Goldilocks and the 3 Monetas

Colette’s Moneta is an incredible popular knit dress pattern. It has a wide size range (33-54 inch bust), is simple to make, and a nice easy silhouette to wear. But I seem to be the one person in the blogiverse that was an utter failure at making this pattern.

Exhibit 1 – This dress is too big!


Here I am in all my weekend mom glory. Comfy dress, Anna stickers from Frozen, and slippers because I was spending the afternoon sewing.

This was my first attempt at making Moneta and at first I really liked it. It is super comfy! But with time it has gotten saggy and frumpy looking. Based on the pattern envelope recommendations I made a L in the shoulders and graded out to an XL from the underarm down. Mistake! The sleeves have huge bags of extra fabric. The neckline is huge! The only part that worked was the waist.


Oh my gosh, the back is just as bad. Look at how low the waist sits! The whole thing is huge. Thank goodness for cardigans to hide most of this when I wear it. Did I mention this was the length for 3/4 sleeves? WTF is that about? I do not understand patterns that mark elbow sleeves as 3/4 sleeves. Not the same pattern companies!

The fabric is a lovely interlock from Robert Kaufman that my friend gave to me, so I am sad this dress was such an utter failure.

Exhibit 2 – This dress is too small!

So then I regrouped and made another version in some Art Gallery jersey I had on hand.

Moneta 2 Front

This time I cut a large for the shoulders then graded to an XL at the waist. I also narrowed the neckline and swapped the sleeve for the pattern from Cashmerette’s Appleton Dress pattern.

Actually the dress looks okay from the front. Sleeves look a tiny bit tight, but not too bad. So let’s look at the back.

Moneta 2 Back

Eek! What the heck? Still too long in the back length of the bodice, but the worst part is my arms look like they are eating my sleeves. Sob! Another dress that looks okay with a cardigan, but I feel awkward wearing it on its own.

At this point I put the pattern in time out. Bad pattern! Bad sewist for not thinking the fit through!

Exhibit 3 – Goldilocks gets it right!

Well then last week while I was coming off the high of finishing a few well fitted dresses  I thought I’d pull out Moneta and see if I could hack it into something better. Plus I’d stocked up on some $3/yard bargain fabric so if the dress failed, I’d only wasted about $10 including tax.


Bam! Success! The elusive 3/4 sleeve didn’t quite happen, but that’s a very easy fix next time. Beyond the sleeves I love everything about the fit.

So, how did I make it happen? Well I did it by drafting the Moneta neckline onto Cashmerette’s Washington Dress bodice. Then I used the Moneta skirt as is. The drafting took a little time, but now that its done I could make this pattern again in a snap. Plus doing a little math can be fun!


The back turned out pretty perfectly too. It’s meant to be clingy, especially in this Robert Kaufman jersey, so I don’t mind the closer fit. At least its a dress I can wear without a cardigan and feel comfortable which seems like a huge achievement in getting used to my post two kids body.

In the end, I am starting to think that even with the extended sizing Colette’s patterns just don’t suit my shape. I’ve made 3 or 4 now and they have all been terrible flops even with careful measurement and fit tweaks. The problem is that most indie pattern companies design super casual clothes. So, anyone know of a pattern company designing slightly more professional dresses that go up to a size 16 or 18? Otherwise I fear I might be headed towards drafting my own, but I’ve always been better at modifying than drafting from scratch. Hmmmm, something to ponder.


12 thoughts on “Goldilocks and the 3 Monetas

  1. I’m having trouble with the pattern, too. the neck is too wide and falls off my shoulders or shows my bra straps even when I cut the smaller size and graded up for the waist. . … And I’m too inexperienced to know how to fix it.


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  3. Your 3rd Moneta is lovely! I, too, am having some trouble with the pattern. The first one I made wasn’t too bad but sleeves are a bit snug and bodice a bit short in front and a bit long in back. Waist was a little large also. I made these adjustments for the 2nd one and the waist is ok but the rest of the dress is a mess. Mostly I’m having trouble with the arscye and sleeves. The dress fits me a lot like the picture of your 1st Moneta where there is extra fabric at the sleeve. I’m wondering if in your opinion would I also find using the Washington bodice a better fit. I always have to make a narrow shoulder adjustment, and enlarge the upper arm sleeve for my large arms. Any suggestions are appreciated and thanks for your help.


    • Hi Margaret! If you fit into the sizing on the Cashmerette patterns I do recommend them! Jenny has already put in narrower shoulders, bigger bust, full tummy, sway back, and larger arms. Arms as drafted are still a big snug on me, but nothing like what I experience on other patterns. She just put out a new pattern called Concord Tee that you could maybe add a skirt onto if you don’t like the Washington Dress.So yes, I’d recommend them.


      • Thanks ! I’m ordering a pattern today. I’ll let you know how it works out whenever I get it made.


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  5. Your dress looks great! I’m thinking of doing this hack. Did you have to straighten out the bottom edge of the Washington bodice to fit with the straight (gathered) edge of the Moneta skirt? Thanks. 🙂


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  7. I was looking for a fail because I too have issues with it. I made two..the second came out better than the first but I had issues with the pockets so I left them out. I had to raise the scooped neckline and increase the shoulder coverage or my bra straps show. I have issues with the neckline as my shoulders slope down. A good pattern should work not take so much rework. I purchased Rue and got an email saying they had corrected some issues with the pattern. I think the Moneta needs work too from the company. I cannot understand why Colette is so popular. However who wants to say they had a problem when so many seem to hit it..


    • Hi Joyce,

      You are not alone. A lot of people have issues with Colette patterns and the shoulders sitting extremely wide! You just don’t hear about those makes as often because they aren’t promoted as much around the blog universe. I’m sorry you’ve had such a negative experience with Colette patterns. If you want to keep making them I recommend learning to do a narrow shoulder adjustment.


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