Blogger Network #31 – Merchant & Mills Camber Dress

merchant-and-mills-camber-set-dress

Hello March! Time for another Minerva Blogger Network post and this month I’ve made the Merchant & Mills Camber dress in a geometric print linen/cotton fabric. This is the first time I’ve ever used a Merchant & Mills pattern and I was really impressed with it! My finished dress is very wearable and it makes a great addition to my everyday wardrobe.

See more of my Camber dress on the Minerva Crafts blog here!

Blogger Network #30 – Monochrome Megan Nielsen Sudley Dress

megan-neilsen-sudley-dress

Hello everyone! It’s time for my first Minerva Blogger Network post of the year, and this month I’ve made the Megan Nielsen Sudley dress in a lovely black and white floral viscose. One of my sewing resolutions for 2017 was to be a bit more mindful and intentional with my sewing projects, so I’m aiming to focus on garments that I’ll wear often and/or that match other items I own. With that in mind, click the link below to read more about my make!

Read more about my Sudley dress on the Minerva Crafts blog here!

Blogger Network #27 – Father Christmas Cushion

Design Works Santa Cushion Kit

Welcome, October! It’s time for a new Minerva Crafts Blogger Network post and this month I’m crossing my fingers and hoping you don’t think it’s *too* early for something a bit festive! I actually made this Design Works Embroidery Santa Cushion Kit on the first rainy weekend back in September and I’ve been feeling wonderfully Christmassy ever since. Isn’t he just adorable?!

Click here to read more about my make!

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Blogger Network #26 – A Summer Bolero for Grandma!

King Cole 3111 Cardigan Bolero

Happy September everyone! Part of me loves these monthly Minerva Blogger Network posts as they keep me productive and show how much you can accomplish if you set your mind to it, but part of me also winces slightly as I watch the months pass us by so very quickly. Anyway – on with the show!

This month’s make was made by…. my Grandma. I had every plan to start this project myself and ask for her guidance as I continued (my Grandma can knit in her sleep and is the best person to learn from) but one moment I had a bag of yarn and a knitting pattern and the next thing I know she’s whipped up the entire bolero behind my back 😉

And doesn’t she look absolutely beautiful/super cute in her new summer bolero? I love it and I love her so much! (The pattern is the King Cole 3111 Cardigan/Bolero and the yarn is King Cole Bamboo Cotton DK in Navy, by the way).

CLICK HERE to see more of my (Grandma’s) make!

 

Simplicity 8086 Cynthia Rowley Overlay Dress

Simplicity Cynthia Rowley 8086Wow, I can’t quite believe that I finished this one! You know when you spot that perfect dress pattern and know instantly it’s one you just have to make? I found the Cynthia Rowley 8086 dress from Simplicity online a few months ago now and I’ve been quietly working at it every weekend since. This dress isn’t for the faint-hearted and will challenge your spatial awareness skills like no other – but it’s so worth it.

The dress is almost like two dresses in one: it has a high neck/low back dress underneath and then a high neck/open back overlay over the top. The skirt is full and pleated, there’s a zipper down the centre back and a button loop at the neck. It also has a bodice lining and an overlay lining. (The fabric is a woven brocade from Minerva Crafts, by the way) Can you see why this project took me forever?

Cynthia Rowley Simplicity 8086 Overlay Dress

That’s not to say I didn’t enjoy it though – in fact, I loved that I could do a little bit each weekend and could see it slowly coming together on its coat-hanger. I spend quite a lot of time whipping up projects over the course of a weekend so it was nice to take a bit more time and care when making this dress! However, I did also run into a few problems… the pattern instructions are largely wonderfully written (as is often the case with Simplicity) but I had so much trouble when it came to attaching the overlay to the bodice. The instructions for this part were so unclear and it seemed as if steps had been missed out – which is a nightmare when this dress is already quite complicated. After a bit of Googling I found that other people also had the same issue (see Pattern Review for more!).

Cynthia Rowley Simplicity 8086 Overlay Dress Back

I also had trouble with the fit around my back and had to take it in and out a few times before I got it to sit right and not gape. This resulted in my back zip being massively off-centre, by which time it was too late to do anything about it! I think I’ve got away with it though – I wore this dress to my friend’s birthday party last weekend and all I got were lovely compliments. I think us sewists are too hard on ourselves sometimes: no one else ever spots the wonky bits that we berate ourselves for!

Simplicity 8086 Dress

Despite the few hiccups, I got there in the end. There was a bit of unpicking and trying again but I don’t mind that so much – how else am I going to learn new things? Trial and error is often your friend when it comes to dressmaking! And I really love my finished dress too. I’ve got a couple of weddings coming up in September so I’ll probably wear it again to one of those – I think this dress will become a nice staple in my party dress wardrobe. What do you think?

SImplicity Cynthia Rowley 8086 Button loop neck

I definitely recommend this pattern for the more adventurous intermediate/advanced seamstress. I’m super proud of my finished dress and I’m really pleased with how it turned out, especially because at one point I wasn’t sure it was ever going to work! Has this ever happened to you before? I think my cat Barnaby approves too – he loves being in my blog photos these days, perhaps I should get him to do my modelling in future.

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Blogger Network #25 – New Look 6407 Elephant Shirt

Simplicity New Look 6407 shirt

Well who doesn’t want an elephant print shirt? Click the link below to see more of my August Minerva Blogger Network post! It features this elephant print cotton and the New Look 6407 shirt pattern (and my kitten, Barnaby)…

Click here to read about my make!

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I’m in Love Sewing Magazine!

Remember the jersey maxi dress I made for my holiday in Italy last month? Well, it’s been featured in July’s edition of Love Sewing magazine! Grab a copy of issue 29 of Love Sewing and turn to page 14 to see me and my dress in print. Here’s a sneaky peek of it below (and also of the amazing free pattern that you get this month!). Thanks to Minerva Crafts for the fabric, Simplicity for making the 1804 dress pattern and Love Sewing for the feature 🙂

love sewing issue 29