Minerva make – Updated work look

Vogue pieced patterns like V1407 are irresistible and Minerva has the right dogtooth print ponte and stretch lining for this dress. 
Here’s a close up of the front binding WIP.

Spring in Australia gives us a few hot burst of Summer to come ie 35C during the day with relatively cooler nights, so Vogue 1407 is the ideal choice.

The test version confirmed the adjustments I needed to make as I didn’t want to ruin the fabric and notions from Minerva Crafts UK.
Noting my basic adjustments on the pattern envelope in pencil.


Roll shoulder, sway back, shortened hems, checking bust darts and straightened the side to match my hip shape were needed. I make these adjustments to just about every pattern.
Lining up the print to match once these pieces were cut out
Vogue pattern provide the actual bust, waist and hip measurements on their patterns and I rely on these so that I know what size to choose. Vogue pattern grading on their patterns help me grade as I go.

Vogue’s instructions are easy to follow and they name the pattern and provide the pattern number in their instructions. This keeps my sewing on the ‘straight and narrow’.

Lining up the centre fronts to match.

The fabrics

I did use Minerva Crafts dogtooth print in my March make work dress. So when I saw this brilliant white and black version, I knew Vogue 1407 would work. And it does.

Lining up the front pieces.

The lining from Minerva Crafts is something I’ve not come across locally before. It’s smooth and has a bit of stretch. The lining was easy to cut and easy to sew. It’s light-weight and sewed nicely but doesn’t add width to the dress. I’ll be bookmarking this fabric for a future knit sewing project.

The finished dress

Lining update 8 November: Here’s a link to it. It comes in 8 colours. Is anti-static – that’s why I like lining knit dresses. And is 60″ wide. So this lining while it has some stretch, won’t ride up your body while you’re wearing this dress.

The dogtooth print has a very strong white against the black contrast. This print is also big enough to see and close enough to match up easily.

I used the 14 on my hips and 12 at the waist and bust. Once I got this dress ready to hem I resewed the side seams in so the dress didn’t look baggy and was more form fitting. On both sides of the dress I took out 3cm at the side seams from the bust to the waist. I didn’t want to assume a smaller size. The test dress was a stretchier fabric so I gave the seams some lee way just in case I needed to let out the seams.

Those lines are me twisting and not the dress.
My design feature

The back dress and back dress lining pieces are the same width, but not the same length. Remember that if you cut this dress out and you’re rushing.


I have curve so I embrace them. On the test version, I noticed the centre back seam hangs correctly but was very ordinary looking. So once I got this dress fitting well on the side seams, I tapered out the centre back seam so that it curves towards me and not away – with Mr V’s approval. Hey, Mr V smiled when I showed him the finished product.

So now I have a Winter and Summer dogtooth print dress. I can safely say the Winter work version was worn quite a bit and was comfortable in the office. I know this Summer version will be too.

Minerva Crafts have now sponsored me each month for a year. Vicky been really kind and supportive every time we’ve ‘spoken’ by email and in real life at the Minerva meetup. Thank you Minerva Crafts.

Dress test – B5638

Clothing boredom makes me sew and then I cull my wardrobe for charity so here’s my new dress pattern test. The cool weather is beginning to hit in the morning so this pattern was my first attempt while it was still warm.

The quilting fabric was from Spotlight at $4/m. Getting the fit right is always a challenge so again, I used this version to get the fit right. So I did a sway back adjustment, roll shoulder adjustment and I used size 10 on the top and size 12 on the bottom. The dress is meant to be worn with a belt. Note to self: use the rest of the fabric for a belt.

At our Alexandria session I didn’t wear this for the girls to check, ’cause they would have had to wear their sunnies to help me. Angie pinned this version closer to my body so I need to use 8 size for the top and 10 size for the bottom. This a reminder to self so I don’t waste time resewing or unpicking. I also brought in the sleeve hem in by 2.5cm/1″ as well as reduced the sleeve to neck edge by 2.5cm/1″. This pattern has been ‘petited‘ (sorry for my bad French/English). 
Looking at the spider webs in the garden.
A ‘not-so’ invisible zip.
I picked this style because it has princess lines and this style could be adopted for some simple colour blocking or mixing fabrics ie wool and leather like I’ve seen a few of you make during the northern winter (Amanda S and Carolyn). Very inspiring.
I’ve added a darker green trim to show where the leather pieces could be placed. The bias trim on the neckline and armholes and the trim were hand sewn. There’s a bit of pulling at the top of the neckline that I’ll release on the pattern for the next dress.
The 60’s tunic is being constructed as we speak…


These two dresses have been favourites however they did need some rework. Unpicking is not a favourite task of any sewer but I needed to restyle these dresses because I still love the fabric but the fit was really really bad.


This black and white number did have sleeves and a mock from belt.  The problem was the size because overwhelming. The fabric is a heavy raw silk and it’s lined with cotton fabric. I had worn it to work for two summers and our summer is here and I still consider it a staple. I’ve pinned the original sleeves and mock belt to the dress so you can see the style. Without the sleeves and belt, it looks more streamlined.

Bulky before
Less bulk

This blue print sun-dress was also a favourite with it’s long hem so I could wear flat sandals with it. Again it’s too heavy looking ie too long and too wide. I keep forgetting I’m short. But I love the shirt style and fabric print. My parents come from a cherry growing area so any cherry print is special to me.

I unpicked the skirt from the top but I left the front pleats and front button tab attached to the blouse. The front still had three pleats at the front, which I’m reconsidering. Do I leave them in or take them out? I’ve also cut 5″ off the hem so that it’s about knee length. So these are still dresses, just better balanced for my frame.

Work alterations

Last week I took out my summer clothes and they all needed altering. Isn’t that always the way. So this was the perfect weekend to decide on whether I should invest my time on altering or giving my clothes to charity. What I had to decide was: Is this style still suitable for work? Does this style still work on me? Is this one of my colours? I originally made this dress in December 2009.

This dress needed the sleeves to be brought closer onto my shoulder by 2.5cm. I also brought in the side seams by 2cm on each side. The great thing was this dress isn’t lined and the seams are overlocked. I had already taken off the trim that I had originally put on this dress two years ago. Overall, I invested about 2 hours on this alteration.