Silk and faux leather

This month’s challenge/pleasure was sewing this outfit with faux leather and Italian silk from Minerva Crafts.

Yes I made this hat earlier this year because I knew it would pair so well with this outfit.
I’ve used my pencil skirt block and a basic shirt pattern. As crazy as mixing prints together can be, I felt these two fabrics would be great together. I only have access to what I can see from Minerva Crafts website and I was really pleased when the fabrics and notions arrived at my doorstep.
Here are all the sewing goodies I used to make the skirt and blouse. There are also notions here that I’ll be using for a few future Minerva Crafts projects.
The pleather has flower motifs sewn onto a knit mesh backing. It’s really quite a flexible fabric. Minerva Crafts has a few new faux leather fabrics to choose from in an array of colours.
This Italian floral silk has a bold, all over floral paisley print. It’s a great print and you need to pay attention to the right and wrong side of the fabric. The print is more striking in real life.
Using this beautiful silk meant adding silk organza to the facings so there was reinforcement in the fabric where I needed it but the fabric still remained soft. Normal iron in interfacings can change the way silk flows so silk organza was a better option.
Maybe choosing such amazing buttons for this skirt was not the right choice but they really keep this silk looking luxurious. They really do.

I used two layers of silk organza to reinforce the button tabs on this blouse.

For the skirt, I had to choose a lining for the skirt to keep it stable over time. Well…I chose this jacquard lining. There’s something so appealing when a skirt has interesting linings. I chose the darker side of the lining to show on the inside of the skirt.

The other amazing detail with this pleather was the selvedge. It’s just as striking as the fabric so I used this at the hem.

The skirt does finish above the knee and the mesh selvedge is on the knee so it’s a bit different but still works. I did harvest a floral motif to balance the front hem.

I rarely wear skirts tucked into skirts but I really love the shaping this gives to these two pieces. Having some waistline definition helps for my height.

For both of these pieces I applied the couture sewing techniques I learnt earlier this year.

On the skirt, I applied the waist reinforcing detail with Petersham tape. I also added the large hook and eye on the inside of the waistline. The zipper is hand picked into the skirt.
On the blouse, I marked the button tab detailing so that it all matched at the front of the blouse.
When I ordered this silk I was tempted to use the Vogue top below but the front tuck would have hidden the print definition.
I rethought this and decided to use this Burda pattern (2561) and added sleeve cuffs for more definition.
I had previously made Burda 2561 for a blouse last year for Minerva Crafts in 2015 so I knew it would fit this Italian silk fabric.
As always my Prym tools make this blouse a sharper and more accurate finish.
You can really see the difference using beautiful silk does to this basic shirt pattern. PS I added cuffs to the sleeves.
I love wearing this outfit because it’s really a simple skirt and blouse but the fabrics are amazing to wear.
Thanks again Minerva Crafts.

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Minerva make – Liberty + Burda 2561

Please excuse my excitement. I’ve been working with a cotton Liberty print provided by Minerva Crafts this month. 

Each week I watch the latest products Minerva regularly puts up on their facebook page, on Twitter and on their website. When Vicki posted up their latest Liberty print acquisitions, I was thrilled, so the next 3 Minerva posts will use Liberty prints.

So to start with I’ve made a simple shirt using Burda 2561 also provided by Minerva Crafts with Liberty ‘Ros’ floral


I couldn’t go past this blue green ‘Ros’ floral because it has the colours I enjoy wearing.

These photos were taken on a warm Winter’s day, hence no jacket.

The sun was simply blazing away.

Back to the shirt and the fabric
This all over print has no ‘direction’ so it’s a really versatile print to use.


The fabric irons nicely, feels soft but is firm to sew with. It feels softer after a wash but still firm. This also makes any corner look very sharp.

Choosing buttons online is much faster and easier since  the website was been upgraded.

I found it really easy to sew on the buttonholes and because the fabric is firm so they look much more accurate.

I added shaping to the centre back with a seam to fit my sway back. 

Collars are my ‘stress point’ so I hand basted the collar on before machine stitching it down.

The pattern pieces are dead accurate. Thank you Burda for your drafting skills and Liberty for creating fabric that is plyable enough to accommodate the neckline curves in the collar.

At the point of hand sewing on the outer collar, I used fusing tape to make sure this piece sat accurately before I machined sewed it on. I avoid hand sewing where possible.

I did hand basted the sleeve seam so I could machine fell it accurately. There were no puckers after machine sewing these seams so I’m really pleased these look professional.

Thank you Minerva Crafts for bringing Liberty fabrics to your store. This is so lovely to work with and wear.

Cheers everyone. I’m sewing up my next 2 Liberty pieces and loving it.

By the way, Minerva Crafts is up for the Sewing Awards this year. I can’t vote because I’m not an UK citizen but you might be:)