Vogue + ponte

This is a Vogue 8923 test version. It really is. 
The give-away clue is the belt.

I’ve placed the sewn in belt at the front because the panels ended up below my hips. A strange stopping point for someone with my height. So I had to cut into the existing pieces (removing 9cm) to have the colour blocks end at my high hip level. 3cm were later taken off the hem.

This dress didn’t need a back zipper but I’ve used the centre back seam for more shaping.

These are all stash ponte pieces that I thought would work together.

Yes. This is a work dress now.

I did a sway back adjustment on the back.
I also added a roll shoulder adjustment.

I’ve used the 3 thread coverstitch for the neckline, sleeve hem and belt detail.

Before I worked on the hem, I read Threads January 2014 issue and decided to practice hand sewing the hem – page 39 in ‘Sew a sheath dress’ article. I always find a technique or two in each issue, but the January issue had loads of techniques I’ve been working towards.

I’ve lined this dress with tricot knit so there’s no clinging to fuss about, or facings used. In case you’re wondering, only the body of the dress is lined and not the sleeves.

I’ll use the black ponte and houndstooth ponte to make the ‘real version‘ – courtesy of Minerva Crafts UK.
They’re a lovely store to work/sew with.

I think I might pop over for the meet up in June. 

Want to join me?

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.


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.

Cowl neckline – Kwik Sew 3740

This top is as simple as it gets but it’s fabulous for mid-season layering.

I trialled this top last week in a yellow/white rib knit so the top was easy to make up again. Rib knits are a challenge if you’re making a full garment, because they continue to streeeetch…

I’ve done a bit of ‘extreme sewing’.

 This fabric is like ruffle fabric, except the pieces are not quiet ruffle.

What you can see is the base fabric is fairly see through, so I’ve lined this top with cream coloured tricot knit. I actually applied the lining layer after making the top but before finishing the hems. The tricot is sewn into the hem edge and because the additional layer makes this fabric heavier, the hem can be a smaller width. I’ve used the selvage as the sleeve finish.

I’ve chosen this as a mid-season top because I’m trying to avoid black, if I have the option. Now I do.

 This pattern is now a TNT pattern. 
Here is the brown spot print knit version.

 This is the purple print knit and that’s it for my mini-collection. Time for a break.
And below is today’s MMM12 outfit.

Cardi – Simplicity 2603 burgundy rayon knitDress – Vogue 8379. I’ve used the burgundy rayon as a sleeve cuff on the striped dress.
It was too cold to take this pic outside this morning.