Dove Blouse by Megan Nielsen Patterns
About 2 weeks ago, I made myself a Dove Blouse by Megan Nielsen Patterns which came in a Minerva Kit. I was privileged to receive this kit in exchange for a post on the Minerva website to help launch the kit.
Since then, I've been wanting to post the write up here as well, but renovations in our apartment started up immediately after. So we were knee-deep in dust, and everything that I was doing had to be put on hold. When we were done with all that, we found ourselves suddenly in the middle of a war. In between blaring sirens, running for cover, and missiles flying overhead, we are managing to find a still point in the midst of all this conflict and chaos. We are immensely fortunate that up to this point, we are well and remain safe. I've decided to attempt going back to "normal" as much as possible (if there's such a thing) as a way to centre and ground myself. Deep breaths help, and having a positive outlook keep my kids from being overcome with fear. So here I am: sewing and writing, and feeling incredible gratitude that the work with my hands help me still my mind and lift my spirits.
I also managed to edit a YouTube video that I filmed before all this craziness happened and it is a tutorial on how to pattern match print fabric to produce a seemingly seamless seam. This is probably the most challenging skill for this sewing pattern if using a patterned fabric. You can watch it here:
I have gotten some messages of concern from around the globe, and your good thoughts are helping us to get through this challenging time. We are taking all precautions to stay safe. Ultimately, there are things that are beyond our control, and the feeling of helplessness can be overwhelming and paralysing. It seems like a game of chance where and when the missiles will land, but we are not giving in to hopelessness or panic. We are doing all we can to stay clear-headed and open-hearted. Part of me wanted to stop everything and not do anything in light of the circumstances. I mean, posting about sewing seems so silly right now; but at the same time, both activities - sewing and writing - are saving me from plunging into some kind of dark abyss. I hesitated posting this blog and the video, but I thought: why freakin' not? Perhaps these words can help someone get through a tough time. My deep thanks, to all who have been fortifying us with your words of care and love. So the following are my thoughts about this Minerva Kit project.
The best thing about receiving a Minerva Kit is that it cuts down on all the worry and overwhelm that comes with starting off on a sewing project. I remember when I first began sewing, the main stress I encountered was all the decisions that I had to make even before I sat at the machine to start sewing. There were doubts about whether I made the right fabric choice for the pattern, and if I was using the right needle or thread, or right weight of interfacing for the fabric. I even remember feeling shame asking: what is fusible interfacing? LOL. With all the sewing notions that exist out there in the big wide world, I distinctly remember the feeling of uncertainty and confusion that rose up in my rookie experience with sewing. And I can imagine how these feelings can easily intimidate anyone from making the first move to start.
Fret no more, because Minerva Kits are now available to remove all the doubt and indecision. Neatly packed in Minerva Kits are specially curated sewing patterns paired off with specially curated fabrics, together with all the required notions. A godsend, these kits are brought straight to you by the mailman. By the way, these notions are all top quality brands like Prym needles, Gutermann thread and Vlieseline interfacing. Even though I am not a beginner sewist anymore, it felt absolutely grand that everything I need for a sewing project comes delivered to me on a silver platter, or in this case, a silver mailer. All I have to do is get to the fun part of sewing. No more running around town gathering up the notions. What a time-saving joy to receive a Minerva Kit.
My first Minerva Kit experience comes with the Megan Nielsen Dove Blouse paired up with a Liberty London Tana Cotton Lawn. The sewing pattern is an ideal blouse pattern for a beginner sewist to try out, but it has some great details that are appealing to an intermediate sewist like me. I love the different sleeve options and chose to make the one with a half-circle cuff for full-on 70s glam. There is another bell-sleeve option where the sleeve is not as full as the half-circle, which has a less extravagant look. And there's also the option to not put in a cuff at all which means that the sleeve will end somewhere above the elbow. I reckon that the sleeves can be eliminated altogether so that the blouse can be hacked into a tank by closing the armhole seams with bias binding. So there are many options here for this blouse, which makes this great value for money.
Sizes come in 0-20, and I made a size 2 according to the bust measurements with only one modification. When easing the sleeve into the armhole, I had to reduce the seam allowance to 1cm from 1.5cm at the armscye because I needed more ease there. For my next make I may make a size 4 because of this reason. In the pictures, the blouse is paired up with another Megan Nielsen Pattern, which is the Dawn Jeans made with the straight leg option. You can read the sewing pattern review that I wrote here.
This was my first time sewing with a Liberty London Tana Cotton Lawn, and it’s simply magnificent. The only downside is: how do I go back to other cotton lawns after being utterly spoiled by the scrumptiousness of this fabric? The smooth feel on the skin is pure luxury. And this is perfectly paired up with the sewing pattern because of the fabric weight and vibrant spring colours of the happy print.
It was such a lovely experience receiving a Minerva Kit. It is a fabulous gift to reward yourself with, or a wonderful gift for a loved one who is an avid sewist. I look forward to more kits offered by Minerva.
I also look forward to a more peaceful time to come sooner rather than later. Even if that seems out of my hands right now, I am learning a way to find a piece of internal peace even though the external world is at war.