Minerva Blogger Network: Peacock Flora dress


Size: 8
Alterations: none on the pattern, fitted as I went (read below). 
Fabric: cotton lawn from Minerva Crafts, available here.

The project of this month for the Minerva Blogger Network is a little bit special, because we were asked to make some party attire to wear at the Minerva meet up last week. I was quite heart-broken I didn’t get to attend, but making a cute dress helped me get in the party mood.

After spending a long, long time deciding what kind of dress to make for such an event, I decided to go with the Flora dress pattern by By Hand London. I was one of the very few bloggers who was not invited to test this pattern (sigh, why?), but I really liked the design. My kind sponsor, Indie Stitches, provided the pattern for me.

I initially wanted to make the version with the high neckline, but after a muslin, I decided it looked a little too casual for the occasion, so I opted for the faux wrap, which is also more flattering on me.

I cut a size 8 and made no alterations, although once the fashion fabric was sewn, I ended up with a lot of excess fabric around the waist (almost 8cm). It’s one of those mysteries of sewing I just can’t seem to figure out: the muslin fitted almost perfectly; there were about 2cm of ease at the waist, most of which I thought was going to disappear by lining the bodice. I don’t know what happened later, because I took my time cutting, staystitching and stabilizing the neckline… Probably, I just didn’t do a very good job on my muslin, and didn't pay it the attention it needed.

I dunno, but anyway, once the bodice was completely assembled and self-lined, I decided to make it work, grin my teeth and remove the excess from the center back (which is not a very good solution). This means the side seams are now shifted towards the back and the back armholes are a little too deep, but that’s ok.

The second “make-it-work” moment happened when I realised the circle skirt required a 60” wide fabric, and the one I chose wasn’t as wide. Again, I opted for a solution I wouldn’t recommend to anyone and used the fabric on the cross grain. The print is busy enough that it’s not too obvious, and the effect is not too ugly. I really wanted the circle skirt at that point, so I’m kind of glad I cut it anyway. The knife pleats on the front are truly stunning, while I’m not too crazy about the box pleats of the back.

What else? Oh! I installed an invisible zipper! If you’ve read my blog for a while, you’ll know I simply hate this kind of zipper, because while it’s more discreet to the eye, it’s a pain to install and it breaks way too easily for my taste. But I thought it would really look better for this kind of dress, and I’m happy with my choice.

As you might have seen in my sneak peek post, I also made a petticoat to go underneath this dress. I thought a petticoat would play up the vintage feel of this dress and would make it look more elegant for this special occasion, except… I now know that I don’t like the look of petticoats on me, AT ALL! This thing took a lot of time and patience to make, and I must thank Ela of Elochka for giving me a private mini tutorial on its construction; I doubt I’ll ever wear it again, but I’m glad I got to try it on. At least, now I know.

All in all, I’m really happy about this dress and I can’t wait to have a real event to wear it to! If you want to make it for yourself (petticoat included) the kit is available here. To be completely honest, my plan changed after putting the kit together, so I would rather recommend getting the peacock fabric here and the organza for the petticoat here.

Taglia: 8
Modifiche: nessuna sul modello, modificato mentre cucivo (leggere sotto.)
Tessuto: di Minerva Crafts, disponibile qui.

Il progetto di questo mese per il Minerva Blogger Network è un po' più speciale del solito, perché ci è stato chiesto di preparare un outfit da festa per il meet-up di Minerva Crafts che si è svolto la settimana scorsa. Sono tristissima di non essere riuscita ad andare, ma cucire un bel vestitino mi ha aiutato a mettermi del mood della festa :)

Dopo luuunghe, luunghe riflessioni per scegliere che abito fare, ho deciso di optare per il modello Flora dress di By Hand London. Sono una delle poche blogger che non è stata invitata a testare questo modello (sigh, perché?), ma mi sono proprio innamorata del design e delle bellissime versioni viste in rete. Il mio gentile sponsor Indie Stitches mi ha fornito il modello.
Inizialmente, avrei voluto fare la versione con lo scollo alto, ma dopo una telina di prova, ho deciso che era un po' troppo casual per l'occasione, e ho optato per la versione con incrocio, che sta anche meglio sulla mia corporatura.

Ho tagliato la taglia 8 senza apporre modifiche, MA, ovviamente, una volta cucito il corpino, mi sono ritrovata un sacco di eccesso in vita (quasi 8 cm!). E' uno di quei misteri del cucito che mi capitano ogni tanto e non riesco proprio a capire: la telina era praticamente perfetta, c'erano circa 2cm di spazio extra in vita, e pensavo che la maggior parte sarebbe sparita foderando il corpino (il poco restante sarebbe stato mangiato nella zip). Non ho idea di cosa sia successo dalla telina all'abito vero e proprio, perchè ho tagliato attentamente e ho stabilizzato gli scolli per non distorcerli. Probabilmente avrò fatto qualche cavolata con la telina, ma non me lo spiego comunque.

Ad ogni modo, nel momento in cui il corpino era tutto cucito e foderato, ho deciso di stringere i denti e fare quello che non avrei dovuto, ovvero eliminare l'eccesso dalla cucitura del centro dietro (il tempo stringeva e non avevo nemmeno la voglia di smontare tutto). Voi non fatelo mai, per favore! Perché significa che adesso le cuciture del fianco sono spostate verso il dietro e il giro manica dietro è troppo profondo. Ma pazienza!

Il secondo momento di panico mi è arrivato quando mi sono resa conto che per la gonna a ruota serviva un tessuto largo 150cm, e il mio era 140. Ho di nuovo scelto una soluzione da evitare, ovvero di tagliare la gonna nel senso della trama (e non dell'ordito). Con questa fantasia, l'effetto non è estremamente evidente né bruttissimo, perciò alla fine sono contenta della scelta, perché volevo davvero la gonna a ruota. Le pieghe piatte sul davanti sono stupende e danno veramente una marcia in più a una semplice gonna a ruota, mentre gli sfondi piega sul retro non mi fanno impazzire. 

Che altro? Ah, sì! Ho messo una lampo invisibile! Se leggete il mio blog da un po' di tempo, saprete che detesto a dir poco questo tipo di chiusura, perché, seppur più discreta delle lampo normali, non mi piace cucirla e si rompe troppo facilmente. Ma ho pensato che con questo tipo d'abito sarebbe statea meglio, e mi sa che avevo ragione.

Come forse avrete visto nel mio post pre-rivelazione, ho anche cucito una sottogonna da mettere sotto l'abito. Ho pensato che avrebbe giocato bene con il mood vintage di quest'abito e l'avrebbe reso ulteriormente elegante per questa occasione speciale, ma... ho scoperto che non mi piacciono le sottogonne su di me, ma proprio per niente!Ci sono voluti molto tempo e pazienza per cucire questa specie di meringa, e devo ringraziare Ela di Elochka per avermi aiutato con un mini tutorial privato sulla costruzione; dubito che la indosserò mai, ma almeno sono contenta di essermi tolta il dubbio. 

Tutto sommato, sono molto contenta di quest'abito e non vedo l'ora di indossarlo per un'occasione speciale nella "vita reale"!
Se volete cucirlo anche voi, come al solito potete trovare il kit qui; sinceramente, visto che ho fatto parecchie modifiche dopo aver messo insieme il kit, vi raccomanderei piuttosto di acquistare separatamente il tessuto a stampa pavone qui e l'organza per la sottogonna qui.

Minerva Blogger Network: a floral Emery dress


Pattern: Emery dress by Christine Haynes (purchased via Urban Cut).
Size: 6
Alterations: I made a 1,5cm FBA following this brilliant tutorial; lengthened the sleeves by about 4cm.
Fabric: floral cotton lawn and blue polycotton from Minerva Crafts.

As I mentioned in my last post for the Minerva Blogger Network, I wasn’t really over the moon about my last three kits. I put them together with the intention of trying new materials and going a little out of the box, but as it turns out, when you have a deadline and you can’t dedicate too much time to these projects, experimenting is not the best idea. So while putting together the following three kits, I decided to go back to basics: my favourite fabric, cotton (cotton lawn in particular) and my favourite type of garment, dresses.

So, this month, I am presenting you a rather simple dress, but it’s one I am really happy about. I chose an extremely cute floral cotton lawn, which is perfect for Spring, and decided to add a blue contrast collar.

The pattern is used is once again the Emery dress by Christine Haynes, which you've already seen here and here. This pattern is well drafted, simple to make and has great instructions. And it has pockets, too! :D I cut my usual size 6 with a 1,5cm FBA.

There’s not a lot to say about construction, because, as I mentioned, the instructions are pretty straightforward. I particularly like the way the collar is constructed, because it makes it so much easier to have a perfect match at the centre front. The only change I made is that I didn’t line the bodice, so I finished the neckline with self-made bias tape.

As anticipated, this dress might not be earth-shattering, but it fits perfectly in my wardrobe and I feel happy wearing it, which is a win-win.

Finally, a word on my glasses: they're new and they're courtesy of Ozeal Glasses. The pair I chose is a cat eye shape (my favorite) from designer Human Skull, the model is called Amy Red (unfortunately not available at the moment, a similar pair could be this one).
Anyway, the variety on the site is huge, the customer service was great with me, and the glasses themselves are honestly good quality, especially if you consider the price. I think this site is great if you want a spare pair of glasses or want to try a different frame without spending a lot (they also offer free shipping). Recommended! :D

Modello: abito Emery di Christine Haynes (acquistato da Urban Cut).
Taglia: 6
Modifiche: ho aggiunto 1,5cm per il petto seguendo questo fantastico tutorial e ho allungato le maniche di circa 4cm.
Tessuto: cotone floreale e misto cotone blu di Minerva Crafts.

Come avevo accennato nel mio ultimo post per il Minerva Blogger Network, non sono molto soddisfatta dei miei ultimi 3 kit. Quando li ho messi insieme, volevo provare tessuti nuovi e fare delle cose un po' diverse, ma a quanto pare, quando si ha una scadenza al mese e poco tempo da dedicarvi, sperimentare non è la scelta migliore.

Quindi, quando ho creato i successivi 3 kit, ho deciso di tornare alle origini: ho scelto la mia stoffa preferita, il cotone, e il mio capo di abbigliamento preferito, l'abito.

Perciò questo mese vi presento un abitino relativamente semplice, ma del quale sono molto felice. Ho scelto un carinissimo cotone floreale, perfetto per la primavera e ho deciso di aggiungergli un colletto a contrasto.

Il modello che ho usato è ancora una volta l'abito Emery di Christine Haynes, che vi ho già mostrato qui e qui. Si tratta di un modello ben disegnato, semplice da realizzare e che ha delle ottime istruzioni. Ho tagliato la mia solita taglia 6 con una modifica per il seno di 1,5cm.

Non c'è granchè da dire sull'assemblaggio, perchè, come accennato, è piuttosto semplice. Mi piace in particolare come viene cucito il colletto, perchè è semplicissimo farlo combaciare al centro della scollatura.
L'unico cambiamento che ho fatto è stato di non foderare il corpino, e di rifinire la scollatura con dello sbieco fatto in casa.

Come ho detto, non è un abito rivoluzionario, ma si integra perfettamente nel mio guardaroba e mi indossarlo mi rende felice, perciò è una vittoria su tutti i fronti.

Infine, due parole sui miei occhiali. Sono nuovi e mi sono stati mandati da Ozeal Glasses. Quelli che ho scelto io sono il modello Amy Red del designer Human Skull (purtroppo non disponibili al momento, ma questi sono simili).
Questo sito offre una varietà enorme di scelta, il servizio clienti è stato fantastico con me e gli occhiali sono di buona qualità, specialmente se si considera il prezzo.
Penso sia un'ottima risorsa se siete alla ricerca di un paio di occhiali di riserva o se volete provare una montatura diversa senza spendere un capitale (la spedizione è addirittura gratuita). Raccomandato! :D 

Minerva Blogger Network : My Christmas Emery dress


***Traduzione italiana in fondo al post***

Pattern: Emery dress by Christine Haynes (purchased here).
Size: size 6.
Alterations: did a 1,5cm FBA following this brilliant tutorial; shortened the skirt by about 5cm.

For my December project of the Minerva Blogger Network, I knew I wanted to make the ultimate Christmas dress: red, feminine, possibly with a bow. What can I say, I’m a girl who likes to embrace traditions, especially during the Holidays!

When I put my kit together, I didn’t have a precise idea of the dress I was going to make, but then Christine Haynes released the Emery dress pattern and it was love at first sight.
This pattern was an absolute pleasure to work with. I used size 6 with a 1,5cm (5/8”) FBA and it fits me like a glove.
The instructions are well written and illustrated, and if that's not enough, Christine just had an extensive sew along covering all the steps to make this beautiful dress. 

The tartan fabric was a pleasant surprise as well: although it’s mostly polyester, it was a pleasure to cut, sew, press, and wear as well! It feels very warm and I would absolutely recommend it for both dresses or to make a very cute skirt.
It is a rather bulky fabric, though, so to reduce the bulk of the gathered skirt at the waist seam, I stitched some bias tape on both seam allowances, then I trimmed the skirt seam allowance, and finally I stitched the bias tape to the bodice. This creates a faux waist stay that conceals the seam allowance and reduces the bulk all at once. I've already done this for my Anna dress and I love this little technique. Maybe next time I should take photos and do a mini tutorial?

The only regret I have with this project is that did a terrible job at matching the plaid. Before cutting the fabric I read Lauren’s tutorial and I was like “Yeah, I can do it!”, but I managed to make so many mistakes anyways! The worst being I didn’t center the front bodice correctly… That makes me so mad at myself, how could I not see this? And the skirt back doesn't match either... UGH! I wanted to cry when I stitched the center back seam!
At least I learnt for next time, and a few people told me the print of the dress is busy enough that you don’t notice it too much. I guess it's one of those things that you only see if you have the "trained eye" of a seamstress.

In conclusion, I’m completely in love with dress! I think it’s just perfect for Christmas. Some might find it cheesy, but I like to be dressed with a theme!
If you want to make it for yourself, you can purchase the kit here.


Minerva Blogger Network: The "Dog Lover" Pajamas


Size: size 8.
Alterations: I only used elastic at the waist and no fabric tie belt; I added a bow at the center front.
Fabric: quilting cotton from Minerva Crafts (momentarily out of stock)


These PJs went live on Friday on Minerva, but I couldn't bring myself to blog about them until today.
You see, in a cruelly ironic turn of events, my dog passed away on Friday, which wasn't just the scheduled day to blog these pants, but also the day she had a vet appointment because she hadn't been feeling great lately.
I don't believe in coincidences, so I wonder what the F was up with that day...

Anyway, thank you SO MUCH to anyone who shared some kind words with me on social media, it really meant a lot. In my real life, not everyone understands how devastating it can be to lose a pet (lots of people thinking "it's just an animal"), so I was quite moved by how sweet you guys were.


Now, the pants. This is my November project for Minerva Blogger Network. I wanted something cozy and snuggly for the incoming cold weather, so I settled on PJs. And because I love quirky prints and I love dogs, this fabric was the perfect choice! The only problem is, I didn't notice this quilting cotton was sold by fat quarter, so the 2,5m of fabric you need for this project add up to quite the price.
If you want to make yourself a pair of PJs pants, I would recommend browsing the immense polycotton range at Minerva, there are some extremely cute, more affordable choices.

Here are a few of my favorites:

1. Strawberries - 2. Cupcakes - 3. Stars - 4. Polka dots
The pattern I used is once again from Sewaholic, the Tofino pants. It's a rather pricey pattern for PJs, but it's a good investment in my opinion, especially if you're not very experienced, as the instructions are really great. Not much else to say about it, as Pjs don't really require fitting at all.

I'm trying to convince the rest of the family to adopt a new dog as soon as possible... Cross your fingers for me!

Minerva Blogger Network : Wrap skirt and T-shirt

Look at me, I'm Minnie Mouse!
Eheh, I realized how cartoonish these two garments look together just when I was putting them together, but I'm not at all bothered by this. It's a three colours I wear a lot and can remix with plenty of stuff in my wardrobe, and I think they look very cute together.

You can find more details on this outfit in my post at Minerva Crafts, but these are a Sewaholic Renfrew t-shirt (in a size 6) and a Miette skirt by Tilly and the Buttons (you can see another one I made here).
I originally wanted to use the Cascade skirt pattern by Megan Nielsen, but I did a stupid mistake while cutting my fabric, so in came the Miette pattern to save the day. Whew! It was a real "make it work" moment in Project Runway style! And I'm really satisfied with how it tuned out.

Now, the only thing I'm not very happy about this look, is that it goes along a kit on sale at Minerva Crafts. I kinda bombed it this month... First of all, the red linen-look cotton I used for the skirt is too lightweight for October. It's gorgeous, but it's starting to be really cold here and I won't be really wearing this skirt for much longer. Secondly, I included too much fabric for the t-shirt. Unless you want to make a knit dress or multiple t-shirts, I can't really recommend this kit in good conscience, but the single components are great. You can find the polka dot jersey here, the linen here and the Vilene bias tape (that I used to reinforce the shoulder seams of the t-shirt and the back openings of the skirt) here.

I learnt a few things from these first 3 kits and I hope the next ones will be better.
Do you have any suggestions for me? Anything you'd like to see more of?