April 16, 2014

Curvy Colette Plus Size Blog Tour: the Colette Moneta dress revealed!

Curvy Colette: A Plus Size Blog Tour

The very first project of the Curvy Sewing Collective couldn’t be more exciting: a plus size blog tour, together with leading indie pattern company Colette!

As you know, I’m passionate about getting more plus size women sewing and blogging, and so of course I was over the moon to hear that Colette is moving into plus sizes, which means no more grading up for yours truly. I was so excited in fact that I got in touch with Sarai, and together with Alyson – who designed the new patterns – she kindly agreed to support a plus size blog tour. Curvy sewists are often missed out from pattern testing and pattern launch blog tours, so a massive thanks to Colette for being ahead of the game! Full blog tour dates are below.

Colette have launched two new patterns: the Moneta, a knit dress, and the Mabel, a knit skirt (which comes in mini and pencil variations). I’ve made both, but first up today is the Moneta (and stay tuned for my Mabel).

And here she is. I’m in love!

Colette Moneta dress: Cashmerette
Pose blatantly stolen from Ping!
The Moneta is a classic fitted bodice, gathered skirt dress, with a number of variations for different collars and sleeves. As if that weren’t great enough, it has in-seam pockets. I went with the sleeveless version 1, without the collar, and with a slightly more scooped out neckline (always with the low necklines, me…)
The beauty of this pattern is in the details. First, the bodice is lined – this is the first lined knit dress I’ve ever made and I’m a total convert. I used an amazing four-way navy and white doubleknit rayon from EmmaOneSock (I am so in love with this stuff I’m stockpiling it), and lined it with a much lighter black jersey from my stash. The method for attaching them is ingenious and results in a perfect edge all around the armholes. As I wasn’t using the collar I simply re-applied the armhole technique to the neckline, with a little bit of slipstitching at the edge. The finished lined bodice feels comfortable and luxurious.

The other cool thing is that Alyson has a couple of different suggestions for how to gather the waistline – something I’d never done on a knit before. I tried to do the clear elastic route first, but it didn’t really work for me (I think because my elastic wasn’t high enough quality). So instead, I did gathering with basting first, and then I put in a piece of “proper” elastic (not sure what else to call it!) to help stabilize the waistline and stop it stretching out.

*Update* In response to some questions I’ve seen around the blogosphere – this is a very gently gathered skirt, as you may be able to see from the pictures. I’m not a big fan of gathers usually but this was just the right amount. You can also spread them out to suit your figure – I made fewer gathers in the front (over my tummy) and had them more at the sides, which looked best on me.

Colette Moneta dress by Cashmerette

I made a straight XL and it fit me *perfectly*. A-mazing. Seriously, when you’re plus size and you don’t have to make any changes at all, that’s a TNT in the making. I want to try sleeves, different lengths, different collars…

If you’re wondering about the photoshoot location, Rebecca (guest-starring Cashmerette!) and I are both in grad school (yes, on top of my job…) so we decided to head down to the historic campus in Cambridge and catch the last late afternoon light.  The yard provides great backdrops but also a huge audience of tourists – on one occasion, Rebecca was taking a photo of me, while someone was taking a photo of Rebecca taking the photo, and someone else… yeah! The probably just assumed I was a celebrity, right?

We also tested out my two new trial cameras, and it looks like the new Canon SL1 with a 50mm/1.4 lens won, because all these photos are from that camera 🙂

Colette Moneta dress by Cashmerette
Dress by me. Pattern by Colette. Necklace by Barneys. Belt (plus size) from JCrew.com. Shoes by MaraisUSA.

As you can probably tell, I’m really pleased with my Moneta and I can already tell it’s going to be in heavy rotation this spring and summer. And now that Boston has seen to grace us with nice weather, that might just be pretty soon…

It’s been such a blast working with Sarai, and putting this tour together. I can’t wait to see what everyone else comes up with! Are you planning on making the new Moneta and Mabel patterns readers? What are your fabric plans?

The Curvy Sewing Collective presents…. Curvy Colette: A Plus Size Blog Tour!
Wednesday 16 April:  Jenny at Cashmerette
Thursday 17 April:      Mary at Idle Fancy
Saturday 19 April:       Laurence at QuirkyPrettyCute
Monday 21 April:       Tanya at Mrs Hughes
Tuesday 22 April:       T at UandMii
Saturday 26 April:       Sophie-Lee at Two Random Words
Wednesday 30 April:  Mary at Young, Broke and Fabulous 
* We all received free patterns in advance of the official launch, but all opinions are our own.

Want to be the first to hear about future Cashmerette Pattern releases, have the chance to be a pattern tester, get cool tutorials and keep up to date with all the latest curvy fashion inspiration? Sign up for the Cashmerette mailing list here: 

[yikes-mailchimp form=”1″]

56 thoughts on “Curvy Colette Plus Size Blog Tour: the Colette Moneta dress revealed!

  1. your dress is lovely and i’m so glad colette are doing this with the curvy blogger collective! it’s great to see plus sized models used as well! i really wasn’t going to buy this as i have a few knit dress patterns, but it’s so cute and the variations have sold me on it! i am planning a navy and white stripe with a navy bow type collar and a couple of plain ones – probably red and royal blue. and i have a cute pale blue polkadot jersey in the stash which isn’t enough for the whole dress but i might look for a coordinating solid. better go and order it!

    1. Jenny says:

      Thanks! I think the bow collar looks amazing – can’t wait to see how yours turns out!

  2. Robin says:

    Love It! My kinda dress, stripes are perfect for that style.

    1. Jenny says:

      Thanks Robin! I tried with the stripe matching but didn’t get it quite perfect, but hey, who’s going to notice except other sewists?!

  3. T says:

    Woo hoo! My virtual bunting is out. A gorgeous dress. What a brilliant and stylish start to the Curvy Sewing Collective and great to see Colette catering for us curvy ladies. Really looking forward to seeing the other makes on the tour as it progresses.

    1. Jenny says:

      Yay! Can’t wait to see yours!

  4. tanyamaile says:

    Perfect fabric and print for this pattern! So awesome to see this tour get rolling!

  5. you look gorgeous, dahling. that sun loves you!

    1. Jenny says:

      Why thaaaaank you dahling. Now, if only I lived in a place which was actually sunny…

  6. Nicole says:

    I love it! Definitely going to have to buy this pattern.

    1. Jenny says:

      You should! Super quick and easy and satisfying 😀

  7. Really cute! Now hand over the shoes and no one gets hurt.

    For a second, I thought you had the striped “ottoman” from gorgeous fabrics that I have enstashee, but I guess not.

    You look great!

    1. Jenny says:

      Hahahha sadly they are out of stock at MaraisUSA now, but you should keep an eye on their site because they have the cutest styles

  8. Gorgeous! The light in these photos is amazing and you are rocking that Moneta. Also, the stripe fabric you chose works perfectly–just a little bit nautical, in exactly the right way. Love it!

    1. Jenny says:

      Merci Ms M! Rebecca and I were literally running around Harvard Yard chasing the sun 😀

  9. Such a fantastic basic dress… I love you fabric choice here. You can rock this in so many ways!! So the bodice and skirt are lined for this patterns? There are no edge bindings? And plastic elastic is sooo uncomfortable against the skin (or is that encased in the pattern??)– having to use regular knit elastic will be way more comfy.

    Lovely dress 🙂

    1. Oooops… so many typos in that comment… I think you get my point, though 🙂

    2. Jenny says:

      Thank you very much! Just the bodice is lined, for the sleeveless version (the sleeved ones are not), with no edge bindings. However, you could easily do other sorts of edge finishes if you want. I finished the hem with my coverstitch machine which worked well. On the elastic – yes, it would be against your skin. I used regular knit elastic instead and it seems to have worked well.

  10. gMarie says:

    This is an amazing dress! I order the whole kit and caboodle yesterday! The skirt doesn’t look overly gathered. I am excited about the Curvy Blogger Collective and this release. Yea for a curvy tour! g

    1. Jenny says:

      Yay! Yes it’s not a super gathered skirt, but you should definitely pay attention to where it’s gathering – I smoothed it out a bit more over my stomach and had more gathers at the sides, which suits my figure (although not necessarily everyone’s!). I also had pretty thick fabric which makes the gathers more prominent – if you use a lightweight jersey I’m sure it would be less.

  11. Just found your blog and hurray for this curvy tour! I bought both the patterns and plan on trying them out this weekend!

    1. Jenny says:

      Thanks for visiting! Can’t wait to see your versions

  12. Nessa says:

    BRILLIANT post Jenny! You look lovely and I am feeling so happy and so included now that the patterns are in sizes that will suit me!
    Congratulations to the Curvy Collective! Will be following the whole blog tour eagerly!

    1. Jenny says:

      Thanks Nessa! Sarai and Colette have had a great response to the new pattern sizes and the gorgeous 2XL model they used in their photography, so I’m hoping that this will send the message to all the other pattern companies to follow suit!

  13. Michelle says:

    Fabulous dress! It’s very cute on you. I’ve made a Mabel and am starting the Moneta and am really looking forward to seeing these patterns modeled by the rest of the Collective.

    1. Jenny says:

      Thanks Michelle! Can’t wait to see your Mabel.

  14. Sassy T says:

    I was ecstatic that there was a kurvy gal. Your version is fabulous

    SSB. https://facebook.com/sassysewingbees

  15. Laurwyn says:

    So you went for the golden hour 🙂
    You look so happy in the photos! And I love the choice of stripes by the way (it was my first idea until I found another one…)
    Looking forward to more reveals!

    1. Jenny says:

      GOLDEN HOUR ALL THE WAY! It is the answer to all photography woes. Looking forward to your stop on the CSC tour!

  16. Sara says:

    You look gorgeous in that dress! I’ve been considering getting the pattern, but am on the fence because of the gathers. Are you saying the skirt is shaped, not just a rectangle? Gathers on my midsection don’t do me favours.

    1. Jenny says:

      Hi Sara – yes, it’s totally a shaped piece, and definitely not a gathered rectangle. That would look *terrible* on me… It’s pretty subtle gathers, and I think you could probably adjust the pattern pretty easily to make it a simple A line with no gathers at all!

  17. gingermakes says:

    The dress is lovely, the photos are lovely, and you’re lovely! Absolutely gorgeous!

    1. Jenny says:

      Thank you lovely Sonja!

  18. Great dress! Thanks for the info on the gathering, that was something I was curious about too.

    1. Jenny says:

      Glad to be of service 🙂

  19. Vicki Kate says:

    Fabulous shoot and dress! Can’t wait to see the skirt!

    1. Jenny says:

      Thanks VickiKate! Check out Mary’s Moneta tomorrow at http://www.idlefancy.com in the meantime!

  20. Jane says:

    I wasn’t going to buy the Moneta pattern as I have so many knit dress patterns already, but you’ve just totally sold this to me! LOVE your version and can’t wait to see your Mabel skirt. x

    1. Jenny says:

      Thanks so much Jane! I’m such a big fan of your sewing that that means a lot to me 😀

    2. L says:

      Jane said exactly what I was thinking. Your dress is fantastic and I love the yellow wedges.

  21. Jenelle says:

    Such a beautiful dress! The backdrop looked familiar, but I didn’t catch on that it was the Yard until I read that in your post. I graduated from the GSD four years ago and learned to sew while I was in Cambridge. Do you ever get over to Gather Here? Love that place and Virginia!

    1. Jenny says:

      That’s so cool that you went to GSD! Yes I love Gather Here – Virginia taught me to make my first button down shirt.

  22. waikikimum says:

    Love your dress and thank you for this tour.

  23. I saw your version, heard the words “lined bodice” and bought the pattern straight away. You look fabulous…and the shoes are the cutest!

    1. Jenny says:

      It’s definitely worth buying for the lines bodice alone!

  24. Andie L. says:

    I’m sold! At first, I was skeptical about the pattern because it looks a lot like a few other knit dresses out there, but I adore the quality and details (in-seam pockets!) you named and the collar variations. I bought it immediately after reading your blog! Also, I am sooooooo glad that this plus size blog tour is happening! I get to find amazing blogs like yours! 😀 /kermithands

    1. Jenny says:

      That’s great to hear Andi! I can’t wait to see Mary’s version which is coming out today…

  25. Alyson Clair says:

    This looks fantastic on you! I’m glad you liked the lined sleevless option. I love a nice clean finish on neck and arm holes.

    1. Jenny says:

      Thank you very much Alyson – what can I say, it’s very well designed! 😀 The lining is such a great idea – I’m definitely going to be making more of these. I think a maxi is next…

  26. Alessa says:

    Great dress! I love the stripes and the idea of a lined knit bodice sounds interesting. I’ll have to check it out. 🙂 Great photos, too!

  27. Denise Hadley says:

    Very nice. I like your understanding of the fuller figure and how exciting it can be. Thank you and looking forward to more ideas and styles.

Let me know what you think!