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Archives: October 2019

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Blaire On Bird Island

Hi Everyone! 

My name is Maeve and I live and teach sewing classes in Pittsburgh, PA, USA. This is my first Minerva blog post and I’m excited to be able to share this make with you. 

(My excited face) 

It was a hard decision choosing which fabric to use, but when I saw this bird print Cotton Fabric it was love at first sight. I mean look at them, they’re adorable, they’re in love, surrounded by flowers and tropical palms. What’s not to like?! It was calling to me to become a tropical button up, and one can never have too many tropical button ups. 

I am a big fan of the fact that most of the fabrics on Minerva’s website come with videos. It was much easier for me to gauge the drape and weight of the fabric than just using photos. Also, does this look like the face of someone patient enough to order swatches? Doubtful. 

For the pattern I chose Style Arc Blaire Shirtdress, which I’d been eyeing for some time and was glad to have an excuse to try it out. I’d never made a StyleArc pattern previously but from reading some pattern review comments I knew the directions were a little light. I had enough information to make up the shirt but I wouldn’t recommend this pattern for your first collar installation. The collar came together really easily and I didn’t have issues but if you’ve never put one in it would be taxing without supplemental materials. 

I cut out a straight size 12 even though I fell into a size 14 in the hips. I decided the fit was boxy enough to go over them easily. If I make up the dress version in the future I might grade between sizes but the shirt fit well for me without grading. 

The bottom portion of the shirt was designed to have an underlay but I missed it out in favor of using a bias binding to finish the hem. With the hem curve, bias tape sounded a lot more enjoyable to install than doing a double fold and gave me a bit of extra desired length. I didn’t order enough fabric for both the bias tape and the underlay but I do have enough left over if I wanted to incorporate a faux underlay in the future. I don’t mind the high split on the sides, but it is a bit breezy for non-tropical vacation wear. I opted to wear an undershirt for these photos so no one could catch a glimpse of my rib cage.

I know those seams don’t look even but it is actually even in real life, pinky promise. 

This fabric was lovely to work with, it’s so soft and easy to cut and sew up. It holds its shape nicely and has a little drape to it. I’m not a perfectionist when it comes to pattern matching and the pattern is busy enough that this shirt probably only drives about 10% of the population crazy (I hope this percentage has never been to H&M). I added a little contrast purple segment to the button band as I MAY have forgotten to account for the added length. A very happy accident I think.  

All in all I intend to get a lot of wear out of this shirt. I love the sleeves, the fit, the print, and the feel of the fabric. A lovely cheery shirt to throw on for a little outfit pick me up.   

Thanks for following along everyone! 

Maeve @maeve.makes 

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Vintage Glamour Made Day-To-Day Wearable

Chloe Montrose (@chloemontrose on Instagram) here, and this is my first post for the Minerva Makers team. Let me start by telling you something about myself that will come as no surprise to any sewist ever... 

I love buying fabric. Soooo much. BUT... as an indecisive type, shopping can be a time-consuming and fraught process. It usually takes me a few days of to-ing and fro-ing to make a fabric (or any other) purchase. However, when I saw that Minerva stocks Lady McElroy Viscose Satin Crepe, I snapped some up immediately. I had a brief indecisive wobble when I debated selecting the more sensible black version of this fabric, but with an unaccustomed spirit of reckless abandon I chose to be bold.

This colour is described as terracotta, but I think it tips more towards the salmon/coral end of the orange spectrum. While it looks different in different light, it's a gorgeous saturated colour that helps to relieve the sea of navy and grey and dark green in my work wardrobe. For reference, the closest thread match I found was Gutermann 589.

I hadn't come across viscose satin crepe before, so I wasn't sure what to expect. This fabric is similar to viscose crepe, but thicker and heavier, and A LOT easier to cut out and sew. I used a rotary cutter and cut most pieces in a single layer, but did double up for the cut on fold pieces without an issue. It didn't fray or shift around as much as other viscose fabrics I've used, and it has a lovely weight and drape that makes it feel luxurious.

Used satin side out, this fabric would make a show-stopping evening dress, but since my black tie gala event invitations have dried up lately, I decided instead to add a little luxury to my work wardrobe. I used vintage re-release Butterick Pattern B5880 (from 1951) for some retro glamour, but I didn’t want something I could only wear on (rare) special occasions.

To ensure I get maximum wear I split this dress pattern into separates. So I have a skirt that I can dress down with t-shirts, or corporate-ify with the addition of a black blazer or a crisply ironed white button up shirt. (Just kidding, I don't wear anything that's crisply ironed... let's go with a quickly steamed and only slightly rumpled silk top with paper clips on it).

I decided to use the non-satin side to the outside, to skew this look more daytime. I omitted the lining to keep things light, because the fabric already has a bit of weight to it, and the satin side feels nice and silky against the skin. While the pattern instructs you to stitch together and turn two skirt overlay pieces, I used just one layer of fabric to maximise the beautiful drape of the viscose satin crepe, and I used my overlocker to create a narrow two thread rolled hem to finish the edge.

I blended between size 14 at the waist and 12 at the hips, though a straight 12 would have been better, as I ended up taking in a few centimetres out of the back princess and side seams at the waist.

It's so rare for me to not have to lengthen a pattern to get it to midi length! If you're petite it will definitely come up long for you (I'm almost 5'10").

I pegged the skirt slightly (by blending from size 12 at the hips to size 6 towards the hem) and added vent extensions to the skirt back pieces to allow for movement (although I should have started these higher up).  I added a two piece curved waistband (one piece interfaced) with an underlap for a hook and bar closure.

I feel bereft in clothing without pockets and add them to almost everything. The only reason I leave pockets out of my makes is if they spoil the line of a fitted garment, so sadly pencil skirts usually go pocketless. But I figured the flounce of the skirt overlay would hide a sneaky pocket on that side, so I inserted one into the side seam on the left and switched the zip to the other seam.

If only the top (formerly the bodice) had come together as smoothly...

Changes to the pattern:

I scooped the neckline slightly and redrew the cut outs. It's unlined, so I traced the new neckline to create facings.

I cut the back as two pieces (rather than on the fold), adding seam allowances, to have opening at CB, intending to close with button and thread loop at the top.

Since I wanted a top I could tuck in, and also wear with other things, I lengthened the bodice by 10cm and angled it out to allow for hips.

The fit:

Not good. I cut a size 14, the biggest size in my envelope, because I wanted it loose and boxy. That was a bad call; there is just too much fabric and it doesn't sit right. (I should have done the narrow shoulder adjustment that I always have to do. I didn't. I should have checked my size and the finished garment measurements. I didn't.)

The fix:

To take out the excess at the top, and give my hips more room at the bottom, I crossed over the back neckline. I stitched the opening down to below the bra line, and finished the edges with a narrow rolled hem.

The result:

The middle back opening blouses out unattractively when the top is tucked in, but looks nice when left to naturally swing open (like a tulip-back top), a happy accident that's the result of trying to fix the fit on the fly.

The lesson:

All the things I should have already learnt by now, but mostly summed up thusly: Don't be lazy…

1. Blend between sizes and make necessary fitting adjustments to the pattern, even on loose or boxy garments

2. Measure your pattern pieces and compare them to body measurements plus desired ease

3. Walk the seamlines to ensure they match after making adjustments

This may be the project when it finally sinks in that the less time I spend on fitting before cutting the fabric, the more time I spend trying to fix it later.

It's far from perfect, but this outfit is at least a great pairing of pattern and fabric. The weight and drape of the viscose satin crepe are an ideal match for this pattern’s signature flowy tucked skirt overlay. The fabric, colour and dramatic flounce all make the skirt a bit of a statement piece, but as two pieces it has a versatility that I hope means it will be on high rotation in my Me Made wardrobe.

Thanks for reading,

Chloe @chloemontrose

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Tropical Vibes

Welcome to the jungle……….. I am getting tropical vibes from today’s project. I got to work with the most stunning Lady McElroy Cotton Lawn Fabric this time. I chose the pine colourway which is a lovely dusky turquoise shade with the most vibrant bird and floral print. It’s so dreamy and I am so happy I got to get my hands on it and sew it up into a dress. 

It also comes in a pink colourway, which is equally stunning. But I had to make a choice. I have made quite a few blue-ish dresses this year, so the pine colourway fitted in very well with my collection. I also think it suits my complexion a bit better.

Since my favourite style dresses are shirt dresses, I reach for them most often. That is why I went for a shirt dress pattern for this project as I want to wear this dress as much as possible and enjoy this lovely fabric. It’s so beautifully soft.

I ended up choosing Simplicity 8014, view A as I had envisioned a 1970s vibe for this dress. 

The only thing I changed was leaving the dress sleeveless. This is a very busy print and I felt that having sleeves might be a bit much. I also prefer wearing little cardigans over my dresses and sleeves would get in the way.

I followed the pattern instructions minus the sleeves and find them very clear and easy to follow. I made one more change worth mentioning. I doubled up on the back yoke and cut 2 of them. You often see this in shirts and some shirt dresses. I like that detail. Also the dress is very long, which means you have a lot of weight from the skirt attached to the bodice. The double yoke adds some strength to the bodice and supports the collar. At least I think so.

I decided to add a bit of contrast to the dress to break up the pattern a bit here and there. When I decided to go sleeveless I opted to bind the armholes with bias binding. I had some Stretch Cotton Fabric in the colour lipstick left from the towel dress I made on the blog. You can also see how I made my own binding here and what tools I used in that blog post.

It’s a rich coral colour that goes perfectly with this print. Instead of binding the armholes and hiding the binding on the inside, I decided to cut very wide binding and let it show on the outside as well for a pop of solid colour. I also picked that colour for the buttons and used Poppers in raspberry pink.

As you can maybe tell from the little sneak peak in the picture above I also picked up that colour again in the belt. I love matching belts to my dresses and have been obsessed with adding them to most of my recent projects. The pattern comes with a tie belt, which is lovely but I wanted a proper belt to go with the dress. I find that more of a vintage touch and since that is the aesthetic I personally prefer for my wardrobe, I had to put in a bit more of an effort. So here is how I made my matching belt.

I used Petersham to interface the belt and fabric to cover the belt. My bias binding I made and a belt buckle 

and Eyelets for the belt holes. I had silver and gold coloured ones and ended up going for the gold.

Little tip, make sure to check the size of your belt buckle and your belt interfacing match!

First I sewed my fabric onto the entire length of the Petersham ribbon and then wrapped it all around the belt. I folded the raw edges inwards and slipstitched the whole length of the belt. You can add your belt holes at this stage but I wanted to bring the solid coral colour back and add more detail to the belt.

So I sewed my handmade bias binding to both edges of the belt.

I slip-stitched all the binding on the back of the belt by hand for a neat finish on both sides of the belt.

Then I punched my belt holes where I wanted them to be with a Hole Punching Pliers

I fed the eyelet through the pre-made holes and then pressed them down to make the finished belt hole using Eyelet Pliers

And there you have your finished belt.

It might seem like a lot of tools and accessories but if you regularly make matching belts, they are a really good investment.

I am super happy with the finished result, both dress and belt. I’m glad I added that extra splash of colour. It breaks up the pattern. Oh and I totally forgot to mention: THE DRESS HAS POCKETS!!! Of course one of the most important details. They come with the pattern.

I’m not entirely sure if I achieved a 1970s look as planned with this dress but it’s definitely a great summer staple. I don’t have a lot of long dresses so it was about time to add one to the collection. I have already worn it out to a gig and got some lovely compliments from some nice people.

I hope you enjoyed following along with me. You can find more vintage inspired sewing on my Instagram @beatricewinter

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Cotton Spandex Swing Dress!

When I saw this Cotton Spandex Jersey Fabric I knew it would become a good wardrobe staple for fall or winter. The purple colorway had some of my favorite hues: purple, teal, rust, and even a bit of avocado green! I got two meters but hadn't decided if I was going to make a Sallie jumpsuit from Closet Case, one of my many t-shirt dress patterns, or something else entirely!

When the fabric came, I loved the painterly quality of the print; up-close it looks like little brush strokes that form a geometric pattern. I love how the print has both warm and cool colors! The colors are exactly suited to my fall wardrobe so I decided to make a Frankie dress by Tessuti. I've had this pattern in my stash for a while, and I was excited to finally make it. For some reason, even though I'm comfortable sewing knits and love to wear knits, I don't typically choose knit projects even though they are quick and forgiving! I had actually gotten the pattern to make as a holiday maternity dress in stretch velvet but never got around to it.

I immediately prewashed the fabric, which had the weight of a good quality t-shirt. It's soft and sturdy with excellent drape. I even traipsed around the house with it draped over my shoulders; this fabric is delightful!

Luckily my serger had a coordinating color in it; a minty green that I have begun using for most of my projects. I find that even though changing the thread only takes about five minutes, I often procrastinate on projects that need a specific serger thread color (or even use alternate seam finishing techniques if I'm sewing a woven!).

For the dress pattern I chose a size small, even though my bust measurement puts me closer to an xsmall. There's a lot of design ease in the waist and hips, so I was basing the size purely on bust measurement. I often have to make a full bicep adjustment, though, so I went with the larger size. I think a fabric with good recovery like this one could have gone either way, and I'm happy with the fit.

I followed the pattern exactly and it is a good one! The neckline is a new-to-me construction and looks so nice on the inside!

I used stay tape for the back neckline as the pattern suggested, and it seems to have worked well. I almost never use a twin needle due to tunneling (not to mention I actually like the look of a zig-zag finish), but I did it and it came out pretty good after futzing with the tension and stitch length.

I love how the dress turned out! It is totally secret pajamas and I will wear it to work and on weekends. I paired it with some fancy shoes, a pendant necklace, and my favorite vintage leather jacket to kick it up a notch but after talking photos I was super comfy on the couch playing a board game with my daughter!

Luckily I have a few scraps left over so I'll be making a pair of matching undies next!

Thanks for reading! Check out more of my makes on Instagram @pompombandana

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Evie Bias Skirt in Satin Crepe

Hi everyone! It’s my first time here on the Minerva blog, so I thought I’d start by introducing myself. I’m Melinda, but people call me Min. I hail from Sydney, Australia and I’ve been garment sewing pretty intently for about the last 10 months, but I’ve known how to sew since my high school days (thanks, Mum!).

I was very excited about my first project for the Minerva blog, and when I saw this Satin Crepe Fabric in bottle green my first thought was the Evie Bias Skirt by Tessuti Fabrics. I’d been eyeing this pattern for a while, but just hadn’t seen the right fabric. 

When my fabric arrived I knew I’d made the right choice. The way the light catches this fabric as it moves is just mesmerizing! It is actually quite a sturdy fabric as well, so I had no worries putting it in my machine on a normal wash for the pre-wash. I should specify that a normal wash at our place is a cold wash and air drying, as we don’t even have hot water connected to our machine and we don’t own a dryer.

I have made projects out of both satin and crepe before, and so was expecting this to be a bit of a nightmare to cut, handle and sew, but because it’s quite sturdy I really had very little trouble with it. I think the crepe backing really helped it to not slide around everywhere. I used a rotary cutter to cut out my fabric pieces, and had basically no slipping issues even though I only used pattern weights and no pins.

There are only three pieces to this pattern, so once I actually got sewing it turned out to be a relatively quick project. Again, I think the crepe backing really helped here by helping the fabric not to slide around too much while I was sewing. I made sure I pinned well, but really had no slipping issues. 

The trickiest part was definitely the invisible zip in the side seam. I have installed a couple of zips before, but not really all that many, and definitely never an invisible one. I was slightly confused after reading the pattern instructions for this, but after supplementing the instructions with a bit of YouTube-ing I didn’t have too many issues. It was also at this point that I discovered that my sewing machine has an invisible zipper foot, so that was a big factor in the overall success of the zip installation! For my first invisible zipper I’m pretty happy with the end result. I’ll be flying into my next one with a lot more confidence!

Once the zip was in, the rest of the project flowed pretty easily. The finishing touches were a bias binding finish at the waist and a narrow rolled hem. 

I ordered 2m of fabric for this project, but I didn’t use it all. I’m normally pretty economical with cutting out pattern pieces, but with this project being cut on the bias I wanted to give myself lots of breathing room. 

This satin crepe turned out to be the perfect fabric for the Evie Bias Skirt. I think that because it’s cut on the bias, you might run the risk of having it get pulled out of shape if you were using a really flimsy fabric. Because this satin crepe is fairly sturdy, as I mentioned before, I have no concerns about this happening for me.

Happy sewing,

Min @made.by.min

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Lady McElroy Stretch Crepe Cropped Trousers

When I received this Lady McElroy Stretch Crepe Suiting in the navy colourway I was immediately inspired to make some trousers. The fabric is great quality and would make amazing work wear; dresses, trousers, skirts or jackets. As this beautiful fabric is a (relatively) sturdy bottom weight, with a very slight stretch, it deserved to be made into something special.

I had attempted to make some Megan Nielsen Flint Pants at the beginning of the year and had utterly failed to get them to fit my lower half. This fitting disaster had sent me into a bit of a sewing rut as I felt like the entire internet fitted this pattern but me. What was wrong with my bum?! I really wanted to try this style again, and so I dusted myself off, got out my Megan Nielsen Flint Pant patterns and pondered for awhile. I eventually decided to transfer the crotch curve and dart placement from a vintage pattern I had toiled and had some success with and see what happened. Suffice to say I was very pleased with the result!

When I work with more slippery fabric I cut on a single layer to ensure more accuracy. This fabric isn’t actually that slippery, but I have learnt the hard way that the bottom layer of fabric can go very wobbly however many pins you use to secure it. Cutting on a single layer also means you can be more accurate with the grainline. The only thing I would change next time is to mark which side is the right side of the fabric, perhaps with some chalk or with a well-placed pin. It was something I struggled with as the sides are very similar and I mostly sew at night after my children are in bed. Telling the right side of navy crepe in artificial light is not easy!

I had no issues sewing up my pattern, the fabric behaved well and didn’t shift too much. Although my leg seams ended up a little wobbly, that was my fault because I worked a little too quickly on those areas. Luckily the fabric is very happy to be ironed at moderate temperatures so I managed to iron the wobbles out. I am happy with it but next time I will take a little longer on those long seams. I also didn’t get the pocket on the closure side of the trousers quite symmetrical, in hindsight I should have basted the pocket while sewing to ensure the weight of the pocket didn’t distort the line of the trousers. Never mind, I am very happy to learn with each project!

I particularly love the ‘70s feel of these cropped, wide leg trousers, they make me feel sophisticated and stylish without trying too hard. They could be dressy or casual and are great for the warmth in Hong Kong. I really want to make this pattern again but extend them to full length for a pair of vintage inspired wide leg trousers. I am trying to decide between a Minerva viscose challis or viscose linen to realise this dream – there are just so many possibilities!

Thanks for reading,

Sophy @sophy_sews_hk

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Claire – My Two-Way Dolman Top

Hello, thanks for stopping by on my Minerva blogpost today! I’m Ilse from @sewsewilse and I think I found a perfect match for this Navy Blue Viscose Jersey Knit!

This time I found my taste in this Women’s Claire from Made for Mermaids.

The Claire top is a fun, quick, knit dolman style top pattern what you can choose to wear in 2-ways: with the crossover in the front OR back. 

The patterns includes 3 different hemmed sleeve options: short, ¾ th sleeve or long. Actually it’s great for layering and to wear it al year round!

You can choose from a short or tall waistband.

Let’s take a look at my chosen options!

As you see I preferred the ¾ th sleeve and tall waistband.

I made it in size ‘Indigo’.

Oh yes, Made for Mermaids has a different and special sizing chart as they use colors names instead of the usual letter sizing. Don't you think that a color name is less confrontational than ‘small, medium, large,…’  I love it!

Let me tell you I’m in the ‘Indigo’ size range and I didn’t had to do any adjustments while sewing.

Take a look here at M4M special sizing chart:    

The M4M patterns are drafted for  a 5’5’’ woman. To make the Women’s Claire you have to choose your size by upper/full bust and eventually grade to waist and hip.

Did you already see my back view if I turn my Claire top?

My front:

My back:

Supplies:

You can use any light to medium weight knit fabric with good recovery. As I love to wear any shades of blue, this Navy Blue Viscose Jersey knit with white florals seemed perfect to me to wear now and every time of the year. It’s the perfect layering basic!

Besides jersey you can also use sweater knit, and french terry orif you like to try a ponte, double knit or liverpool you’ll get a more structured Claire top.

I also always use clear elastic or fusible tape on the inside of my back shoulder seams. It gives your garment more stability in the longer term.

Construction:

The construction is easy.

After sewing your shoulder seams and adding the sleeves, you have to wrap the crossovers. But don’t just do it . You better lay your right hand sided crossover first and then your left hand sided on top of it.

Why do you have to turn your right hand sided crossover first? This way you get ‘ROL’ ‘right over left’.

And why ‘right over left’? The most simple answer is TRADITION!

If you own a serger, you can sew the Claire for ¾ with your serger. Only adding the neckline band and hemming the sleeves have to be done with your regular sewing machine.

If you can’t decide which way to wear your crossover…you can make a double crossover!

Really! Follow this link to the tutorial to show you how!

The link will bring you to the Made for Mermaids blog and you’ll get there a photo tutorial to show you how to do it!

Maybe I should try it too.

What do you think?

Thank you so much for stopping by!

See you soon,

Ilse

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Tropical Delicious Monster Dresses

Hello Readers,

My name is Lauren and I was delighted when Minerva contacted me about writing for their blog. I am a South African currently living in Accra, Ghana, West Africa. In Accra houses don’t have street post boxes like we are used to, so I expressed some apprehension about whether I would likely receive the fabric, but I shouldn’t have doubted as it reached me via my husband’s work post box about 2 weeks later. I was excited to unpack this lovely Cotton Fabric with small delicious monster plants all over it. It is a lightweight 100% cotton fabric, lovely to touch and sew with, and is cool, soft and breezy - perfect for Accra weather where it is always very warm!

I am a big fan of True Bias patterns and had recently purchased the Southport Dress Pattern for myself and my ten-year-old daughter. I cut a straight size 8 for myself based on my previous measurements with True Bias patterns, and an age 10 in the Mini Southport, which is the largest size of the girls’ pattern. I used small rocks my daughter had recently painted as pattern weights whilst cutting, and they even matched the colours of the fabric :) The delicious monsters are green, yellow and cerise pink and as I’m a big fan of colourful earrings, the fabric allows for many accessorising options. In the photos I’m wearing a bright green pair of tassle earrings I got in Thailand, and my daughter is wearing some red pumps. I do find with small pattern fabric prints, that bold accessories or shoes can help bring the colours out. Minerva sent me 4 metres of fabric and there was just a small piece left over, after cutting out both dresses.

The Southport dress and Mini Southport dresses have mostly similar methods of assembly, so I sewed them at the same time. It was my first time batch sewing something, and as I often use my patterns several times in different fabrics tweaking here and there, I will definitely repeat this method in future. The bodices came together well, I really like the detail of the buttons down the front of the dress – Kelli suggests 4 buttons but I preferred the look with an extra one. The dress easily goes over my head so I could actually sew the buttons on without making the button holes but somehow I prefer making it the proper way. My daughter needs to undo two of the buttons to get hers on as the neckline is higher with the girls’ pattern. The next time I make my daughter a Southport I think I will lower the neckline a few centimetres as a variation. I decided to use some wooden buttons that I had for my dress, and took my daughter to the local haberdashery to choose hers, she went for green ones.   

I used green bias tape for the neck and arm holes, but after completing mine and trying it on, I found it was suddenly pulling quite a lot under the arms and into the bust, and I ended up unpicking all the top and under stitching on the arm holes and snipped through the small bias seams around them. Is a first time pattern ever truly a first pattern without a healthy dose of unpicking!!!??? I should have done this to start with to accommodate the curve but thought the seam was so small it was not necessary, but once I had done this, it looked a lot better.

Next up was the skirt and the women’s version has pockets, they are wonderfully shaped deep pockets and make my hands very happy! I had lengthened the skirt by 5cm when I cut it as I like big hems on a straight skirt and ended up hemming it by 6cm. I find skirts and dresses hang better when they have generous hems. This was the only adjustment I made to the pattern. Kelli has a great way of constructing the drawstring casing by sandwiching the top of it into the seam when you sew the skirt to the top. The drawstring includes a piece of elastic in between two fabric strips for the girls version whereas the women’s one is made only from fabric.

The dresses are very comfortable to wear and I know that we are both going to enjoy wearing our matchy-matchy outfits whilst staying cool in the Ghana greenery and sunshine.

Until next time, happy sewing!

Lauren

@she_thrives_and_sews

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McCall 7833 Dress With Floral Scuba Knit

Hi Minerva Makers!

I am Meg and this is my first blog ever!

I am so excited to share my make of McCall 7833. I have made this dress twice already, but I saw someone had made view A, short sleeves with knee high length and it was high on the list to make for a while. I am so happy to find this beautiful floral scuba knit pink on grey. I love grey and pink combo and I can never get enough!

I also think this color combination is great for all year around. This dress looks good with a long cardigan. I can see me wearing this dress all the time and never be tired of it.

About this fabric:

I have sewed many scuba knits and I would say that this is my favorite one, high quality, has good body yet good recovery, and feels good against my skin. I used size 11 ball point needle with walking foot (I am big fan of it! You may not need for this fabric) and it was dream to sew!

One modification I made is omitting facing and did cover stitch finish instead. I used Heat and Bond Soft Stretch Lite to create nice curve around neckline. Curves where it meets shoulder area like this sometime need help to prevent unwanted twist. What I do to fit curve is that by using small scissors and add split on tape as you place it on seam allowance and peel. I hope that make sense to you. Please see picture below. I think it came out beautifully!!

Another modification I made was create own drawstring instead of using store bought ribbon. I initially inserted pink ribbon but it did not look right to me.

I think to create your own look is way better and ruching turned out so pretty.

About cutting floral fabric:

I have made several dresses with medium to large floral prints. (Not sure why I am not a big fan of smaller floral prints.) I have made all kind of mistakes you can think of and I still do. I tried to keep in mind to check direction of fabric, repeat and placement of prints (careful to place anything around bust area) for cutting floral prints.

However, you just have to do the best you can do with your fabric sometimes. For example, I know it best not to get floral print cut up especially around face and don’t want flower around bust area at the same time. You just have to go with what is more important or what looks prettier on your eyes. In the end, we are designers, we get to decide!

I used to cut all once and started sewing, I guess I was being inpatient. I just couldn’t wait to finish my project, but I cut one piece at a time lately and put it on dress form and see placement of floral and enjoy this process finally after 100 dresses, lol.

These are just what I do. If you have better suggestion, please do let me know.

See you guys till next time! Happy sewing!

 

Meg @meggisews

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Adrienne Dress Hack

At first I had no idea what to make with this striped pink jersey. So I put it in the wash while I ummed and ahhed about my choices. Eventually I decided on doing a hack of the Friday Pattern Company's Adrienne to make into a dress. So once the fabric was dry I cut out all the pieces of the Adrienne Blouse and then cut out 2 full width panels for a gathered skirt. The Adrienne is a t shirt style top with huge sleeves and elasticated wrists and shoulders. I had made one Adrienne blouse as a tester and I loved it and wear it often so was very happy with my choice.

So I set about starting on my dress using a triple straight stitch for all my seams, I used bra strap elastic for the shoulders, which I cut a fair bit shorter than the recommended amount as I have skinny shoulders, I checked it against the original and it was the perfect amount luckily. I used 1/4” elastic for the wrists and this time I used the recommended amount as I like to pull my sleeves up to above my elbows while sewing. The top of the dress came together really quickly and I then set to working on my gathered skirt.

Firstly I sewed the side panels together to make a giant tube. I then swapped my bobbin thread to black for easier removal later on. I then sewed 2 parallel lines on each half at 5.0mm length and then put a pin at each side seam and another at the half point on each side as well. I then did the same with the bottom of the top and pinned them together with the matching pins right sides together. I then pulled on the black bobbin threads to gather the skirt up so that it was the size as the top. I then pinned along the whole of the seam so that it would stay where it should be. I then decided to add some clear elastic to the seam as the fabric is very stretchy and I was worried that the weight of the skirt would pull it out of place. So I put one pin at the beginning of the seam with about an inch before it so it didn't slip and then sewed the seam making sure to catch the clear elastic.

I immediately put the dress on and was in love. I then had to take the dress off so that I could actually finish it off. I then took my time to pull out all the gathering stitches so that it would hang correctly and work on the hem. I turned up an inch all the way around the bottom of the hem (which took quite a while as it was about 120” around) and then finished it off with a simple triple zigzag stitch. I totally love this dress, I feel like a pretty princess and the skirt is huge but just as I wanted. I love long skirts for in a wheelchair so I am fully covered and I so love this colour. At a distance the fabric looks like a plain pink but come closer and you can see the stripes.

Thank you for the pretty fabric Minerva.

Mich @michebemason

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