When Lizzy House was here, we did very little sewing. Unlike last year when The Sewing Factory ran for a week straight. We did manage to make Monetas together. This was the perfect project, if we had to choose just one.
Our first step was to analyze everyone else’s version. This is a valuable step! We wanted to find out what problems people had with the pattern so that we could avoid them. There were two things we found. A lot of people complained about excess fabric under the arm. The other issue people talked about was the method used to add the clear elastic at the waistband.
When we opened up the pattern we saw right away that the side seam extended too far out when it came up under the arm. We simply straightened out that line by bringing it in about 1/2″.
For the clear elastic. We did not follow the pattern directions! I’ve heard so many people complain about the results they got by trying to stretch and sew the elastic into the skirt at the same time. We used the traditional method. We basted the skirt first with a long stitch on the sewing machine. We then gathered the skirt by hand. Then we just serged the clear elastic in place. One note about the elastic. The pattern calls for 1/4″ clear elastic, which is impossible to find. We used 3/8″ clear elastic that we just trimmed down to the right width before serging it in place.
For my version I chose to do the short sleeve with no collar. I lined the bodice with the same jersey as the rest of the dress and I really like the weight of it. I will definitely do that again for my next versions. We also used a different pocket. Lizzy had a great pocket pattern that attached to the waistband rather than the side seam, which seems much more stable on a knit dress.
To put the dress together we used a serger with Maxi-lock Stretch thread and Stretch 90 needles. I’m addicted to Maxi-lock Stretch thread for sewing with knits. I did a bit of testing and it definitely makes the seams more stretchy than regular serger thread. It also is super soft and gives nice coverage over the seam. Using a serger, the dress comes together really quickly. Both Lizzy and I made our dresses in one night sharing a serger and sewing machine. For all the hemming we used a stretch twin needle on my sewing machine. For this part we used the stretch thread in the bobbin and regular thread in the top.
The bamboo jersey is incredibly soft. Wearing this dress feels amazing and you never want to take it off. Probably the best thing to do is just make 6 more so that I can just have one for every day of the week. You can see Lizzy & I wearing our Monetas together here.
p.s. The next night Lizzy made a second version using fabric that she hand dyed in our Indigo class. It’s one of the best things I’ve ever seen.