Sneaky Silk+Ponte Dress

I am calling this the sneaky dress because it looks like it should be separates, but it’s not! It’s actually one piece!

Sugar Plum dress made with Oscar de la Renta silk and ponte knit from Mood Fabrics

I LOVE these kinds of dresses! Looks like a silk blouse with a high-waisted pencil skirt, without the bother of keeping a shirt tucked in all day and making sure things match in the morning (because, ew, all I wanna do is sleep right now).

The pattern I used for this dress is the Sugar Plum by Lolita Patterns. Since it doesn’t require a lot of fabric to make up the top half (less than a yard!), I splurged on this amazing Oscar de la Renta silk print from Mood Fabrics. I also bought this navy blue ponte knit for the skirt and lime green china silk for the lining for a bit of a color pop.

Oh yeah, that’s the other best thing about this dress—the skirt is a KNIT. Which means it looks super-sleek and fitted, but it’s incredibly comfortable to wear all day. My kinda office wear!

Sugar Plum dress made with Oscar de la Renta silk and ponte knit from Mood Fabrics

The more I sew with silks, the more I find myself not wanting to make up anything else. The most important thing I’ve learned when it comes to sewing lightweight/slippery/silky fabrics is to make sure that your cutting is super accurate, then the sewing is a piece of cake (or, at least, as much of a piece of cake as it can be!). I always rip my fabric along the crossgrain first, to ensure that the edges are perfectly straight, and then pin the selvedges together before I lay down my pattern pieces. This prevents the silk from shifting as I cut it. When it’s time to cut, make sure your scissors are nice and sharp, and try to cut the entire length of the blades (instead of timid little snips). One thing I loove about ordering from Mood Fabrics is that I know the fabric is going to already be on-grain, so I don’t have to worry about straightening the grain before I cut. Just rip the cut edge, pin, and cut those pattern pieces!

Sewing with the ponte was much easier than the silk, obviously. I used a serger for all the skirt seams, and my regular sewing machine (treating it like a woven) to attach the silk top to the ponte waistband. I love this ponte because it’s quite a bit more stretchy than other pontes I’ve tried, which means it’s extra extra comfortable. Just be careful when you press it – it definitely gets a shine, so use a press cloth. I keep a big square of silk organza specifically for this purpose. It absorbs the heat of the iron so my fabric underneath doesn’t shine, and it’s sheer so I can actually see what I’m doing :)

Sugar Plum dress made with Oscar de la Renta silk and ponte knit from Mood Fabrics

I love the little details on this dress that make it so special—the ruffled collar (hemmed using the rolled hem on my serger), the tiny buttons with the tiny button loops, and that BRIGHT LIME GREEN LINING. Really, it’s like a party when I take the dress off!

Sugar Plum dress made with Oscar de la Renta silk and ponte knit from Mood Fabrics

By the way, don’t ever search Oscar de la Renta on the Mood Fabrics site unless you plan on dropping some serious dough on some seriously incredible fabrics. I just fell down the rabbit hole—again! – and discovered violet bouclé, bouclé with sparkly lurex (!!!), silk floral and some freaking polka dot silk taffeta. I want, I want it all!

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Comments


  • Denise Dooley
    November 22, 2013

    Very cute, the perfect work dress. It’s self coordinating coordinates and saves on morning decision making. I love your label, is it custom or something you found already printed?

    • Lauren
      November 22, 2013

      Thank you! The label was preprinted, I think they made by Sublime Stitching :)

  • Amanda S.
    November 22, 2013

    Cute dress, love all the details, LOVE the plaid with pops of green and your awesome green lining! I’ve had that fabric pinned on a board for a year now. And I am right there with you on the OdlR fabric!!! That violet boucle I just used last month and the polka dot taffeta is calling my name. He has the best fabrics!

    • Lauren
      November 22, 2013

      Ooh, you should totally buy some and make something up with it. I KNOW you would end up with something fabulous! :)

  • Ginger
    November 22, 2013

    Really cute! I love the little trick this dress pulls– it’s so hard to keep a top tucked nicely into a fitted skirt, and this totally solves that problem!

    • Lauren
      November 24, 2013

      It’s SO comfortable, too! Best of both worlds, ha!

  • Amy
    November 23, 2013

    I love that silk print! Oh my! And, you look fabulous in your new dress. Is this the kind of dress you wear to your new job? If so, that must be one awesomely fancy gig! But, that silk print…

    • Lauren
      November 24, 2013

      Haha, yes and no :) I work for a seamstress now, so we’re pretty laid-back in terms of dress code, but I do like to dress up. I call it, eh, inspiring the clients hahahaha!

  • tae
    November 23, 2013

    Another gorgeous make… you have this strange power to make me want patterns I didn’t want before.

    And oh sh-ugar… Wallet was sitting there all smug and content in the sure and certain knowledge that Mood don’t really “do” international shipping… Wallet is about to be in for a nasty suprise…

    • Lauren
      November 24, 2013

      It’s such a wonderful pattern! I fully stand behind anyone who has realized a sudden need for it :)

      And HECK YEAH THEY DO INTERNATIONAL SHIPPING! Get you some good stuff! You deserve holiday gifts, from yourself to yourself ;)

  • Sandra (Sewist-Stitch)
    November 24, 2013

    I’m really liking the look of this pattern, but your choice of fabric is the bomb!

    • Lauren
      November 24, 2013

      Thank you! :)

  • Sallie
    November 24, 2013

    I think my favorite part of this pattern is the sweet and feminine button placement! That might be a weird thing to get all hung up on, but it’s seriously my FAVORITE detail! I also love these sorts of dresses, they’re just brilliant for looking put-together, but still being comfy. And totally ace fabric choice, btw!

    • Lauren
      November 24, 2013

      No, I hear ya – I love that part too! I love that it has the tiny loops with the ~modesty panel~, the ruffly collar, and I love how the buttons are spread out (with one lonely button at the neckline). I think it really steps the pattern up and makes the finished piece so much more special :)

  • Carolyn
    November 24, 2013

    You’ve just moved SugarPlum up to the top of my sewing list with this amazing version! I love the silk and ponte you chose to make this one. It’s fantastic!

    • Lauren
      November 24, 2013

      Carolyn, I am DYING to see what you do with this pattern! I know you will make it look amazing!

  • Sarah Gunn
    November 24, 2013

    Lauren, this dress is beautiful! Great fabric combo and I do love that silk! ….. I like it all – the pattern, lining, and all of the details :)

    • Lauren
      November 25, 2013

      Thank you, Sarah!

  • Lori
    November 26, 2013

    Lauren, this dress is so cute on you. Love the fabric and the pattern, great job as always.

  • Candyce Nicole
    December 1, 2013

    I just love the “sneaky” part of this dress…especially because it takes away the burden of trying to find separates that match when you’ve got to get dressed in a hurry. And the fact that it’s super cute doesn’t hurt either!