This post has been a long time coming. Like, more-than-six-months coming. But hey, life happens in between blog posts so here it finally is.
None other than the every-popular, comfortable, quick and easy Moneta by Colette Patterns. I starting seeing these awesome dresses all over the blogosphere months before I bought the pattern, and knew I had to do (at least) one. I read so many people’s blogs about it, plucking up the nerve to start sewing with knits, and finally bit the bullet and gave it a go.
I bought this soft, warm, stretchy stuff from Lincraft way back in about June last year. I’m not sure that you can see it in the photos, but it’s actually quite silvery in the background. It’s quite a thick knit, with the black pattern knitted into the silvery-grey background. I made the dress for the winter, and wore it quite a lot paired with black tights and boots and a thick scarf. These photos were taken in summer, so I made the most of it with a light summery scarf and a belt. Once again, the awesome Pam made the shoot a lot of fun!
As scared as I was of knits, I found this dress to be very quick and easy to sew up. Collette Patterns present their products in spectacular packaging and with wonderful, step-by-step instructions. I think it took me a total of about 30 minutes to stitch together after cutting. Thanks to the myriad online resources, I learnt to buy a ballpoint needle and a twin needle for this project, and I’m so glad I did. The ballpoint needle means you don’t break the knit of the fabric while sewing, and the twin needle makes for an awesome, neat, professional-looking finish for the hem:
As well as using ballpoint and twin needles for knits, another cool thing I learnt was how to use plastic elastic for gathering. Check out this waist line!
That gathering was one of the most satisfying parts of the project. Maybe I was just lucky (I’ve heard a lot of people have trouble gathering with elastic) but somehow it just all lined up and was an absolute breeze to sew.
And one more cool thing about this dress, it has pockets! Wheee!
They seriously make the dress so comfortable. And they were so easy to add into the seams that it’s not even a thing. I thought it would be a big thing to add pockets, but it totally wasn’t!
I have come to realise since making this dress that I actually have a long torso compared to most standard pattern sizing conventions, so the bodice of this dress turned out to be a bit short for me. Also, the back is a bit gapey and the armholes and sleeves a bit loose. Note to self: ALWAYS MAKE A MOCK-UP!!! I’m usually too impatient to make a mock-up/toile/muslin/whatever you want to call it, and it’s always my biggest let-down. You can really see the bodice-, sleeve-, and neckline-gapeyness in this photo:
I’ve since started automatically adjusting patterns to add two inches to the waist line. And it’s become my mantra to slow down and take the time to get things right, because I always end up saving time in the long run and ending up with a better product. I wish I had done it for my slightly ill-fitting Burda tops; if I’d taken the time to get the fitting right the first time, I’d have a perfect pattern (like Lucie does)!
On a related note, my sister, who is awesome for many reasons but one being that she is a super-talented professional calligrapher, made me this which permanently hangs above my sewing machine:
It reads, “In a world where instant gratification is increasingly the default, it is good to be reminded that some things can only be done well if you are willing to take the time, stop taking shortcuts, and slow down long enough to get them right.” Glancing at this every time I’m struggling and rushing with something (which happens a lot!) reminds me to Just. Slow. Down. So that is what I have been doing for recent projects, and I hope it pays off.