Oh My, Moneta!

When my brother came to town in May from NYC, he brought with him both of the Colette patterns Mabel and Moneta, and the Guide to Sewing with Knits. I was so excited!  It took a month before I had time to tackle the Moneta pattern, and even longer to get this post together, but better late than never!

Moneta by Colette Patterns

What I used:

  • Fabric: A couple of yards of a taupe knit with a subtle gold glitter that’ was left over from Christmas projects last year. Perfect, a new dress and stashbuster project all in one!
  • Maxi Lock Thread
  • Clear Elastic
  • Serger for assembly
  • Sewing Machine for hemming

IMG_0813See the glitter?

Project Notes

I fall between the medium and large sizing and decided to grade the bodice between the sizes from about under the bust and the hip.  I also left off the pockets for this version, to avoid any bulk in the hip area.

The fabric is lovely but it’s a bit more clingy than I expected, so I opted for the lined version and since I’m always cold, the mid length sleeves. This a combo version of the sleeveless lined option and the unlined sleeve version –  I sewed up the bodice and lining as instructed but then sewed both layers to the sleeve – not as pretty a finish as sleeveless, lined version, but who’s gonna know? I really enjoyed using the Maxi-Lock thread in the serger was so much fun – I love the way it “fills out” and makes a softer rounder seam.  I purchased black and white cones from the Workroom, but I can definitely see getting another basic colour or two.

There was only one frustrating moment with this pattern which involved gathering the skirt. The Colette guide to sewing with knits details two different approaches to gathering with clear elastic – one is “gather first” the other involves gathering the skirt while joining it to the bodice.  Short answer:  Shirring the skirt using clear elastic was a pain in the arse. Some areas had more gathers, and one area had much less – almost none.  I gathered those sections by hand and moved on before I lost my enthusiasm.

How long it took:

Moneta is a quick project which is perfect for me since I don’t have many evenings free to sew.  I cut out the pattern and fabric in under an hour. Assembling the bodice, lining and sleeve were no problem either, but as I mentioned earlier, gathering the skirt was challenging and took about a half hour on its own.  With the double needle the hemming was simple and luckily I had matching thread for the hems, or I would have had to make a trip to Fabricland just to pick some up. All in all I’d say this dress took me about 3 hours – I’m not very fast and had to make some corrections (below).

Encore?

With the challenges of gathering the skirt, this Moneta is far from perfect, wonky in several places along the skirt and bodice seam, but it’s still wearable. I love the way the knit fabric feels, how the dress moves and how it has a little sparkle.  I probably wouldn’t wear this colour without the sparkle.  A little pressing helped with the “wonk”.  This is a very stretchy knit, and I  ended up taking in a fair bit from the bodice sides and the arms, so next time I’ll stick with a medium. Karyn has a good tip on how to remove the excess fabric from the underarm area here.

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Despite the mistakes, I can definitely see this dress going into regular rotation – it is comfortable enough to wear all day. If I ever find the “perfect” denim jacket,  it would be a perfect match for this dress with tall boots with some gold jewellery.

fast forward 3 weeks >>um, like this?  I found a denim jacket at Public Butter for $30 a few weeks ago.

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I definitely want to make more Monetas!   I would stick to the medium size and I would shorten the bodice a bit so that the gathers are at my waist, not my hips. In the pictures I’d already fixed this because it was really bothering me.

P.S.  Although I procrastinated for weeks on taking pictures of my first Moneta, I did manage to make a second one, with all the changes I mentioned above!  I used bamboo jersey from the Workroom and I love, love, love, love, love it.

I tried again to gather the skirt according to the instructions and really, messed it up this time. My machine was not happy no matter what I tried.   Disaster and profanity reigned for a few minutes.

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I turned to my knowledgeable and talented IG/Workroom friends who advised to ditch the instructions, gather using the usual rows of basting lines and to serge the elastic in to stabilize the seam when joining the skirt to the bodice.  They saved me! Much better this way!

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I like this version even better than the first one – it’s incredibly comfortable.  Teal/sage coloured bamboo jersey is all washed and waiting to become a third version – but maybe this time with a collar of some kind. I already have ideas for a fourth, fifth and maybe sixth version!

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