Monday, 22 September 2014

The long awaited Moneta

I sewed this forever ago, but as you have probably noticed, finding time to blog things recently has been difficult!

I made this Moneta from Colette Patterns for our holiday to Sicily back in August, and it's great to look back on the beautiful scenery and lovely weather!  The pictures are on the island of Stromboli (an active volcano) where we went on a boat trip.

There seemed to be a lot of relatively similar knit dress patterns released by the indies this summer, and although I probably could have hacked this myself, I decided to go the convenience route.  I also love this neckline - it's perfect for me, and the downloadable collar options sealed the deal!  Annoyingly I don't have a pic of the cute crossover collar at the back so you'll need to imagine.

It's a simple knit bodice with no darts and a gathered skirt.  I lengthened both the bodice and skirt by 2" based on measuring the pattern pieces - this is a standard adjustment for me,  The only fitting issue I had was some gaping under the arms.  To get rid of it, I pinched it out at the side seam - it's not perfect but it worked OK.

I'm not sure about the gathering method used on the skirt - it calls for clear elastic to be stretched and sewn to the skirt which gathered it up when the stretch is released.  It really wasn't that easy to do.  I'll probably give it another go on another version I have planned, but I suspect that other gathering methods may be just as easy.

This pattern is a total fabric hog for such a simple knit dress!  I had bought 2.5 metres of this cotton jersey from Goldhawk Road without checking the fabric requirements, but as it's a self lined bodice, the pattern calls for close to 3 yards.  With my length adjustments, I wouldn't have had enough to line, so I overlocked the armhole edges and turned inside.  I finished with a double needle.

An arty shot from my husband - he loved that the writing on the wall matched the dress!
I love this dress - the fabric is quite weighty and the skirt swishes really nicely,.  It's quick and easy to make, and I have a winter version in the works now that the weather is getting colder.  I had plans for a striped version too but didn't manage to find the right fabric.  Maybe for next summer!

Minerva Blogger Network - the Staple Skirt

I've been thinking a lot about what items I need to make for winter to fill some wardrobe gaps and I realised I really needed a dark denim skirt.

 I ordered this dark denim from Minerva with the intention of making (another) Kelly skirt, but I spotted the Blue Ginger Doll Peggy skirt pattern in my stash (which I won from the lovely Roobeedoo in a giveaway). The denim is quite weighty so it definitely good for something that needs a bit of structure.

 I decided to make view A with a straight waistband and tabs, as I had ordered some silver jeans buttons as part of my kit.

I must admit this was not the most straightforward project I have ever made. The pattern was pretty hard to trace as the lines for each size were the same (although this has apparently been changed due to feedback so if you like the pattern, don’t let that stop you ordering it!). The fitting was very easy – it’s an a-line skirt, so using my waist measurement worked perfectly. I shaved a tiny amount out of the hips once it was completed but that was all. It’s really long – 27” from waist to hem, so I didn't even need to lengthen it!

 The rest of the problems I had were machine related. I struggled to get my topstitching looking neat. I used topstitching thread in a pale grey (also included in the kit) with a topstitching needle, and played with the tension a lot on the advice of the ever helpful twitter and instagrammers. The inside doesn’t look pretty but I decided to call it good and move on – from the outside it looks fine.

'Scuse creases - I had just got out of the car after a morning of rushing around!

 For the lapped zip, I used a silver metal zip from John Lewis as I didn't have one in my stash and wanted to match with the buttons and topstitching.

 My machine did not want to play ball when it came to making buttonholes. It took many many tries to produce the 5 I needed for the tabs and waistband. But I got there in the end. In contrast, the jeans buttons were really easy to attach – I used the tool provided in the pack, made a hole in the fabric with an awl (a slim skewer would work just as well) and bashed it a few times with a hammer.

It wasn't the easiest project but I am happy with the end result – I know I’ll wear it a lot all year round, with flats in the summer and tights and boots in winter.

 If you want to make your own Peggy (or the kit would work for a Kelly too) you can buy a kit which includes 2m of dark denim, a pack of 8 silver jeans buttons and a spool of pale grey topstitching thread from Minerva here: