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Archives: July 2018

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Winnats Tank Dress

In the technology dominated days we are living, learning can come from all sorts of sources. Larger one, being the unlimited space of Internet. But in my opinion, nothing beats a beautifully illustrated book that stays with you for years to come.

Nowdays, they are hundreds of sewing books out there about pretty much anything you ever dreamt of learning. I’ve come across many of them myself, but only a few stood up. One of them was definitely the Wendy Ward’s “A Beginner’s Guide To Sewing With Knitted Fabrics”. I would consider myself an intermediate sewer by now, so I was curious to see what this book had to offer to me. And let me tell you, it had a LOT to offer.

This book covers everything you ever wanted to learn about knitted fabric. I could say it is a knitted fabrics mini encyclopedia. It is divided to two sections: Techniques and Projects. The first sections shows you everything you need to know from Tools and Equipment and Taking Your Measurements, to Identifying Knitted Fabrics and Different Finishing Techniques. The book shows you, that you don’t necessarily need a serger or overlocker to sew with knitted fabrics, you simply have to know how to use your regular sewing machine to achieve beautiful finishes, and this book teaches you exactly that. It also offers information you don’t often find in other sewing books, like washing your knitted fabric, how to tell the front from the back and even how to set up your machine.

Next, it runs you through a series of projects starting from the easiest ones for the absolute beginner and building yourself up to more complex finishes and projects. I loved the amazing layout of this book, that takes away the intimidation of knitted fabrics that a lot of novice sewers face.

The book includes six patterns that you can alter to achieve up to 20 different garments. The patterns come enclosed with the book in full size, printed in A3 paper which makes everything much more manageable. You do need to trace the patterns, but the color coding used in the book makes everything incredible easy to see. I know some people find this annoying, but I really don’t mind. I find the tracing process to be cleansing, something like the meditation before yoga, it gives the tone for my sewing.

The book covers sizes UK 8 to 26(Bust sizes : 80cm to 121cm(31 ½ in. to 47 ¾ in.) and is based on a standard height of 170cm(5ft 6in.). I really liked that both an imperial and metric measurement system are used throughout the whole book.

For my first project, I decided to go with the Winnats Tank and modified it to a short dress. Firstly, I started by tracing the pattern pieces for the Winnats Tank and then I followed the given instructions for altering the tank to a short dress. It is a really easy alteration to make, you just trace the pattern pieces on the fabric and add your desired length.

I decided to lengthen mine by 26cm, achieving a 85cm total length from shoulder to hem, since I found that the given length was a little much for what I wanted my dress to be.

For this, I used a grey single Jersey Fabric and because I made my dress shorter than what the book syggested, I only needed 1meter. So this one could be an excellent scrap buster project!

I cut a bust size 92cm and I’m really satisfied with the fit of the dress. It’s fitted around the bust, without being too fitted around the belly and hip area.

The instructions on the book are so well written and illustrated. The book walks you through step by step with well explained instructions and diagrams, so there is no chance you find yourself stuck in the middle of the project. Cross references direct you to different page numbers, making it really quick to refer to the relevant section.

The neckline and armhole of the dress are finished with a Folded Band Edging, making the dress look really well finished and taking away that homemade look that knits can have if not handled with the right techniques. I chose to not topstitch the band to the body, because I felt my bindings didn’t need it and I didn’t want the dress to look too sporty.

I used my serger for this dress, but you can totally sew any project from this book without one. There are references to how to do that throughout the whole book.

For the hem I used my twin needle, which I feel always gives a really professional look to knits. I would suggest buying one when you feel ready to add more inventory to your sewing kit, but you can definitely achieve a beautiful finish without one as well.

Overall this is a really special book, I’m sure I will keep coming back too. It’s the perfect book to reference whenever you are facing a knitted fabric dilemma and I’m sure I’ll be making many more projects from this in the future. Thank you Minerva Crafts and CICO Books for giving me the wonderful opportunity to review this book. 

Mady @ The Wardrobe Project

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Gutermann Fabric Gypsy Tops

Gutermann sewing threads were recommended to me by my Gran back in the 80s when I started to sew and I still stitch with them today. When I saw that they have bought out this gorgeous boho style printed Cotton Fabric I knew this was my Summer 2018 floaty top fabric!

In this post, I am making a self drafted top for me and one for my daughter, one fully gathered (to fit my growing bump!) and one slightly gathered. The top has two different sleeve options so you can add as much frill as you want!

Let’s talk about this fabric! It’s so soft and floaty but stitched with no pulls using a 80 standard needle. I prewashed it at 30 degrees before I started the project to allow for any shrinkage. I used just under 2 metres to complete both projects. I would use this fabric again for quilting, crafting as well as dressmaking. The pattern with it’s soft tonal changes made my makes looks great with denim and with contrast florals. The pattern repeat also wasn’t too big so that you can pattern match easy.

I made both tops in less than two evenings with a little bit of maths, a tape measure and some tailors chalk to mark out the pattern. Here are my 4 easy stages to a floaty soft Summer top.

3m x 1cm White Elastic

2 x Ring O’ Roses Gutermann Fabric

First some maths…

You will need three measurements…

Measurement A.

Measure around your body under your arms where you want the gypsy top to sit and add 5cm for seam allowances. e.g. 90+5 =95cm

Measurement B.

Double Measurement A for your ruffle and top measurement. e.g. 95cm x 2 = 190cm

Measurement C.

Measure your length from your breast bone to your hips and add 15cm for seam allowances and turnings to carry the elastic. e.g. 66cm

Step 1 Measuring out your top

Measure a rectangle using Measurement B across (190cm) and Measurement C down (66cm). Using tailors chalk mark and cut to make a rectangle. This is your ungathered top.

Step 2 Making A Strapless Gathered Top

Stitch the fabric together shortest edges together to form your top and press the seam open.

Then we need to make the channel for our elastic. Press in the raw edge .5mm, then press a 2cm channel to take my 1cm elastic. Stitch leaving an opening for the elastic.

Thread your elastic through the channel at the top of your gypsy top.

Try on your top and pull the gathering so your top sits comfortable. Stitch your elastic in place on the sewing machine to secure and hand sew the channel closed.

You have made a strapless tops, now to add the straps and frills!

Step 3 Making & Adding Straps

Measure out two pieces of fabric 45cm x 5cm. These are both your straps. Stitch wrong sides together and turn. The easiest way I’ve found to turn straps (unless you have a lovely gadget) is to stitch a length of thread to the right side and thread the needle through the tube. Start to pull and the thread will pull through!

Press and you are ready to stitch.

I stitched my straps 10cm from the middle underarm. I pinned and tried on before I stitched.

Then I stitched my straps on creating a box shape to make sure they were stitched secure. The frill will cover this stitching.

Step 4 Adding The Frill

Oh the frill! Taking Measurement B, I cut out my fabric. My length of fabric wasn’t long enough so I had to piece the fabric and press the seam and zig zag to stop fraying. I then created the same channel as for my top to thread the elastic through. I turned in the seam twice at the bottom to create a 5mm hem. Then I stitched my frill together at the sides, leaving channel open both sides to thread through my elastic. Then I pressed and zig zagged the seam.

I threaded my elastic through the channel and then tried on my ruffle over my top so that it had enough ruffle and room so I could raise my arms in line with my shouders.

I then pinned my ruffle to the top and hand stitched it in place. Checking the hemline, I turned and press the edge and created a 5mm hem I stitched on the sewing machine.

So Okay… this is super floaty! So I made a less floaty version for Miss Crafternoon…

To make your frilly top not as floaty / maternity you can take Measurement A and times by a half. e.g. 90 x 0.5 = 135cm instead of 190cm in the first version.

I also stitched the two pieces of fabric to the straps instead of adding a frill. I personally preferred the straps on the shoulder but I lost that one and she wanted them off the shoulder!

I did this by measuring the shoulder and cutting 2 pieces 10cm longer than the shoulder straps to add in a small pleat 5 cm from the edge. I then added a 5mm hem by turning in twice and pressing and sewing to the shoulder strap.

I am so pleased with how this beautiful fabric translates into a floaty top and it was so easy with a little maths to create. Plus who loves a bit of Mother and Daughter matchy-matchy dressing!

Samantha writes a creative craft blog www.crafternoonteas.com and hosts Crafternoon Tea Parties and Events www.crafternoonteahostess.co.uk in the Midlands and beyond!

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Simplicity 2247 Prestige Crepe Dress

I was really thrilled to be asked recently by Minerva Crafts to review their Prestige Crepe Fabric. I chose the colour mink which is a lovely neutral shade. Before the fabric arrived I had time to think about what I would like to make with it. I decided that I would like to make a sleeveless dress with a fitted bodice and a full skirt which would show off the fabric beautifully. When the fabric arrived I was really impressed with the feel and drape of it. Also a big bonus with using crepe for dressmaking is that it doesn’t crease!

The pattern I chose was Simplicity 2247 and I decided to make view C which is the sleeveless dress version. I cut out a straight size 12 from the pattern with a B cup bust size. When tracing out the pattern pieces I did make a couple of simple alterations to the pattern. Firstly, I added 3 inches to the length of each skirt pattern piece because I am quite tall and I prefer my hemline to fall just below the knee.  I also had to move the empire seam by 1 inch for it to sit in the correct positon below my bust. This was a very easy alteration. After tracing out the 7 bodice pattern pieces and 7 skirt pattern pieces and before I cut out my fabric; I then matched up each bodice piece with each skirt piece. I then cut an inch off the top of each skirt pattern piece and attached it to the bottom of each bodice pattern piece. I then cut out my fabric. This meant my seams would all still match up and I had shifted the empire seam down an inch to its correct position for my body shape. 

The pattern includes facings for the armholes and neckline but I decided to line my bodice instead so there was no need for the facings. This meant I made a 2nd bodice in my lining fabric and I just used a plain piece of cotton lawn from my stash. I followed an online tutorial on how to line a dress and I left the skirt unlined. The seam allowance on most of the pattern is the standard 1.5cm which is what I used. The only exception was the side seams which give a generous 1-inch seam allowance but I sewed mine 1.5cm to provide that little bit of extra ease.  I also reduced the 1.5cm seam allowance for the armholes to 1cm for more ease and comfort. For the hem of the skirt I wanted a narrow and neat machine stitched hem. First I folded and pressed ½ inch of fabric at the hem. Then I stitched all the way around the hem close to the fold. Then I trimmed all the excess fabric close to the stitching. Finally, I folded back the hem and stitched closely to the edge. I was really pleased with how my hem turned out.

And here is my finished dress. I am really pleased with how well it turned out and the fit is really good. However, I did make this dress in April so please excuse my winter white skin! I think this dress will look lovely worn during the summer when there is more contrast when my skin has a bit more colour!

Thank you so much Minerva for letting me review this lovely fabric. I am thrilled with my new dress and I’m sure that I will be making more.

Thanks for reading,

Yvonne @ by-yvonne.co.uk

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Prada Crepe Peplum Jacket & Skirt

My name is Jen and this is my first time writing up about anything I have made except for the odd few bits on Instagram. When Minerva offered me this Prada Crepe Fabric to try I replied immediately and asked for 2.5 metres with absolutely no idea of what I would make with it.

The fabric is absolutely lovely, the colour is vibrant and it drapes beautifully. I pre washed the fabric on  a delicate wash and air dried it (I have a habit of shrinking things in the tumble dryer). This method did not appear to affect the material noticeably.

I then changed my mind several times on what I would make, another bad habit of mine, hence my fabric stash still awaiting decisions. Eventually with my leanings towards vintage style and the fact that I associate crepe with vintage clothing, I decided on the Sew Over It Vintage Shirt Dress with a modification of only having buttons on the top half. My buttonholes aren’t brilliant at the moment, a service needed I think.

I must have drafted this wrong because it came out huge and looked awful.

So my dress sat unfinished on my lovely assistant Charlene for quite some time giving me the evil eye every time I passed it! Ordinarily this is the point where I would have hidden it in the cupboard, promising to do something at a future time, but the fact that I was testing the fabric forced me to continue.

After playing around with these different ideas above, I decided to make it into a jacket and skirt and draft a peplum, something which I have never done before, so I removed the skirt and ordered another metre.

Finally, after much playing around, adding some covered buttons and a hand made belt which is a whole other story of its own and still not quite right, I came up with the finished outfit. I am reasonably happy with the result although not quite sure what occasion it suits.

I would totally recommend this fabric. I used the matt side but the shiny reverse is equally lovely and adds to the look and feel of the inside of the jacket. I would advise using silk pins to protect the fabric from any pulls.

I will definitely be back for more of this gorgeous Fabric in the future, hopefully I will be more decisive about what I am going to make with it next time. Am thinking maybe the Sew Over It 1940’s wrap dress or By Hand London Alix dress. Can’t decide! ;)

Thanks for reading,

Jen @jensews

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Art Gallery Jersey Copelia Top

If like me you have always wondered whether this Art Gallery Jersey was worth the huge price tag, wonder no more, in this case you get what you pay for.

I actually did a little excited dance when the postman delivered the parcel, as if my neighbours don't have to cope with enough.

It is 95% cotton 5%spandex but it is possible that it has a bit of unicorn hair in because it is so incredibly soft (and that would justify the price tag right?!). It has great stretch in both directions, with really good recovery, it feels very good against the skin.

And the choice of prints! I mean how do you even choose? It's really good to know that whichever you do choose it will behave in the same way, so no stretchy surprises to have you adjusting patterns on the fly.

I prewashed on 40 and couldn't see any shrinkage or fade. Like most knits it doesn’t fray.

This stuff has excellent manners, it lay very still to be cut and went through the machine beautifully. It has a definite curl to the right side, which I think you get with most knits. The curl helped when getting the hem band on as it sort of hemmed itself!

I ummed and ahhhed between this Papercut Patterns Coppelia Cardigan and the Nettie Bodysuit, but went with this in the end because the print just seemed to keep saying it wanted to be a wrap top. I actually think this fabric would make the most luxurious comfy sleep wear if you were feeling flashy! I have seen some lovely body con t shirt dresses made out of this which would be gorgeous for holidays.

I just whipped this little cardigan together with the over locker, I just kept black threads in because frankly I was in a rush to wear it. There is a bit of topstitching to do on the hem band, which I just did with a single ball point needle and straight stitch on my sewing machine, time will tell if the stitching pops! I hand basted it first to give myself a fighting chance of getting a straightish line.

It took maybe 3 hours including cutting out, I cut a small (how flattering is the papercut sizing?! I am a ready to wear size 12/14) and used just 1.5m of fabric.

I am so pleased with it, it is going to be worn endlessly, and in fact the only negative thing is it has made me want to sew some high waisted skinny jeans to go with it.

Next time I might add a bit of length as it is rather cropped and I am 5'10 so I do usually add 3cm to body length.

I'm waiting for payday to buy myself a few more meters of this beautiful fabric! If you are brave enough to follow my Instagram @kirstsg you will probably be inundated with different versions of this top and maybe some super flash PJs.

Thanks for reading x

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Perfect for Quirky Spring Staples

After what has felt like the longest Winter ever, the lighter evenings and (gasp) few days of sunshine have turned my thoughts to my Spring/ Summer stitchy plans.  I’ve noticed lots of lovely culottes recently, and now it is warm enough to actually bare my ankles, I was keen to sew up a pair for myself.  This fox print crepe in navy is the perfect mix of fun and quirky and classic design - perfect for work or play!  
The pattern I chose was the Ultimate Culottes from Sew Over It.  The fabric is quite slippery, so I had to take extra care when cutting out, but plenty of pins made it relatively easy.
I fell in love with the bright colours of this fabric design as soon as I saw it - you can see the vivid greens and reds in the picture above.
Sewing with this Fabric was a pleasure - it handled really well, and my sewing machine didn’t protest at all (which it has a tendency to do with drapey fabrics!).  I did find that it frayed quite a bit after I had cut it, but this was soon remedied by overlocking. 
Even the wrong side of the fabric is beautiful and bright!
I used a lightweight interfacing for the waistband facings, which worked really well with this fabric.  The pattern also features a concealed zip at the side seam.  I was really pleased with this fabric choice for my first pair of culottes - it’s so light and comfortable for hot days, and the quirky design means it is really easy to dress up or down.  They feel smart enough to wear to work, but are comfortable enough to be considered secret pyjamas - my kind of trousers!
Dressed down with a t-shirt and flip-flops for a hot day.
After finishing the culottes, I found I had just about enough fabric left to make a matching top.  I love jumpsuits, but it is always challenging going to the loo!  Wearing a matching top with culottes gives the same effect, but is so much more practical.  
The pattern I used for the top was New Look 6217, which is a fantastic astern for woven t-shirts.  I was short on time so used some navy satin bias binding for the neckline, rather than make my own.  I also omitted the back neck fastening, but left in the back centre seam.  The top was super-quick to make, and sewing in the bias binding (which I was nervous about with such a drapey fabric) went really smoothly.  The top is perfect with jeans, as well as with the culottes.
This fabric was perfect for both the culottes and top, and would also make a fabulous blouse or Summer dress.  
Alex Howard @ adventuresinfabric
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Monsal Lounge Pants

Have you checked out Wendy Ward's newest book, A Beginner's Guide to Sewing with Knitted Fabrics, yet? This book is great for beginners and also advanced sewists. I've been sewing for a very long time and thought I knew a lot but I picked up so many new tips from reading this book. There are cheat sheets and diagrams - perfect for printing out and hanging in your sewing space. The book is easy to read and super helpful.  

 When I first got the book I read through it and kept going back and forth on which piece I wanted to make first. I was torn between the Longshaw Skirt and the Monsal Lounge Pants. I finally decided on the Monsal Lounge Pants because I found the cutest fabric on Earth: Panda Print Stretch Jersey Fabric. This stuff is amazing, it feels like the custom fabrics I buy all the time, but at a much more affordable price point. It's that Elastane that really makes the difference and who could pass up the pandas?!  

 The book itself shows you have to make 20 essential garments and includes printed patterns. They are patterns that you can build upon and make them your own. You do have to trace off the patterns which some people may not like, but I actually do this to all of my patterns, so no big deal. I'm team trace because that way I make my alterations on the tissue paper and don't ruin the original pattern.  

 My measurements were 31 waist and 40 hips, so I went with the size 36-30-39. I think the fit is correct and the pants are very comfortable. I added 1" to the length since I'm so tall (5'10") and I went with the cuff verison. I added 29" elastic for the waist but probably should have done 28" instead. I figure with all the wear they will be washed often and tighter elastic might be smart. I really love how they turned out, I'm basically just going to live in them forever.

 

I'm super in love with the pockets. I added the piping for a nice contrast and to match the waist and cuffs. The pockets are deep and aren't bulky. If you follow anything else I've made, I'm sort of insane about pockets and them needing to fit my huge cell phone and random kid toys.  

 Overall, great book, great pattern and I love my panda fabric. I look forward to making more of these joggers and more patterns from Wendy's book. If you know of someone with a birthday or you're wanting to give a sewist a gift - this book is it!

Thanks for reading,

Amy @ That's Sew Amy

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Birds and Flowers Kimono

Since we had the start of the lovely warm weather a few weeks ago I had really fancied making a lightweight dressing gown – then along came fate in the form of this beautiful Crepe Fabric courtesy of Minerva Crafts. Listed as ‘Birds and Flowers Print Crepe’, this absolutely reminded me of those Japanese heron print fabrics, an elegant oriental vibe. The fabric is lightweight enough to be beautifully drapey but is opaque and substantial enough to make a lovely quality garment. 
Now I’m not reinventing the wheel here and there are plenty of Kimono tutorials around, however I wanted to do this a little differently, with a quality finish and all the bells and whistles of a proper dressing gown. I also wanted to challenge myself to use as much of this gorgeous print as possible and minimize any waste. This is how it goes:
Start with 2 meters of fabric and fold it so that the folded edge is at the top. Ensure the folded length is enough to give you the coverage you want as this is the length of your finished kimono! This is 1 meter so plenty for me.
 
Cut 2 strips from one edge of the fabric – this is going to be your belt. I went for 12 cm each on these to include the seam allowance. Just a note, the measurements on this are not precise, you can go a bit or as small as you like with yours.
Leave your belt pieces to one side for a while, now fold the remaining fabric in half again from right to left, with the new fold being down the right-hand side of the fabric.
Now for the formation of the kimono! Taking a tape measure, I roughly measured across my body allowing a lot of room either side for ease and wrapping capability. Then halved it. The width of the kimono is 35cm and the sleeve depth is also 35cm. Draw a T shape onto the fabric and cut away the excess. (Keep this part!!)I also wanted a nice neckline on this so snipped a rounded shape into the top right had corner as shown. 
Unfold the fabric so it lays flat, then cut a line up the centre front of the kimono on the FRONT PIECE ONLY. To create the neckline, simply rule a line from the curve of the neckline to the centre line and cut it out. 
Pop everything to one side for a bit and grab those excess rectangles you saved. We’re going to make some bias binding! Cut the excess rectangles into squares, and then into diagonals again.
Using the continuous bias binding method, go ahead and create your own beautiful binding! I’m not going to repeat the tutorial for this here, as the fabric was too small to properly show the method, however it works out just nicely. This was the first time I’d tried this method and I was astounded at how much binding such tiny scraps of fabric could make! Those two squares above were enough to bind the whole kimono! I used this method from Craftsy.
If you want some belt loops, go ahead and cut a couple of little strips of fabric, sew up the raw edge, turn inside out and press. I turn things with a wooden knitting needle or kebab stick! Make sure these are long enough to cover the width of your belt. 
Coming back to the main kimono, lay it out so that the right sides are facing. To find the placement of the belt loops I held a tape measure to my neck then hung it down to my waistline, using that measurement to make a mark on the fabric edges.
Trap the belt loops at the waistline between the two kimono pieces and pin all the way up the side edges. 
Sew those side seams up any way that you like. French seams for fanciness? I went for some jazzy overlocking. Quick and easy and this time attractive!
Now you have your main kimono and all that’s left is to pimp it up a bit and finish those raw edges. Taking your pre-made binding, pin and sew that all the way around the front of the kimono, from one inside edge, all the way around the neckline and back down again. 
Give it a good press towards the inside of your garment, pin and sew again. If you want a little hook for hanging your gown, pop one in now! I used the same method as the belt loops and just trapped a little piece of this under the binding in the centre back before stitching it down. Give the whole edge a good press. 
For the hem and sleeves, you could either use some more of that lovely binding to finish them off, or hem as desired. I went for a fold and fold again situation. Everything is straight edges, so it makes this very easy to do. Your kimono is done so give it a final press!
All that’s left is to sort out the belt. Pin the 2 long pieces of fabric together, right sides facing, stitch around the edges and leave a small gap for turning.
Turn your belt the right way out and press flat. I chose to top stitch all the way around to encapsulate the open turning gap and to give the belt a bit of stability. 
After cutting some more bias binding squares and saving it for other projects, I managed to reduce my offcuts to just this little pile which I’m pretty happy about :)
To finish off - thread your belt in the loops and ta-daaaaa a kimono style dressing gown for lounging about in on lovely warm days!
(Just FYI this was not a sunny warm day – it was totally raining when I took this picture and I could see my neighbour looking on in wonder….)
Enjoy! xxx
Emma @ Crafty Clyde
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Festival Fun

Studio Linen Yarn by Erika Night is a beautiful blend of premium and recycled linen and a delightful yarn to work with. I was very pleased with my colour choice Kanoko 408, which is a lovely shade of blue and Mood 415 a dusky pink. They complement each other perfectly.

The Yarn is supplied in hanks, so my first job is to change them to manageable balls to be able to crochet my chosen project. I use some tools that were gifted to me and are perfect for the job, a swift (the turning umbrella looking thing) and a yarn winder to make centre pull yarn balls, really easy to do and I believe Minerva sell those too. So much faster than winding by hand for sure and so much neater too.

Ta-Da! here is one of my perfectly wound centre pull balls of yarn!

Having spotted a lovely bolero top pattern a little while back on Etsy which would be perfect for this yarn and a perfect project for a festival I had coming up in a few weeks. The pattern is called the Adora Top and the pattern is available in the Etsy shop -TheEasyDesign.

First steps were the do a gauge swatch to establish the right size to make as I am not using the same yarn as used in the pattern and I would recommend everyone to take the time to do this step.

The pattern commences at the bottom with the tie belt and waist sections and it is made up all in one. The pink yarn looks lovely with the open shells , it has a slight sheen to it and glides beautifully through the hands and works up very easily with my crochet hook.

The pattern continues working from bottom up and splits where the armholes are to work them separately. This really did work up so quickly. I used a size 4.5mm hook, the yarn ball band recommends 3.75-4mm hook but in this project, I wanted a lovely drape and flexible feel to the finished project and that size hook worked a treat.

These last two images are taken in artificial light so look a bit brighter than the yarn actually is. You can see I have decided to add the pink for the shoulder areas which compliments the design and adds even more femininity to the garment.

Making a few tweaks to the design, I omitted the sleeves and added a few rows of shell stitches along the front sections of the top. It feels so comfortable to wear, warm but because its linen doesn’t make it too warm, which was just as well. The weekend of the festival turned out to be a scorcher! Here you can see me modeling my top in beautiful sunshine and the slight sheen to the yarn.

Something that always annoys my when we go to these festivals is having to carry a bag, usually only for my phone, so with the yarn left over I made a little phone carry bag.

No pattern for this one, it was straight out of my head, perhaps I should write it up. Made simply with Half Treble stitches and a little flower and loop to close. I wore it all weekend and was perfect for my phone and a few essentials.

Please excuse the dusty legs in this photo of my festival phone bag, I had a few miles on that dusty field and quite a lot of dancing too! These two items will always packed in my festival bag from now on.

Should you buy this yarn for your projects? Well my initial thought was it was quite pricy but with 131yds in each hank, it goes a long way it is also a delight to work with and is obviously a quality yarn. I was really pleased with the way it feels to wear as a garment, so I would say, definitely yes!

Let me know your thoughts and if you’d like, feel free to pop on over and say hi on Instagram or my blog. Thank you to Minerva Crafts for allowing me to review this lovely yarn.

Liz

Instagram @lizjcrafts

creativecornersiteblog

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Pearl Border Chiffon Skirt Tutorial

I'm Julie from Sum of their Stories and I'm thrilled to be guest posting on the Minerva Crafts Blog today.
I have 5 weddings to go to this year and so I'm needing some new wedding suitable outfits. Social media photo sharing these days makes it more difficult to outfit repeat, even if different people are at the weddings, friends will see the photos and will know if I wear the same thing TOO often!
I'm a colour lover so this vivid pink Chiffon Fabric is just my cup of tea and the pearl border makes it feel super special. Chiffon can be tricky to work with so I decided to keep things really simple and make that pearl border the star of the show. I made a really easy full skirt with an elastic waistband and then added a belt to make the overall look more sophisticated. 
Elastic waist band skirts are so easy to make and comfortable to wear but as a grown up lady you don't necessarily want that elastic to show. This method means there are no zips to worry about getting caught on that chiffon and getting even gathers is a piece of cake.
This chiffon was really easy to work with as chiffon goes. The main tips for working with fine fabrics like this are: always use a new needle in your sewing machine, always hold the threads at the back as you start a seam, don't start your stitching too close to the edge of the fabric and TAKE YOUR TIME - no putting your foot down!
To make a chiffon skirt and belt for yourself you will need:
- 3 or 4 metres of Pearl Border Chiffon
- A length of 3cm wide elastic long enough to go round your waist plus 5cm
- Matching thread
- 1/2 metre of matching thin ribbon
- 4 buttons
The length of chiffon you need will depend on your size.
To give you an idea, I'm a size 10 with a 70cm waist and I used 3 metres of chiffon for my skirt.
If you are considerably larger I would recommend using 4 metres of chiffon, you need to remove a section for the belt and you still want plenty of fullness in the skirt.
First remove a 50cm wide strip from one end of your chiffon. Put this to one side to make the belt later. If you waist is more than 1m then remove a 1 metre strip; you can only use the pearlless section of the fabric to make the belt so you may need to join 2 lengths.
Remove the pearls on the short sides from the edge to about 2cm in, you can just pull them with your nails. They'll get in the way of your seams if you leave them on.
Join your main piece of fabric on the two short sides using a french seam to form a tube.
Lay the tube on the floor wrong side out, and fold down 54cm. It's like making a massive 54cm hem. You can adjust this if you like; the more you fold down the shorter you finished skirt will be. 
Use lots of pins - chiffon can be very slippery and more a lot. 
Stitch a seam 1/2cm from the folded top edge all the way round.
Stitch a second seam 4cm below the first but leave a 8cm gap so you can insert the elastic. 
Thread the elastic through this casing you have created, A good tip is to use 2 safety pins. One on the end to help you thread it through the channel you've created, and use the other on the other end of the elastic to secure it to the seam by the opening. That way you won't pull the elastic right through by mistake.
Safety pin the elastic closed, and try your skirt on. Adjust the elastic as necessary and when you are happy with the elastic length, sew it together and then sew the gap closed. Even out the gathers. 
Hem the skirt. I used a fold, stitch, cut and stitch again method which worked really well on this chiffon.
Fold the fabric wrong sides together to 1/4cm longer than you want the finished length to be and top stitch. I found loosening off my top tension a little gave me a smooth result.
Cut away any excess hem really close to the stitches without actually cutting them.
Fold the hem again and stitch over the previous stitches.
That's it, your skirt is made. You can wear it just like this or make a matching belt to cover the elastic. 
Take the 50cm wide piece of chiffon you removed at the beginning. Cut off the pearl part. 
Measure you waist and add 6cm. Mine is 70cm + 6cm so my fabric was 50cm x 76cm. I only had a couple of cms to remove for my size so if you waist is more you may need to join 2x 50cm lengths of chiffon. 
Lay the piece of chiffon flat and make 5 even pleats in the bottom half leaving a 13cm gap at the top and a 2.5cm gap at the bottom. (the photo shows it best) 
Press then pin and tack these in place.
Fold in half lengthways then stitch round the 3 open sides, leaving a 8cm gap in the middle of the long side. 
Turn out and slip stitch the gap. Press again.
Cut 4 x 8cm lengths of ribbon and fold to form loops. Attach these evenly to one end of the belt with 2 rows of stitching.
Try the belt on so you can mark where to sew on the buttons. Whilst it's on, mark the side points of the belt too then take it off and add a line of stitching to help keep the pleats pleated. 
Sew the buttons on.
Take 2 x 10cm lengths of thin ribbon and sew them to the waist band on either side of the dress. You can thread the belt through these ribbon loops to keep the belt snugly over the elastic.
This is the most lovely swishy skirt, and I'm loving this midi length, it feels so elegant. 
As the chiffon is doubled on the top half and the skirt is very full I'm feeling covered enough You could wear a slip too if you thought it necessary but I did check and nothing is showing that shouldn't be! 
The wind caught it a little whilst we were taking photos. The pearl border weights it a little though so nothing embarrassing happened! 
Thanks for reading,

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