Minerva Crafts in the UK are very supportive of the online sewing world, and of indie pattern brands. Each year they sponsor each of our challenges. Nikki caught up with Vicki who shared some of the fabrics currently available to fit in with each of our challenges.
The first weekly challenge is Dresses. This is a firm favourite for Indie Pattern Month and has been one of the challenges for four out of five years. There are so many different dresses which our Collective can make using so many different fabric types, woven, knits, those with drape, those without drape. Minerva have so many fabrics, what would you suggest to make a dress stand out from the crowd?
When I’m looking for inspiration my first port of call is the Minerva Crafts Blog and Blogger Network. We have so many different projects with such a variety of styles you leave ready and raring to sew! So I’ve selected fabrics from three of our recent dress projects from the Blogger Network to give you some ideas for fabrics, plus you can take a look at what our amazing team of bloggers did with them.
Mel made this gorgeous Helen’s Closet York Pinafore in our English Pure Wool fabric. We think this is perfect for the colder months ahead, the wool fabric is just so soft and cosy!
Sophie made this stunning Tilly and the Buttons Bibi Pinafore using our stretchy scuba fabric! We love the fitted look, especially as its styled here layered over a freya top!
And Anna-Jo made this classic version of the Tilly and the Buttons Cleo Dungaree Dress which we love (that topstitching is just perfection!)
Our second week is Anything but clothes. This is something considerably out of the ordinary and no doubt many may be looking at bags and purses, or possibly shoes or belts. This possibly may not be a part of your fabric collection which our Collective are as familiar with. What fabrics, eg Drill, home decor fabrics, faux leather would you recommend for anything but clothes, not to mention buckles and haberdashery?
We have lots of fabrics you could use to make things other than clothes!
We’ve recently introduced a metallic faux leather fabric to our range which is stunning. This would be perfect for making bags, clutches and purses. You could go to town on customising them!
And then of course we have cotton or linen canvas fabrics which are perfect for all things home sewing. How about cushions or seat covers for your caravan using this fun print;
Or how about a kit bag or a beanbag for the kids room in one of these cute prints;
Around the World is our theme for the third week. This theme is encouraging our Collective to either pick a pattern in a language other than their own, or to choose a pattern from another country. They could pick absolutely anything, since the challenge is very broad for most. I think some may pick well known patterns, such as the BHL Anna Dress, Christine Haynes Emery dress or perhaps something from Cashmerette. What fabric might our Collective use to make their version look like the pattern has just been released?
We love the new Chiltern Trench Coat pattern from Cashmerette! We’ve so many coating fabric options that would be perfect for this but to really capture the classic camel trench look, we would recommend this beautiful Mouflon wool blend coating fabric. It’s the perfect weight for this pattern and just the most beautiful quality and colour.
But another option if you prefer an easy care fabric that can be washed in the machine, would be our new poly-viscose blend coating fabric. Again this comes in the classic camel colour to re-create the look in the pattern. It’s beautifully soft and again the perfect weight!
Another option that is perfect for this time of year would be the ever-popular toaster sweater from Sew House Seven. It’s a nice easy pattern that’s quick to whip up in an afternoon. Our fabric recommendation for this pattern would be our gorgeous new waffle knits. Think soft and cosy fabric that almost feels like it’s been hand knitted. The ‘beige’ colourway is very similar to the pattern but theres are 7 other gorgeous colours to tempt you as well.
And lastly, what better way is there to push your sewing skills than making your own perfectly fitting jeans. We love the Megan Nielson Ash Jeans because it gives you so many options in the one pattern. We think the perfect stretch denim fabric for these jeans is our Plain Stretch Denim Fabric. It’s a really good weight without being too heavy and restrictive and it’s got a good amount of stretch but not so much that they will feel like leggings instead of jeans!
Our final week is One pattern two ways. The challenge is for the Collective to interpret a pattern in two different ways. The greater the difference the more it will show the versatility of a pattern. Picking some Indie Patterns how might our Collective use your fabrics/haberdashery to make two completely different versions of a pattern, ie would they use two completely different fabric weights or might they use trims to change the look?
Again I’m going to take my inspiration from the Minerva Crafts Blog and Blogger Network here. There are sooo many ways you can create individuality to your sewing projects, often it’s just a case of allowing yourself the time and freedom to be creative and think outside the box. Here’s some of my favourite ideas from our amazingly talented team of bloggers…
Sophia embroidered a monstra leaf design to her toaster sweater here to really give it that distinctive high-end look. This is such a simple technique that’s really fun do do. There’s no limit to your imagination when its comes to adding embroidery to your clothes!
When you look at a pattern, look beyond the options on the packet and think how you might hack it! Here Emily hacked the Tilly and the Buttons Seren dress pattern to make a cute little top. It just goes to show how many variations you can make from just one pattern.
And lastly one of our favourite techniques! Only have plain fabric in your stash? No fear! Just grab yourself some fabric paints and a parsnip and create your own design like Vicky did here on her Merchant and Mills Gyo Top. Doesn’t that yellow spot print look amazing….and so unique!