Winter Street Dress

Pattern Review’s Winter Street dress is simple to make and very adaptable.
Pitt Trading graciously provided me with the fabrics and notions for this new work dress.


Here’s the list of pattern testers showcasing the Winter Street dress.

cleverthinking99.com 4/4/2014 (that’s me)
juliabobbin.com 4/15/2014


Pattern testing is fun as you get to see how the pattern designer quickly adjusts their pattern when we provide our feedback. And it’s lovely to work with such creative people. This is very motivating to me. 

Do have a look at how each sewer has used this pattern to show their own style.

Pitt Trading: Black tricot lining, elastic, brown ponte and a darker brown soft knit with matching thread

And when Pitt Trading were more than happy to provide me with their fabrics, I was floored. And very grateful. I’ve shopped at Pitt Trading for a very, very long time. So I’m pleased we could work together on this dress.

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Pattern Description:
Winter Street Dress is an easy to sew knit dress with a waist seam and a narrow pleated skirt. The narrow skirt with inverted box pleats has just the right amount of ease where you need it, resulting in a very comfortable and cute tulip shape. 

The bodice is drafted for a “C” cup. There is a choice of elbow length flounce sleeves or a full length sleeve. You can even make it without sleeves. The skirt is designed to fall above the knee for a more trendy look but it is super easy to lengthen or shorten it.

This time I got the hem length right. Remember how my first Summer Street Dress grew its hem overnight?

Pattern Sizing:
XS – 4XL I made the medium.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
Yes it did and there are some pretty variations to make. The hardest part is choosing the variation you want ‘the most’. I tried to stick to my plan as I sewed.

See the black tricot lining on the inside?

Were the instructions easy to follow?
They were easy to follow.
I included a tricot lining on the advice of Sylvia at Pitt Trading. I’ve been adding linings to ponte dresses since then so the dress keeps its shape over time.
It also helps the fabric to glide over you and not stick to you.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
This is clever pattern that allows you to mix stable and soft knit fabrics.
The pleating on the skirt above the tummy eliminates fullness that gathers create. That’s a win in my books.
I’ve extended the pleats down the skirt for a flatter look.

The ruffle sleeve (Deepika’s version) makes this a more feminine dress that I’ll use is another version.

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The scoop neckline isn’t what I usually wear so I’ll be creating different necklines on future versions.

Fabric Used:
I’ve used a ponte knit for the bodice and sleeve. Then the dress skirt and bindings are made of a softer knit. 


Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
I did a roll shoulder adjustment.
The sleeves were sized to full arm length but I tend to push my sleeves up during the day.

Once I’d basted the side seams, I took the waist in a bit more and took more in at the centre back seam.

Here’s the back bodice pattern with a few modifications for a bit more shape.

I added shape at the centre back seam (so it’s not cut on the fold) so I could make the back follow my curves better.

Checking the wall for this weekend’s cleaning duties.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
Yes. I experimented with a soft cowl neckline in the softer knit and it was very pretty. So I would recommend this dress if you have knit fabrics in your stash and you need warmer dresses for cooler weather.

Kicking back

I’ll also try a v-neck version. This is also a good basic knit dress for beginners to achieve a successful dress.

‘Action girl’ pose
I really should stop watching Marvel comic movies.
Waiting for the Sydney’s humidity to ease up so I can wear this dress.
PS. It took me ages to be brave enough to wear these boots after I bought them. And now I don’t know why I waited so long.

* Pattern Review images used with their permission.

Wrapped again

Simplicity 2603 is a favourite but it needs a lightweight knit. Thankfully many of these knits that I’ve found don’t really need finishings. I’ve overlocked the edges with black thread.

 The back length didn’t need adjusting. When it’s not wrapped, it hits at a nice length.

 Here’s a wrapped version with the toile scarf top.

This time I’ve worn the white top so you can see the effect with a contrast colour underneath.

That’s enough ‘dress up’ for now. I hope you can see why this is a favourite piece.
Here’s the burgundy and the navy versions from last year.

Cardi – winter is over

While trying to make a shirtmaker dress work, I’ve finished a new cardi. Why? Because the dress toile is taking up a lot of thinking time and I needed a quick win to boost my confidence. Back to the cardi.

I’ve made this before and I know how the collar sits. The facing always seems too wide and I have now decided to take out a tuck out of the neckline to overcome it falling out all the time. The last time I made up this cardi, I used a contrasting facing and took advantage of it gaping.

At the PR weekend I learnt that I could wear brown (Deep warm), and I had a couple of pieces in my stash but I wasn’t quiet sure if I should invest the time to make up these pieces. So I now know I can do some bold and muted colours and this dark chocolate brown is one of my colour options so this is what I’ve come up with.

The ruffle pieces are 2inch strips cut on grain but roll hemmed on the overlocker with red thread. I didn’t have brown thread so I used a bold red, because I do have red pieces that I can co-ordinate this cardi with.

I’ve also used two black snaps to close the cardi if I need to. This is my last warm garment that I’ll be making for the next 5 months. The humidity has started in Sydney but I’m thrilled to be in the warmth again.