Moneta ice cream spot dress

I’ve finished the Moneta I started last weekend at the overlocker workshop. This must be record for me – a whole dress in only ten days! Here’s how it turned out.

I'm thinking that these really aren't the ideal shoes for this dress...
I’m thinking that these really aren’t the ideal shoes for this dress…

So it’s definitely not my usual style – my clothes aren’t usually as lightweight or as girly as this – but I like it. Maybe because the colours remind me of ice cream… it feels like the sort of dress you’d wear to a picnic or a barbecue in the heat of summer. But I can also see myself lounging in the garden or the park in it, and that’s something I want to do a lot more of.

moneta_full_length_2

Fitting

I originally thought I’d make the medium, and grade out to a large at the waist, adding an FBA, but the course tutor at Guthrie & Ghani, Layla, said to go with a straight large as my fabric wasn’t all that stretchy. I think this was probably the right choice (and definitely meant fewer adjustments, although next time I’d do a 1″ FBA). I added an inch to the back waist length, and nearly three inches to the length of the skirt as short skirts aren’t my thing. It’s come out perhaps a little bit large at the waist, but I’m not too worried as it’s such a fluid fabric.

moneta_gathers

The pattern

I made the short-sleeved version, but you can also opt for longer sleeves, or a more formal version with a collar and a lined bodice, which I think looks great in a slightly heavier fabric like an interlock or medium-weight jersey. It’s the first time I’ve made a Colette pattern, and I like the way they use a C-cup as standard rather than a B (less adjustment needed – hurrah!). But I wish Colette gave the back waist length measurement they work to for each size on the pattern envelope, or even printed on the pattern pieces. You have to get the waistline of this dress exactly where you want it for it to look right, and providing those measurements would take the guesswork out of it. (NB The weight of your fabric, as well as the amount of stretch in it will affect the length of the bodice.)

What would I change? I think I’d try version 1 next time, with the cowl neckline – the crew neck isn’t all that flattering on me.

The back neckline is cut slightly lower than the front.
The back neckline is cut slightly lower than the front.

Techniques

The gathers in the skirt are made using clear elastic, which you stretch out as you sew it to the top of the skirt. Getting this evenly stretched, and an even distance from the edge of the fabric was tricky, but hopefully it’s one of those things that gets easier the more you do it.

I also had my first twin needle experience on the neckline, sleeve hems and skirt hem. My machine can’t take a twin needle because it only has a single point hole in the throat plate. I got the neckline and sleeves finished in the class, but I still had the hem to do. Uh-oh. Luckily, my mother-in-law came to the rescue. I borrowed her 1967 Singer 357 – which is about ten years younger than my machine. It has a zig zag function, so I could put in a twin needle and finish the job.

Here's my mother-in-law's Singer 357 - from 1967. It was the first twin needle experience for me and for this machine.
Here’s my mother-in-law’s Singer 357 – from 1967. It was the first twin needle experience for both of us.
The twin needle threaded up and ready to go.
The twin needle threaded up and ready to go.

I think I’m now finally convinced that it might be time to invest in a more modern machine. There are so many functions I miss, and I’m wondering if I could stitch more slowly (and therefore more neatly) on a newer machine. But how to choose?

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4 thoughts on “Moneta ice cream spot dress

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