Archives: August 2019
Posted in Projects on Saturday the 31st August 2019 by Vicki Ormerod
Hi, my name is Nadia and I am a self-taught dressmaker with love for unconventional styles with bright and bold colours and exaggerated prints. My sewing journey began when I received a sewing machine for Christmas one year. I have always had a strong creative mind and skills, and I felt instantly drawn to designing and creating patterns and garments. I began to learn basic skills and knowledge by attending local sewing classes and workshops, reading related books and watching online tutorials, also from countless trials and errors. It is getting close to 2 years since I started sewing and happily building my entirely handmade wardrobe.
I am ecstatic to join the Minerva Maker team as I have been following and admiring everyone’s wonderful creations on here. This is my first project for Minerva and I could not be happier with the process and result.
If you know me, you can easily see I am a huge fan of floral prints (and dresses). About 80% of my wardrobe is floral dresses, so as soon as I saw John Kaldor Fabric, I knew I must make a dress with it and a million ideas started running through my head.
Recently I have been exploring and searching for different looks from my usual style, because all my usual fitted-bodice dresses I have made no longer fit my growing baby bump (5 months pregnant at the moment). After looking through the recommendations and suggestions I received on Instagram, I decided to make Myosotis Dress by Deer And Doe as it is a great oversize shirt dress pattern, regardless of whether pregnant or not. And it has pockets!
Preparations and Working with The Fabric
I washed and ironed the fabric. It didn’t require too much ironing though.
The fabric doesn’t have stretch but because it’s pretty shifty and drapey, I made sure the fabric was laid out straight and got the pattern pieces into place. When working with shifty or slippery fabrics, I don’t try to lay out all the pattern pieces at once, because even with pins or weights, the fabric moves around while cutting and I most likely have to rearrange the patterns. I find it much simpler and easier to work in smaller and more manageable sections.
Also, for the pattern pieces to be interfaced, I cut away enough of the fabric to fit said pieces on and interface before cutting. It makes easier to cut out those pattern pieces accurately.
And Sew On!
I used a self-cover shank back button kit to make 3 buttons (12mm). I really enjoy making and using fabric covered buttons as they are versatile, and can be made perfectly suitable for any project. I have used a few different brands of DIY button kits then found a local eBay seller who has good quality products.
Deer And Doe indicates this pattern as level 3 (intermediate). I like this dress because it is easy and quick to process with no lining, no zip and no elastic. The most time-consuming part of the process for me was cutting the fabric and gathering of the skirt and the skirt ruffle. I worked on it between a few other projects over a weekend but on the whole, I spent about 5 – 6 hours on making it.
I really like how it turned out! I love how beautifully it drapes and how soft it feels on my body. The short bodice gives plenty of room for my bump to grow, and I can see myself wearing it often and for a long time even after the baby is born. :)
To Sum up..
Pattern: Myosotis Dress by Deer And Doe
Fabrics and Notions: John Kaldor Floral Print Peach Skin Dress Fabric (Green), 3 self-covered shank back buttons (12mm), fusible interfacing
Size and Yardage: I made size 36, and used a bit less than 1.5m of the fabric (56” wide)
Design Modifications: Made view A without sleeve ruffles
Fitting Alterations: None
Notes: I made this dress in cotton poplin before, but I think the drapey and soft fabric gives it more feminine and beautiful fit. I will definitely make more!
This was a great success and I am super happy with it. I cannot wait for my next project!
For more about me and my other makes, you can find me on Instagram @nadiaseostyles
Happy sewing, everyone!
Posted in Projects on Saturday the 31st August 2019 by Vicki Ormerod
Hi everyone! I’m so excited to be writing my first blog post for the Minerva blog, which also happens to be my first ever blog post! I fell in love with sewing a little over a year ago - it was love at first stitch - and am so thankful to live in a part of the world with a rich crafting and sewing community. I post my makes on Instagram at Kristin.Sews and will be starting a blog soon at kristinsews.com!
I don’t know about you, but I’m constantly snapping up beautiful fabrics before I figure out what to do with them, and this gorgeous Lady McElroy Fabric was no exception! Before the fabric arrived in the mail, I had so many questions about it - How big is the print? Are the colors going to be too muted? And what on earth is peachskin? Is it fuzzy? (Answer: It is definitely not fuzzy - it’s just a soft poly crepe).
But once the package arrived, it became instantly clear: this fabric was meant to be a sundress, and a Dolce & Gabbana-inspired sundress at that! If you squint really hard, it can kind of look like a pink version of the brand’s famous Majolica tile print, no?
I decided to make Version 1 of McCall’s M7778. I made this pattern once before, shortly after I started sewing, and even as a complete beginner, it was a fairly easy make once I got the fitting right.
Based on my measurements and the finished garment measurements, I used a size 12 as my base. After making a muslin, I saw that I needed to make a few minor tweaks to get the bust just right. In order to get the princess seams to line up properly, I moved the apex about ½ inch away from the center front. This then meant that I needed to take in the side seams by a corresponding ½ inch.
It’s funny how fabric choice can change the fit of a pattern. When I made this dress last summer, I used a quilting cotton, and the weight of the skirt pulled the bodice down so it hit at my natural waist (which I loved!). Since peachskin is lighter, the bodice sits a bit higher, which gives the same look as the pattern envelope (which I love too). For reference, I’m 5’1”, 35-26-38.
To give the bodice a little more structure, the dress is self-lined with interfaced fabric. When I made this dress last year as a baby sewist, I used papery non-woven fusible interfacing I was able to find at my local big box fabric shop. This year, ever the older and wiser sewist, I used fusible tricot interfacing. Even though the fabric doesn’t have any stretch, I always use fusible tricot or lightweight woven interfacing. Mine is leftover from my stash, but Minerva has a huge selection of good quality interfacing - it makes all the difference in the world and is totally worth the splurge!
My only caveat about this pattern is that, with a five piece bodice, there is a lot of prominent pattern matching! In order to get the seams to line up just so, my “trick” is to press in the seam allowance on adjacent pieces before cutting out the next piece to make sure it lines up properly. If pattern matching is a priority for you, plan on buying some extra fabric - the pattern calls for 1 ¾ yards and I ended up using about 2 ½ yards. Also, quick note about sewing with Lady McElroy poly crepes - they can fray a bit, so I always use a sharp needle and have my serger ready.
Thanks so much for stopping by! Happy sewing!
Posted in Projects on Saturday the 31st August 2019 by Vicki Ormerod
This is a lovely simple pattern and really flatters a curvy shape. I normally have to make some small adjustments to the bodice pieces to take the shoulder and armhole down. I didn’t end up doing it on this make, as I have lost a tiny bit of weight and needed to go down a dress size. I totally should have done the adjustments regardless because my bodice length is not going to change according to my weight. Silly me for thinking it was as easy as that haha!
Working with the fabric was a pleasure, it stayed where it was supposed to and was easy to sew with. I found I didn’t need to really use a lot of pins as it really would stay put.
All in all, the dress went together smoothly due to the fabric behaving so well, even pressing was a satisfying task. Nice clean crisp edges are always amazing to have in a garment. I did find the skirt creased easily, but that was due to me scrunching it up to sew! I should have pressed it again before taking photos, but I was way too excited!
The only problem I encountered, was with me, not the pattern or the fabric. It was the buttonholes. I have made the Evelyn a few times, but always went for snaps as I was too afraid to attempt buttonholes on them. I felt brave this time so thought I would give it a go. Whoops... I ended up with wonky buttonholes. I was really careful and made sure I marked everything right, double checked them and they still ended up wonky.
After thinking about what went wrong and contemplating what I would do differently next time, I think the skirt was getting in the way of creating the buttonholes accurately as the fabric was not sitting flat on the machine.
So next time, I will sew any buttonholes on a flat bodice before attaching the skirt.... and hope for the best!
Until next time....
Have you ever felt like you wanted to live in a garment because it was just that comfortable? This was me in this ruffled maxi dress I recently made. When I first set eyes on this Lady McElroy Stretch Cotton Twill Fabric with gorgeous gold, white, and blue stripes with bold navy blue horses, I knew I had to have it. I was sold off of one look. When it arrived, it felt more luscious than the pictures and super soft against my skin with a little bit of give.
I didn’t initially plan to make a summer dress. I had a fun jumpsuit in mind but miscalculated the yards I would actually need so I had to improvise. With the stripes and the horses galloping across the fabric, I knew that pattern matching would be a beast to do with this design so I wanted to avoid any design that would require me to. So I thought a flowing summer maxi would do the trick. I began sketching designs and came up with a maxi dress with strap ties and two tiers of ruffles on the bottom. I didn’t own a pattern like it so I set out to hack Newlook 6511 Pattern as I liked the fit and ease to hack this pattern into my design. So let’s get into how I made this dress so that you can too.
First things first, I measured from my neckline down to how low I wanted the top of the dress (purple line) to start and added 5/8in to that for seam allowance (blue line).
Then I made a line on the front pattern piece marking the top of the dress and folded the pattern on that line (blue line).
I lined up the front and back pattern pieces matching up the arm and side notches, then drew a line where the front pattern piece was folded onto the back pattern piece. Then I folded the back pattern piece at the fold line.
Next I pinned the front piece on the fold of the fabric. I measured the length of where I wanted the dress to start and to where I wanted the bodice to end, which was right around my knees. I marked that length on the fabric along the fold under the front pattern piece.
I marked the location of my hips and measured out my desired hip width onto the fabric. I connected the waist point on the pattern to the hip point and then the hip point to the edge of the bodice. Then I cut the front bodice piece out.
For the back piece, I decided to remove 5/8 inch in seam allowance down the center front as I wanted to cut the piece on a fold and not into two pieces. As you can see I was trying to avoid pattern matching (hehe). I folded that seam allowance back and pinned the back piece on the fold of the fabric.
I placed the front bodice piece over the back piece, lined it up with the back piece and traced the front piece onto the fabric to create the outline for the back bodice piece. Then I cut out the back bodice piece.
To create the facing of the bodice, I traced the top of the back bodice piece to where I wanted my facing to stop, making sure my facing was even lengths on both sides where I traced. Then I removed the front bodice piece, connected the two ends of the facing and cut it out.
I repeated this for the front, ensuring that the front and back facing side seams lined up. Then I assembled the dart on the front facing.
One optional feature I added was side seam pockets, which I inserted while sewing up the bodice pieces right sides together.
For the tie straps, I cut four rectangles that were 4 inches by 26 inches long. I thought this was too long at first but quickly fell in love with the big bow it created. I folded each piece right sides together and sewed at a 1/2 inch seam allowance one end shut, pivoting at the corner and sewing down the length of the tie. I left one end open to turn the ties inside out. Then pressed.
Next, I placed the front and back facing right sides together and sewed the side seams together. I placed the facing right sides together with the bodice and sewed the under arms together at a 5/8th inch seam allowance.
Then I sandwiched the ties in between the bodice and facing, lining up the open edge of one tie on each upper corner of the bodice and pinned in place. I proceeded to sew down the opening with the bodice, facing and ties pinned together. I turned it inside out and gave it a good press.
For the top ruffle, I measured the bottom width of the bodice and cut out two rectangles on the fold with that measurement. I used the ruffle pattern piece from Newlook 6511 (piece #7) as a guide for my width and my desired ruffle length. With right sides together, I sewed up the side seams of the two rectangles to create a circle, hemmed the circle then gathered it.
For the bottom ruffle, I created a rectangle using the same width measurement and 1.5 times the length of the top ruffle, cut two on the fold, and assembled it the same as the top ruffle.
For the ruffle divider piece, I cut another two rectangles the width of the bodice bottom and a length that is 1/2 of the top ruffle. This will be placed between the two ruffles and will not need to be gathered.
With right sides together, I pinned the gathered top ruffle to the bottom of the bodice. Then I pinned the right side of the ruffle divider piece to the top ruffle and bodice bottom. Then I sewed all three pieces together.
Lastly, I pinned with right faces together the bottom of the ruffle divider piece with the gathered ends of the bottom ruffle and sewed them together.
I tied the straps together and the dress was complete. I still need to wash this dress to remove marks from my sewing marker but that didn't stop me from rocking this dress for a Father's Day dinner with family.
I just love when things don’t go as planned when you sew and then you produce an even better garment than what you originally had in mind. I love the versatility of this piece to not only be used as a dress but to layer a top underneath to wear the maxi as a bib or a top over to wear the maxi as a skirt. I wish I had more of the fabric to make a matching belt and line up the stripes on the ties better but this doesn't take away from my love for this dress.
I plan to make a shortened version for a cute night gown or a top. I really hope you try out making this design and if you do, definitely tag me on Instagram at @createandpray so that I can share and show you all the love. Until next time loves, happy sewing!
Posted in Projects on Friday the 30th August 2019 by Vicki Ormerod
Hi, Vicky here, you can find me at vickymyerscreations.co.uk where I share many craft related tutorials, plus refashions and sewing projects.
I’ve been sewing for years but this is my first time posting for the Minerva Blog and I am really excited to be here. Being a sewing blogger for Minerva is a delight – I am planning on using the experience to widen my sewing knowledge and experience, sharing lots of projects to inspire you.
For my first project, I chose this Crinkle Satin Fabric, with a mix of blue leaf prints. I knew instantly that I wanted to make a long flowing skirt, perfect for summer days, for day and evening.
Once I had prewashed the fabric I had a rummage through my pattern collection and decided that Simplicity K1069 (View B) was the perfect skirt. Due to the size and busyness of the print plus the swirly nature of the skirt I did not pattern match - to be honest I don’t think anyone will notice.
Recently I have decided to push myself and sew unfamiliar fabrics, I have always stayed away from light weight fabrics. When cutting out the fabric I used lots of pins, and my left hand to hold the fabric in place whilst I cut. But this fabric was far easier to work with than anticipated, I feared it would slip and slide as I sewed but I am delighted to say I was proven wrong. I strongly suggest taking the time to get the tension right on your sewing machine, and ensuring you have a suitable sewing machine needle designed for light weight fabric. Pressing your seams also helps. The curved hem I handstitched, purely as preference. Do not be put off by my lack of experience. Sewing is fun and there is always something new to learn.
Overall the fabric was much easier to work with than I imagined.
I wore my skirt for the first time whilst travelling from the UK to France on holiday – I hadn’t quite anticipated that due to the shimmer on the fabric, or perhaps my shape the tie on the skirt kept slipping up my body. This is easily solved by adding some poppers inside the waistband tie.
The fabric design has an abstract feel, which makes it interesting to look at. With the print and shimmer the finished skirt is perfect for day or evening wear – dress the wrap skirt up or down with accessories. Just switch your footwear!!
I love how the skirt flows beautifully, emphasizing my waist. At 6” tall I am delighted with the length of the skirt. One of the aspects of sewing I love, which I am sure you relate to, is sewing items that fit you.
Thanks for reading,
I immediately fell in love with the balade Cotton Broadcloth Fabric when I first saw it online, and I love it even more when I received it in real life. The print is absolutely gorgeous in one of my favourite colours - teal green. It is a medium weight cotton fabric but very soft to touch, which makes it perfect for dressmaking.
Originally, I had planned to make a vintage style pleated skirt with it. However, the latest Peppermint Everyday Dress pattern has minimal number of seams and is perfect to showcase the cute print of the balade fabric. The pattern is completely free to download as well, it can’t get any better than that!
The Everyday dress is an over-size, reversible, calf-length dress. This dress reminds me of the Sew House Seven Tea House dress, just simpler and easier to sew up. It is a nice pattern for a confident beginner to learn some new tricks, such as sewing mitred corners. For an experienced sewist, this is a quick, satisfying make.
I have used this medium weight cotton so it has a bit of structure when worn. However, I can see how a softer fabric that has a bit more drape would make a lovely, elegant version of the Everyday Dress.
This dress does live up to the name as an everyday dress! It can be styled in so many ways for both summer and winter. Here I am wearing it with my Peppermint Slouchy Cardigan - also by In the Folds - with stockings and my beloved winter boots.
It works just as well on its own with heels or sandals for warmer days.
I love every free sewing pattern designed by Emily from In the Folds for the Peppermint Magazine. Not only do they usually fit me very well without adjustments, but also the intricate details in all of her patterns. I always learn something new when making her designs, which makes the process so much more enjoyable.
While the dress looks very simple, the mitred corned details in the skirt is so much fun to work on! I love how mine turned out.
I made a straight size 1. Because it is an oversized dress, I did not consider making any adjustments. I did measure the length, and found that it is spot on to my liking.
The only hack I made to it was the tabs and buttons on the sleeves, just to make it even more versatile!
The tab was a simple rectangular piece with a buttonhole. I attached them to the inside of the shoulder-sleeve seams, with the end of the tabs flush with the sleeve hem so it’s hidden when I want to wear the sleeves down.
I then sewed the buttons to the outside of the sleeves near my upper arms. When I want to create a short sleeve look, I just pull the tab out and attach it to the button.
I love this dress and will be wearing it a lot! Hope to see more versions of this pattern made up by sewists across the world.
Thanks for reading! You can find me on Instagram @icecjan if you wish to connect :)
Janice from Sunny Perth, Western Australia.