A respectable party dress! My very first Moneta.

I’m getting in just ahead of the #monetaparty with my first go at this very popular pattern. Oh, and coincidentally I made this for my Dad’s 70th birthday party last month, and I’m finally getting around to blogging it on my 40th birthday. Significant birthdays all round! Oh yes, and for a bit of added exoticism, the photos were taken in Madrid last week, on the roof terrace of our gorgeous Airbnb apartment 🙂


In a Nutshell:

I have to admit the Moneta pattern never really grabbed me when it came out, as I tend to like my silhouettes more fitted. However, it’s a hugely popular pattern and I figured so many people loving it must mean something, so when Colette allowed me to spend my Seamwork credits on Colette patterns I decided to give it a try. And then the prospect of the upcoming #monetaparty put a boot up my arse to actually get it made. That and needing a dress suitable to wear to my dad’s 70th birthday party–tea and cakes in a church hall. All my existing party dresses were too slinky looking, and I figured Moneta might give me the pretty-but-wholesome vibe I needed 🙂


The Colette Moneta dress, version 3 with the 3/4 length sleeves. My measurements put me in S for the bust, between S and M for waist and M for hips, but rather than grading between sizes I decided to cut a size M, reasoning that I could easily take in the bodice if necessary.


This is the same 100% cotton interlock from Vend Fabrics that I made my Wembley Cardie toile from. In a different colour, naturally. It’s a good medium weight with reasonable stretch and okay (but not great) recovery. The accent banding is leftover viscose jersey from my Simplicity 1469 dress.


New skills learnt:

This was my first time sewing a gathered knit waist with clear elastic.

Changes I made:

  • I wasn’t happy with the folded and stitched finish for the neck and sleeves, so about a week after finishing (and wearing this twice!) I went back and added narrow bands of a contrasting black and white polka dot jersey. This helped to pull in a slight gape at the front of the neck too.


The construction was really straightforward and for most of it I barely glanced at the instructions. I think the only bit I slightly struggled with was the clear elastic gathering, and that was simply because I was rushing to get the thing finished in time for the party the next day. Obviously I could have made it even faster without the pockets, but I’m glad I went to the trouble as pockets in a dress are awesome. The hem is simply turned up and zigzagged which looked a little bubbly at first, but has pressed out nicely.

Overall verdict:

I haven’t been wearing this dress too regularly, but I think I will more as the weather gets milder. It’s flattering, incredibly comfortable and made an excellent travelling outfit in Madrid. Perfect for pounding the city streets, roomy enough for that great big lunch, and for feeling comfy on that return plane flight! Here’s some more pics:


Could do with a bit of a swayback adjustment but it’s no biggie. Also, could do with a photographer who lets me know when my bra straps are showing!
Yep, loving those pockets!


I’m really pleased with the relaxed fit of the size M, although I can see I’ll have to make the bodice and sleeves a little smaller in a more stretchy fabric. The touches I like best, though, are those generously sized pockets (and in this fabric you really can’t see when I have stuff in them, which is good) and the contrast banding. Before I added that I was a bit “meh” about the dress, but that little pop of contrast had made it so much more appealing to me.

I have to admit, before I added the neckband I had real problems remembering which way round to wear it–the neckline is lower at the back than the front–and I’m fairly sure I wore it back to front a few times, which results in added wrinkling in the bodice and arms. Here’s photographic evidence of at least one occasion:


I’m still wondering about taking the hem up a few inches. This just below the knee length is not one I’m accustomed to, but it is quite practical when hanging out with toddlers and I’m sure I’ll appreciate the extra length when it warms up enough to wear this with bare legs.

Changes for next time:

I’m sure I’ll have another go at this pattern as I do really like the dress, although all that volume in the skirt does mean it’s a real fabric eater so it’s not the cheapest to make up. I’m thinking a more slinky viscose knit will be the way to go next time, and definitely patterned. I will shorten the skirt next time too. Perhaps a sleeveless summer version will be on the cards…


Pattern: Three Seamwork credits at $3.00 each, so £7.23 in today’s money.

Pattern printing: £9.03 for the equivalent of 3 A0 sheets.

Fabric: It’s so many years since I bought this stash fabric I have no idea, so I’m treating it as free 🙂

Notions: Thread and clear elastic from stash.

Total cost: £16.26

Total bargain! And it will only get cheaper as I make the pattern more times 🙂

And one last (totallyselfindulgent) picture:


Anyone else made this hugely popular dress? Or planning to?

5 thoughts on “A respectable party dress! My very first Moneta.”

    1. Aww, thank you so much! I don’t feel forty (whatever that means) most of the time… except when my littlun has kept me up all night :-/

      The purple is brighter than I’d normally wear but I really like it too. Sometimes it’s really good to shake up your colour choices, isn’t it?

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