Gosh it seems like a lifetime ago since I last wrote a blog post – well it was nearly two months ago. Since then Christmas and New Year have been and gone and I’ve been on my holiday of a lifetime. We set sail from Southampton on 2nd January to a huge firework display put on by Southampton Council to mark the beginning of the Aurora’s world cruise – it was something special to be on the deck watching the display and realising that I was setting off on a huge adventure.
The first couple of days on the cruise were difficult, to say the least. We hit storms almost straight away and as we reached the Bay of Biscay we had 50 foot waves and a force 9 gale coming at us. Trying to sleep in a bed that rolls you literally over to one side and then immediately back to the other throughout the night is impossible – believe me, I have tried it and don’t ever want to do so again! I think me and the Bay of Biscay are not deemed to be friends.
Our first port of call was Ponta Del Garda in the Azures where we were met by grey drizzly weather and so unfortunately we didn’t really see very much. However just a couple of days later we were hitting temperatures over 20 and lovely balmy seas. We had two days in Barbados where a couple of the photos below were taken. After that we visited Aruba, sailed through the Panama Canal (wow!) and finally Cabo San Lucas in Mexico before sailing under the Golden Gate Bridge at 5am and docking in San Francisco.
My hubby flew out to meet me in SF and after a couple of days there we flew to Los Angeles, had a couple of days there, then onto Las Vegas where we managed to fit in a couple of amazing shows and a helicopter flight through the Grand Canyon. And we finished our holiday in Washington DC where the remnants of the huge snow storms were still in evidence.
Anyway, now I’m home, settling back to real life and itching to start sewing new projects again – of which I have many planned. However, this blog post is about a Moneta dress that I sewed before my holiday and didn’t get a chance to blog about (good job really or I wouldn’t have been able to post the photos of me wearing it in Barbados)
I did have a small moment of panic when wearing this dress. We were categorically told on the ship that no one is allowed to wear camouflage fabric anywhere on Barbados – I’m not sure why, but apparently anyone found wearing it can be arrested. I forgot about this when I was picking my dress to wear and anyway, to me it was more of a tie died pattern than camouflage. I was a little worried I might end up in some Barbadian jail cell watching my ship sail away without me. Luckily no one noticed and I got away with it!
I’ve made the Colette Moneta once before (see here) and I knew I wanted another version to take with me on holiday.
I had some fabulous bamboo jersey just calling out from my stash to be made into a Moneta so it was destined to be.
I purchased the fabric from Fabric.com in the US and although the price on the website was very good, with postage and the customs charge it did end up more expensive than I had expected.
The fabric is gorgeous, it is 95% rayon and 5% spandex with a four way stretch, 75% cross grain and 50% vertical. It feels so soft and smooth- it is one of those fabrics that you just want to keep stroking. I bought 3 yards x 60” width
I used the same sizing as my previous version which was a 16 around the shoulders, an 18 for the chest and graded out to an XL at the waist and hips.
As per my previous version I didn’t include the pockets, I don’t need any extra bulk around my hips. I also kept the redrafted front and back neck profiles which are both higher and narrower than the original Moneta pattern.
I used an 80/12 ballpoint needle to sew the dress.
All seams were sewn on my sewing machine using a zig zag stitch set to 2.5 length, 1.4 width. I then overlocked the raw edges to neaten and strengthen them.
Seams were sewn at 3/8” as per the pattern instructions
I stabilised the neck both front and back with a small piece of lightweight stretch fusible interfacing.
I used clear elastic on the shoulder seams to strengthen them overlocking the elastic in place to make sure that it wasn’t going to go anywhere.
I used dental floss to gather up the skirt fabric – see this tutorial over at indiesew
To help strengthen the waist seam once sewn I then attached clear elastic using my overlocker.
Things that didn’t go well or things I would change next time
I rushed putting the clear elastic onto the waist where the bodice and skirt joined. Normally I use fusible tape and stick down the elastic to the skirt seam before overlocking them. But this time I decided to just feed the elastic in as I was sewing. For me that just didn’t work, the seam looks and feels lumpy – I don’t think it really shows in the photos but I’m aware of it when I look in the mirror and also when I touch it. As I sewed the bodice and skirt seams on the sewing machine first I could remove the overlocked seams and elastic and replace it properly – something to go onto my ‘to do’ list. I really ought to do this as I know that it will annoy me forevermore if I leave it.
I do wonder if the waist is hanging a little low on me, I think I have a fairly short upper torso. Maybe I need to shorten the bodice a little for my next version.
The finished dress
I was always going to love this dress – I really liked my previous version and I adore the fabric. The dress is so comfortable to wear and really cool in hot temperatures (it was 28 degrees C in Barbados and I still felt comfortable).
Cost to make
I bought 3 yards of fabric at £10.30 per yard. The postage was £8.00 and the customs charge £7.00. So the total cost of the 3 yards to the UK was £45.90
I used around 2.5 yards of fabric to make this Moneta so the total cost of fabric came to £38.25
1 reel of gutterman thread – £1.60
Clear elastic – approximately £1.00
Total cost to make: £40.85