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#FabricFriday - Stunning New Fabrics

Today is definitely all about fabrics, fabrics and more fabrics! All of today's fabrics are brand new here at Minerva and are simply stunning and beautiful. We have many new Batik Fabrics either already in stock or arriving shortly (which you can pre order now) but what has immediately jumped out at me is this Floral Fabric...
This is a splash of golden yellows and gorgeous jades and is quite vibrant with an off-white petal. Also in the same print is this second colour...
This is a little more subdued being mainly pinks and blues with a dark cream petal. Either or, are they both simply must-haves and both are priced at just £7.99 per mt.
On to two new John Kaldor Fabrics. First is this gorgeous Stretch Cotton Fabric...
This fabric as the title suggests has vibrant shades of gold and orange across the design mixed with beautiful shades of pink and green all against an ivory background.
Sorry but I could not pass by the next one without showing it to you. How amazing is this Fabric...
Yes it is very me and will probably find its way into my stash!! (hehe) The mushroom floral shapes measure approx 4" across so it is quite a big pattern but I think what 'sets' it off most is the striking background of ivory with the 'drawn' black leaves effect. Look at the 'pencilled-in' effect. 
Both these stretch cottons are £13.99 per mt.
Oh dear me, look what has happened. Sorry but this Ponte Roma Fabric just dived off the shelf and flew right next to the above. Oh well you would be disappointed if I didn't show you them together, wouldn't you? 
OK so what do you think?
Would you believe I already have a piece of this in my ever expanding stash. Must dash and see how much.
Thanks for reading,
Annette xx

#PatternoftheWeek - Butterick 6382

My half price #patternoftheweek offer for you this week is Butterick Sewing Pattern 6382 which is a superb choice of jackets. There are 3 choices of neckline - quite a formal collar and revers and two versions with no collar but one being a lower neckline than the other. 
Suggested fabrics are Boucle, Linen, Gaberdine and Tweeds. Quite a variety don't you think. I am so excited to show you my first choice of fabric. It is this gorgeous Boucle Tweed Fabric. It is hard for a photo to do this fabric justice so I have tried to show it to you close up. 
Our website description is...
"This beautiful boucle tweed fabric has a loose open weave so depending on the style of garment you choose to make, you may wish to line it. The base colour of this fabric is a cream, with multicoloured chenille threads woven in to create the tweed look. We imagine this fabric being made into slouchy cardigans and sweaters, tops, skirts and dresses."
With it being an open weave we do suggest you line this fabric. So because this jacket is lined, this fabric would be ideal. My first photo shows the fabric against a cerise pink lining, this tones it down a little but doesn't it look fab.
My next photo which is against a white lining gives the fabric the WOW factor, it really shows off all those little chenille tufts.
If you fancy edging it as in version A look no further than our Wooly Textured Fold Over Elastic/Binding. There is lots of colours in this fabric so I would opt for Ivory as an edging.
Tucked up in the corner of the pattern is version C, this would look superb in our Chenille Tweed Fabri from Spain. 
Our website description of this fabric is...
"This is certainly a wow fabric! This luxurious woven chenille tweed made in Spain is absolutely fabulous. There are so many colours and textures of threads that are woven together to create this fabric, even very tiny sequins every so often. The main base colour of this fabric is black, with lots of other colours woven in, including coral pink, airforce blue, white, silver and a gold sage. We image this fabric making a channel style jacket and fitted pencil skirt or a warm dress for winter." In my next photo I've tried to show you some detail of the fabric. It is simply stunning!"
One of the featured colours within this fabric is Airforce Blue and guess what we have an Airforce Blue in the Wooly binding featured above! 
I looked at pink and white checks to feature for version B. Apart from our Polycotton Gingham Fabrics, we do have two seersucker ginghams which are here and here.
Either of these would give a look similar to version B but it must be remembered they are both cottons. This doesn't mean you can't use them because after all it is a lined jacket but the weight would be much lighter. Just a thought here - if you didn't line it and made it up in a cotton it would make a lovely summer weight jacket.
And my last choice for you today is our woven Houndstooth Fabric. I simply love this fabric.
Beware there isn't much left. If you would like some of this fabric please snap it up quickly before it all goes. 
Have a lovely happy day sewing and thanks for reading,
Annette xx

#FabricFriday - Chunky Knits

I must show you these fabulous Knitted Fabrics, new in stock here at Minerva. There are 3 available and all a terrific weight and amazing price of £9.99 per mt. The following photo shows our khaki coloured chunky Stripe Fabric. I've tried to show how you could use the stripes.
Take a look at McCalls Sewing Pattern 7252...
This shows a clever way of using the stripes. I think that by cutting the cuffs and collar on the stripe, sets the diagonal stripes off perfectly. The back of this fabric is plain black, so with the khaki and beige stripe there are some good contrasts going on.
The brown colour in this same Fabric is made up from brown and beige stripes with a brown back, just think the cuffs and collar could be done in the plain side.
I hope you can see from my photo that the plain/wrong side is also like the right side of knitting, in other words they are double sided fabrics. Our website description of this fabric is as follows...
"This dressmaking fabric is a gorgeous knit with a lovely texture, a nice soft feel and very little stretch in comparison to some of our other knits. It is a heavy weight fabric and would be ideal for making ponchos, coats and jackets. The stripes measure approx 15mm and 7mm wide. As part of our clearance range this fabric is fantastic value for money as we are able to bring it to you at a much cheaper price than the RRP, but only whilst limited stocks last!"
Last but not least my personal favourite is this orange and brown Stripe Knit Fabric. This is a little different to the other two in that the stripes are equal size. The colours are orange and a rich brown with the back being the plain orange or a beautiful shade of rust as I prefer to call it. 
Take a look at Butterick Sewing Pattern 6377...
Now I visualize version A made as in the pattern but where the pale grey panel is I would make that with the stripes running vertical and obviously the top left panel in the plain orange/rust.
Happy Sewing and thanks for reading,
Annette xx

#FabricFriday - Clearance Fabric Picks

Strike while the irons hot! That is my message to you today on #fabricfriday. My choices today are all from our extensive Clearance Fabrics range and as always once they are gone they are gone.
Now I am of an age to remember crimplene, I also remember hating it with a vengeance and here I am promoting it to you! I was a child/teenager at the time and thought of it as a 'Grandma' fabric and yes I know I'm a grandma now, or Nanny as I prefer to call myself to 5 of them! Weird isn't it, Jess my oldest Grand-daughter is wearing garments made out of crimplene. Polyester as we know it now with a little lycra.
So my first two fabrics today are this Pink Jersey Fabric and this Navy Blue Jersey Fabric both being what we used to call crimplene but I have to say much softer! They are very very similar, the only difference seems to be the navy fabric has a very subtle self stripe running through it and even looks pretty good on the wrong side. They feel fab together and certainly will sew well together so I have no problem with recommending them to be sewn together in something like McCalls Pattern 7121...
The simple colour blocking used in version A looks stunning and would be perfect in my choice of cerise and navy. And at £5.99 and £4.99 respectfully per mt they won't break the bank. Take a look at the lineart on this pattern. I love the V-necks on the fronts and backs of versions A and B but then note the more unusual shaping of versions C and D, Racer-back is it called?
My next fabric for today is our Scuba Crepe Fabric.
Our website description is...
This fabulous new fabric called scuba crepe has the bounce and spring of scuba fabric but it is slightly lighter in weight and has a lovely texture that looks like crepe. It is still a comparatively thick jersey compared to most other types of jersey fabric and it has the most fabulous stretch recovery. This makes it perfect for making fitted, body hugging clothing like bodycon tops and dresses and for making structured garments like skirts and full skirted dresses. As part of our clearance range we are able to bring it to you at a much cheaper price than the RRP, but only whilst stocks last! 
This comes in 15 fabulous colours and even appears to have a hint of a sparkle. I can certainly understand why it is called Scuba Crepe but it must be said it is different to Scuba as we  know it. This fabric could be made up into numerous items of clothing as our description suggests and will wash and wear extremely well.
Before I go I must show you a very pretty new Polycotton Fabric now in stock here at Minerva. The print is of multi-coloured stars of slightly different sizes on a white background.
Just think of the possibilities here, maybe you could combine it with our Stripe Fabric also in a polycotton. This is an amazing multicolored stripe, again on a white background, that comes in 4 different widths of stripes - 2mm, 7mm, 15mm and 25mm. How's that for choice!
So long for now and thanks for reading,
Annette xx

#FabricFriday - New Look 6000 as our Inspiration!

You know I love my browns and beige's! So you can imagine how I felt when I spied this first fabric on the shelf here at Minerva. Not sure whether I'm into feathers but the overall effect of this fabric is simply stunning and certainly caught my eye. This gorgeous Satin Fabric is 100% polyester, has the most fantastic drape and is priced not too harshly at £11.99 per mt. 
I do like to source sewing patterns that we tend to 'skim' over when looking through the pattern books or browsing the website. One such pattern is New Look Pattern 6000. 
There are 4 lines full of suggested fabrics on this pattern from lightweight denim to wool blends and from taffeta to jersey. So I was sure this fabric would be suitable and yes right in the middle of the suggested fabrics stood satin. Looking at version D made me think of this very 'busy' fabric being suitable, I know version D is only a drawing but it does give you a good idea.
I love the necklines on this pattern, version A and E has a classic round neckline but just look at the versions with a collar. It is most obvious on the real model version C. Apologies for mentioning Ponte Roma again but I can't help it haha - I just love it! Take a look at the marl brown colour in our Plain Ponte Fabric range, with our Floral Shaped Buttons
What an amazing effect those buttons would make.
I couldn't resist showing you the red ponte too, along with these new Metal Buttons, this time these buttons come in 3 sizes. I am showing you the large and middle sizes. These buttons have a silver rim and each little hole has a silver rim. So effective don't you think!
I must admit I am loving buttons at the moment, in fact sometimes I see a brilliant button and then find fabric or yarn to go with it! So here are some more Flowery Buttons from the Dill range that look amazing on the claret ponte. (I love the other 3 colours in these as well, white, cream, peach and a taupe background, so pretty).
Version E looks so summery, I love the mustard they've displayed on the pattern and guess what we have something quite similar from the Michael Miller Fabric Range. Yummy or what. This fabric is at the top end of our cotton price range at £14.99 per mt but take a look at the fabulous choice of colours.
If you like the idea of multicoloured spots then look no further than this Gorgeous Fabric. This very contemporary design comes in just the one colourway but how gorgeous is that and at just £8.99 per mt it is quite affordable. (I'm just thinking how nice this would look in cushions mmmmm).
Last but not least for today I want to show you this Polka Dot Fabric. This comes in 6 more unusual colourways, I like each and everyone of them, so because I'm struggling which one to show you, you must click on the link and have a look at them all. OK go on then I'll show you the pink! Don't forget this is from our immense cotton poplin range that is priced at just £6.99 per mt. 
Before I go I want to mention the pattern again. What appear to be tucks on the front of versions A B and C are actually sewn similar to darts but without the point at one end. The broken lines are brought together, pressed then pressed towards the bottom edge.
Plenty of patterns that appear the same as this are actually tucks and I find when wearing something made like this that the 'tucks' sort of 'balloon' outwards and emphasize those few extra pounds associated with holidays etc., Whereas when they are sewn as in this pattern, it keeps this area flatter but still showing 'tucks' Hope that makes sense! And I can't go without mentioning the beautiful floral decoration on version A, so easy yet so effective.
So, lots to think about this week and I think the following quote is pretty apt don't you!
Thanks for reading.
Annette xx

#PatternoftheWeek - Art Gallery Fabrics

And now for something completely different!
This week I am offering to you the Art Gallery Fabrics Ladies Maxi Dress Sewing Pattern as our #patternoftheweek, with 50% off for this week only. 
Where is this different you may ask. Well not only do you get your sewing pattern but all your instructions come as a PDF file. Plus you get a tutorial on making continuous bias-binding!
How cool is that? The pattern pieces are printed on good quality white paper that won't tear easily when working with it, pinning on fabric etc., Ideal for anyone who uses the method of fitting where you actually fit the pattern pieces onto the body. 
I've had a look at the PDF and I'm thinking "I quite like this for a change". Everything is in colour, the following photo is just the symbols used.
Each instruction is followed by the actual sewing, the following photo shows a drawing of where some pleats will be folded and underneath those pleats actually being sewn. I love this touch.
My only concern is the measurements. The next photo shows 'standard body measurements' and the following photo shows 'finished dimensions'. With it being American everything is in inches but don't worry if you are used to metric, all metric measurements are given too. 
 All sizes are on the one pattern so at least you know you are not buying the wrong size. When studying the above two sets of measurements you will see that the bust measurements are the same, whereas the waist and hips are a few inches bigger. I'm not saying this is wrong, just seems a little unusual in that there is no 'give' in the bust measurement. With not having made any of these patterns I cannot comment any further but would be very interested in any of your comments about these patterns. All I can say is measure yourself carefully and be wary that the bust measurement has no 'give'. The 'sizings' are different to Simplicity etc., which we all realise more and more are different to shop bought, ready to wear, sizes. To give you an example, on this pattern size large is size 10/12 with a bust measurement of 39" (as I said earlier, to fit 39" and also measures 39"). When I look at Simplicity patterns they are saying size 10 is 32.5" bust and 12 is 34". Now I am a size 12 most of the time in shop bought clothes but I measure approx 39". So if I was making this dress I have to say I would measure the actual pattern piece.
I must admit I would love to make this dress for my hols especially in Batik Fabric and so today I will show you some of these wonderful fabrics. 
My first choice is this Hand Printed Batik Fabric. This looks remarkably like the fabric on the pattern and is priced at just £7.99 per mt as are all the fabrics I am showing you today. Our website description of this fabric is...
 "This beautiful batik fabric is hand printed in India and features a busy floral design. Due to the hand processes involved in creating this fabric, every metre is unique and irregularities in colour and print are all part of its naive charm! It is 100% cotton and a medium weight, perfect for making so many styles of clothing including dresses, tops, shirts, skirts and more. Or why not bring this fabric into your home by making cushions!"
I quite like the idea of using another colour in this same fabric for the contrasting sash but hey wait while you see some more of the batiks!
This Fabric has a very pretty butterfly within the design, I just love this pink shade.
A slightly different look in Batik is 'Bubble Batik Fabric.' 
This leaves print is just such a fabric and the description is...

"This beautiful bubble batik fabric is hand printed in India and features a colourful spotty circles design. The process for creating 'Bubble Batik' fabric remains the same as Batik but in bubbled fabric, after wax printing the fabric is subjected to a crinkling process where the ground fabric is shrunk in both warp and weft direction by 25%, creating bubbles on the wax printed areas. Areas covered with wax remain the same whereas the base fabric shrinks by 25% creating a bubbled textured appearance. Due to the hand processes involved in creating this fabric, every metre is unique and irregularities in colour and print are all part of its naive charm! It is 100% cotton and a medium weight, perfect for making so many styles of clothing including dresses, tops, shirts, skirts and more. Or why not bring this fabric into your home by making cushions!"

This method creates a little more texture which I love. 

Last but certainly not least I must show you one of the Hand Painted Batik Fabrics

For me, this is stunning, our website description is...

"This beautiful fabric is hand painted in India. You can feel the brushstokes of the paint on the fabric surface, and the paint has a slight iridescent quality. Due to the hand processes involved in creating this batik fabric, every metre is unique and irregularities in colour and print are all part of its naive charm! It really is a stunning fabric. It is 100% cotton and a medium weight, perfect for making so many styles of clothing including dresses, tops, shirts, skirts and more. Or why not bring this fabric into your home by making cushions."

Batik is a wonderful fabric, I do like to wash it first but from then on it is a dream to work with, sewing and ironing it and especially to wear it, is just wonderful. What comes across in each of the above descriptions is how each process is done by hand and therefore irregularites do occur. It has to be said this to me is part of the fabrics charm but it is worth mentioning as some customers do purchase a little more if they want to 'place' their pieces in a certain way.
My last photo for today is so me, I'm sure you will relate to it too haha...
Happy Sewing and thanks for reading.
Annette xx

#FabricFriday - Boiled Wool

Now my lovely sewing buddies - I have to admit I have never sewn in Boiled Wool Fabric, always fancied it but up until now we haven't stocked it here at Minerva. Guess what! We now have 3 choices of boiled wool which altogether means we have 21 colours. Prices range from £18.99 to £23.99 per mt. So although I haven't sewn in them yet (that will hopefully change soon) I'm hoping I can give you an insight into what they are like. 
I do think what is quite interesting about boiled wool is that it doesn't fray and therefore if the garment is not lined then lots of time can be saved by not having to overlock or bind the seams edges. What I haven't realised before is the amount of stretch in boiled wool or to re-phrase that, the amount of give, which considering there is no lycra content is pretty good. 
I'll start with the rust colour from this Range of Fabric. This fabric comes in 8 colours, an unusual array of colours being that there are 3 shades of pink, 2 shades of brown, a black, an olive green and this beautiful rust that I have chose to show you.
What do you think of this Sewing Pattern? It's from the Butterick-Lisette latest range. I have fallen in love with it, just take a look at the lineart drawing.
Look at those curved seams where the pockets are enclosed! And check out that lower back pleat. Thought I'd add a button to complete the look. I chose these Buttons. This is red/rust in colour with an antique finish enhancing the button. The jacket is actually lined and, yes, I would probably line it, but if you were taking advantage of the boiled wool then it could be left lining free! 
Back to the boiled wool, this is our website description...
"A beautiful quality boiled wool coat weight fabric perfect for making winter coats and jackets that will keep you warm in the colder months. It is a medium to heavy weight fabric and has a boucle texture and a soft drape. Boiled wool is easy to cut and sew, making it a great choice for warm autumn and winter dressmaking. The cut edges of this fabric do not fray and therefore hemming and lining your boiled wool garment is optional. It comes in a lovely range of colours and is a great price for such a lovely quality fabric."  
The 2nd Boiled Wool I want to show you comes in 8 colours, this time including a beautiful winter white and wonderful warm mahogany. This comes in at £20.99 per mt, has a slightly different wool content and is ever so slightly thicker. I have chose to show you the pink which most little girls would love and yes we are all still little girls at heart! How pretty would this look in say a cape. McCalls Sewing Pattern 7477 is just such a pattern and bear in mind that all McCalls patterns are on offer at half price at the moment. 
Version B has a superb frill down the front and for me would look brill in a pale fabric such as this. But for a slightly more conventional cape, how about version D with a hood or version E which is collarless. I've added to this, guess what, some Dill Buttons again, a little darker than the fabric but they do blend well.
I cannot not mention my lovely Flower Buttons. Yes I know I've mentioned them a few times but I can't help it, don't they look pretty. Both shades of pink buttons come in both designs.
The 3rd Boiled Wool Fabric is very similar again but seems to have a little more 'give' thus making it a little like a heavier Ponte Roma. I just have to show you this in the cerise pink because wouldn't it make a gorgeous short jacket like in McCalls Pattern 5668 again half price at the moment. 
This is a super easy jacket pattern that is worn either edge to edge or version B has a tie belt which is quite cleverly sewn into the side back seams.
Seems to be very easy instructions throughout this pattern including lots of very useful tips from designer Nancy Zieman. Only the sleeves are lined in this jacket so this makes full use of the boiled wool not fraying. The sleeves are lined before they are sewn into the jacket, therefore nice and easy. I must say the reason I don't like unlined jackets is because you end up 'tugging' the jacket on over say the sleeves of a jumper and I feel they don't lie correct. However because the sleeves are lined in this jacket it 'avoids' that problem. I think I'll add this to my list of 'definitely to do' patterns.
Again thank you for reading,
Annette xx

#FabricFriday - Jersey Fabrics with Simplicity 1463

I am starting this post by jumping in with both feet and showing you this fantastic Clearance Fabric. This is one of the most fabulous jersey fabric I have ever seen. And best of all it is at an incredible price of just £4.99 per mt.
The colour is made up of a soft blue and a marl grey. It is very soft and drapey being made of polyester and viscose. The slub effect adds to the overall subtleness of this fabric and makes it ever so pretty. I cannot praise it enough but must warn you, with being clearance, it is non-reorderable so once it's gone, it's gone.
I have been trying to find some fabric to make this beautiful top, Simplicity Sewing Pattern 1463 and this jersey certainly fits the bill.
I have teamed this gorgeous jersey with this fabulous corded Lace Fabric in navy (very similar to the pattern) which has a scalloped edge on both sides. It comes in 33, yes that's right 33 stunning colours and is priced very competitively at £14.99 per mt. I must point out that this lace is not classed as a stretch lace in that it has no lycra content but there is certainly enough natural stretch in this lace fabric for this loose fitting top. (If it was for say a very fitted pull-on vest top or similar, I would not recommend it).
Take a look at my next photo to see how brilliantly these two fabrics look together.
A quick peep at the instructions gave me no concerns as to the complexity of this pattern. The yolk back is cut from lace and sewn directly onto the lower back which is cut from the jersey.
The hardest part, if you can call it that, is attaching the front raglan sleeve to the front. You need to pivot the fabric at the inner corner so that after topstitching it will look like no 8.
I just couldn't leave out the striped top on this pattern. This version is mega easy. It has a front, a back, a sleeveband and a neckband in two parts, front and back. I love how the front hemline is higher than the back hemline and should this 'look' date at some point, it would be so easy to straighten off this hemline which would leave you with a very cute looking 'boxy' top. The fabric I have chose is a Stripey Ponte Roma weight, which will hang really well and sit perfectly on the hips.
Considering you only need 1.5 to 1.6 mt for this top, I feel it is at quite a good price, £9.99 per mt. My next photo shows how the stripes would lie for the sleevebands. I think it looks pretty good, just make sure the stripes are equal on both sleeve bands, piece 5. In fact I would recommend cutting these 2 sleevebands separately to ensure the evenness of the stripe.
Before I end for today I must mention the variation of styles on this pattern. Versions D and E are both sleeveless, the only difference is on the finishing off of the garment. Version D has square Stud Embellishments around the V-neck and version E has a lace insert at the V-neck. I'm loving version B, it's a pity they haven't shown a model wearing this top. You can just make-out on the pattern front that this top has a cross-over back, on turning the pattern over you can see the back a little more clearly. The photo I am showing you shows that it is 2 pieces that wrap over but how you leave a gap in the side seam and then feed through one of the fronts, the other front then laps over. The 2nd photo shows these 2 side seams being sewn. 
My choices of fabric today and this brilliant pattern has got my fingers itching to get on the sewing machine. Must dash and thank you so much for reading.
Annette xx

#PatternOfTheWeek - New Look 6298

Would you like to make a dress that you could sew in a very short time, have a choice of neckline, a choice of sleeve length, a choice of hemline and the choice of fab easy patch pockets that partly sew into the side seam? Add to that made in jersey fabric, no zip, raglan sleeves and a very slight fitted shape which will hide those lumps and bumps left over from Christmas, well look no further than New Look Sewing Pattern 6298. 
At first glance it looks like an elongated jumper, especially version D where there is a separate band sewn round the bottom edge. This band is slightly smaller than the bottom edge, therefore when stitching, the band is stretched slightly to fit the bottom edge of the dress.
I have to say I do think this hemline is very flattering when one is a little apple shaped (guilty!), So if this does appeal to you then I have great pleasure in offering it to you as our #patternoftheweek with 50% off for this week only. Each design is for stretch knits only and do remember if you are unsure of whether there is enough stretch in the fabric just use the pick-a-knit rule as shown on the back of the pattern envelope. Basically this means a 4" piece needs to be able to stretch to 6" reasonably easily for this pattern to be successful. From 4" to 6" is the amount of stretch needed for most patterns, however always check.
Here at Minerva we have 100's of Jersey fabrics but as usual I have tried to replicate the look on the pattern. Yet again I have to mention my favourite range of Ponte Roma Fabric. This is such an amazing fabric, I love it to bits. This comes in an amazing 22 colours. My favourite at the moment is Marl Brown which would quite replicate version B.
Looking at version A the fabric that springs to mind is our Poly Lycra Jersey Fabric. At first glance you would think it was this fabric. This is a 96% polyester and 4% lycra fabric at £9.99 a mt. 
And remember if you are new to dressmaking, a busy pattern can 'hide' one or two little errors!
My next choice, our mambo Spandex Jersey Fabric, replicates version C. This fabric is made from Rayon and Spandex and is also £9.99 a mt. I know on the pattern envelope it is just a drawing but they have tried to show how good it would look if you take time to match the stripes on those pockets and also line up the stripes on the sleeves with the main body.
My last choice for today is a fabulous Boucle Fabric that comes in 3 fab colours - Teal, Purple and Dark Red. Although my choice would usually be the Teal, I keep looking at the red, so rich and warm looking...
This fabric is a combination of 85% Acrylic, 10% Polyester and 5% Wool. It does say to hand wash this fabric but I must say I would be tempted to wash a little piece of this fabric before cutting out just to see what happens. I am pretty sure hand washing is suggested because of the wool content but at just 5% wool I don't think it would shrink much. So if you cut a strip of fabric off, wash and dry it, see what happens. If you are happy with that then wash and dry the whole piece and off you go! Our website description below describes it well and at just £8.99 per mt I feel it is a good buy.

"This beautiful jersey knit fabric has a small amount of wool fibres which give it that soft and fuzzy textured appearance. The boucle texture is just gorgeous and helps give this fabric some weight, making it ideal for making slouchy cardigans and sweaters, skirts and dresses".

As always thanks so much for reading and happy sewing!

Annette xx


#FabricFriday - Denim!

We're talking Denim Fabric today but where to start. Some look upon denim as their favourite pair of jeans or the go-to garment when all else fails. Every fashion shop has rows upon rows of denim garments, both Winter and Summer. So I think we can safely say Denim is everywhere and certainly here to stay. 
The first time I made a garment in Denim was way way back in the late 70's. I made a pair of trousers/jeans. At the time I didn't think it possible to make a pair of 'proper' jeans. The only denim available was quite a heavy denim, certainly not the easiest fabric to work with but somehow I managed to make some brilliant back pockets! Strips of denim were plaited and placed behind a 'window' of denim. Very hard to describe but I can assure you they were my pride and joy and bear in mind I could only look at the jeans in the shop for ideas and remember that info till I got home, what I would have given for a phone/camera (obviously unheard of then) to take a quick pic! 
I look back at this now and smile because although I have still never made a pair of 'proper' jeans, many people have. Take a look at Winnie's blog post on the Minerva Crafts Blogger Network and see what a fantastic pair of 'proper' jeans she made. Superb. Although there are some 'proper' jeans patterns in all the main stream patterns, my favourite at the moment is Closet Case Ginger Pattern. This Indie pattern looks exactly like a 'proper' pair of jeans and therefore encourages you into having a go.
Also, way back then, it was the 'in' thing to wear denim garments together as in a shirt or jacket along with your jeans. Over the years this changed to just a pair of jeans or just a jacket but never more than one piece worn together. They do say what goes round comes round because look at the fashion world now, it is again 'cool' to wear denim outfits alongside each other!
So all this leads me to now say "The world is now your oyster" if you fancy making a denim piece. The choice goes way beyond the heavy denims of old (although yes they are still available). This season we have so much choice ranging from different weights to spotted, striped, flowered just to name a few. But today I want to show you the absolute latest to arrive here at Minerva.
First is our gorgeous new Stretch Denim Fabric which comes in 3 colours light, medium and dark blue. This fabric has just that little bit of stretch, similar to a stretch cotton, that makes it a joy to sew. This fabric would easily adapt to a very feminine style such as Kwik Sew Sewing Pattern 4068. This style is so easy to wear and would look fab in the light blue. I love the 3 buttons down the front of the dress and I've chosen these Heart Shape Buttons in red. Wouldn't they look nice?
Taking the buttons a stage further, take a look at our range of Dress it Up Buttons. These are a fantastic range of colouful and varied shape buttons that covers so many subjects, far too many to mention. For here and now I chose 'April Showers' to show you. How pretty and unusual would these look down the front of a dress, there are 8 pieces in 4 colours, 2 of each. I chose 3 of the colours in my next photo but if they looked a little too much, 2 buttons in 1 colour would look brill.
Two shades of this fabric could be used together as in the following photo, using KwikSew Sewing Pattern 4133 and why not go for the ultimate shirt look and use Fashion Snaps down the front as suggested on this pattern. It makes a change from buttons and buttonholes.
Moving on to another denim, we now stock a 4oz Washed Denim Fabric which as you would imagine is fabulously lightweight and soft and would feel wonderful against your skin. It comes in 3 fab shades of blue.
Apart from obvious choices like shirts, dresses etc., this would be ideal where gathers are used. Take a look at the following photo and you can see a fine fabric would be needed for these dungarees, Kwik Sew 4138, because of the gathers. Fab price too, £8.99 per mt and 58" wide.
Last but certainly not least is our new Embossed Denim Fabric. This fabric with a bit of stretch and comes in one shade only but is a very rich blue which is slightly embossed and again at £8.99 per mt, 58" wide is a good buy.
As you can see from the photo this fabric would be perfect for these dungarees or take it a stage further and add some red Stretch Cotton Fabric as a contrast. Take a peek at the top right hand corner of the pattern, New Look Sewing Pattern 6446, see how they've used the red contrast.
Just to throw a spanner in the works take a look at all the gorgeous bias-bindngs that are available these days
I chose this print at random but how pretty does it look? This effect would look great either as a trim on a garment or something around the home and we have so many choices of Patterned Bias Bindings here at Minerva, they really are worth taking a look at and having a think about how you can incorporate them into your designs.
Yes my fellow sewists Denim has come a long way from when it was first introduced as a 'work' fabric in the 1800's. It was produced as a very strong, very tightly woven, very hard wearing and very durable fabric for work wear (usually dungarees) in America. Thank goodness it has come a way since would we cope without our jeans?!
Thanks for reading,
Annette xx

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