Hi everyone, it's Stephanie, The Petite Sewist and welcome to my first project on the Minerva Crafts Blog! I'm sharing my constellation pajama set today. I love sewing with knits because they are so comfortable and easy to fit. I think adding RTW details to knit projects is satisfying and fun. If you're unfamiliar or scared of knits, I encourage you to take a class, watch videos, or connect with people online, and give them a try! The Jersey Fabric I used would be great for a beginner to learn on.
This knit fabric by Stof has 25% 4 way stretch so it's great for more stable knit projects. I mashed two patterns together to create a henley. The Itch to Stitch Idyllwild Top was perfect because it requires only 25% 2 way stretch. I borrowed the placket from the Visby Henley Pattern and used a white cotton/lycra as contrast fabric.
I am fortunate enough to own a serger and coverstitch machine for sewing knits, but those tools are not necessary. Many people use their sewing machines for knits, exclusively. Pop in a stretch or jersey needle, perhaps a walking foot and get familiar with those stretch stitches!
This is my second time using the placket on the Visby Henley pattern and I opted to use snaps....again! I really love using pearlized snaps, and I had these navy ones in my sewing room all ready to go. I must admit that I'm not an expert at placing these but luckily they are pretty easy to remove with needle-nose pliers if you mis-set one. The most important thing is to mark your placement on the left and right sides of the placket carefully. I like to use a heat erasable marker. If you have any tips on how to set a snap without cracking the face of it, please comment below! I have to use a hammer to set them, so I'm wondering if the cracking is inevitable.
For the pants, I used the Carita Joggers Pattern by New Horizons Designs. This was an experiment because the pattern calls for 35% and this fabric has less than that. The designer recommends perhaps taking a smaller seam allowance when using this fabric with the Carita pattern. You would need to use a contrast fabric with more stretch for the waistband and the cuffs. I tried taking a 1/4" seam allowance instead of 3/8" but the normal seam allowance was fine (I have very slender legs). I did a flat seat adjustment, my usual crotch curve adjustments and petite height adjustments. I don't plan on taking any snacks to bed with me so I opted for no pockets. I shortened the waistband so it hits bellow my belly button. They are very comfy!
Now I've got a pretty decent pair of matching pajamas, my first in probably 20 years! I'm really glad I took the time to make the placket, it was definitely the icing on the cake!
Alexis here and I am very excited to be on Minerva Blog today and join the Maker’s Team!
When my first makers call was announced, I quickly opened the links to check out the fabric and was totally blown away. I have a tendency to wear dark colors or simple prints but I’m trying to get out of my simpleness and embrace a bolder color palette and pattern. I was immediately drawn to the Floral Viscose Challis Fabric and it seemed like the perfect fit for the season.
Choosing my fabric was simple, I mean hello! Beautiful Floral Viscose Challis fabric! Picking the pattern on the other hand had my head spinning. I think I came up with 8 different projects before deciding on Chalk and Notch’s new Orchid dress. The beautiful, elegant and retro floral print needed it’s equal! But, since I am me and can’t leave well enough alone, I decided to hack the Midi dress into a peplum top. I tend to wear more tops with jeans rather then dresses (even though I do love dresses). I thought it would get more use and I can pair it with white pants for Easter.
Before I share more about the hack, I just wanted to mention a trick I do when I am working with any kind of slippery fabrics: I do one of two things, before cutting the pattern out I iron and use starch to stiffen the fabric. If I forget to do that, hey it happens, I will iron and starch my pattern pieces, especially the front and back bodices.
Ok, onto the hack…
Let’s start at the sleeves; I cut 5” off my sleeve pattern pieces then my fabric. This created a ¾ sleeves length that hit at my forearm. To be honest, It’s my favorite sleeve length. Even when I wear a flannel button down shirt in winter I find I roll them up to the forearm.
Since the Orchid dress uses elastic in the waistband to cinch in the waist I added two ½” waistline darts about 3” in from each side seam and about 4” in length. This created a more tailored fit to the back.
The next change and obviously the biggest, was with the skirt. It’s normally a midi length dress or you can even make it a jumper! I cut 2 rectangle pieces- 10 ½” x 43”, one for the front and one for the back. It’s roughly double the width of the bodice. Also, I am 5’5” tall so when you are making yours, you can use that for reference.
So those 3 things were the only parts I deviated from to create the Orchid Peplum Top! Super easy right?!? And… the soft and flowy Floral Viscose was the perfect drape to complete the look. After I was finished sewing and threw it on for a fit check, I immediately thought, yep I am going to need 3-20 more!
After you pick out some fabric on Minerva’s shop and make your own Peplum top, tag Minerva Crafts and me @myysweetsunshine. We can’t wait to see!
Gingham is one of my favorite wardrobe staples; it’s one of those complementary prints that enhances whatever solid color is worn with it. Lately, I’ve been experimenting with brighter, bolder colors and lacking corresponding pieces to wear with them! I’m also a sucker for classic prints and shapes, so when I saw this dark and light grey Gingham Stretch Fabric, I had to try it.
This fabric is a medium-weight, one-way 50% stretch, almost opaque, ponte roma. I had originally planned to make a pair of stretch, close-fitting trousers that I had prematurely dubbed “the pedal pushers”, but when I received the fabric I realized that it did not have enough hold and density for a pair of pants (that wouldn’t sag or display panty lines), but instead offered a lovely drape that would work well with a gathered skirt. The Moneta Dress by Colette Patterns has been on my list of patterns to make for a while, so I decided to dive right in!
In terms of sizing, Colette Patterns’ size 0 is often a size too big in the bust for me (33” and I currently measure at 32”), but as the Moneta is designed with negative ease, I decided to make the size 0 without scaling down. It was a risky shortcut, but lucky for me, the fit turned out just fine!
That said, I made a few modifications while sewing. First, I didn’t have the patience to fiddle with the elastic method of gathering as described in the instructions, so I gathered the skirt pieces at the waistline in the traditional fashion (with three lines of long stitches) and it worked just fine.
The sleeves were also too short for my taste; the pattern described them as ¾ length but they finished well above my elbow, which I found to be particularly unflattering. I briefly considered adding a self-drafted sleeve cuff, as the small gingham pattern would have camouflaged the seam line pretty well but then opted to shorten the hem allowance instead. In order to get the sleeve-length down to at least the crux of my elbow, I hemmed the sleeves at 3/8” (1cm) rather than at 1” as instructed.
I also wanted to keep the skirt length close to the top of my knee, so I also hemmed the skirt at 3/8” (1cm) rather than at 1” as called for.
At first, I was a little hesitant about the way the gathered skirt looked over my belly and bum – I usually find dresses with gathered skirts and waistlines positioned above the natural waist to look childish and lumpy on me. I have since been assured by others that it is not in fact unflattering on my body, so I think it might just be a question of trying a new silhouette that I’m not entirely comfortable with yet.
I am delighted with the neckline in both the front and the back however; it makes me feel very much like a swan!
Also, it has pockets! In the end, I’ve worn this dress out a few times and it is incredibly comfortable while presenting a chic, put-together look. Now to work on some bright, flashy, complementary pieces!
Thanks for reading,
When I first got into sewing clothing, the Inari Tee dress was all the rage. They appeared to be everywhere and everybody was making them in all kinds of wonderful fabrics. Rarely have I sewn a pattern more than once but this one is the exception. I’d say the success of a pattern is having the potential to envision it in multiple versions eg; length/fit/sleeve/fabric choice… This is Inari #3 for me and I think, no I’m sure… it’s my favourite. Each time I’ve adjusted the length and this is the longest yet.
The Fabric: Robert Kaufmann Remix Jersey Fabric
What amazing fabric! Sometimes you spot a fabric and just know that whatever you sew with it, it’ll rock! This fabric for me was just that and definitely what my wardrobe was craving. Being of medium weight, this 100% cotton jersey was destined for great things. I literally procrastinated over and over as to what I’d make with it as my ideas were endless.
Only a few years left until I hit the big 40 but why should that factor into what I wear or feel comfortable in? Life is too short to wear boring clothes and I’m not about to start changing who I am to fit in with the status quo. The only person you need please is yourself and man do I love this dress and how I feel in it.
The Pattern: Named Clothing Inari Tee Dress
The fabric, in my eyes was begging for a simple silhouette. Nothing with too much faff that would divert from it’s cool, fun geometric pattern. That’s when it clicked! The ‘Inari Tee dress’ by Named clothing. A sporty, casual loose style with its cocoon shape.
The pattern comes in 2 variations with slits at the side and a rolled up sleeve effect. The cocoon shaping with its uneven hemline is the ultimate in comfort chic. The pattern allows you to choose between a neck facing or neckband version and I picked the latter.
So, how did I make it my own…?:
If I told you I had this exact look in mind before I even cut the fabric, would you believe me? Well, it’s true! As soon as I saw the black and white pattern I knew whatever I made from it, I’d be wearing it with my chucks! It’s funny how sometimes you find shoes to fit clothes and other times it’s the reverse scenario.
Having a lack of longer style dresses (as I pretty much live in jeans), I thought this would be the fitting pattern to hack into a below the knee version. At a mere 5 foot 3 inches, normally I shy away from anything too long as it makes me look even shorter. Plus, knowing I’d be wearing it with flats the key here are the side slits. Without them, it simply wouldn’t have worked for me.
So here’s what I did:
I extended both the front and back pattern pieces by 6 inches, simply by taping the extra length to the existing pattern pieces. Maintaining the slightly curved shaping of the hemline and the side slit position as they would be on the regular length version. Resulting in a longer in length dress with the original slits so that I could hopefully look taller. Or at the very least, not shorter!
I am thrilled with the look I achieved with the combination of this amazing fabric and the ultimate pattern. The fabric was easy to work with, sewn with a jersey needle/zigzag stitch on my sewing machine. I overlocked my seams but it really wasn’t necessary.
Worn with or without a belt, I know I will get a lot of wear from this make.
So how gorgeous is this Fabric?
As soon as I saw it I imagined myself in something that made me look all glamorous 1950s housewife
It’s beautifully bright coloured, the red cherries really pop and I love the navy back ground. For me it’s the perfect fabric for something with a vintage look. It’s a lovely versatile weight so the world is your oyster in terms of creating a distinctive garment for your wardrobe.
I’m very much a beginner at this sewing business (all be it an adventurous one!). Whatever I decided to make would be the fourth thing I’d ever made. I didn’t think I was ready to tackle a dress with lots of netting underneath so I went with a wiggle dress, all while picturing myself wearing it with some big sunglasses, heels and drinking a G and T.
I hadn’t washed the fabric for the three garments I’d made previous to this because I didn’t realise how important this step is! I’m not really a patient person so this step really annoys me but if you’re going to spend your hard earned pennies on new fabric it’s really a must. This fabric was such an easy iron though, making that stage much less of a chore!
I chose to sew the Simple Sew ‘Loretta Jewel Neck Dress’. As the packet promised ‘Beginner’. I’d already made a skirt with a zip and was pretty sure I’d mastered darts so how hard could this be?!
It was a really simple pattern to follow with good basic instructions that don’t blind you with lots technical words and too many written instructions. There are two versions of the dress; one with and one without sleeves. I chose the sleeveless version.
It was quite tricky to get the interfacing around the neck and armholes to behave and stay tucked under so I sewed a line of top stitching in red around the edge. I could have stitched it down by hand but I like this little touch.
I wish I’d have been able to get a red zip from my local haberdashery. I think that would have looked really good. They only had navy or a weird green that didn’t quite go in the length I needed. I’m not massively happy with the neatness of my zip sewing and it really should be placed a bit lower but I think I might be the only one who notices.
Even on the hanger this dress fabric got some oohs and ahhs! My mum has put in an order for a skirt in the same fabric and my friend is begging me to make her the same dress!
This was a super quick make and a good dress to whizz up if you need something for a night out or special occasion. The fabric will be the perfect weight in the warmer weather to come and when it drops cooler it won’t look out of place teamed with a cute jacket or shawl.
This fabric is so comfortable to wear. It’s got a soft feel without feeling thin so I don’t feel I need to go to the trouble of lining the dress.
The pattern on this fabric does make you feel quite sassy! I feel a bit like an old movie star in it or an extra from Grease!
Thanks for reading,
Hi everyone, this is my first blog post for Minerva!
I’m a beginner sewer, I’d like to think that I’m an adventurous beginner. I do like sewing but when it comes to making clothes they often do not fit well and usually they are way too big. I had a bit of a disaster making my first top a little while ago, so this time I thought that I would try making a pair of pyjama bottoms. I was convinced that making a pair of trousers would be easier as there is no neck band to stretch out.
I liked the look of the corduroy, checkered Fabric in a camel colour. I ordered three meters of it. I pre-washed the fabric and it dried really quickly which was a bonus, I made a mistake of drying it over the airer but not realising the raised parts would damage the fabric! Lesson learned! It’s also the first time that I’ve had to consider pattern matching.
I do have a pyjama pattern but I thought that I would use this pattern instead by Wendy Ward from the book 'beginner’s guide to sewing with knitted fabrics' as the pattern looked so easy. I cut out the pattern as per instructions but I must have accidentally cut out the short leg version as they only come three quarters of the way down my leg, which is fine for pj’s.
It was an easy pattern and it only took a few hours to make them, including cutting out the fabric, which is good as normally it can take me several days to finish a project. I added a couple of holes into my elastic on the inside as I thought they will be too big so wanted a channel to insert a cord through, if needed. They were however, a bit on the snug side so it wasn’t needed but I’m currently losing weight so it will be required in the future.
I love this fabric so much and will definitely use it again as it’s so sturdy, plus the lines on the fabric help me when I’m sewing. It doesn’t fray easily and it has a lovely texture to it which makes it feel nice and adds a bit of variety. I chose the camel colour because I already had some tartan fabric in red and camel is a colour that I wouldn’t ordinarily buy but since I started sewing, I’ve been trying new things, both in materials and in techniques and I’m constantly progressing with my sewing and learning a lot along the way. I’m not easily put off but things not going well, which I think helps enormously.
As I had too much fabric, I decided to make myself a bucket bag to keep my knitting wip’s in, I’ve never thought about making one before but it made sense as it keeps my work tidy and prevents anything accidentally happening to the delicate needles. Here is a picture of it with a pair of socks I’ve recently made.
Thanks for reading!
Sarah @ Sarah Evans Author
Posted in Projects on Saturday the 18th May 2019 by Vicki Ormerod
Hello Minerva Craft Readers! I am delighted to be back on the blog today sharing one of my favorite patterns with you in this gorgeous Knit Fabric. If you are looking for a simple but stunning piece to add to your wardrobe, might I suggest the amazing Madison Cardigan by Style Sew Me Patterns. Read on to see why I think this fabric and pattern are a fun combo and what I love about this pairing.
Let’s start with the fabric. This polka dot beauty comes in two colors and I love the deep wine color I was sent but I also think the blush colorway would be an amazing look for a spring cardigan! It is a loosely woven knit with a beautiful texture and drape. I wanted to pick a pattern that would allow this fabric to shine and also could be easily done in French seams to finish the edges. This fabric would unravel easily and I didn’t have any matching serger thread so French seams worked well here. I did trim down the seams where there was overlap to help reduce bulk but, overall I think it worked well with this fabric and am happy with the seams.
This is the second time I have made this pattern and I absolutely love it. Please believe me that pictures don’t do it justice. The flowy movement of this pattern is best captured on video. I have a short video clip on my Instagram feed if you feel like watching it in action. You can find the video here. The way the back pieces are sewn together really gives the cardigan a beautiful drape and makes twirling around for no reason quite fun.
The Madison Cardigan comes together pretty quickly and easily but if you do get stuck on any steps, there is a video sew along to help as well. I don’t know about you, but I always love watching someone else sew a pattern together before I do it. I feel like my make is better because of it and helps to avoid any mistakes on that first go.
The only thing about this pattern that I am not absolutely crazy about is the sleeve length. It falls just a tad on the short side for me and I would like another inch or so there. It is a two-piece sleeve so I will need to remember to add that length on to my next one. And there will most certainly be a next one. Although this cardigan is a little bit extra, I feel like it is so easy to mix in to my wardrobe and just takes the whole casual look up a notch. This could also be styled so many different ways to make it dressier as needed.
Between this beautiful fabric and this fabulously swingy cardigan you have a fun sewing match. I love that you can see the details of the fabric and enjoy the polka dots with this pattern. I hope you get a chance to give this beautiful fabric a try or create this fun pattern with one of Minerva’s many beautiful fabric options.
Shannon @ www.indoorshannon.com
Posted in Projects on Saturday the 18th May 2019 by Vicki Ormerod
Those that have read my blogs for Minerva or my blog Sew and Style Lou, will know that I am a selfish sewist. I got in to sewing because I love clothes and style, but wasn’t finding anything ready to wear that fit my body, or my tastes. What I’m saying is it is very rare that I engage in some #selflessewing and make anything for other people. So when I do they, and the make, have got to be pretty special.
When I saw this beautiful Chinese Brocade Fabric on Minerva, I knew it was time to finally make something for my crazy, wonderful step-dad Gareth. Gareth has got a fantastic sense of style, and has often talked about his desire for a chinese brocade waistcoat. Being a welshmen, he’s fond of a dragon or two ;)
I have Simplicity 4762 in my stash, and have made a couple of waistcoats before for my nephew. A waistcoat for a man was a new challenge, and I had never sewn with brocade before. What could go wrong?
I made a toile to check the sizing, which was spot on. I didn’t do any complex fitting as Gareth has lost some weight recently, and I want this to be wearable in the long term.
What can I saw about the fabric? It is stunning, but it frays like a … you know what I mean. As I was lining the waistcoat I didn’t overlock any of the seams before sewing - I regret this now as it made some things, like joining the side seams, a bit of a challenge. You don’t need to handle the fabric much for it to start to fray! I lined the waistcoat with some trusty Duchess Satin Fabric from Minerva- I’ve been using this for a lot of projects recently and would highly recommend it. I decided to make the collar in the lining fabric as well, to make the look extra suave.
I struggled to decide what needle to use - I went for a Microtex Needles as recommended in my trusty Schmetz needle app, but it wasn’t perfect. It did mark the fabric slightly as is sewed, and making the automatic buttonholes…was painful. And made worse by running out of the top thread half way through one buttonhole, and a bobbin thread half way through another.
Overall, I’m pretty pleased with the make as my first attempt with a fabric like this. It’s not perfect, but it’s not bad :)
And Gareth. Looks. Fantastic. We even made a poser out of him!
Gareth and my Mum go to a lot of swing concerts and dances, and Gareth did a classic me. He wore it to a dance the day I gave it to him. What greater compliment is there than that?
Posted in Projects on Saturday the 18th May 2019 by Vicki Ormerod