Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Sewing for me: A striped moneta dress

Pattern: Moneta Dress by Colette Patterns, version C (3/4 sleeves)
Fabric: 100% organic cotton striped interlock knit (I had 2m50 but I have a nice piece leftover)
Notions: clear elastic, coordinating thread
Size: xs

I finally made myself a Moneta dress and what better incentive than to select it as my June garment for the Make a Garment a Month challenge?! I'm so pleased I made this dress, or rather two dresses, since I made a test version out of a similar interlock knit and that version, after some tweaking, is quite wearable too.

The Moneta dress seemed like the just the thing for me - versatile, relaxed, comfortable, and elegant. After seeing wonderful versions like Lauren's from the Guthrie & Ghani blog or Mary's from Idle Fancy (Aren't the fabric choices just delightful? And I love the idea of pleating...must try that next time!), and seeing this beautiful interlock with fine stripes at my local fabric shop, how could I resist? 

I chose to make version C of the dress and initially, I thought I would make pockets since I tend to leave them out of garments for me. I did my test run (I'm hoping to get good pictures of that dress soon too) but decided against pockets for my second 'real' dress as I found that I didn't use them at all and the fabric was a bit heavy making them not quite as discrete as I would have liked. 

In terms of fit, there was some tweaking to do, especially for the sleeves and armscye. As you can see in the pictures, there was quite a bit of extra fabric in the sleeves, making unflattering folds. I reduced the overall width of the sleeve and reduced the armscye depth. Those changes seemed to work pretty well, leaving me with a comfortable sleeve with a bit of ease.

I also reduced the bodice to get a closer fit as the dress is designed to be worn with negative ease. I extended the neckline edge at the shoulder part of the bodice because I liked where it was sitting before turning it under and finished it with a twin needle. Otherwise, the length of the dress was just right for me with the seam line of the bodice and skirt at my natural waist and the length of the dress hitting at the top of my knee. 
I used the clear elastic technique as described in the pattern where one shirrs the skirt by basting the elastic in place while stretching it to fit. I didn't experience any problems with this method (I just had to be careful to not get the elastic twisted) and the elastic was not sticking at all to my presser foot so I have not yet tried gathering the skirt first and then putting the elastic in.
 I took the time to match my stripes, basting my pieces together first before sewing to assure the correct placement and I'm quite pleased with the result. The interlock fabric behaved itself beautifully, remaing quite stable and not stretching too much while sewing which helped a lot. I trimmed my seam allowances down a bit as the fabric is a little bulky and I finished my hems with a twin needle.
I like the dress(es) a lot and I'm glad I decided not to put pockets in this second version. I've already worn the dress 5 times since making it almost 2 weeks ago and I love how I feel in it - feminine and summery. I want to make another Moneta dress but using another version and perhaps a collar variation. 


  1. Hi, I just stumbled across your blog and had to say how inspiring it is. Your garments are stunning and beautifully made and really my of style, so I'm looking forward to seeing more :)
    x Sam

    1. Thank you for your kind comments, Sam!

  2. Beautifully sewn dress. I just discovered your blog through Oliver+S flickr pool, and loved the shirt that you have made too. WIll be back to see more :-)

    1. Thank you, Asmita! I really love sewing for my little boy!