Hello! It’s almost the end of January and if I am to blog about what I’ve made in time for the two awesome January themes I’d better get cracking. Today it is my polka dot Moneta dress just in time for the Sewcialists’ Polka Dot January. Tomorrow it shall be my contribution to Jungle January! (Bad planning on my behalf – two blog posts on consecutive days, but hey. So I am not a blog planner.)
So what’s the story with this one? I resisted such a long time getting the Moneta dress by Colette Patterns since I had the Lady Skater dress which is such an awesome pattern. How could I justify it? They seemed so similar, plus I knew that the Lady Skater fitted me out of the packet AND had plentiful sleeve options. But I did like those purty collar / neckline options offered by the Moneta. And I kept returning to ogle at them. Also @naomimolly (on Instagram) has to be the most prolific Moneta maker ever beguiling me with dresses of beauty (& clearly practical comfort).
So there was some kind of special discount offered by Colette Patterns last year & I jumped in for the digital download. And then prevaricated some more as I have the most wonderful Liberty jersey that I feel is destined to become a Moneta, but clearly, I was not going to test sizing & fit on the length of jersey that had costed me the most I’d ever paid for a length of jersey. Eventually this black & white polka dot, residing in my stash, volunteered itself. It’s cheap & cheerful, although has more body that I expected so is actually quite warm to be wearing at this time of year (win!). The polka dots are the kind that are “painted on”- almost literally it feels- resulting in the underside of the fabric looking like polka dot seersucker with its puckers. Close up the white dots thinly cover the black background & look distinctly cheap. From a distance less of an issue?!
I remember trying to be smart printing out the pdf, but not realising that I had printed out the sleeveless bodiced version & had to hunt around for the longer sleeves that I required. Such is the luck of the pdf experience. I decided I would make the plainest longest sleeved version to see how it fit & how it works for then deciding on what options to take advantage of for the Liberty jersey.
I expected a simple sew & I was not disappointed. All on my overlocker apart from some of the hems (neck edge, sleeves and skirt hem) that I used my coverstitch for.
Interesting construction to note: the neck edge in this version is just meant to be a turned edge. (The Lady Skater has a separate neck band). I was a little uneasy about this, concerned that it might gape or stretch, so I zig zagged some woven elastic around the wrong side of the neck edge before turning it over and coverstitching through all layers. It certainly feels more robust, but even then, I could have got a slightly better tension as there is still some slight gaping which I would wish to avoid next time.
Other interesting construction note: the skirt gathering. Described as “shirring” in the pattern, you are meant to cut elastic (clear elastic) to a required length (I seem to remember it is based on your waist measurement) & then attach to the skirt like you would elastic to knickers (ie quartering, then stretching the elastic to fit in between whilst zig-zagging to the fabric). This results in 1. a nicely gathered skirt and 2. a reinforced waist to stop sagging/ drooping. I found my elastic was at its maximum stretch when I was doing this, which was fun!
I also put pockets in, as they come with the pattern, and are part of the design. But I am not convinced by in seam pockets in knit skirts. They are never quite as flat lying as I would like. Next time I will miss them out I think.
How does the Moneta compare then to the Lady Skater? Have I wasted my money? The differences I see, create the following distinctions – Lady Skater versus Moneta ballet dancer.
- Both graceful scoop necks, although the Lady Skater has a neckband finish, whilst Moneta has a turned edge (not my favorite finish) but there are additional collars which are heavenly;
- Sleeves – they both have different sleeve options – which are different to each other! Lady Skater has long from wrist, 3/4 length and short. Moneta has 3/4 length, short & sleeveless;
- Skirts- the Lady Skater is a half circle skirt (I think) with no gathering. Moneta is a gathered dirndl – with pockets.
I enjoy wearing both of them. This Moneta is nice & warm (but then so is my Lady Skater as I made it out of sweater knit & it has long snugly sleeves). You can see the fit of my Moneta doesn’t quite hit my waistline- something I could alter next time. I would also consider a shorter skirt- I lazily turned up the hem allowance without trying it on 😉 But if I shorten the bodice, maybe I won’t need to.
Lady Skater has more of a casual edge than the Moneta, which is just a tad more classically styled. But then isn’t that what both Kitschy Koo and Colette Patterns are known for, respectively? For me, the joy of a decent knit dress is the style, comfort & practicality, therefore I have room for both of these in my wardrobe. Hurrah! Now, when can I make my Liberty jersey up & just what neckline option shall I go for? (I am veering towards the tie neck- surprise surprise). If you want to see what my Liberty pattern is, it’s the same (but jersey) as Jane’s lining to her boiled wool coat , Kilburn Rose.