Wednesday, 23 August 2017

The Late Bloomer Dress

I know it's a commonly uttered thought, but surely I am the last person on the internet to make the Moneta dress by Colette patterns?

The details:
Fabric: A black floral knit scored from an op-shop
Pattern: Moneta dress by Colette patterns
Size: Small
Special touches and alterations: Did a combination of views 1 and 2 (unlined, sleeveless, collarless). Lengthened bodice by 1.5 cm above the bottom of the underarm, and 3cm at the lengthen/shorten line at the waist. Shortened hem by 5cm.

Despite the fact that I have decided that Colette patterns probably aren't the best choice for my particular body and fit, I have still made a few of their designs recently, all being knit garments. Along with the forgiving nature of knit fabrics, I've worked out a few pattern adjustments that seems to make things work a bit better for me. In particular, lengthening the bodice both above and below the bottom of the armhole seems to work - adding a cm or so above the bottom of the armhole results in any bust darts being lowered (not that the Moneta has any), as well as giving me more room in the armhole, and adding to the overall length of the bodice, so wins all round!
I've had this fabric for around 7 years now. I used a tiny tiny amount to make an Ohhh Lulu lingerie set, but it really wasn't well suited - too little recovery, resulting in sadly saggy underwear. I had wanted to make a Moneta dress for a long time as well, and have seen some lovely versions online, so it seemed fitting to finally pair the two together to make this dress! Plus the dark floral means this dress is just as wearable in winter with tights as it is in summer with bare legs.

I made the unlined, sleeveless version with no collar, which does seem to create one issue, in that the wide neckline causes the straps to want to pull in, causing a bit of gaping (hidden by my messy hair in the pics :P). I think this issue is particular to the sleeveless and collarless version, which notably isn't a version recommended by the pattern. On the sleeved version, I would think the sleeves pull outward on the neckline, keeping it flat, while the collar maybe provides some additional stability to the neckline? If I was making it again I would try stabilising the neckline, or narrowing the neckline, to avoid this issue.
I sewed this up with a small zig-zag stitch and finished it with my overlocker, using a twin needle on the hem. The armholes and neckline were overlocked, then flipped to the inside and twin-needled. I used the clear elastic gathering method that is described in the instructions for gathering the skirt, which seemed to work alright, although I was worried my clear elastic wasn't stretchy enough! Other than the neckline issue mentioned above, it came together without any hitches, and I have received plenty of compliments on it already. I can see why the pattern is so popular! Comfortable but stylish, simple but with lots of potential for creativity. Already on regular rotation in my wardrobe :)

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