Hi there! Is it hot where you are? Because it sure is hot here! July is most definitely the least forgiving summer month in terms of the heat and humidity here in coastal Texas. And, no coincidence, it also happens to be the summer month when I have the least interest in clothes of any sort! Even just looking at the prettiest of sundresses all I can think is “sweaty back”. It’s no surprise that my sewjo also takes a nosedive during the summer doldrums as well. When wearing clothes turns into an unpleasant reality, making clothes loses a bit of its shine too!
So this month I wanted to bang out something easy-to-make, effortless to wear, and sweat-stain-proof (because, let’s be real, I don’t care how natural those fibers are, I’m gonna be sweating through that sh*t. I sweat in the shower, y’all. It’s that bad). Enter – ponte knit.
I never sew much with ponte, but every time I do I wonder why I don’t use it for basically everything. It’s such an easy fabric to sew, wear, and care for. And Mood Fabrics has an excellent selection of ponte knits! This Royal Blue Stretch Polyester-Rayon Ponte de Roma is just such a fabric. The color is vibrant, the fabric is stretchy, but not flimsy, it can be made into structured garments if you so desire, or it can be used for draped designs, it behaves beautifully with a serger, and sewing machine alike, it presses well, and it can be thrown in the washer and dryer. It’s opaque so it doesn’t require a lining, yet surprisingly light and breathable. Seriously, I need an entire summer wardrobe of this stuff!
The skirt pattern I chose to pair it with is the Deer and Doe Brume skirt. I’ve made this skirt before in the mini version in some athletic/compression jersey and I wear that skirt at least once a week, so I knew this pattern was going to work for me. It’s a very quick sew, however the paneled design and shaped yoke give this skirt more interest, and shape, than a plain pencil skirt.
This skirt – with it’s high waist and midi length – was pretty much begging for me to pair it with a crop top. I love playing with proportions like this: long and modest on the bottom, short and sassy on the top! I’m not really into baring my midriff, but when it’s just a little strip of belly I think it can be flattering. Not to mention it alleviates the aforementioned “sweaty back” issue! For this little crop top I used some leftover scraps of this Ecru/Navy Saint James Striped Ponte Knit. I had used this fabric to make a traditional long sleeve, boatneck tee earlier in the year so I knew exactly what to expect from it. Like the royal blue ponte, it plays well!
For this top I used the bodice portion of the Named Patterns Beatrix Skater Dress. I love the cutaway armholes and high neckline of this pattern. Again, a fun play on proportion with the cropped length, but high neck, and shoulder baring design. I had actually cut the pieces for the mock turtleneck collar, as I thought that would add even more drama to my proportion-play, but when it came time to attach it I broke out in prickly heat and had to mop the sweat off the nape of my neck. It’s too hot for turtlenecks! So instead I simply turned all the raw edges under and stitched them down using my 3-step stretch stitch on my machine. It took longer to match the stripes while cutting than it did to sew this baby together!
So there you have it! A couple quick hours of sewing and I have a new ensemble to keep me (relatively) cool in this brutal heat and humidity! How do you stay cool in the summer? What are your go-to fabrics? Any other fans of polyester blend pontes for their surprising breathability and complete no-show of sweat?