I am coming very late to the Moneta party which was very popular on my favourite sewing vlogs recently. I was particularly inspired by Amanda from ISEWALOT who recently posted a challenge to make the dress in one hour. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f3LCcEbRPOs)
According to the Colette Patterns website the Moneta pattern is the new go-to dress pattern. Built for both elegance and comfort, this simple knit dress works in every season and for any occasion. Made with knit fabric, with minimal pressing and just a few pattern pieces, an army of these wardrobe workhorses can be whipped up in a few hours. Moneta is easy to make, and easy to wear. This dress is versatile, layerable, and above all, comfortable. All three styles of Moneta dresses have a gently curved, wide neckline, a fitted bodice, and a shirred skirt with in-seam pockets. Version 1 is a sleeveless dress with a lined bodice and narrow round collar that laps at the centre back. Version 2 has an unlined bodice and short sleeves, while version 3 has an unlined bodice and ¾ length sleeves.
Having checked the measurements chart and line drawings I decided to make version 3. I cut the 2X pattern size but with an elbow-length sleeve. The fabric is a fine tee shirt weight jersey print (probably viscose/elastane) called “By the Pond” from Fabricland at £3.99/metre. Due to width of the fabric I was able to cut the pattern out from just 2 metres length.
The instructions for making up the dress are comprehensive and I was glad of this as there was a new technique (for me) for gathering up the skirt to fit the waistline seam on the bodice. The technique involves the use of ¼ inch wide clear elastic that is ‘triple zig-zag’ stitched to the top edge of the skirt panels prior to attaching to the bodice. The method worked well and is something that I will use again. I have 8 metres of ¼ inch wide clear elastic so sufficient to make several more gathered skirts.
Amanda did not manage to make her dress in one hour and neither did I. The main reason for this was that this was the first time I had made the dress and one of the things still taking me a long time is to sort out is neckline banding. For the first attempt I measured the length of the neckline, multiplied by 85% and added seam allowance. I attached the band to the neckline which involved a great deal of stretching of the band with the result that the neckline was brought up much too close to my neck and was no longer scooped. I re-cut another band a bit longer this time but still no joy. Third attempt – I cut a much longer piece of banding (2 inches wide x approximately 30 inches long). I folded in half and starting at a shoulder point, gently stretched whilst pinning to the right side of the neckline and matching all the raw edges. When I had completed pinning the circuit of the neckline, I cut the spare fabric, made a join in the banding and attached first with the sewing machine and then with the overlocker.
Having top stitched the sleeve hems and the hem of the skirt I turned my attention once again to the neckline.With right side uppermost and the right hand needle stitching in the ditch, I stitched around the neckline again to ensure that the overlocked turnings would stay on the inside of the neckline (I used this method on the neckline of the Heather dress) and am delighted with the way it has turned out. So, in future I shall not try and second-guess the length of banding required, but simply cut a long length and take it from there.
The completed dress fits well although I find that I did not cut the sleeves quite short enough and maybe next time I will lengthen the bodice. However, as I did not pre-wash the fabric I will not do anything else to the sleeves at present – let’s see how they fair after a wash.
As the fabric has a Black background the dress will be good for wearing now with opaque tights and a cardigan, then later with fine denier tights and later still, on its own. A great investment for an all-season garment.