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.
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!
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.
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! 🙂
All Photos by Ashley Shea Photography