There are two different types of sewing pattern companies out there: large commercial companies, including the big 4 (Simplicity, Vogue, Butterick, and McCall's) and independent, or indie companies. Colette Patterns and Sewaholic Patterns were the first two independent pattern companies I was discovered when I started following sewing blogs about a year ago. I feel like sewing bloggers fall into two camps: the Sewaholic camp and the Colette camp. A few bloggers make clothes from both lines, but it feels like there is a divide. I started out in the Sewaholic camp, but just made my first Colette pattern: the Moneta dress.
It's described as a simple knit dress that works for any occasion in every season. The dress has a wide neckline, is gathered at the waist with clear elastic, and has pockets. It has sleeve options (sleeveless, short sleeves, and 3/4 length sleeves), collar options, and an option to line the bodice. I opted for the unlined version with 3/4 length sleeves.
The directions were super easy to follow and the dress came together in just a few days of sewing after work. It did involve two new techniques for me. The first was using a twin needle. My sewing machine came with a twin needle, but I had never bothered to figure out how to use it before. It turns out to be quite simple, and results in a nice professional finish. I used the twin needle on the neckline and the hem.
The other new technique was gathering with clear elastic. You can see the resulting gathers in the first flat picture. This step was a little tricky, but once I got comfortable stretching the elastic while sewing, I think it gave a nice result. The gathers are uneven in one location, but it's my fault. I got distracted while sewing the elastic to the skirt and forgot to stretch for about an inch long section. I don't think anyone will ever notice.
As expected from a knit dress, this dress is very comfortable. I've already worn it to work and predict that it will make a regular appearance in my wardrobe. I think I will make another Moneta this summer. I want to try out some of the collar options that are available (for free) online. I'm excited to add another independent designer to my collection!
Pattern: Moneta by Colette Patterns
Fabric: Black and white stretch polyester?
Cost: $12 fabric + $2 clear elastic = $14 ($28 if you count the cost of the pattern)
Time: 4 days after work = 8 hours