Posted in Projects on Monday the 18th June 2018 by Vicki Ormerod
I didn’t have a plan for this Fabric! Then uuhhhmmm, flick-flick-flick through my patterns, OK this top will do and I asked for 1.5m. Then Burda magazine’s April issue came out, and Haaaalellujah! I saw this top (#116) and now I had a solid plan.
Now let’s talk a bit about the object of review here: The fabric.
First I want to say that this looks even better and expensive in real life. It’s a Lurex lacey knit in a mix of polyester, acrylic and wool. The knitted parts are a mélange pink with purplish greyish hues, and there’s gold lurex thread in lacy knit in the open circles. The pink part is not see-through, the gold lurex part is, which results in a semi-transparent effect in general. That’s the first interesting part about it. The second is that’s it’s warm and airy at the same time! The pink acrylic/wool bit is quite warm, but the open lurex bits are airy making this perfect for spring here in Norway. It’s soft to the touch too and you don’t feel the lurex against your skin as the pink parts are thicker so they lie against your skin, while the gold parts kind of float a bit above it!
When it comes to sewing and handling, I must say straight away this is not the easiest fabric to deal with, it’s quite stretchy, it unravels at the edges, you can’t iron it (lurex…) and as mentioned above there’s a difference in thickness between the pink and golden bits. This doesn’t at all make it a nightmare to work with however, you just need to be a bit more careful and patient.
For my blouse I used some remnants of rib jersey for piping and neckline, but since I deviated from the pattern which wanted me to first bind the back details then attach piping but I kinda combined the two, I attached the rib as piping then topstitched the seams for binding, I had to figure out the lengths myself…and I didn’t :D and ended up stretching the back piece quite a bit so it hung loose and ugly and I had to redo it…As I said: This fabric is stretchy!
I didn’t line my top and in most cases that’s OK, but the wrong light and the wrong shade and your silhouette is on display, so I might consider lining the front later, we’ll see.
My advice to you when using it is:
Use a walking foot and/or overlocker.
Don’t cut your seam allowances too narrow (keep 2-3cm then trim or overlock them later).
Use a piece of cotton fabric between it and the iron and iron at low heat. You’ll only need to iron it if you want to press seams anyway.
Double check what you’re doing and make sure you’re not overstretching before you sew.
And pin/clip in place before you sew.
I love my top! It looks so cool and stylish! I almost can’t believe this fabric I was only mildly interested to see turned into something I totally love. And the bit of extra care needed when working with it was totally worth it!
At this point you’d expect me to wrap up and thank you for reading, but I have a little surprise for you, or you can call it a bonus feature…Ta da!
Since I didn’t cut binding from the same fabric and used rib instead, and since Burda fabric recommendations are usually a bit optimistic, I had quite a bit of fabric left over. And I really wanted to do something about that, therefore: Shorts!
I could’ve made a second top, but I wanted to go a bit off-piste and make something unpredictable with it, such am I…the ever-experimenting seamstress!
I used another Burda pattern for these, #132 from 12/2014 issue which are actually pajama shorts. Unlike the top these had to be lined, so I used some leftover linen-look viscose woven fabric to line the legs and some jersey to line the waistband/yokes (I didn’t want to start inserting closures). I made it more out of curiosity believing this can never be worn, but the more I look at it the more I think that there’s nothing wrong with this with a T-shirt for the summer, don’t you agree?
Welcome to my first blog post for Minerva Crafts!
When I was asked to review Minerva’s new gingham Scuba Fabric I was super excited as I haven’t sewn with scuba before though I have several lengths of scuba in my stash awaiting a good project! I’ve noticed that gingham fabric has had a bit of a revival this year so nice and on trend too.
Scuba is a fabric that is rising in popularity but you rarely see it as a suggested fabric on the back of patterns. I’m sure this will change with time. I did some background research and found some really good tips on sewing with scuba. Cheryl, from Stitchy Bee, did a vlog on You Tube about the subject in March which I found very useful. Sarah, in the blog section of Minerva Crafts, reviewed the Named Gemma sweatshirt pattern in a reversible scuba which was also helpful background information. And issue 47 of Love Sewing Magazine ran an article on sewing with scuba.
I was sent the yellow and white gingham fabric. The yellow is quite a ‘bright yellow’ but if you suit that colour it’s a lovely spring fabric. I had a job deciding on what to make with it. I considered tops, dresses, jackets and even trousers (Jade ‘The girl with the bright red hair’) recently featured a pair of trousers in scuba in one of the main sewing magazines!
I finally decided to use a pattern I had road tested before and that I knew had a good deal of drape to show off the fabric. I chose New Look 6301 which is a wrap dress I had used on a Stretch Fabric course with Katya from Sew Pretty in Wimbledon.
It’s a great little wrap dress pattern with a choice of A line skirt or pencil style skirt. It also has sleeveless, short or 3/4 length sleeve options. I suit the A line style best and I thought it would demonstrate the drape of the fabric better. I chose the 3/4 length sleeve version. I made the size 10 and I didn’t need to make any alterations to the pattern.
The wrap is in the bodice only, so the skirt part is not wrapped. It has a belt that is sewn into the side seam and can be tied at the back or front, or if you prefer, you can do without it. It has some fine elastic threaded through a casing in the waist but it doesn’t make the skirt look too gathered when on.
Here are the main aspects of sewing with this scuba:
Firstly it is a dream to cut. I grew up with sewing shears and have only tried a rotary cutter in the past three years. I tested both scissors and rotary cutter on this fabric and it worked well with both. My favourite shears are the Fiskars Softgrip Dressmaking Shears because they don’t lift the fabric very much as you cut. The lower blade lies horizontal and the upper blade does the moving so there is very little slippage of the fabric. However, that said, the fabric is very stable and hardly slips around at all anyway - the layers of fabric seem to stick to each other quite well. It doesn’t curl at the edges either - phew!
I used pins and they didn’t leave holes. If you have very fine pins they would work best.
It has a lovely weight to it and so drapes beautifully for a dress fabric. It would also work well for a drapy top or skirt. It has a nice amount of stretch and quite a smooth surface. You could also use it for a more bodycon style.
Before making my dress I washed the fabric on a gentle wash and hung it over my landing bannister to dry. It laundered beautifully with absolutely no distortion of the fabric and no shrinkage.
I was cautious when ironing it but it coped well with steam ironing. I used a pressing cloth just to be on the safe side as stretch fabrics sometimes don’t tolerate high temperatures. It’s quite a bouncy fabric and I found the best way to get seams to lie flat was to iron them on the wrong side first and then finish them off from the right side.
Some people say it can be a bit hot to wear but I haven’t tried wearing my dress in warmer weather yet so I can’t comment. Certainly for a springtime make it’s perfect!
The only drawback I found was that the material is quite substantial so if you use your Overlocker to construct your garment it can be hard to sew across a seam - such as sewing across the sleeve seam when sewing up the side seam.
If I were making the dress again I would have sewn the centre back seam with my lightening stitch on my sewing machine and ironed the seam open instead of using my Overlocker. So when you attach the neckband your sewing machine won’t struggle to cross over the centre back seam. I love using my Overlocker whenever I can as it’s so quick to construct and finish all in one and the stitch gives natural stretch. However, there are times when an ordinary sewing machine with a stretch stitch (lightening stitch or zig-zag) can work just as well if not better! Especially when the edges of the fabric don’t really need any finishing as they don’t fray at all.
The bodice has a few pleats on each bodice piece that are sewn into the side seam and that give it a nice soft drape around the bust.
I used Formband to stabilise my shoulder seams. It is easy to iron along the back bodice shoulder seam before sewing the front bodice pieces to the back bodice. This stops the shoulder seam from stretching out on the hanger.
I finished my sleeve and skirt hems with a single turned hem and my twin needle which gave a really nice professional finish. I used a fabric marking pen and my Clover Measuring Tool to mark up the hemline.
The neckband on wrap dresses can sometimes misbehave and stretch out of shape. The combination of this lovely, stable fabric and a good pattern made this step very easy and it lay beautifully flat - helped by twin needle top stitching of the band seam allowance to the dress bodice.
So in summary I really enjoyed making this dress and found the scuba fabric lovely to work with. It has given me the confidence to start making my ‘stash’ scuba into other garments! Watch this space! If you are new to sewing with stretch fabrics it’s a great one to start with as it’s so stable. Ta-da!
Here's some photos of the finished dress...
Thanks for reading,
I’m so excited to be on the Minerva Crafts blog for the first time. I got to try out this floral Jersey Knit Fabric to review for you. A quick intro for you: I’m Shelby, age 25, from Missouri, USA. I’ve been sewing pretty hard for about a year and a half, self taught.
Who was excited to hear that the #SewTogetherforSummer theme was wrap dresses this year? I’ve had Butterick Pattern 6054 on my #2018makenine, so it was the perfect announcement for me. I feel like wrap dresses are really flattering. I only have one shirt in the wrap style, so I’ve wanted to add that style in dress form. I’ve been on a bit of a big 4 pattern kick lately. I love Indie patterns but in the States, JoAnn has $2 pattern sales all the time, it gives me so many style options.
Butterick 6054 calls for 2 way stretch knits. This floral knit is just that. The back of the package does say wrong sides show. This jersey knit is a deep navy print on the front and a white on the back. So, I was hesitant, but after looking at the pattern, the wrong sides only show if the wrap front flaps open. I was totally fine with that.
I sewed up a straight size 12. The only change I made was lengthening it by 3 inches. I’m 5’7” and normally lengthen 1.5-2” on most patterns to have dresses hit me just above the knee. I had read on some blogs that this dress is a bit short, so I added a little extra. So unless you are on the short end, I recommend lengthening this. 3” was just about perfect for me, if I were to make it again, I might add ½” more.
I was a bit nervous while taking the photos that I was going to flash some people. It was quite the windy day. I will probably wear this with leggings or shorts underneath. This pattern is a full wrap, not a faux, so although the fabric overlaps. I need a bit more to feel comfortable. I also am wearing this with a cami underneath for extra coverage.
The construction of this dress wasn’t hard but it was very involved. This dress has darts, pleats, snaps, and slipstitching. There is a lot of basting, but I skipped some of that. The fabric took the darts and pleats pretty well. I had really only used darts and pleats on wovens so I was nervous about that. The pleats are a little tricky because they all stack up on each other.
This pattern has a snap and hook and eye to help keep the wrap secure. I love this feature. The wrap top I made, Simplicity 8424 does not, and I always find myself wanting to adjust the wrap.
The fabric looks so pretty in a wrap dress. The only part I struggled with the fabric was the hem. The white backing wanted to show through the stitching. I’m thinking hem tape might have helped, or maybe a zig zag stitch rather than straight stitching. I decided I could live with a few white dots along the hem so I did not redo it. I do not like unpicking things.
I would suggest waiting to cut out the neckband facing until the day you are going to sew it up. The knit rolls at the edges after a few days and it made my job a bit harder. That is just the way knit fabric works. Since the neckline facing is not very wide, it had to be unrolled and then folded. Extra steps I’d like to avoid. That also added a bit to my hem troubles.
Overall, I’m so excited to wear this. The weather here has been up and down, hot one day, snowing the next, not even kidding. This floral print has me ready for steady warmth. Jersey is such a comfortable fabric, so this will be worn a lot.
Thanks for reading,
Shelby @ Handmade Shelby
Posted in Projects on Thursday the 14th June 2018 by Vicki Ormerod
This medium weight 100% Cotton Poplin Fabric is soft to touch but resistant to wear and tear. Prior to this I’ve made most of my trousers out of cotton drill or denim and used shirting cotton or lawn for shirts. So I wasn’t quite sure what to do with this fabric. It seemed too heavy for one, but too light for the other… now I’ve made it up, I see that it’s actually perfect for both! I’ll be buying some more to make work and summer trousers soon, but I’m getting ahead of myself!
I found this shirt pattern in a magazine and liked it’s (sort of) garage-mechanic-vibe. Now, I do a fair bit of DIY around the house and am often complaining that I don’t have a designated ‘DIY Outfit’ so with a few tweaks to the pattern I set about making my ultimate DIY Shirt/ Lab-coat/ Top…!
The fabric was quite narrow, so a short sleeve shirt was about all I was going to get out of 2m. (If I’d thought to get a bit more I’d have made a short-leg short-sleeve boiler-suit… but maybe the world isn’t ready for that yet…?!
It was easy to mark and easy to press which came in handy as I constructed the pockets. I drafted two lower front pockets with flaps and I adapted the pattern for the top pocket to echo the shape of the lower ones. I included a pleat in the lower pockets to make sure there was plenty of space for tools and bits and bobs.
I added epaulets to the shoulders and tabs to the sleeves to add to the ‘mechanic’ vibe. I held them down with snaps, but only used the top section as I didn’t need them to function. This also stopped the snaps from being too bulky on my shoulders. I used a size 80 universal needle and regular polyester thread. I set the stitch length to 3mm for all the topstitching and I love how crisp it looks on the poplin.
I hemmed the sleeves and added more tabs and snaps to the centre. You can see on the inside where the back of the snap has been left out.
There’s no stretch but there is the tiniest amount of give to the fabric which helped getting the sleeves in. I also used one of my favourite techniques called EasestitchPlus (... among many other names, I’m sure!)
You basically sew a row of basting stitches just inside the seam allowance, with your finger behind the sewing foot. Do this over the easing area and you’ll find it much easier to get the excess in without the dreaded puckers!
Once the sleeves and sides were sewn up I put the collar on and topstitched it all down. The hem is straight, making it easy to double turn and topstitch - and it's done!
Having been wary of this fabric at first, I’m in love with it now. It’s described as being suitable for all types of garment; tops, shirts, dresses, trousers, skirts etc… and I concur! So far I’ve only worn it out for a drink though, so I don’t have an action shot for you! I’ll have to make a start on my next DIY project for that! In the meantime, here I am modelling it (rather awkwardly!) in London.
Thanks for reading,
Posted in Projects on Sunday the 10th June 2018 by Vicki Ormerod
Posted in Projects on Friday the 8th June 2018 by Vicki Ormerod
When Minerva Crafts sent me this beautiful paisley Stretch Lace Fabric to review, my mind immediately went to an imaginary spring wedding with handmade decor and frilly flower girl dresses. Although I have no real wedding to go to, my everyday sewing projects could definitely
use a little bit of springy lift!
The lace fabric comes in ivory and black. It is a medium weight with good stretch and recovery. I love all things paisley but sometimes it can look a little dated - not this one though, which has a fresh and modern vibe. I think it would be lovely as accent on lingerie pieces. However the paisley pattern has a rich raised texture, so if you prefer your undies smooth it's something to keep in mind.
For a while I've been stalking the versatile waterfall raglan pattern by Chalk and Notch. I especially love the colour blocked versions popping up everywhere but couldn't decide on a combo. Adding the lace as an overlay on the front bodice piece makes it a no-brainer! I tried the lace on some knit fabrics in stash and decided on a silver grey viscose jersey.
The project went smoothly. As with all Chalk and Notch patterns, it's a joy to sail through the beautifully illustrated instructions. I made the top version for girls in size 5 and the fit is spot on. The only mod I did was to shorten the sleeves by an inch. A word on the pattern - I love that Gabriela gave two different neckband lengths for knit fabrics with various stretch percentages. I used the one with a higher percentage, which yielded a perfect neckline.
As for the construction, one advice I would give is for cutting the bodice overlay piece. I laid the lace on top of the jersey and cut both layers together as one. Because both fabrics are stretchy and could shift, this ensures they are exactly the same. After that I just treated the two layers as one in the whole sewing process. I didn't baste the two layers together, since the paisley lace has enough texture and "grips" to the jersey naturally. The Clover Wonder Clips also came in handy in keeping all the layers together while sewing the overlaid pieces.
I sewed the whole garment on my serger but you could easily use a regular sewing machine as both the jersey and lace don't unravel. In fact, I left the hem raw for a better drape on the flounce.
The end result is a delight! The paisley lace adds just the right touch of girly charm to a comfortable everyday top. The overlay also lends a little more structure to the otherwise very drapey viscose jersey and I really like this silhouette. The moment daughter put it on she was all twirls and declared it's comfy as pajamas. Of all my makes for her this is definitely her favourite. I can see more of this lace in future projects for sure. Thank you Minerva for a lovely Fabric!
Now off to make an adult version for myself ;-) Until next time...
Posted in Projects on Thursday the 7th June 2018 by Vicki Ormerod
Crepe can be a bit of a daunting fabric for lot of sewists, thanks to it being super drapey and sometimes slippery – but this is amazing, and (even better) is really easy to work with! Its polyester content means that, while it presses well and holds pleats and gathers like a dream, the fabric doesn't crease at all which makes it perfect for pretty much any pattern or garment that you fancy and falls with a lovely drape and smooth finish.
The huge selection of colours that the fabric was available in was definitely the most daunting part of the making process and a decision that I took very seriously – after going through all 36 colours, I finally went for the 'Dusky Pink' colourway… and I'm so pleased with the finished dress!
I chose to make the Rosie Dress Pattern by Sew Over It, which I thought would work wonderfully with the drape of the crepe (and I don't want to sound like I'm tooting my own horn, but I think I was right!), and did intend on combining it with a shoulder ruffle from the New Look 6488 pattern, but there was a bit of a hiccup in that plan. I spent a very long time constructing and narrow-hemming the ruffles before I realised I'd cut and hemmed both of the ruffle pieces the same way, so that I had two identical pieces rather than opposite ones – whoops! After a lot of angry muttering and frustration, I decided that I might as well ditch the ruffle plan, even though that was the part I'd spent the longest amount of time on – oh well, it happens to all of us! Because of the bit of confusion that went on there, I'd say it's a sensible plan to really clearly mark which side of the crepe is the wrong side, so that you make the sewing process as simple as possible.
Other than the ruffle debacle, making the Rosie Dress went nice and smoothly, thank goodness.
I made sure to use lots of pins on all of my seams to hold the fabric in the right place, and finished all of the raw edges with my overlocker because I found that the crepe was a little bit prone to fraying.
Of course, if doesn't mean that you can't use this fabric if you don't own an overlocker, but I'd recommend using French seams, so that all of the raw edges are encased and everything ends up looking lovely and neat!
The Rosie Dress is meant to have boning in the bodice which is covered by lining, but when I tried it on, I wasn't really a fan of the effect that the boning gave. It was only secured at either end of the boning strips, and I found that they wiggled around a bit in the middle rather than staying on the seams that they were matched up with.
This problem was easy to solve – I just took the boning out! I don't think that the difference in structure has impacted the finished look of the dress at all, and I'm much happier with it as a result.
The only other alterations I made to the dress were minor; I'm very little, so needed to shorten the skirt a bit and take the seams in a tad on the side of the bodice, but other than that everything fit perfectly! I love the drape that the fabric gives the dress – I think it adds some glamour, but isn't so fancy-looking that you can't wear it whenever you want!
Thanks for reading,
Harriet @ Hobbling Handmades
Posted in Projects on Wednesday the 6th June 2018 by Vicki Ormerod
Where do I start with Scuba Fabric…well it’s the queen of knit fabrics…that’s a direct quote from me of course. I don’t think anyone has ever voted in that there poll! I really can’t think of anything negative to say about Scuba. It’s a double knit so it’s as stable as they come, easy to sew particularly if you’re new to sewing with knit fabric and jersey. It’s easy to cut your pattern from, no slipping about under your pattern, no creasing naughtily when you’re pinning one end and the other end decides to make its move like a lot of other knits do. And to be honest the pinning together seams for sewing is to a minimal for me at least with scuba because this beauty is just so good to its owner it just stays where you want it to stay as if you just willed it there! Oh and how could I forget…no ironing, I repeat NO IRONING!!!
So when Minerva Crafts sent me some beautiful Gingham Print Scuba I was so filled full of ideas of what I could make for myself…until my daughter came home from school and nigh on insisted that this fabric wasn’t going anywhere but into her wardrobe in the form of a garment that would fit her only!
So that was me told! My soon to be 7 year old had let her feelings be known and who was I to go against her. I wanted to try something different than a fit and flare dress. There are enough of those in the world or in her world anyway.
I came across the Madeit Patterns Balloon Fold Dress a while back and absolutely fell in love with it. In my opinion it’s an edgy style, something different and out of the norm and I fell for it. I knew the samples dresses on the pattern were made in a lighter weight knit and sure enough when I looked up the pattern they recommended lighter knits but I still thought this weightier scuba would be beautiful made up so I went ahead.
The pattern calls for two different fabrics for this pattern, one for the back piece and bottom panel of the front and another fabric for the upper panel of the front piece. I decided to really try to make full use of what I had and not forget about the ‘wrong’ side of this scuba as the second fabric.
The beauty of this pattern is that there are three different ways to wear this finished dress, full length, the elasticated bottom turned up to the waist on the inside for a shorter balloon dress and thirdly the elasticated bottom turned up on the outside for a top and skirt look.
I took my daughter’s measurements and as luck would have it she had the exact measurements for a 7 year old. I cut my fabric from the pattern remembering to flip the pattern around for the top panel of the front piece where I wanted to use the plain white ‘wrong’ side of the fabric.
There are only 4 pattern pieces to this pattern so I had it printed off, taped together and cut out in no time. The trickiest part of this pattern if you could actually call it tricky was slightly stretching the band around the neck and armhole but honestly calling it tricky is really pushing it.
If I had to guestimate how long I spent at this project (I really have to guestimate all my projects because I very rarely get to sit and do one project without interruptions) I’d say from the printing stage to fitting on the final garment it took half a day max.
If anyone on a budget wants a dress for a special little girl in their lives (I made this whole dress from 1 metre of fabric for a 7 year old) or wants to make the most of their fabric I recommend this pattern wholeheartedly and if you want to really make the most out of the pattern I would recommend this Fabric because it has so many good qualities for the person sewing it but also the person wearing it. If you come from a country like Ireland for example where rain and cold reign then this dress keeps you snuggly warm particularly when wearing a long sleeved top inside, a cardigan on top maybe and wearing it at its longest length. But you know even in Ireland we get maybe 3 warm days a year, or if we go on holidays to warmer climes Scuba is great under the sun as it’s cool to touch and seems to adapt to its environment and keep the wearer cool.
So if I haven’t made this clear this is a favourite of mine, love the pattern, love the fabric. Give it a go…thank me later!
Oh and I promise if Minerva Crafts send me fabric again I’ll be wiser next time…I’m hiding it…it’ll me mine…ALL MINE. Have a good day Minerva Crafters x