I've had the Colette Moneta pattern for ages, but just hadn't got around to taping the pdf together & tracing it -- a common issue with many of my pdf patterns -- love them for accessibility, but hate them for how long it takes me to get around to tracing them. I found a great tracing material at the dollar store a few weeks back, though (it's a plant covering material that is almost identical to interfacing) and so I went crazy and traced off four pdfs in one weekend. Now I'm starting to work on them.
I'm glad I tried the Moneta first. Not only have I had the pattern for a while, I've had this gorgeous rayon knit earmarked for it for months now as well.It is an astonishingly soft and smooth fabric.
The Moneta is marked as an easy, beginner pattern. Not too many pieces, and with fairly simple techniques. All the fold under and stitch finishings are not exactly to my taste - while it worked on the sleeve and fortunately on the hem as well, with a bit of a press, folding under and stitching the neckline gave me a (sadly predictable) wavy neckline. I don't know why I thought it would save time to do it that way.
To fix it, I measured the neckline and it was about 28" around. I certainly didn't want to enlarge it with a facing & seam, as it is already as wide as I could bear without major bra strappage going on. So I cut a neckband that was 26" by 2", and attached like a t-shirt neckband. It worked well, smoothing out the waviness of the original neckline as well as filling it in by nearly an inch. Perfection.
I love the side seam pockets and the gathered skirt. So comfortable and useful. I used the clear elastic method of gathering the skirt which Colette recommends, and I found it very easy and very convenient. No shifting around gathers while sewing to try to evenly distribute them. I even had a friend (who is not a sewist) comment on my even gathers the first time I wore it :)
This dress went together very quickly. I cut it and sewed it all on a Sunday. I had to make a few minor fitting adjustments; I cut Medium at the neck and shoulders, grading out to Large at the waist. I also pinched a 1/2" out of the centre front, as per usual on most things I make. Next time I make it I'll make a 1/2" swayback adjustment so it sits better. Otherwise this was a pretty darn good fit on the first go.
I'm enjoying my colourful Moneta, and know I'll be making another in future. This is the only Colette pattern that I've tried for which I hardly had to make any adjustments. Knits are so forgiving...and swishy!
Location: Confederation Park, Stratford. One of my favourite places, with pines and birches galore.