haven't spoke too soon) I thought I would make some suggestions for children's dresses. New Look 6205 is a very girly girl pattern and would look beautiful for any summer parties. Worn with a little cardigan I'm sure they could be worn well into Autumn.
This Dressmaking Fabric is jumping out at me for version D. This is described as Bright, Bold and Beautiful. My first photo for today shows this fabric at its best and like the pattern I have teamed it with a lilac Satin Ribbon (colour 1001 Lupin). This fabric comes in at £8.99 per mt  not too expensive when you consider how much something like this would cost in the shops.
The flower (centre front) is a purchased one but you could always make the bow as shown on version A.  Or have you ever thought of getting a flower maker? Here at Minerva we have a range of Flower Makers from Clover, take a look.
My next photo shows a fabric from Timeless Treasures. 
I am going up in price here,  £12.99 per mt, but I just couldn't resist showing this Quilting Fabric to you with the white Daisy Trimming. This is a beautiful quality cotton, intended for quilting, hence the price but hey I'm sure that little girl is worth it. 
Similar to this is our Spotty Micheal Millar Fabric in apple green!
OOPs I'm going up again £14.99 per mt but what I love about this particular fabric is the unusual colour range. As you can see from my photo this shows a paler green on a darker green. But hey it doesn't stop there - how about black spots on turquoise or orange on grey or white on a beautiful shade of brown or cerise on yellow. Need I go on, altogether there are 79 different colourways to choose from. In fact need I say more!! The ribbon is shade 79 Moss from our Satin Ribbon Range.
Following on from that is another little stunner. This Floral Cotton Poplin Fabric is sure to be a favourite.
Like the picture on the pattern this fabric has a little yellow in it so Ive teamed it with a yellow satin ribbon. This time the price is much more affordable for a little girl's dress at just £6.99 per mt.
Last but not least I am showing you a Heart Print Polycotton Fabric at just £2.99 per mt in Cerise Pink.
This beautiful fabric comes in 4 colours, the one I am showing you, also a paler pink background and a blue background both with white hearts and also red hearts on a white background. So very pretty. Remember we usually have the right fabric at the right price for whatever you need here at Minerva.
Thank you so much for reading,
Annette xx

Pattern of the Week - Zebras

Zebras! I set off this week simply wanting to promote Butterick Pattern 6294 as our #patternoftheweek offer. You will realise by the time you have read this (hopefully interesting) blog post that I have somewhat gone off on a tangent and why I've named this blog post Zebra's!
The Dressmaking Fabric that immediately comes to mind is from our cotton poplin range. Although there are 2 more fab colours, for the purpose of today I have chosen it in Black and White.
This is a 45" wide fabric and is priced at £6.99 per mt. Our website description is as follows - Our 100% Cotton Poplin Fabric is the highest quality. It has a beautiful smooth, soft finish and is very easy to sew. Because of its manufacturing process, it tends not to wrinkle easily, and is somewhat water and stain resistant. Although 100% cotton poplin is more expensive than a polycotton blend, (incidentally we have zebra Polycotton Fabric too) the expense is usually considered worth it, since poplin tends to wear well and is easy care. Our poplin is a medium weight, non-stretch and machine washable. It is an extremely versatile fabric and is used for anything from clothing (skirts, tops, dresses, shirts, shorts, pyjama's etc), to handbags, cushions and accessories to baby and childrens wear, banners, tablecloths, bedsheets, bedlinen, and is extremely popular for patchwork and quilting! So is there anything this fabric won't make I ask myself!! You can see from the following photo why I have chose this fabric. 
My next photo shows 3 fabrics, the first being a fabulous stretchy Satin Fabric in a zebra design. This is a very soft and floaty fabric with just a slight stretch and apart from the zebra design it comes in a tiger and a bengal tiger design. The other two fabrics are from our slinky Satin range of Fabrics which I have chose Black and Ivory. I see this made up in version C and D. 
This tunic pattern (I would call it a shirt myself) is loose fitting and as you can see the back hangs longer that the front. The collar is a 2 piece collar, which I love sewing, a concealed button band, a full yoke and a back pleat which is very forgiving especially when on the last stretch of your holiday! Tunic C like A and B is longer at the back, again I find this very flattering. I love how they have mixed and matched the fabrics. Although I love the zebra prints, I find I am drawn towards version A shown as a plain black back with a white front and white trousers (which don't forget you get these on this pattern too). 
My next photo shows the back pleat and the yoke section, easy so far!
Followed by a photo of the curved hem.
This can be a little tricky but by following the instructions, throwing in plenty of time and a heap of patience it shouldn't be too hard. Remember you can always square off these rounded corners so you still have the back longer than the front or even trim it off so you have no splits and just an easy hem round the bottom.
Just a quick photo of the concealed buttons.
I am not saying too much about this because there is a good half page of instructions for this fastening. If it is something you don't feel comfortable with, remember you could trim off the excess and make it with just an ordinary button and buttonhole fastening.
Now my favourite photo is of the 2 piece collar.
I get quite excited at the thought of constructing a 2 piece collar, just looking at my next photo I just want to get on with it. Using patience and time as your best 'tools' you will have a very professional looking collar. See next photo
Last but not least I would like to mention top C and the trousers. The top has bias binding round the neckline and after reading the instructions I find that this binding is made out of your own fabric.
Very easy to make as are the trousers with pockets and an elasticated waist.
Now you may well ask "what was Annette on about - going off on a tangent" at the start of this blog post!! Well here goes. I just typed Zebra into our Minerva website and found the most amazing collection of zebra 'things'. First up was this amazing Velboa Fabric
This comes in an amazing 14 animal prints, from Giraffe to Dalmation and from Tiger to Snow Leopard. Velboa is a polyester fabric at just £7.99 per mt, 60" wide and is described on our website as a low pile, faux fur fabric that is especially versatile for sewing and craft. It is often referred to as 'Velboa Skin' as it is a realistic looking animal skin fabric with a low nap. As it is durable, hard-wearing, non-stretch and machine washable, it is perfect for blankets, cushions, throws, pet products, baby clothes, costumes, fancy dress and stuffed animal toys. I also think what a fab jacket it would make!
Take a look at Simplicity Pattern 8034.
What grabbed my attention as much as anything was Zebra Buttons.
Just a thought, you could make the shirt from the above pattern, version A. The back in black, the fronts, sleeves and collar in white, use a little of the zebra fabric (left over from your full zebra shirt) for the yoke and finish off with these fantastic buttons down the front (not using the concealed method of course).
There are numerous Zebra Ribbons, now apart from the obvious, trimming cushions etc, these could be incorporated into this shirt. All made in black with the ribbon placed along the yoke line at the back and front shoulders and still use the dill buttons. I'm just thinking if you have a plain black shirt that has got a bit boring then trim it up with the ribbon and replace the buttons.
Last but not least if you are not into wearing Zebra's how about stitching one! Take a look at this RIOLIS counted cross stitch kit. The title of this is "Zebras in the Savannah". Quite. stunning
Sew on that note I will close for today!
Thanks for reading,
Annette xx

Fabric Friday - Jersey Fabrics for an Easy Peasy Pattern!

I am sat staring out at this lovely sunshine thinking "well make the most of it because it won't last". Sewing wise we think "do we make more summer clothes or do we start thinking winter?" " No no no" I hear you shout "let us just think summer going through to autumn!".
One of the fabrics I love at the moment is this abstract print Jersey Fabric. This is a fabulous light to medium weight blend of cotton and viscose jersey. It comes in 4 stunning colourways which are Navy, Lime, Jade and Cerise and is priced at just £5.99 per mt.
Now would you believe I just happen to have the most perfect pattern in mind that comes in 9 sizes from a size 8 through to 24W. Take a look at McCalls 7135 version B. 
This gives the impression of a wrapover dress but it is actually a mock wrapover. Both the dress and the jumpsuit have a blouson bodice and elasticated waistline so are very easy to put on over your head for the dress and to pull up over your body for the jumpsuit. Now for the sewing on this pattern we are talking easy peasy, let's make it this afternoon type of pattern. I honestly thought there would be more to this pattern (as in facings etc) but there just isn't. Take a look at my next photo.
This is the only sewing on the blouson top! 2 shoulder and side seams and a narrow hem down the fronts and back neckline. This is such a feature of clothes nowadays, very comfortable and flattering to wear, most of the time it is a case of the less sewing the better. This in sewists terms means we can make twice the amount of clothes in the same time! My next photo shows the armhole of the jumpsuit.
I have used this method many times, it is even easier than using bias binding. When finished this (approx) 1/4" binding matches the front edge (the hemmed edge I spoke of earlier).
From here on the skirt or trouser part is very straightforward. These type of pockets can be left out if required as it doesn't alter the shape of the front pieces. See the next 2 photos.
My next photo shows the casing for the elastic on the trousers, the same goes for the dress just ever so slightly trickier with the front wrap on the skirt as well as the top part, basically it just means lining them up and making sure they both get sewn in the seam.
Now back to fabrics (after all this is #FabricFriday) I must tell you about our Tie Dye Print Stretch Drapey Polyester/Lycra Jersey Fabric. My goodness that's a mouthful! But it describes it so well. Don't just take my word for it have a look at our video for this quite fab fabric. It has a fantastic slinky feel to it and drapes wonderfully. The tie dye effect is very subtle and yet comes in these very bright colours (if you tan easily take a look at the acid yellow) and wait for this - it is at an incredible price of just £3.99 per mt.
Now before I leave for today I must mention (yet again) our Revue luxury polyester and spandex Stretch Jersey Fabric at £7.99 per mt. Our website description of this fabric is "This luxury knitted fabric from the Revue collection is a gorgeous soft, drapey and very stretchy jersey fabric. It is a medium weight with a good amount of stretch in all directions and would be well suited to sewing patterns that require an all way stretch fabric. It has a very smooth and soft texture and is washable by either hand or machine. Ideal for making slinky tops, skirts and dresses. Styles with lots of drapes and folds would really show off this fabric to its full potential." This fabric would be ideal for version C shown under the floaty jacket that is version A. How stunning would that be for the Xmas party! 
And to top that have a peep at the video of this Striking Italian Patterned Knit Stretch Jersey in Black and White. 
This fabric is, as the title would suggest, from our beautiful Italian range. It is 60" wide and is made from 56% viscose and %44 linen. It is a little more expensive at £16.99 per mt but for me is worth every penny. The jacket takes between 1.5 and 1.8 mts depending on size so will not break the bank too much! 
I thought I'd end with a little saying I found recently that is so true and apply's to us all but could actually be written for us sewists...
"Every Accomplishment Starts with the Decision to Try."
Thanks for reading,
Annette xx

Pattern of the Week - Vintage Butterick 6363

Vintage is extremely popular at the moment. Furniture, cars in fact you name it, there will be some Vintage connection. So it's no surprise how big vintage is amongst us sewists. My #patternoftheweek is just such a pattern. It is Butterick 6363 and we are offering this pattern at half price this week.
This pattern is very 1940's and how smart it is too. Prior to the war, clothes were worn longer and then due to shortages, especially in fabric, dress lengths were shortened to knee length in order to save on costs. This came about with the start of the war, the utility scheme (which ran from 1941 to 1952) and a strict rationing on fabric. The invention of shoulder pads completely changed the overall shape, they extended beyond the natural shoulder line thus creating a more masculine look but for me this period of time just oozes femininity. Another little fact while I'm on a roll haha is - this is the period where 'suits' became very popular for women because they could mix and match and also one 'piece' may wear out before the other.
And so after my history lesson back to the pattern of the week! Although my favourite is version B, I can't help but really like version A. This dress would make up brilliantly in our Stretch Cotton Fabric and yes you've guessed we have it in white. I love how they have used red ric rac braid. Just to make sure about the origins of ric rac braid I googled it and found that it dates back to at least the 1860's and was known as waved braid. So I suppose this would have been a very reasonably priced braid to jazz up some otherwise dull fabrics. And so I have no hesitation in presenting my first photo today.
The fabric as I said is our white Plain Stretch Cotton Fabric. This is such a lovely wearable fabric, that little bit of stretch makes sewing it a dream but if you prefer to be very authentic then our Cotton Poplin Fabric would make up beautifully too. You will see on the photo that I have shown it with the red ric rac and some gorgeous buttons shaped like a flower, these are Dill Buttons and are very pretty indeed. You will see we have lots and lots of Ric Rac Braids here at Minerva, spotted, glitter, frilled, to name a few but the one I have used is this one. They have used a purchased belt but you could easily make the belt for version B just using red instead of black ribbon.
On to version B Just everything about this is very me. 
I love mono at the moment, more than anything I love the simplicity of it. The fabric I have chose reflects this in that it is a simple black and white Check Cotton Poplin Fabric and at £6.99 per mt is not expensive. I do tend to use a lot of our dill buttons and this blog post is no exception! These Gorgeous Buttons by Dill do look quite vintage in that they are a 4 hole button. Here is a close up...
They are a matt black button with a silver rim and each of the centre holes each have a silver rim. Check them out on our website, they come in 2 sizes and 10 colours all with silver rims. 
Now for the piping around the neck. You could go down the traditional route and cover your own piping cord. You would use our traditional cotton piping cord, this you would cover with fabric which has been cut on the bias. Or lets make things easier, how about cutting out the middle man (so to speak) and use our Ready Covered Piping in black. It is perfect for this dress, comes in 8 colours and is priced at just 79p per mt. 
What I love about this style is that, OK worn as it is shown here, yes it's very vintage. But take away the hat, add a broader belt or a chain belt, use a slouchy bag and finish the outfit off with some ballerina pumps and hey presto it doesn't look vintage anymore. Another feature about version B is the fastening. Version A has buttons all down the front so very easy on and off but version B only has 4 buttons down to the waist so with it being fitted at the waistline - how do you get this on and off? Well down the side seam a placket is sewn (similar to a shirt sleeve opening but closed at the top and bottom) and hooks and eyes or press studs are attached to this. Hopefully the following photo shows what I mean...
I think the shoulders are worth mentioning to you as well. A pleat or tuck is made along where a sleeve would fit into a dress normally. Then after the shoulder pad is sewn in, this pleat/tuck helps create the boxy look I spoke about earlier.
Last but not least I must mention the hats! I think you'll agree it is very unusual finding this on a pattern. Version A actually ties at the back, very unusual, but to be fair it won't need much fitting!! Version D really is just a rim with a big bow attached at the back. Neither are too hard to make. The band on the hat sews on to the brim, very similar to attaching the 'stand' (band) on to a mans shirt with collar. 
So what are you waiting for get this fabulous pattern at half price this week at Minerva!
Thankyou so much for taking the time to read my blog post today,
Annette xx

Fabric Friday - Fabrics for Learn to Sew Pattern 7405

Have you seen our range of Batik Fabrics? I know I'm biased but it really is a stunning collection. A particular favourite of mine is this one. There are 6 colours - 3 negative and 3 positive. I absolutely love the turquoise positive but I must admit the ruby positive looks perfect for my choice of pattern today.
Our website description of this fabulous fabric is "This beautiful bubble batik fabric is hand printed in India and features an unusual heart design. The process for creating 'Bubble Batik' fabric remains the same as Batik but in bubbled fabric, after wax printing the fabric is subjected to a crinkling process where the ground fabric is shrunk in both warp and weft direction by 25%, creating bubbles on the wax printed areas. Areas covered with wax remain the same whereas the base fabric shrinks by 25% creating a bubbled textured appearance. Due to the hand processes involved in creating this fabric, every metre is unique and irregularities in colour and print are all part of its naive charm! It is 100% cotton and a medium weight, perfect for making so many styles of clothing including dresses, tops, shirts, skirts and more. Or why not bring this fabric into your home by making cushions!"
This Sewing Pattern is hot off the press, so to speak, I just loved the simplicity of this pattern when looking through the new range. 
This pattern is from the McCalls learn to sew for fun range which are extremely popular at the moment mainly due to the popularity of the Great British Sewing Bee. Talking of which did you agree with Charlotte being the winner this year? My views are over on my Sewing Bee blog post. See if you agree or disagree!!
There are basically 4 dresses on this pattern all from the same basic design. These include a knee length, a midi length with a shaped hemline and 2 maxi dresses one of which has a drawstring waist. There are only 5 pieces to this pattern, one of which is a tie belt for version C, one of which is for the drawstring through the neck (for this you could use cord or our fantastic lycra cord) and one is just the elastic guide! So that leaves 2 pieces for the front and back of the dress. You either cut out or trace the hemline you want. 
THIS PATTERN IS SO EASY thought I'd just mention it again haha! My next photo shows how the neckline is sewn, easy peasy!
What can I say about my next fabric, the next photo shows a suitable fabric for version C.
This is a lovely Jersey Fabric and is only £5.99 per mt. It has a fantastic drape and handle.
Last but not least I have chosen this beautiful Cotton Poplin Fabric to show you today.
This is described as a Dotty print cotton poplin and if you look closely you will see it is just that, a design made up totally from dots! When you see this fabric in the flesh you will see how the white colour in the print really makes it pop. 
You will notice I've suggested both woven and jersey fabrics for this pattern. Well that is another plus about this pattern, you can use any fabric.
So I am now off to look through the rest of the New McCalls Pattern range, it's a hard life isn't it!!
Thanks for reading,
Annette xx
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Pattern of the Week - Butterick 6106

This pattern is BRILLIANT!! I absolutely love it. It has been around for a while and whilst there are lots of Denim Fabrics around that I could have used for this pattern, I've always felt I wanted something more. And now we have it and so my problem now is which two to choose!! This range of denims comes from Art Gallery Fabrics and is named 'The Denim Studio Collection'. My first photo today shows you two of these wonderful denim fabrics and I have chosen 5 random buttons for a look similar to the pattern.
The fabrics are called Casted Loops and Distressed Triangles. When you take a look at these fabrics on our website you will see there are 41 altogether in this range. Many with a blue base and all co-ordinating very nicely. I love on the pattern how they have chosen 5 random buttons so my choice is as follows, they are all Dill buttons and the numbers are 289035259035340830341034 and 350303. Another thought is to pick say 4 of the denims and have a brilliant time swapping the fabrics around all these little pieces till you're happy. The following photo shows the lineart of the pattern and you can see how many pieces there are and how they fit together.
The pattern is quite easy if you keep to following the instructions. As you can see from my next two photo's there is an orderly way of sewing all these pieces together just follow that order and you will not have a problem. 
All 3 versions on this pattern are very different even though the design is exactly the same. Much as I love the denims my eyes are constantly drawn to version B. The Fabric I have chosen is, in it's own way, quite similar to the one used on the pattern. When you look closely at the fabric there isn't actually any brown in it but this fabulous folded elastic/braid we now have in stock here at Minerva goes fantastic. Alongside this I have chosen these Dill Buttons and together they compliment this fabric enormously in a very subtle way.
I just had to try the black with the fabric and wow this makes it more striking, likewise I chose the same buttons but in black.
Last but not least I would like to mention another New Fabric which is described as "Distressed, Floral patterned, Faux Suede".
I can only add to this - it has to be one of the most beautiful fabrics I have ever seen and has the most luxurious velvety feel to it. As you can see from the pattern, version C, this jacket would look fab in an all over floral so hey what are you waiting for?!
I've just had a sad thought, we've no sewing bee tonight!!! Still onwards and upwards as they say and let us be our own sewing bees. And for those who don't think they can sew remember "Every accomplishment starts with the decision to try".
Thanks for reading. 
Annette xx

The Sewing Bee - Series 4, Episode 8

Congratulations Charlotte. Well done on winning The Great British Sewing Bee. So what did we think of the last episode?
First challenge was the evening shirt. Now although I have made a number of shirts over the years for my husband, I haven't actually made an evening shirt. (The only difference really being the pintucks down the fronts). Now, I have sewn pintucks before, actually on (what is becoming) our family heirloom christening dress. The latest wearer of this dress will be our latest addition to the family, Emily who is now 3 weeks old.  And so I do have experience of this 'make' in a round about way. When sewing pintucks I do find the lining-up to the previous pintuck quite easy in that the said pintuck runs through the foot grooves.
A little like using an invisible zipper foot. The most important thing is to line up and sew the first pintuck perfectly and then as Charlotte said that pintuck will 'sit' in one of the outside grooves (which one depends on how far you want them apart). I felt that all 3 finalists were being too cautious and therefore making it more difficult for themselves. A pattern that is similar is Burda 6931 (which is half price in our Burda pattern sale at the moment). This pattern refers to what look like pintucks as pleats. As with the sewing bee pattern it has a 2 piece collar and full placket cuffs. Another similar pattern is Vogue 8889 and you can read more about this sewing pattern on a previous blog post I wrote some time ago now. 
For me first place without doubt belonged to Joyce. Such a shame there was a hicup with the collar buttonhole. 
Talking of collars I have to say I agree with Charlotte in that if a pattern doesn't state a particular seam allowance then it is the norm to have a 1.5cm seam allowance. Claudia mentioned that the seam allowance for the collar was 1cm and that it was up to the sewists whether this applied to the collar stand or not. I have to say the pattern should have stated that the 1cm was for the stand as well. For me Charlotte did the right thing but unfortunately payed the price for this in that her collar was too small. So due to unfair instructions she came last. I'm sorry Charlotte but I must mention that Patrick said your pintucks were sewn beautifully neatly but I have to disagree. I thought they were quite wobbly. Take a look;
And so on to the middle section.
Charlotte deserved to win, for me it was the only one that could have ended up wearable! I still after 8 episodes don't see the point of this section, what is it that I'm missing?
I suppose the intention for the last section was to end on a high, I'm not sure that was achieved!
Joyce was making an evening dress for her Grand-daughter, now what, I ask, was wrong with her making something that suited her Grand-daughters age, I would have thought it was a little gothic but I stand corrected, I have been informed it is steampunk. Esme said it looked a bit costumy, (surely that's not a word Esme). I felt this was an unfair remark. She used Butterick Pattern 5969 and made it in identical colours.
The bodice was made in Velvet Fabric and for me this would be best made in our Cotton Velvet Fabric, very suited to the period of the dress. For the skirt Satin Dupion Fabric would be ideal in silver grey (and use the matte side). This fabric would prove weighty enough for the folds and tucks in the bustle to hang correctly. The trim was very similar to our guipure Lace Trimming too.
OK something went quite wrong with the fit of the skirt and I don't think the folds and tucks on the bustle were very even but the overall finished effect of this outfit for me was the best. Well done Joyce.
Charlottes fabric looked very similar to our Slinky Satin Fabric which comes in 24 beautiful colours. This for me is not an easy fabric to sew and plenty of time and patience is needed. With time and patience very slinky beautiful sewn garments will be achieved. Therefore I cannot think why Charlotte chose a fabric such as this when they are under so much pressure. I really felt for her! Her zip unfortunately was not very good, I think her main problem was the fabric seemed to have stretched quite a bit. So no amount of pressing would have sorted it out indeed it only made it look even worse.
Jade chose what looked like Satin Backed Crepe Fabric, easier to sew than slinky satin but still not the easiest under pressure. And what about those beads? This fabric was beautiful I have to say but these two fabrics together in the final to me was a no no in the time allowed. Now I have sewn beaded fabrics before but I have to hold my hand up and say I have never heard of hammering the beads. What if you hammer some you were not supposed to? Or am I completely missing something here?
Now many years ago I did my HND in business and finance. I got an A in Financial Accounting 4 x C's and 1 x D. Because I had 1 x D I missed out on getting a distinction (gutted is not the word). My friend got 1 x B and 5 x C's and because she got a B and didn't get any D's she DID get a distinction. Now when I apply that sort of ruling to last night's sewing bee Charlotte should not have won. She came bottom in round 1. Joyce (who has constantly been my favourite) also came bottom in the middle round so that ruled her out. So in my humble opinion (for what it's worth) I think Jade should have won. She came 2nd in the first 2 rounds and her dress was as good as if not slightly better than the other two in the final round. I do feel she would have done the Sewing Bee proud during the coming year and I feel she will without doubt go on to greater things. 
In my eyes all 3 finalists were winners don't you agree? So again Well Done Charlotte and I hope you enjoy being the reigning champ of our wonderful Great British Sewing Bee.
Thank you so much for reading my sewing bee blogs over the last 8 weeks, I have certainly loved giving you my views and receiving yours in return.
Annette xx

Pattern of the Week - Vogue 1344

I love the simple lines of our pattern of the week. Vogue 1344
Make this with Soft Flowing Fabrics and hey presto you have a beautiful summer day dress. This pattern is designed by Rebecca Taylor for Vogue Patterns. Rebecca on arriving in New York with just $600 to her name originally was hired by Cynthia Rowley who also happens to be a designer for Vogue/Butterick patterns. She provides sophisticated garments of fine fabrics and her work is described as feminine, modern, refined and cool and this certainly reflects in her sewing pattern designs. She originally came from New Zealand and some say she is influenced by her seaside upbringing. I must admit that's not hard to believe on looking at this pattern.
For the fabric there are so many to choose from, ideally something that is soft and flowing. My first choice of fabric is this beautiful linear floral soft Crepe Fabric.
This is described as a beautiful linear floral design which is a directional print. The pretty pattern features lots of tiny intricate details when you  look up close, it really is a fun and cheery design perfect for summer clothes. The fabric is a synthetic polyester which means this fabric will be very easy care with little or no pressing required. The dress is fully lined and for this I would use our Stretch Lining Fabric either in light or medium weight for two reasons. First it is a very soft lining so will not make the main dress 'stick out' and secondly if required you could 'take in' the side seams a little so that the lining fits tighter against the hips but the 'stretch' in the lining means you can still quite easily get the dress on and off. This only applies to the skirt lining not the bodice lining! 
My second choice is this beautiful flowery print Crepe Fabric. It comes in 3 different colours and the one I have chosen to some you below is the Purple & Blue colourway.
This has a small and quite busy floral pattern running through it and like the above fabric is very soft and drapey. Both the above fabrics are priced at £8.99 per mt and are 60" wide. A short time ago I made some elasticated waist trousers in this fabric in this colourway above. They hang and drape really well so I certainly can recommend this fabric for this pattern. Read more about my make here.
Back to the pattern!
Both the front and back are gathered at the shoulders and have cute little armbands cut on the bias sewn within the main fabric and the lining. 
Once the bodice lining is sewn together, the back neck and the front facings are attached to this lining. The main bodice and the lining are then sewn right sides together and as I said before the bias armbands are inserted and then the whole piece is turned right side out by pulling the bodice fronts through the shoulders. Hope this makes sense. I promise it is nowhere near as hard as it sounds.
The finished dress will have a lovely drape section down the front. See the following photo of the line art.
Just before I close for today I will mention that one of the suggested fabrics for the lining of this dress is chiffon. Personally I would stick to the stretch lining but you could certainly use Chiffon FabricVoile Fabric or Georgette Fabric for the main dress, now I was going to pick out for you a beautiful one but hey I can't choose. So click those links and have a browse, where we have spotty ones, striped ones, floral - you name it we most likely have it. 
Check out our clearance section for some fab bargains on drapey fabrics too!
Sew long for now and thanks for reading.
Annette xx

Fabric Friday - Fabrics for Simplicity 8055

Hello everyone,
This week I thought I'd just mention a great pattern that I noticed was being given away free with Sew magazine out this month (issue 87).
This will make a lovely day dress or equally a fab dress to hit the town. Now team this with the coat and you've got a great Mother of the Bride outfit. Or indeed team the dress with the shorter length jacket and you're all set for the office. The pattern is Simplicity 8055 and don't forget if you miss the magazine or indeed are reading this at a later date, you can always purchase it from us here at Minerva.
My first choice is certainly pretty enough for the bride or grooms mum. For the dress I have chosen this beautiful Cotton Lawn Fabric. On our website this cotton lawn is described as "A beautiful lightweight soft cotton fabric which has a gorgeous handle and will drape unlike many other cottons. It is perfect for making summer clothing such as tops, blouses, shirts, skirts and dresses. This unusual quirky design is really pretty and will add a a lovely touch to your next sewing project." 
The jacket or coat would make up really well in our pastel lilac Chambray Fabric. We have it described as "Fabulous quality 100% Cotton Chambray from the 'Summer' collection. Beautifully soft, cotton chambray is a wonderfully versatile fabric for tops, shirts, shorts, skirts, dresses and more!" The lilac chambray is a little lighter than the lilac in the floral cotton lawn but somehow they just looks perfect together. What do you think?
The following two fabrics would also look perfect made up in this pattern. Here I have chosen this beautiful Cotton Fabric that has what I would describe as a gorgeous ethnic design and the colour reflects this design well. 
This blends really nice with our 58" wide Linen-Look Cotton Fabric in the colour khaki. It works the opposite to the above fabrics here the khaki cotton is a shade darker than the khaki in the designer cotton but certainly blend really well together. 
Just a quick word about the pattern. The coat has a very 60's look to it, so 'in' at the moment and is quite easy. There is no collar, has raglan sleeves which I always find fit really well. Also there's a little yolk at the back and front (which you don't see on the front of the pattern) Likewise the dress has raglan sleeves but no yolk, instead the dress has little pleats coming from the neckline and a choice of short or elbow length sleeves.
Quite a flattering look on many. 
So until next time thank you for reading.
Annette xx

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