My Monetas

The Moneta Party is very much an instagram challenge but I wanted to share my versions with you. I try to stay true to my style and not join in for the sake of it,  hence why there has been no sign of a Cleo on my blog…  It just wouldn’t suit me. The Moneta however,  looked right up my street and I thought it would really flatter me so as soon as I saw the challenge on Instagram,  I was sold!

I made 2,  just because I could and also because this brilliant Galaxy Fabric arrived from fabric styles as I was cutting out my elephant print ready for my Moneta entry.

The Moneta is by Colette Patterns and is made for jersey or knit fabric. The girls who organised the challenge, Rach,  Abigail and Elle chose it because it’s so accessible and flattering. I bought the PDF version, which had 41 pages to put together (phew!) I opted for sleeves as usual; I don’t like to show my arms..

You can also get a free bundle of different collars for the Moneta from the Colette pattern website, which is great for changing it up. Though,  personally I’m not a fan of having anything too frilly.

Anyway,  let me talk you through my two gorgeous Monetas!

The Galaxy print is version 3. I made it slightly longer by extending the skirt pieces by 3 inches and shortened the three quarter length sleeves very slightly. It came together easily. I didn’t have to pattern match or anything. When gathering with the elastic this tutorial from Sew Abigail helped a lot. I’m loving the pockets too!

This was my first time using a twin needle,  I thought it would be really complicated but it wasn’t at all,  though I did do several practises, and I quite enjoyed it in the end! I used a pink and blue for a bit of a contrast.

I wore it whilst we were away and got Kyle to take lots of pictures on Seahouses harbour ready for my entry. It was a bit fresh so I looked like a bit of a headcase but I think the photos are worth it! I soon changed my mind and decided that this would be my Moneta Party entry. 

Bloody hell lads, look away, she’s taking all her layers off again! 

Checking out the RNLI Grace Darling

I styled it with black tights and my tan Brogues, my wrap cardi and black coat with a nice scarf,  which was a birthday present from my sister.

Being soppy isn’t my usual style but I’m so lucky to have an amazing husband to share my life with,  who will dutifully look for nice places to have pictures so he can support me and makes me laugh so much! We have such a great time together and he makes my life. 

The elephant print is again version 3 with everything as standard. I used the Peter pan collar from the free bundle and cut the fabric around the elephants so that it was a plain black and it was a disaster;  it didn’t look good at all. They were all bumpy, so I swiftly removed them,  I am getting quite good at unpicking now! I’ve included a picture of the before in the spirit of fail February though! I’ve read some comments on it around social media and most people seem to have been redrawing their collars so I might try that next time. I personally think it needs to be bigger and go to the shoulder seams.

Other than this it was super easy to put together but my needle did not like going over any parts where an elephant was printed. I made life even simpler on myself by zig-zagging the hems rather than the double needle because I wanted a different feature (read:because I couldn’t be bothered to change my needle) I had also already decided that I was going to use my other as my entry. 

I should have considered the placement of the elephants a little bit more because there’s a few places where it looks a little strange but that’s a lesson for another day! 

Random ele-foot!

I am still happy with it overall and will wear it but I’m glad I made 2 so I could change my mind about my Moneta entry! I wore this on a visit to Bamburgh village on a beautiful day. The castle is so majestic and the place has so many happy memories for us. 

You’ll wait forever for a bus up here!

I can safely say that I absolutely recommend a Moneta,  especially if you’re curvy. A lot of the others I’ve seen appear to have a lower waist line so I think when I make another I’ll lengthen the bodice a little to account for the boobies. Otherwise this is definitely a go-er for another day- party or no party!!

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Yellow Needlecord ‘I could make that’ 

Today’s make is one of those makes that I was so proud of that I just wanted to look at it all the time. I don’t really follow designers but I was reading a fashion magazine and saw this Skirt By M.I.H. Jeans. It was a mere £425 but when I looked it up I found it was an even better bargain with 60% off at £170!

Since I have been making improvements to my sewing,  I often find myself thinking ‘I could just make that’ so I thought this time I actually would. I was especially motivated as I had promised Linda of Nice Dress Thanks I Made It an entry to her Designin’ December competition… Well, since December! So I grabbed my supplies and made a start.

The pattern is Simplicity Newlook 6346 which has 2 separate lengths and the options to make the skirt with or without buttons,  I knew it would have the potential to look really modern. I’ve seen a few skirt patterns similar to this but I like simplicity patterns.
The Crafty Pin-Up,  did a great version of it too on the Minerva Crafts Blogger Network,  which I checked out before I started and was really inspired by.

The really cute Cloud Fabric is part of the Greatest Adventure collection by Natalie Lymer for Riley Blake Designs.  I wanted to use it as a lining for the pockets. Isn’t it so cute?!
I made the pockets by measuring the front panels of the skirt and drawing rectangles at sizes which would work, both in the yellow needlecord and the cloud fabric. I sewed them right sides together,  flipped them through a gap and top-stitched. I think it is a really cute detail but my one criticism is that you can see the lining at the edges slightly which takes away from the designer look,  though I’m not sure if I’m being overly picky.

The skirt came together really easily, the facings for the plackets are made using the fabric itself. I changed the waistband slightly to add the flaps for the pockets (I don’t know if there is an official term for it) I added these as I attached the waistband so it would look neat. I was rather impressed with my own forward thinking here!
I then left my buttonless, hemless skirt to hang. I see this in a lot of directions and I have to admit, I usually ignore this step but I’m so glad I did it. The skirt hemmed really easy; I’ve struggled on the curve of skirts before. I added my buttonholes,  which were pretty big in order to fit my big chunky silver buttons and I was done. I am so happy with it,  I think it is really modern and just like the original.

I wore it on my holidays up in Northumberland with a navy body and wrap cardi,  where we were so busy being blown away that we struggled to get a good picture but we got some in the end!

Being blown away!

I don’t usually do prices but in spirit of the Designer challenge:
Yellow Needlecord: 2 and a half metres at £13.50 from The Cheap Shop Tiptree. Though I think 2 metres would have done it.

Silver Buttons: 5 for £1.45 from Ebay.

Riley Blake Fabric: £3.50 for a fat quarter from Hollie’s Haberdashery

Pattern: Simplicity 6346 £5.95 from Simplicity Newlook

So the whole Skirt cost a mere £24.50! Plus I will definitely use this pattern again! Possibly on a denim. Winner!

I’m trying to join in some more challenges like this over this year in my bid to improve,  if you’re interested in more regular updates with this please follow me on instagram!

Combining my favourite things! 

This is a bit of a different blog post as I’m not sharing a make with you,  I’m sharing a shop. 
Myself and Kyle visit Northumberland 5 or 6 times a year and love spending time along the coast but more recently we have been heading in land to enjoy the beautiful countryside. 

We find it so refreshing and what is more, there’s a little gem of a shop,  which I absolutely love visiting. It’s called Village Tea Room and Emporium. It’s an unassuming tea rooms, antique and fabric shop at Hedgeley services in Breamish Valley. The lady who runs it is so friendly and wants to tell you everything about the different fabrics and is really passionate. 

You can go and have a really good rummage and there are some really beautiful fabric bolts sold by the metre or some ready cut priced pieces; including a vintage section. There’s dress fabrics, home fabrics and a very small Haberdashery section. The fabrics are piled up all over so you can browse to you hearts content…  Like me! 

When I visited,  I got really lucky because she was doing a stock take and in order to clear some stock, a lot of the pieces were just £1 so I absolutely filled my boots. She even threw in a vintage Simplicity pattern, I picked up, for free! 

I was in heaven. I even got some liberty print pieces,  even though they were small,  they were ONE POUND! 

I also bought some by the metre fabric,  which she talked me through and was so friendly and nice, talking me through the origins and giving me ideas.

As we browsed (by this I mean as I ran around like a crazy woman coming short of rolling around in the fabric and Kyle followed my dutifully carrying everything I threw at him!)  she was in the corner sewing up some curtains, which just made my day! 

On top of this you can get a very reasonably priced brew and delicious homemade cake or shortbread. 

It’s not glamorous but it’s brilliant. If you ever find yourself that way you should definitely check it out. I intend to go every time I visit from now on! 

Anderson Blouse (post February Fail number 1!)

Many of you will have already seen a snippet of my Sew Over It Anderson Blouse on my Fail February post, where I sewed the arm on upside down. It’s a long story! Other than this, all went well.

I got the Anderson Blouse as part of my signing up fee for the PDF Club that Sew Over It are doing. You pay £5.00 to join, chose a free pattern and get early access to any PDF patterns and 10% off them. I’m usually not overly keen on PDFs but there isn’t many pieces involved with the blouse so it wasn’t too bad. I think I’m learning to love them a little.
I was glad to have it because I was struggling to decide what to do with this beautiful fabric I got on sale at Abakhan before Christmas – It’s a peach skin (I think) and has a beautiful drape and colour.

I cut it out – if you follow me on instagram– you would have seen that juggling balls are my pattern weight of choice. I have new scissors too so this was lovely to cut.

The rest of the pattern comes together a breeze, there were parts I haven’t tried before like the way the front facings fold in and the way in which the cuffs are inserted so there were plenty of head-scratching moments and more ‘this is never going to look right’ moments but everything works perfectly and it comes together so neat and professional looking! I was surprised every time. The patterns are obviously well though-out. My Sew Over It Ultimate Shift Dress was a wonder too!

I am cuffed to bits with my cuffs! They look beautiful, neat and delicate. AND – I I hand-sewed them. I’m not keen on hand sewing at all but I’m getting better and learning to love it and it’s obviously working!

The fit is great, however, there is no way I could wear this in any other way than tucked in! I think because I am a somewhat large chested girl, it pulls the hem right up and I wouldn’t feel comfortable wearing it without tucking it in. Luckily it looks amazing like this and I tuck of my blouses in anyway. I plan to make another one soon. I’m also thinking I will be sensible and make a plain black skirt for work so I can pair these amazingly colourful blouses!
I saved this to wear to work on my birthday and I felt really grown-up and lovely in it. The material feels really luxurious and has so many colours in it. I wore it with a black skirt and tights and my trusty belt.

The Katie Dress

The Katie Dress is Pattern number Four of the Cotton and Chalk Collection from Simply Sewing Magazine. I have also made patterns OneTwo and Three. I have found them all really easy to use, though sometimes a little on the roomy side.

As the pattern suggests using a Ponte Roma for this dress, I thought it would be the perfect opportunity for me to try using this fabric so I bought some in black with really cool paint stroke style pattern on it called Serene Reeds from The Textile Centre

The fabric was so easy to sew because it doesn’t fray at all,  it is a bit bulky where the seams meet,  like on the shoulders, but otherwise it sews up so easily. I stuck with the facings (don’t think this is becoming a thing because I top-stitched it anyway!) but it makes the shape of the neckline better. You put the facings on the front panel and add the rest once the bodice is constructed, a bit strange a first but it looks neat and it’s worked! 
I constructed the rest easily. The bodice and skirt seams matched up really well,  which means I did it all right,  thank goodness!  I tried it on before I inserted the zip and realised that not only was it roomy, as I expected, but that it would go on easily without a zip. So I took an inch off each side and simply stitched straight up the back seam- easy peasy! As the fabric has stretch,  it pulls on easily. 

I’m really happy with the shape,  I have ready to wear items which are very similar in shape and I feel like it really suits my body shape. I resisted the urge to wear a belt but I think I probably will in future. 

I would like to pretend I wore it somewhere interesting but this has slotted right in to my work wardrobe, especially good as in a bid to be less boring in my fashion, I have inadvertently set myself a new years resolution to wear less plain grey and black at work, something which I’m actually sticking with somehow!

 

A challenge I can join in! 

I feel slightly like I have had a curse set upon my sewing…  I saw a new challenge just today by Red of Sewredy called Fail February and I believe I made a comment,  such as ‘this is a great idea,  we all get our unpickers out and we learn from our mistakes’…  I say I believe I said this…  This is WHAT I ACTUALLY SAID.

So true to form… This happened

This is what will be a Sew Over It Anderson Blouse in gorgeous fabric from Abakhan. You will notice the sleeve is not going the right way. This is because I sewed it the wrong way round…. About 3 minutes after making the above comment. So I’m no so smug about learning from mistakes after all, the moral story of a teacher! Though I’ve never made this one and it WILL NOT be a mistake which happens again.

I keep seeing different challenges I’m going to join in with and have several on my sewing pile,  such as a skirt for Designin’ December which Linda of Nice Dress, Thanks I Made It organises and trying to find a 1980s pattern that isn’t horrendous for The Monthly Stitch’s, Through the Decades February challenge,  but it seems Fail February is the one for me!

This picture does indeed show the shoulder and underarm seam…in a line.

So… Here’s to reality and having a high quality unpicker friend! I’ll share more in this blouse when it is complete as my cuffs are to die for!!

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