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Evie Bias Skirt with Striped Voile Fabric

I decided to be super organised at the beginning of the year, and plan out the things I wanted to make. My list was about 30 items long, and seems to be growing no matter how quickly I sew! One thing that is on the list a few times is the Tesutti Fabrics Evie Bias skirt, and I loved making this one so much I’m sure I’ll end up making more than planned! I’ve had my eye on this pattern for a while, but this was the first time I tried it and I’m really glad I did! I chose view B which is a really simple two-piece skirt with an elasticated waist, which means it’s a really quick sew - I think I made this in less than an hour. The pattern recommends a woven light to medium fabric with no stretch so I chose this lovely woven stripe Voile Fabric. I loved the colour of the terracotta stripe when I saw it, and I’m a sucker for any sort of print or stripe so it was an obvious choice for me. A striped fabric probably isn't the most conventional fabric for a skirt that’s cut on the bias, but I really wanted to see what effect it would have and I think it works really well with the diagonal stripes. And you’ll probably agree, isn’t it the most satisfying thing when you get the pattern matching like this with stripes?!I’ve never worked with a voile fabric before, so I wasn’t really sure what to expect but it has this really lovely effect. It’s quite a sheer fabric with a really nice texture and it was pretty easy to work with. It presses nice and quickly too which is great if you’re like me and hate the iron! As it’s quite a sheer fabric I probably should have lined it, but for now, I’ve been wearing it with a little cami dress or a skin tone underskirt, which has been fine for me as I like layering up. If I made it again out of this fabric I think I’d line it with a fabric like this crepe and I’d probably go with a white or a skin tone. To line it, I’d cut a shorter version of the skirt from the lining, and sew the side seams of each skirt separately before joining them at the waist when sewing on the elastic. I don’t think it would add on much time so it would still be a pretty quick make. The pattern recommends a scalloped soft backed elastic but I went with this soft plush back elastic and it feels really nice against the skin when you’re wearing the skirt. I used white cotton for the stitching which I think blends in really well, especially at the waist of the skirt where the zig-zag stitch is visible.
You’ll need tracing paper for this pattern and my favourite is the Burda Tissue paper for dressmaking and at less than three pounds a pack it’s a steal! I can tell this skirt is going to be a wardrobe staple, especially in the warmer months and I can’t wait to make some more versions. Next time I think I’ll try view A of the skirt which includes a waistband and an invisible zip. I’m thinking spots, so maybe a viscose fabric like this but with a spot?If you want to follow along with any of my makes, find me on Instagram @lucyhannahmakes
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Comfy Sweater in a Textured Jersey Print

I was delighted to receive two metres of textured Jersey Fabric with a non-directional print in muted blue tones. The texture is subtle and the print has an awful lot going on it without appearing too busy. When viewed up close there is plenty of interest in the print, whilst from a distance the images blend effectively due to clever colour choices. The fabric itself is light enough to give a good amount of drape without losing the structure of a garment. I decided to make a sweater to use as a layering piece. The pattern I chose to use was Simplicity 8529, which I received with a sewing magazine a few months ago. This pattern is the Simplicity collaboration with Sew House Seven which produced a paper version of their popular Toaster Sweater.

Since the print on this fabric is non directional I had no need to worry about how I placed the pattern pieces, beyond the usual stretch and grainline considerations. However, the two metres I had received gave me plenty of room to manoeuvre had there been a directional print on this base fabric. Having chosen the high neck version of the pattern I had only four pattern pieces to cut out, a process that went very smoothly as the texture on the fabric prevented it from moving around whilst pinning. I did opt to stabilise the shoulders with ribbon prior to sewing to ensure that the shape is retained with wear, but this was very much a precautionary measure as the fabric seems relatively stable for a lighter weight knit.

Sewing the sweater was a quick and simple process. The most complicated portions being the corners of the split hem option that I chose to do and attaching the cuff bands. Since I didn’t bother to clip the corners whilst hemming I resolved any messier areas with a little hand stitching, so that was hardly an issue in any case. In order to make attaching the cuff bands easier I used my tried and true method of placing the end of the sleeve around the part of the sewing machine under the foot (once the accessories box has been removed. I have found that this puts exactly the right amount of stretch on the sleeve and cuff band to ensure that they match up correctly when sewing garments in my size. Of course this does not work for children and toys, but on the machine I use it works perfectly.

The split hem sits slightly lower at the back than at the front, which is a design feature I like. The split itself is fairly lengthy, allowing you to show off the top of a high waisted skirt or pair of jeans, or a favourite base layer garment.

The sleeves are a good length, with the cuffs coming down over my hands, which adds to the comfy cosy feel of the sweater. The raised neckline also supports this feeling when wearing it.

Overall I am pleased with the finished item. I stitched up the large size, which is roomy enough for me to layer up underneath when it’s particularly chilly, without seeming ridiculously oversized on less cold days. The pattern sizes run from extra XS to extra XL on the Simplicity version. Where I to make the pattern again I would consider putting in thumb holes on the cuff bands, but otherwise I am delighted with the result, and am already planning on making a few more variations in different weights of fabric.

Zoe @ ewesewyou

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The Simple Sew Kimono Wrap Dress

When this Crepe Fabric first arrived, it was hard not to be amazed by its vibrant colour. This fabric is a light weight, slightly sheer crepe. It has a really rich bright red background, and small white flowers all over.
I’m not sure if I’m the only one, but slightly sheer fabrics really challenge me to choose the right pattern. Because the fabric is so lightweight, I think you need to have a pattern with not much structure, and something which is quite floaty and not close fitting. Of course I could have underlined the fabric, but then you lose some of the fab drape that the fabric has.It took me a little while of searching the patterns in my stash to settle on the simple sew kimono wrap dress pattern. I have had this pattern in my stash for a while, but it seems quite fabric hungry, and I have never got a piece big enough in my stash to make it. The pattern envelope says you need 2.7m to make it with 60inch wide fabric, so my 3m was just enough (just a word of warning - there wasn’t all that much to spare!).
When I opened the pattern envelope, I realised that this only has 2 pieces plus the big Obi belt. I find that sometimes the Simple Sew patterns are so so simple (as I guess the name would suggest!), but that it means the finish isn’t quite as professional as other indie pattern companies. The instructions are also only on 2 pages, which just shows how simple this make really is.The fabric itself, despite being super floaty, was fab to work with. Sometimes my machine doesn’t like sewing with fine fabrics, but it didn’t chew this up at all. It was easy to cut out and work with. Despite the neckline being cut on the bias and having the potential to stretch, I don’t think that it did stretch much, if at all.
Because of the simplicity of the pattern, this really is one quick make. I reckon you could cut it out and sew it up within a couple of hours. There is no fastening at all, it’s just a wrap dress which is secured by the wide Obi belt. For a little more modesty I have included a piece of ribbon on the side seam so I can tie it together before wrapping it around me. I might also sew a tiny popper on the neckline just to be doubly sure that I don’t accidentally flash too much! In these photos I’ve just used a safety pin at the bust, and another at the waist.
I am wearing a slip underneath to protect my modesty, I’ve worn this dress out once, at a meal in a nice restaurant paired with thick tights and super high show boots but lets face it it’s much more of a hot summer sunny day dress! I was freezing taking these photos - what us sewists will do for a good blog photo haha!ChloexXx@chloelouisew89
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Seaweed Print Culottes!

I can't wait to show you this Crepe Fabric. (Thank you, Minerva!)

But first, I need to honestly discuss the Sewing Pattern I used.

It was late Saturday night. I had tucked my sons in to bed, sat down to my machines threaded and fabric cut, ready for a simple, relaxing, sew session. Three hours later- I looked down at my fuzzy navy bathrobe, covered in bright thread bits from what felt like the millionth unpicked seam.

“Eat.” My husband's voice was accompanied by a plate of cheese and pickles pushed under my nose.

I growled something like gratitude, I've learned hunger commonly precludes seam-ripping!

I have made this pattern once before, early in my sewing journey, and I had no recollection of its difficulty level or time involved. I assumed it would be much smoother this time, after all my vast experience and skill development. (Ha!) It doesn't have too many pieces nor does it use much fabric, considering the amount of ease in this style.

The long and short of it is that I managed to sew the pockets and side pieces wrong, about 4 times over. Don't be over-confident like me, mark those pieces really well! Despite struggling through it, I still don't think it is a difficult pattern, and maybe...I was really just hungry.

Final thought: How great would these be in chambray or linen, with a bib hack! (The pattern includes some suspender-style pieces.) The flat front waistband is very flattering and the back elastic waistband is very comfortable. The only thing I would change is the crotch height, its quite low even for a culotte style.

To the fabric!

I am certain I chose this print out of pure nostalgia. I grew up steps from the pacific ocean and most of our childhood days were spent on the beach collecting shells, rocks, and seaweeds- just like this! Turning over large rocks to unearth tiny, scurrying crabs. Popping the natural buoys formed in that funny inflated brown kelp.

This colourful crepe fabric has an amazing amount of drape. It is weightier than other crepes I have worked with so these pants have great “swish” movement! Perfect for spring and summer styles, its cool to the touch.

I pre-washed the fabric in warm/cold and tumbled dry as usual. There was no perceivable shrinkage.

During construction, it pressed crisply with no melting/sheen (always do a test with the iron, no matter what!) and that is something I truly appreciate, especially when pleats are involved. It wasnt slippery to sew at all, I'd venture that's owing to the fine pebbly texture. (Another “Thanks, I made them, FEEL THE FABRIC” garment on the books.) Lastly, the fabric frayed very little, despite the amount of unpicking here. As a new-ish sewist, I really appreciate easy-to-sew fabrics that allow me to try more complicated construction techniques and not be totally hung-up.

Culottes are here to stay, in my wardrobe. I basically wear them 3 ways: 1) with a co-ordinating top for the faux-jumpsuit (honestly, faux-jumpsuit over true jumpsuit, forever.) 2) with a cami and jacket for slightly dressier 3) with a slouchy sweater for when the weather won't fully commit to Spring. (Like today.) Tell me, are you team-culottes?

Until next time!

-Cortney @s.is.for.sew

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McCalls 7313 Super Smart Heavy Jersey Dress

This past month I have made what has to be one of my favourite makes for a long time, this super smart heavy jersey dress. I was excited to receive this Fabric from Minerva this month, the pattern is so eye catching and the weight of the fabric is just perfect for the colder days. It is a textured jersey knit and it is also available in red and grey. My only dilemma now is that it was intended to be a work dress but after trying it on it looks far too nice to wear for work.

I chose to use McCall’s 7313, this pattern is designed for a beginner and I would say that when partnered with this fabric it is the ideal project for a beginner. 

The fabric doesn’t have any fray so there is no need for special finishing there (not unless you want it of course) and it behaved really well while being cut holding its shape well. I would imagine that this is going to be a wash and wear dress as after I washed the fabric when it arrived it didn’t require any ironing. This particular fabric would be ideal for winter tops, skirts or cardigans too due to the perfect way it holds its shape.

The view of the pattern I chose to make was view B, it looks to me as if B and F are the same style, just your length to suit before any final finishing. We are after all, all different heights so no one pattern is going to have the exact right length for you.

This pattern has only a few pieces so it is a really quick make, it does include a casing for elastic at the waist but as this fabric has such a good amount of stretch I decided not to use any elastic. I attached the front top to front skirt, and the back top to back skirt and then shoulders and sleeves. This meant that I could have a continuous seam down the sides, I then tried the dress on and pinned it to make it more fitted at the waist without the need for the elastic. This is of course personal preference and the dress will have pretty much the same look without doing it my way, the only difference will be a little gathering at the waist where the elastic draws it in.

The long sleeve length was spot on for me, with just a small hem I didn’t need to make any adjustments there at all. I will be making another dress in the same style soon and I am going to take a look on Minerva for different colour ways of this type of fabric.

I have a reasonable sized piece of this fabric left so I think I may be able to squeeze a sleeveless top out of it. With that in mind looking at the pattern I would imagine you could mix it up and do contrasting sleeves for this dress or maybe a different colour skirt. It might be a good way to use up any leftover bits of fabric and create something completely different.

I am now looking forward to a night out so I can wear my new dress, thank you to Minerva for the wonderful fabric.  

Dianne @ sewinggreenlady

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Dimple Fleece Frankie Top & Monsal Lounge Pants

Hello everyone,

As soon as I saw the Supersoft Dimple Fleece Fabric I fell in love. I mean what is not to love? Those printed giraffes are the cutest I’ve seen printed on fabric. I was excited about this fabric before I got it, but when I received it, I literally started jumping around with excitement. The fabric is very soft. It’s softer than I imagined a 100% polyester fabric would be.

I chose to dive straight into making my outfit. I like to take risks when it comes to sewing. However, it’s recommended to pre-wash your fabric before you start sewing with it, just to avoid your project shrinking afterwards. I always wanted a pyjama that I can also wear as lounge wear, just because I can be lazy and not come out of it.

For the top I used the Frankie top pattern from Tilly and the Buttons’ book called Stretch. I’ve made the top in the past and I love the raglan sleeves on it. Also, that meant that I already had the pattern pieces ready to use.

I found the fabric quite easy to work with. When cutting fur to the pile I made a little mess as there were small threads falling off. But, this was not as bad as when working for faux fur or velvet.

To reduce the bulk in the seam around the neckline, I used a piece of scrap fabric to cut the neckband. I only used my sewing machine to top-stitch the neckband flat.

To make the top I used coordinating thread and used my overlocker for construction including the hems. But, if you do not have an overlocker like me, you can use the sewing machine – lightning or zig-zag stitched is good for stretch fabrics. I would in this case think about how you will finish the raw edges, purely because pile fabrics tend to shed pile threads.

For the bottoms I used the Monsal lounge pants pattern from Wendy Ward’s book A beginner’s guide to sewing with knitted fabric. I skipped the trousers on this version and did not add a waistband. I used the overlocker/serger for most of the construction except for the part where I added the elastic. For this part of the construction I used the sewing machine – zig-zag stitch.

I feel my day is brighter just by being in this outfit. It might not be the most flattering outfit I own but it is comfortable, makes me smile and keeps me warm. During the cold weather when it’s bleak outside this make be feel better.

My tips for working with this fabric:

  • this fabric has a pile so make sure all your pattern pieces are facing the same direction. You also need to be careful to make sure the giraffes are the right side up on your finished garment.

  • Although the print is perfect for kids projects, I’d keep in mind that the fibre content is 100% polyester, which might limit the type of project where you can use this fabric.

  • Test stitches on scraps of fabric to make sure you have the correct settings. Usually a lightning stitch is just perfect, but if your sewing machine does not have this stitch, a small width zig-zag is suitable as well.

  • If using a sewing machine for construction, consider finishing the raw edges with a wide zig-zag to stop the fabric from shedding threads from the pile.

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog post. And please do share your makes on Instagram/Twitter by tagging @MinervaCrafts and/or using the hashtag #MinervaMakes. I’d love to see what you create.

Simona

Sewing Adventures in the Attick

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McCalls 7757 Crepe Trousers

Hello sewing friends!I'm Poppy Flowers from poppyflowers.wordpress.com, where I post all about sewing and my handmade life. Today is a very special day for me as this is my first post on Minerva's blog. I'm feeling grateful and excited being part of Makers Team and meeting you all!
Before I bore you with the intro let's talk about fabric! I saw this Polyester Crepe Fabric and the abergine colourway stole my heart immediately. As soon as I got it I could not think anything different than my current favourite pants pattern, the McCall's 7757, option E. It is a summer pattern but I have used it already twice for winter garments. If  fabric is light to medium weight and with a nice drape, believe me, it's gonna work!
Wide legs, pockets and elasticated waistband, these make it beginner friendly or ... just a brain free weekend! So I grabbed a cup of cocoa and Friday night the process began. I lay my fabric down (I always fabric cut on the floor!) and because I don't own pattern weights I use random items (here, "things" from living room!) and in a little while I began with sewing.  
Process is as simple as sewing inner legs of front and back, for each leg, and then sewing the crotch seam. Next morning I added pockets and sew the side seams but stopped my sewing for the day. Final steps happened on Monday and were the casing for the elastic and hemming.
I mainly sew it on my sewing machine and finished seams on serger. Hems are almost always hand finished for me and so are here, this is time consuming but hems hang better always.
Extra step I did are adding pocket stabilisers (satin ribbon on the front inner piece) and pocket stays (cute "ribbon bow" machine stitch on the outer lower pocket, instead of the traditional bartack).
Last but not least -and with a complete no need but I do it with all of my garments(!), on the inner waistband, I wrote my name (decorative stitches are always looking better when using rayon thread and stabiliser).
I really like this pattern, it's always so comfy wearing elasticated waistband and I love everything cinched waist! Next time I will not add pockets as although I like the practical use of them, I definitely don't need more fullness around my hips!
Fabric has a deep colour and satiny feel, that makes the garment a bit more on the formal side but I like contrasting and wearing it with a cozy pullover and enjoy wearing it in the mornings.
This is it. Thank you for sharing your time with me, I hope you find it useful, inspiring or at least interesting and thank you Minerva team for the trust!
Until next time, stay creative on all aspects!
xo xo,
Poppy 
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Kwik Sew 3835 Silver Foil Harem Pants

Greetings fellow sewists! For those who would like to know who the new face is, my name is Callie and I have a blog over at CallieMakes where I blog about all the things I make. What a wonderful sewing community there is here! You all inspire me every day, so it makes me very happy to be able to share some of my own sewing adventures with you here, too.

As a sewist, do you find that you tend to gravitate towards working with knits over wovens or vice versa? I’ll work with either, but I still tend to be one who favors wovens over knits. Sure, to fill in those wardrobe gaps, I’ll make a knit top, sweater or pant from time to time, but I still opt for the wovens. Well, just over a year ago I worked with a foil knit for the first time. As I’m sure every sewist likes to spend time doing, I was window-shopping some fabrics online and came across these dazzling foil knits and it was--as the cliché goes—like a moth to a flame. 

I just had to make something fun out of this glistening Material. I made some pretty cool gold joggers out of that first foil knit but the fabric tended to be awfully slinky due to its weight. It was very light which made it a bit of a frustration to work with. Thankfully, the foil knit I used for this project was not at all a frustration. The weight was perfect to use for this very simple pants pattern. I used a Kwik Sew Pattern 3835 for harem pants because I thought I already have some gold foil knit pants, now I need to make some silver! And who doesn’t need a pair of silver harem pants in their closet?!

In all realness though, if you are a beginner sewer, this is—as its name sake implies—a quick pattern of 4 pieces, and it is great if you want to make a fun fashion statement but your skills may still need that easy construction. Or even if you are an advanced sewer and want something fast and fun to make, it’s a fine pattern for that too!

As far as working with foil knits, here are some of my recommendations:

·         Be sure to use a jersey knit needle (size 10 or 12)

·         Threading your bobbin thread through that tiny hole in the arm of the bobbin case helps--it’s good to thread this when working with lighter/finer weight fabrics, but it helps with the jersey knits, too, in that it helps stabilize those stitches.

·         Use a stretch stitch (like zig zag) or serger since you’ll need that ease in the waistband and leg cuffs.

·         If you need, use a lightweight interfacing to stabilize the foil knit. (I didn’t need to use any for this fabric because the weight was just right).

·         If you decide to use this pattern, before you cut, know that it calls for ¼” seam allowances, so you may want to consider going up a size if you like to use larger seam allowances.

‘Til next time,

Callie @ calliemakes

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Baby Proof Sewing

Inspiration

Hi everyone! I'm back, attempting some more baby proof sewing. This means easy access for breastfeeding and suitable to camouflage baby sick. I found this great lightweight fabric that has enough stretch for boob access and black and white motif that should hide any baby drool and vomit whilst at the same time looking cute! I've had the New Look 6403 in my pattern stash for a while and went for option B with some self drafted frills for the sleeves.

Fabric

The fabric used is a black and white soft Jersey Fabric, which has a great drape. I had to be careful when sewing to make sure the seams did not pucker.

Design

I cut one size up so that the t-shirt was more of a relaxed fit and then cut off an inch from the bottom of the sleeves. I assembled the t-shirt as per the instructions and then created a frill using a rectangle of fabric, gathered, and sewn on at the sleeve hem.

The fabric ended up quite bulky at the gathered seam so I top stitched it down to the sleeve cap, leaving the frills to hang.

Assembly

The fabric was hard to pattern match as it was so light but I think that I've managed or as best as could be with the shape of the pattern.

Would I do anything different next time?

If I were to make this again I might use less fabric to create the sleeve frill so that the seam was not as heavy. I'm really pleased with the fit of the pattern so I'm going to keep this as my t-shirt staple pattern. The bottoms also look like they would make great PJs so I'm keeping an eye out for some suitable fabric.

Jesse is yet to throw up on it so I'll keep you posted on how that goes :)

Supplies

Black and white soft jersey fabric x 2 metres @ £6.99 p/m 

Matching Gutermann Sewing Thread x 1 @ £1.95

Pattern New Look 6403 @ £7.50

Total Cost: £23.43

Time to make: 2 hrs

Love Claire & Jesse x

Made at Mine

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Simplicity Vintage 5225 Black Panther Fur Jacket

Hi guys!

Sarah from Wanderstitch here again, with another fur coat - this time, it's for me!

I couldn't resist this beautiful black Faux Fur Fabric - and I knew I had the perfect pattern to make with it: vintage Simplicity 5225, a fur jacket pattern from the 1980's.

This fur is different to the two furs I've used so far - the pile is much shorter. I loved the way it looked - so smooth and glossy, really luxurious! Totally recommended if you're looking to make something special, especially to go with evening wear.

I used my previous learnings from working with fur to help with this jacket - that is, to cut with scissors instead of a rotary cutter (so you don't chop the pile), use a ballpoint needle (so that you don't split the fibres of the backing), and don't iron the fur pile from the front (just trust me on this one!).

You'll also quickly discover that pins are not up to the job of holding together two layers of fur - Wonder Clips are definitely the way to go here!

Fur can be quite bulky, so after you've sewn a seam you'll want to trim the pile from the seam allowances (do this afteryou've sewn the seam - if you do it before you sew the pieces together there's a risk that your seam might wander and you'll end up with bald patches on the outside of the garment!). You can try pressing the seams open, but I've never really had much luck with this. I find a better method - although more time-consuming, for sure - is to hand stitch the allowances to the main body of the coat. The finish is well worth the effort, I promise.

As this coat is plain black on the outside, you KNEW I would have to go crazy with the lining, right?! I've had this animal print satin for a while now but not used it because I just hadn't found the right project - then when I saw this luxurious black fur I *knew* that it's time had come. Black and gold is such a luxurious pairing and I'm so happy with how it looks. I even added some gold piping to the inside around the lining - this is quite a simple addition to make to any coat but it really takes the finished item up a notch! Don't be limited by ready-made piping either - it's supereasy to make your own with 2mm Piping Cord and some Satin Bias Tape, or if you want a truly unique garment you can cut your own bias strips from whatever fabric you like!

For the pocket bags of coats, I've stopped using lining fabric. I find that it's just too flimsy, and even if you overlock the edges or finish them some other way, eventually the weight of a phone/wallet will cause a hole to form because the lining fabric frays too easily. My new approach is to use the main outer fabric for the half of the bag that's attached to the back of the coat, and Flannel Fabric for the other half of the pocket bag that attaches to the front of the coat. I use the main fabric for the back half so that if the pocket gapes a little, you won't notice because the pocket interior looks the same as the outside of the coat. The flannel half you don't see from the outside, but it's a lot sturdier than lining fabric and it feels nice and cosy on your hand, too :)

The coat closes with some black thread-covered Fur Hooks - it's the first time I've used these, but they are really easy to install. Just make sure you have a good strong needle and a thimble handy! One mistake I made was to put them too close to the edge of the fabric, so that when they were closed you could see the hook. I moved them back further which solved the problem - now they are completely concealed under the overlap at the front.

I've made a couple of fur coats now, and feel quite comfortable with the techniques needed to work with the fabric. It's really not as scary as it seems - just take your time and go step by step, seam by seam. 

Treat yourself to a beautiful fur coat for next winter!

See you next month - happy sewing!

Sarah // Wanderstitch

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