Stripes for Summer

I had a bit of angst about what I should make out of this wonderful striped rayon blend knit (from the Fabric Store, of course), so I asked the internet via Instagram. Colette Moneta? Or a modified version of a Megan Nielsen Briar? Both are patterns I have made before, and I’m planning to make both again anyway, I was just waffling over fabric! The majority vote was for a Moneta, so I dutifully obliged. Sometimes its wonderful not to have to make decisions for myself!


I made the short sleeved version, obviously, with a few changes after my last attempt. I shortened the bodice by about an inch, since the weight of the skirt pulls it down to an unflattering point on my short torso, and took the bodice in under the arms, tapering to the waist. I also took about an inch off the length of the sleeves, to make them more capped. I just think the length suits my proportions better!


I also dropped the back lower, I’m a bit obsessed with scooped back necklines at the moment! I think its sexy, but not obviously so. Not that there’s anything wrong with cleavage, of course…Thats my biggest worry with this dress, actually. I feel that the high neckline combined with the stripes makes me look a bit Dolly Parton-esque!


Mono-boob aside (what?), I do really like this dress. I love the stripes, and the swishiness of the skirt, and the fact that it is just really really comfortable! It looks just as good with black or brown, and I think it works equally well with my red Keds, ballet flats, sandals or heels. Yay for a dress for pretty much any occasion! It does look best with a belt, I think I need to look into doing a sway back adjustment if I make it again. I also love the lining! I’ve never tried lining a knit bodice before, but it works really well, especially with this thin, clingy knit. I used a remnant on Lyocell knit that i had in my stash. The lining also gives a really nice clean neckline, so I didn’t have any problems with it stretching out as I tried to hem it with my twin needle. I do think I should have maybe reinforced the neckline with some clear elastic, just to stop it sagging over time. It didn’t seem to stretch out when I wore it the other day though, so hopefully it’ll be ok!


And here is one last gratuitous shot, purely to get my favourite shoes in! Can’t believe that I didn’t get them in any other photos, rubbish photography!


Snug as a bug in a merino Moneta

I’m pretty sure that making a long sleeved merino dress is the last thing on my Winter Wardrobe list, and its not even officially winter yet! It certainly feels like winter, its snowing down south and it was 4 degrees this morning when I left for work. Talk about frosty! Happily, I now have a whole range of snuggly home made merino clothes to keep me warm.


I’m sure everyone has seen this pattern by now, its the latest one from Colette. I’ve had some pretty major fitting issues with every Colette pattern that I’ve tried, which is such a bummer because I love their style! I figured that since this is a pattern for knits, fitting shouldn’t be such an issue, and its such a cute style that I decided to give it a crack.


Unfortunately, I still had trouble getting it to fit. I took about an inch out of the under arm area, tapering to the end of the sleeve and waist, which made the bodice fit better initially. It was a really good length, hitting at my natural waist almost perfectly, until I added the skirt. Then the extra weight dragged the whole waist down to a really unflattering point! I took the skirt off, removed the elastic, and re-shirred it with a shorter length of elastic, which does a much better job at keeping the waist where it should be.

I think my main problem was my fabric choice. I went for this lovely thick merino knit because it was really soft and warm, not thinking about the fact that it is super stretchy, much more so than the fine jersey merino I have used so far. It just keeps growing! When I put it on on Sunday morning, the fit was quite snug in the torso, but by the afternoon when I took the photos for this post it had already begun to sag, especially in the back (as seen in the above photo). It has stretched out in the armpits as well, not very flattering!


Possibly grey was not the best colour to pick either, Monsieur said it was a bit boring and matronly (horror!). Should have gone for navy! I was trying to pick a neutral colour that i could pair my masses of navy and mustard and red winter accessories with…oh well! I definitely plan to make another one of these for summer, because its a really nice shape, and I love the neckline and all of the collar variations. Hopefully all of the problems I had with this one will disappear when its made up in a cotton knit!


For now though this is a super comfy, cozy dress that I can slob around the house in on the weekend, or I can wear it out paired with my Coppelia cardigan or a wide belt and scarf to disguise the sagging! Also, it has pockets. Warm, wooly pockets for my freezing fingers…


I’ve got a few woven garments lined up, it feels like its been months since I sewed anything but a knit! I could really do with some winter skirts, so my new Hollyburn skirt pattern will be getting an outing soon…