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. 4/4/2014 (that’s me) 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.


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.


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.

I think the sewing fairies are looking after me

This week I submitted #1 of 9 project assessments and #2 is being pulled together now. My sewing room is my study and the week before I started those pretty ribbon skirts Pattern Review (PR) emailed me to say I got another star. Cool – 4 stars.

So this afternoon I got another PR email to say I’m a featured member. (Jaw dropped)
Yep. I’m floored and chuffed (Thanks BeaJay). I’m not sure how featured members are worked out.
Thanks heaps. I have really enjoyed my contacts with Deepika, Bonnie OConnieBJ and DianeSev when I’ve managed a few of PR contests. One day I hope to meet you all.
Reality check
There’s so much to be thankful for and being able to study again right now is a blessing. DH is cooking etc so I have the time to concentrate. He’s a great cook.
December I hope to manage another PR contest so I’m convinced the sewing fairies are looking after me at the moment.
I’ll get off the blog/social media and get back into the books.

A break – The Perfect Nose

Rail trail adventure:
DH decided we would skip town and go ‘outback’ and ride a rail trail for 4 days after Christmas. The end of this trip would also include a few days in Melbourne, so no sewing from this little blogger during the Christmas New Year break.

There was a fair bit of cycling ie wearing lycra, sunscreen, insect repellent, pumping up tyres, replacing tyre blow outs (yes, I can change a tyre), sharing the trail with bounding kangaroos, blue tongue lizards, goannas, echidnas and hearing a snake in the leaves.

DH cycling down hill at Nowa Nowa.

The sound of snakes in the leaves makes us both pedal faster.  Did I tell you on Day 1 of the ride a bug stung me on the eyebrow while cycling and I now know what I’d look like if I used botox – he he.

A girl’s cycle wardrobe

My back tyre blew out twice even though we used a $5 bill to line the tyre. The $5 bill held out for 2km. So we did bush walk for 5kms and cycled 170km in total. I managed to buy fabric at Nowa Nowa and Orbost.

Seeing friends:
Then DH and I spent a few days in Melbourne and I fabric shopped with TJ of ThePerfectNose and was fabric enabled by our PR peers. TJ is an awesome sewer and we had lots to share. Here’s her review of the day. I have some goodies that TJ gave me that I’ll share with you soon.

Getting around Melbourne for fabric was even more exciting because the PR downunder peers were telling me where else I should search for fabric while I was on my fabric hunt. Thanks Sue, Lynny, JenleeC. Yes Alison, I still have some fabric from our 2010 visit to make up but the memories of these visits will come flooding back when I eventually make up these fabrics and use the notions from Jimmy’s buttons.

Two bags of fabric from Darn Cheap Fabric.

DH and I also met up with some dear friends and catching up with friends is really all I want to do when we travel. 

Rooftop Cinema in Melbourne

We saw the movie Bernie on a 30C night. Jack Black was amazing in this movie.

Gallery of Victoria – Taking a break from the heat in aircon.

You can’t make up for lost time when it’s been 10 years since you last met with your friends but there’s a real case for making sure you travel. Life’s too short. I think I’ll use Skype more often so that travel isn’t the only way to keep in touch in the future.