Monthly Archives: July 2016

Polka Dot Moneta Dress

Knit Moneta Dress

Oh, the Moneta Dress from Colette patterns. Have you seen it? You probably have. Have you sewn it? If your answer is no, you need to throw everything off your sewing table and sew it up right now! I’ll wait. [cue the elevator music]

That felt good right? Sometimes you need a project that doesn’t take you hours upon hours to finish. Knit fabric has instant gratification built into every knit and purl. You don’t *need* to finish the seams because it won’t fray. Fitting with a knit fabric is more forgiving as it will stretch, mold or skim our curves in just the right way wovens don’t. At least don’t do willingly. Knit fabric is like your easy-going friend that doesn’t mind seeing your house in its natural state (if your house is anything like mine, that usually means disarray). It is that friend you can just hang out with and drink wine. No pretenses, no pressure.

Moneta is the best set-up you could give your easy-going friend. It is a well drafted, classic shape that really does flatter everyone I have seen it on. Go ahead and google it, I will wait. [cue the elevator music again] See? If you haven’t sewn it, it is time.

Cloud9 Knit Colette Moneta Dress by Pintuck & Purl

This is my second Moneta that I have sewn. For the first one I did not prewash my fabric (wah wah wah waah) and when I did, it shrunk enough to make it a bit on the short side. That one doesn’t see the light of day unless I can wear it with leggings or very opaque tights. Do what I say, not what I do: always prewash your fabric.

For this version, I chose the Cloud9 Organic Cotton Spots in Navy. I love a good polka dot and this random, not completely round pattern had me smitten the moment I saw the first swatch. Now, this fabric is 100% organic cotton. The stretch is there, but definitely not as much as, say, our line of Bolt fabrics, which has 5% spandex. It is also a bit beefier, but still handled like a dream. I sewed up Version 2 with short sleeves and an unlined bodice. I was tempted to pick something with a fun collar, but went classic for this one. I wanted the polka dots to be the star of this version. And I think that they are!

Cloud9 Polka Dot Moneta by Pintuck & Purl

Since this was my second version, I did a few alterations. I took a wedge of fabric from the center front and blended it into the center front seam and also took about a half-inch from the center back, as a swayback adjustment. I raised the waistline about a half-inch as well. Since I am short and like my skirts the same way, I took quite a bit off the hem. I would say about an inch, but since this was a few months ago, and I have misplaced my notes (again: disarray), that seems about right.

I sewed the whole dress on my home machine, even though it would have been faster on a serger. I am on a “sewing knits with a regular machine” kick right now. I feel like I have more control around curves and if something starts to go wrong, I can spot it early on. For all the hems I just folded over the raw edges and used a twin needle. One of my favorite ways to finish knits! Quick and easy.

Polka Dot Moneta Dress

The one tricky part of this pattern is inserting the clear elastic into the waistline. The only thing I can say about this is that practice does make a difference. It is a large amount of fabric to stretch to that seemingly ridiculous narrow elastic, but it can be done. I find it easiest to pin the elastic one point at a time and then focus on stretching to that next pin. I mark all my points on my dress and on the elastic, so I am not trying to figure it out while the dress is under the needle. Once I get to the first pin, I line up my next pin and work my way, pin by pin, around the waistline. I found that if I tried to pin all my points at once, the pins inevitably fell out and I was constantly trying to figure out where they were supposed to be.

If you have spent your summer sewing up things for other people, you might want to spend some quality time with the Moneta. She will do your soul good! 🙂

Knit Moneta Dress by Pintuck & Purl

All Photos by Ashley Shea Photography


Summer Seersucker Belladone Dress

Belladonna by Pintuck & Purl

You know those days when you are jumping around from sewing blog to sewing blog (or whatever blog you might read) and something stops you dead in your tracks? After you pick your jaw up off the floor, you know you have to have whatever it is that has graced the screen. This is what happened when I saw Lladybird’s (Lauren’s) striped Belladone dress, a few years back. I had seen a few other versions of this pattern, by French pattern maker Deer & Doe. All of them had been pretty cute, but this one was different. This was the one that pushed me over the edge. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery right? (Right?!?!?!) I hope so. 🙂

As with most things in my life, I started to obsess about it. I scoured my stash for striped fabric, and stalked all the online fabric stores (this was before I had opened the shop). I finally rested on the perfect solution: Seersucker. It was two summers ago that I made this dress (Backlog, you say?? Whatever do you mean?), and it is still in heavy rotation as soon as the temperature starts to climb.

Summer Belladonna by Pintuck & Purl

As far as the the pattern goes, Deer & Doe is drafted for a C-Cup, which I am not. I ended up doing my normal small bust adjustment but also had to lengthen the waist. My actual measurements did not fall into one particular size, so I ended up cutting a 36 for the bodice (and only using a 1/2″ seam allowance) and then graded out to a 38 for the waist and hips. I did a 1/2″ sway back adjustment as well. The only other alteration I had was the back cut-out, which had excess fabric and didn’t lay flat. I followed Lauren’s tutorial on how to alter that pattern piece (which is at the bottom of her post), which proved to be very helpful. After my second and final muslin of the bodice, I was ready to go!

Seersucker Belladonna by Pintuck & Purl

The seersucker was perfect to sew on, since it was 100% cotton. I took my time matching up the stripes on the skirt pockets and I’m glad I did. I also followed Lauren’s lead, rolling the bias tape to the inside and cutting the belt portion of the dress on the bias…because what is cuter than a bias stripe inset belt? Not much! I ended up using some white cotton that I had leftover from another project for the bias tape. Since I was rolling it to the inside it didn’t really matter what I used. I interfaced all the belt pieces with the same cotton, and sewed it in place. I pinked all my seams, and two years later they don’t look amazing, but they are still holding up. If I use seersucker again, I might serge or zigzag instead. That may help it look a little prettier inside after multiple washings.

Seersucker Belladonna by Pintuck & Purl

When I first sewed this pattern only one view was offered. Now that Deer & Doe is rebranding they have tweaked some of their older patterns, and now the Belladone comes with an alternate view of a fully closed back. I have plans to make a wool one for wearing with cozy tights and boots.

Belladonna Back by Pintuck & Purl

All Photos by Ashley Shea Photography

This is a great dress pattern. However, it is not necessarily a beginner pattern. The company places the difficulty range at a 3/5 and I would agree. That being said, if you have a few dresses under your belt and are familiar with garment construction, I could not recommend this pattern more. It is one of my favorite makes to wear and the one I get the most compliments on.

We carry the pattern in the shop and also have a few seersuckers for you to create your own ultimate summer dress!

Fernweh Quilt by Domestic Strata

Fernweh Quilt - Pintuck & Purl

The Fernweh Quilt by Domestic Strata is one of those patterns that checks off everything on my imaginary priority list for a quilt pattern (or any pattern for that matter). Great design: check. Clean lines: check. Easy-to-follow instructions: check. An amazing finished product at the end: double check!

The pattern is well written, and for those who have completed at least one quilt before, this shouldn’t be too daunting. If you had the energy (and food, water, or wine!) you might well be able to piece the whole top in a day. It would be a long one, but it would be worth it if you needed a baby gift quickly.  If a lone quilting marathon doesn’t strike your fancy, we have a class for this quilt, and the top is pieced in two sessions that each last about 3 hours.

Fernweh Quilt - PIntuck & Purl

Our shop sample, pictured here, was made by our amazing quilting instructor, Caitlin Topham from Salty Oat.  For the shop sample, Caitlin chose a Cloud9 Cirrus Solid in Coral and an RJR Supreme Solid in Linen White for the front with a Riley Blake Floral for the back. The binding (perhaps my favorite part) is a Cotton + Steel Sprinkle in Black Cat from their Basics line. It was quilting per the instructions, but the options for quilting are just as endless as the potential fabric combinations.

Fernweh Quilt - Pintuck & Purl

Caitlin is the one who will hold your hand and help you create the perfect blocks (or rescue your not-so-perfect blocks!), if doing it on your own is just a little too scary. Or take the class just to be in her creative presence and soak up all the small tidbits of knowledge she casually lets fall. I tell you, it is a great class for everyone.

Fernweh Quilt - Pintuck & Purl

All Photos by Ashley Shea Photography

Check out the pattern for some satisfying sewing, and/or check our schedule for the next available class. For those who are interested, we have one coming up on July 23rd & July 30th!