Monday, September 15, 2014

Tri-colored Ponte Dress - Part 1

I found this dress on the St. John website...

photo credit:

...and I knew it was perfect for some of the larger ponte remnants I have hanging about.  I've been collecting them to make Miss Lena leggings but some are quite it was just a matter of coming up with a combination that I liked.

I'm not an animal print girl so I was never going to "copy" this exactly.  Here is the fabric combo I'm using...

...not quite as exotic but it will work for my lifestyle. The St. John dress is primarily black, however, mine will be primarily berry. I wanted a more colorful version of this dress than the original. Plus I just really liked the combo above because it's unexpected.

Pattern Alterations ~
I started with the version of my TNT dress last used for my #fatquarterchallenge dress.

The original TNT dress pattern pieces... 

The larger side front piece with tracing paper over it to trace off the center piece. Deciding how to portion off the pieces was arbitrary. I guessed what looked proportional to me and then measured down - making sure that I used the same amount at the top, middle and bottom of the piece.  Then I added a 5/8" seam allowance.

Then the third piece of the front was traced off. Again a 5/8" seam allowance was added to the side.

The two new pieces plus the original side piece where placed with the 5/8" seam allowances on top of each other to make sure the pattern pieces went together properly.

Front pieces fanned out and ready to be placed on the fabric to be cut out. These alterations were simple and I finished them in an hour.

Cutting the Fabric ~
I was worried that I was going to have problems making sure that the fabric worked the way that I wanted but since the back is a solid berry color, I think I will be fine.

I used the four piece dress back patterns that I've been using lately to get a better back fit. I really think that this is going to become my standard back now because it just works for my body and gives me a great fit.

...and that is as far as I got this evening because when I went to thread my serger it got all testy on me!  The nerve of it right?! *LOL* So I walked away and left it. Now I know that I don't need to serge finish the ponte knit because it won't ravel. I just like the clean finish look inside my dress. I believe it's worth the extra effort.

Time just got away from me this weekend so I'll have modeled pics of the finished dress next weekend along with pics of "The Bubble Dress" as I've taken to calling the red fabric featured in the ponte problem post.  

Although I do have a sneaky peek of it on Lulu to share... always more later!


  1. Oh cant wait to see your creations, my sewing machine kept eating my fabric, so after taking off the place for the third I just said forget it. I was trying to use my twin needle that came with my sewing machine for my knit, and I just come to the conclusion the thread wasnt great and I need stretch twin needle.. So no weekend sewing for me..

  2. That St John dress is interesting. I wasn't sure I liked it when I first saw it, but you know - it's grown on me! It's definitely unexpected and I love that. Can't wait to see your version. Oh! I like a clean finish too. :)

    Have a great week!!

  3. I love the inspiration dress. Look forward to seeing your interpretation as well as the "Bubble Dress" when complete.

  4. Love the inspiration and your plans. The bubble dress looks like fun too.

  5. Ooh, you ALWAYS pick the best inspiration garments! Can't wait to see this!

  6. With 'Lulu' in a desk chair, the 'bubble' looks like it's auditioning for how it presents at work! I see great promise in this approach!

    I have seen a lot of dresses in advertisements this week (Bloomingdales doublepage partic.) that look just like your work. Only not as good. You trendsetter you!

  7. Love that bubble print and your latest inspiration choices as well. I have noticed that you make a new pattern for these new designs. I assume you trace off of your TNT, What I am wondering is what you are using for tracing paper. It seems to actually have a tan shade to it, much like what is in the envelopes but it seems more sturdy. Care to share? If so, thanks in advance.

    1. Bunny, the tracing paper is from Dick Blick and has the thickness of pattern paper. Yes, when I dream up a new iteration of my TNT pattern, I copy my TNT pattern to make another version. I make new pattern pieces because I usually end up making the new version a couple more times.

  8. Oh, I too can't wait to see this color blocked dress! You do beautiful work and this will be no exception is my guess! BTW, that bubble print is so cute, can't wait to see that one on you too!

  9. Love the bubble print and tis dress looks great for using up fabric. Looking forward to seeing them both. x

  10. Beautiful dress for inspiration!! Anxious to see it done!!

  11. That bubble dress will work so well with a variety of colored cardigans. The inspiration dress. .. Total drool.

  12. I look forward to seeing the try-colored ponte dress as well as that red print ponte - love that print!


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