Archives: August 2018
My name is Deborah and this is my first guest post for the Minerva Crafts Blog. I'm super excited to have been given the opportunity to do this, so a big thank you to Vicki at Minerva!
I'm completely new to any type of blogging, Instagram being the only social media site I have posted on untill today. Introduction over and now on to the important part.
I was really pleased to receive this fabric which is a beautiful John Kaldor Chiffon Fabric. The colour is amazingly vibrant and the fabric very light and delicate.
After washing the fabric in preparation, it dried super quickly on the washing line with no creasing, making this an ideal choice for holiday wear. So I knew this would be perfect fabric for a sundress. I decided on a pattern I already had which is New Look 6488 view C.
I have made view A already, a maxi dress in a viscose mix fabric.
I felt the chiffon would be great for a floaty feel knee length dress as view C, however it would work equally well as a maxi.
At this point I should mention that chiffon isn't part of the suggested fabric list on the pattern, but decided to take a bit of a risk anyway sewing with chiffon, also a first for me eeek! Its good to take a challenge, pushing oneself to learn new techniques.
Being a sheer fabric it needed to be lined, the pattern has facings and no instructions or pattern pieces for lining. I decided to make the lining by cutting the dress again from the lining fabric omitting the facings and keeping the shoulder flounces unlined keeping them sheer and floaty, using a black lightweight polyester lining fabric already in my stash.
With chiffon being so lightweight and delicate it needed pinning very carefully and thoroughly to minamise movement.
I transferred all the required darts and markings with tailor tacks, as I felt the fabric wasn't stable enough to to cope with tailors chalk or other tracing methods.
My lovely trusty Husqvarna Opal machine coped very well with the fine fabric using a size 60 needle and Gutermann sew all thread, again pinning the seams really well and keeping my foot back off the pedal a bit, sewing a tad slower than my norm. I didn't want to run the risk of having to do any unpicking and chance ruining the lovely fabric.
I used french seams for the main seams and used a concealed zip. The zip was a little tricky to insert smoothly into the chiffon. With hindsight, I should have shopped around for a more delicate zip.
The lining was sewn using my overlocker and then attatched at the armholes and front neck. Then hand sewn on the inside to either side of the zip. I am very pleased how the lining worked in place of the facings.
Very narrow hems were sewn on the flounce using the machine, I have to admit here that this was after my attempt at hand rolling them. Needless to say I wasn't happy with the result and went back to machine. (Note to self - Need More Practice!)
Over all I'm very happy with the result. the fabric is absolutely beautiful, colours stunning.
I now have a completed very lightweight and feminine sundress. WHERE IS THE SUN??
Unfortunately the weather isn't at all good for taking photographs today, very windy and I couldn't get my photographer to get a decent shot of the back. (See pictures of back on my mannequin and on the hanger instead!)
Hopefully the sunshine will return so I can wear my finished dress. Or I shall have to take another holiday!
Its been lovely to have this chance to sew with fabric “new to me” and to write about this experience. Many thanks to Minerva.
Thank you for taking the time to read my first posting as a guest blogger.
I hope I have inspired you to try this John Kaldor fabric, or to try fabrics outside your comfort zone.
Some of my other "me mades" can be seen on Instagram @51bonnie
Hope to be on here again soon,
(ps. thanks to my Photographer hubby x !)
When I was asked to try out this Scuba Fabric I had a particular pattern in mind. I wanted to give the Seamwork Gabrielle Skater Dress a go.
I chose scuba as I have never worked with it before and heard that it is the easiest fabric to handle and you do not need to press it. Minerva’s website says that this fabric is medium weight and that it is 95% polyester and 5% spandex. I found that this fabric has some drape to it and hangs really nice for the type of dress that I want to make.
Minerva recommends that it needs to be washed at 40 degrees, but my machine is set at a 15 minute cycle on 30 degree wash. As I mentioned in my previous blog, if you are not too sure about what temperature to use, either go cool or do a test wash.
For scuba, I was expecting stiff like a wetsuit stuff, but surprisingly I found this fabric quite soft, drapey and easy to use. I would definitely recommend this for skirts and I would use it again for dresses.
Scuba fabric is quite thick so when I was cutting the pattern out, I had to use my pattern weights to hold everything down as my pins would not go through it. This was tricky at times as the fabric did move around a tiny little bit, I think my handmade weights were not heavy enough for the fabric. When my pieces where cut out, I was using the fabulous wonder clips to hold the pattern pieces to the fabric while set aside waiting to be sewn together.
As the fabric was plain black I found it hard to distinguish the right side from the wrong so when I was cutting the pattern out, I was marking the pieces with an “X” on the wrong side using tailors chalk.
Note to self, when cutting scuba fabric, make sure your scissors are really sharp as the fabric is thick and I found it tougher to cut. I am lucky I had just got myself a new pair as my old pair would never had cut through this scuba fabric.
When sewing the pieces together, I found that I was using my overlocker for most of the dress, as there was a lot of pieces to put together. But as this scuba is stretchy fabric, when I did use my sewing machine, I did not have to use the zig zag stitch, I was using the twin needle but also just the normal straight stitch as well.
As summer is approaching, I am definitely going to get a lot of wear out of my skater dress and show off some leg or perhaps colourful bias binding.
Thanks for reading, until next time and Happy sewing everyone!
I was excited to try out the Sublime Stitching Embroidery Transfers, as I’d not done much freehand embroidery before and it is very ‘in’ at the moment. I picked the Fantasy Flowers set as I thought these would be most versatile whilst I debated whether to make a cushion cover or a project bag. I went for the project bag, given it would be useful and I wouldn’t need to worry about it matching my décor!
My first impressions were that the packaging is so adorable. The little pink envelope has a picture on the front of what the transfers look like, and inside a vibrant, double sided instruction sheet, and the folded sheet of transfers.
I had never used embroidery transfers before so I made sure to read all the instructions, like a good little crafter. They were easy to understand and contained some humour which was a nice touch. One side explained how to use the transfers and the other side how to embroider using the split stitch.
I wanted my project bag to be 10” x 14”. I went into my stash and found some plain white cotton fabric and cut out a rectangle measuring 22” x 15”, using my rotary cutter and cutting mat. I was then suddenly very keen to try tea dying to jazz it up a bit. In retrospect it is a bit darker then I would have liked but I was so impressed with myself at the time, I just kept going.
For structure of the bag and to stabilise the embroidery I ironed some white medium weight interfacing to the back of the whole piece.
I picked the two big flower transfers for my bag. To work out where to place them I pressed the fabric into the finished bag shape and worked out I wanted the design roughly 2cm in from each edge in the bottom left corner. I cut the transfers out and re-read the instructions. The transfer ink is permanent so I had to get this right first time! It is important to turn off the steam and to put the transfers onto warm fabric so I ironed the fabric first, placed my first transfer and carefully ironed over it without shifting it. The design transferred very easily, giving a very strong grey-black outline to follow. I transferred my second flower but forgot to heat the fabric first so it was a little patchy, but I just joined the gaps with pencil. REMEMBER TO HEAT YOUR FABRIC!
To go with the now antique effect fabric, I picked out some antique looking colours from my stash of Anchor Stranded Cotton Embroidery Thread and grouped them into colours I could use on each flower. I had a few embroidery books but found YouTube videos and Pinterest really useful for inspiration.
I decided to embroider the biggest flower first. I put my fabric into an embroidery hoop to give the fabric an even tension whilst stitching. I started with the leaves, doing a split stitch around the outline then filling with satin stitch. I intended on doing the same for the flower petals but once I’d done the split stitch outlines I thought it looked really pretty so I left it.
I used a decorative lace zip for extra interest which I first lightly glued on to the right side of the fabric using Anita’s Tacky Glue then one secured in place sewed on by hand using matching thread. I undid the zip, flipped the fabric inside out with right sides together and sewed up the sides using a ½” seam allowance. I then clipped my corners, did a zigzag stitch on all the raw edges, pressed open my seams and turned the bag out. I made sure to poke my corners out really well and ironed the finished bag flat, avoiding the stitches. Now I have somewhere new to store one of my many projects, and I hope I have inspired you to give it a go.
My name is Joanna and I am a sewing blogger at Thimble Patterns. I am very excited to write for the Minerva Crafts blog.
First, a little bit about me. I am a Mechanical Engineer by trade and love all things construction. I learned how to sew 5 years ago and never looked back. I just love to turn material into product.
But enough about me.
For my first project I chose this gorgeous sequined Cotton Voile Fabric. I was very nervous when the package arrived. A photo can only tell you this much about a fabric. This fabric really exceeded all my expectations. The quality of the cotton is very good. The fabric is lightweight and sheer, perfect for summer weather. It drapes beautifully which makes it suitable for clothes that need some flow. The sequins are sewed with invisible nylon thread on the fabric. They are high quality since I had none break or even bend.
I always pre-wash my fabrics because I try to eliminate laundry surprises, if you know what I mean. I was fascinated by how little the fabric shrank although I did hand washed it and air dried it. In addition all sequins remained intact. To my surprise and delight this fabric was fairly easy to iron! That I did not expect. Later as I sewed it I was very happy to see how well it pressed!
I would also like to mention that the floral motif is not only very beautiful but thoughtfully spaced. I was in fabric heaven!
From day one I knew I wanted to make a dress with a flowy skirt. That was the only disadvantage this fabric gave me. It is suitable for so many options! It took me more time than I want to admit to commit to a pattern.
I also planned on sewing a LWD. The perfect summer companion. After placing the fabric over a white rayon underlining fabric though I realized that the flower motifs were not very visible. Not the look I was going for. After trying some other color options I decided on a boudreaux/wine colored underlining. This made the motif pop and gave the garment some structure.
As I said, I had a very hard time deciding on the pattern. Finally, after much deliberation I decided on a pattern from the Japanese sewing book “Black”. This is dress ‘O’. To be honest I did make a toile because having sewn it before I knew it needed many pattern alterations. For those interested I am pear shaped with a very long torso and a full bust.
The alterations that I made are:
Lowered and shortened the bust dart.
Shortened the top half of the front dart.
A sway back adjustment.
The pattern says to use facings on both the armholes and the neckband. I used cotton double folded bias tape for both and it worked very well. The boudreaux/wine colored invisible zipper was a design element I decided to add at the last minute. I think it adds a little personality to the dress if I am to wear my hair up.
Overall, I am very happy with this dress. It’s simple design lets the fabric shine.
If you are looking for a more dressy fabric for a summer outfit. Search no more. This fabric comes in three colors. Pink, Blue and White. And don’t let the sequins intimidate you. Trust me when I say you need this fabric in your wardrobe.
Thanks for reading,
Ioanna @ Thimble Patterns
Posted in Product Reviews on Thursday the 30th August 2018 by Vicki Ormerod
I’m a huge fan of garments that can transition between summer and winter. You know the sorts of dresses you can wear with tights and a thick cardigan when its snowing and bare legs and sunglasses when the sun finally decides to show its face! [Which it briefly does once a year!!!]
Well I think this dress is a the best of both worlds!
The fabric is this birds print Crepe Fabric which immediately puts me in mind of the 1940’s. I love how delicate the print is and the fact that it comes in two colour ways. I chose the darker version because I knew it would fit into my wardrobe best but I think the white colour would be perfect for making a full skirted dress for a summer wedding.
When I prewashed the fabric it didn’t shrink and it didn’t need ironing when it came out of the dryer either which is an always a winner for me! It did fray a little bit so I decided to overlock my seams when I made the actual dress.
For the pattern I used the “Blitz Dress” by Sew La Di Da Vintage. But I did make a few changes, for starters I left the collar off and I cut the bodice on the fold so that I wouldn’t have a split in the front neckline. These changes gave the whole thing a vintage vibe which I think works with the fabric really well.
I left a small keyhole at the top of the back neckline for two reasons 1. it looks pretty and 2. It means I can zip it up by myself and not have to ask for help! I can do the button and loop at the top and the zip ends at the point of my back that I can’t reach!
The bodice is lined with plain cotton which gives it some stability and the skirt has been left unlined so that it will flow nicely. Luckily the fabric isn’t at all sheer so I can wear it without a slip! It also means it would be perfect for making blouses that you don’t want to wear a camisole underneath.
Normally I slip stitch the lining and the bodice together or stitch in the ditch however for this one I decided to finish the waist seem with cotton bias binding. The binding acts a bit like a gros grain ribbon and supports the weight of the weight of the skirt. It also means the waist seam is a bit stronger and less likely to end up drooping.
Due to the floaty nature of the fabric I did take care to stay stitch the neckline so it wouldn’t stretch out of shape and I added a small amount of Interfacing to the back seam allowance before I put the zip in. The interfacing adds some structure to the fabric so it makes the zip a lot easier to get in and leaves a much cleaner finish! It also helps it to stand up to repeated washes and wears.
I did press my seams whilst I was making the dress but I’ve not ironed it since! But if you do want to iron it I suggest using a cooler iron and a Pressing Cloth just to make sure you don’t scorch the fabric.
All in all I really enjoyed making this dress. Its a really simple style but the fabric meant that I had to be a bit more careful in my construction. That said I would definitely recommend this fabric to a beginner sewist who wants to branch away from cottons and start sewing with more drapey fabrics. I love the dress and I can’t wait to wear it again!
Posted in Projects on Wednesday the 29th August 2018 by Vicki Ormerod
In case you hadn't noticed, we’ve had a bit of a heatwave in the U.K this summer! When it comes to knitting, garment projects and heat don't really go too well - using heavy yarn coupled with large projects such as jumpers or cardigans (especially towards the end when you have pretty much the entire thing on the needles!) don't make for a comfortable knit! One option would be to gravitate towards smaller projects such as socks when its warmer, but when you think about the timing of wanting jumpers in the colder months, then summer knitting makes sense so you have it ready in time! The other option is thinking about the yarn you use, and cotton is a great option for lighter knitting.
Despite the heat, evenings usually get a bit cooler, and I wanted to make a garment that would be a good transition piece for temperature change.
Cotton yarn is perfect for this, and I went with Stylecraft Classique Cotton DK in the Poppy colourway (there are nearly 30 colours to choose from), which is 100% cotton and comes with 92 meters/100 yards to a 50g ball. It's a lightweight, breathable yarn, so perfect for knitting when warm, and the colour is super pigmented - definitely one to stand out from the crowd! It's incredibly soft to the touch, making working with it very gentle on the hands (with no scratchiness) and ideal for items worn against the skin. It's a stable yarn with good drape, making it ideal for structured projects such as bags as well as garments.
Deciding on what pattern to use was fairly easy. I knew I wanted something simple (both in construction and design) and a quick browse through patterns online soon provided several options.
I went with the Cropped Boxy Tee by Quail Studio for Rowan (a free pattern), a simple box shape cropped jumper which would be ideal for throwing on over most outfits. It's a fairly intuitive design, with the main pattern being a 4-line repeat. The pattern calls for between 6 - 8 balls of yarn depending on the size you make (I went for Large) however I knew I wanted to make some adjustments from the start - one being to making it even more cropped. I have a fairly short torso so my natural waist sits quite high, and I prefer my cropped/high waist to sit here. I also played with the idea of not actually adding the sleeves and making it a sleeveless jumper, and only nearer the end did I decide to add a small cap sleeve! All together I used 5 balls for this jumper, but believe me when I say the game of yarn chicken on the last sleeve was very intense!
My first swatches did not match the stated sizes (I’ve only just started swatching for makes, and realise it actually does make a difference it getting a good fit, so I do recommend doing them!) and while this style of this jumper is loose and not particularly fitted, on going down a needle size I preferred how the stitch definition looked, so went down 0.5mm and used 4.5mm and 5mm size circular needles.
The back and front are knit separately bottom up, and the yarn was a dream from the start. It doesn't spilt while knitting (meaning the needle doesn't go through the yarn splitting the strands and making for messy looking stitches) and because of the stability of the cotton, it makes the patterns really defined - look at that rib!
As mentioned, I like my jumpers fairly cropped, and shortened the length of the front and back by 2 inches, measuring while working on them and knitting until my desired length. I do confess I deviated from the pattern quite a bit by the time it came to construction! Instead of joining just the right shoulder and picking up for the neckband, I joined both shoulder seams and picked up the neckband in the round, using the magic loop method, which is my preferred way of working. As adding sleeves was a last minute decision I did not follow the pattern here either - instead of knitting separately and joining, I picked up 40 stitches evenly around the armhole after seaming together the sides, worked the pattern repeat twice (changing the pearl stitches for the knit equivalent), ending with rib for 3cm before casting off with a stretchy cast off.
And voila - one boxy fit cropped sweater perfect for throwing on for a casual look with a bit of warmth! Using cotton yarn means the finished garment is lightweight enough to not be too warm, and structured enough to hold its shape and pattern - perfect for creating transitional garments!
Thanks for reading,
Finally, a foam interfacing insert was placed in the top band and the interfacing stitched into place by hand. Two tabs with magnetic catch inners were also included on the inside to hold the bag shut. As finishing touches and for a bit of fun, I included some contrasting bobble trim along the tops of the side pockets which were sewn in place when the main body of the bag was constructed.
I busily go about my day and from time to time I watch what people wear a lot. Lately I started to see pale pink or blush coloured clothes appear.
It’s an interesting colour and this blog post is not only to show this Prestige Crepe Fabric from Minerva Crafts but also how I can integrate this new colour into my life.
Why choose crepe?
Crepe is one of those fabrics that looks amazing and gives you the option to use the shiny or matt side. The right side of this crepe is the shiny side. I chose this crepe in mink because the colour complimented the fabric softness and drape so well.
Did it cut easily?
Yes. This fabric is smooth and scissors glide through it, so be careful as you work with it. I have some very sharp Prym scissors that glided along as I cut out each pattern piece. New Look 6532 is designed for crepe so I was able to showcase this fabric nicely.
Is it slippery to sew with?
The fabric is smooth so I chose to cut this pattern out on carpet. I had no slippage while cutting this crepe. Smaller pieces were easy to work with on my sewing table.
When I was sewing this fabric, it was easy to manipulate while sewing it. I used the fabric’s smoothness to my advantage and not the other way around.
Did I need special pins on this fabric?
I did use the Fine Pins from the Prym Love range. They have a great magnetic container and the pin heads are red so they contrasted perfect against this fabric.
How did it iron easily?
Yes is does with low heat and will crease quickly. This is handy feature when you’re setting up the hem to hand sew it.
While this fabric creases easily, the polyester fibre will iron quite easily so you will always get a smooth finish while you’re wearing your garment.
If you’re not sure where your fabric pleats and creases should sit, you can easily change this the press of your iron. I used Prym tracing paper and their ergonomic tracing wheel to mark the pleats.
The other aspect I was wondering about is if you’re travelling, I think this fabric could easily be ironed using the steam in your hotel bathroom, when you’re in a rush.
Was there a downfall to using this fabric?
See-through: I have to be honest and say when I tried on the pants before adding the waistband, it was amazingly see-through. I’d forgotten how I avoid white fabrics but I still wanted the pants in this fabric.
So I quickly cut out a lining for these pants in a white fabric I had used in a previous dress. That made these pants more wearable but then I had to increase the waistband because the lining had added width to the waistline. The lining fabric was slightly heavier hence the added bulk. On the pants, the centre back seam needs to be resewn so there’s less tension.
Frays: I used French seams for both pieces. This seam finish stopped the fabric from fraying and it gives a beautiful finish.
Tension: On the pants I had to iron the side seams a few times before the pulling on the seams would relax.
The seam tension isn’t there on the side seams for the top. It was the pants seams that seemed to show tension. I need to investigate this in more depth.
Why did you use New Look 6532?
Crepe has great drape. This fabric truly does have great drape without being too wide. I wanted to make a two piece outfit with this fabric. Having lighter colour pieces gives me to some interesting options against the dark colours that fill my wardrobe.
New Look 6532 offers pants will great drape. The leg style isn’t skinny or billowing but they have a beautiful shape to them and this crepe showcases this shaping.
If this pattern had a top with sleeves, I would have trekked down this path with this fabric.
The slightly draped shell top is easy to sew and grade to your shape. On this top, the bust is size 8 and I graded the hips to a size 10 and lowered the centre back hem.
As you can see, this top is already a win as I’ve already been able to pair this with jeans and a jacket.
I think this top would look great extended into t tunic style or a maxi dress with this crepe.
Cheers for now until the next Make!
Thanks for reading,
Maria @ How Good Is That
Posted in Projects on Tuesday the 28th August 2018 by Vicki Ormerod
Hi everyone, hope you have had a good week and managed to squeeze in some crafting time.
Becky here from Notes from the Sewing Room. This month I was asked to review a lovely floral print Crepe Fabric from Minerva Crafts.
The fabric itself is really pretty as it has a black background with some really interesting details. There are pink flowers, blue birds and green leaves scattered across the print which makes it different (in a good way) to look at and wear.
I’m fairly new to sewing with crepe fabrics, particularly ones that have a lot of fluidity, so I gave a bit of thought to what I would make with material. As the fabric has an air of elegance about it I thought it would be most suited to making a dress.
I decided I wanted to make a dress that would be suitable for an awards event I have to go along to in a few weeks’ time so this project fitted the bill entirely – as it ticks both the stylish and glamourous boxes (in my opinion anyway).
So here is the low down step by step…
The fabric is very lightweight and has a lot of movement – so much so I had to try hard to control it when sewing on my machine as it kept trying to escape! All the effort was worth it though as I didn’t find that the material frayed particularly and it has a beautiful drape, perfect for summer weight projects.
It is slightly see through so I lined my bodice with the same fabric and the skirt with an anti-static peach coloured lining (I always find it fun to use a different colour on the inside of my clothes that only I can see).
I think the fabric is suitable to be used for lots of different garments – light-weight blouses or pop over your head tops would be cute, or like I made a new dress.
Depending on your level of sewing experience, you may want to take extra time and care not to snag the material and prevent any unpicking as it is delicate and could be damaged fairly easily.
To my amazement, I only ended up unpicking one bit of my project through lack of concentration which hardly ever happens. The bit I unpicked was completely fine but I wouldn’t want to have to pull out lots of stiches just to be safe.
My Pattern Choice
I’ve made both the Cambie Dress and the Hollyburn Skirt before and I absolutely love the patterns.
Sewaholic patterns are made for pear-shaped sewers, like me, who have a smaller waist and larger hips. This means I don’t often have to cut my pattern between sizes and always get a great fit at the end.
The Cambie Dress has a sweetheart neckline and is fully lined. It is fitted to the waist and includes cap sleeves. The pattern includes two different skirts although on this occasion, I didn’t use either!
The Hollyburn Skirt, if you are unfamiliar with it, is an a-line skirt that has a good amount of flare to it. The skirt sits high on the waist and has two deep practical pockets on the front (I love adding pockets to my clothes if possible). The pattern pack includes three different lengths although I made the shorter version and added two inches to it as I wanted the maximum amount of flare (the other versions are slightly less flared).
Joining the two patterns was easy. I used the waistband from the hollyburn skirt (I folded the pattern piece in half width-ways) and cut two pieces – one for the outside and one for the lining. I then made the skirt following the regular instructions.
I cut the bodice as normally directed, along with the sleeves and then joined this to my ‘new’ waistband, then onto my skirt. I then went back to the Cambie Dress instructions to follow how to insert the lining.
I’m really pleased with the end result of my dress. I think it will look great dressed up with heels or can be worn with a cardigan and pumps on a day-to-day basis.
The crepe fabric is really pretty and would not be something I would normally go for, so I am pleased I pushed myself out of my comfort zone to create something slightly different to what I normally make.
I’m now looking forward to wearing it at my awards event in a few weeks’ time.
Find Me Online