Sewing: Moneta Dress (Two Ways)

The Moneta dress has been on my “to sew” list for a long time. I got the pattern back when Colette first released it and at the same time I got the Mabel skirt pattern. I think there were a number of things that kept me from diving in and making the dress, namely concern about how it would fit, concern about the elastic waist, and general laziness.

Moneta dress sleeves

In the end, I made two versions of the dress, the sleeveless and the 3/4 sleeve. And, I’m not happy with either.

moneta sleeveless

Why not? Well, for a lot of reasons. Let’s review.

Moneta Dress Review

Fabric: The pattern calls for a medium or lightweight knit jersey, baby rib knit, ITY, double knit or French terry. I used a French terry for the sleeved Moneta dress and a lightish weight jersey for the sleeveless dress. Although the pattern calls for 2.5 yards of 60 inch fabric for both versions (for sizes s, m, and l), I found that I used much less than that and had AMPLE fabric left over after cutting both.

Cutting: I hate cutting patterns. Moneta wasn’t too bad, you need two pieces for the bodice, two for lining (for the sleeveless version only, six for the collar, and two for sleeves. I omitted the pockets on both dresses, so didn’t worry about those. I used the skirt pattern for the sleeveless dress, but then cut my own for the sleeveless.

Construction: OK, so sometimes you read the pattern directions and you’re just like, hm. Why would you do it that way? The armhole construction for the sleeveless Moneta is just weird. I’ve never seen that way of doing it before. You’re supposed to line up the boding and lining with wrong sides together, then the edge of the armholes in 3/8 inch, then reach between the bodice and lining, pinch them together and pull. I mean, it worked, but it was tricky.

My other construction issue was with the waistband. You’re supposed to gather the waist, using clear elastic. I’ve never done that before and after having elastic smack in the face several times while I tried to sew, I gave and decided on the pleats.

You  might notice that the green Moneta dress has a belt. I added that feature because the waist area looked like a hot mess. I hand sewed the belt to the dress to cover up my shoddy work.

As for the hem – well, the pattern calls for using a twin needle to hem the skirt. I thought using white thread would be a great idea, but it looks terrible.

moneta dress

Fit: I adjusted the pattern to get a better fit. I increased the waist to a medium, because I had a sense that the small (which has negative ease and a finished circumference of 24 inches) would be too tight. In some ways, I was right. The fit of the pattern really depends on the type of fabric you use. The French terry is super stretchy and the dress ended up being a little too big. The neckline also stretched out a lot and is way oversized.

But, the sleeveless version is actually a bit snug, even though I didn’t adjust the pattern between making the sleeved and sleeveless version. Milly (my dress form) is wearing it now and it was a challenge to get it on her.

In all, if you  make a Moneta, I’d say to keep the amount of stretch in your fabric in mind. The pattern doesn’t really seem to account for the fact that there is varying stretch across knits and makes no recommendation as far as how much stretch you want in the fabric, which I think is a bit weird.

Consensus: I feel like I wasted my time (and fabric) making both versions of the Moneta dress. I’m not terribly happy with either of them. That fawn fabric is so cute and I know I’m not going to wear the dress (it is quite tight).

I think I’m finished with Collete patterns, at least for the time being. Everything I make from them turns out not quite right in some way, and I’m not sure if it’s them or me. But, I think it might be them.

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