I recently decided that I wanted to learn to sew garments, and after doing a couple of test ones to learn basic sewing techniques I wanted to make something that I could wear on the weekend, or dress up and wear to the office.
Despite most people’s adversity to sewing with knits, they don’t show mistakes as much as wovens and they’re easier to fit. After scouring the internet, I decided to try the knit Moneta dress by Colette Patterns.
I found the pattern extremely easy to sew, and it was so comfortable that I ended up making two. It was a breeze to make the bodice alterations needed (I have a very short torso, and I’m a size small above the waist and a medium below) with the marks that were on the pattern, and making a muslin helped me perfect the fit.
The pockets are wonderful, and just the right size to fit your phone or keys. The best part is that the fullness of the skirt will hide the things in your pockets, so you’re not left with a weird lump on your side.
It’s important to follow the materials needed. I initially thought I could get away with using regular elastic to shirr the skirt, but the clear elastic provides a completely different texture so you need to make sure you follow the instructions. I recommend using a non-stick foot when you attach it to avoid any problems.
Colette’s pattern instructions are impeccable, and if you can’t find the answer within the pattern itself, you can usually find it through their blog. They do a wonderful job of linking to their articles for techniques that are more advanced, such as hemming on your regular sewing machine with a twin needle.
Creating a new garment always poses new challenges, and here were some issues that I ran into (and solved) while working on this dress.
Swedish Tracing Paper
To save your pattern, use swedish tracing paper to cut out your size instead. It is very durable, and can be ironed to get crisp lines.
When you sew the first stretch of knit fabric, sometimes the fabric can get pushed down into your machine. Some people recommend using tissue paper under your fabric, but I have found that it falls apart really easily and can be a pain to get out from in-between stitches. Computer paper serves the same purpose, but is sturdier and therefore doesn’t fall apart.
Wash Away Tape
I used Dritz’s WashAway Wonder Tape to stabilize the hems on my dress. Hemming knits on a regular sewing machine can be tricky- they can turn out wavy and stretched- but this stuff makes it SUPER easy.
Just a warning, the hems can look wonky before you throw the garment in the wash, but once the tape has melted away they should look how they’re supposed to.
Have you used this pattern? Leave your feedback and/or tips below!