• Tops, blouses and shirts

    Summer Blouse, Makes Me Feel Fiiiiiiiiiiiiine

    Oh July – she’s a fickle beast. One minute she’s pouring you with rain and the next it is sunstroke inducing warmth.

    almond rock tilly turquoise polyester mathilde blouse

    So for my July Minerva make I thought I better sew something that looks nice and summery but could easily work for those chillier days too.

    I used the Mathilde blouse pattern from Tilly and The Buttons. It’s a cute pleated front blouse with button up back. My first version of this blouse (in a polka dot polyester) has never been blogged but cropped up during Me Made May (the polka dot week!) a few years ago.

    It was too tight across the front yoke and it eventually ripped at the underarms, probably because I like to talk with my hands and use wild gestures all the time.

    almond rock tilly turquoise polyester mathilde blouse

    The original pattern comes with banded puff sleeves but they don’t really suit me so I swapped these out for straight sleeves. I did this on the first version too. I used the sleeve piece from New Look 6000 which I’ve never actually made because I’m not a shift dress kind of girl.

    This bright polyester fabric in turquoise and cream was a great match for the pattern. It’s not like horrible static-creating polyester; it’s quite soft and light. It holds the pleats really well but also skims over your body in a flattering way. And I was sent perfectly matching thread which makes me happy as well.

    almond rock tilly turquoise polyester mathilde blouse

    There wasn’t much fraying to contend with but I French seamed the blouse for neatness and overlocked the armholes once I’d set in the sleeves.

    Take a look at that back!

    almond rock tilly turquoise polyester mathilde blouse

    I really had a hankering for some gold metallic buttons after seeing them all over the high street lately. Gold and turquoise just seemed the perfect mix.

    I used seven buttons in total but together they don’t drag the back of the blouse down as they are very light.

    almond rock tilly turquoise polyester mathilde blouse

    I can really see myself wearing this all year round as it would be easy to layer and it appeals to my need to dress colourfully even when faced with dreary weather.

    Or weather like today where the sun kept disappearing behind massive clouds making my photos look like they’ve been taken on different days.

    But hey, no don’t notice that… Look at my shoes! They match my top! Phew, glad I distracted you.

  • Other stuff

    Shopping list as long as my arm

    As I think you’ll be well aware, for the MC blogger team’s June garments we are all making fancy frocks in celebration of the Minerva Crafts Meet-Up event Saturday 14th aka TOMORROW!! We’re going to have a little blogger celebration after the day for the awesome awards the Network has won.

    almond rock Minerva Crafts Meet up reveal

    There’s a whole day of fun that’s open for everyone remember. I really hope to see as many of my readers as possible there! You can watch me burn through my paycheck.

    As we aren’t revealing our finished dresses before the event, you are just getting a teaser today. I hope you like what you see!

    Clue no.1

    I’ve made a dress I made recently. I didn’t say at the time but it was totally a “wearable muslin” for this party dress. It’s not exactly the same as the pattern includes variations that I’m taking advantage of.

    almond rock Minerva Crafts Meet up reveal

    Clue no.2

    I’m using a fabric used by a fellow blogger and friend at the end of last year. Do you recognise it? It is beautiful cotton sateen in reds, greys and pinks. I’m pairing it with a luscious crepe-like satin (I mean seriously luscious, I could have made my whole dress out of this stuff).

    Intriguing I hope? Because I was in the mood to make an effort I added a few extra touches to make my dress extra special.

    Including a handpicked hem to make it as invisible as possible (everyone who knows me, knows handsewing is a rare thing in these parts). I used hem tape in a coordinating colour to do this and then neatly picked through to the front periodically. Can you see my stitching!?

    almond rock Minerva Crafts Meet up reveal

    I also added support to the waist by stitching thin ribbon in the seam allowance, almost like a waist stay. This will stop the sateen from stretching out.

    almond rock Minerva Crafts Meet up reveal

    Finally I’m adding sew in boning to the sides of the bodice for support.

    Right! That’s all I’m telling you. You’ll have to look out for the big reveal across social media and the blogs over the course of the weekend! 

    Look forward to seeing many of you Saturday.

    I’ll be the one loud and proud in my red stripey sundress!

    almond rock stripey sundress minerva crafts

  • Other stuff

    Minerva Mosaic Skirt

    I couldn’t wait any longer to show you this amazing and eyeboggling skirt!

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    Minerva Crafts and The Sewing Directory have been teaming up for the Minerva Blogger Challenge. Sewing Directory post various Minerva products on their site and bloggers are invited to email and say what they’d make from it.

    I entered to make something from their new range of premium cotton prints!

    I originally chose the safety pin fabric but it was too popular and sold out. So my back up was this lovely colourful Mosaic print.

    mosaic

    My plan was to make a dress and I decided the weight and drape of the fabric would work well with the Belladone dress. There isn’t really a predominant colour so I went with purple for my contrast binding and topstitching.

    2013-10-27 18.17.00_edited-1

    Now a lesson learnt is that you can’t sew bias binding around a neckline, then unpick it all and expect to redo it like nothing happened. I totally stretched out my neckline!! Beyond saving as well. I was so sad and didn’t have any spare fabric to work with. I mean look at this gorgeous binding that has gone to waste. The topstitching on my first go was appalling though (think “drunk monkey”).

    Determined to not waste this lovely fabric, I decided to follow up on my plan to try a belladone skirt.

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    20131117_113701

    It’s super easy to do, you just make a waistband facing and use a shorter zip. I had a perfect size purple invisible zip in my stash too!

    Ok so a bit more about why this fabric deserves the name “premium”.

    1. The fabric didn’t bleed at all. Not remotely! Surprising given the vivid and various colours in use.
    2. The weight and drape is what you expect from the high quality cotton you see in shops like Backstitch, Frumble and Fabric Rehab but without the same price tag.
    3. Minimal creasing. I love wearing cotton but I hate looking like a crumpled mess by the end of the day. Even though it would be hard to tell in this print, I wore this skirt all day at work. That’s a lot of sitting on trains and at desks and in meetings but the skirt barely creased.

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    Now I just need to wait for that safety pin fabric to come back in stock so I can buy myself some. Yippeee.

    Thanks Minerva!

  • Other stuff

    Sewing with Minerva Fabrics – New Look 6069

    almondrock

    Recently Minerva Fabrics asked if I’d like to review some items from their site and I figured why the heck not.

    I have used the site before with good results but bad experiences elsewhere put me off Internet fabric shopping for a while.

    Minerva sent me a pattern (New Look 6069), the required fabric of my choice (a lovely multi coloured spot viscose) and a 22 inch black JTL invisible zipper.

    First let’s take a look at the pattern.

    I kind of love New Look patterns because I very rarely have to make adjustments.

    6069

    This dress really spoke to me as view C looks like one of my favourite dresses. Please look past the horrible sample fabrics in use here and see the lovely dresses underneath.

    Let me just say for the record, those longer length puff sleeves look horrific on the model and line drawings. I cannot imagine anyone suiting those. If you’ve made this dress and LOVE those sleeves, please get in touch to see if you can prove me wrong or if you need medical attention because the heat has clearly gotten to you.

    I found this on the Minerva site after a bit of trial and error. There’s no way to filter for different pattern companies. You can only jump straight to the sale (hey that’s not that much of a problem, am I right?). As they stock loads of patterns I just did a search across the whole site for new look dress patterns and combed through the results.

    Onto the Viscose!

    viscose

    I chose this print from the clearance section. It is so cute with all those different coloured oddly shaped spots. There are plenty of other lovely viscose prints I could have chosen, like 1, 2, or 3.

    I wanted to use viscose so the dress could transition from day to night. I’ll probably make it up in an evening fabric at some point too.

    The viscose I chose is lovely and cool to the touch. It’s a medium weight and very drapey. It washed very well with no colour fading and minimal wrinkling!

    almondrock

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    I decided to line the skirt to avoid any sticking to tights so I supplied some black peachskin to this make. I also wanted to get hold of the fabric before picking my interfacing. I had some Vilene “softline” black lightweight interfacing that turns out to be the bees knees. Oh and that invisible zipper? Went in like a flipping charm.

    Right let’s get down to a wrap up of my thoughts!

    almondrock

    Pattern Adjustments? I cut a 12 but then shortened the bodice by 2cm. I also cut the bodice on the fold as I don’t like needless centre front seams. I also added a skirt lining. That’s it!

    Things I’d change in the future? Use a lighter coloured fabric to show off the lovely details a bit better. The yoke gathers and waist band are much clearer in person, but not very photographic. I would also add the sleeves; I have cut and prepped the sleeves for this dress and may add them now the weather is taking a turn for the worse.

    Thoughts about Minerva Crafts? Love em! Why did I stop shopping online?! I do wish there was some filtering of the patterns available but the the fabric is well photographed and the colours were spot on when I received it. Plus after a horrible incident with some viscose from the market that ended up full of holes after its pre-wash, I was very pleased to be working with a reliable company stocking good quality fabric.