Moneta Dress: DIY from Colette Patterns
It was a long weekend in Melbourne this past weekend. My poor boyfriend had to work two out of the three days, but I just received my most recent Spoonflower order so I bunkered down for a weekend of sewing.
Spoonflower recently had a sale on their ‘modern jersey’, the same cottony knit that I made my frockatoo dress out of. It wears and washes well, so I thought I’d buy some more yards and tun out another Moneta dress using my old pattern.
I quite fancied the idea of another Crazy Cat Lady dress, so snapped up this graphic cat face printed fabric, designed by Charlotte Winter. I thought the bold black and white print would carry me well into the cooler months when I could wear it with black tights and any number of bright coloured cardigans. It does look particularly nice with yellow though!
I included the deep pockets, even though they add bit of volume on the hips. Sometimes I choose to skip them – especially if I’m using a heavy fabric like a ponte – but they’re so useful that I put them in when I can, and the modern jersey is soft and drapey enough that pockets don’t change the silhouette too dramatically.
As with a lot of my Moneta dresses I’ve found the waistband is just a bit too loose (there’s something about the way the skirt is gathered and then attached to the bodice that seems to stretch the fabric out a little) so a belt is definitely an essential:
I’m pretty delighted with the result, and I’m looking forward to putting it into regular rotation in my wardrobe!
Hawthorn Dress: DIY (Colette Patterns)
So here’s the thing about boobs. They make buttoned-up things a pain in the ass. So shirt dresses are a big old “no”. If they fit the bust they’re boxy in the shoulders. Fit the shoulders? Good luck getting those buttons done up. Add short-waisted to the mix and it just becomes a recipe for wardrobe disaster.
Towards the end of last year I dropped by Stitch 56 to meet Sarai Mitnick, the founder of my favourite pattern company Colette, during her visit to Australia. I accidentally (not really) forgot to take any of my much-loved patterns along to be signed, so “had” to buy a new one, and the Hawthorn shirt dress pattern caught my eye immediately.
It’s a little more advanced than my usual sewing projects, but the comprehensive instruction booklet that comes with all Colette patterns coached me through step-by-step and I was totally delighted to see it coming together.
I had to tweak the pattern a little as I was sewing – shortening the waist and bringing the sides in a little – but it was easy to do in the fitting process. I think if (when!) I make the pattern again with the sleeves I’ll have to do a proper, legit, Full Bust Adjustment.
The dress has a lovely semi-circle skirt that provides fullness without extra bulk. The bodice is darted at the waist for a streamlined look, and the small, high collar gives that classic shirt dress look without the extra volume around the bust.
Because I was a bit nervous about the pattern I started with a budget-friendly textured slub cotton that looks almost identical to the linen dress pictured in the marketing for the original pattern.
I deliberated over the buttons for more time than I care to admit, but in the end decided to indulge my penchant for whimsy and go with pretty little white hearts.
The result was better than I could have hoped for: A beautifully fitting shirt dress that has a classic 1950’s elegance, but is comfortable and breezy to wear on hot summer days.