2 Monetas for the Price of One....

Okay obviously I am terrible at coming up with blog post titles, but I think we've already established that. Anyway, I made these two dresses a couple of weeks ago, but haven't had a chance to take photos or blog about them until now.  We are back in the city and yesterday I went out in the backyard with the tripod to take photos and was startled by a landscaper who had come in to start lawn maintenance - awkward! I smiled, grabbed the tripod, and high-tailed it back into the house until he was gone. Blogger problems! Anyway, I am quite happy with how the photos turned out. Here is my first version:


For my first Moneta, I went with the short-sleeve view in this pretty galaxy print I got from Girl Charlee. It's much thinner than I thought it would be but it is deliciously soft. Like flannel pyjama soft.  So what it lacks in weight, in makes up for in prettiness and softness.


I really like how comfy this dress is, and I feel that while it's still casual, it makes me feel a bit more put together than shorts and a tee. I was on the cusp between sizes, so I went with the L, but am wondering now if I could have gotten away with the M (it's a touch big in the shoulders). I chopped a whopping 2 inches off the bodice so it would hit at my (very short) natural waist, and then I took 1 inch off the skirt. What can I say? I'm short. My only real issue with the Moneta is figuring out which side is the front, and which side is the back. Looking at these pictures, I think there is a distinct possibility that I have it on backwards.


I guess I'll have to put a little tag in it or something. I wore this dress the night we went to see Guardians of the Galaxy and I didn't even clue in until we were leaving the theatre and someone gave me this knowing smile - and then I thought - I'm such a nerd, I wore my Galaxy print dress to the Guardians of the Galaxy! Cosplay and I didn't even know it. LOL. Not really, but I thought it was funny.


For my second version, I went with the sleeveless bodice and no collar. I feel like I have a ton of dresses with collars and I was worried about how the collar would lay in a knit, so I ditched it.


Are you sick of looking at pictures of me yet? Sorry to bombard you, but when I look at sewing/fashion blogs, I like to see all the angles so I can figure out how the pattern/outfit might look on me. Do you do that too? Plus, if you don't like to/have time to read you get a good idea of what's going on based on the pics.


This guy is also made out of a cotton lycra knit from Girl Charlee. It's super soft and I love the print. This bodice is lined and the Colette way of finessing the neck and armholes really is ingenious, but tricky. Thank goodness for the video, or I never would have figured it out. (Note to self, if you are going collarless, finish the neckline first!! And/or read through the entire tutorial before you start so you don't have any surprises at the end.) I have a bit of gaping at the neckline and armholes on this dress. And I am wondering if it's because the bodice is just a bit to big, or if I need to do some minor alterations - but alterations seem like such a pain in a knit dress.

IMG_4891I don't know, maybe a size down would be too revealing of all the lumps and bumps? Am I the only one who gets bra induced back fat? Is that okay to ask on the interwebs? Okay, maybe not bra induced but bra accentuated. And what is going on with the back of my hair? I need a haircut!

So that's it for my Monetas. I really like this pattern and I can see myself making it again - in fact I have some fabric already earmarked for a couple more. It's super quick to make and although I thought the elastic gathering at the waistline was kind of weird (and tricky), I really like the effect it creates and how it gives the waistline a bit of structure too.

I'll leave you with a couple of more pics of how I would wear this dress around town. Unless it is smoking hot out, I don't really love having my arms exposed in public so this is how I would wear this dress to run around - plus sometimes air-conditioned places are freezing! Hope you are having a great August so far!



My Summer Hawthorn

I am so happy that I love this dress, because it was a nightmare while I was making it. I am really glad that I didn't give up on it, as I was tempted to do a number of times, and it actually turned out to be exactly what I was looking for: a comfortable, light, casual summer sundress. IMG_4845

So the pattern is Colette's Hawthorn. It's a great pattern and even has a cute peplum top variation. I decided that I would make the top as a wearable muslin first, and this would help me practice making button holes and also give me an idea of any fitting changes I might need to make. The top turned out pretty well except that the fabric I used was pretty thin, and I'm not entirely sure that I will wear it, but it was good practice. I debated and debated looking at the top if I should shorten the bodice a little bit, but I really wasn't sure - I made a note in my sewing journal (yes, I am a nerd and take notes on every project I make). It was little bit tight at the waist too and I couldn't decide if that was because of my fat belly or if it was because the waist was not at the right level, but thought I could just let the side seam out a tiny bit at the waist if need be. I also made a note to do a narrow shoulder adjustment too as I wanted it sleeveless, and there was just a touch to much fabric across the shoulders. Fast forward two weeks when I decided to finally make the dress version.


I had this swiss dot chambray I bought at Denver Fabrics in my stash for months with the plans of making an Emery, but seeing as my last Emery was a bit of a flop, I decided it would be perfect for this Hawthorn (and I was right). I decided to ignore my notes on shortening the bodice, but I did narrow the shoulders by 1/2". The construction went along beautifully. Everything fit together perfectly, the insides looked beautiful - I was even thinking how this would be a dress that I took pictures of the inside for my blog so you could see how great seam work was. I sewed the button holes, but before I cut them, I decided to try it on. It looked horrible. It was too big, the waist was definitely too low and John was not in love with my fabric choice (not really a surprise as he doesn't really like anything denimish if it's not jeans). This was about 11 o'clock at night, and John and I both decided I should just scrap the whole mess, chalk it up to a learning experience and start over. I was upset, and of course obsessed about it all night.


When I got up in the morning, I decided it wasn't as bad as I thought and that I needed to save it. I just loved that chambray, and I had already put so much effort into it. I ended up unpicking the waist seam (and two button holes - such a pain) and shortening the bodice by an inch. Then because the waist was now in the right place, I took in the side seams by about a 1/4'' and it fit perfectly. I re-spaced the two button holes I unpicked and re-sewed them (so now the button spacing isn't perfect, but it's not really noticeable). And voila, perfect fitting Hawthorn. I am really glad that I persevered because I love this dress and I have worn a bunch of times already. It's cool and comfy, and as an added bonus, I think it flatters my shape really well too. It's a bit wrinkly in these photos as I had been wearing it all day, but it presses really nice.


I have now transferred all my changes to the flat pattern, so my next one should go much more smoothly, and I will definitely be making another one. Thank goodness for my inherited OCD and determined, won't let it go attitude, it really paid off this time.

Has something like this ever happened to you? Have you ever worked on a project to think it was an epic fail, but then found a way to save it? (It happens to me all the time, ask the boys - they've been served many a grilled cheese that was burned on the inside from me turning the bread around because I had used up the last slice. What can I say, I'm crafty ;) )