Colette Moneta hack

Colette Moneta hack
Finally, I made a Moneta! I feel like everybody else in the sewing community has several of these in their closets and I'm very late to the party, but I am now a Moneta member. Before, I was put off by some of the design features that I knew wouldn't suit me, but by finding the right alterations and fabric to use, I've made something that I already know will be replicated many more times. Normally the Moneta pattern features a scooped front neckline and a gathered waist. This version has a boatneck bodice with a pleated skirt instead.

Fabric

So, as well as trying to produce more of the kinds of garments I can wear a lot, I've also made a conscious effort this year to invest in some more high quality fabric (the theory being this will also help with making things that can be worn a lot). I previously was sent some Art Gallery Fabric knit when I wrote an article in Sewing Made Simple magazine about Tilly and the Buttons' online dressmaking course, featuring the Agnes top (reviewed here in case you are interested). I always loved the fabric but don't wear the top very often because the ruching at the front that I tried out isn't my best look. In any case, it's made me want to use AGF knit again for another project. It's got a good weight to it (not too light but also not quite a ponte), it's warm and feels fabulous to wear. It also behaves itself very well for a knit fabric which makes for a much more pleasant sewing experience. If you are using knit or jersey for the first time, I recommend using something like this because you just don't have so many issues - when you press it, it stays!

Beginner dressmaking - learn to sew knit fabrics online workshop

If you've been a reader for a while you know how susceptible I am to an Instagram ad and it so happened that Lamazi Fabrics posted that they had this AGF Tiny Dancer Knit Fabric as their fabric of the week, meaning it was reduced from £10 per half metre to £8. I immediately went over and ordered 2m. Whenever Lamazi Fabrics have discounts I'm always interested because they also have FREE UK DELIVERY which means that you really are making a saving. I actually had this fabric for a while before deciding what to do with it. It was originally going to be pyjamas until the Moneta pattern hit me like a bolt of lightning!

Pattern and Instructions

I bought my Moneta pattern as a pdf download back when I had a Sewmwork subscription - you can use credits for Colette patterns, but they require more than the Seamwork ones. Version 1 is a lined sleeveless dress, Version 2 has an unlined bodice and short sleeves whilst Version 3 has 3/4 length sleeves. All have a gathered skirt and scoop neckline.Whenever you download from Colette you get lots of versions of the pdf as well as the instruction booklet. I selected from these to have mine printed for me by Dotty Print, who I compared with other sewing pattern printing services and had worked out cheapest for this pattern, including postage. I even treated myself to a printed instruction booklet (which arrived nicely folded and stapled too) - the booklet was a bit extravagant for me normally but it equalled the difference between other companies and felt like a nice touch!



Colette instructions are quite good for beginners. You get lots of specific details to help you in your construction, and they give you options you can use if you are using a regular sewing machine for the whole project (which will probably be the case for most beginners). Their diagrams are clear and the instructions for this are particularly easy to follow. I like how they are also broken down into the three different versions so it's easy to keep track of where you are meant to be and not get confused. 

I left out the pockets so only had 5 pattern pieces to think about. That shows how quickly and easily you can get this made. I cut a Medium Version 3 and had leftovers out of my 2m (according to the pattern you should need 2.4m).

Colette Moneta hack


Alterations

Firstly, you should know that the 3/4 length sleeves aren't 3/4 length. They might come to an awkward point in your elbow if you cut them as per the pattern. I had to turn mine up to above the elbow with a deep hem to stop them creasing. 3/4 length sleeves are very flattering if you do them right so I would add 3-4 inches to the sleeves at the cutting out stage to get what I think looks nicest.

My main alterations were to the neckline and skirt.
At the stage of cutting out the paper pattern I altered the neckline on the front and back bodice. Instead of cutting along the neckline curve, I cut a horizontal line from the shoulder to the centre front, and cut the fabric accordingly. I then pinned the shoulders and sides together and tried it on inside out. Then I turned the neckline under to where I wanted it to sit and marked the fold line on the wrong side of the fabric with a water soluble pen. I cut away what would be excess, leaving about 1cm to turn under and secure as a neckline hem. I kept what I cut off and used this to make final alterations to my paper pattern for next time. (It turned out the back bodice has a higher neckline than the front in my case). Then, when constructing, you might need to secure the neckline hem before joining at the shoulders. This is because of the angles at the neckline shoulders. It works much better to stitch the neckline hem down with a topstitching zig zag first than to try and pivot your fabric afterwards. This is entirely dependent on the thickness of the fabric in my experience so you may have to try a sample first for yours.

Colette Moneta hacks


Instead of gathering the skirt and using elastic, I marked where the bodice notches fell on the corresponding skirt pieces. Essentially I wanted these notches to align with an inverted pleat. I measured from the sides towards the centre and again from the centre point towards the sides. The excess fabric between these two measurements is what became the pleat. I stitched the pleat in place with a line of vertical stitches measuring just over an inch (if you look at my pictures you can see that the pleats open up after the waistline). This is simply because when they were opening at the waist it was not flattering!

Thoughts

I'm totally converted now that I've figured out how to make this pattern suit me. The fabric is super comfortable and it makes for a garment that transitions across seasons easily. Plus, now that I have my alterations figured out, I think I could whip one of these up in an afternoon. So simple!
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Hi, I'm Laura. Welcome to my journeys with modern, feminine dressmaking; pattern reviews, tips and guides for beginners. I'm a lifelong foodie, so you'll also find some delicious recipes and places to get that foodie fix.
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