An Encore in Teal

I made ANOTHER knit dress.

It was inevitable after such hard won success with my first one.

Moneta No. 2

Many other sewists have made the Moneta dress and repeated the experience. Well, give me a baton. I’m joining the parade.

Moneta No. 2

This version of Moneta is in a teal stretch jersey that was too lightweight on its own for winter, so I underlined it with self-fabric. A fancy way of saying I doubled the fabric to make it heavier weight.

Moneta No. 2

But that shit was no fun. It took way too much time to double cut, match and pin all of the pattern pieces. My convertible overlocker was a beast about serging all of those layers, but when it came time to coverstitch the hem…we had us some struggles.

Moneta No. 2

If I had to do it again, I’d baste the hem before coverstitching to stabilize it. Fusible hem tape wouldn’t work so well with all of the stretch and double layers of fabric, so the added steps of hand or machine basting and later removing it are worth the spared heartache of a wavy hem.

A situation I have chosen to live with on this dress. Because after number two, there’s always number three.

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The original instructions have you clumsily sewing in clear elastic to give the waistline enough stretch to pull over your shoulders. Since my local Joann’s has been out of clear elastic for months, I used the regular stuff on this Moneta and its predecessor.

Basting the elastic to the waistline was madness the first time, so for this second dress, I gathered the waist manually, sewed a wider seam allowance and used it as a casing to insert the 1/4″ elastic.

A much better sewing experience.

Moneta No. 2

I understand the knit dressmaking addiction I’ve been reading about on other blogs. The jones I have for the next fix (perhaps a collar or some color blocking for round three) is strong.

In the meantime, this DIY double knit teal Moneta will entertain me with its bright and cozy ways.

Meet Moneta

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.

Moneta in Denim 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.

Moneta in Denim Jersey

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).

Moneta in Denim Jersey

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:

  1. Removed 1/2″ of length from the chest and sleeve cap.
  2. Removed ease from sleeve cap by flattening the back and scooping out the front.
  3. Shortened sleeve by 2″ at the bicep.
  4. Reduced front neckline width with a 1″ narrow chest/shoulder alteration.
  5. Added length at the bust with a dartless FBA.
  6. Raised back bodice at waistline with a 1/2″ swayback alteration.
  7. 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.

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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.

Moneta in Denim Jersey

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.

Moneta in Denim Jersey
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).