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A Gingham Moneta Dress

Gingham is one of my favorite wardrobe staples; it’s one of those complementary prints that enhances whatever solid color is worn with it. Lately, I’ve been experimenting with brighter, bolder colors and lacking corresponding pieces to wear with them! I’m also a sucker for classic prints and shapes, so when I saw this dark and light grey Gingham Stretch Fabric, I had to try it.

This fabric is a medium-weight, one-way 50% stretch, almost opaque, ponte roma. I had originally planned to make a pair of stretch, close-fitting trousers that I had prematurely dubbed “the pedal pushers”, but when I received the fabric I realized that it did not have enough hold and density for a pair of pants (that wouldn’t sag or display panty lines), but instead offered a lovely drape that would work well with a gathered skirt. The Moneta Dress by Colette Patterns has been on my list of patterns to make for a while, so I decided to dive right in!

In terms of sizing, Colette Patterns’ size 0 is often a size too big in the bust for me (33” and I currently measure at 32”), but as the Moneta is designed with negative ease, I decided to make the size 0 without scaling down. It was a risky shortcut, but lucky for me, the fit turned out just fine!

That said, I made a few modifications while sewing. First, I didn’t have the patience to fiddle with the elastic method of gathering as described in the instructions, so I gathered the skirt pieces at the waistline in the traditional fashion (with three lines of long stitches) and it worked just fine.

The sleeves were also too short for my taste; the pattern described them as ¾ length but they finished well above my elbow, which I found to be particularly unflattering. I briefly considered adding a self-drafted sleeve cuff, as the small gingham pattern would have camouflaged the seam line pretty well but then opted to shorten the hem allowance instead. In order to get the sleeve-length down to at least the crux of my elbow, I hemmed the sleeves at 3/8” (1cm) rather than at 1” as instructed.

I also wanted to keep the skirt length close to the top of my knee, so I also hemmed the skirt at 3/8” (1cm) rather than at 1” as called for.

At first, I was a little hesitant about the way the gathered skirt looked over my belly and bum – I usually find dresses with gathered skirts and waistlines positioned above the natural waist to look childish and lumpy on me. I have since been assured by others that it is not in fact unflattering on my body, so I think it might just be a question of trying a new silhouette that I’m not entirely comfortable with yet.

I am delighted with the neckline in both the front and the back however; it makes me feel very much like a swan!

Also, it has pockets! In the end, I’ve worn this dress out a few times and it is incredibly comfortable while presenting a chic, put-together look. Now to work on some bright, flashy, complementary pieces! 

Thanks for reading,

Sarah @sarah__naomi_

Comment (1)

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Meg An said:

I like it. I have the same concerns with gathered skirts and I also like that you think of the most flattering lines for arms and length. Much more flattering when they are in the right places · 19th May 2019 09:10pm