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).
12 thoughts on “Meet Moneta”
Gorgeous! Looks like it was actually worth that astounding pile of muslins!
Thanks, Erin! I still have that pile of muslins on my floor. A daily reminder of just how worth it is to make clothes that fit me.
Fabulous fit! Your next Moneta will be so much faster to make, but keep an eye on your fabrics! I made three of them so far, and they all turned out slightly different in terms of fit. A bit more weight in the skirt, or some lengthwise stretch, and my neckline will sit lower, despite clear elastics in shoulder and waist. Although I didn’t change a thing, the skirt of my cotton knit Moneta is slightly shorter than the one in viscose knit. Never a dull moment when sewing knits 😉
Your advice is SPOT ON, Marianne! I noticed that the neckline and waistline and mine changed because of the stretchiness of the jersey I used. My plan is to find a type/brand of jersey I really like and stick with it, so I always know how it will sew up. Until then, I’ll probably have to make a bodice trial every time I use a new fabric.
By the way, I read your blog post about sewing knits and LOVED it!!!! It was right on time and so thorough. Thank you. I’ll be in touch the next time I’m knee deep in knit drama.
Your Monetta is beautiful!
Thank you, Faye. I am looking forward to the next one.
You did it! The fit does look perfect! Your persistence is so impressive, and inspiring. Excellent job and congratulation on a great make. 🙂
Yes, Ebi! I did it! Knits, man. This dress wore me out, but it was so worth it. Thanks for cheering me on.
It might be interesting to pin up the waist on this one just to get an idea of how it looks before you make your next dozen? I’m wondering if the waist;in being gathered might actually crowd your bosom? Takes one to know one!
Yes, on my second Moneta (a more recent post), I test-fitted the waistline and ended up making some corrections to raise the waistline. I like where it sits much better and plan to do the same trial fitting whenever I sew the pattern in a new-to-me fabric. As for gathers “crowding” my bust, I’m not quite sure what you mean (and not totally sure I want to if you’re discouraging my choice of pattern).
It’s possible for a gathered waist to add too much fullness to the midsection, but I think my full bust and short waist do enough “crowding” on their own. Finding the right place for dress waistlines to sit on my body and getting the right ratio of “fit and flare” is the key for me. When I get it right, I can create more volume at my hips (which are rather narrow compared to my waist) to create an hourglass silhouette – the dress shape I’m happiest wearing.
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