Hello Moneta …

I got so excited about making the Moneta dress that I couldn’t wait for the Moneta sew-a-long, I just had to finish it in one night! Here is my lovely short sleeved version (View B) in a Valori Wells printed knit from Hawthorne Threads.

Trying out some of Tilly's photo tips!

Laughing at my toddler trying to ‘make’ coffee on the nespresso machine

In preparation for my first time sewing with a knit fabric, I walked all over town last Thursday (literally, all over town, lucky it was a babysitter day…) to find a Twin needle and / or walking foot. I saved pictures of both on my phone as I’ve found it hard enough to find and ask for quality machine needles, and I had no faith that my hand gestures would get me there for twin needle.  I did find a twin needle in a little sewing shop, unfortunately not ballpoint/jersey twin needles though, and no walking foot (Note to self- put on the spotlight list for trip to Australia – that list is loonnnnnngg!)

I decided to make the short sleeved dress first up – predominately because it’s summer here and over 30C most days, and I only had 2m of the Valori Wells knit fabric that I wanted to use for this dress. It noted that for a size S, I would need around 2.5m (can’t remember exactly)… but with a little juggling, I easily got it all out of 2m with quite a bit of fabric left over. I just cut the skirts out first on the fold, then re-folded the fabric with selvages touching in the middle so that I could get the bodice pieces out of the leftover amount. Unfortunately, I should have turned one of the bodice pattern pieces over, as the way I cut it out, the print is in the wrong direction on the back bodice piece, but it’s not that obvious!

This was a really simple dress to construct, even for a novice-knit-fabric-sewer like myself! I got into a little trouble with the neckline gaping out – I think I just stretched the fabric a bit too much while sewing it (pulling it through the machine), so I unpicked the neckline double needle stitching, ironed on some hemming tape, and resewed it with a larger turnover & just with one line of stitching. It’s not very pretty inside, but it’s a big enough neck-hole that it doesn’t need to stretch over my head so I think one line of stitch should be fine.

 

 

 

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The only other hurdle was not being able to find swimwear elastic, so I just used a piece of regular elastic…. Then sewed the bodice to the skirt together with a basting stitch to check how it all fitted. I didn’t really like the way it sat with the elastic, so I unpicked the elastic, and just overlocked the skirt to the bodice. I figured its quite a firm knit and I’ll always wear a belt with it, as I think the fabric choice needs it!

I hemmed it a little shorter  than my knees. Ahhhh I’m in loveeee.

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Trying to get a good shot & the best one has the toddler in it. Fail!

The fabric is not that lightweight so will be a little too warm for the weather here at the moment (but PERFECT for my Brisbane visit next month!!)

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As you would know if you have read previous posts, something I need to work on is my photography skills! Unfortunately our apartment is ALL white walls (& renting so staying that way!). Also there aren’t many places to set up a camera for timer pics, and the only long mirror is in our walk in robe. So I got creative after reading Tilly’s post on her blog (Tillyandthebuttons) and set up my version of a tripod (see below….). Toddler could not understand for the life of him why his little chair was on his highchair. Did not like it one bit.

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So thats my run-down of my first Moneta. I say ‘first’ as I’ve already got a second sleeveless one cut out, and have grand plans for a Maxi Moneta inspired by Cashmerette… Oooh the love….

 

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Wrap Skirt

First order of business – I received my fabric.com and Hawthorne threads orders yesterday and today… so I have a mound of oh-soooo-pretty-I’m-drooling fabric and no patterns to sew it with!

So last night, I got my tape measure, and some of Bubbas paper and crayons out, sat in front of some Grey’s Anatomy re-runs and drafted a wrap around skirt pattern, using some of my cheaper fabric I found here in Tbilisi, a lightweight cotton floral print. I used 1 back piece and 2 front pieces as I am having the skirt wrap at the front. When I put together the three pieces and tried it on, it was much too ‘flowy’ as I cut each piece to be almost double the width at the bottom as the top. So I took the seams in to be a little more “tulip” shape, and cut the front piece to be also what I call “tulip” – oh just look at the picture and decide for yourself – doesn’t flare out at the bottom. It is hard to see how the front overlaps in this picture, I’ve done some unintentional print matching……!!

Floral Wrap skirt

Floral Wrap skirt

In any case, because the front piece was curved now from the waistband down along the hemline, I was wondering how on earth I was going to do the edging without it puckering and a LOT of effort (and then hem the remaining part of the skirt the same!?)…. so I used a strip of fabric cut on the bias folded over once, and sewed it raw edges together all along the edge and hem, then ironed it away from the fabric, and folded over and sewed it down (see this MUCH more thorough explanation of the same for a neckline here). I had just done this method for a neckline the other day so thought it would be a neat finish taking into account the curve.

Before I did it, I just made sure that the skirt was at a good length!!

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Hemmed with bias and overlocked seam lines

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Skirt laid out (on my bed!) Can see how the the inner front (closest to bottom) and back piece (middle) both have straight lines yet the front piece (at top of pic) curves from waistband down along the hemline.

 

For the waistband and ties, I used the same process as Tilly uses for the Miette skirt, you can find it on her awesome website here!

Wrap skirt, Finished!

Wrap skirt, Finished!

I’m so happy with how it came out for a self-drafted pattern, and although it’s just a tad too big, I’m definately going to be wearing this around Tbilisi this summer!!

Now I need to also work on my photography skills…. that was the best picture of me in the skirt out of around 20 – I’m definately not in the ‘selfie’ generation!

 

Fabric love

I’ve had to make a few tough choices in the last couple of days…. ie.. I put in an order each with Fabric.com and Hawthorne Threads, and had to choose fabric!! As we are in Tbilisi, Georgia, I had to limit the amount of fabric I chose as otherwise the cost of postage would have been more than the fabric itself!!

As I’m trying to challenge myself to some different sewing projects, I ordered some cotton voile, as well as a couple of knit fabrics, and the usual cottons for making a few baby items. I haven’t seen any of the gorgeous designer fabrics for sale over here in Georgia, I think they may get a lot of fabrics from Turkey, and honestly I don’t think that people here would pay the prices that fabrics are sold for in the USA/ Australia!

So after ordering some fabrics online and praying it arrives intact and in a very very fast manner, I sewed up some new strap covers for Bubba’s pram (as I only have fire engine or john deere fabric left in my stash at the moment!!)… then decided to head out to Lilo Market today. Lilo Market is the main / biggest marketplace here in Tbilisi, it is around 20-30 minutes drive, and has EVERYTHING you need. By everything, I mean it has a massive textiles section, clothing, kitchen/household goods, furniture, kids & baby goods, and hardware… Many of the textiles / fabric stalls have sheeting and curtain materials, but there are just as many, if not more stalls with every kind of cotton, lace, knit, voile, lawn & lining fabrics, plus more. And the best part about the market is that you can BARGAIN the price on the fabric. WHATTTT????? Bargain for fabric!? They also jack up the prices a bit when the shopowners realise you can’t speak Georgian, so I try and just speak in Georgian – so the conversation is basically:

Me: “Hello, how much?”

Shop owner: “7 Lari”

Me: “No, 5 Lari per metre”

Shop owner: “6 Lari”

Me: “Ok,ok ”

Thats all I have so was pretty impressed with myself for managing to bargain in Georgian!! 🙂

So I ‘only’ got 10m of fabric and paid around $3-4/m each. I got a few lovely fabrics which I think are a voile/lawn as they are a little sheer, a solid blue & white dot fabric which I am planning on making into the April Rhodes Staple Dress.

Fabric Stalls at Lilo Market in Tbilisi, Georgia

Fabric Stalls at Lilo Market in Tbilisi, Georgia

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Fabric stalls at Lilo Market, Tbilisi

There are about 6 times as many stalls as you see in these pictures above…

Fabrics from Lilo Market

Fabrics from Lilo Market

My next project is to find a printer to buy as we don’t have one yet, and therefore can’t download/print any patterns!! I have so many that I can’t wait to try, especially with these gorgeous prints I bought today – I think I’ll start a blouse top tonight by using one of mine as an outline, so stay posted!

Jac x