View all the latest fabrics to arrive at Minerva Crafts... Click here »

Need help? Contact us on 01254 708068 from 9am til 5pm Monday to Friday

Projects

POSTS PER PAGE: 3 | 6 | 9 | 12

1 2 3 4 > »
0 Comments

Black Pleated Velvet Dress by Carly

Today I’ve got a double whammy for you – not one but two new products to show you that I’ve been fortunate enough to test out recently for the Minerva Crafts blog.

First up is THE most amazing pleated Velvet Fabric. I’ve had a long love affair with velvet. There’s something that’s so luxurious about it. The depth of colour, the pile, the handle. It’s lush. Add in a few pleats to add even more depth to it and I’m sold.

The second item is a new Sewing Pattern release from Vogue, by designer Kathryn Brenne. A pullover jersey dress, with sleeve and skirt length options, a v-neck and a waterfall style skirt. What I love about this pattern is how it’s a relatively simple pattern, but made from the right fabrics you’ll have the perfect easy-wear show-stopper dress.

I thought that these two products put together would produce a great make. I’m not usually one to wear a dress, but the lure of the velvet enticed me. Mix that with an easy to sew pattern and you’ve pretty much got a winner.

The velvet comes in a delicious grey colour and also a rich, deep black. I decided to go for the black as I really don’t have that much solid black in my wardrobe (unusual considering I pretty much only wore black as a teenager!). Also because you can’t go wrong with a black dress can you? They’re so versatile and easy to style. Change up your shoes and accessories and it’s like a completely different outfit.

The pattern consists of only 3 main pattern pieces (front, back and sleeve), and a few facings. This made the cutting process fairly quick and very straight forward. I sewed the dress up without any alterations, and it all came together incredibly quickly and easily. The velvet is so easy to sew with – I didn’t even need to swap to my walking foot, my regular sewing foot worked a treat. The pile of the velvet pretty much stuck the pieces together as I was sewing, so I hardly used any pins as I was sewing this up too. I don’t know about you, but I find it incredibly rewarding to sew without the use of pins. I’m not sure if it’s because it makes the sew much quicker, or perhaps because it makes me feel like an absolute sewing-queen to not need pins!

I cut a size L going by my measurements but in hindsight I could probably have gotten away with a Medium. I tried on the dress once it was complete and it was a little large, and the sleeves quite long. I ended up chopping about 4 inches off the length of the sleeve and taking in the bodice by about 2 inches each side. I went from the underarm seam down to the flare at the waist side-seam and it was easy enough to do. It’s now more fitted on the bust and waist, which for a pear-shape like me, helps to balance out the proportions of the skirt. It is supposed to be a skimming fit throughout the mid-section which you can see on the pattern packet photographs of the samples, and if I made a smaller size I probably wouldn’t have had to bother with any alterations at all on the bodice, just the sleeve length. I am a little shorter than your average though (5ft 3”) and it’s not unusual for me to have to take some length from the sleeves. I cut view A which is a midi-length skirt and the length of the dress is perfect for me.

I’m really happy with my new black velvet party dress. The fabric was amazing to work with, and the pattern is a great addition to my stash. I’d love to use the grey version of the pleated velvet to perhaps make a simple gathered waist midi skirt. I’d also like to try the pattern again in a lighter weight jersey to make a simple dress for spring. I’m already planning new ways to use these two new products, so you know they’re a winner in my books!

Bye for now,

Carly @ Lucky Sew and Sew

0 Comments

What would happen if....by Jo

What would happen if you let your children, aged nine and seven, choose their own Sewing Pattern? Instead of wondering, I let them peruse the Minerva Website with me and what a pearler they came up with, Simplicity 1332. The collection seemed to encompass a girl’s whole wardrobe needs in one pattern. Why had I been so apprehensive about letting them choose?

It is a superb pattern for taking beginners from the elastic skirt through to some beginner stretch sewing. I started with the skirts because they were easy, quick and fun. 

You learn a great technique from this pattern for applying a layer of net just to the hem so that the whole skirt is not too scratchy; simple but very effective. The older girl chose some crochet lace to add to the hem of hers but really the world, or your left over stash, is your oyster.

Secondly, I tried the T-shirt. The pattern goes by chest size so you are not bound by a mystery size for a particular aged child which is great for us as my girls have slim waists and chest sizes but their arm and leg length is of their age. It was again quick to make. I used an overlocker but you could achieve just as successful results with a sewing machine. The pattern instructions hold your hand as you attach the neck binding with clear reading and supportive diagrams. This T-shirt pattern also cries out to use up left over pieces of jersey to make a fun, colourful version because the front and back is cut as two pieces, an upper and lower part. I will be trying that soon.

To ‘stretch’ my skills I made the jersey tiered-cardigan. Only really one step up from making the T-shirt but the frills need even gathers to give it a professional look. Making the pattern markings is key here as the frill pieces look very similar when cut but there is a side and front edge which are slightly different so do use a chalk or air erasable pen to transfer the markings. The only modification I made from the whole pattern was to add a ribbon tie on the front as there was not a fastening on the pattern and she didn’t want it flopping off her shoulders.

Finally, I squeezed a pair of leggings out of the last piece of jersey. Again, great for my little girl who has an impossibly small bottom for ready to wear leggings. We can never get the leg length and waist ratio comfortable for her. So this pattern worked up well. I will definitely be making these again in different colours.

This pattern goes from age 3 to 8 so you can dip in and out of it for a while making it great value in terms of money and cutting out time. It is perfect for selecting a garment to go with a RTW item to complete an outfit or you can go crazy like me and make the whole shebang. If you buy one girls sewing pattern this year I highly recommend not my expert choice, but my daughters’ personal choice: Simplicity 1332. The possibility of endless permutations will keep any girl’s wardrobe full from season to season for many years to come.

jo @ Three Stories High

0 Comments

Pleated Velvet Dress by Dianne

Hello there, a few weeks ago I was offered the chance to product review some wonderful Velvet Fabric from Minerva Crafts. The fabric is pleated texture stretch velvet velour, at first my plans were to make a skirt and top that could be interchangeable with the rest of my wardrobe but on seeing this fabric it had to be a dress.

I wanted a slight A-line at the bottom and originally fluted sleeves as these seem to be everywhere at the moment. The A-line stayed if maybe not as pronounced as I first imagined but the fluted sleeves had to come off. The style of fabric with this type of flare at the elbow made it look a bit gothic but that is just my opinion. I will have to try out my sleeves again on a different garment that isn’t black!

The fabric sewed up beautifully, lots of stretch so no need for fastenings, it left a bit of fuzz here and there but that is just velvet! No nasty fraying or anything like that and I loved the way it hemmed at the sleeve and bottom hem with just a gentle crinkle. It looks like I did something special but it is just the drape of the fabric. 

I did have to adjust the hem slightly before hemming as it had been on the mannequin and dropped a little so be aware of this as you would if making a dress on the bias. It may be due to its multi way stretch.

The dress has thrown my plans for this evenings outfit as I love it so much! I was going to wear a green dress that I made with Minerva fabric a few weeks ago to a meal out tonight but after trying this one on I think the green one will take a back seat for now. I also feel that because it has such a luxurious look there is no need for fussy details on the garment, the pleat effect gives it all it needs along with the sheen.

This fabric could have been many different things hence why I didn’t stitch it up sooner; a jumpsuit was one idea, then a jacket. My mother in-law was certain it should be a jumpsuit but I’m happy with how it turned out.

Once the dress was finished I had a big piece left so I decided that would be an infinity scarf and maybe that could be a Christmas present for someone. Well I have decided to keep it as obviously it matches the dress. It will also finish off lots of outfits nicely over the coming cold months, am a being a selfish sewer? Who knows, I’ll just have to do more scarf making.

The process for making this dress was my usual piecing together of patterns I have already made, a top that fits me well along with an A-line skirt, the frill on the sleeve I made up as I went but then later removed. The neckline was finished with bias binding, a big thank you to Minerva Crafts for sending me this fabric to try out.

Dianne @ SewingGreenLady

0 Comments

Chambray Overalls by Erin

It's a little weird having trends from my youth be back in style, but it's kind of fun to challenge myself to re-live those trends as an adult and wear them with a confidence and style that I probably lacked the first time around. Overalls definitely fit the bill. I wore them a bunch as a kid and never considered wearing them again. Until here they are again. On trend and making me itch for the challenge.

So I hopped back on the overall bandwagon with Kwik Sew 3897 Overall Sewing Pattern and a lovely floral Chambray Fabric. They make a pretty great combo, don't they? I think it's a success in terms of making the trend feel like me right now. And pre-teen me would be pretty jealous of the pair too!

The pattern is a nice, basic overall pattern. The cut isn't necessarily on trend as they are pretty loose, but that makes them easy to fit and comfortable to wear. What you get is what you see on the cover of the pattern and that's just about all you can ask for from a pattern. The pattern seemed well drafted with sufficient instructions.

The pattern does note that you should not grade between sizes and I would encourage you to listen to what it tells you. Grading between sizes would affect the shaping at the button plackets which could get pretty messy. I typically have to grade between different sizes at my bust, waist, and hips but that's not really necessary for these overalls since they are loosely fitted through the hips/legs and are free at the waist and bust. Choose your size based on your hips and the rest will work out. The pattern does include finished measurements so you can double-check size selection with those, though remember that you do need ease through the hip for comfort and for the style of the overalls.

While I often end up customizing or hacking a pattern as I go, I only made one (rather obvious) change to this pattern. I chopped the legs to make these shorts instead of pants. All I did was draw a new line straight across so it was just about as easy of a hack as I could make!

The pattern has quite a bit of topstitching which is fun to do in a topstitching thread in a color that will pop. You'll probably need two spools of topstitching thread so make sure you order enough!­

I absolutely adore the floral chambray (unfortunately its now sold out at Minerva, but they have lots of alternative Chambray Fabrics to choose from). It's a lovely, bright print with a nice hand. Made into the loose-fitting overalls it works perfect for summer heat though I could easily see the chambray made into any of a variety of blouses instead.

The thing about knowing rules is knowing how to break them, right? I definitely broke some rules about fabric and pattern pairing with these overalls since the chambray really is a blouse weight instead of a bottom weight denim. It works okay with the overalls as I made them but I wouldn't use the fabric for long pants (where the knee can wear out) or fitted pants (where the fabric will receive more strain on the seams). Additionally, the Overall Hardware and Jeans Buttons are a bit heavy for this chambray so if I were to make recommendations for someone wanting to replicate the project, I'd suggest a pattern hack where the straps are permanently attached to the front bib so you don't have hardware.

One important tool when trying to make a lightweight fabric do the job of a heavyweight is interfacing. Make sure you use interfacing where recommended in the pattern. I used two layers of a midweight Woven Fusible Interfacing and it's going to be important in keeping the overalls from wearing out at the stress points like the buttons and back strap attachment points. Another tool you could consider is underlining. By using a second layer of fabric held back-to-back with your original fabric and treated as one (you can baste the layers together at the edges of the fabric), you end up with a new fabric with a hybrid of the original properties. Adding a broadcloth underlining would keep the visual lightness of the chambray but give you enough strength that the overalls will withstand more wear (and maybe even last as full length pants!).

Thanks for reading,

Erin @ Seamstress Erin

0 Comments

How to Make a Fabric Purse by Nicky

These cute little paws are a Timeless Treasures Fabric. It’s an 100% cotton poplin quilting fabric that is a medium weight. The monochrome design is covered with little paws 1-1.5cm wide so a nice size design suitable for smaller projects as well as larger ones. I have used it here to make a small zipped purse and I have also used it as an exterior fabric for a larger tote.

To make the small purse I cut a rectangle of fabric with the narrow edge being an inch smaller than the zip. I cut another one the same size in both a lining fabric and a fleece fabric to use to interline the purse.

Placing the zip front side down on the narrow edge of the fabric I placed the lining and then the fleece on top.

Stitching all layers together before opening it flat.

This was the repeated at the other end so when open it looks like it forms two tubes.

A small strip of fabric was then made into a tube & turned to make a small strap to attach a key ring.

Pinning this strap on right side on fabric beside zip.

With the zip half open the fabric was then tuned so the lining was facing out & the exterior fabric was in the middle with sides together.

Laying flat so zip is flat near the top edge the size seams can then be sewn.

Turning out the right way the purse was finished…… a handy little phone case to keep with your keys :)

Thanks for reading,

Nicky @ Sew n Snip

0 Comments

Nessie the Sit On Cushion by Vasiliki

Hello again.

I've had once more the privillege of reviewing a gorgeous Timeless Treasures Poplin Cotton Quilting Fabric. This time I bring you Nessie, a loving and harmless sea monster, born in the seas of fabric at Minerva Crafts. Unfortunately Minerva have now sold out of this fabric but there are lots of similar Fabrics to choose from.

When Nessie isn't hiding in the deepest of the waters, she loves being petted and occasionally being ridden on.

I initially intended to turn the fabric into a kimono type of robe. At least I, would have loved one with this marble effect print and the metallic strokes. However, this would require more than the two metres I had asked for, so I quickly abandoned that idea. The more I looked at the print, the more it brought to mind the reflections of the sun on the sea and the colours that appear on its surface (here's that escapism again), which rendered it the perfect candidate for Nessie.

This sit-on cushion was a free project in issue 18 of Love Sewing Magazine and you can download the pattern here along with the tutorial. The project calls for felt and two yards of fabric, although I think 1.5 metres is enough, but better be safe than sorry. The pattern consists of two main body pieces, one belly piece and eight paw pieces. 

This time I remembered to measure the fabric prior to washing and after and I am happy to report there was no shrinking.

I cut my fabric with scissors, some habits are hard to break, but I'm sure it can be easily and preciscely cut with a rotary cutter too, as it isn't slippery at all. Also, if you, unlike me, feel that pins aren't a necessity while sewing, you probably don't need to pin it either for the same reason. 

I am not a quilter and have used quilting cottons only a couple of times before, but what is immediately noticeable with the Timeless Treasures quilting cotton, is how soft it is in comparison, without compromising its ability to keep a shape. So you shouldn't worry about it not being soft to the skin, if you are thinking of using it for chidren's projects like this one. Admittedly, I should have put a bit more stuffing in the neck area to make it sturdier. I used some scraps of fabric for the eyes and mouth.

Creasing is minimal, even after the washing machine treatment, and easily eliminated with a good press, that the fabric itself holds very well.

There is absolutely no fraying either, which is why I left the seams raw.

Nessie despite being always hungry, didn't eat up all the fabric, so with the leftover I sewed some pattern weights, since I've been wanting to make some for ever. I used the tutorial at Tea and a Sewing Machine and filled them with some rice, at least whatever rice my little monster didn't spread around the house. They were super easy and quick to make and they have proven handy a couple of times already. 

Overall, this is another excellent quality fabric that I was very happy to have been able to review it. I think it's great both for small, like the pattern weights, projects but also for bigger ones, like the cushion. The print will definitely give an extra oumf to any quilt with its metallic finishes and would definitely recommend it for any type of soft furnishing. You can find the whole Timeless Treasures collection here.

Nessie has somehow managed to become a centre piece on my living room table and seems to be getting along with the rest of the toys.

Thanks for reading,

Vasiliki @ Delightfully Peculiar

0 Comments

Teal Green Wool Boucle Dress by Angela

I have been sewing for more years then I can remember, being taught by my Grandmother Annie when I was a child. My first makes were dolls clothes, but by the age of 8 I was wearing my hand-made clothes to school. As I got older I bought Vogue magazine and copied the latest fashions – every Saturday I would go and buy my fabric and wear the new garment to go out in the following Saturday. I loved fashion and loved the way that I could turn a flat piece of fabric into something three dimensional. The thing I would like to say to new sewers is that it does take practise, even after 50+ years I still make mistakes and I am still learning, so please never be put off if you do something wrong – you won’t do it again! Be proud of the clothes you make and love them, after all we are none of us perfect!
A diagnosis of Parkinson’s has meant that I have had to adapt and learn new ways of doing things, but believe me learning to sew is something you will always be glad of. So, here is a very simple dress which even a total beginner can make. There are no zips or buttons to worry about and the texture of Boucle hides a multitude of sins, so what are you waiting for?
I chose a very simple Sewing Pattern so that beginners to sewing can make it up easily, it is designed for stretch knits only but if you have never sewn with stretch fabric before do not worry as I will give you some tips as we go along. To make the pattern a little more challenging for more experienced sewers I added a single jersey lining edged with stretch lace, and I also added some shaping at the waist.
For those of you who do not know, Boucle fabric is a heavy weight fabric made with Boucle yarn. Boucle yarn is uneven in thickness and texture because it includes loops of a similar size which can range from tiny circlets to large curls. The fabric therefore has a characteristic appearance similar to poodle-cloth. This Boucle Fabric is woven to include some wool and combines two or more shades of the same colour to create a tweed effect. This produces a fabric which has a textured look and feel which is warm to the touch, perfect for cuddly tops, jackets and dresses.
Let’s begin!
Whist you are waiting for your newly washed fabric to dry you can be taking your current measurements and choosing the correct size to cut out. Do please go by your actual measurements not your commercial dress size as this will differ enormously. You can then cut your pattern pieces out. I found this pattern quite loose around the waist, so do bear that in mind when cutting out. You will find actual finished garment measurements on the tissue pattern itself.
Following the correct grain fold the fabric from sides to middle as the front and the back need to be cut on the fold. The remaining fabric will be refolded for the sleeves. Think about the length before you cut out and make any adjustments necessary before you pin the pattern pieces onto the fabric.
Cut out, cutting around the notches please; never cut a slash into a seam – suppose you want an extra bit of room somewhere? You have wasted perhaps ¼” (at least doubled) of valuable seam allowance!
If you are lining your dress cut out the front and back in the same way, shortening the length by an inch.
The pattern instructions are easy to follow, so if you are making an unlined dress go ahead and follow them step by step. I am making a lined version so these instructions will differ slightly. The first thing I did (this applies to both versions) was to prepare the facing by pressing some lightweight stretch iron-on interfacing to the wrong side of both facing pieces. I also fused on some seam tape on the back to stabilise the shoulders and stop them from stretching. If you do not have any fusible seam tape, then stitch a piece of tape or ribbon along the seam line. Those bits of ribbon which seem to come attached to every garment you buy these days are ideal for this.
I used a piece of oven liner to protect my ironing board cover when attaching interfacings! Try it, it works brilliantly. I also use a ball point or a stretch sewing needle in my machine – these are designed not to damage the fibres of stretch fabrics, so do make sure that you have one in your machine. You will need to sew using a stretch stitch or a narrow zigzag and I like to use a walking foot on my machine as this stops the fabric from puckering as you sew. Have you ever sewn a seam only to find that that it slips about and ends up uneven? A walking foot stops all that from happening. A walking foot is perhaps my favourite sewing machine attachment. I also overlock all of my seams as I go along. If you do not own an overlocker then your sewing machine may well have an overedge foot which gives great results, failing that zigzag the seams. Don’t use pinking shears as the edges will still fray and you will shed annoying bits of fabric everywhere each time you wear it.
For both the lined and unlined versions make up the facing by joining the front and back at the shoulder seams, press carefully and neaten the outside edges. Stay-stitch the neckline to keep it in shape. Stitch the shoulder seams.
Pin and tack the side seams and try it for fit. This is your opportunity to make any adjustments. I found that I wanted a more fitted look to the dress so I took it in at the side seams, curving into the waist by an inch at both sides. I also added slim darts at the front, measuring from just below the bust line to just below the waist making sure that the darts were equally spaced from the sides and equal in length. I can still get the dress on easily without adding a zipper as the fabric stretches and it is still a relatively loose fit.
For the unlined dress, follow the pattern instructions and attach the facing and the sleeves before stitching the side and sleeve seams in one long process. Then finish the dress in the same way as the lined version.
Make up the lining next. I used a French seam by first sewing the shoulders and sides with narrow seam wrong sides together, trim the seam so that it is very narrow. Press open carefully then fold it the other way, i.e. right sides together and stitch another narrow seam. At this stage I finished the hem by turning it up an inch towards the right side and stitching it down close to the edge. Trim the hem down to ¼” and cover the raw edge with a piece of lingerie (stretch) lace. This method ensures that the hem looks good on both sides.
Stitch and finish the side seams and the sleeve seams. Run a basting stitch along the top of the sleeve so that you can ease it into the armhole smoothly
Place the lining inside the dress wrong sides together and baste at the neckline and sleeves within the seam allowance. Check that it does not pull anywhere. Attach the neck facing right sides together, grade and clip into the seam allowance. Press carefully using a pressing cloth and turn the facing to the inside. You may be happy just with under-stitching, but I top stitched the neckline again about an inch from the top.
Insert the sleeve using the basting thread to ease the sleeve in place. Once you are happy them overlock or otherwise finish the seam. I love the neatness that an over-locking machine gives although I appreciate that not everybody has one.
To finish the hem and sleeves I would normally use my invisible hem foot. But when I practised on spare fabric I found that the walking foot gave a better finish on the Boucle. So I finished the raw edges on my overlocker and topstitched the hems in place using a narrow zigzag and the walking foot - Stitches tend to disappear into this type of fabric, were I using a smoother fabric I would have used a twin needle for a nice effect.
A final press and check for loose threads and the garment is ready to wear.
I found the pattern instructions easy to follow and the measurements accurate. I am a size 12 and I made the long dress with the lower neckline. My version is definitely a dress for cooler days but the shorter length in a lighter weight jersey would be fantastic to pack in your suitcase for holidays as it will not crease and will be cool and airy to wear.
The fabric is easy to sew and is very good for people new to sewing stretch fabrics – the texture hides a multitude of sins and although it is stretch it has some stability to it. Just remember not to pull the fabric as you sew or you will get a “lettuce leaf” effect to your hems and sleeves!
I hope that you enjoyed reading this pattern review and that if you have never sewn with a stretch fabric before this will tempt you to make this dress too.
Thank you to Minerva fabrics for the beautiful fabric.
0 Comments

The Walkaway Dress by Georgina

I was drawn to the Butterick Walkaway dress by its fit and flare vintage style. I have never sewn a pattern from one of the big four patterns companies and thought this reproduction 1952 pattern would be the perfect one to start with. It requires a lot of fabric, miles of bias binding and three pattern pieces.

On receiving the pattern and looking at the style properly I wasn't sure that it was going to suit my large bust. Looking at other sewers versions on Instagram and Pinterest I knew I would have to make version B, one fabric, as using contrasting fabric would emphasise my large bust making it unflattering. I decided to make a wearable toile so went through my stash and found this cotton which I had kept for toile making. It has a directional pattern which isn't suitable for this pattern but keep reading to see how I overcome this issue. Minerva have lots of similar Geometric Print Cotton Fabrics you can choose from.

Let's start with the fitting. I have to do a large FBA and when looking at how people have managed to do this it sounded quite complicated and I didn't think it would work for me. I have recently perfected the fit of the French Navy Orla dress so decided to make the front piece of the pattern into two pieces using the Orla front bodice piece and attaching it to the skirt section of the front piece. I graded the Orla bodice so it continued with the side and back of the front piece. 

Due to the directional print on the fabric I made the back skirt piece into a pleated skirt rather than a full circle skirt. For this I cut a width of the fabric to the length I wanted and made pattern matched pleats. There is a join in the skirt which isn't at the back or side seam but it is all pattern matched and I can't even remember whereabouts it is on the skirt! The pleated section needs to be the same length as the top back piece. 

Once the two front pieces and two back pieces are joined to make two pieces they are then joined at the shoulder seams. The next alteration I wanted to make was to add sleeves. I prefer sleeves. Working out how to add sleeves confused me! I couldn't find anything online about how to do this. I decided on capped sleeves as the dress goes on over your head so regular sleeves wouldn't work. 

And now for the binding. I also decided not to add the binding on the front side but to have it on the inside of the dress. Having a visible binding would really emphasis my large bust and I really didn't want that. Because of the patten of the fabric I didn't want a visible line of stitches around to I had a crazy moment and decided to hand stitch all 9 metres of binding! It was definitely worth it as the finish is super neat.

Yep you've guessed it I also changed the fastenings! I was worried that the back fastening of one button wouldn't be secure enough so I added three to the back with button holes rather than loops. At the front due to the seam I was only able to add two buttons. Both lots of fastenings feel really secure. 

The idea of this Sewing Pattern is that you start sewing after breakfast and can "walkaway" in it later on that day. This definitely look longer than that! For a wearable toile I am really happy with it. I know I have made a lot of changes but I think that it has kept within the original style and has given me a better fit than if I had used the original pattern pieces. I will definitely be making another with the full circle skirt. I'm thinking a small non directional flower print would make a lovely spring/summer dress. The next version will defiantly be quicker now all the alterations are worked out!

Thanks for reading,

Georgina @ Sew in the Garden

0 Comments

Moneta by Colette Patterns Sewing Pattern Review by Amy

When looking for a new pattern to make there are so many options out there. Typically my eye gets drawn to the flashy and complicated ones but this time I wanted something classic. This is the Moneta Sewing Pattern by Colette Patterns and is described as a simple knit dress that works for every season and every occasion. I've read what seems like a hundred reviews and it seems like everyone has already made this. Why did I pick it? I've noticed more and more lately that I tend to get more wear out of the simple patterns because they are so versatile. You can sew this up in a solid color then dress it up with jewelry, or pick a crazy print and have some fun! I've seen other sewists make this in fancier fabrics for evening wear too. I needed a pattern that I know I'll go back to and use multiple times. The Moneta is exactly that.
This is only the second Colette Sewing Pattern I've ever made, the first was the Parfait - which I liked but seemed to have some fit issues right out of the gate. This one, however, had none of those issues. The Moneta is very straightforward and is a breeze to put together. The pattern comes in seven different sizes (XS-3XL) and three different variations. Version 1 is sleeveless, lined bodice and a narrow collar. Version 2 and 3 are both unlined and almost the same, except for the length of sleeves. I choose version 2. All three have more of a wider boatneck neckline, which is honestly my least favorite thing about the pattern. I knew this going in but thought maybe this time I would like boatneck. I still don't. Next time around I will change that a bit because I hate having to wear my bra straps far over and them feeling like they are slipping off my shoulders. 
Since this pattern is a knit dress there is a bit of leeway in the sizing. My measurements at the time were 36-32-40 and according to Colette sizing that means I should pick small-large-medium. I ended up making a small in the bust and graded out to large in both the waist and hips. The hips portion didn't really matter much since this skirt is gathered at the waist. I wanted to make sure I choose the right size for the waist because I didn't want extra material in the gathers. Sometimes gathering at the waist can make you look a couple sizes larger, but I don't feel like that's the case with this one. Grading on this pattern is very simple and direct, I had no issues. 
For the entire pattern I used my overlock machine but you can easily use a regular sewing machine with a zig zag stitch. To finish the neckline the directions ask you to fold in the neckline and to use a coverstitch machine or twin needle, I used my coverstitch machine. I realize most people don't have one and I've honestly never been able to master the twin needle, you could just use a zig zag stitch on the neckline, sleeves and bottom hem. Before I had the coverstitch machine that's what I did and I never had any issues, just make sure to press the area really good when you are finished.
Usually I have alterations for patterns but this time I wanted to follow directions since there are so many raving reviews. I figured why not just make it as intended and go from there? The only part I didn't follow was that the pattern asked for clear elastic for the waistline and I used regular braided elastic instead. Since that elastic is a bit stretchy I cut 28". Like I said before though, future versions will have a smaller neckline. My favorite part of this dress is the pockets. Pockets need to be in every garment, every time. Sometimes pockets can add bulk and look a bit unflattering but in this dress the gathers hide the pocket bulk perfectly. I didn't have to make any alterations to the size of the pockets either, they fit my gigantic phone perfectly.
The fabric I choose from Minerva Crafts is this amazing Art Gallery Knit Fabric. I've used this before when making a jacket for my son and adore it. The fabric is a medium weight with just the right amount of spandex, so it's a breeze to sew with and the fit is lovely. I did prewash and there was minimal shrinkage. I really liked the pattern on this fabric because of the hints of blue and coral. I'm imagining wearing this to work with a pretty coral cardigan - I just have to make that next! So, that-being-said, this dress is work appropriate and super comfortable.
Overall, this is a great pattern and I wouldn't change anything but maybe the neckline. It's a quick sew, something you could make on a Saturday to wear for that evening or work on Monday. I didn't have any fit issues or have to make any alterations, even when I make the neckline alterations in the future, those will be quite simple. You can easily dress this up or down for a casual dress. I love that you can use any knit with a little stretch, you could make a heavier weight dress for winter and pair this with some cute leggings and a jacket. I have a feeling there will be a few of these in my closet before the end of the year. 
Thanks for reading,
0 Comments

Morgan Crepe Stretch Jersey Fabric Review by Georgia

Hello everyone! I'm Georgia, from @acornkiss, and I'm back on the Minerva Crafts Blog, this time with a product review. I'm always excited when I receive a product testing email by Minerva Crafts, but I've never had the courage to try one before. When I saw the beautiful red colour of the morgan crepe stretch Jersey Fabric, I just couldn't resist. Plus, I had a Heather dress pattern, by Sew Over It London on side that I hadn't tried just yet. Those two seemed so great together and I was already picturing the dress in my mind.
When the parcel with the fabric arrived, I was with my mom. We opened it and were so happy to realise that the colour was even better than in the photo. It was "real red" as I like to call this shade. Next thing, we felt it and it was so soft and friendly on the skin. I saw how my mom was loving the fabric and due to the fact that she had her birthday in a few days, I decided to make the Heather dress for her and practice some selfless sewing.
First things first, I washed the fabric at 40°C with mixed colours and an old white T-shirt to check if there would be any colour transfer. I was so pleased to discover that there wasn't any, because I don't like to separate laundry by colour. Drying out, the fabric kept its beautiful structure and it's soft texture. I was extremely happy to see that it didn't wrinkle!
My next move was to cut out my pattern pieces. That was a bit tricky for me, because I haven't been sewing with stretch fabrics a lot and I am not a confident cutter in general.  However I managed to mark the pattern pieces on the fabric with simple tailor's chalk and cut them out with my fabric scissors with great accuracy. I marked the wrong sides of the fabric on all my pieces to avoid any mistakes during sewing.
Then the fun part began! The fabric was flowing smoothly under the feed dogs. I was trying not to pull while feeding and I set my machine on slow speed.
The pattern suggested to sew with zig-zag stitch, adjusting it at 1.5mm length and 1.0mm width. I think that these adjustments worked in harmony with the fabric and made it easier to control it. Also, the use of many pins helped a lot!
During the photo shooting, I was able to fully appreciate the qualities of the fabric. It's thickness provided warmth and it's drape comfort. Additionally, it stretches nicely and it keeps its shape!
When I tried on the dress I was confronted with an ethical dilemma :D. I really, really wanted to keep this one for my self. But fortunately, the better person inside me stepped up and  gave it as a gift to my mother, following the original plan.
When I gave the dress to my mother and she saw the fabric, she said: "Is this the one...!!!??!" The smile on her face was a gift back to me.
I'm so happy that Minerva Crafts gave me the opportunity to sew with this Fabric. Now I definitely have to make a dress with it for myself!
Thanks for reading.
Until next time,
Georgia @ Acornkiss

POSTS PER PAGE: 3 | 6 | 9 | 12

1 2 3 4 > »