Striped Ponti Dress (1ppw week 1)

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holdedcontrasty

dressandmessyapartment

pontedress

My bad sewing-with-knits experience happened a couple of years ago… I was attempting a dress in a rather thin knit (wanted to make a dress from the built by wendy ‘home stretch’ book), but I made one mistake and to my horror after unpicking the minor stitching boo boo I was left with giant holes in my fabric, landing the project in the bin!

Sewing with this (striped) ponte or ponti (which name is correct?!) for the first time was much more pleasant! For those of you who have yet to try it: Ponte is a durable, less stretchy knit fabric with much more body than regular knit fabrics tend to have. I was intimated, but when I googled “sewing with ponte” all the advice seemed to suggest treating it just like a woven. No fancy stitches or equipment needed (using a regular size 70 needle) SWEET!

I used the pattern McCalls 6460. A pattern for a rather sweet raglan number.

As is often the case: I wasn’t digging the look of the pattern envelope at all (I’m just not a sequins and satin type of girl!), but the design drawing showed potetial.

A fitted dress with raglan sleeves? Sign me up! If you have been reading my blog for any amount of time, you know how I feel abut raglan sleeves: they are just so easy to sew, and super flattering on my rather broader shoulders! 😉

I made 4 really good decisions when putting this dress together:

Firstly I decided to add the sleeves by ‘sewing flat’, meaning that I attached the bodice and side backs to the sleeves BEFORE sewing the side seams/sleeves together,  Now that I’m re-reading this post, I don’t think there actually any other way to attach the sleeves anyway! But here’s what it looks like:

flatconstruction

The second good decision was to hem the sleeves and the skirt by using a machine-made blind hem (using my blind hemming foot). I highly recommend this for ponti/ponte. It gives the hem some movement, but also looks really pretty and hides the stitches well! Just as well, because I was not prepared to venture into using twin needles and all that scary stuff just yet! Yeah! If you have a blind hem foot, try it when sewing with ponte, its great!

The third thing which really helped me was hemming the sleeves BEFORE sewing the sleeves together (but not hemming the skirt). This was great because, it turned out I needed to take the sleeves in quite a lot, I cut a size 6 (even though I’m a RTW size 8), but it still required fitting so I sharpened up my tailors chalk and got to work. Here’s what the dress looked like before I altered the fit:

beforefitting

Ugh ‘fitting’. Why is the part I dislike about sewing also the bit that makes the magic happen?!…Then again making a ponte dress fit you is pretty quick, especially compared to fitting a woven dress, so that’s another advantage of this ponte fabric!

And lastly I was happy I ended up removing the invisible zip. I initially I did install an invisible zip the the back of the dress (as that’s what the pattern called for), but happily I was able to remove it, because turns out there was enough stretch to pull this dress on without it. Without the zipper, the back looks so much neater!:

back

I was a little scared to bind the top of the neckline, but it turns using the usual bia-binding technique works fine!

binding

All in all sewing with this fabric (that was out of my sewing comfort zone) was a great experience. The only things to be aware of with pont/ponti are: it curls a lot, so extra pins help! It doesn’t press that well. You can press it at the neck binding enough to get by, but it ain’t like plain weave cotton! Oh and also it’s harder to mark. I got away with using tailors chalk but it is harder to mark parts in this fabric. I’m actually kind of proud of how the stripes at the front waist darts match up! 🙂

So happy I finally made something with long sleeves! I really dig the dress. Unfortunately it was 15 degrees Celsius today (ugh cold weather 😦 !), so I had to opt for pants and a woolen jumper, otherwise I would have worn this dress all day!

final

 

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35 comments
  1. Melanie said:

    I love it, so chic! You could totally don some particular opaque stickings & booties and wear this in winter! I’ve sewn with ponti/ponte once so far and loved how easy it was on the regular machine.

    • Thanks Mel! Booties are a great idea! Hadn’t thought of paring it with those! 🙂 Cool! won’t be the last time I work with it either! Have you decided what your next project is?

  2. Looks great on you…you’ve nailed the fit and stripe matching! I love raglans too…but for the opposite reason…narrow shoulders!

    • Thanks so much! 🙂 So pleased you like it! Raglan sleeves mean less time fitting don’t they? This sleeve had a shoulder dart, I thought it would need adjusting but luckily it didn’t.

  3. Laura said:

    This looks great on you! 1ppw win! And hurray for overcoming our fear of knits! It’s great that you found a way to make a fairly jazzy looking dress (judging by the illustrations) into something more casual.

    I have a fairly similar rtw dress (it came from a vintage shop, but I’m confident it’s modern – how do you tell?) which I wear all the time.

    • Thanks! 🙂
      Cool! It would be hard to tell! I’m sure you have inspected the insides and construction… Not sure. They do seem to have newer stuff in thrift stores these days. Worth trying out the mcalls pattern if you want another one 🙂

  4. Absolutely love it. I have an uncontrollable addiction to striped fabrics, and this dress is so fab in the ponte. I’ll have to keep an eye out for this pattern when spotty is having a sale, I love the raglan sleeve too. Don’t be scared by twin needles, they’re really very easy to use and I made some ponte Elle trousers, and the ponte loved the twin needle on the hems. With sturdy knits it’s very easy, with finer knits I glue my seams down first so that there isn’t a channel or raised ridge of fabric between the two lines of stitching, and I also drop my bobbin tension down a little too.

    • Aww Thanks so much! Yay! I always wait for the sales too :).
      Thanks for the advice! Love it! Does the glue interfere with the performance of the machine? I suppose as long as you change the needle it’s fine ;)! I have to try it some time, but I’m a little bit scared. heh

  5. Pips said:

    Fabulous! I’m only just venturing into knits after 15 years sewing, admittedly I only got an overlocker last year, but I’m loving it! Ponti is great, I’ve found some really good stable knits to make Coco’s, and how easy is it to fit the side seams, just overlock them in! Speaking of raglan sleeves, the Belcarra blouse is a gorgeous top with raglans. Hadn’t sewn these since high school, but have reaffirmed my love again.Happy sewing! Pips x

    • Yes! Glad I’m not the only one! 🙂 Just overlocking the seams… how lovely and quick is that?! 🙂
      Thanks, you too! X

  6. Love it!! Such a classic (and classy!) dress! I’ve fallen completely in love with ponte and if the fabric shops in my town sold more of it, I think I’d make everything out of the stuff. And I’m with you on pattern covers – the styling is often totally bonkers and it’s really only from the line drawings that you see the pattern’s true potential. Can’t believe there was once a zip in the back of this dress, it’s perfectly aligned!

    • Thank you!! You make such great things with knits! You are my knit-sewing-inspiration! 🙂 I did put a lot of pins down the back, so I was lucky with the center back seam BUT the side seams of the dress aren’t even close to matching hehe.

      • Oh wow, that’s a brilliant compliment, thanks! 🙂

  7. Love your dress and perfect fabric. Can I ask where you got it from, I’ve been looking for Australian based on-line fabric stores that stock decent knit fabric as the shipping from overseas is usually really expensive and wondered if you have discovered any. I live in Perth and unfortunately we just don’t have many shops to choose from.

    • Thanks!
      I got it from The Remnant Warehouse, Alexandria in Sydney. They do have an online store http://www.theremnantwarehouse.com.au/ I had a look and they didn’t seem to have the striped ponte. they do have some other ponte fabrics for sale, just not the stripes 😦
      Hope you find some! x

      • Thanks – I actually went there a few years ago when I was visiting Sydney, I’ll have to keep an eye on their site.

      • Cool! If I’m in there again and I see more I’ll let you know.

  8. Lynne said:

    This is gorgeous! I’m a recent convert to knit fabrics, and have discovered that ponti is most definitely my friend! Your stripe matching is outstanding, I honestly didn’t even realise there was a back seam until you pointed it out.

    • Thanks so much Lynne! Yes! I can’t believe I haven’t sewn with it sooner, good to hear you had luck with it too 🙂 the stripes aren’t matching everywhere but I did make an effort on the back so thanks hehe 🙂

  9. Sue (Ladystitcher) got me onto your blog. You have some amazing makes. Love your latest stripy dress x

  10. OOOOOH! Fantastic stripes! I love it…it’s nice to see examples of how cool a pattern can be made up in the right material. I just don’t get some of these pattern companies and their illustrations. Some of them are so hideous it’s amazing that they ever get made. Good job looking beyond the pattern!

    • Haha ain’t that the truth! Thanks for your lovely comment 🙂

  11. Erika said:

    Love the way it came out. There are so many reasons why I want to make this dress now! Especially because of the sleeves, I love raglan sleeves. It looks great on you. 🙂

    • Thanks Erika! That’s awesome, i’d love to see your version! This dress would look great on you too!! ☺

  12. Etemi said:

    This looks fantastic on you! I think this could be such a versatile piece, but I love everything with stripes, so I might be biased.;)

    • You are such a sweetheart! Haha me too, can’t ever go wrong with stripes really 😉 ☺

  13. This is so cute! I love that the raglan sleeves differentiate it from the usual Breton stripe garment.

  14. Yay Ponte! Yay Raglan sleeves! The top i made today for work tomorrow was from some lovely double knit – ponte de roma to be exact. Any kind of stable knit is my favourite. its just so fun so sew with. stretchy, no overlocking, and it always fits! I love your one, the stripes are all matching! How did you do that? its looks so fantastic on you! and boo cold weather. just chuck on some boots and a coat and you’ll be just like a Biba dollybird! xo

    • Yay! I saw it on your instagram 🙂 The fabric sounds very luxe! It’s perfect for this cold weather, and you mentioned you needed more tops.
      The stripes don’t match everywhere…on the side seams the stripes don’t match at all… but in places where I really wanted it to match I used more pins that I ordinarily would. I also sometimes put the sewing needles/pins straight down and through both layers of fabric and then separated the fabric to see if the stripes line up (on both layers) before I pin through (I often do this with the markings on darts too) Sorry bout the clumsy explanation haha. Thanks so much! So glad you like it. 😀 I should look at making a coat to go over it, because I have never tried making one. xo

  15. Ines said:

    I love it! Great job!

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