Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Sewing with Ponte

Okay I really wanted to link to the comment that was left about sewing with ponte but I can't find it now.  So whoever asked the question this is for you.

First I think we should start with a definition of what Ponte Fabric is...

Textile.com has this definition for "ponte di roma": 
"A fabric made in a double knit construction, usually produced in one color rather than color patterns. This plain fabric has an elastic quality with a slight horizontal line. The fabric looks the same on both sides. Weft knitted, interlock based, double jersey structure. Means 'roman bridge' which is suggested by the arrangement of loops. The fabric looks the same on both sides."

How about a few pics of ponte fabric...these are all from my collection:

Solid color pontes

Interesting prints in ponte

Prints and solid colored ponte

Where do I purchase ponte from~

Everywhere!  Seriously I own quite a few pieces from Mood Fabrics in NYC ~

Cardigan from a tweed ponte

A Laminated Ponte

These dresses have ponte from Fabric Mart, fabric.com and Vogue Fabrics




...these pieces were all sewn in the last 12 months...

My flat fold fabric collection has ponte from Gorgeous Fabrics, Sawyer Brook and EOS.  See I told you everywhere...and I have it in every color that I like, as well as, a variety of prints and plaids.

+ + +

Now lets start at the top.  You've brought or gotten your fabric home and you know what you want to make from it.  

Pre-treating ~

  • Pre-treating it is next.  So how do I pre-treat this fabric?
  • Into the washer it goes.  
  • Next the dryer on medium heat.  
  • I'm not trying to bake it, just take the shrinkage out of it and any finishing that may have been applied.  
  • A quick press and it's ready for the cutting table.

Here are a few of my sewing tips ~

  • I treat ponte like it's a woven fabric with a little stretch and not a knit fabric.
  • I use a size 80 needle on midweight ponte
  • My stitch length is 2.9/3.0
  • I don't pull or stretch the fabric as I feed it through my sewing machine
  • Otherwise stitch like I would a woven fabric
  • I use a pressing cloth when pressing the seams open and flat.

...and that's it.  Sew up your garment and wear it with pride.  Someone told me that ponte is passe.  I think of ponte like maxi dresses.  At first it was a trend and then the comfort factor kicked in. I think garments made from ponte will be around for a minute just like maxi dresses because for real women comfort is so much more important than trends.  

As previously mentioned, I have a few more ponte dresses planned for this spring/summer.  I hope that you will use ponte in some of your own garments this summer!

...as always more later!








40 comments:

  1. I love ponte! I made my first dress with it in February (a wrap dress using Butterick 5454)and it is fantastic. Ponte is so comfortable and isn't clingy like most knits. I love sewing with it. I never would have tried had it not been for your blog. Thank you for introducing me to this wonderful fabric.

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  2. You inspire me to want to try and sew Ponte.... And can I say, I still think that your take on the leather featurette dress (black with black) is one of the most flattering and on trend things you have every sewn!

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  3. Great info as always! I would also like to add that if you are ordering online and don't have a sample, look for a high rayon content. Some of the poly versions are not very good (in my opinion!)

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  4. Thanks for these tips! I've only had bad luck with ponte, probably because of its poor quality: it is perfect to sew, very easy but the ones I've tried have pilled a lot within a few days of wearing. It's certainly due to its content but that's the only quality available in France so far. If I want good ponte I might have to buy overseas!

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  5. If ponte's passe then someone needs to tell the fabric shops! It's all over the place here in Oz at the moment. When I see colours, I buy them cos usually we can only get black, brown & maybe grey. Now I have burgundy & teal. Love!

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  6. I love ponte - it is wonderful to wear so it is not going out of my wardrobe no matter what the people in the "know" say. Thanks for the tips.

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  7. Thank you for the great tips and I have got some gorgeous brown ponte but still haven't cut into it, maybe it is time now I have finished SWAP.

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  8. I have just bought some black ponte and I am searching for a suitable pattern now. Thank you for the tips on how to work with it.

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  9. Thank you. What a timely post! You've reassured me I've just done the right thing - I was going to make my ponte up into a pull on elastic waist skirt like a knit but then decided I have a zip so why not treat it like a stretch woven.
    -Sewingelle

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  10. What a wonderfully informative post. Thank you. I've not sewn with this yet but did see some possibilities in my Sawyer Brook swatches.

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  11. I've always been a bit afraid to sew with knits, but since I got a new machine that knows how to do stretch stitching, I got a bit more adventurous too!

    I'm looking forward to trying ponte in the future, thanks for the details.

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  12. Ponte is one of my favorite fabrics. It has a great drape and fits so well. I can never go wrong when I choose ponte for a project.

    ~Sewjourner

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  13. that black dress. i make a stink face every time i see that black dress. (you know, the GOOD kind.)

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  14. I only heard about ponte when reading your blog, but I'd never seen it before (it turns out I had a RTW ponte jacket but I didn't realize what it was.) After buying some last year and sewing it, I love it! It is so easy to sew and so comfortable. I have plans for more ponte in the near future!
    Thanks for the tips, it's perfect timing!

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  15. I love ponte! It's the best of both worlds between knit and woven! And easy to wear, care for and sew!

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  16. I'm just using ponte for the first time to make a pair of pants. It's so easy to sew, but the pants are looking more exercise and less business casual... we'll see!

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  17. I love working with Ponte! I also love that last dress. Please tell me where the pattern is from so I can run out and get it!

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  18. I enjoyed reading this post. There's lots of great eye candy with the fabric and dresses. I like sewing Ponte and only had one bad experience with a polyester one. Thanks for sharing!!

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  19. I have to share my "ponte" story. I had never used ponte before. I made a straight skirt with an elastic waistband. I am built rather straight (I don't go in a lot at the waist).

    Anyway, I was standing at church, in my new skirt, talking to two friends (both men). When I looked down my skirt was down around my ankles and my lovely slip was all I was wearing. I apologized, pulled my skirt up, and continued visiting. One of the men gallantly said he hadn't even noticed.

    I learned that day that I needed to make the waist a little tighter -- since my hips were obviously not holding up my skirt! I did LOVE the ponte though!

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  20. I love your blog and projects.

    Not all ponte is created equal and some will pill.

    My favorite me made item is yoga pants made from soft and thick ponte. I didn't realize that the $3 fabric from G Street was so yummy until I tried the yoga pants pattern. I went on a hunt to find more. Samples from many online stores...nothing was good enough until I tried the black $14 ponte from Spandex World not House. No poly included.

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  21. That was my question! Thanks so much for the advice.

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  22. Great tips! I just ordered 3 pieces of ponte, I'm with you, it's a great fabric, pleasure to sew.

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  23. I appreciate this post on your blog Carolyn. I alway look at Ponte in my favorite fabric store but have never purchased it. Maybe it's time to try something.

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  24. Good tips, Carolyn. I had a bright yellow ponte skirt that I made in the fall. It was thick and luscious and I LOVED that skirt. Now, I normally would pretreat my fabric and wait til the process is completed before I would cut and sew. well, I was so excited about that incredible fabric that I went ahead and made it without pretreating. I figured I would just cool wash and hang dry. Well, some days my husband likes to help with the laundry. And into the dryer went my yellow skirt...only on low, and not completely dry, he said. That skirt has been donated because it shrunk a good 2 1/2 inches. And I don't wear mini skirts. So, lesson learned, when you have gorgeous ponte, or any fabric, pre- treat!

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  25. I have a few pair of dress pants with a fly front made from ponte. They feel as comfortable as sweat pants. I love them! And I bought a dress from Talbots that is ponte. Wore it to a wedding and have never been so comfortable at a fancy event. It moves, it breathes, it skims over your bumps. Now just give me some time to sew.

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  26. I love sewing with and owning clothing made with Ponte! Although I'm new to using the fabric a few times over the last few years, I find myself now using it more and more! I want to start combing colors and prints like you've successfully done!

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  27. The laminated ponte dress is very pretty.

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  28. Thanks, Carolyn, for the lesson in how to treat and sew Ponte knit. I have a few pieces in my collection as well. It is a great fabric and I'm glad it's on trend. Like you said, it comfortable and look great. I'll be sewing ponte knit and maxis in the coming months.
    C

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  29. Fantastic! I came across your site while suffering from insomnia, but I'll definitely be a regular from here on out :-)

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  30. I love your black dress!

    I'm working on my first ponte dress, and so far, it's a dream to sew! Thanks for all the great tips.

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  31. A friend of mine recommended that I sew a future project using a poly-rayon blend of fabric because it "flows and drakes like a dream" (which is important for this cloak pattern). Would you describe ponte knits like this? I have, otherwise, had a horrible time locating poly-rayon fabrics at Joann's.

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  32. Just found this post and useful tips here thanks. Also, love that tweed ponte cardigan, will do a search on your blog as that's something I'd like to have in my wardrobe!

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  33. A question- you say you use an 80 needle. What type? Stretch, ball point, universal? I tried an 80 stretch and got skipped stitches. Of course my ponte is from Joanns. I know the fabric affects the stitch. But I want to try this out and have some success so I can use better ponte to make more clothes. Thanks!

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    1. I use an 80 universal and have no problems with skipped stitches.

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  34. Hi Carolyn thank you so much for this post. I just got a ponte with 97%poly 3%elastane- cheap as chips as this is my first time sewing. It seems heavy about 400g/m and I used a 90/14 needle. I had crazy skipped stitches with some bunching of thread balls on the underside. Could I ask what thread tension, stitch type, length and width you'd normally use?

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    1. Fiona - my stitch length, type and needle are all included in the post. If you need more info on sewing with ponte, I recommend the fabric guides on Emmaonesock.

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  35. Hi, I recently bought a ponte de roma dress. Wore it twice and haven't washed it yet. However the fabric has started to make "little balls" on the right hand side. Could this be caused by friction of my hand bag? How do I avoid this/fix it, and are there any specific washing instructions for it?

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    1. Some pontes do pill. If something rubs across some pontes repeatedly, it will pill. You can use one of those sweater shavers if the pilling isn't too bad. And i don't know of any washing instructions to help with this.

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  36. Do you use a universal needle or a ballpoint or jersey? I can't decide which is best.

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