The Wild Side of Butterick 5078

Confession: This is my first crack at trying out ponte knit. Can you believe it?! During one of my fabric sprees in New York last month, Carolyn diverted my attention over to the ponte knit aisle and strongly encouraged me to bring a couple of yards home to play with. I was a little unsure at first (ponte just seems like it should be like that extra thick, extra hot polyester from the early days, yeah?), but I spied leopard print and decided to trust her judgement call.

Lesson learned: trust Carolyn’s judgement.

Leopard Knit Dress

This stuff is NOTHING like the knitwear of yesteryear, even if it does mimic the body and heft of the former. It has a good bit of stretch, yet at the same time the fabric is quite stable. Honestly, it was an absolute joy to work with, especially when it came time for my twin needle topstitching. Usually I have to play around with the tension and stitch length to get a good smooth stitch without that weird bump down the middle, but with this stuff the stitches just sank right in. It also presses really well – which yeah, pressing a knit seems kind of weird, but I like to press my hems before I topstitch as I find it makes it easier to sew. And while it’s nice and cozy, I also think it’ll be totally suitable for warmer months.

Leopard Knit Dress

This is my third (!!!) make of Butterick 5078 – and likely not my last, although it probably should be for right now. I love this pattern, although I’ve had to make a few modifications to get it exactly where I want it – shortening the skirt, eliminating the waist runching, and streamlining the sewing process. It appears to work well with a variety of fabrics, from slinky to ones with lots of body. Now that’s a versatile pattern, yeah?

Leopard Knit Dress

As I mentioned before, I switched up the construction order for this to makes things easier. I basically just sewed everything flat on my serger, and then swooped up the side seams at the very end. This is what I love so much about knits – having those open side seams means it’s really easy to suck everything if you need to size it down a little. Which I ended up doing, since the super stretch of the fabric made the dress too big originally. I also narrowed the width of the midriff section, as the skirt is very heavy and the weight was pulling it down.

Also, I wasn’t thinking when I bought this stuff (well I was thinking, but more along the lines of “OOH LEOPARD OOH SEXY DRESS LET ME WRAP MYSELF IN THIS HERE BOLT OF FABRIC), and I only bought a yard and a half. It would’ve been enough if the bodice wasn’t cut on the bias. Whoops! I spent foreeeeever trying different cutting layouts to get this to fit on my piece of fabric. In the end, I shortened the sleeves to elbow-length, took an additional 2” off the skirt, and now the bodice back has a seam.

Leopard Knit Dress
Sewing the actual dress took barely any time at all, though. Seriously. It took me 45 minutes to stitch the thing together, once I got past the cutting process.

Leopard Knit Dress

Consider me a ponte convert! I don’t even know if I can bear to get back to my regular knits, not after feeling the magic of this stuff. True love, y’all. True love.

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Comments


  • Lori
    April 1, 2013

    So happy you are with those that love ponte! Your dress is wonderful and as always you look great.

    • Lauren
      April 3, 2013

      I’m definitely a convert now! The only thing that makes me mad is how long it took me to try the stuff out – I have YEARS to catch up on now, ha! 🙂

  • Carolyn
    April 1, 2013

    Of course you love ponte and of course you should listen to what I say! *LOL* The dress is beautiful!

    • Lauren
      April 3, 2013

      I promise I will from now on! 🙂 Just wait till you see what I did with my yellow crepe….

  • Ginger
    April 1, 2013

    I love this! It looks great on you! And of course, it’s animal print, so that’s a big win in my book! Carolyn is the best.

    • Lauren
      April 3, 2013

      She really is! And yay animal print!!

  • Amanda S.
    April 2, 2013

    I love this, Lauren! You look confident and ready to prowl! Raar!

    • Lauren
      April 3, 2013

      Thank ya, ma’am! 😀

  • Josie
    April 3, 2013

    45 mins to sew? Are you a freak?? Super impressed, looks fantabulous 😀

    • Lauren
      April 3, 2013

      Hahaha, no freak… I just have a serger, which means sewing speeds equal that of “bat outta hell” 😀

  • Manju
    April 5, 2013

    Love this dress Lauren and love the print. You look fierce!

    • Lauren
      April 8, 2013

      Thank you! I feel pretty fierce in it 🙂 ha!

  • LeeAnn
    April 7, 2013

    This dress is gorgeous!! I wish I could make one just like it!!! 🙂

    • Lauren
      April 8, 2013

      I bet you could – ponte knit is super forgiving to sew, much easier than the typical knits 🙂

  • Sandy
    April 8, 2013

    What type of serger do you own…what is a good one for a beginner?

    • Lauren
      April 8, 2013

      I have a Babylock Imagine – it’s fabulous, but it is pretty pricey (it threads itself and auto-adjusts the tension… which is AWESOME, by the way). I know a lot of people really like the Brother 1034d, which is fairly inexpensive on Amazon. I’ve never owned the serger, so I can’t personally vouch for it.

  • Amy
    April 17, 2013

    This dress only took you 45 minutes to sew?! I’d say the combination of that kind of speed and the gorgeousness of this dress would keep you from getting kicked off the island in the Sewing Bee. Bravo!