Ponte knit is a well known and much loved fabric amongst the sewers of the world. It’s beefy and stable qualities make it a great option for body-con dresses and structured designs. I’ve sewn with my fair share of it over the years and, as with most fabrics, there is a spectrum of quality available. When I spotted this “fuchsia rose wool ponte knit” on Mood Fabric’s website some months ago, I snapped it up faster then lightning. I adore natural fibers and was positive that a ponte knit made from wool would be heaven to work with. Unfortunately many other people must have been as intrigued as I was since it sold out in record speed. However, here is a neat striped jersey knit that I’ve had my eye on for awhile that looks to be similar, and I currently have this plaid ponte in my stash awaiting the perfect pattern pairing
The fabric was 60″ wide so I purchased my standard I-don’t-know-what-I’m-going-to-make-with-this length of 2 yards and went combing through my extensive pattern stash. Vogue 8946 immediately jumped out at me. The pleating details would really sing in a solid color and the long sleeve version would be perfect for winter. I did a bit of pattern research and decided to cut my typical Vogue woven pattern size of 12. Usually I will go down a size for anything made in a knit fabric but this dress was described as close-fitting and it certainly is. After I got the fronts pleated and the top sewn to the bottom, I pinned it on my dressform and used liberal amounts of steam to get the pleats to lay nicely. This is where using a wool really worked out. It was simple to manipulate and took the shape of my dressform easily.
This pattern calls for a back zipper and, even though I was working with a knit, I did my best to follow the instructions. I do prefer a zipper in dresses as I often do my hair and makeup before getting dressed and they’re just easier to put on and not get smeared with deodorant or powder. I fused some knit interfacing along the center back and made several passes at zipper insertion. Every Single Time the bottom stuck out like a tail until I finally admitted defeat and did away with it.
I took a 1.5″ hem instead of the narrow hem the directions call for. I slip-stitched it by hand onto the tricot knit lining. I also slip-stitched the sleeve hems by hand but not onto lining as I left the sleeves unlined.
I want to use this pattern again for a sleeveless summer version but I’ll definitely be adding some length to the hemline. I like the shorter length for tights and boots but probably not for bare legs. Visit my blog in the next few days for some interior construction shots. Until then STAY WARM and use some wool in your next sewing project!