Hello out there! How are you?
Before I get going, I’m going to apologise for the state of my hair in the photos today; apparently storm Doris is hitting home and blimey, it was windy out there! But I got over excited about there being daylight outside so pinned it up any old how and ran out anyway!
Have you heard about the Moneta Party organised by the Abi, Elle and Rach? If the answer’s no I’m guessing you’re not on Instagram, which clearly you should be as it’s amazing! These three lovelies have collaborated with Colette and lots of sponsors to organise a 3 day event on Instagram, which runs Friday to Sunday this week. Check out their blogs for details, but it basically involves posting a photo of yourself wearing a Moneta dress you’ve made and hoping and praying to win lots of lovely prizes whilst getting inspired by all the other lovely sewists out there who are posting their pictures.
As fate would have it, they announced this fiesta on the same day as I started cutting out the first dress for today, the dinosaur print Moneta. This is a dress that I’d already made twice before, with mixed success. I really wasn’t happy with the short sleeved version: I was rather happier with the ponte version with self drafted neckband.
Ordinarily at this point, I’d probably give up on a pattern. But there’s something about this one that keeps me coming back. It’s probably its raging popularity on line; it seems rare to go through a day without at least one popping up on my Instagram feed. The comfort factor helps too, as does the speed of sewing.
So when I spotted dinosaur print jersey during Sew Up North last year, I pounced! Seriously, could you have resisted what is at heart a kid’s print in such a classic colourway?
I had a bit of a think about what I’d like to change about this dress and decided to attempt to raise the neckline. I’ll confess to wearing my first two dresses back to front; the pattern piece for the back has a much lower neckline than the front, which I don’t like, but since the rest of the two bodice pieces are identical, wearing it either way around totally works. And I made it, so I get to say which way round is which!
To raise the neckline to more of a boat neck, I simply added an extra bit of paper to the back bodice piece (which I use for the front) and redrew a higher neckline, ensuring it was horizontal at the centre fold line.
The dinosaur jersey is beautiful quality stuff and sewed up like a dream. It’s a mid weight jersey but still has excellent drape, without being so clingy I don’t want to wear it as a skirt. And I absolutely love the finished version! I’ve been wearing it with a Tatty Devine red shoes necklace and black belt, but it’s shown in its unadulterated glory here!
At this point, I’d decided I rather liked this dress again. The only thing that still niggled me was the gathered waist (I may have previously mentioned my slight aversion to these. Also, clear elastic used for gathers….not my favourite technique!) Me being me, that meant some more fabric was purchased. (Repeat after me…shop the stash….shop the stash…do not buy more fabric…..)
I got hold of this rather fabulous viscose jersey from Minerva crafts after seeing someone else use it on Instagram (if this was you, thank you so much for the inspiration and I’m sorry I can’t remember who you were!) If I remember rightly it was very reasonably priced. It’s a very drapey jersey with a lovely smooth feel, but very different to the more stable dinosaurs.
I used exactly the same pattern alterations here and surprisingly, I absolutely adore this dress. I say surprisingly as, for me, this is an extremely floral print. Like, REALLY floral. But actually, in these deep, rich colours with the glorious purple, I love it and I think it really suits me.
The viscose was a little harder to sew; more prone to slipping and definitely more likely to pull if concentration lapsed on the seams. It made it a slightly longer sew as I slowed down to compensate, but still well under the 3 hour mark. For those who follow me on Instagram, I made all of this dress and half of the next in one evening last week when the kids were staying with Nana, so within 3.5 hours I had one and half dresses.
It’s interesting that, although I made no pattern alterations at all, this one sits slightly differently. It has slightly less stretch and recovery than the dinosaur print, so feels slightly snugger around the sleeves for example, and the skirt feels to hang slightly differently. The bodice feels very slightly shorter, I guess because the skirt isn’t pulling it down so much. But it’s really comfy anyway and I’ve worn it a couple of times already.
I also took a 2″ hem on this one, as opposed to the 1″ on the dinosaur print.
Getting overexcited at this point at having a whole child free evening with Mr Red still at work, I cracked on with the owl dress.
Now this one got quite a reaction on Instagram when I posted it. There were lots of lovely comments about the pattern placement on the bodice, which I have to admit to having had a few qualms about, but then I decided if you’re going to buy such a bold print, you should own it. So yes, I now have a dress with two great big owls across the front of the bodice.
Pardon the strange expression, I was freezing by this point!
I was freezing because of one of those annoying situations where the fabric you ordered is very slightly under the length thanks to wonky cutting and that slight difference was enough to mean I couldn’t squash the longer sleeves onto my fabric. The care taken in placing the front bodice also wasted slightly more fabric than usual, but very little and there is no care at all in the rest of the pattern pieces, other than to ensure the print was the right way up!
I did debate ordering another metre in order to make the longer sleeves, but this is an Art Gallery Fabrics jersey, which means it’s way more expensive than I usually buy for the sake of a novelty print. So I decided to cut my losses and carry on with the short sleeves.
The other dither I had on this one was whether or not to do the gathered skirt. I spent quite some time pinning on my dress form and really loved the effect at the front of the skirt. However, I tacked it lightly and then looked at the back and went RIGHT off the idea.
This lovely quality jersey from AGF feels almost like a brushed cotton, but it is very drapey indeed and therefore quite clingy. It’s fair to say that the balance of my hip measurement isn’t my hips at all but my backside, and it really does need a rather more forgiving covering than a clingy, jersey skirt. So I gathered it after all!
And I love it, I really do; despite it being “just” a jersey dress, I think it’s pretty smart looking (again, better with a belt) and it’s still very, very comfy. I love the way the branches on the print hide the total lack of pattern matching, and who wouldn’t love those owls?
So there you go (well done if you’ve read all this; in my defence, it is three makes in one post!), 3 more Moneta dresses which, thanks to different fabrics etc, feel quite different to each other and all very wearable.
So, which do you think I should wear to the party? And will I see you there?