This is Josephine from @itisjosie and this is my very first blog for Minerva.
When I selected this Stretch Crepe Fabric I was not sure of what to expect until it arrived in the post. Upon opening it I realised that it was a lightweight translucent fabric quite similar to chiffon and georgette which would be best suited for a flowy item.
My first thought was to make an Ogden Cami by True Bias with the fabric as it was a perfect pattern for such fabric. And what could be better than an Ogden Cami top?..... You guessed right an Ogden Cami dress.
I have previously sewn up two Ogden Camis which I really love wearing in the warmer months. I can confidently say it is a tried and true pattern which I knew would not be that hard to hack. I sketched an Ogden cami midi dress which had an elasticated waist and a flounce at the bottom.
I never fancied a midi dress as I always preferred dresses which either stopped at the knee or at the ankle. I was never convinced about a midi until I noticed quite a few on the high street. And then I added a flounce to jazz it up more as the flounce is also popular this season.
I traced off my size of the Ogden cami pattern and measured the height from the underarm to my natural waist which gave me an idea of how much I needed to cut off from the original pattern. I went on to cut out the pattern pieces from both the fabric and the lining.
For the skirt, I cut out rectangles from the main fabric and the lining and the remaining fabric was used to make a flounce.
I followed the Ogden cami instructions to sew up the bodice of the dress. And for the skirt piece, I gathered the flounce which I attached to the rectangle before sewing it up. I sewed up the skirt lining piece which I later attached to the main fabric piece and I treated the two as a single piece. The skirt was gathered and attached to the bodice and it is at this stage that I created the elastic casing. I went on to insert the elastic and the dress was complete.
I have loved working with this stretch crepe and it has such a beautiful print. It also has a little stretch against the grain. It is quite stable fabric to work with, however I would recommend you finish your raw edges as you go as it had a tendency of fraying on me as I sewed it up. Lastly, if you intend to sew up a dress in it, I would recommend that you line it as the fabric is quite see-through.
Thank you very much, Minerva, for this beautiful fabric and thank you, everyone, for reading.
Posted in Projects on Tuesday the 18th June 2019 by Vicki Ormerod
I’m Christine, otherwise known online as Alchymyst and you can find me at alchymyst.blogspot.com or on Instagram @the_alchymyst
I’ve been sewing for years but this is my first time posting for the Minerva Crafts Blog and I’m really excited to be here.
I chose this polyester Crepe Fabric because I loved the slightly retro, mid-century feel of the print, with its big blousy roses, interspersed with morning glories. The colours are absolutely glorious; some black fabrics can look a bit washed out, but this is just the richest, inkiest black which really sets off the terracotta and peach flowers and those little touches of turquoise and purple just make the whole thing sing.
I had originally planned to make quite a structured dress but when I received the fabric and felt how soft and light it was I decided something more fluid would be better to make the most of its wonderful drape. With this in mind I chose Simplicity 8137. This pattern includes maxi and knee length wrap dresses, a peplum top and a pair of trousers and I chose to make the short-sleeved, knee length dress.
If you are at all nervous about working with crepe fabrics then this would be an ideal fabric to start with as despite its floaty nature it isn’t slippery at all. It doesn’t seem excessively prone to fraying and sews up like a dream. It is also remarkably forgiving if you accidentally sew something up the wrong way round and have to unpick the whole seam. Apparently. I wouldn’t know…
The pattern came together easily with no particularly tricky parts. Though I’d definitely recommend using a light weight fabric such as this one as you are required to roll the skirt up between the bodice and bodice lining when stitching the lining to the waistline. I think this might prove more difficult with a bulky fabric.
I think the finished dress is very pretty and feminine.The skirt is lovely and swishy with a good degree of overlap so that it doesn’t tend to flap open every time you take a step and I love the draped effect on the bodice and the cute little bow fastening.
The only small problem that I found was that being a bit on the busty side the bodice of the finished dress tended to gape somewhat and show rather more cleavage than I felt comfortable with (big girl problems). I solved this by invisibly hand stitching a short length (about 10cm) of the overlap closed at the fullest part of the bust - this means I have to take the dress on and off over my head before fastening the waist rather than actually wrapping it around, but I don’t mind that.
Thanks for reading,
It’s me again, Marlies (@madebyLIESL) with the best fabric for a Tie Dye suit!
I watched the video of this Fabric on the website and then read about the double gauzed fact so I immediately thought of making a suit. For the summer or fall. The fabric is light but not see through so that made it perfect for trousers.
When I received the fabric I doubted for a moment whether it should not be made into a dress. I asked this question online on my Instagram account…the majority voted for a dress….I still went for a suit. Sorry guys ;), but you helped. And I agree a dress in this fabric would be wonderful too!
I was a bit worried if the double layers would stay together when cutting the pattern pieces. Well, as often is, worrying was totally not necessary because the two layers are fixed very well together. So there was no need to serge the pieces before stitching, which was my original thought to do. Actually I would not recommend it because of the loose weaving of the fabric you might stretch it out when serging. So I serged after stitching. Another tip is to stitch all the pieces in the same direction. I know I should do that always…but with this fabric you definitely should, because of the loose weave of the back fabric.
Overall the fabric was really easy to work with, did great with ironing and didn’t fray at all.
I first made the pants because then I could decide which blazer jacket to make. I wasn’t sure about the length of the jacket. So making the pants first allowed me to try on some already made jackets in front of the mirror and then I decided which length it should be.
For the pants I used a pattern similar to Burda 6689. There were some changes that I made. First I left out the front pockets and just added some plackets to make it appear that it has pockets. I also left out the back pockets.
As I mentioned before I did serge the edges after stitching and chose contrasting blue thread so when turning the pants at the bottom they will show.
For the blazer jacket I choose a pattern similar to Kwik Sew 3715. This is a longer jacket with welted pockets. As a placket I used some left over denim fabric which gave it a nice contrasting effect. I also made a welted button hole using the same denim fabric.
The button I made using only the top layer of the fabric. Here you see how the layers are attached to each other.
As lining I used two colours. Pink and dark blue. The latter I used on the bottom of the sleeves so when you fold the sleeve over you’ll see it. Such a nice effect.
I am so happy with this new addition to my wardrobe. It is exactly the way I envisioned it to be. The suit looks great and the jacket also goes very well with jeans!! I love them versatile pieces!!
Thanks again for reading!
Want to see more of makes? Take a look on my blog.
Posted in Projects on Tuesday the 18th June 2019 by Vicki Ormerod
Hello again from me, Emma @sanity stitch.
This month I’ll be tackling Scuba Fabric for the very first time. I’ve always been intrigued to try stitching up a garment in this bouncy fabric and getting a lovely parcel of scuba jersey from Minerva gave me the push I needed to give it a go.
When it came to planning my garment I had a false start. In the past I’ve enjoyed sewing with stripes but all my fabric has had stripes running horizontally. When this fabric arrived the stripes ran down the warp threads. I don’t mind admitting this threw me a little bit. I had been planning to make a bomber jacket but feared I’d look too much like a mobile deck chair so I had to have a rethink. However, the colour way was very feminine: white with black and pink stripes. Also the scuba had a beautiful silky sheen. These qualities would lend themselves rather nicely to a maxi skirt. I thought it would be interesting to play around with the stripes and got inspiration when flicking through the Saturday Guardian supplement. The photo below shows a really quirky skirt divided in two by two different styles of pleats.
It got me thinking if I could do that with stripes. So, to maximise on the design contrast of running the stripes in two different directions I decided a swishy maxi skirt pattern would be ideal.
The skirt section of my well loved Collette Moneta pattern is super flattering so I adapted that to a maxi length. This was easily done by holding the front paper pattern up to my waist and getting my husband to measure from the bottom edge of the pattern to my foot. The measurement was 42cm so I added a section of pattern paper to the “Lengthen or shorten here” line on the front and back pattern pieces to draft a new maxi skirt design.
As the front and back sides of the skirt will be made up of two sections each the pattern piece was divided into two. So two front parts, one with horizontal stripes and one with vertical stripes. And two back parts, again one horizontal and one vertically striped. Also I had to add 1.5 cm to each piece for a seam allowance. To make sure stripes sat nice and straight I cut the scuba out in a single layer. This also helped me to create a nice sharp black line at the front and back seams.
It’s a very simple pattern so it stitched together easily and quickly. The only fiddly bits were aligning the stripes correctly. When I’d stitched up the skirt it was too big on the waist. I took it in by 4 inches at each side of the waist and used a French curve to graduate the new seam towards bottom.
I have actually lost a little bit of weight but not that much! I think it just seemed very bulky on the waist as the scuba is thicker than the usual jersey I would make a Moneta from. Just to give the final garment a bit more polish I decided to make a waistband to case the elastic. To do this I measured my waist and added on 3cm for a seam allowance. I cut the fabric so the stripes ran vertically. This was because it had slightly more stretch in that direction and it would have to stretch over my hips. I then had an extra challenge of matching the stripes on the skirt to the stripes on the waistband!
I’m really quite pleased with my little experiment. I think the skirt is pretty quirky and cool. Although it’s quite ‘out there’ it’s very easy to wear. It can be styled up or down and looks equally fab with trainers and a denim jacket or a skinny sweater and sparkly heels.
Many thanks for reading sewers and I will see you again soon.
Last year I worked on a few patterns using Wendy Ward’s knit book and I keep going back to these patterns again and again.
Today I’m using this Slub Knit Jersey Fabric. It was some stretch, is soft on the skin and it’s fairly firm.
Cutting this fabric was easy and sewing it took a bit of thought because the fabric is so soft. It comes up nicely for an easy to wear suit.
The jacket is unlined using Butterick 5926 view B. It’s fitted and has a classic collar and pockets that are great to learn from. The instructions guide you through the process and with this fabric you can get a good result quickly.
When I checked this knit against the pattern stretch measurement, I knew I should go up a size or two so it would fit better on me.
I love great collars so I was able to recheck my markings on the collar as I went and I’m really happy with this result.
This is an ideal shape to make a classic jacket with this slub knit jersey
When using knits I always consider how the jacket will last over time. It’s the jacket shape that works for me so I used a light-weight iron-on interfacing on the facings and on the collar pieces.
My adjustments were to shorten the jacket by 5cm and I graded the jacket body from size 12 at the bust to size 16 at the hips.
As there’s no lining, it was important to have enough width within the sleeve so the jacket slips on and off easily, without bagging over time.
The jacket hem length is a bit lower at the centre back so it looks fairly even when the jacket is worn. I love how the centre back seam gives this jacket shape.The hem finish instructions were good for this knit. A double row of stitching made the hem very stable. When I wore it to work, there was no bagging. It just felt incredibly comfortable.
The reason I keep going back to Wendy Ward’s knit book is because the patterns are classic styles and can be adapted to any occasion.
The dress is simply the Winnat tank top extended to a dress.
All the construction steps are still the same. The instructions in Wendy’s book are clearly written to guide you when you’re working with knit fabrics.
I’ve used this pattern a few times now and it’s been very handy when I need a quick dress or top.
This is a post work photo and it doesn’t look creased. I look a bit tired but the fabric looks fresh.
This fabric was comfortable to wear in an airconditioned office so I give this fabric lots of gold stars.
If you’re starting up a work wardrobe, this is a good fabric to build a few basics when you really need them.
Thanks for reading,
Maria @ Velosews
Hi everyone, Liz here, today I have a tutorial for making this fun Dungaree dress using Minerva’s Modelo Chunky Stretch Cord Fabric. For my project I’ve chosen the Forest Green colorway but there are so many fun colors to choose from there’s sure to be something to peak your fancy.
Originally I was envisioning these being an awesome pair of 70s corded flares (OK I may have been watching GBSB at the time). But once the fabric arrived I could not get the idea of a dungaree dress out of my head. Now we’ve all seen the Cleo pattern but I’ve learned from past experiences that I need to have a defined waist in my dresses. The only thing left to do was to hack it myself. Lucky for you I’ve done the hard part so you can follow along.
The base of this dress is just a simple circle skirt. I’m not going to go into any instructions on the skirt portion because there are already so many tutorials available for circles skirts online. One think I will note is that you need a skirt that has a waistband and waistband facing as two separate pieces (you can’t use a folded waistband). Also, I’ve used a circle skirt but this would also work with any type of skirt if you prefer.
Lets look at what you need to cut out. In addition to your main skirt pieces you will need 2 rectangles that are 10”X 11”. These will form the bib. I came up with these measurements by holding a ruler to myself and estimating how large I wanted the bib to be and adding 1” for seam allowances. If you are a petite person you may find this bib too large. I also cut out a rectangle 8” x 5” to form the pocket. To get that nice point at the bottom of the pocket just fold the rectangle in half and cut a straight line from the folded corner to 1” up on the cut side. Lastly you will need straps. I cut two more rectangles 4”x 30” (you probably don’t need these to be 30” long, I ended cutting quite a bit of length off the straps but it's better to be safe than sorry).
First step is to construct the pocket. I finished the upper edge of the pocket with an overlocker, then pressed up all the sides by ¼”
Then sew two lines of stitching along the top edge of the pocket to secure.
Pin the pocket onto one of your bib pieces and attach using edge stitching along the 3 sides of the pocket (make sure to leave the top edge of the pocket open so its still usable!)
Then take your other bib piece and place it right sides together with your outer bib. Sew using a 1/2” seam allowance along the sides and top. You can leave the bottom unsewn because that will be hidden in the waistband later.
Clip your corners and turn out your bib. Finish with a line of top-stitching along the sides and top. Set aside until later.
For the straps fold them in half and stitch along the long edge to form a tube.
Turn out the straps. For one edge you need to cut it at an angle. I lined my strap up with the edge of my ruler and then cut along the 60° angle.
Test the straps out for size. You want them to cross at the back and come over your shoulder. Leave yourself a few inches of wiggle room because most dungaree clips are adjustable. Cut it to your desired length and tuck in the ends. Finish off the straps with a line of edge stitching making sure to catch your folded edge.
Now assemble your skirt as you normally would and stop once the outer waistband is attached. Find the center front of you skirt and match that to the center of your bib and pin outward. Then pin in your straps approximately 2 ½” from the center back.
Then attach your waistband facing just as you normally would sandwiching the bib and straps in-between and finish however your pattern suggests. Finally install your Jeans Buttons to the corners of the bib and Dungaree Wire Clips to the ends of your straps….Voila! Your very own Dungaree dress!
Thanks for reading,
Liz @ Liz Sews
I jumped at the chance to review this stunning Cotton Fabric. The fuchsia colour way I used is so bright and perfect for the summer. The colours are stunning and really eye catching. The fabric is lightweight and doesn’t need lining. I washed and tumble dried it before using and there was no sign of the colours running or fading.
I chose a fairly new dress pattern, Vogue 9357. The pattern has some really interesting design elements and includes multiple cup sizes. (The pattern cup sizes don’t necessarily correspond to your bra size). I measured as an E cup, so cut the D cup pattern as it’s the largest size. It actually fit really well without needing any further adjustments.
Like most of the big 4 patterns, there is a lot of extra ease included. I had to make a lot of adjustments to the bodice before cutting my ‘real’ fabric. These included removing inches from the neck to stop it gaping as well as the shoulder seams. I also had to add a couple of inches to the bottom of the midriff panel to fit over my hips. I may even make some more tweaks if I sew this again.
I cut the shorter length skirt but added a bit of extra width to the hem. I wanted to keep the fullness but not the length. I also added a bright yellow lining just to the skirt to help with the swish factor!
Since the pattern doesn’t call for the dress to be lined, I finished most of my seams with some hug snug.
It’s a rayon seam binding and makes the inside look so pretty. I used a satin bias binding to finish the arm and neck edges.
If I were to make this again, I think I’d draft a facing instead for these parts. The binding does the job but I prefer the way a facing lies.
I’m glad I took the time to make a few toiles and fit the bodice properly. It was time consuming but well worth the effort. The fabric was really easy to sew and would make some fabulous summer outfits. I’ve already had a request for matching shirt. As it’s 100% cotton it’s breathable too.
I used 3 metres of the 60” cotton and had plenty of choice for fussy cutting. I was able to pattern match the front panels, the back bodice, the skirt back seam and the pockets. The fabric looks and feels the same on both sides so it doesn’t matter which way you sew it.
I love the finished dress, especially the huge pockets! This got me a ton of compliments and is definitely going to be a summer staple in my wardrobe.
Thanks for reading,
Posted in Projects on Monday the 17th June 2019 by Vicki Ormerod
Hello, my name is Gina. This is my first project for Minerva and I am really glad it’s gone quite well!
When I was younger, I used to make lots of clothes for me and my children in the 70’s and 80’s. As they grew older, my life changed and became too busy to sew. But now I have retired and have converted my home office to a sewing room and I’m off again!
The sewing world has changed a lot since the 80’s! I knew nothing of the independent pattern makers so it has been a real delight and pleasure to find that there is now so much choice. Who knew it would be so easy to find photos of made up patterns on Instagram? It’s a revelation!
As I seem to be the only person in the whole of the sewing world who hasn’t made a Tilly and the Buttons Bettine Dress, I decided to give it a go for my first Minerva project. The pattern paper is good quality and the instructions/pictures are very clear and easy to follow.
The Fabric I chose to make the dress is a viscose challis which is a light drapey fabric. I saw that some people who had already made a Bettine mentioned that it worked particularly well with this type of material so that helped me make my choice. I chose the teal colourway which has bits of pink in, as it goes well with my summer capsule colours. It is quite slippery to work with but I was prepared for that. It washes and irons nicely. I was a bit worried it would be see through but it’s fine.
The dress went together quite easily. I used my sewing machine and my favourite new toy, my overlocker, to neaten edges (another revelation). It’s so quick and easy and it gives garments such a very neat and professional finish. I just love toggling between both machines.
I had read on some makers Instagram posts that the length of the pattern, may be a bit short, so I lengthened it slightly. These days I prefer an on the knee length. I also really like the details i.e the pockets and the shoulder tabs. I found a couple of metallic buttons in my collection that look just right on the tabs. The gathered waistline hides a multitude of menopausal plumpness too! I really like the casual style of the dress and think it could be dressed up or down. I think it will be a well worn item during the summer.
I had to slow myself down so I didn’t make any silly mistakes and end up unpicking. I could see that trying to unpick this material would be a bit tricky. Usually, I just want to sew and sew until I have finished my project. However, I stretched it out over a few days and managed to drag myself away from the sewing machines to do other things in between.
I’m already looking forward to the next project. Thanks Minerva for giving me this opportunity!