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Archives: September 2019

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The Fraser Sweatshirt

Since this is my first blog post with Minerva, I thought I would tell you a bit about my sewing journey. I grew up with my mother sewing and crafting all the time. She would sew for herself but she also sewed holiday outfits, Halloween costumes and prom dresses for my sister and me. I remember sitting in her sewing room when I was little and taking her scraps of fabric to wrap around my dolls. Back then I thought my dolls were so chic! I finally decided to sit behind a sewing machine when I was 18 years old. I believe the first thing I made was a vest. As I got older, I began sewing skirts, curtains, pillows and cocktail dresses for special occasions. When my two boys were little, I would make them Halloween costumes just like my mom did for me. My children are grown now which allows me more time to sew more than I ever did. I like to try working with different types of fabrics like faux fur and faux leather along with trying new and different patterns to challenge myself.

So, let’s talk about fabric. I love fabric and the idea that I can take a simple flat piece of fabric and transform it into a wearable garment. If you’re a sewer you know exactly what I’m talking about. I live in the suburbs and occasionally travel into New York City to shop for fabric  I feel like a kid in a candy shop when I go there but sometimes I can’t make the time and the one fabric store near me doesn’t always have what I’m looking for. Luckily, over the years I’ve stumbled upon the joy of shopping online for fabrics and wow what amazing choices there are out there. 

So what led me to Minerva?  Well, I have been on Instagram for about two years posting my sewing creations (@jeanette_sews), within that time I have found an amazing community of people just like me that have a passion for sewing. I remember seeing several of my favorite Instagram people posting about fabric they purchased from Minerva. The fabrics looked so beautiful and the garments they made with it inspired me to get on the Minerva fabric train. Before I continue, let me start by saying I really love camo prints and I have made jackets, a skirt, a dress and a few tops in camo fabric so, when I saw this French Terry Sweatshirt Fabric with its combination of blues, black and golden yellow I just had to have it. These colors complement each other perfectly and I have to say, the quality of this fabric is truly fabulous. This fabric is a medium weight containing 95% Cotton, 5% Lycra knit and it has such a smooth hand. I wanted to make something that was casual and I could wear often so, I decided to sew an easy pullover top to wear with a pair of jeans. When deciding on which pattern to use, I knew I wanted a pattern that wasn’t going to disrupt this cool camo print.  Honestly, my decision was fairly easy, I had used the Sewaholic Pattern #1507 a few times already and it has become one of my favorite tried and tested patterns. This pattern comes together rather quickly and the French terry fabric compliments the pattern exactly how I envisioned it would. It’s not only a comfortable top, it’s fun and trendy too! 

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My Perfect Pink Dress

Hi you guys! It’s been an exciting week! I’m floored by my new sewing project. I sewed this pink dress all hours in the evening and finally can show it. Between working and my everyday life routine, it’s been kind of hard to find the energy to sew. But I’m always really happy to create whenever I have the chance. 

I cannot tell you where my summer time has gone! I planned so many sewing projects for this year...  It's been disappointing for me as I see my days gone. And, yet I look at my "To Sew list" and I see I'm slowly getting a little closer to my goals. 

But whatever, let's talk about my new dress! 

I mean, look at these cute sleeves, would you?! It's just so feminine and a little retro. I love it! From the start of this year, I sewed four dresses, but this one is my favourite. 

I made this dress from very soft 100 Percent Cotton Fabric. It is so incredibly comfortable, so lightweight and perfect for summer! There was a beautiful sunset the day I took these photos, and the fabric looks so warm and shiny!

I’m so glad that this particular pattern required no fixes at all, so I sewed it fast. In all honesty, this neckline is a little too much for me, I’m used to more modest clothes. But I like the top of the dress on photos! It is necessary to try something new for yourself. 

The most challenging thing about this sew was attaching sleeves. But I like the final result! If you have any advice or tips for me to improve next time around, please let me know in the comments. 

A fabric with a tighter weave (linen, for example) would likely behave differently. I saw this dress in various fabrics and it looks great! You can cut a longer skirt or remove the clasp and the dress will be fabulous! There isn’t anything tricky here. The instructions with pattern were very complete too, which made it such a pleasurable sew!

Love the clasp with pink buttons! It looks so cute. I'm happy that I found these buttons in a small store in my town. It’s worth it to take the time and sew all those buttons. 

I dressed up this girly dress with flats which would absolutely work for a date night or a walk, but it also looks great with heels or even  sneakers! It’s so versatile, which is why I knew I had to have it in my wardrobe. The most beautiful summer dress!

This is my second make with cotton this year and I love wearing it! It breathes and feels like very soft cloth against your skin. In addition, this fabric is natural and hypoallergenic!

Of course, I think my wardrobe choices are often weather driven. It’s never as warm as one would like in my city. Yesterday, it was so hot, so I wore my pink dress and was so happy I did. So, I see no immediate reason to abandon my passion for sewing many dresses… What do you think? I am definitely a dress-lover!

Anyway, happy weekend, happy week, and happy sewing!

Yana @bez_dushna

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Megan Nielsen Cottesloe Swimsuit

I made a swimsuit! I’ve been wanting to dip my toe into swimwear for ages but have been intimidated by it. For some reason I had it in my head that making swimwear would be really difficult, but I was pleasantly surprised!

The first thing I did in the planning process was re-listen to the Love to Sew podcast episode on swimwear, which gives SO much useful advice.

I made the Cottesloe Swimsuit by Megan Nielsen Patterns, which has four variations: a scoop back swimsuit, a low back swimsuit with optional back ties, a bikini with high waisted bottoms or a bikini with low rise bottoms. I chose to make View A, which is the low back swimsuit.

View A includes a shelf bra lining and back ties, but the pattern advises that those with smaller busts would be ok without these two elements. I wanted to fully line my swimsuit, rather than just line the bust with the bra shelf and I am very much on the mini side of the boob spectrum so I left the bra shelf lining and back ties out.

The fabric that I chose is the most amazing leopard print Swimwear Fabric, which was kindly gifted to me by Minerva. It’s £16.99 per metre, 60 inches wide, 83% polyester and 17% elastane, so lots of stretch! It’s lovely quality as it’s very stretchy but not at all flimsy. The pattern does fade very slightly as the fabric is stretched but you don’t get any of those pesky white cracks that some stretch fabrics get.

On advice from the Love to Sew podcast, I sought out some power net to line my swimsuit, which I bought from Funki Fabrics. I ordered their heavy power net in flesh colour for £15.99 per metre (plus VAT) - 80% Polyamide (Nylon), 20% Lycra. This stuff is super sturdy and gives excellent support.

As is typical for my body shape, my measurements straddled three sizes on the sizing chart. I ended up cutting out a size 6, grading to a size 2 under the arms. I thought I would need to add extra length as I’m very long in the body, but I compared the pattern pieces with a ready to wear swimsuit I own and the length seemed about right.

The elastic I used is the Hemline Plastic Swimwear Elastic, which I bought from Minerva. It was just the right thing but I needed more than one packet, so make sure you have enough when you start sewing!

I’m still getting to grips with my overlocker so I sewed the swimsuit on my sewing machine with a zigzag stich and just used my overlocker to finish the seams. This seems to have worked a treat!

Here it is, my finished swimsuit!!

I am so delighted with how it turned out! It was genuinely so quick to sew up. I’m a slow sewer so if even I thought it was quick then it really was!

I had a good look at Instagram before cutting out and could see that the cut is quite low on the leg. This is brilliant if you want a bit more coverage, but I have a really long body and shorter legs by comparison, so a higher leg gives the illusion that my legs are longer than they are. Therefore, I decided to lift the left by 4cm at the side seam on the front and back pieces to make the cut more high-legged. Yay for faking longer legs!

I also added RUFFLES to the hips. I was concerned that this may have been too much considering it’s a LEOPARD PRINT swimsuit…. But I love it! This was not only a style choice but also a tactic to flatter my figure. I have very narrow hips compared to my shoulders so adding ruffles at the hips gives the illusion that my hips are wider than they are. I love that sewing allows me to adapt my makes to suit my figure!

I cut two strips of fabric that were 54cm x 4.5cm and gathered them using two rows of long straight stitches and pulling on the threads. I considered trying to attach the ruffles from inside the swimsuit for a neater finish, but I thought this would add too much bulk on the inside. I decided to throw caution to the wind and just top stitch them on – easy peasy! It’s not particularly neat as you can see the white reverse side of the fabric, but amongst the business of the leopard print it’s pretty subtle.

I made a bit of a blunder with the fit. I tried it on once I’d sewn up the outer fabric and it seemed a little roomy. I like my swimsuits to be quite tight as it makes my body feel held in and supported. There’s nothing worse than a baggy swimsuit!! So, I took a few centimetres off the length of the straps and took it in a little at the under arms. However, I didn’t consider the fact that my swimsuit lining, the power net, is less stretchy that the leopard print outer fabric…. This meant that once I had sewn it all together it ended up being smaller than when it was just the outer fabric on it’s own. This has resulted in my swimsuit being a bit short in the body and a bit small across the chest.

It was fine for me to wear on my holiday in Italy, but I will be adding a small panel in the crotch to make it a little longer in the body for next time! In the future I think I will cut the power net a size larger than the outer fabric to account for the fact that it is very sturdy and a bit less stretchy.

I love the low back as it gives a simple shaped swimsuit something special. Mine gapes a little bit at the waist, which I think is going to be inevitable to a certain extent with such a low back. However, I will make my elastic a little tighter as I sew these sections next time.

Overall, I love my new swimsuit. I think it’s something a bit different yet it’s such a simple, easy to follow pattern. I would highly recommend the fabrics as well as the pattern.

Happy sewing!

Lizzie B 

Find me @lizzie_.b and on YouTube

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A Modern Vintage Baby Dress

There is no shortage of baby sewing patterns on the market, especially when you don't mind the PDF format. I, for one, actually prefer using PDF when it comes to sewing for kids - when a pattern becomes a favourite, it is so easy to print it again in another size, without the need to trace. I used to hate taping A4 pieces, but having discovered A0 printing recently, I really have no complaints. 
But there is always something so special about vintage patterns. I'm not vintage-obsessed, by any means, but there is a little place in my heart for those battered envelopes, yellowed instructions, and ever so fragile pattern paper, not to mention the delightful illustrations on the envelope. So as soon as I managed to get my sticky fingers on a couple of vintage kids patterns as part of the Pattern Swap 2019, I couldn't wait to make something for Freya. Butterick Busybodies 4152 was my top choice. 
Just how adorable are those little outfits?
After a very long debate (with myself), I decided to make the little dress with flutter sleeves. I had recently made the Geranium Outfit, and the flutter sleeves did a great job showing off Freya's chubby arms. Part of me was also curious about some of the construction techniques on a similar, but unlined (rather than partly lined) dress. Decision made. 
Et voila! To contrast the vintage pattern, I chose this super cute fox print Cotton Fabric, which is quite modern. Look at the little baby fox snuggled up against its mummy/daddy! I hadn't worked with broadcloth before, but it was not that dissimilar from cotton poplin in terms of weight, but has more structure/a stiffer hand to it. In case you are also new to it, fear not! As with most cotton, it is an easy going fabric. 
I cut out a size 1 year for Freya, as she's in 9-12 months ready to wear (and most mummy-made) clothes. And Bam! It turned out absolutely enormous! I actually shortened the skirt by something like 6 inches, and it is still huge. I checked the measurements, and checked again. And no, I didn't cut out the wrong lines. All the pattern pieces came together nicely, so it's not a construction error. 
There's no two ways about it -- it is hilariously big! I can almost squeeze into it myself. So sadly guys, there are no "modelled" photos of this project, and probably won't be for a few years! This is disappointing (once we stopped laughing), of course, but a lesson learned - just like adult patterns (where the vintage sizing tends to be much smaller), take the sizing on vintage kids patterns with a pinch of salt. There are fewer reviews (I found none for this one), and no photos (the drawings are adorable, but may not be truly reflective of the finished garment). If in doubt, make a toile first. 
The construction, however, was enjoyable, yet interesting when compared with the Geranium, its modern lookalike. Remember my complaint about the Geranium, particularly regarding the lack of placket? This one has a "built-in" placket in the skirt pieces. Not necessarily the way I'd have done it, but it worked well. 
Since the bodice is not lined, the necklines and armholes are finished with bias binding. What I had originally planned was using a matching rusty orange bias binding, and adding piping to the empire waistline. But after buying 3 different bias tapes online, with colours varying from a light orange to burgundy, none of them was exactly what I was after. Colour matching is so hard when buying online. I decided to make self fabric bias binding in the end, and like how it looks. Shame that we didn't have piping this time. 
The ruffles/flutter sleeves on this pattern were unusual -- unlike most of the ruffle/flutter sleeves instructions that I've come across, this pattern asks you to gather the straight rather than the curved edge. It worked just fine, and I quite like the result. You see, there were a few times where I was quite tempted to do my own thing with this project, and I would have if it was a modern pattern, but a vintage pattern? I just couldn't do it! I had to respect the steps and follow it through. And it worked, apart from the sizing issue. 
Although I wasn't able to use contrast bias taping, at least I managed to find exactly the right colour thread from my stash. It is vintage, too! A spool of polyester thread that came with a giant vintage wooden bobbin that I bought from the Stott Park bobbin mill from our holiday to the Lake District about 5 years ago. Isn't it lovely? I think it finishes the dress off nicely! 
So, a slightly mixed result today, after a bit of a gamble with a vintage pattern. To tell you a little secret, I was so close to making a different outfit using the remnant, so that I can blog about a more successful project. (Perfectionist? Moi?) Then I thought, no, it's just as important to talk about the not-so-perfect projects, as it is more real. So here we are!
Until next time (where I will be bringing you a fully modelled, perfect, 100% spot on, project, which fits extremely well), thanks for reading. 
Alice from Queen of Darts
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The Wiksten Dress

Hi there! My name is Jenn and I am excited to be joining the Minerva Maker Team! 
I live in Canada with my husband, two teenagers and a rescue dog named Cookie. I have been sewing forever but my sewing skills and creativity really took off after I joined Instagram three years ago when I found the wonderful online sewing community. Since then I have mostly sewn for myself with the occasional garments for my husband and daughter. I love indie patterns and usually buy my fabrics online, or during my travels (which I love to do).
For my first project, I choose Lady McElroy’s Hamburg 100% Linen Fabric in a soft white with light sage stripes. This linen is a medium weight with a very tight weave—so it did not fray as much as other linens do, making it easy to sew with. It was opaque, making it suitable for summer dresses or pants without needing additional lining. This was perfect for the pattern I had in mind—the Wiksten women’s shift dress.
The Wiksten dress is a loose-fitting shift available in sizes 0 to 22, with three different lengths. It includes an option for three quarter sleeves. You can also make a cropped top with cute pockets. I was fortunate to be a tester for this pattern back in February. Since then I wanted to make a second dress in a light colour for summer. 
I made the long dress version with waist ties in a size 10. Originally, I made a toile in a size 14 because my measurements put me in that size range according to their chart—but I found it to be too big for my liking. I shortened the hem by 5” (I am 5’2” or 157cm) and cut the back yoke and pocket pieces on the cross grain to play with the stripes. One other modification I made to the pattern was to change the neck line from a round neck to a v-neck. I love v-necks, and for this pattern, this was a simple change. To make this modification, I measured 2” from the bottom of the original neckline and drew a slightly curved line to the shoulder.  You will also need to make a new neck facing pattern piece. Once I made these changes the construction of the garment came together quickly. The Wiksten shift dress pattern has excellent instructions and extra finishing tips, which results in a professional-looking garment. 
My favourite detail of this dress is the gathering on the back. 
The Wiksten shift dress can also be worn without the sash.
I hope you enjoyed my first project for the Minerva Maker Team! The fabric was a great match for this pattern. You can check out my other sewing projects on instagram @jenndumon.
Bye for now
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Viscose Voile Caftan

A loveliest, softest fabric against your skin, this Viscose Voile Fabric feels like butter to the touch: It has a very fluid drape and breathes very well. A caftan you shall be, I decided, but not just any ordinary caftan.

I was mesmerized by a photo of Jennifer Lopez wearing a stunning caftan for her 2017 Ni Tu Ni Yo music video created by Michael Costello with a strategically placed cutout. 

This caftan was what I wanted to recreate with the viscose voile using vintage McCalls 3255.

My standard procedure for sewing with viscose: The fabric was first washed in cold water in gentle cycle. I did not notice any shrinkage or bleeding. The fabric was air dried and ironed, and the pattern pieces were cut out.

Tutorial for the cut out:

  • McCalls 3255 has two main pieces for the caftan; The center front seam was eliminated and was cut as one piece. The front and back caftan pieces were basted and the bias area for the cutout was pinned.

  • The pinned area was marked with a chalk and cut out. My cutout width measured 1.5 inches.

  • I used an ivory silk organza for the cutout. In hindsight I should have cut the silk organza in the same grain as the direction of the cut out but the strip I used was cut on grain. Add seam allowance of your choice to the cut out.

  • Pin the organza and sew on both ends.

  • Cut a slit at the front left panel where the cut out ends to the hem and finish the side seams of the slit with narrow hem.

  • I added side pleats at the front bodice waist to define my waistline.

I love my new caftan! The fabric has so much movement and feels amazingly light, I may not look as glamorous as Jennifer Lopez but I sure can recreate her looks! 

Minerva has so many amazing color choices to choose from in this fabric. I hope that you found this tutorial to be helpful.

Thank you Minerva for giving me the opportunity to work with your beautiful fabrics.  

Susan @byluciagrace

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Blush Teddy Jacket

Hello Minerva Makers!

The weather has turned chilly in the southern hemisphere and where I’m living in Outback Australia, we have really felt the cold. A lot of people are surprised to learn that even though we live in the desert we do get frost and cold winter days! (I didn’t fully believe it either until we moved here!)

Anyway, my approach to winter dressing is light layers so that as the day warms up, I can adjust my outfit accordingly. A key staple is usually some sort of oversized coat or jacket that I can shrug on and go.

Last winter, while on holiday I was seeing a lot of teddy jackets popping up and I was a total fan of the pretty/ugly style immediately! I don’t exactly know why, because on paper there’s no way that I’d go for it, but somehow it just works. Perhaps the cosiness of the whole look eliminates any negatives.

I was pregnant at the time and content with my winter wardrobe, but since last winter I have been stewing over the teddy jacket-shaped gap in my wardrobe. Needless to say, as soon as I saw this Teddy Fur Fabric listed on the Minerva website, I pounced! I already had my ideal pattern in my stash (that being, Simplicity 8218) and was so thrilled when I received the fabric in the mail. It was exactly what I’d envisioned.

The weight and handle of the fabric is just like that of the teddies which I’ve seen in store. As always, I prewashed it in the machine on a gentle cycle and there were no issues. The fabric doesn’t fray or shed and so I elected to sew the jacket without any seam finishes, which cut down on my construction time. Additionally, pressing the fabric doesn’t affect the pile or texture. Although, to be on the safe side, I chose to iron it with a pressing cloth. I’d waited this long for a teddy jacket and didn’t want any disappointment!

Sewing-wise Simplicity 8218 is an easy, speedy and satisfying make. I made the slightly shorter version (view B) and didn’t make any pattern adjustments, aside from lengthening the sleeves a little by making some self-drafted cuffs. I was partially to blame for the sleeves not being long enough initially because I was trying to be thrifty with my yardage and didn’t take into account fabric-width and pattern layout when ordering. As a result, the sleeves were shortened and then lengthened. It’s not a big deal and if I didn’t mention it, I’m sure that no one would ever have suspected a thing. Now that it’s out there, you can avoid falling into the same trap.

Should you want to join me in the teddy jacket club, I highly recommend it. All are welcome and it is very snuggly.

Until next time!

Brooke @ Retro  Novella

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Abstract Animal Ruska Dress

Hi everyone! I was thrilled when I was asked to join the Minerva Makers team. For my first make I picked this gorgeous Scuba Crepe Fabric in an abstract animal/spot print. I will be honest, I wasn’t so sure about the colour when it arrived but now I have it put together I love it! There is a yellow tone to the cream which is a colour I tend to avoid. Does anyone else think the print looks like “that” Zara dress??
A midi length cosy dress was on my list of autumn winter makes to wear with boots and tights during the colder months. I have made the Ruska T-Shirt from Breaking the Pattern by Named Clothing a few times now. I love the shape of the body and neckline so it was a good place to start. I went for the 4th version in the book with the front vent and turtleneck.
If you follow me on Instagram @sosewdressmaking you will know I have a thing for sleeves- most notably big ones! So I took this opportunity to do a bit of pattern hacking/drafting. I went for a bishop sleeve with a large cuff. This style is so wearable, I love the extra volume but it doesn’t get in the way too much. It is an easy adaptation to make if you have a plain sleeve to start with.
I traced the original sleeve pattern and cut it at the elbow. I then sectioned this into four equal pieces and spread them out (I added a little extra just to be sure I got maximum volume!). I used the length of the original sleeve opening to draft a rectangular cuff piece.
The fabric was very easy to work with, scuba is definitely one of the more agreeable knit fabrics. It was easy to cut and didn’t shift around too much. It has a good weight to hold the shape of the sleeve and handled the amount of gathers in the sleeve cuff very easily. I think this dress would be amazing made in black scuba crepe (my sister has put an order in for one already!) and I have spied a few scuba’s on the Minerva website that would be perfect.
When I make it again I will adjust the length of the front vent as it was very high when I first tried it on. I have slip stitched it to make the opening a little lower now. I loved everything else about this make though and it came together very quickly using my overlocker.
And of course, the other change I made... it has pockets! Making this the perfect easy to throw on dress for the school run or a night out without having to make much effort.
I have enjoyed sharing my first make with you and can’t wait for the next one!
Happy sewing,
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Wilksten Shift

For some time, when I engaged in social media, I noticed someone somewhere in the Wiksten Shift Dress. I loved the basic design, the various pattern options and the quick sew.

Initially, I struggled with purchasing the pattern, I felt like it was “just another shift dress” but it has been a beautiful addition to my pattern line up and has given me more wardrobe options. Living in the desert of Arizona, the heat this past summer raised to 119 F/ 48.3 C, it gets hot. I live in dresses all summer running around with my kids, so this shift dress was a huge success.

It is versatile and can be worn in multiple ways, these are my favorite garments to sew. I’ve dressed it down without the waist tie, a bit looser silhouette with sandals to the pool or a casual event, also as an evening dress with the waist tie synched and heels.

  • Linen is a year round wardrobe staple, and I don’t own any winter coats, if that gives a better idea of this desert climate. I knew this dress pattern would get a lot of use all year without many modifications, so I decided to add it into my fall/winter capsule. Searching fabrics on the Minerva website I noticed this Striped Linen Fabric. Orange isn’t a color that I normally learn towards with my skin tone, but I fell in love with the light weight description and the stripes.

Another hobby that I engage with on a regular basis is the creation and use of natural dyes. I create and use almost all my dyed fabrics in my wardrobe or home. I have not yet achieved a true orange. You can achieve orange tones with specific flora but here in the desert we don’t have many natural growing plants to choose from and I mostly utilized plants I can gather easily. As I plan my fall garden this year, I am excited to fill it with various dye plants, so there may be some more orange in my future and in my wardrobe.

As I planned this shift dress, I knew I wanted a striped fabric to achieve some fun design elements. Also, a light weight linen to allow for maximum wear throughout the year. The Lady McElroy Stripe Pure Linen in orange checked both of those boxes for me and in the end made the perfect shift dress.

The best part of sewing your own clothes is being able to create something that fits you and your style. I loved the dresses style, but I knew I needed a waist tie and I needed a larger waist tie than the pattern provided. By adding both width and length to the waist tie I was able to bring a more dramatic look to the dress. In the end I added 4 inches to the height of the waist tie. Then lengthened the tie enough so that I could double it around my waist with enough to knot tie and leave a bit to hang in front. The finished length of the waist tie will depend on your waist measurement. I also chose to add the ¾ sleeve option to the dress and by doing that I can roll the sleeve or leave them longer, allowing for more versatility.

This dress has become a staple in my wardrobe. I can thank the light weight linen fabric and the versatile pattern for that. This isn’t just another shift dress! 

Thanks for reading,

Lauren @rosegardenln

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My McCall's M7889 Shirtdress

As soon as I saw the McCall's spring patterns I purchased the M7889 Pattern straight away, I love shirtdresses, and I loved the option of stripe placement included in this pattern. 
Then when I saw this Lady McElroy Shirting Fabric on Minerva I thought they would be a great pairing. The fabric is a 100% light weight cotton shirting, it washed well at 40 degrees and irons and presses well, as you would expect from a cotton. 
The pattern describes itself as a 'very loose fitting top and dress'. It has a button band closure, with front and back yokes. The shaping is from stitched pleats at the waist on the front and back of the dress. The suggested fabrics are poplin, gingham, cotton blends and sateen.
I found the instructions easy to follow, but I feel the way of sewing the yokes a bit clumsy and left visible stitching, so next time I am going to use the burrito method of sewing the yokes together. As I think this gives a much neater and pleasing finish.
I had read some blogs/watched vlogs of the M7889 and people had mentioned it did come up very loose and the sleeves in View C, which is the view I chose to make, were very long. For this reason I cut the length of the sleeve at the 'lengthen/shorten line', and for summer for me this is a perfect length.
I also decided to size down in the size I chose to cut. My measurements are;
Bust 100cm
Waist 87cm
Hips 114cm
If I were to go by the recommendations on the back of the packet I would have made an 18 at the bust, graded to a 20 at the waist and out to a 22 at the hips. So as usual when I make a big 4 pattern I checked the finished garment measurements, which can be found on the pattern pieces, and decided to cut a straight size 16. I am glad I did this, as I feel the dress is comfortable with plenty of wearable ease and with it being in a shirting cotton, which doesn't drape well, unlike say a viscose, that any bigger size would have felt too oversized for my liking. 
The dress looks like I imagined it would and I enjoy wearing it, along with the compliments I've had. What I really like about this pattern is that the pieces come ready for you to cut to produce a version with contrast stripe placement or a gingham version (as can be seen on the pattern artwork) so you get the contrast in pattern and don't have to think about it yourself. Just place the pattern pieces as instructed by the grainline. 
One thing that could be a bit annoying is the width of the sleeves, they are very roomy! If you were wanting to wear a cardigan/jacket I think the volume of the sleeves could be troublesome. I, however intend to be wearing the dress when a jacket will not be needed, fingers crossed for a summer!
I would definitely recommend the pattern, it was a quick sew and I like the versions included within it. I think if you're an advanced beginner this would be straight forward to sew. But I also don't think we should necessarily say if you're a beginner not to try, because unless we try more complicated patterns/fabrics we will not improve, and the satisfaction and achievement from challenges is worth it. 
The fabric is a dream to work with, it behaves itself and presses well. It is soft next to the skin and washes and wears well. I am really pleased with this make and it's in regular rotation. 
I hope this review has been helpful, thanks for stopping by to read. 

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