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Archives: September 2018

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McCalls 6886 Floral Scuba Dress

I was delighted to receive this gorgeous new Scuba Fabric from Minerva to make a dress with. The pattern is a beautiful mint and pink with a touch of blue and gold. 

The pattern is reminiscent of a famous high end designer brand and there are lots of these pattern styles on the high street this autumn. The composition is polyester and spandex and the fabric is heavy making it ideal for hiding knicker and bra marks. It’ll also be cosy in the winter but not too warm for a summer evening.

After washing and air drying the fabric it was time to cut out the pattern pieces. The McCall’s M6886 Pattern is so easy with only 4 pieces for a sleeved v-neck dress and very little instruction steps. 

My trusted method is to use tracing paper so that I don’t damage the actual pattern pieces. 

The fabric was simple to cut with my rotary cutter as it didn’t pull or snag or stretch out of place. The dress was mostly assembled using my Singer overlocker however I find it difficult to measure the seam allowance on the overlocker so using washable pen I mark out the seam allowance first and make sure I line it up with the left needle.

Two shoulder seams and two side seams in a matter of minutes and the dress is starting to take shape.

Next I added the sleeves and constructed the v-neck. This was the first time that I’ve had to construct a v-neck and as such I was a bit worried but it was super quick and straight forward. 

I used a zig zag stitch to bring it together before overlocking the edge and then attaching to the dress using a twin needle. All that was left to do was hem the dress and the sleeves again using a twin needle and voila I have a gorgeous one off dress. 

This fabric is so nice against the skin and hugs the figure in a flattering way.

Thanks for reading,



Sointu Dress Hack

Hey Minerva Makers!

It’s Vicky from Sewstainability here with a review of this gorgeous Lunation Bright Art Gallery Jersey Fabric. I have sewn with a lot of jersey, knit fabrics are my first love and definitely my comfort zone. I can say with confidence this Art Gallery jersey is just gorgeous. It is so soft and almost seemed to fluff up when I prewashed it, it’s a decent weight single jersey but feels like a fluffy cloud!

I had a real decision to make when thinking about what to sew with this. I really wanted to show off the print but still have an interesting shape. Then I remembered the Sointu Kimono Top Pattern by Named and a plan started to come together. I played around with the fabric layout a bit and decided that my 2m of fabric was enough to be able to pull off a dress-length hack of the Sointu.

I added 9 inches in length to the pattern piece and set about cutting out my fabric. I like to pay attention to pattern placement and you may notice I have a row of full moons running vertically from the neckline down the centre of the dress. I also cut the wide sleeve cuffs against the grain of the fabric so that the moons on the cuffs are running in the opposite direction of the rest of the dress. I even cut them so that there is a full moon on the top of each sleeve but that would never be noticed by anyone else apart from me. What can I say? I REALLY love going crazy with attention to detail and pattern placement.

Anyway, once I had my fabric cut I hit a problem. My overlocker threw a huge fit and needed to go to the Sewing Machine Hospital. With the prognosis not looking great I had to go to my mums to borrow her overlocker for all of the construction, I was not looking forward to this one bit. Even though that overlocker is the cheapest most basic machine out there, it sewed through this jersey like a dream. I was so pleasantly surprised!

I took my half-finished dress home to finish the hem and neck binding on my own regular sewing machine. I don’t love sewing knits with a regular machine as they so often like to chew up knits or start skipping stitches. This was easy, I used a walking foot and took my time but I can honestly say I had no problems sewing this up on my regular machine. I think this would be a great jersey for anyone is new to knits, it is slightly thicker than some jerseys and nice and stable so behaved really nicely for me. I even chose to cut a strip of jersey 1.5 inches wide to use as my binding for the neckline and it worked great.

Finally, I had cut out the belt pattern pieces to make the kimono style belt. I do like to interface belts/ties made out of knit fabrics so that they retain their shape instead of stretching out but when I checked my stash of interfacing I didn’t have anything I could use! I only had super stiff heavy weight interfacing that could stand up on its own - no good AT ALL for a knit belt! I immediately ordered some from Minerva to resolve this but was impatient to try on my new dress. I tried it on with a belt I have and I immediately loved it! It gives that perfectly autumnal feel and I like how the dark belt breaks up the shape a bit – definitely ties in well to dark tights and boots for autumn layering. I will still make the self fabric belt when the correct interfacing arrives but I will definitely still be wearing this dress until that happens!

So despite several obstacles, I am absolutely in love with this dress and am SO excited to have made a start on my Autumn/Winter wardrobe!

Until next time, happy sewing!

Vicky @ sewstainability


Burda 8591 Makes

I really enjoy craft of all styles along with my love of a Me Made Wardrobe, especially sewing dress-up and toys for my kids. When Minerva Crafts offered me some of this cute zigzag Quilting Cotton Fabric, the Penelope Waves, I knew I wanted to make something crafty & fun. I decided to make a sweet carrycot for my daughter and her dolly, something I've been thinking about for a while.
I chose the Burda 8591 pattern from Minerva Crafts which is a dolls carrycot and a variety of clothes patterns. The carrycot and clothes come in 2 different sizes 16-18” and 20-22”. The pattern is described as easy and I'd agree with this, the makes were quick and straightforward. The carrycot and clothes can be made out of a variety of fabrics, jersey, sweat shirting, velour, fleece and denim. If you are interested in making dolls clothes this would be a great use of fabric scraps as some of the pattern pieces are quite tiny.
It’s over a year since I last used a tissue paper pattern and it is soooo different to work with in comparison to printer paper! Most of the clothes I sew are downloadable patterns from Indie Pattern Houses and I enjoy the process of sticking and cutting the pattern pieces out. I've got in the habit of using things like a punch, tins and a water bottle as weights on my pattern pieces but tissue paper requires careful pinning. Due to to the great weather we have been experiencing, my balcony door was open while sewing and I kept finding pattern pieces blowing away from me! I eventually remembered to put my scissors on top of a pattern piece once I was finished using it.
I used a corresponding Marble Print Quilting Fabric in Candy Pink and Hobbs Polydown Quilt Batting in Ivory also from Minerva Crafts. The main reason I chose this pattern was for the carry cot which I was excited to make for my daughter and I was also keen to make a pair of dungarees for her doll. However I discovered that my daughter’s doll is 12” tall, way too tiny for this pattern without major alternations so we decided her favourite teddy could have an outfit instead. I ended up shortening the legs and the body of the pattern by 2cm, the body fits well but the legs are still a little too long. I rolled them up and think they look pretty cute.
Both quilting cottons washed very well and were easy to sew with. I was surprised how easy it was to sew the batting with the fabric as it was sewn on the outside most of the time before pieces were turned the right way out. I had visions of my dogfeed, foot and needle getting tangled in a spider web like mess!
The pattern was easy to follow and quick to sew but makes no mention of finishing the raw edges once the sides are attached to the bottom and on the covers sewn to the sides. I decided to overlock them and think it turned out well. I suppose you could use bias binding but it would be nice if the pattern made a suggestion or recommended that you purchase or cut binding.
The carrycot sits nicely when on a flat surface but once picked up it folds in half with the weight of the doll. I may see if I can find a thin piece of mdf wood to put inside the base before sewing next time.
My daughter loves her dolls new bed and is very pleased that teddy has something to wear too!
Happy Sewing
Claire x
1 Comment

Cosy Wool New Look 6000 Dress

Sewing for a winter wardrobe can be an exciting way to overcome unbelievable heat and make the cold, cozy days appear closer than they actually are. But if you didn’t get a chance to sew any warm clothes during the heatwave it’s not too late to fill your wardrobe with new wool garments!
I’m not a big fan of layering, which makes my winter style quite simple - extremely warm coat and regular clothes underneath. I can wear an occasional cardigan, but it’s not very common. But some days it can be too cold to wear thin poplins or suitings. That’s when a proper thick wool dress is exactly what I need.
As soon as I saw check Wool Coating Fabric on Minerva Crafts’ shop I knew I have to sew a dress out of it. It might sound strange since this fabric is listed as a coating one. But the picture shows a good drape and thickness of the material that made me confident in my plans. It’s 100% wool which is the best choice for the garment that will be fantastically cozy and warm, yet perfectly breathable. And if the fabric has such a fantastic Autumn-Winter check print, it’s impossible to stop imagining all the occasions you can wear it for too!
My expectation was right and this fabric was the right choice for the dress. It’s thick enough to be warm and to be worn with no lining. It does give a bit of a typical wool feeling on the skin, but not to the degree of causing any itchiness (but I must say that I’ve never experienced any wool allergies). My dress is very tight and the fabric doesn’t pull, it stretches perfectly where it needs to stretch, creating a nice silhouette. I pre-washed it and it didn’t cause any problems either. It’s important for me to know that I can easily wash my dress and avoid dry cleaning, so seeing my fabric passing the water, soap and spinning test with no fail was a great bonus. I dried it flat on some big towels, which is exactly how I’m going to dry my dress too.
I used New Look 6000 Pattern and there were a couple of reasons why I picked it. First of all, it has a gorgeous retro vibe. It’s not a vintage reproduction, but the design is truly nostalgic. I absolutely adored the asymmetric collar and beautiful cuffs. This collar gives a lot of options for those who love to wear brooches, but I decided to use a recommended option of a big decorative button. I wasn’t quite sure how it’s going to look, but it ended up being as elegant and chic as I wanted it to be! It’s such a beautiful button and it perfectly compliments the fabric. I used exactly the same, but smaller ones for my cuffs.
This pattern has a surprisingly good fit and no alterations were needed. Instructions were quite clear too, but it’s such a straightforward pattern that there was no need for their guidance. I finished my seam with some cotton bias tape to give my dress a clean finish and make the inside look as pretty as the outside. I can’t wait for winter, gingerbread coffee, Christmas baking and a chance to wear my new wool dress!
Thanks for reading,

Versatile Yari

Hi there, I’m Kris from Sewnotes and this is my very first time on the Minerva Blog, I’m really excited to be here….but what is more exciting, is the make that I’m going to share with you.

When I had seen the Rayon Linen Blend Fabric in black, I knew this was going to be the right fabric for a summer/fall outfit. This summer, jumpsuits have been my make of choice and I knew I needed a jumpsuit to take me into the fall. Since the summers here go by so fast, I knew I needed a little bit more time to wear jumpsuits! The Yari Jumpsuit by True Bias was the perfect fit for the fabric and I know I will get a lot of wear from it when it starts to cool off.

For the Yari pattern, I sewed a size 8. I did a small bust adjustment and I raised the neck line by 1 inch. I’m really happy with the fit from those alterations.

This is such a great pattern to sew, I thoroughly enjoy every step, even the facing. Normally I do not like to sew facings, but this is one facing that I enjoyed sewing. Not only is it a great pattern to sew, it comes together rather quickly!

The pattern calls for a lot of top-stitching, so I decided that I wanted to add a little pop of color with the pocket top-stitching thread. I also top-stitched the D-ring loops in the grey thread as well. The rest of the top-stitching was done in black. Although, I think that maybe for the next one I would do the entire jumpsuit top-stitching with a contrasting thread. I think it looks great!

The pattern calls for 5 buttons, but since I added an inch to the neck line, I used 6 buttons instead of 5. These buttons are a brushed silver and I thought it went well with the black linen.

I really love how you can style the Yari, as you will see in the photos below, for the summer, I paired it with sandals and for the fall I styled it with a striped shirt and flat shoes.  

Now I’m wanting to sew some different colored long sleeved shirts to pair with my Yari. Any color of top will go with it!

The Rayon Linen Blend, was such a beautiful fabric to work with. It is very smooth and soft to touch. It held up nice while sewing and handling. I believe this fabric was the perfect match for the Yari Jumpsuit.

Thank you for reading about my experience sewing the Yari Jumpsuit using Minerva's Rayon Linen Blend. I hope to see some of you sew a jumpsuit for the fall.

Kris @ Sew Notes


Rayon Challis Ready to Sew Jane Blouse

Viscose. Rayon. Challis. Whichever name you call it, it's one of the favourite fabric substrates of many sewists, me included. While there are many pretty prints out there, viscose challis in a solid colour is great for sewing wardrobe staples. Whether in neutrals or vibrant colours, they are easy to style with pieces in your wardrobe year around. With any solid colour fabric, the quality is absolute key. The Viscose Challis Fabric Minerva carries is my favorite. It has a soft yet supple hand and feels cool and smooth on the skin. The drape is excellent and doesn't wrinkle as easily as some other viscose challis could. With 26 saturated colours, it is a breeze to find your favorite shade, which for me is the teal at the moment. 
One fun fact about solid colour viscose challis is that it's reversible. If there's a right or wrong side, I haven't found a way to tell yet. In that sense, it's perfect for the type of sewing patterns that requires a reversible fabric or where the "wrong" side of the fabric shows. For this project, I wanted to showcase this reversible feature of the fabric and the Ready to Sew Jane blouse came to mind. 
If you follow French sewists on Instagram, you've probably come across this brilliant pattern in many chic versions. At first glance, it appears to be a button up shirt with a modern boxy silhouette. With a closer look you'll find a flattering drape which is achieved by a twist at the front hem. The whole front and back bodice of the shirt is actually drafted with just one pattern piece which folds onto itself and joins at the center back seam. Pure pattern magic and oh so satisfying to make! 
It's one of those projects where the fabric and the pattern are made for each other and just meant to be. Once I started it I couldn't put it down! The viscose challis was easier to handle than some I've worked with in the past, not too shifty and slippery. Even the sometimes finicky collar and collar stand went in smoothly. As with most of my sewing projects, I used a light weight iron-on tricot Knit Interfacing (Pellon 135 for those of you in the USA), which has just the right balance of drape versus support for viscose challis. 
I'm super impressed with the Ready to Sew Jane pattern. It comes in PDF format, which is in itself a piece of art. All sizes are colour coded and layered for printing. There are thoughtful hidden details throughout, such as a heart mark where pages are pieces together. There's even an interactive playlist link featuring inspirational music for your Jane. What a treat! 
I wanted a semi-boxy fit so I went down one size from my measurement and it was the right decision. The subtle details of the slightly dropped shoulders and delicate collar and button band are just so chic. It only uses 3 buttons (Yes, only 3 button holes to sew, anyone?) and I used some precious mother of pearl ones from grandma's button jar. 
I can confidently say my new Jane shirt is my favorite make to date. It is perfect in every way for me, from the rich teal colour, to the luxury feel of the fabric, to the fabulous drafting of the pattern. I love that I can wear it unbuttoned for a wrap effect with a camisole underneath, or buttoned up for a fun twist (literally) on the traditional button down shirt. It's the perfect day to night / work to leisure transformation. 
So it comes down to this - I think I've just found my dream shirt/fabric combo and I now want one in every colour I can get my hands on, and just live in them...
Until next time, 
1 Comment

Art Gallery Vogue 8789 Dress

I was mega excited to start this next project. I've never met an Art Gallery Fabric design that I didn't love and this fabric was no exception. It's a Cotton Poplin Fabric in ‘petal’ and is a divine peachy colour with white geometric shapes behind the 'sketchily' drawn flowers. If you're after something that's floral and feminine without being twee then I think you will really like this design. The fabric itself is super soft and smooth, and has lovely drape. I made a dress but I can really imagine this fabric being perfect for a pair of light culottes too.
The pattern I used for this project was Vogue 8789, which is one of their reproduction patterns and is an original design from 1957. This dress was quite a typical style for me but I thought it would suit the floral style of the fabric, plus the un-fussy front (version B) of the dress was perfect for making sure the pattern could be seen and appreciated as it should be.
The pattern advises that just under 5 metres (!) of fabric is required for version B. If you want a skirt as full and as fabulous as the one on the envelope illustration then fill ya boots! But, if you've set your heart on using a fabric in your stash and are coming up short on metreage then don't despair, it will work with less! I only had 2.50 metres but was already obsessed with how chic this dress would look finished so refused to change my mind and decided to try and make it work (which it did, just!). Do just bear in mind that this version of the dress is designed for a border print fabric, whereas the Art Gallery fabric I was using is an all over print so I didn't need to worry about having enough 'edge' for all the skirt pieces and top of the bodice.
So, to make it all fit, I reduced the skirt width first. The pattern calls for 4 skirt pieces, each 43 inches wide. Instead of this, I cut 2 pieces each the width of the fabric (44inches). The bodice and facings I kept exactly the same but I ran out when it came to the self lined cummerbund. I initially planned to make one in white but when the dress was finished I really like the relaxed, summer-dress feel so I left it off and will wear it with the thin mocha and gold belt you can see in my photos. I like a bit of a contrast so used a white cotton for the shoulder button loops.
Speaking of button loops, I can never turn the darn tubes after sewing them, regardless of which technique I try. I've got all the gadgets but I still can't get them the right way out! So, to save myself a lot of time and frustration I decided to neatly sew on the outside. I reasoned that they wouldn't be seen much anyway once the buttons are on top. I cut rectangles the same length as the pattern loops and then folded them long ways (like double fold bias tape) so each long edge goes into the centre and then folded again so the raw edges are encased. I then stitched down the open edge. The pattern has 6 buttons on each shoulder but mine were too large to fit that many so I went with 4 on each instead which looked perfect once complete.
Sewing with this fabric was lovely and easy, it slipped through my machine no problem and although it’s described as medium weight I didn’t have any bulkiness or issues with the long skirt being too heavy for the bodice etc. I would definitely work with this fabric again and am already keeping an eye on the stunning New Designs Being Released by Art Gallery Fabrics. If you like florals and novelty prints then these are for you.
I made two more minor adjustments to the pattern. The size and shape of the bodice fitted really well but it was about 3/4 inch too long so I brought that up slightly. The skirt was also mega long. I'm of ‘average’ height but the skirt reached my ankles even though the design was to end just under the knee. I find this a lot with the Vintage Vogue patterns - maybe they're based on catwalk model types! I did consider shortening it but I actually love how elegant long summer dresses feel, so I brought it up to just above my ankle and that will do perfectly! 
One alteration I planned but completely forgot to do was to add pockets! Everyone knows the whole point of sewing your own clothes is so that you can add pockets to everything, so I'm going to have to go back and do this.
A small thing to note on this pattern, which I absolutely loved, was that there is a waist stay! I don’t think I’ve ever seen one on a modern dress but they were a regular feature in 1950s dresses I’ve seen. It’s just a small touch but one of those things that just makes the whole piece feel impeccably finished.
I loved using this fabric, it was a pleasure to sew with, and being a cotton poplin it was easy to manipulate for the neckline and it gathered and flattened perfectly for the skirt. This dress isn’t lined but the fabric is really comfortable and soft so this isn’t a problem. Art Gallery Fabrics do some amazing designs and I’ll definitely be using their fabrics again.
My finished dress turned out quite differently from the envelope illustration but I’m delighted with the look and actually I think I will get a lot more wear out of it in it’s slightly more relaxed, understated version than the ultra full skirt of the design. I can imagine wearing this well into Autumn with woolly tights and jackets.
Thank you for reading, happy sewing!

The Victor Long Stitch Kit

I love needle crafts and trying new things, so I was delighted to have the chance to try this Long Stitch Kit by Anchor.

Anchor produce a variety of ‘1st Kit’ products including cross stitch, tapestry and long stitch, which all come in lots of different designs. They are aimed at children but I think they are perfect for anyone wanting to try out a new craft.

Here I am reviewing the long stitch kit called Victor. The kit contains a printed canvas with a 10 x 10cm design, all the wool thread needed to complete the design, a blunt metal needle, instructions and a cardboard frame for finishing.

The first thing I did was sort the wool threads into their colours, and put tape around the edges of the canvas as instructed. This stops the threads getting caught on the perforated edges during stitching.

The canvas is made up of a series of woven threads which are then treated to give it stability, with the flexibility of cardboard. You will stitch into the holes between the threads. The design on the canvas is printed in colour, which correspond to the thread colours, so you don’t have to cross reference a key, reducing the likelihood of making a mistake.

Now you can get to stitching! The instructions show you how to thread your needle then get straight into how to do long stitch. Select the area you want to work on and the corresponding thread colour. Thread the needle and knot the other end. Bring the needle up from behind the canvas at the top edge of the coloured section, and bring the needle back down on the bottom edge. You then go back to the top of the shape, one hole across and bring the needle up again, and repeat the process for the section, replenishing your thread as it runs out. The instructions show you how to end off a thread, by running it under the threads at the back. A little tip from me: run the thread in one direction, then over the top of the last thread and back under in the opposite direction; this makes the thread more secure.

Here you can see I decided to do the white background first.

The background stitches are the longest and the canvas has a little grey mark on either side to show you where to break the stitch into two. If the stitches are too long they will flop around and you would be able to see the canvas underneath. Try to keep an even tension throughout. I completed all the white, moved onto the blue, red and grey, finishing off with the details of the black steering wheel and tyres. Where colours join you must go into the same hole so you don’t leave any gaps. The canvas isn’t printed with pinpoint accuracy so in places you do have to make a decision if you want your stitches to go over or inside the printed area, depending on which bit you stitch first. For this reason you may notice my finished piece is not the same as that on the cover photo, which has been stitched to be more symmetrical. I wanted to stitch to the printed design to give the best representation of the actual product. Here is it finished from the front and the back. Don’t worry if the back is messy, nobody will see it!

I did all the stitching in one evening and did the framing the next day. To make it as square as I could I used tacky glue to stick the front part of the frame to the front of the piece, rather than the backing card. I squashed it down for a few minutes to make sure the glue had taken hold. I covered the backing card in glue, and making sure it was the right side up (it has a hanging hole) stuck it to the back of the canvas, trying to match it to the edges of the front card. I put the whole piece under a book for half an hour and left it to dry. There was some overlap so I cut this off with scissors.

I think this turned out great and I really enjoyed doing it. You could even decorate the frame when you’re done. I wouldn’t say this was exclusively for children and does allow for some creative licence when deciding where to place the stitches. If you were to give this to a child I think the only thing you might need to help them with would be threading the needle and tying the knot. I had a fair amount of wool thread left at the end so there is plenty in the kit should there be any mishaps.

I hope this inspires you get those needles moving and give long stitch a try.

Thanks for reading,

Joanne @ stitching_joanne


McCalls 7740 Sundress

Who doesn’t indulge in  a bit of seasonally inappropriate sewing now and again? If you dont do it sometimes then you’d never sew any summer clothes! So, despite the fact that it was absolutely not summer dress weather when I spotted this feint candy striped stretch cotton that’s exactly what I decided to make.
McCalls Easy Sewing Pattern M7740
The dress Sewing Pattern I chose is part of the new McCalls summer range. There are 2 front views and 4 back views (not all interchangeable), and I opted for view b. From the front it’s a simple sleeveless bodice with a slightly A-line skirt with the party at the back.
The Fabric is a lovely quality, light weight 97% cotton, so perfect for holiday and the 3% stretch helps to provide a little bit of wiggle room. It is however, slightly see-through but 2 metres is more than enough to fully self-line the garment which helps make it feel a little more of a quality make. The pattern itself is well drafted with clear, if a little sparse, instructions together with the usual caveat of enormous amounts of ease that you usually find with a big 4 pattern. To me, the style is a little more Vogue than McCalls but that’s definitely an observation rather than a criticism.
The fully lined bodice is constructed first, as you’d expect, with the ties as an extension of the side/back pieces. I’ve seen some create this dress without the lining and bias bind each tie but for me turning out the whole piece gives a very neat finish and is worth the extra effort. 
Technically the stripes run down the length of the fabric but I was feeling inspired by some of the contrasting stripes I’ve seen on the high street (think shirts with vertical stripes on one half and horizontal on the other) so I opted for horizontal stripes across the bodice and vertical stripes down the skirt. It probably isn’t all that visible from a far but it adds a little interest to the otherwise simple front and I’m very pleased with the effect.
Confession: I didn’t make a toile and I really should have done. 
The fit overall is fine thanks to some tweaking but when I make it again I’ll make the following changes. 
Lower the bust darts by 1cm.
Size down.
Shorten the skirt by approximately 3 cm.
Consider increasing the rise of the skirt .
The bodice is generous in fit but more importantly in a dress where the focus point at the back highlights any fit issues you may have courtesy of a sway back, a toile would have saved me from the retrospective tweaking that I did! It scrunches up a little at the back after having been worn all day, as you can see below, but that said I’d still certainly like to make another.
A definite success and a great design made in time for my holiday!
Thanks to Minerva Crafts who kindly gifted me the fabric that allowed me to make this lovely summer dress!

McCall’s 7683 Shimmer Lace Dress

I was delighted when Minerva Craft invited me to write about this gorgeous stretch shimmer Lace Fabric. The sheen on this lace catches the light in many different ways.

The lace is an open weave with a luscious silver background.  It looks different when cut at different angles and has a different backing. I stitched the neckline with a self fabric facing so it has a very silver tone. The bodice is cut perpendicular to the salvage and it captures the light and is very shiny. The skirt is cut parallel to the salvage and is subtle. So essentially the fabric has a nap! Which can give your garment a different look, depending on how you cut it out.

I used McCall’s Pattern 7683.

This is part of McCalls “Create it” series.  There are three different tops and three different skirts to mix and match. I chose top #1 and skirt #5 to create this dress. It was very easy to make, the instructions were well written and the pieces went together like a dream. There is a line drawing of the pieces and a figure included so you can see your designed dress before you even start to cut it out. This is a nice feature.

A few construction additions that I would recommend:

1. When you stitch the neck band and the neck band and the facing, I recommend understitching the seam allowance to the facing.  This will help prevent the seam from rolling.

2. At the front and back “V” clipping will help the neck band lie flat.

The method for the top of the slit includes a facing that is sewn to the right side of the garment to assist in turning the top of the slit. This is a great technique, I will use it from now on for slits!

The neckline and shoulders are sewed on as one unit. I like this construction, it give a clean finish. You finish off the underarms, then attached the neckline band.

I lengthened the bodice 4 inches and cut the shoulders 1 1/2” shorter, which are typically adjustments for me. I think I could have shortened the neckline another 1 1/2”, it’s a little low. The front “V” definately needs to be clipped, when clipped it lies completely flat.

The lining was Minerva’s Medium Stretch Lining Fabric in Black. It worked perfectly as a backing for the lace which is semi-sheer.

I debated cutting the lining at the top of the slit, but decided that would only work if I was 20 years younger.

Looking forward to wearing my new fancy dress to a Gala we have coming up in the next few weeks.

Hope you enjoyed my recap. You can find me at BarrettsCustomDesign.

Go Forth and Sew What’s Fabulous


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