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A tie dye Moneta & fixing fabric woes


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You know how sometimes you’ll make a dress even though it’s completely out of season, and then spend months just waiting and waiting for the chance to wear it?

This is one of those dresses.

I picked out the fabric on a rare warm early Spring day and was too excited to wait. Luckily, this was before our trip to Palm Springs, so I managed to get Kenn to snap a few shots of me in it while we soaked in the sunshine.



Fixing fabric woes

This fabric gave me no end of trouble and confusion, though.

  1. It was cut from the bolt completely off grain.
  2. The print also seemed to be off grain. That’s why it looks diagonal on the skirt (which I sort of like, actually).
  3. For whatever reason, the wrong side of the fabric was brighter than the right side!

I recut the fabric piece to get the grain lined up as best I could.

I also decided to sew it with the wrong side of the fabric out, since I thought the wrong side looked much better than the right.

If you encounter fabric like this and prefer the wrong side over the right, don’t be afraid to sew it the “wrong” way. It’s all about the final result and whether you like it.

I positioned the print on the bodice to have that dark stripe across my midriff, under my bust. I think the result is really flattering.


How to make a collarless and sleeveless Moneta

This is version 1 of the Moneta, but I made it without the collar.

If you want to make a collarless and sleeveless Moneta like this, it’s quite easy.

Use the instructions for version 1. All you have to do is sew the lining to the bodice at the neckline with right sides together. This finishes the neck. Then just follow our instructions for the armhole finish in exactly the same way. That’s it!

I really like the clean look of the sleeveless, lined bodice without a collar.

I’ve been wearing this dress this month for Me Made May (follow along here on Instagram) and can’t get enough of it.


Pattern: Moneta version 1, modified to remove the collar
Fabric: Tie-dyed cotton/spandex jersey from Mill End, bodice lined with organic cotton jersey
Shoes: Sven clogs

Sarai Mitnick   —   Founder

Sarai started Colette back in 2009. She believes the primary role of a business should be to help people. She loves good books, sewing with wool, her charming cats, working in her garden, and eating salsa.

Comments 28


That is a fantastic dress! You have definitely convinced me that I need to make a Moneta! Whilst it sounds that it was very tricky to work with, I think that the diagonal look of the pattern works really well on the skirt. :-)


The off-season thing happens a lot with sock-knitters, too. Nice summer project, because portable, and not a pound of wool in your lap whilst knitting in the heat. Then you wait four months to wear the socks! :)

gabriel ratchet

true that. i’m working on a christmas stocking right now….


I LOVE this dress! So flattering and beautiful. I have some organic cotton and indigo dye ordered and am planning to try shibori dying to make fabric to make a similar one of my own. Beautiful! Thanks for the inspiration.


Nice! I’m eager to try Shibori too, because I love the look. And the rich color of indigo.


This dress is beautiful! I get really annoyed with wonky cuts of fabric – you end up with less than you paid for once you’ve straightened it out.


That’s true. I seem to experience this more with knits than woven fabrics.

gabriel ratchet

fantastic lemonade from a wonky lemon…. lends some support to the idea that the fabric tells you what to do…. and you’re clearly an inspired listener.


This dress is beautiful! I love your shoes as well!


Thanks! I love Svens, they are incredibly comfortable. I wear them all summer.

Laura Lee

You are absolutely beautiful and this dress showcases that. I love the simplicity of this version but it looks like it could have many of its own moods! Really nice.


I love getting to see the things you make. Your slip dresses on instagram are gorgeous as well. So inspiring! Thank you for posting.


Thanks! I’ve got a ton of things made that I haven’t had time to photograph for the blog, so the #memademay challenge has been a great way to still show them somehow.


I have had issues with fabric being cut from the bolt off grain. I thought I was the only one
having those issues. It’s gets really annoying and after the first time, I now buy extra because of this.

s j kurtz

I will not buy a fabric that is obviously off grain on the bolt anymore. I am capable of regraining stuff, I have the space and the knowledge, but it’s just going to be one more problem after another if I can see it right away. If it shows up later, and I NEED it, I’ll do it, but that need has to be pretty dang (Godzilla sized) large. There’s just too much good good fabric out there, or in the closet in the basement hidden behind the secret..oh, said too much.


Haha! I wish I had your restraint, I guess. I saw how off it was when she unrolled it at the store, but I just had to have it. I’m glad I still bought it though, because I really love this dress.


Beautiful dress! Like Carrie, I just got some indigo and organic cotton and plan to experiment with shibori, so thank you for the inspiration! I’ve also loved seeing your slip dresses and camis on instagram.


Love the tie dye Moneta! From which Mill End store did you get the fabric — there seem to be several! I like all the variations you are showing, but this is my favorite so far. Thanks!


I got it at the one in SE Portland, on McLoughlin Blvd. I haven’t been over to the other location!


That’s a really gorgeous dress and I love how the skirt turned out – lucky happy accident! I hate when that off grain fabric thing happens – happens with calico more often than not for me, which is really frustrating because my muslins twist in odd ways. I like how Kenneth D King always says that the fabric has no ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ side, just which ever one you like the most :)

Heather Lou

This is gorgeous. I really need to shibori the silk jersey I have in my stash…. it’s calling out for summer dress fun.


gorgeous. fabulous. and I love the way you cut the bodice with the darker midriff.
I’m wondering – it’s hard for me to find fine jersey – could the neck and shoulders work just turned in?
I;ve been stocking up on knits for this dress, and haven’t had too many problems with grain, except once. But i get this a lot with wovens. Bought an amazing piece of beautiful, pricey, wild jungle/animal print from one of the two fabric shops here that sell the better stuff. Just 1.5 metres for a summer shift. After I washed it, it not only changed texture dramatically to become soft and almost limp (and thus no longer shift suitable unless i underline it which will make it hot and useless in our summer!) but it went dramatically off grain. i have tried all the methods i’ve found but to no avail. I think I prefer the ease of folding on a rib and going from there which you have with knits!


Yes, that could work too!


Stunning dress. It looks incredible on you. You’d never know the fabric was off grain and the print was wonky. It looks like a dress you’d find in Anthropologie. Gorgeous.

Alice Elliot

I love the way this dress came out in this fabric. Especially like the close drape of the skirt. And your thoughtful use of the print….right on.


normally I don’t like tye-dyes, but this looks so unique! so… bold, and contemporary.
just today I rejected two knits on the store because of your wise advice.! But I should admit that I was very open to patterns I would never even look in other times. This style really inspired me!


Love love love this dress, I”ve always loved tied dye and so glad it seems to be gaining popularity again! Yeah! I recently discovered a dye from a plant called woad that has an incredible blue tone… alot like your dress! Thanks for sharing!

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