Monday, October 6, 2014

Apples, leaves, and Monetas

I would like to add my voice to the chorus of people singing the praises of fall.  I'm not religious, but hallelujah! I love the cooler weather, the harvest flavors, and the absolute transformation of the landscape.  It is the perfect season.  I spent most all of last month behaving like somewhat of a pioneer woman.  I made 6 garments... 6!  My family and I went apple picking, and the ridiculous overabundance of apples warranted that I "put up" all manners of apple food.  Our trip also yielded us baskets of tomatoes and peppers, which I spun into 3 quarts of spaghetti sauce.  I also made 6 quarts of ice cream.  I spent 2 weeks in Florida with my sister, who just gave birth to her first child.  Maybe I was nesting on her behalf... I also crocheted some baby booties to go with the baby blanket I made for her shower gift. 

I think there is a anthropological drive to produce things in fall.  Our ancestors had to get ready for winter.  I had to get ready for October.  September was not a normal month for me, and probably not a normal month for anyone post 1950.  What I'm saying is-- I'm crazy.  That was a crazy amount of stuff to do.  What I'm also saying is-- suck it, Ree Drummond... I'M THE NEW PIONEER WOMAN. 

The other chorus of people I need to join is all of the Internet that already made Colette's Moneta pattern.
This is a design intended for knits.  It is versatile and universally flattering.  The construction could not be simpler. I could make a hundred.  I only made three, but you will only see two because the third one was made of an ugly, flimsy, outdated brown knit that I refuse to put on for public viewing.  I'm not giving up on it, however, and when I find the right dye/fabric treatment to make it wearable, you'll be the 6th to know.  There are 5 people in this house... and no secrets.

Here are 2 of my versions:

On the top is a navy and pink floral knit that I snagged from Girl Charlee.  On the bottom, a royal purple ponte di roma knit I picked up at Hancock's Labor Day sale.  The purple one was the first one I made.  I thought that I had irreparably destroyed it by not following the very simple directions I was given.  This pattern requires that you shirr the skirt using clear elastic.  I didn't have clear elastic, but I did have half a bottle of wine and a whole lot of chutzpah.  I used regular old knit elastic.  I kept sewing more and more seams, trying to hide the elastic.  I ended up with a babydoll dress that Courtney Love would have probably punched me for in the early 90's.  I threw this dress in the pile of "crap that I don't want to look at anymore" and proceeded with the floral knit.  That one was perfectly successful.  I returned to the purple one, painstakingly ripped out the seams and the stupid elastic.  I did it the correct way, and I'm so glad I did.  I love it.  I love them both.

These are great transitional pieces for fall... I could add a jacket and boots and leggings for colder weather.  They are easy to wear, and breathe enough for warmer weather.  I know that no one is on the fence about Moneta, because I think I could literally be the last person on earth to make it.  Its awesome.

And just because canning is a novel and exciting hobby that I will act like I invented, here is a pic of me and my apple canned goods.
Every grandmother on earth just snorted at the absolute ridiculousness of my amazement with a hundreds year-old practice.  I know.  But still... look at what I did!


  1. No snorts from this Grandmother. .. no canning either though heh heh Glad you saved the purple dress. Both are stunning on you. Here's my unsolicited advice re elastic. I don't have this pattern so haven't read the instructions. the future, if you don't have the clear elastic to shirr, you can make a casing for knit elastic after you have sewn the bodice and skirt together by sewing the outer edges of those seam allowances together.. Can you chop off some of the hem of the brown dress and wear with tank top underneath ala J Beals for comfy kicking it top? That is, if all else fails, of course. Again, these dresses are stunning!

    1. Oops, that was me ^^...Donna I'll shut up now.