Lady in Red


It’s been a long time since I sewed a new pattern with quite so many pieces. I’d forgotten how long it takes: first cutting out the paper pattern, and then the  actual material. But I think Colette’s Moneta was worth it! It’s not quite such a flattering fit on me as Tilly’s Megan dress, see here and here, but it was nice to try out a different silhouette for a change.

And talking about change, did you notice the colour of this? Hard not to really 😉 I’ve been sewing a lot of neutrals of late, so I’ve forced myself to be brave here. I think also in the depths of Winter, you just yearn for a bit of colour. You can see from the photos though (layered up with a white, long sleeved t-shirt, husband remarked I looked like Mrs Christmas, thanks…), that I’m not totally convinced by the colour. In my defence it was also pretty cold, so I didn’t really feel like braving my arms, but I do think the white breaks all that redness up a bit. I did toy with adding a collar in a more neutral colour (maybe some striped, grey left over from my Mabel and Oslo), but I thought I’d keep it simple for my first attempt at this.

I overlocked the majority of the bodice. I was a bit nervous of using black thread, but you don’t really see it. Again, two of my threads snapped midway through, but this time I managed to get it sorted in under ten minutes. Practice makes perfect I guess! I paused overnight between switching machines as usual. Whilst frustrating, again it forced me to slow down, and as a result I’m feeling much more patient when I do sew now 🙂

On my regular machine I hemmed the sleeves and the neckline. The neckline did feel odd, as the pattern warns, as I’m so used to using facings. I took it really slowly as I thought I’d better stick to black thread, so knew it would show if I messed it up. Luckily, it worked well 🙂

This was the first time I’d added pockets to a make too. After I’d worked out which was the right side, and vice versa, this was surprisingly straightforward. I switched back to my overlocker for sewing the two skirt pieces together. On the straight bits this was fine. But turning round corners for the pockets was pretty tricky, and to be honest, this was the least neat part of this make. But they’re passable, not sure I’d do it this way again though…

And then came the ‘shiring the skirt’ part… Hmmmm, quite frankly this read like double Dutch to me. After a lot of ummming and ahhhing I just went for it. Only half way across baste stitching the elastic through both pieces did I realise that this would actually be impossible to get into! So I patiently unpicked and started again. Thank goodness knits are pretty forgiving as after I finished I just sewing it to the bodice and hoped for the best. Anyone out there who’s already attempted this pattern: are you supposed to take out the elastic afterwards? I couldn’t find the instruction for this at all. To me, it would make sense to, but I’ve left it in for now…

Lastly, I chopped a good two inches off the length of this before hemming. I’m pretty pleased with this make, as it’s such a change of colour for me. I’d like to try it again, but probably in a solid navy. I know, but I could always attach a contrasting collar, which I think would give this dress a much more casual feel. I kept this on all day after these photos as it was so comfy, pausing to remove my Mrs Christmas, white top, and replacing it with a black jacket, before heading out to dinner with friends. I love it when a me-made item fits into your wardrobe immediately like that. Probably why I’m so hooked on knits at the moment 🙂


I cut a size S, which fitted well, and the fabric was a very reasonable £4.95 from Leon’s in Chorlton.



43 thoughts on “Lady in Red

  1. You’ll have to change your blog to Bright Red Threads! Please, please do bright again – it really suits you. I wear so much red as it makes me feel summery all year round and, whenever I spot anyone in red I invariably wish I’d worn it that day too!

    • Thank you! It really is a colour I shy away from usually, other than for accessories. I never think I have the right character for ‘red’ either, although I have to admit I’m not fully sure what I mean by that 🙂

  2. I really like the red on you, even though you seem to be doubtful about it. And the dress is great, certainly worth repeating (in navy or any other colour 😉 )

  3. As other have said above, red looks great on you! The style of the dress looks good too – sorry I cant help with the elastic, I’ve never tried this pattern so am not really sure what the construction of this dress is like!

  4. Your Moneta looks fantastic and im sure youll wear it lots; such a classic style. I think a solid colour, whatever the shade, is so right for this pattern. Sounds as though you and your overlocker are becoming inseparable! 😘

  5. Your Moneta looks great and I’m sure that you will get plenty of wear out of this one! Red is such a wonderful colour that can be worn at any time of year and this classic style is really lovely on you. 🙂

  6. It’s a good fit and you do suit read. I know exactly what you mean about the clear elastic. I got into a right mess with mine and looked it up on youtube (to no avail). You’re really getting the hang of your overlocker – I’m still frightened of mine!

  7. Don’t shy away from the red, the colour really suits you and the fit and style of the dress is perfect! Even better, it will coordinate beautifully with navy blue… 🙂

  8. It looks FABULOUS!!!! Great fit on you and really suits your shape. Leave the elastic tape in; it will help the dress keep it’s shape at the waistline and will stop it drooping. I hope it’s your first of many Monetas!

  9. I think it looks great on you! I was going to say the same as everyone else re the elastic, so do leave it in. I’m currently making a pair of green trousers and my boyfriend has already passed comment about elves… We just need a Father Christmas and we’d have a grotto!

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