Archives: July 2020
Posted in Company News on Friday the 31st July 2020 by Vicki Ormerod
We warmly thank you for all the lovely messages of support we've been receiving throughout these difficult times and we would also like to express our warmest appreciation and gratitude for Royal Mail and the courier staff for maintaining deliveries and enabling us to keep shipping and receiving deliveries.
Thank you so much to everyone of our customers who has placed an order with us over the past few weeks. We are currently dispatching most orders within 24 hours and we are working extremely hard to deliver our parcels to you as quickly as possible, whilst also protecting the health of our team.
We’re are still experiencing some delivery delays in certain parts of the world as the Royal Mail themselves are under huge pressure due to an increase in volume, so please allow extra time for our parcels to reach you. We ask for your patience.
Our Customer Service team is receiving a huge volume of queries and to help us offer the best service we can, we ask you to contact us directly via email on firstname.lastname@example.org. We politely ask you not to send multiple emails with the same inquiry as we are working through them in date order and this will move them to the back of the queue (as they will be grouped together with the most recent email). We’re prioritising emails about orders, but our team are working really hard to reply to everyone as quickly as possible.
We are always extremely grateful for your custom and we would like to say a HUGE THANK YOU to everyone who has placed an order with us and supported Minerva.
We know that for many of us, sewing and making provides an important lifeline and now, more than ever, we need to continue sharing positive craft experiences. We stand ready to serve, and hope that our website and social channels can be a source of support, inspiration and joy.
Thank you for your continued loyalty, particularly during these uncertain times. We hope you will find solace in your sewing and distraction from worrying thoughts.
Stay safe and well and thank you for your support.
The Minerva Team.
Posted in Projects on Friday the 31st July 2020 by Vicki Ormerod
This tropical feel summer dress puts me in the mood for sunshine and sweet music!
Hello Minerva readers, I’m so excited to share this make with you. I’ve been thwarted with obstacles from the get-go the last few weeks. But I’m happy, I didn’t try to get the project out the door before it was truly ready. If I did, I’m positive the error percentage would’ve been high.
By now, I don’t think it’s a mystery to anyone in the sewing community, that I love halter dresses. This dress is from the May 2019 BurdaStyle, it’s the Halter Style Dress Style #101. Halter styles are great to show-off strong shoulders. The fabric brings this pattern to life, its vibrant and attractive.
As always, the moment I see a fabric, I know exactly the sort of dress, top, or skirt it works. The Scuba Crepe Fabric comes in many colors but I chose the one with this lovely aqua base. Mainly because it has purple in it and reminds me of easy breezy summer days!
The feel of this fabric is just great, it has a slight crepe feel and good recovery. I always try to find fabric that has a perfect balance with elastane and structure. Yes! It’s great for beach vacations, lovely draping blouses and more.
This dress is a winner because it’s a remarkably flattering design with a snug neckline band. The halter style is very flattering for those with a smaller bustline. If you like twirling dresses, this is the one for you, the swinging skirt panel cascades softly around the hips.
I’ve received so many compliments on the day I wore this dress for the photo-shoot and at my niece’s graduation party. It has everything to do with the pairing of a knock-out fabric with a runway style design! This is my go to dress for the summer dinner parties and get-togethers!
Until my next post, have a wonderful summer!
Posted in Projects on Thursday the 30th July 2020 by Vicki Ormerod
I am McKell from @McKellMakes and I am so grateful to be joining the Minerva Maker Team!
I have had a dress in mind that I've been wanting to make for awhile now, and when I saw this gorgeous burgundy Silk Voile Fabric
I jumped at the chance to use this fabric! I love how Minerva includes a video of how the fabric moves and flows so you can really get an idea of the fabric before you decide to buy... such a useful tool!
Upon receiving the package in the mail, I immediately knew it was a good choice! This fabric is like butter! I wanted to include some backlit photos with the sun shining through the fabric, so you could get an idea of just how delicate this beautiful fabric is. I also recommend wearing a slip under this fabric like I did, or picking a pattern with a lining.
With it being such a soft and delicate fabric, there are a few things to keep in mind when handling this fabric.
First, use an appropriately sized needle. This fabric is 55% cotton and 45% silk, so using a microtex needle made specifically for finer fabrics will help the sewing process immensely. Other needles, could snag or pull on the fibers causing puckers and pulls.
Next, use a strong, good quality thread. I ended up using a Silk Gutermann Thread
that matched perfectly to this burgundy fabric. This thread is 100% silk and has a lovely sheen to it.
And last but not least, use a new or very sharp blade in your rotary cutter when cutting this fabric. I started cutting without changing my blade, and the little knicks in my blade kept catching on the fine fabric fibers and I had little threads that were pulling and causing the fabric to bunch. I quickly remedied the problem by changing to a new blade, and had zero problems after that!
The pattern I chose to make was the Plumetis Dress
04/2019 #120 by Burda Style.
I made the size 44, but I probably could have gone down to a size 42. It's a little loose, but I don't mind the look and feel of it at all. I didn't make any changes to this dress except extending the length of the hem all the way down to the floor. The silk voile is such a fine fabric, I thought the longer length would help make this dress look more elegant.
I also ended up doing french seams for all of the seams on this dress. The silk voile is a semi-sheer fabric, so I wanted the inside to be just as beautiful as the outside. Using french seams also helped encase all of the fraying edges.
The miniature pom pom trim on the sleeves and hem are a fun detail that I haven't used very often, but plan on using again in the future!
I also wouldn't mind making this dress again in a plumetis fabric and keeping it knee-length, like the pattern suggests.
This pattern is a good one for advanced beginners to intermediate seamstresses. It includes a stand collar and self-facing button placket, so if you are comfortable with those, I'd say go for it! The construction is very simple and straight forward.
This fabric would also be ideal for a beautiful tie-neck blouse, or another sheer dress pattern.
And that's a wrap! Overall, this fabric was such a treat to work with after taking the simple precautions I mentioned earlier... and such a joy to wear!
Thank you to Minerva for this fun opportunity, and thanks for following along!
Posted in Projects on Wednesday the 29th July 2020 by Vicki Ormerod
Hi, I’m Tamlyn
(Also known as Sewn on the Tyne) and I’m happy to be back again on
the Minerva blog today.
regular reader of the Minerva blog myself, I know that the Named Clothing Kielo Wrap Dress has featured MANY times before. But this is
with very good reason – it’s a fantastic pattern which has a
straightforward construction and looks fantastic for lots of
different occasions, depending on the fabric used and the way it is
When I spotted this
gorgeous patchwork Viscose Jersey Fabric, I knew straight away that it would
make a perfect Kielo. I loved the different colours and patterns that
make up the patchwork design and the viscose content would provide a
lovely drape for the dress.
When the fabric arrived I wasn’t disappointed – it was just as lovely as I expected. I pre-washed it on a quick 30-degree wash and hung it to dry. Then I cut the fabric using a rotary cutter and cutting mat, using clips and pattern weights to help with keeping the fabric stable. The fabric behaved really well during cutting and didn’t move much at all.
The dress came together really quickly using a combination of my sewing machine and overlocker. I love the darts in the front and back that give some lovely shaping to the dress. For the neck and arm openings I simply turned the raw edge over, pressed it with an iron, then turned it again and stitched. For the hem, I overlocked the raw edge, turned and pressed it to my desired length (after trying it on) and stitched. I comfortably got this out of 2.5 metres of fabric and at only £9.99 a metre, that is fantastic value for such a striking dress.
I am really happy with the result of this project. I have wanted to make this dress for so long and I’m glad I finally did! I love the way you can achieve different looks by tying the dress in different ways (as you can see from the photos). It is also super comfortable, given the soft and stretchy fabric.
Thank you to Minerva for sending me the fabric and giving me the opportunity to share my makes with you. I hope I have inspired you to make a Kielo if you haven’t done already – I’m sure you won’t regret it!
you for reading,
You Tube & Blog
Posted in Projects on Tuesday the 28th July 2020 by Vicki Ormerod
Crepe jersey is one of my favourite
fabrics. Its a dream to wear because of its great stretch and
It combines the comfort and versatility
of knit with the elevated style of crepe. I know I'm not the only
one who was excited to hear the noteworthy “Crowded Faces” print
is now available in a knit! This fabric is the high quality that we
expect from both Lady M. and Minerva. This substrate is
composed of 96% viscose and 4% spandex. It is cool to the touch, has
a nice soft drape, and a very wearable opacity. At 58” wide you have a
myriad of great pattern options. I went back and forth over what to
make with my precious metre for a few weeks, and then realized that I
love the print too much to break it up into pieces. It doesn't need
to be something fancy to shine in my wardrobe! I really enjoy
print-mixing with outfits and prefer separates that can be used
interchangeably. Monochromatic, repeating, multi-scale prints are
ideal for adding interest to my basics.
So....how about a classic
white tee? ( I love what I love, ok.)
Let's make clothes that will be
I am a big fan of comfortable separates
that I can dress up....
Or dress down.
The Stellan Tee is a free pattern from
French Navy Patterns. Its unique to any of the great offerings of tee
patterns out there, so if you haven't found your “Perfect Tee”
yet, I highly recommend you try it! (Even if you have, this one is
very cool.) Stellan features a broad shoulder line (which often
relaxes into a slightly dropped shoulder depending on the fabric
weight) , a flattering crew neck, and a longer sleeve that is perfect
for rolling up once or twice. The cherry on top is a beautiful back
neckband finish that is clean and satisfying.
The overall fit is easy and classic. I
choose this pattern over and over when I want something with a really
To prepare my fabric, I fold it neatly,
then pet it and stare at it on the table for a day and a half.
Kidding! ( Sort of.) I followed the specifications found on the
Minerva Crafts website. It is recommended to wash it in cool water
and hang to dry. Viscose dries very quickly, so even this lazy
laundress can handle the proper care. Time out of the dryer will also
help the striking print stay vivid (and striking.) Cutting the fabric
was smooth with a rotary blade and weights to minimize shifting. The
edges of this fabric do not roll up significantly. I pressed my seams
with my iron on the rayon setting and used steam and a press cloth,
Pattern construction is straightforward
and simple. The instructions are lovely and any level of sewist will
enjoy this make. I shortened my sleeves by 2 inches and cuffed them
with hand-tack stitches. (When wearing, I often roll 'em up further.)
I wear this lovely shirt many times a
week and I hope there will be more crepe jersery in my sewing and
Thanks for reading!
Posted in Projects on Monday the 27th July 2020 by Vicki Ormerod
Over the past couple of years I've become obsessed with jumpsuits. They're the easiest possible thing to wear, and as a lazy person I welcome that enthusiastically. Do I need to match any separates together? Nope! Do I need specialist undergarments to stop my thighs from rubbing? Absolutely not! Have I waxed my legs? Who cares!
When I saw this Viscose Linen Fabric on the Minerva website, I pictured it as a jumpsuit immediately. What I was after was something to wear to a birthday dinner in Spain in July, where I would need to look decently fancy, be able to keep cool in the heat, and also eat a LOT of food while remaining as comfortable as possible. The Paper Theory Zadie jumpsuit seemed like the one. I've made the pattern a couple of times already so I have my adjustments down, and I also know how wonderfully non-restrictive it is without entirely obscuring the body shape.
I haven't worked with a lot of linen in my sewing lifetime, and I've never worked with or even seen viscose linen before. I wondered if the viscose would make the fabric more fluid and drapey, but in this case it doesn't - the fabric behaves exactly like regular linen, except perhaps a little less tendency to wrinkle. The Zadie jumpsuit works well in most medium weight fabric regardless of drape, but I'd definitely recommend picking a pattern that can take a bit of structure to use with this fabric.
If you've made a couple of things before, the Zadie is an extremely straightforward project. No fastenings, very little fitting, and I'm always here for a grown-on sleeve . The only fiddly part is making the bias binding, but in a fabric like this that presses easily, even that's not too bad. The sewing part was a solid afternoon's work for me.
My version is a size 16. My hips are actually closer to a 20 in Paper Theory's sizing, but the pattern has a huge amount of ease so even those of us with hips two sizes larger than our waists can get away with just cutting a straight size. In terms of alterations, I shortened the bodice very slightly and added about 4 inches to the length of the legs. The Zadie is supposed to be a cropped jumpsuit, but I prefer a full-length leg for both proportional reasons and also the aforementioned lack of need to wax. Warning: the fabric layout for this pattern is incredibly efficient, so if you want to make the jumpsuit full-length you'll probably need a bit more fabric!
This jumpsuit is an amazingly comfortable piece of clothing and it's on track to be one of my most worn items of the summer. Floral prints aren't generally my thing but I really like this one - it's still very summery but bold and graphic rather than pretty and delicate, so it's a nice contrast and fits in with my personal style much better. I think it's the perfect thing for dinners on warm summer evenings, and I intend to test this out as thoroughly as possible. For science!
Thanks for reading,
Posted in Projects on Sunday the 26th July 2020 by Vicki Ormerod
Hello! Emilia from @emilia_to_nuno, reporting from Tokyo, Japan.
I have been living in the land of the rising sun for a few years now and I can’t deny I have been heavily influenced by the local style. By “local style” I don’t mean the colorful crowds of Harajuku or the girls donning a seemingly endless collection of pleated midi skirts, I mean kimono, the national costume of Japan. I know, this is kind of an interesting twist for a self-proclaimed lover of Scandinavian minimalism with a penchant for perfectly starched white shirts, but, without a doubt, we are all influenced by the environment we live in. Plus, I appreciate the comfort of the kimono’s very wide sleeves…and you can use them as pockets, too!
With my love for all things Wafuku (Japanese-style clothing) in mind, I was looking for an easy jacket to wear on a regular basis (aka every single day), but which would still look presentable when going out (not that this happens very frequently these days, but let me dream!). I had a plethora of patterns in mind, but I also wanted it to reference Japanese clothing without copying it (even just in the name), and have it not be too casual in cut.
Very importantly, I also wanted it to have big pockets. Bonus points would have been granted if the look was achieved by means of a comfy, no-fuss fabric. In the end I settled for a pattern which has been sitting in my collection for a while waiting to be realized into a suit, Vogue 1620
I figured that with just a few modifications the jacket would be the jacket of my dreams. In addition, the bias bound seams give it a slightly more elevated look, despite it being an unlined jacket.
As for the fabric, I wanted a comfortable one with the stamina to sustain a lot of not-so-gentle wear. As some of you may have noticed from my Instagram feed, I wear black 99% of the time, or occasionally black and white (this also extends to my kimono-wearing, which often prompts the question of whether I am going to a funeral), and for this reason, texture is key if I want to avoid looking like a cardboard figure printed in Vantablack.
Luckily, Minerva had my back! I picked a Cotton Double Gauze
, which fit the bill perfectly, as it is breezy and textural, but also requires zero maintenance. As often in my makes, I wanted to incorporate Japanese elements or fabrics, and this case was no different. In addition, I reasoned that a contrast collar would be a nice detail to add to this pattern, and result in a more swishy, casual, and of course interesting final product. I am not sure you will agree, but I am very pleased with the result! Inspired by the fold-over collar of the haori (a sort of jacket one wears on top of kimono), I doubled the collar piece on the pattern, and made it out of fabric from an old haori I got at a flea market for recycling purposes. I love how these two fabrics complement each other: the square crackled texture of the double gauze is a perfect balance to the striped net (called Ro in Japanese) of the up-cycled haori.
I wanted an airy, loose silhouette for the sleeves, and I simply altered the pattern to continue straight down from the shoulder seam, instead of tapering down. I also omitted the shoulder pads, as my shoulders are wide as it is, and I wanted a soft silhouette for this version.
I also managed to save the himo, the string that closes the jacket front, from the original haori. This gives a nice pop of color to an otherwise unassuming garment.
Overall, I am very pleased with the result. I have already worn it a lot since I have made it. The pattern is very easy to follow, and it can be very versatile depending on the choice of fabric.
I hope you enjoyed this post, and happy making to you all!
Posted in Projects on Saturday the 25th July 2020 by Vicki Ormerod
I'm not sure about you, but it has been insanely warm in my neck of the woods this summer. It reminds me of when I lived in Louisiana. As soon as you wake up and step a foot outside, you are sweating. For us, it seems to be a combination between having little rain and long, 90+ degree days.
Is it just me or does it always seem like your wardrobe is lacking the essential items needed when the weather changes? I feel that every winter and summer, I am in desperate need of specific items of clothing that I don't seem to own. This past winter it was a coat and sweaters that I lacked. This summer, I seem to be in need of loads of lightweight tops as well as shorter shorts and skirts. I seem to only own one pair of shorts that don't match anything in my closet- don't get me wrong, they are super cute and comfy, but the print literally only goes with one top I own.
So, for this summer, I have made it my mission to sew things that I actually need. I have taken a good, long look at my wardrobe and am on a mission to fill the holes I have spotted, starting with a breathable top.
I didn't have to look much further than Sarah Kirsten's Morning Glory Top
, which is a totally free pattern by the way! It's the perfect stash busting top, plus if you have never pattern drafted before, this is a great introduction into drafting something to your own measurements for the ideal fit!
I only have about 1 yard of this awesome, rusty colored Crinkle Gauze Fabric
. I knew it was destined to become SOME sort of top, but I wasn't sure exactly what top that would be when it arrived at my doorstep. Luckily, I have some awesome sewing buddies and my friend Kari
suggested the Morning Glory Pattern to me! Upon seeing it online I was 100% convinced that this was the top for me!
What a quick sew this piece turned out to be! I was able to draft, cut and sew it all up in one sitting of about two or so hours. I wound up making the bodice a tad longer than the suggested length, just because I don't personally enjoy wearing crop tops. I think cropped shirts look really cute on loads of people, it's just not my jam.
The only other change I made was in how I finished off the inside of the top. The pattern suggests turning the neckline back twice before stitching it into place. Instead, I opted to use up some of my favorite handmade bias tape! I always make bias tape with any leftover scraps from previous projects. I feel it gives a fun cohesion to my clothing, plus its a great way to keep my studio as zero waste as possible!
Now, this pattern seems to be able to be worn either backwards or forwards as there are no darts and the only closure is the tie.
However, for some reason I feel like a serious case of 90s era Britney Spears flashback when the tie is turned to the front. And it doesn't help that when I tell people my name, a lot of them immediately respond with “Oh, like Britney Spears!”
So, unless I am feeling ultra ultra hot, I believe the tie will remain toward the back of my body!
Which is totally cool with me as the front of this top is the perfect canvas for accessorizing. Plus, I love it when you see a garment on someone that you like an then they turn around to reveal a super snazzy surprise detail! That is what the Morning Glory top does for me. It's all sweet and casual from the front and then a little bit sassy when you turn around!
Isn't that all we really want in a garment? A little bit of sass and a whole heap of functionality.
Thanks for reading,
Posted in Projects on Friday the 24th July 2020 by Vicki Ormerod
These overall shorts just might be the cutest thing I’ve ever made! I’m so in love with this pattern and fabric combination! I knew I wanted to make some kind of pinafore or overalls with this Corduroy Fabric
, so I had a quick search online to see if there was something else I liked that I didn’t already have in my collection. I came across these Ruffle Overall Shorts by You Made My Day patterns. I never purchased a pattern so fast! This pattern also has a skirt and pant option, sold separately or as a bundle. I couldn’t help but get all three.
This corduroy is so gorgeous! The floral print is amazing and I love the colors of the print. It comes in two different background color ways- the grey that I used and a burgundy color. It was hard to choose! I originally planned to make a dungaree dress but this corduroy is a little lighter in weight than I was expecting. It worked really well for this pattern though! The ruffles flow so beautifully. I have a slight obsession with ruffles. They are such a sweet detail! This pattern can of course be made without them or the bib top if you prefer though. I also like that they aren’t heavyweight because I can wear them year round! I will definitely be layering these in the cooler months with tights and turtlenecks.
The fit in the waist and hips is good. The straps are a tiny bit long though and it wouldn’t be easy to shorten them now. It’s wearable but definitely something to remember for next time. I do wish there was a finished garment measurement chart. I didn’t see one and was a little nervous not making a toile beforehand. Thankfully it worked out!
This was my first pattern from You Made My Day. I have to admit that I found the instructions a little confusing and missing a couple details, especially at the waistband steps. I was able to work out what I needed to do, though.
I really like the rounded edge at the bottom of the shorts. It’s done with a facing and I think it’s a cute detail instead of just a standard hem. Another detail I am happy with is the buttons I used. I had these pretty pink vintage ones in my stash and I think they match the floral so nicely. If you looked up this pattern, you might notice something missing. Welt pockets. They are supposed to go on the front of the shorts but I opted to leave them out.
I’m so excited about these floral overall shorts. I am going to wear these so much. I definitely plan to make the other versions of this pattern one day!
Thank you for reading!
Posted in Projects on Thursday the 23rd July 2020 by Vicki Ormerod
Have you ever had something you had on
your “to make” list and you were sure the fabric you were
expecting would be amazing for that project? I did. A Zadie Jumpsuit
has been on my “to make” list for a while. I had even prepared a
toile in anticipation of receiving the Lady McElroy Linen Fabric in charcoal. Then the fabric changed my mind.
After unboxing the medium weight linen,
I had anticipated it being grayer in color. I should have known
“charcoal” meant a blacker tone. The charcoal color is stunning,
I ended up preferring it over a gray tone and the hand is perfection
for a mid-weight linen. After receiving the fabric and noticing the
darker color I decided that I should lean into my artistic side and
play a little. Darker fabric lends itself well to bleach dye so that
is where we went.
I shabori wrapped the black linen in an
accordion fold, with the fabric salvage on the ends. Once I had the
fabric folded in one direction I accordion wrapped it long ways down
the fabric again creating the preparation for a square design.
Instead of helping this beautiful linen become busy with print I
decided I would attempt a simpler approach and only dip the ends of
the fabric in the bleach. I used one hundred percent bleach with no
dilution. I dipped opposite ends of the folded fabric into the bleach
bowl. I allowed the bleach to accomplish a rust color then quickly
rinsed with cold water and placed it on my dye sheet for unfolding. I
then hung the fabric to dry.
The dye process is always an
experiment. I rarely produce the same colors or designs twice, even
if I am aiming to do so. This experiment was a success. The newly
bleached linen just wasn’t looking like a jumpsuit anymore. I love
this fabric and the dye job is one of my favorites to date (and I
have had many!). Usually when I admire a dye job so much I search for
a pattern that has less pattern pieces or cuts to the fabric. It
helps the fabric take center stage instead of cutting so many pattern
pieces and losing the beauty of the dye design. The Wiksten Haori and
the Lou Box Top from Sew DIY are two favorites I use often to show
off my dye work. Since this fabric was a mid-weight linen the Haori
won me over.
Layering garments are my favorite
things to make and wear. Even though I live in a hot climate, layered
garments are fantastic because you can be prepared for the outdoors
and freezing restaurants once inside. Anyone else notice this? After
seeing the fabric, I knew I wanted to wear this jacket as often as I
could, so I hacked the pattern a bit for it to be unlined. The bottom
half of the sleeve and the collar are lined but the main parts of the
jacket are not. I’ve already enjoyed wearing my Haori in the middle
of summer in the desert.
No matter what, have fun and make it
Thanks for reading,