Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Ma ma ma My Moneta!

For the first time ever I have made a garment using an Independent Pattern designer, and I love it!  One of the many sewing skills that I have never learnt or used is Grading Up a Pattern, so if a pattern doesn't accommodate my curves then I can't use it.  But this year Colette have created two new patterns that include XS up to 3XL, and I want to support their hard work and inclusiveness, so bought the Moneta dress pattern.

Introducing my own Moneta!



I lengthened the skirt so that I could use all of those lovely stripes in the fabric.  I bought this two way stretch from Minerva Crafts last year, but unfortunately they no longer stock it.
I LOVE IT!
Here are a few close ups of the details on this dress.  I used my body measurements and the guidelines on the back of the pattern to cut a 2XL for the bodice and a 3XL for the skirt.
The stripes in the blacker end of the fabric get wider and wider so I used those stripes for the sleeves and the back, whilst trying to continue the stripes used in the skirt over my bust.
On the Colette website there are five additional collars that you can download for free.  I used one of these.
  

The collar is attached in a bit of an awkward way, but it is a very clever idea once I got the hang of it.  In the two photos above you can see that the stitching to attack the collar is now hidden by the collar on the outside of the dress, leaving the inside of the dress with a neat fold.

Here you can see the thickness of the stripes that were at the top of the fabric.  I didn't have quite enough fabric to have the back matching the front, but at least they tie in with the sleeves.
See my attempt at stripe matching in the seams, and I went with white pockets for a wee peak of contrast!
  
 
I always find seeing the backs of garments to be very informative, so here is a full length shot of the back, mind you it is also the more flattering of the four awful back photos that we took.

Two new skills learnt

  Not only did I learn how to attach a collar on my overlocker but I also learnt how to do a waistband using clear elastic.  This is my first ever garment using the overlocker!  The instructions in the pattern said to stretch out the elastic onto the skirt and baste it.  I first tried this on my sewing machine with the jersey needle and the correct width of zig zag, and this is what happened:
Urgh!  Nightmare!
Colette patterns have an excerpt from their new book about sewing with knits on their website that deals with this part of the dress.  After unpicking this mess I decided to do the gathering with two threads technique that I am used to, and then basted the clear elastic on as though it were not stretchy, and here is what happened:
Argh again!
But here is the good news.  By looking more carefully at the illustrations in the book excerpt, I could see that when using the elastic in this way - as a stabiliser - that I could use the overlocker!  And voila!
A stabilised and gathered skirt,
fully attached to the bodice! Yay!
And so of course this is what arrived in the post after we got back from taking these photos this morning!
The Colette Guide to Sewing with Knits
by Alyson Clair

In conclusion

I love this dress, and I loved learning new skills to make it.  Here are a couple more shots of the dress to finish with.
Firstly, a twirl of happiness to say "Thank You" to the lovely ladies of the Curvy Sewing Collective who have been doing the blog tour of Colette's two new patterns.  They have inspired me to embrace my current figure instead of ignoring it and motivated me to get back into sewing garments.
A white hem on a maxi dress!!! Crazy!
But if it gets really dirty in the future
I will be able to cut it to knee length!
And the final shot - my Mister's favourite so I had to include it.





36 comments:

  1. Your dress is gorgeous, I love the fabric and the collar looks brilliant! I must have a look at that pattern, I haven't sewn a Colette pattern before... A x

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  2. looks beautiful, i especially love the collar! i'm on the fence about buying this pattern, as i have several knit patterns that could easily be hacked into something similar, but i do agree with your point about supporting independent designers that make plus sizes. speaking of, have you tried the SCBB patterns? I think they go up to 3 or 4X. I've only tried one so far, but it is a great pattern and I wear it all the time!

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    1. Thanks very much for your pattern recommendation Megan! This is the first time I've ever used an independent pattern, so I'll definitely take a look. My pattern cost me £13, which is a lot, but I do want to support the new inclusiveness of the company, plus I don't already own anything similar so I will get a lot of use from it. If you already own patterns that are similar you could probably skip this one and wait to see what they bring out next!

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  3. Nessa you look fabulous! Gorgeous pictures and an amazing dress xx

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  4. Gorgeous! I have been so tempted by this pattern (mainly for the collar variations!) but I can't really justify the cost as I have a couple of other similar patterns. Are you now addicted to making things on the overlocker? I love love love sewing knits :)

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    1. Thanks Rachel-Lou. You could just download the collars without having to buy the pattern, if you were wanting to use them on one of your existing patterns! They're really nice, and I just used the diagram to work out which pages I needed to print off, which avoids printing loads of pages.
      I really did love using the overlocker and am definitely itching to use it again! The corners were tricky but I've started reading the book and found out that you can disengage the cutting knife, so that will be worth investigating for my next make! x

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  5. Wow ! Nessa, that's a stunning dress - beautifully made , and you look fab !!!!

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  6. What a lovely dress, Nessa! I am also making this one -- in the process of muslining the bodice right now, actually. I really adore that gradient stripe fabric! Welcome to the world of indie patterns. :)

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    1. Thanks Susan! You are good to be doing a muslin - I wanted to so as not to waste any of the fabric but in the end, after reading all the blog reviews I just put faith in the pattern and went for my correct sizing, and it worked! The fabric is gorgeous isn't it! So glad you like it. It was asking to be a maxi.

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  7. You look fabulous in this dress. I love how you have used the stripes with the white at the bottom.

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    1. Thanks so much Ruth. I wanted the darkest stripes to be around my middle with the illusion that my chubbiness would be less noticeable.

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  8. Very nice :o) I'm a tad worried that the mister's favourite pic is of you nearly in the river ;o)

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  9. Beautiful Nessa! I love the stripes! This looks so good on you!

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    1. Thanks so much Margo! You'd look great in these stripes too!

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  10. First of all, amazing dress! The way you used the pattern was ingenious and I love how it looks dramatic but super comfy at the same time. You look fantastic in it. Second I am SO HAPPY to hear that the curvy sewing collective inspired you! To think we've even had an impact on one person is kind of overwhelming!

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    1. Thanks so much Jenny! When I saw you had done a maxi it gave me that "Yeah, go for it!" attitude to just go with what the fabric was telling me.
      Thanks for all the Curvy Collective positivity! It really has helped me realise that making clothes for whatever figure I happen to have is still worthwhile and can be fun! x

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  11. Such a lovely dress! It's so good to see you are making garments for yourself again!

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  12. What a lovely dress, great pics, and useful link to an inclusive pattern producer.
    Who needs the Great British Sewing Bee!!

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  13. Nice work - I love the way the fabric is graduated to have the light stripes at the bottom. Perfect matching at the skirt side seams too. Must order this pattern!

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    1. Thanks so much Jo. I just love this fabric! When I first bought it I thought that both selvedge edges would graduate out to be the same but they don't, the top end goes completely black but with wide white stripes (as seen on the back) It was really exciting to make this and see how the fabric would look as a dress!

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  14. It is a lovely dress. I don't do nearly as much dressmaking as you but am much happier using Indie designers - partly to support small businesses but also because there's usually access to all sorts of additional help, such as for attaching your skirt. Well done persevering with that waistline/skirt - I'd have been saying a lot of naughty things! juliex

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  15. This is gorgeous, Nessa! I love how you've used the stripes. It looks really flattering and the dress really suits you!

    I tried attaching clear elastic with my overlocker to stabilise my shoulders in some of my recent makes, but it just went wrong. I couldn't seem to control overlocker, fabric AND clear elastic at the same time! Maybe I am just not co-ordinate enough! :) in the end, I sewed the seam, then sewed the elastic on top with a 3 step zigzag. I have considered ordering the book (bit of light reading while the baby feeds, maybe...). Can you let us know how you find it?

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  16. I love your version of the Moneta! The fabric was perfect for a maxi dress. I love all of Colette's Patterns. What a great up and coming indie pattern company. And their website always has great tips to make construction a little easier. Your final result is perfect!

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    1. Thank you so much! I've only just started following their blog since I heard about these new patterns through the Curvy Collective. Of course I had come across it before but as the sizing left me out I didn't pay much attention to the blog. And they've been making patterns for 5 years now I see! So pleased for them.

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  17. It's really lovely on you! I love the longer length, and the way you've used the stripes in the fabric is just fantastic. Here's wishing you lots of dependably warm weather to enjoy it in!

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    1. Thanks so much Danielle! I really love the way the fabric drapes around my legs in this length, feels very cool, hopefully perfect for hot days (if we get any)

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  18. I just love it, Nessa!!! I didn't notice on instagram that you had made a maxi dress -- super cool! Great job with the stripes, that fabric is to die for! I love your photos, too. It's so pretty there!

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  19. This is gorgeous & looks so good on you! I love the idea of lengthening it to a maxi, and the way you've used the fabric is really clever - the contrast pockets and sleeves are great! I didn't plan on buying that book but now I'm thinking it could be really useful.

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    1. Aww, thank you so much for all your positive comments Kathryn, I really appreciate them. I have started reading the book and so far it is quite informative. I wish the photos were a bit bigger though. So far.

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  20. You look awesome in the dress. I'm working on my own Moneta and was wondering: 1) did you lengthen at the lengthen/shorten line on the skirt part and if so, did you notice that you had to add a little bit to the style line? Does that make sense?

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    1. Hi there Christine!
      Yes, I did add the length starting from the lengthen/shorten line. I added in 18" from there, along the fold line, and marked the fabric with a pen to show where I wanted the new length to be.
      Then I repositioned the patter piece so that the paper hemline met with the mark I added. Then I traced along the hemline, starting at the folded edge.
      You are right, this new hemline doesn't meet up with the non-fold edge/style line.
      With my scissors I cut the non-fold long edge from the waist to the lengthen/shorten line and then continued in a straight line until it was about down to where the hem line needed to be. You could use a long ruler or a stiff tape measure to help mark this straight line in pen.
      Then I went back to the hemline and just eyeballed the curve and tried to continue it's arc by hand with a pen. Then I cut the hem.

      Hope that helps. Feel free to ask for more information, I can try to re-word it if I haven't made sense.

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  21. Gorgeous, gorgeous! I love the stripes on the fabric and it looks amazing on you!! This is actually the first Colette pattern I've ever ordered so I'm excited to try it, though I'm nervous about working the elastic since you had a few issues. (Elastic is either hit or miss with me!) Thanks for linking to the book excerpt and showing what worked. I can't wait to see more from you!

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  22. Stunning!!!! ...that is all ������

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  23. Beautiful! Thanks for showing the photo of how the collar is attached, I couldn't quite figure that out. I need the visuals :)

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    1. Your very welcome Blacey! I need the visual help too! :-)

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  24. It's so great you are expanding your skills and making gorgeous clothes like this for yourself.

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