Friday, 20 January 2017

Prym products and your discount

There are lots of notions around but in Australia we’re limited to what we can buy. It’s even tougher if you don’t live in a major city. Online purchasing gives us lots more choice. 
Here are the Prym products I used to make espadrilles in December.
Minerva Crafts blogging gives me ongoing access to top-notch brands like Prym

You also have access to Prym products through Minerva Crafts and this year together we're collaborating to make Prym products more enticing to buy. 

You get a 10% discount when you purchase any Prym product from Minerva Crafts website using this discount code ‘MARIA’.
This is a small selection of tailoring products I've started using.
I'll be road testing a stack of Prym's products in my normal sewing posts.  Prym's range is quite extensive so I'll also be using lots of 'new to me' products.

I've been relying heavily on Prym's Youtube tutorials to learn how to use their innovative tailoring products. 


Let me be up front. I've received Prym's products for free and I receive no monetary benefit. You however, get a 10% discount through Minerva Crafts when you use the discount code  ‘MARIA’. 
These are the Prym Love products that are just as innovative and cute
I am bias as I’ve always considered Prym products to be the Mercedes Benz in the world of sewing notions. Reliable, useful and well-designed products but living in Australia, Prym products aren’t readily available through retailers. A local wholesaler only stocked one vintage Prym anorak notion.

Here's a behind the scenes look at Prym HQ and their press fastener production process.

When I first started making jeans, Prym rivets and Prym press fasteners were what I was told were the best notions to use. I'll be road testing these this year.

So no matter where you live, if you want to purchase Prym products, go to Minerva Crafts and use the discount code ‘MARIA’.

Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Cutie pie

Hi. 

I'm 'Koala Bear' and I'm turning 2 soon. I'm wearing this outfit Daddy's Aunty made me. She sews a lot and sometimes we get to wear the things she sews for us. 

Do you like the car I'm holding? I like toys.
Now I don't normally wear hats, but I can tell this hat will be good to wear when it's cold. That's what Mummy says. 

Aunty said she made this pattern for Seamstress Erin. It's called Electron Layette and it's comfy to wear.
Let me just eat my chocolate while Aunty talks. 

Mummy, where's my drink. Mum. Mummy.
While 'Koala Bear' is eating his chocolate let me quickly say, this outfit was quick and easy to make. I used fabric that I bought from Clearit in Melbourne. It's a soft, poly cotton two-way stretch knit.
'Koala Bear's' Mum said the harem pants are perfect for nappy wearers. The sizing works for 'Koala Bear'.

I plan to make one more set of this pattern so 'Koala Bear' can look less Smurf/elf and more his normal happy two-year old. He's growing up so fast.
I took off my hat Aunty. Ha ha. Aren't I a clever Koala Bear.
I love it!

Sunday, 15 January 2017

January sewing kit winner

Andrea of Fabric Epiphanies was drawn from the random number generator for this month's giveaway kit courtesy of Minerva Crafts.
Thank you to everyone who left a comment on the Minerva Crafts blog post. I hope Andrea has as much fun using this kit as I did. I enjoyed working with John Kaldor fabric again. 

Next month there will be one last sewing kit giveaway. 

Well, I think it's the last one. There may be more giveaways this year.

Friday, 13 January 2017

'Black Friday' hat

I had some free work time to use and so I spent the day at Catherine's studio to set up my new urban hat.

The day was blisteringly hot. 40C and humid. Singapore weather. Catherine's studio had a fan and I needed to steam my hat into shape. 

Once everyone returns to work later this month, I won't be able to choose my days off so this was my best opportunity to get my urban hat prepared.
The crown gets wrapped in plastic before you shape the felt base onto the crown shape.
What you see here is the steamed crown into its shape. The green pins at the base of the crown indicate the depth of the hat and includes seam allowance.
We did a second check of how deep the hat should be and then I very, very carefully cut the brim off.
The steamer Catherine uses is designed specifically for this process. She's a professional and now that I've been to her workshop she's happy to enable my hat adventures using her equipment.
See the puckering and gathers around the crown, 

We did another check and realised I was using a 22" brim base. My noggin is 24". I quickly found the 24" brim base and I was able to make the brim fit!
With the 24" brim base, the puckers disappeared (head slap moment over) and I was then able to create a wider and even brim base.
Here's a look at the tiny hand operated sewing machine Catherine has in her collection. I think it's a buttonholer.
The crown and brim have now been set and are drying as we speak.
In the time I had left, I cut out some flowers and used the burner and flower tools to create future flowers.
Here's Catherine demonstrating the flower making process from last month's workshop.

My 'Black Friday' hat will be finished but I need another full day for all the hand stitching.

Summer is still fierce so before I left Catherine' studio I bought a straw hat base that fit me so I'll show you how this new Summer hat comes together. That's another 4 hours of hand stitching. Hopefully when I pick up my Black Friday hat, I'll set the crown into an angular style.

All the sewing techniques make hat making achievable and I'll show you the tools I've recently been using so you can see how sewing skills can be used in other craft areas.

Monday, 9 January 2017

Day and night dress challenge

Today is my turn to show you what you could try if you're considering entering Elizabeth's Day and night dress challenge. There are so many of us that are showcasing examples to inspire you.
Yesterday I hope you saw Elizabeth of Elizabeth Made This and Brittany of Brittany J Jones

Ok so I may have made more than I should have. But it's Summer here in Australia and I did have a week's break hence my showcasing two patterns for this challenge.


You've already seen my original challenge day night dress, using Victory Patterns Nicola dress.

The fit of this dress is great.
I usually have to make a sway back adjustment but this wasn't required for this dress.
Making the night version was a dream make.
See what I mean about the fit of this style?
The skirt is fully lined but it doesn't stick to you so it's easy to wear in hot humid weather.
If sewing zippers is your strong point, this dress uses buttons or snaps as the closure. And if you're weight keeps changing, simply reposition the snaps/buttons.
This was such an easy dress to make, even with the huge bold floral fabric (John Kaldor) supplied to me by Minerva Crafts UK. If you live in Australia or New Zealand, I have a duplicate kit of the floral dress to giveaway on my Minerva Crafts blog post.
As I had time off, I decided to crack open this Burda Young pattern as another Day and night dress challenge idea. This pattern has been in my stash for a while and I bought it for a Summer party dress.
However I had to work out the bra component so I could wear this dress with confidence. 
I have made a one-shoulder dress before and it had a lot of inbuilt support. I used a bra kit I bought online last year from Susan of Measuretwicecutonce 
There's nothing really showy with this dress but I wanted to feel comfortable in it, so I also delved into making a bra that would work for this dress. 
Because of the print, the three circles run between my shoulders.
This pattern has no shaping at the back so this pattern is great to wear in the Summer.
We went to the beach during the week and I realised that a simpler bra style would work too. I wore this simple grey bra underneath this day dress. I drew the smallest size shaping from the dress and used 2-way stretch lycra and elastic.
The purple bra worked really well under this night dress.
Here's a closer view of the front straps. This is more refined for the evening dress.
Here's what the back of the bra looks like. The straps are slim and sit nicely.
The alterations for this dress were: 
- shortening the hem on this dress, 
- lowered the armholes by 3cm
- added darts at the back for shaping on the evening dress only.
This fabric has a snake texture but breaths well. Being black, it's now a new 'little black dress' LBD.

I suppose this is what happens when you have a 'staycation' and your sewing room is available to whip up anything, anytime. 


Stay tuned this week with 

Tuesday, Jan 10th: Je'Tua of Robertswife, Meg of Cookin' and Craftin', Melanie of Its Melanie Darling
Wednesday, Jan 11th:  Linda of Elle Gee Makes, Tee of Maggie Elaine
Thursday, Jan 12th: Bianca of Thanks I Made Them, Daniela of On the Cutting Floor
Friday, Jan 13th:  Melissa of Mahlicadesigns, Rachel of Sew Redy, Renata of Runnningnstyle, Sonja of Sewing ala Carte

Saturday, Jan 14th: Doja of Elewa blog, Judith of Judith Dee's World, Tanya of Mrs. Hughes

Everyone's worked really hard behind the scenes to inspire you to make your own challenge dresses. Go for it!

Don't forget to enter your day and night looks into the community challenge for a chance to win prizes from these wonderful sponsors:


You can enter your projects here.  Only projects that are entered through the linkup will be eligible for voting.
The linkup is available from Sunday, January 8th until Saturday, January 28th.  

Voting will be available on the entry page from January 29th-February 4th.  After all of the sponsors have been notified, the winners will be announced.

Thursday, 5 January 2017

A bright start

It's 2017 and I've welcomed the New Year with this bright floral Nicola dress by Victory patterns from Minerva Crafts UK.
I've been wanting to use this John Kaldor fabric for a while so I decided to pair this together with Nicola, hence a bright 2017 start.
blue/coral colourway
This is certainly a large floral and you know I love a John Kaldor when it's available. This blue/coral print is reorderable ie, it's always available as is the purple/orange version.
Purple/orange colourway
I chose the blue colourway to go with blue shoes or a blue jacket. To be honest, I just wanted see how this huge floral print would work on me. I'm so glad Minerva Crafts keeps these prints in stock.
This black floral version was the test dress.
I decided to use the size 10 for bust and waist but size 8 for the hips.

Pattern alterations
After the test version, I kept:
  • forward shoulder adjustment
  • shortened skirt
  • adjusted neckline to curve more.
  • shortened the bust darts by 2cm (gravity)
No sway back adjustment required
What I loved the best
No zipper required
Sleeve detailing
Summer styling
Lined skirt
Here's a closer look at the sleeve finish.
The skirt is fully lined and I wore this dress on a humid night without feeling the heat.
The skirt follows your shape but doesn't cling so I felt cool.

What I didn't like

Not applicable.
I decided to use snaps, a hook eye and a button as the closures making this pattern very simple to make.

This John Kaldor floral print is my day wear version. 


Above is the black evening version I made for the Day and Night dress challenge.
You can see here where I tweaked the sleeves a bit

This month's giveaway for Australian and New Zealand sewing peeps is the floral dress kit from Minerva Crafts UK.
You get this John Kaldor fabric, lining, thread, buttons, Victory Patterns Nicola dress pattern and enough Vliesaline H180 to interface your dress.

Leave a comment on the Minerva Crafts post for this month's make and I'll draw the winner out on Thursday 12 January.

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