I realize it’s been all sewing on the blog recently, but there’s a reason for that: in less than a week, Peter and I leave for Europe for work (me) and fun (mostly Peter), and as always happens when I’m about to leave for Europe, I realize that I desperately need more clothes. There’s nothing like the thought of wearing the same couple of outfits for a month (I tend to pack light and do laundry while traveling) to make one reevaluate whether your favorite pair of pants that’s starting to wear out will actually make it through the trip. Unfortunately I’m not yet enough of a sewing ninja to know how to make pants, so skirts and dresses it is.
After my first Moneta, I realized there were a couple important changes that needed to be made before I could feel truly comfortable wearing a Moneta out and about anywhere but laid-back California. First, the finishing work needed improvement so it didn’t look so, well, handmade. This was solved by my friend Alicia coming over for a sewing date this weekend and giving me a twin needle for my sewing machine. After a jaunt of googling, I was able to set up a second bobbin of thread in a cup and thread it through the machine like the top spool of thread. The result is two rows of evenly spaced stitches that are stretchy, since the bottom bobbin thread goes through both of them. It looks like the finishing you would get with a serger, and looks MUCH nicer than a zigzag stitch.
Second, I wanted to make a Moneta that was a bit more classy. This was solved by drafting a cowl neck onto the front bodice piece, based off of a shirt I already own with a front cowl neck. The effect is quite fetching, if I do say so myself. I tried it out with left-over brown knit fabric from the first Moneta and made a cowl neck tank top (the bottom panel on the back of the tank top was necessary because I didn’t have enough large pieces of fabric left!). After identifying a few mistakes with the cowl neck construction, I finally felt ready to cut into the super-soft organic cotton knit fabric I chose for my second Moneta.
As much as I have loved wearing my first Moneta, the second one wins in just about every category: it is more soft, drapes better, the cowl neck hangs perfectly all by itself (instead of me having to make sure the high neckline of my first Moneta hasn’t turned itself inside-out), the color goes better with my other clothes, and it looks so much more professionally done (not that there still aren’t problems, but most of them aren’t obvious to the casual observer). In fact, I like this second Moneta so much that I’m contemplating making a third one in a pretty pink/mauve color before my trip.
In other news, Peter and his dad bottled the syrah and zinfindel grape wines before I left for the East Coast, and Peter has started making sourdough bread using a different recipe and method that produces a perfectly crunchy golden crust.