For the second year in a row, we’re pleased to welcome Minerva Crafts back to Indie Pattern Month! The team at Minerva Crafts are very supportive of the online sewing world, and of indie pattern brands. Kat caught up with Vicki to find out more about Minerva and their lively craft bloggers network….
Hi Vicki. Thanks for talking with us today! Firstly, can you tell us a bit about Minerva – what is Minerva all about?
Hi Kat! Minerva Crafts is a family run business set up by my parents Annette and Phil and myself (Vicki). We started up selling cross stitch and needlework supplies and over the years have grown into lots of other crafts, but our main focus nowadays is dressmaking fabrics, sewing patterns and haberdashery. My mum and I are both keen sewers and love sourcing and “testing” new products – thats definitely the best bit of the job!
Our aim is to bring our customers the best products at the best prices with fast and affordable delivery, of course with excellent customer service supporting all of this. Our small team has always worked extremely hard to provide the best, fastest and most personal service in order to be the best online retailer.
Minerva stock SO many products. What are your favourites?
You know it’s so hard to say as we have so many new products coming in every week. Every week I have a new favourite and an ever growing ‘to sew’ list! But right now my favourite fabrics are this Jersey Fabric;
and this colour woven Cotton Ikat Fabric.
I imagine a maxi dress in the first fabric, a loose, drapey sort of cardigan/jacket in the ponte roma and I’m not sure yet with the Ikat. I’ve got myself a few metres, so I should have enough of it when I finally decide!
We’d love to see one of your own creations! What the project your most proud of?
Sewing my own wedding dress is definitely my favourite project to date.
It was the most challanging, but without a doubt the most rewarding. My husband Richard (who works here at Minerva too – if you’re a Minerva Crafts affiliate you will probably have spoke to him!) and I got married last year and my mum and I made my wedding dress, the bridesmaid dresses and her mother of the bride outfit.
For my dress and the bridesmaids we couldn’t find a sewing pattern that was just what I wanted so for my dress we ended up mashing about 3 different patterns together and free-styling parts of it. It was a similar story with the bridesmaid dresses too. It just goes to show if you cant find exactly the pattern you’ve imagined, dont give up. There is always a way!
There’s a thriving bloggers network on the Minerva website – can you tell us the story behind this?
Myself and Rachel from House of Pinherio set up the network some time ago now and we are really proud if it here at Minerva. I think its grown into an amazing space on the web for crafters to come for inspiration and to learn something new. The idea is that bloggers chosen for the network choose supplies from the Minerva Crafts website and each month write a blog post to be featured on the Minerva Crafts blogger network showcasing what they have made, with an honest review of the products used. Indie sewing patterns get used a lot so its great to read up on how someone else found them to follow and of course how they look made up in different types of fabric. We get lots of fantastic feedback from our customers who tell us they love reading the network posts and we are excited to see where it grows in the future.
What do you like the most about the Minerva Crafts Blogger Network?
Well I’m the person who manages the network behind the scenes, so this is everything from finding the right bloggers for the network, helping them with their fabric choices, to putting the posts together and seeing them go live on the website. I think the best bit for me is seeing so many wonderful projects come out of the process! Seeing a bloggers ‘wish list’ turn into all these beautifully sewn garments is really rewarding. Sometimes the finished project looks just as I had imagined it would, other times its completely different, but its always a nice to see the journey from start to finish.
Which have been your favourite bloggers network projects using indie patterns?
There are so many now its almost impossible to choose! If I had to pick I would say some of my favourite projects from Indie patterns have been A Stitching Odyssey’s Cambie Dress;
and Scruffy Badger’s Jamie Jeans (just look at the elephant on the back of those pockets!);
But I could list tons more!
And looking forward – what do you have planned at Minerva over the next few years?
We always have so many plans at Minerva! Right now we are working on creating videos of all our Dress Fabrics, so customers at home can see how a fabric handles and “behaves” before they buy. We have a few hundred videos on our website so far and the feedback we have had has been really good (they are my hands you can see in the videos haha!)
We also have so many new products coming in this year, it’s so exciting! In the next month alone you will see over 1,000 new fabrics listed on the website aswell as new yarns, patterns and other crafty goodness! And so much more in the pipeline too but I wont spoil the surprise on these 😉
Thank you so much for taking the time to talk to us Vicki, and for sponsoring Indie Pattern Month! I think I may have to go and buy some of that amazing ikat fabric now…. 😉