Thursday, May 22, 2014

Moneta, Attempt #1

The collar detail suckered me in, and I bought the newest Colette offering despite not being crazy about the gathered skirt: the Moneta. I was not in the last bit tempted by the knit skirt--I can't imagine what a horror show that would look like on me--eek!

I was naughty and bought some knits while JoAnns had their clearanced fabrics on half price, thinking I'd use them immediately for either LadySkaters or the Moneta.

So, here's my first attempt at the Moneta.

No belt here. 

I love that it has pockets, and the gathering hides them so they aren't lumpy.

I screwed up on the pocket bags and didn't cut two in reverse and then didn't have enough left to recut, can see them if you are looking closely. Oops. Good thing I'm not enough of a perfectionist to care.

The back collar, which I LOVE. Although, I do not love how it rolls to the outside. I'm not sure how to prevent this. I tried to figure out if there was any way to edge stitch to help it, but I don't think it does. :(

Photobombing photographer!

So my review: I was right on the line between the medium and the large. I think either would have worked. I am used to being pretty poured into my knits, so the medium worked for me. If I was using something less stretchy, I'd probably need to size up.

I sewed a straight Version 1 from the package--sleeveless with the collar. Sewing the bodice and lining together about broke my brain. I read and re-read the directions and couldn't figure it out--or at least figure out why they were making it so complicated instead of just saying, "stitch around armholes with wrong sides together." So I did it "my way," which as it turns out, was the wrong way. I went to flip my bodice right side out, and I couldn't do it. I struggled with it about 15 minutes trying to figure out how to get it flipped, went back and re-read (and re-read and re-read) the directions and realized I didn't do it their way. Not one to give up easily, I went back to struggling to turn it right side out anyway, to no avail. At that point, I wanted to throw it all out, but I REALLY wanted to make this version, and I had no more fabric, so I *gasp* ripped out SERGING. I think this is the first time I've ever bothered to actually rip out serging. I didn't think I had enough wiggle room to cut it off instead of seam ripping, so seam ripping it was. On very shifty, lightweight rayon knit. UGH. That took forever, but then when I'd freed my armholes, I tried it the Colette way, and lo-and-behold, it worked.

Anyway, other than that, the directions were pretty straightforward. I had read people complaining about using the clear elastic to gather the skirt, but I actually thought it was really clever, and while a little tedious, it was no worse than gathering, and I think a little faster. Maybe it's just because I'm used to the PITA that is clear elastic from sewing diapers? It also definitely achieved much more even gathering than what I normally get.

Problems with the dress are 1) the armholes gape in the front. I am guessing this is because I stretched out my fabric with all the seam ripping and extra serging. Fingers crossed, it won't happen in my next version. 2) the collar rolls out in the back showing the back bodice. I mean, at least it's the right side of the fabric that shows thanks to the lining, but still.... I'm not sure how to stop it. Maybe it's because the fabric I chose is so thin and lightweight?

In all, it gets one thumbs up now--I do think it's a terribly cute pattern, and this is wearable. Possibly two if I have better luck the next time around.

I can't remember how this one is rated in terms of skill, but I would say that version 1, at least, is definitely NOT a beginner pattern. I struggled with it more than I have anything in a while, and I am getting quite experienced with knits at this point, so that wasn't the issue. I had read all the reviews saying it was super-quick to sew up, but it was NOT a quick sew for me--although, I don't think I read reviews by anyone who made version 1, so...

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Hawthorn in Subtle Stripes

Pardon the crazy faces--Will was just out of frame and grumping at me because I told him to get out of the way asked him sweetly to let me take pictures alone.

This week I completed my second Colette Hawthorn. I liked my muslin, made from a sheet, so much that I decided to pretend it was a wearable muslin, and I was excited to make this dress again once the weather started warming up.

I made a straight 10,  though I did taper to only a 3/8" seam allowance at the waist. I love, Love, LOVE this pattern. I feel like it's so flattering to my figure. I feel it has very simple sophistication and quiet drama, if there can be such a thing. :-) I really think the fit on this is pretty close to perfect. The waist is right, I don't have wrinkles across the bust, the armholes don't cut or bulge open, and I think the back is pretty good when I'm not leaning funny. I usually need a swayback adjustment, but this just fits perfectly all on it's own. I feel like it was drafted just for me, and it really makes me want to try out the other Colette dress patterns that are gathering dust in my cabinet....

I tried to be good and create a nice inside on this one, taking the time to bind the waist seam in bias tape. As usual, I constructed the dress over the course of a few days, snatching a couple hours here and there and usually with kids interrupting or "helping" me. That's my excuse for why after I thought the dress was finished, I noticed I had forgotten to finish the seams where I attached the skirt fronts to the back skirt. Oops. Gotta fix that--this cotton is ravelly. I also accidentally made one more buttonhole than I had buttons. Oops again. At the moment, it's just empty at the bottom of the dress, unnoticed I hope. I was pondering doing some sort of focal button at the top or something, but I'm not really sure what would be the best course. Luckily I'm not a perfectionist, so having the blank at the bottom actually doesn't bother me much.

I was also really proud that this dress is almost 100% stashbusted and thrifted. The only thing I bought new for it was the buttons, which I got for 75% off, so my total cost was maybe $5 or so. Well, unless you count the pattern, which I have two wearable garments from.

It's hard to tell in the pictures, but the fabric is a nice white/pale blue stripe. I thought it was a bit nautical and liked the blue buttons with it and love it with the red belt.

Bonus picture with sulking Will