Colette Patterns' Moneta dress is the first knit pattern I knowingly purchased (I'd bought a bunch of Vogue knit dress patterns back in the day when I didn't even know the difference between knits and wovens, so those don't exactly count). So Moneta was my first OFFICIAL foray into the world of knit patterns. Before getting started, I was a little bit nervous, but didn't let that hold me back for long, on account of these pretty Ponte knits I found at Girl Charlee.
I first cut into the teal green ponte as a tester version: I cut an XS and graded to a Small at the hips. I started by assembling the bodice with my serger, and finishing the neckline and cuffs with a double needle on my sewing machine. Tried on the bodice and felt it was really short. (I'm finding that Colette patterns are a bit short for my torso).
Next came the skirt. Pockets, side seams, all great....until that dreaded clear elastic. I only had 1/2" elastic but thought I could perfectly cut it lengthwise with a rotary cutter to make it 1/4". It went okay but wasn't perfectly straight and for some reason I still decided to forge ahead and use it anyway. The combination of the thin, uneven elastic and the somewhat challenging method of sewing it in meant that this part was a bit of a disaster. Parts of the elastic missed the skirt, and so I went back over those sections, resulting in messy stitches and uneven gathers. Once finished, I put it on, swished it around a bit, and after about 5 seconds of elation ("I made a knit dress!!"), I realized those messy gathers made it look super cheap. So out came the seam ripper and I re-did the whole thing using 2 rows of good old fashioned gathers. It took some time to get them evenly spaced, but once I did, I pinned the gathered skirt to death and carefully reattached it to the bodice, and now I'm super happy with it!
The second one is also a Ponte knit from Girl Charlee, but wayyy prettier because I'm a sucker for florals. This reminds me of a 90s floral, which is my current decade of choice. For this second Moneta, I lengthened the bodice by 2" (could have gotten by with 1 or 1.5 but figured better safe than sorry) and made the same skirt gather modification noted above. This dress came together way more easily and gets a TON of wear now.
Even though it's a floral print, the black makes it a bit more all-season to me, so I've been wearing it all winter. I'll bust out the teal version come spring (if spring ever comes...)
A couple of notes on the fabric: I've purchased some RTW Ponte knit dresses and they were a lot thicker and held their structure more. This one's a medium-weight and a little more drapey. Great for this pattern, but good to keep in mind if you were looking for something with a little more structure. Also, I've found that it pills quite easily. I've been wearing the black version a lot but hand wash it using soak, and wasn't expecting it to wear so easily. Other than that, still love this dress though!