November 16, 2014

Remembering how to sew again with a Moneta (what else?)

Between work travel and illness it’s been an age since I sat down at a sewing machine, let alone finished anything, so in a short period of feeling better (sadly crap again now) I whipped out a Moneta.
It was cold! The things I do for you, dear readers
I picked up this unique knit in Stonemountain & Daughter a few weeks ago in Berkeley, unsure whether it was a bit too “wearable art” (nothing wrong with that, just not my style) or whether I could pull it off. It has wide black and grey stripes, with a raised white stripe between them, which protrudes out of the fabric (I’m sure there’s a more elegant way of putting that, but it’s lost on me right now). Ultimately I decided to give it a shot because the Moneta’s so easy, even if it didn’t work out, not much would be lost.
And I like it!
I used my scoop neck variation, and underlined the whole thing with a black knit to stabilize it a bit. I tried my hardest to get a decent stripe across the waistline where the bodice and gathered skirt come together… and I sort of 80% managed with a bit of a blip (which is screaming at me from these photos but normal people may not notice, I guess). 
One incidental thing, but perhaps helpful to folks – gathering the waist on the Moneta can be tricky if you can’t get the clear elastic thing to work (me neither), but a side effect of underlining the skirt first was that I already had a serged skirt waistline. I then found that when I ran my gathering stitches through the serging, it gathered like a dream. The downside is that you end up serging over the same seam twice when you attach the bodice, but I actually quite like the extra stability. 

I have a lack of comfortable “hang out at home” clothes in my wardrobe, and I think dress will help address the gap. Perhaps some Hudsons next, if I can find it in me to do some grading.

Peculiarly it seems that autumn and winter have come simultaneously to Boston, so I will leave you with a picture of me freezing next to some neighbours’ pumpkins.

Final shoutout to Anne at Clothing Engineer for her ingenious focusing tip for taking tripod shots – I tried it for these and it worked like a dream!

29 thoughts on “Remembering how to sew again with a Moneta (what else?)

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Ack, I hope that you have a complete and speedy recovery soon. Being sick is no fun:(

    Your striped Moneta is beautiful. I love how you used it as a layering piece. It’s one of my favorite patterns. Quick, easy, and work-appropriate (for me, anyway.) I especially like it in the bamboo jersey that’s at Grey’s.

    What, if anything, did you use in place of the clear elastic? I recently took the Moneta class at Grey’s. I had to redo the bodice-skirt attachment twice because the clear elastic was a PITA. I ended up buying 1/8″ elastic and doing that.

    1. Jenny says:

      Hi Basya, thanks! Actually, those sleeves are attached 🙂 I used the black underlining knit for the sleeves. On this dress, I didn’t use any elastic because the waistline has two layers of serging and with the underlining the whole thing feels pretty stable, however you never know it may stretch out. On my other classic moneta I used regular elastic rather than clear.

  3. Nice. Sometimes a soothing knit project is just what one needs. I’m so hopeless at gathering especially knits. I’ve started using shirring elastic and that seems to be working ok for me at the moment….

    1. Jenny says:

      Is that a special type of elastic, or the same as clear elastic? I usually find gathering a total hassle but it worked quite well this way!

  4. Gail says:

    I think that fabric is really interesting! And what is it with having difficulty with sewing after being away from it for a while? I have that too, even though I’ve been sewing for a long time and think about it constantly when I’m not able to do it! I hate getting rusty!

    1. Jenny says:

      It’s definitely the case! I think there’s a lot of manual skill involved and unless you’re doing it regularly you definitely get rusty…

  5. Andie L. says:

    Oh, this is gorgeous! 🙂 I love how the white stripes are 3D. You look wonderful in stripes. 🙂

    1. Jenny says:

      Thanks Andie! I admit I keep playing with stripes 🙂

  6. Really pretty! Any tips on underlining knits? I’ve never underlined anything before, so I would love some tips, because I plan to underline my next knit dress (a black stretch lace over a black knit).

    1. Jenny says:

      Thanks! I’m not an expert on underlining but the key thing is to keep everything totally flat – it’s really easy to end up with one fabric bunching on top of the other, and then it doesn’t work. You need to baste the layers together first – you can do that by hand with silk thread, or use Wonder Tape as I did, and just keep on smoothing everything out. Then depending on how slippery everything is you can either then machine baste it all together first, or you can just go ahead and serge up the basted pieces. I know that some people make the underlining a little smaller to try to get the final piece taut, but I didn’t need to do that.

    2. That Wonder Tape tip is GENIUS! Totally doing it that way. Thank you, Jenny!

  7. Sewing has been on the back burner here too because of sickness! Winter is upon us here in Indy after maybe 2 days of Fall. Woke up to 3 inches of snow this morning and tonight’s low…8 degrees!

    I really like this dress. Those wide stripes look great on you! Also thanks for sharing the link to the tripod tip. That may just save me this Winter when hubby gets home after dark so I will have to take my own pics.

    1. Jenny says:

      Thanks Alicia! I love stripes, regardless of “the rules”. And the tripod tip is genius.. I swear it’s the first time self-taken photos have ever really been in focus for me!

  8. I loves it. And I love the contrast sleeves. And the fabric is brilliant: I like how it’s kind of dead sensible (colour) and a bit flouncy (white stripes) all at once. I hope you feel much perkier soon xx

    1. Jenny says:

      That’s my new business card slogan: “Dead Sensible. Flouncy.”

  9. Michelle says:

    I really like your fabric–it photographs very well. And I don’t get an art-to-wear vibe from it at all, but then again, I’m a sucker for anything striped.

    I think we completely skipped autumn here in Seattle, too. Summer temps well into October, then two weeks of cooler weather, then bam! Daytime temps in the 30’s and 40’s.

    1. Jenny says:

      Yes, what happened to the weather?! We have leaves turning red and snow at the same time…

  10. Heather says:

    This looks fantastic and I love the contrasting sleeves!

    1. Jenny says:

      Thanks Heather!

  11. tanyamaile says:

    The moneta is the perfect comfy at-home dress. Yours is super cute with that interesting fabric. Hope you’re feeling better!!

    1. Jenny says:

      Isn’t it just? I find it hard to convince myself to wear anything else now..

  12. So sorry you’ve been under the weather! Hope you get back to 100% soon. 🙁 What a good project to ease yourself back into sewing! This is really nice!

  13. You are giving me the confidence to try horizontal stripes! Great dress!

    1. Jenny says:

      I love some horizontal stripes!

  14. Kay says:

    I’ve looked at that striped-with-random-ruffles fabric often, but haven’t been able to push the key to buy it. You’ve given me a reason to steel my nerves and do it!

    OT, the – necklace? scarf? – you are wearing is intriguing. Did you make it? Is it fabric-covered cord looped repeatedly around your neck, or is it a yarn? Whatever it is, it looks great! I would love to know how you did that.

    1. Jenny says:

      Yay, go for it! I like being a fabric enabler 🙂

      And that’s a “scarf-lace” 😀 It’s from a company called Saako based in Barcelona and they have them in lots of colours. However you can also make them – it’s just strips of jersey that haven’t been finished, and have curled in on themselves.

  15. This is SOOO cute! Love the fabric you used 🙂

  16. Cee says:

    Loved this post. You look amazing!

Let me know what you think!