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Ministry of Craft Blog

  • Friday, July 13, 2018

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    How to make side splits at trouser hem

    How to make side splits at trouser hem

    On trousers with narrow hems, a side split works well and it is easy to adjust an existing trouser pattern. A hem allowance the length of the required split plus 1.5cm needs to be added where the seamlines mirror those of the pant leg, allowing the hem allowance to fit properly inside the pant leg when it is turned up. I adjusted my trouser block as follows, I wanted to reduce the length to a cropped style so started by marking the new length on the pattern. On a sep ..

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  • Friday, June 29, 2018

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    How to draft and sew a fly-front zip

    How to draft and sew a fly-front zip

    If you don't have a trouser pattern designed for a fly-front zipper, adding one to a pattern that has not been designed for one is easy, to do so, follow the steps below. 1 - Mark the stitching line on the trouser pattern from the waist to the front crotch seam. Stop 1cm from the edge of the front crotch seam and mark with a circle. 2. Trace the front trouser pattern onto a piece of paper to make the fly pattern piece. 3 - Trace the stitching line and circle. Add  ..

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  • Friday, June 15, 2018

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    How to draft side slanted pockets

    How to draft side slanted pockets

    After drafting a new slimmer fit trouser block and making them up into the below pair of trousers, I realised after wearing them a few times how much I missed having pockets. Often neglected, I decided to draft some side slanted to make up a new pair of trousers in this fabric (I also included a fly front - see later blog). These pockets can still be applied to any garment - be it a skirt, dress (with a waist seam) or trouser - provided it has side seams. 1 - Draw the side slan ..

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  • Thursday, May 31, 2018

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    The Perfect Homemade Gift for Father's Day

    The Perfect Homemade Gift for Father's Day

    A tool roll is the perfect gift for Fathers Day and making it yourself makes it even that bit more special, so here it a simple tutorial to get stitching! Finished measurements 32cm x 40cm Materials: Outside and lining - medium weight denim fabric Cut two main 43cm x 74cm Please note, a directional patterned fabric will not be suitable as the design would appear upside down as the fabric wraps over to the inside of the tool roll (A directional pattern is one whe ..

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  • Tuesday, May 15, 2018

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    Clothing Customisation

    Clothing Customisation

    It is so rewarding to have the sewing skills to not only make garments from scratch you like and that fit but to also be able to make changes to existing garments. Customisation (or hacking as it is more recently called) can mean just adjusting the length, changing the shape...... ........or it could be making a completely different style using just the fabric from other garments. I don’t often buy from the high street these days but every now and again something  ..

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  • Friday, May 04, 2018

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    MINISTRY MAKES WINNER - ANNE

    MINISTRY MAKES WINNER - ANNE

    Well done Anne for being awarded our latest Ministry Makes Winner! After attending Clone Your Closet (/workshops/sewing-dressmaking/pattern-cutting), Anne went straight home and put what she had learnt into practise! I Thoroughly enjoyed the cloning workshop at the weekend, so on Sunday I had a practice and cloned this top from an old favourite. As I didn't have enough fabric for the back I used a plain linen and brought the facings to the right side of add some  ..

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  • Friday, April 27, 2018

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    Introducing Play with Clay MCR

    Introducing Play with Clay MCR

    We are delighted to be collaborating with Play with Clay Mcr (https://www.facebook.com/playwithclaymcr/) aka Soph Boobyer & Charlie Manthorp (chatting away in the below, probably talking about how muddy amazing clay is). Soph and Charlie are two graduates from Manchester School of Art who have set up camp at Plant NOMA (https://www.plantnoma.com) open design studio. Both exhibit their contemporary ceramics in galleries in Manchester and further afield, as well  ..

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  • Wednesday, March 28, 2018

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    CUSTOMER MAKES

    CUSTOMER MAKES

    Thanks Rae for your second instalment and sharing your sewing story with us again. It's lovely to read about how you are adapting existing patterns and experimenting with different fabrics with much success.....the results are amazing! So I have been experimenting a bit with the Staple Dress by April Rhodes (https://april-rhodes.com/collections/patternshop/products/the-staple-dress-pdf), and have made some tops from the top part of the dress, I really like the way the sleeves fall, a ..

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  • Friday, March 16, 2018

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    MINISTRY MAKES WINNER - COLETTE

    MINISTRY MAKES WINNER - COLETTE

    Well done Colette for being awarded our latest Ministry Makes Winner! Colette was VERY excited to show us the outfit she made for her son for World Book Day: he went dressed as "The Tiger who came to tea". Thank you for sharing the below pictures and information with us and to Thomas too for being such a wonderful model…. In the past few years I have attended a number of courses with the Ministry of Craft including A line skirt in a day, understanding commercial patterns, alterati ..

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  • Friday, March 09, 2018

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    TOP FROM BLOCKS - PART THREE

    TOP FROM BLOCKS - PART THREE

    Happy with the fit of my bodice and sleeve, I decided to turn the below into a finished garment. I extended the length (so it didn’t finish at my mid-rift!) with some piping inserted in the waist seam. I also added pockets using the same contrasting fabric used for the piping and finished the neckline off with binding. I used my skirt block to create the extended section from the waist. I cut away a section at the side seam in the front garment piece to create a slanted op ..

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