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Minerva Craft Blogger Network - My Sewing Plans for the Next 3 Months!

Minerva Craft Blogger Network - My Sewing Plans for the Next 3 Months!

If you follow me on Twitter or Instagram, you'll notice I posted this week that I'm now part of the Minerva Crafts Blogger Network! I'm super excited about it, and I'm getting to try out lots of amazing patterns I've wanted to sew for a while, and with Minerva Crafts having such an amazing selection of fabrics, it took a very long time for me to decide on my first 3 month sewing plans!

I thought it'd be a nice idea to share my plans on my blog so you can see what I'll be getting up to with my new Minerva goodies, along with seeing the diverse selection of patterns and fabrics they stock. I decided to go with everyday Autumn/Winter essentials, all with patterns I've been eyeing up for a while. Let's get started...


A classic land-girl inspired plaid shirt! A pinup girl must have.

I've been eyeing up the popular Grainline Archer pattern for a long while now, and one of my fave bloggers Gussets & Godets made THIS awesome plaid land-girl inspired version I just had to make for myself. This classic plaid fabric is perfect and it comes in such a wide range of colours, I may just end up making a whole bunch!


Super sweet pjs perfect for a lazy Christmas!

What could be more perfect for December than pjs! I've been lusting after the Closet Case Files pjs since Tilly and the Buttons made THIS adorable cat version. For mine I'm keeping it simple in my favourite colour combo - baby pink and red. I'll be trying my hand at piping for the first time, but luckily Minerva Crafts sell handy ready made piping in a great range of colours.




I'll be making option B for some Winter 60s vibes.

I've been lusting after this New Look button up skirt pattern since I saw, another blogger fave, Fancy Frugality mention it over on Instagram a couple of times. Then I spotted a great range of needle cord at a surprisingly good price and just had to have the stunning tan colour! Even though this project isn't scheduled until January, I might sneak it onto the sewing table sooner as I know I'll get so much wear out of it!


(This needle cord in only £4.99 a metre! Literally never seen such a good price for the quality. I'm also eyeing up purple and sky blue - see the full colour range HERE)



I hope you've enjoyed seeing what I've got planned for my first 3 months on the Minerva Crafts Blogger Network! I'm so excited to be a part of the blogger team and to start sewing these gorgeous garments. I'll be sure to post lots of progress shots on Instagram throughout too, so make sure you're following!

Have you tried any of these patterns? Let me know what you think!
Thanks for reading, pinups.

This post contains affiliate links.
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Oh Sew Quaint - Macaron Pattern Weights

Oh Sew Quaint - Macaron Pattern Weights

The lovely Etsy store Oh Sew Quaint, run by my new sewing buddy Dani, has opened my eyes to a world of adorable, handmade sewing accessories I never knew I needed (now I need them all)! When she handed me a set of her Macaron Pattern Weights, I jumped at the chance to review them. I'm enjoying them so much I decided to photograph them and write a blog post to share the love. Plus it gave me an excuse to get started on another Tilly and the Buttons 'Coco'...

Practical and oh sew pretty!

It's obvious these pattern weights are the sweetest thing around. They are beautifully made, they are all uniform and come in a gorgeous selection of colours. The set I have is THIS brighter set, but she's also offering a lovely pastel selection too.

Making any photo look good!

Along with being beautiful and making any Instagram photo stylish and colourful, they also provide a practical use. Normally my pattern weights range from scissors to mobile phones to even once my dog's paw. So using these pattern weights was refreshing and made cutting out my next project a joy.

Brightening up any sewing space.

Dani hand makes everything in her Etsy store and she's given me previews of what's coming up next, and oh my gosh. I'm talking doughnut pattern weights, people! Doughnuts! I don't want to spoil the surprise, but check out her Instagram to see her sneaky snaps of future products. I can't wait to fill my sewing space with more of her lovely sewing gifts.

Good enough to eat - but don't!
(Obviously. Beware of wondering dogs looking for treats too! My pupper was most confused!)

I hope you love Oh Sew Quaint's Macaron Pattern Weights as much as I do. She's going to be uploading lots of new products in the run up to Christmas, so make sure you put these on your wish list or just treat yourself!

Thanks for reading, pinups!

P.S. Do you have a sewing related product you'd like to be reviewed and photographed? Contact me today.

I received this product free of charge for purposes of review. All opinions are my own.
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John Lewis JL110 Sewing Machine Review ft. Tilly and the Buttons 'Margot' Pjs

John Lewis JL110 Sewing Machine Review ft. Tilly and the Buttons 'Margot' Pjs

Something a little different for today's post. The past few months I've been researching sewing machines like crazy (more on that later!) and it's the users reviews that really sway my opinion and they can be invaluable when you're lost on the 8th page of Google looking for any honest information. So I thought, if I can return the favour in any way, then I will! In this post I'll be reviewing the much coveted John Lewis JL110 sewing machine.

Isn't she a beauty? But can something this cute sew well too?

I should say firstly, this is not my personal sewing machine. I bought this machine (this isn't a sponsored post) in April 2016 for my mum's birthday, I'll be writing a post soon on my own sewing machine.

So lets get back to the JL100 sewing machine....
My mum's been sewing pretty much all her life and has never updated her 1970s/80s Singer sewing machine, although it still works, it's been packed away in a cupboard for at least a decade and I thought a new, stylish, light weight machine would reignite her previous love of sewing. Although she's no beginner, a simple and small sewing machine would be adequate for her sewing requirements of basic dress making and home crafts.

To test the machine for myself I used a viscose fabric to make a pair of simple 'Margot' pjs from Tilly and the Buttons 'Love at First Stitch' book. A garment you would expect a machine of this standard to handle no problem.

Obviously his machine is a cutie. The colour options are lovely, I've spotted them on many a shelf in Pinterest images and it would look great in any sewing room. But can something so pretty be practical too?

I'm surprisingly impressed with this machine. When I was looking at purchasing it, the reviews were really mixed, but I guess it depends what you're expecting out of it and how well you look after it. Since April the machine has been used a handful of times on a wide range of fabrics for small dress making projects. It's managed these with no trouble.

My finished 'Margot' pjs!

I'm really happy with the pj bottoms and this machine performed as well as I had hoped. To make the Margot pjs I used a simple straight stitch and used a zig zag to finish the seams. Below I've written a little summary of the main points I look for in a sewing machine. (Baring in mind for this machine I'm looking for a beginners/part time sewist sewing machine, not one which meets my own needs).

Sewing Machine Summary:

Obviously this machine will make any sewing room a little brighter with its sleek, modern and simple design. It comes in a great range of colours, you won't want to pack it away!

There's a great range of handy sewing essentials to get you learning all your sewing basics. Enough is included in the kit to meet the requirements of a hobbyist sewist or a beginner. See HERE to see the description of contents.

Sewing/ease of use:
I found this machine very easy to set up, thread and sew with. I did take extra care when sewing on this machine and didn't go at it at full force like I do on my own, more robust machine. But I sewed at a reasonably fast pace throughout with no trouble.

All the basic stitches a beginner sewist could need including straight stitch, zig zag and buttonholes. Again you can see the full selection in the product description online.

Quieter than expected! Not a disruptive level at all.

Light to Medium. Easy to pack away and move about.

Overall, I'm giving this machine a 5/5. It has done exactly what is expected of it. But remember like most things, you get what you pay for and this is not an expensive machine but it is not intended for regular or professional sewists.

Side note... Since I made these pjs on this machine, my mum's been busy sewing a gorgeous, cosy jersey tunic. The machine (with a jersey needle) handled the medium weight jersey really well and provided a professional finish with consistent and smooth top stitching.

A great machine for beginners.

Overall, the John Lewis JL110 sewing machine has been a great little machine so far. Don't expect this machine to handle hours of sewing at full speed all day every day. I wouldn't recommend it for confident and advanced sewists as this machine has limited capabilities. But if you're a sewing newbie, this little machine won't take up too much room, too much money and will do the job for simple sewing projects. It'll also make a sweet gift for any potential sewists you might know. This pretty little machine would tempt anyone to sew!

Just my casual at home sewing look...

Tilly and the Buttons 'Margot' Pjs Sewing Summary:

Pattern: Tilly and the Buttons - Love at First Stitch: Demystifying Dressmaking 'Margot' Pjs

Fabric: Viscose from Birmingham rag market and cotton for the waist tie.

Notions: None.

Sewing time: No more than an hour!

Modifications: None.

Fit: Great.

Difficulty: Easy-peasy! Every sewist needs to make a pair of pjs - simple, quick and comfy!

Watch out for: Tidy and secure draw string holes.

Make Again?: Yes! I'm dreaming up lots of variations of these! It's an addictive pattern I fear.

Overall, I'm really happy with my new pjs. The pattern is super simple to follow and a great make for beginners. There are also some some endless variations you could do, like lace trim, piping or even making adorable shorts! And with no more than an hour to whip up, there's no excuse!

Most amazing slippers ever!

My ridiculous and ultra glamorous boudoir fluffy slipper mules are from fOOfOO Slippers. If you've fallen in love with a pair too treat yourself to £30 off a pair with the code 'foofooabi30' at the checkout. Every pinup needs this luxury on their feet! For anyone who's interested in these and more vintage inspired lingerie-esque delights, check out my fOOfOO Slipper review over on the My Retro Closet blog.

I hope you've enjoyed this post and to anyone who's come across it, I hope it's been useful. I'll be reviewing my own sewing machine on the blog soon, the Janome Atelier 5.

Thanks for reading, pinups!

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Tilly and the Buttons - Agnes Top to Dress Pattern Hack

Tilly and the Buttons - Agnes Top to Dress Pattern Hack

If you've read my previous pattern review blog post, you'll know this one was coming! The Tilly and the Buttons Agnes Jersey Top Sewing Patternto dress pattern hack. Now I'm not claiming any credit for this hack, it's been really popular since the pattern came out and there are some great versions out there. After recently sewing the basic top version, I knew I had to try the popular dress version too!

Both my Agnes garments are made from beautiful jersey fabric from Girl Charlee, make sure you check them out for a gorgeous selection of jersey fabrics. Find the jersey fabrics I used here:

Here's a peek at the pattern:
So many styles to create!

Unlike my previous pattern hack posts, I won't be posting any instructions as there's a great tutorial with photos on Tilly's blog. Follow Tilly's instructions for the Agnes top to dress pattern hack HERE.

I found her intructions really easy to follow and the colourful images make each stage easy to understand. I already had a gathered skirt pattern to hand as I've used it before in my previous pattern hack posts.

For my Agnes dress I chose this stunning rose print, light weight jersey. I'm in love with it. It's a jersey print I don't think I'd usually go for, but I wanted something out of my polka dot and stripes comfort zone, and I'm so happy I did! It's the perfect Autumn floral and perfect for this dress.

This dress has fast become one of my favourite makes and I've worn it several times already, so I'll definitely be making more. It's such a comfortable dress but also looks really smart and can be easily dressed up.

For my version I chose to try the elasticated centre front with 3 quarter length sleeves. The only thing I found tricky with the construction was getting the jersey to gather. However much I stretched the elastic or steamed it after, the jersey just wouldn't play ball. After a 3 attempts I was worried I might start to damage my fabric with my repeated unpicking so I left it in the end. I find the center front top stitching pretty ugly and the stitches are uneven as I had to stop to pull the elastic. Ohh well, better luck next time!

Sewing Summary:

Pattern: Tilly and the Buttons Agnes Jersey Top Sewing Pattern

Fabric: Red Pink Roses Photos on Black Cotton Jersey Blend Knit Fabric - Girl Charlee £9.95 per m

Notions: Narrow elastic from the center front gathering

Sewing time: A couple hours.

Modifications: See Tilly's Instructions (link above) to see how to do the hack.

Fit: Good! I adjusted the bust fit as I found my first Agnes top a little tight and this is much better but the jersey fabric is also a little thinner.

Difficulty: Easy-peasy!

Watch out for: The elastic center front. Grrrr.

Make Again?: Yes!

Overall, I'm really happy with this dress. I'm so in love with this printed jersey, and sewing with jersey fabric in general. It's the perfect first dress for my Autumn/Winter wardrobe, with lots more to come!

Get this gorgeous Autumn roses look for yourself with this jersey fabric from Girl Charlee with the Tilly and the Buttons Agnes Jersey Top Sewing Pattern

Thanks for reading, pinups!

The fabric was supplied to me free of charge by Girl Charlee. All thoughts & opinions are my own.
This post contains affiliate links.
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Tilly and the Buttons - Agnes Top

Tilly and the Buttons - Agnes Top

My finished Agnes top!

After a Summer of sewing lots of lovely vintage inspired Summer dresses, it's time to sew some casual pieces! I love sewing with jersey, it's my new favourite thing. If you've never tried it before, go for it! All you need is a good needle and the right stitch and you won't look back!

I think Tilly and the Buttons has some great jersey sewing patterns which are perfect for beginners as her instructions are so clear and easy to follow. I've made 2 Cocos so far (yet to blog) and now 2 Agnes' and they're always some of my favourite things to wear, plus everyone always thinks you're super fancy and talented for sewing with jersey, but don't spoil it and tell them it's just as easy as cotton!

Instagram loved this first snap!

A huge thank you to the wonderful Girl Charlee for this perfect anchor print jersey fabric. I'm obsessed with anchor prints (I didn't get an anchor tattoo, you did...), so when I saw their 'Anchors Away' collection of jersey it was meant to be. It also comes in a red/white colour combo which is equally as gorgeous!

I knew this anchor print jersey would be perfect for the Agnes pattern that's been unused in my stash for a while. Especially with Autumn starting, I want long sleeves and more pieces to layer.

Here's a peek at the pattern:

Lots of great variations to try.

Once again, the pattern doesn't disappoint. Very simple to follow, some great tips and those colourful images make it for me! For my anchor print Agnes I chose the simplest option, a round neck, long sleeved version. But there are some great variations, of which you'll see more of later! Hint hint.

This top was one of the fastest things I've ever sewn! I didn't spend much more than an hour on this - my kind of sewing! I'll definitely be whipping up some more. The size is a little small on me. The top is designed to be fitted, which I knew and was what I wanted. But sometimes I forget I need to add more boob room! Something I rectified later on when I made the Agnes top to dress pattern hack (post soon) which resulted in a much more comfortable fit.

I find these close up neck edge photos really satisfying!

I really love the contrast mini zig zag stitching around the neck edge. I did take extra care to make sure it was even and that my machine wasn't skipping any stitches. I think it gives this top a really professional finish! I think I've surprised myself a little bit with how tidy it looks...

Sewing Summary:

Pattern: Tilly and the Buttons Agnes Jersey Top Sewing Pattern

Fabric: Navy Blue Anchors Away on White Cotton Jersey Blend Knit Fabric
by Girl Charlee - £10.95 per meter.

Notions: None!

Sewing time: An hour or so.

Modifications: None!

Fit: A little small as I forgot that my bust is larger than average, but it's not bursting at the seams so will be great for layering.

Difficulty: Easy-peasy!

Watch out for: There's lots of tips out there for sewing with jersey, so make sure you do a bit of research before hand to make sure you sew at your best.

Make Again?: Yes! And I sure did....

Overall, I'm really happy with my finished Agnes top. The jersey makes this basic top feel a little extra special because of the lovely quality of the fabric. Although the tight fit isn't something I'd usually go for, I'll certainly be making more, just with a little extra room across the bust. I'd love to make a few plain ones for layering in the Winter months, and more cute patterned ones to brighten up my selection!

Get this simple nautical look for yourself with the 'Anchors Away' collection of jersey fabrics from Girl Charlee with the Tilly and the Buttons Agnes Jersey Top Sewing Pattern

Thanks for reading, pinups!

P.S. Stay tuned for my Agnes top to dress pattern hack with more beautiful Girl Charlee jersey! Sneaky peeks on my Instagram @craftypinup

The fabric was supplied to me free of charge by Girl Charlee. All thoughts & opinions are my own.
This post contains affiliate links.

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