Sewing Project: A Charley Harper Moneta | Mint Green Sewing Machine: Sewing Project: A Charley Harper Moneta

Friday, January 9, 2015

Sewing Project: A Charley Harper Moneta

  Hi everyone! As you may know, I'm a huge fan of the artist Charley Harper, who did many illustrations in the 1950s and 60s. You may remember I found a cookbook at a thrift store that was illustrated by him and I felt like I hit the jackpot! Needless to say, I was so excited when Birch Fabrics came out with a line of fabrics featuring his artwork. The only thing that kept me from buying every one of the designs was the rather high price (like $17 a yard!). I did, however, make room in my budget for some of this knit fabric to make myself a dress, and here it is!
 One of the reasons I used to justify this fabric splurge was the fact that I knew that I would get a lot of wear out of it. The Moneta pattern is absolutely one of my favorites! It's really quick and easy to sew and the dress is cute and really wearable- great for those days when you want I a cute outfit with minimal effort (or isn't that every day?). I made this dress several months ago and have worn it many times- usually with this exact same belt and cardigan. This is my third version of the Moneta- I made a green one and a striped one as well as this one.
 I sewed this dress on my serger and it came together in a couple of hours. I used my machine to hem the sleeves, hem, and neckline with a double needle stitch. I decided to make the design very simple to let the fabric stand out on its own.

One thing I would suggest is making sure you have the right needle for this project. I used a ballpoint needle, size 16. I was having trouble with my needles at first tearing my fabric (they were new, still in the package, but were from the 1970s or 80s- I had inherited them). I messed with the tension, the stitch length, everything with no success and then I finally went out and got brand-new needles and then everything was fine. Needless to say, I just threw the rest of those old needles away! Also, if you're using a double needle to hem and having issues, I would suggest buying one specifically made for knits (I bought this one). I was having a lot of trouble with the "universal" double needles skipping stitches and generally being a pain, but the "stretch" twin needle sews knits perfectly!

Pattern: Colette Patterns Moneta Dress
 Fabric: Charley Harper for Birch Fabrics Organic Knit in Red Eye Vireo
 Size: Large
 Alterations: Added 4 inches to hem.
Skill Level: Beginner to Intermediate
Thanks for stopping by!


  1. That is so lovely and so YOU! I can imagine how you would get a lot of wear out of that! I find the Moneta to be the perfect comfortable year round dress, but it's even better in the fall/winter. I also love how you tied your belt :)

  2. This is gorgeous! I love your pairing of this fabric with this pattern. May you get lots and lots of wear out of the dress!

  3. Very cute! Thanks for the link on the double needle. I've been having a similar problem (I don't think any of my current double needles are "universal," but have been skipping like crazy, and I haven't been able to figure out what's up).

  4. It is beautiful and you look great in it.

  5. I can only get stretch twin needles locally, the shop assistant told me they only come in ballpoint when I was checking it was the right one and I know thst isn't true

  6. Lovely dress! I always struggle with my twin needles, even when they are stretch... I have taken to just using a zigzag even though I know the look isn't as professional. Maybe I just need to pony up for a brand-new stretch needle.

  7. Super cute! I love Charley Harper.