Cashmerette Turner Vs. Colette Moneta: A Pattern Comparison

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Grab a snack and get cosy – this is going to be a long post!

This weekend I’ll be teaching a class on knit dresses at Spool and Spindle. We like to offer students a choice of patterns so that everyone can get the size and shape that is right for them. This time, we’ve chosen Cashmerette Turner and Colette Moneta, two very similar patterns on the surface… but as I sewed up the samples, I was rather amazed by all the small but significant differences!

First off, the similarities: 

  • both knit fit-and-flare dresses
  • both knee-length
  • both have a lined bodice
  • both have multiple sleeve lengths

But that’s boring, right? Let’s get down to the fun part – all of the differences!!!

Cashmerette Turner vs. Colette Moneta

My fabrics: Before I can really compare the patterns, let’s talk about how fabric may be affecting fit. I sewed the Turner in a Monaluna organic cotton interlock called “Hootenany”. It has no Lycra, so it has a soft stretch and gentle recovery. It’s also thick and spongey, so it wouldn’t do well with the gathers in the Moneta skirt. The Moneta is sewn in a black and white polkadot from Robert Kaufman’s Laguna line. It’s 95%cotton and 5% Lycra, so it has plenty of snap to it’s stretch. Neither one is the sort of drapey rayon or ITY that I would actually use for myself if I was sewing these dresses, but both samples are in very beginner-friendly fabric.

Sizing: Moneta has the more inclusive sizing, running xs-3xl. (That’s a 33″ inch bust up to a 54″ bust.) I sewed an XL, as recommended for my size. Turner runs UK size 12-26 (bust 40″ to 58″) and has three cup sizes. I sewed a straight 16 E/F.

Cashmerette Turner vs. Colette Moneta

The Patterns: Two very different approaches here!

Moneta, as you can see on the right, relies on negative ease for all the shaping. As drafted, the armscye curves, width and length of the front and back pieces are all identical. Potential outcomes of this are a gaping front neckline, wrinkles at the underarm, and a waist seam the angles up in the front. Moneta is designed for a C cup in  the sizes up to XL (the size I sewed); from 2XL up, it is for a DD cup, and does have more shaping, I’m told. For both patterns I sewed the size that would fit me according to the measurement chart, so presumable Colette feels that this shape should fit and flatter someone with my measurements!

Turner, on the left, has much more pronounced differences between front and back bodice. I chose the E/F cup because a) it’s what fits me and b) for a sample, I wanted to demonstrate the bust shaping, which is the focus of Cashmerette patterns. Notice how on Turner the back is already adjusted for a typical swayback, and the front is longer to go over the bust. The front armscye is also narrower because most people’s shoulders sit slightly forward.

For my figure, Turner is clearly a better shape – but I was surprised that the negative ease in Moneta did make the fit look pretty good! It’s tighter than I usually wear, but I think the cotton spandex and busy print help camouflage issues.

Cashmerette Turner vs. Colette Moneta

The Skirt: This is where personal preference really comes into play. Turner has an A-line skirt, and Moneta has a gathered, slightly A-line shape. Moneta also has pockets!

Ever since Moneta’s release, I’ve heard grumblings about the suggested method of gathering with clear elastic. I asked around on IG, and most people agreed – it’s more fiddly and less consistent than using a basting stitch or zigzagging over dental floss. As an instructor though, I wanted to try it before I dissed it to my students… and you know what? It worked just fine! My local store had run out of 1/4″ clear elastic, so I used 1/2″ instead, which was less prone to sliding around. As I stretched it, it became narrower – with a narrow elastic to begin with, I can imagine the whole thing would be a pain.

(Speaking of strange methodology, I cannot fathom why the sleeveless version of the Moneta suggests a bizarre method of clean-finishing the sleeves, when a burrito method would be so much easier! Anyone remember watching this video in confusion?)

Personally, I hate a gathered skirt cutting across my belly – from the side in particular, I feel like it adds a lot of visual volume. Ditto with the pockets – cute, sure, but they combine with the gathered skirt to add centimetres of width that I don’t want on my hips. I know lots of people love a gathered skirt though, so pick the pattern that’s right for you!

Cashmerette Turner vs. Colette Moneta

Front/Back Balance: On me, the Moneta bodice rides high at the front and is too long at the back. Turner, but contrast, is actually too long on me at the front! It has additional length built in at the front hem, and I always have to trim some off on Cashmerette patterns. It would be relatively easy to adjust either pattern to suit your body shape.

Sleeves: Moneta’s sleeves are symmetrical, with the same curve for front and back. Turner has more shaping to allow for front and back differences.

Cashmerette Turner vs. Colette Moneta

Neckline: Turner is designed with a wide V, and Moneta has a wide scoop in front and a slightly deeper scoop in back. Both necklines are cleanly finished by sewing the outer layer to the lining, so you could easily redraw either neckline into the shape you want. If you have narrow shoulders or hate bra straps showing, consider narrowing both necklines.

Length: I’m 5’2″, with a relatively long back and very short legs. I have to say, both patterns fit just fine in length! I didn’t shorten the bodices or skirts. For anyone much taller, the bodices could be quite high-waisted. A fabric with a soft 4-way stretch like rayon or bamboo would stretch out the bodice and skirt making the dress longer.

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Overall Thoughts: It’s no surprise I like Turner better for myself (I’ve made several already!) but I was impressed how the negative ease of the Moneta overcame a lot of what I thought were pretty serious drafting weaknesses. Ultimately neither sample dress is what I’d choose to wear for myself (Ack! Yellow! Gathered skirt!), but both would be quite wearable.

I think these patterns reflect the state of indie sewing when they were designed. Moneta was part of Colette’s first wave of knit and plus-inclusive patterns, and it was a smash hit. As the indie market has refined its expectations, I think Turner reflects more thoughtful drafting. Both patterns can make you a nice dress, and they are fundamentally similar styles… it just comes down to little details that only a seamstress would notice. Of course, there are also plenty of other fit-and-flare/skater patterns to choose from!

I’d love to hear: Which of these two patterns have you sewn, and what did you think? Do you agree or disagree with my assessments? 


58 thoughts on “Cashmerette Turner Vs. Colette Moneta: A Pattern Comparison

  1. I haven’t sewn either of these dresses for 2 reasons 🙂 One is that the last thing I think I need is a seam at the waist – gathered or not – nor do I like the length of dresses in general on me – I prefer tunic length with leggings (which I noticed you do a lot too :)) or a top. I agree with your assessment though – the Turner does suit you better! Great job Gillian as always and thank you for such a great post.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks for the comparison. I haven’t purchased the Turner, because I already have the Moneta, but haven’t made the Moneta because of all of the adjustments I’d have to do. How does the fit on the Turner compare to the Appleton? I ask because for me the Appleton still needs a small FBA if I don’t want to show too much cleavage (K cup), but it is very forgiving because of its wrap style. I’m trying to figure out if I should start at the same place with the Turner or if I should do the FBA.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I find the sizing and shaping really consistent across all Cashmerette patterns… so you might still need an FBA on Turner, depending on how picky you are about fit. On the other hand, when there is no wrap that can possibly gape, you might find it fits with no problems!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I’ve done the Moneta, in a fabric I love… and I barely wear it, partly because of that gathered skirt. I have not yet purchased the Turner, but I have hacked the concord t-shirt into a skater dress which somewhat resembles the Turner, and I love it.

    Anyway, this is a very interesting post, thanks a lot for it! It’s always nice and informative to see comparisons between patterns that are both this different and this similar!

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    1. A Concord dress sounds lovely! Turner has a snugger fit and more waist shaping than Concord, and the Washington bodice is even snugger… but if you’ve got a shape you love,then run with it! 🙂

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    1. You sew Lady Skaters, right? That’s a patter that never worked for me (too narrow at the shoulders and too long in the torso, if memory serves). I think you might like Tuner too!

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  4. I just finished my first turner (swoon) and have the PDF of the Moneta. I love your walk thru of both patterns. I think the Turner will ultimately work better for my plus size shape, but I think I’ll still sew up a Moneta. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. A Moneta is worth a try! I’m quite surprised that it looks half decent on me, because I was so turned off by the pattern pieces… it might just work for you too! Though I’m happy to hear that Turner is good – you could always slap a Moneta skirt on a Turner bodice!

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  5. FIRST, I love both of these on you, Gillian. And the owls are too cute. But I must say, my first thought was “Gillian in yellow?” LOL. I haven’t bought Turner yet, but I had the Moneta since release and have never gotten around to sewing it. Colette’s PDF patterns are just tooooooooooo much paper and too much time for assembly. I always had high hopes for it though and have adored others makes, but just haven’t made it up myself. The gathered skirt was never ever going to happen for me though. I CANNOT seem to find a way to wear those without a waistband, and even then, I’m not a fan.

    My challenge with Jenny’s patterns though is the necklines are always too low and too wide for me. I have yet to find the best possible dimensions on my Concord tees, so they’re all relegated to pajamas status for now. Understand that I don’t expect out of the box fitting for me (short height, short torso, GG boobs, swayback, sloping shoulder), just that I’m just not psyched about making an abundance of neckline adaptations.

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    1. I do find the Turner too low and wide for me too. I imagine it’s to visually balance out a large bust, but mine is not proportionally all that big, so it ends up showing too much, as you say! The nice thing about these lined bodice dresses is that it’s super easy to alter the neckline – and I definitely prefer a high scoop to a low V!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I have many Monetas and the bodice is also short in front and long in the back on me, and the gathered skirt does poof at an awkward mid-belly point…but they are so comfortable and easy to sew. I have been resisting buying the Turner pattern but a better-fitting bodice would be worth it. How does the Turner compare to the Kitschy Coo Lady Skater?

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    1. Kitschy Koo makes one of my all-time favourite patterns, the Comino Cap… but I never got along with the Lady Skater. I made a few, but gave them away. I can’t remember perfectly, but I think the shoulders were too narrow for me and the bodice too long. If those are good features for you, you might prefer it!

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  7. Well that makes sense to me now – I sewed the Moneta up ages ago and haven’t worn it, had to make big darts in the armhole so it didn’t gape! I hadn’t bought the Turner yet, but you are right in the thoughtfulness of the drafting, and am looking for something similar, so will now!

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    1. Oooh, I hope you like it! At least with Turner, even if you have to make a few adjustments, it will be less work than starting with Moneta!

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  8. I think you made a (sort of) Lady Skater (from Kitschy Coo Patterns) in the past … how does that one compare to the Turner? I’m working on my 5th Skater – thinking it would be worth a try to do a lined bodice a la Turner, and skip the neck band! Would love your insight …

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    1. You could totally do a lined bodice with the Lady Skater! Nice for a dressier version where you don’t want a banded neckline. I found the Lady Skater too narrow in the shoulders and too long in the bodice (if I’m remembering right – it’s been a while!) … but sounds like it’s good on you, so keep sewing! 🙂

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  9. Thanks Gillian, this is a great comparison! I wish I had this information before I wasted presious sewing time on the Moneta, and not just one, but I made two. I agree with the consensus about gathered waistlines–this is an area where I do not need extra fabric to emphasize a big belly! I altered my second Moneta, smoothing out the gathers, and end up with a skirt similar to the Turner, but again, there’s that seam at the waist. Also, the negative ease of the bodice emphasis my ever increasing back and bra line fat–a sad fact of shifting weight on my aging (66 year old) body. My third Concord is in the works, and that silhouette is one I’m very comfortable in. For now I’m sticking with what I know works.

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    1. I’ve got that back fat bra line too… but I tell myself it’s the price to pay for having my boobs look their best! 😉 If I can’t see it, then who cares?
      If Concords work well for you, I wonder if you’d like a Concord dress? You could add any kind of skirt on, but it wouldn’t be as snug as a Turner or Washington bodice?

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  10. That’s a really interesting comparison. I have myself made four or five Monetas, and love the pattern, but after the first one I omitted the gathering on the skirt by tracing a smaller size for the skirt. It worked very well for me and was no extra work. I do think I have enough dresses in that siluette now. I don’t think the Turner would fit my small bust without a lot of work either.

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  11. I can’t tell you how I look forward to your new posts! I’ve sewn both and prefer the Turner by far. I love the fit at the waist without all that pesky gathering. I get less and less tolerant these days of pressure on my waist. That said, they are very similar and I did one Moneta without gathering the waist (gained a few pounds between sewing and wearing) and it is pretty similar to the Turner. I have four Turners right now and expect to make many more. It may well win my pattern of the year award. If I had one.

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    1. LOL – I was just about to type, “Wow, you’ve sewn even more Turners than me!”, but then I started counting… and woah, I’ve made four too! 😉 I wasn’t super excited by it when I first saw the line drawings, but it has really won me over!

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  12. I made 2 Myrtles and loved them, but the Moneta I made afterward put me off knit dresses since! It’s too tight for my comfort, I learned that I don’t love gathered skirts, I had to take a big dart at the armhole because of gaping, and I’m always tugging at it when it’s on. I still wear it occasionally, because it’s blue lobsters and makes me smile, but I wish it were more comfortable.

    I have a bunch of knits in my stash, so maybe I’ll have to try the Turner and see if I like knits after all…

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    1. I feel like the sewing community is divided into two main groups – those that love Colette, and those that sewed a Colette pattern that made them bitter forever! For me it was Myrtle, actually – to get it to fit the way I wanted, I sewed a xs at the shoulders and an XL everywhere else! Moneta certainly didn’t win me back over, though I am surprised it looks decent in these pictures. Definitely too tight for comfort for me too!

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  13. I guess I am the exception here. I like the Moneta on you best. I think it has something to do with where the waistline is falling in the front view. I have not made either dress. Being on the shorter side such as yourself, I am curious as to how the SBCC Bronx would compare with these two popular patterns. Another day, another comparison 😃 Love the article.

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    1. I agree – in pictures, this Moneta looks better! But in fabrics of my choice, with the Turner waist seam raised an inch like I always do, it’s a much better fit and way more comfortable.The black polkadot fabric is hiding the fact that I’m squeezed in like a sausage! 😛
      I’d be curious to try the Bronx! I’ve never sewn a SBCC pattern – I keep waiting for one that really calls my name. Have you tried any?

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    1. It’s great to have so many pattern choices! Lady Skater didn’t work at all for me, but I like Kitschy Koo drafting and I love their Comino Cap dress!

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  14. Ok, I had to watch the armhole video – and that’s what I would do, if I didn’t have instructions for another finish in front of me. It’s what comes naturally! Have a great class!

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  15. You look lovely in both, but I actually prefer the Moneta on you! Maybe it photographs particularly well, haha. It’s just a great silhouette and I think you should really give gathered skirts another chance 😉 (PS. That shirring thing made me nearly homicidal and upset my serger too. I will try gathering the skirt the usual way next time.)

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    1. It’s definitely the photographs and fabric making it look good! I feel so frumpy in it in real life, and I hate the super tight bodice. Then again, I dislike any cotton jersey clothing, so both sample dresses are really not my cup of tea.
      Try the wider clear elastic for the shirring – it really did make things better! Just basting would be so much more controlable though!

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  16. I’ve made the moneta, lady skater and the turner. I found the moneta and the lady skater were too tight for my liking and had a lot of excess fabric gathered at the front armhole plus the too low/high waist and. I love the turner dress, the fit is really good with no adjustments.
    I do think the turner needs pockets though!

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  17. Great review of these patterns! I wrote about the Moneta back in 2014 – comparing it against the Lady Skater. The Lady Skater was the firm winner for me and a variety of commenters corroborated their preference for similar dress patterns (that are not the Moneta). On me those waist gathers and pockets were a voluminous disaster. I really have no respect for Colette drafting (I didn’t 3 years ago and I still don’t, though I know they’re trying to clean up their act). I feel it caters to the lowest common denominator of fitting while it promotes itself as excellent drafting for all. And its crackerjack marketing sucks people in. Wow – I’m still very fussed about my Moneta experience. That was the last Colette pattern I ever tried.

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    1. LOL – I”m equally as embittered by my experience making the Myrtle, around the same time! Just… ugh. I’m surprised how decent Moneta looks on me in these pictures – but I promise, up close, it’s not comfortable or flattering. I do have a few friends who like it (who are either small busted or did a ton of alterations to the pattern). I’m curious how students feel about the two patterns in class tomorrow!

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  18. One other thing: I actually think the Moneta looks just as good on you as the Turner (and both look lovely). Just cuz it was nasty on me, doesn’t mean you haven’t maximized it. But I think both neck lines are the smidgiest bit too wide still on your frame (particularly the Turner). Have you considered narrowing the neck on the Turner next time out?

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  19. Thanks for the comparison. You actually look good in the Moneta, which surprised me as I rarely like it on anyone. I’ve made it up a few times in various sizes/alterstions but none of the versions have ever been worn. I really dislike it, to be honest. I think you are spot on about them being reflections of their time, and I’ve often though the Moneta love is largely based on the plus size communitys happiness about finally being concidered “worthy” of a pattern company notice. It’s pretty amazing to see what has happened on the plus size pattern front after Colettes first launch, so im spite of my less than positive feelings about Moneta (and Mabel, for that matter) they definitely started something good.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well said! I don’t think Moneta would get as much love these days… but it does work for some people, so that’s fair! I think my version looks ok by virtue of the fabric and photography… but IRL, the fit is definitely off!

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  20. I’ve sewn exactly half of a Moneta, lol. I actually swapped the skirt for the Cake Tiramisu’s to avoid the gathers– mainly because I was making it as part of a Belle costume (her village blue dress), but I was actually really happy with the resulting silhouette. I do have fabric to make a second Moneta, though I’m definitely going to have to think about whether the gathered skirt will help camouflage or emphasize the mom tummy that I didn’t have when I made it before. As for the bodice, I didn’t have an issue with the negative ease or gaping, but I did also square off the neckline and include a center front seam to make it look more authentic. And I can’t remember if I had to take it in there or not.

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    1. I remember that Belle dress! I hope you get back into that secret cosplay sewing! I feel like you might be happier with Turner these days… more room for the bust! 😉

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  21. You’re bang on time for the #monetaparty on IG this weekend! I’ve only made Moneta, but I did like it. I’m 5’10” so I definitely had to add some to the bodice length and the skirt length but the negative ease in the bodice gave me a really good fit apart from that. The clear elastic method for the gathering sounded odd to me, too, at first but it really did work. I was convinced it was going to snap all the way round, but it actually turned out perfectly.

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  22. What pretty dresses. I haven’t made either of these patterns but I love the polka dot one the best. Is that the Moneta? Maybe it is the fabric. I have a thing for anything spotty. I really like a fit and flare dress and picked up a really cheesy 60/70s pattern from eBay. Would be very happy if it turned out as nice as your dresses. Xx

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  23. I love the side by side comparison. I haven’t made a moneta for a while, although they are in steady rotation right now (wearing one as I type this!). Turner has been my go-to knit dress lately. I think it’s the fit? Not sure as I do love the details that the moneta has. Do you keep those dresses or do they hang in the store as I particularly love the polka dots on you.

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    1. Both dresses are living in the store – but goodness knows I have enough knit dresses to wear without them! 😉

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  24. I like the look of the Moneta on you, but it could just be the black fabric effect. I just sewed up my first Moneta a month ago. It’s fine, I wear it, but I realized after buying into all the hype that the Moneta (and, I think, Skaters in general) is not for me.
    Some of the bodice pattern adjustments provided by the Turner do sound clever, particularly for the plus size range. The Turner’s bodice drafting might solve some of my Moneta complaints but I’m not sure it would be enough to be worth my while for the price if the Skater style isn’t my thing. My Moneta back bodice is too long for my sway back, and the waist rides up in the front, the underarms wrinkle and the shoulders don’t hit quite right. But in general the gathered waist, and wide necklines do not flatter my figure– all of which I could adjust, but I’m not sure that it’s worth it when I could just choose a different style altogether…
    Anyway, I love reading other people’s opinions on these dresses because I am still on the fence about trying a second skater dress, and whether it’s a second Moneta or I splurge on the Turner. Very good comparison!

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    1. I agree, the Moneta looks good on me in pictures… but I promise, it’s less nice in person! If you aren’t into skater dresses, maybe you’d like something like the Cashemerette Appleton wrap dress instead?

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  25. Spot on with the Moneta! At 5’10”, this dress was super high waist for me, the skirt hit about 1.5″ above my knees lol. The pockets added a bit of width to my already killer hips lol. I don’t like how it cuts into my waist (or just below my bust in my case). That said, a freakin knit skater dress was made in MY SIZE!!! So stoked. Desperate to try the Turner Dress now ✌🏻🦄✂️Much love, Xx Sewing Unicorn

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  26. Great review of both dresses. I can’t believe I have found someone in the sewing world that is built almost exactly like me, even down to the height and measurements so I hope you don’t mind if I ask what size or sizes do you cut for Cashmerette patterns? Are you able to use the same sizing across all their knit patterns? I am somewhat late to the party and have just discovered Cashmerette. I am currently working on fitting the Concord T.

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    1. Hi, body twin! Last year I sewed a 14E/f at the bust, graded to a 16 at the waist and hips. I still wear those clothes, but I’ve gain a bit of weight and started sewing a straight 16e/f! 😉

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      1. Thanks for your reply. Do you use the same size in all Cashmerette knit patterns? (I am getting really tired of making muslins).

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