I want you to meet a friend of mine.
We’ve been through a lot together recently. With all of our disagreements, I almost gave up on our relationship. Until, finally…I got her to see things my way.
Moneta and me. A friendship made in jersey.
It only took SIX trial fittings of the bodice to sort out this pattern. I’m no stranger to multiple muslins, but fitting Colette Pattern’s Moneta dress turned out to be a crash course in knits and negative ease.
Flat-pattern measuring doesn’t really work on garments designed for knits. So, nearly every alteration had to be verified, one by one.
Luckily, a knit bodice can be cut and basted together in about 20 minutes. They key is to have plenty of discount jersey around. Before I knew what I liked, before I could distinguish cheap from quality, before I really knew how to sew it, I bought and stashed yards and yards of knit fabric (40% off coupons will have that effect).
All of that hoarding came in handy when discovering that Moneta basically required open heart surgery to fit me. Here are the changes I made:
- Removed 1/2″ of length from the chest and sleeve cap.
- Removed ease from sleeve cap by flattening the back and scooping out the front.
- Shortened sleeve by 2″ at the bicep.
- Reduced front neckline width with a 1″ narrow chest/shoulder alteration.
- Added length at the bust with a dartless FBA.
- Raised back bodice at waistline with a 1/2″ swayback alteration.
- Re-drafted the pocket so the top reached the waistline.
Whew! I’m still out of breath.
I should have raised the waist by an inch so the skirt sits a bit above my waistline (a more flattering spot on me), but I only noticed this after assembling the final dress. OK, so it’s 98% right after all those mods. Perfection is overrated. I’m wearing it.
If this wasn’t my first knit dress, if I wasn’t such a knit-sewing moron, Moneta would’ve only take a muslin or two to make. Instead, I used my 5 trial bodices and 1 full dress trial to practice coverstitching. A most wonderful thing I’ve had the power to do for years (three cheers for convertible overlockers!), but only just acquired the bravery.
The wearable jersey I chose to make out of my blood, sweat, and fitted Moneta pattern is a denim-look fabric with a faux twill weave. I bought it at Joann’s a while back. I think it’s a rayon/cotton/lycra blend, medium-weight or double knit jersey (kinda like this one from Mood) that was probably meant for sewing jeggings. Since I’m not ready for negative ease fitting on my bottom half just yet, a dress is where my knitventures began.
All of the fitting work was absolutely worth it. The bodice alone has hundreds of possibilities. I’ll probably start with Colette’s free collar variations. Then, there’s all of the different kinds of skirt options beyond the original gathered one – circle, pleated, pencil, maxi – a girl could wear nothing but Monetas. A wardrobe of dress jammies in all the colors of the rainbow.
No longer a knit sewing newbie, I am grateful for the time I spent getting to know Moneta. Now that we understand each other, she gives the best hugs (in all the right places).