Ponte Pants Success

Remember a couple weeks back when the ponte knits shrunk and I was disappointed that I could not cut out my leggings?

Well, I did come up with a way to cut the top edge with an extension to at least get the top half fitting right. The legs will have to remain on the short side but here is what I did first:

Cut out the grey knit which did not shrink as much but you can see the leg length will be cropped after the hemming:P1180556

Then to make the center back section, I folded down the top edge 3 inches:P1180557

Then I made a little triangular add-on sectionP1180559


Add seam allowances and cut it with the extra fabric along the fold:



Fold the paper in half and cut a 2 shapes in the pink and 2 in the magenta.



Open the shapes flat and trim away excess to end up with 2 triangles in each color. Attach to the top of the waist center back. This will allow a 3 inch extension which when folded to the inside will give me a 1.5 inch extension to the already folded over cut-on waistband. Could I have cut the exact shape first by opening the fabric flat…sure…but I was not using that section for anything else and I could afford to cut it randomly.



P1180580 Once the top triangles were added, the horizontal seams were pressed flat and topstitched 1/4 inch either side of the seam and trimmed. Then the center back seam was sewn and serged (in black). All this is flipped to the inside and sewn down to make the waistband and 1 inch elastic is inserted into the tunnel.


Yes, the final stitching crosses the other stitching but I rarely have my back waistline on display and knowing all this is flat is comforting…ha ha.

So I finished a black pair made from Sophia ponte knit   (poly/rayon) and the grey pair (rayon/nylon). The interesting thing about knits is what direction they want to stretch. The Sophia, from which I have many things only likes to stretch crosswise but these latest knits like to stretch both ways so the fit in the crotch area has to fit tighter in the last 3 or you end up with “droopy drawers” after a day of sitting on the floor pinning up hems. Here are  the final two:


Just to add a little bridal to your day, the short dress that came in that needed altering. The bride explained that she got a real bargain…which is shorthand for, “So you can do all sorts of magic on it to make it fit.” Someone asked me what the front looked like:


A reader who asked yesterday if I always alter through the zipper…yes I do…if I tried to remove 2 inches on every armhole…she could not get her arm through the opening and the chafing would be so nasty!

So wishing you all a perfect sewing weekend as you watch snow fall or snow melt or bulbs pushing up through the frozen ground…Spring is trying to come…fingers crossed!

This entry was posted in challenges and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

19 Responses to Ponte Pants Success

  1. symondezyn says:

    Clever fix on that leggings pattern! 🙂 I never follow pattern placements anyway – it’s such a waste of fabric LOL

    Maybe it’s just me but “bargain” and “wedding dress” are just two things that should never go together LOL – in some things, you get what you pay for – luckily I’m going rogue and making my own anyway 😉

    • mrsmole says:

      Well Amanda, I have more bargain dresses to share next time and you will be shocked at the prices and altering. I’m excited to see your wedding dress taking shape!!!

  2. Tia Dia says:

    Hehehe…. I’ve had to piece trousers in the crotch area when I don’t have quite enough fabric and am DETERMINED to get those trousers out of what I have! Nice leggings and a super fix – such cheery colours! And I’m not envying you putting that zip back into that dress …..

    • mrsmole says:

      Oh Tia, it’s already done and with some dresses that are ruched/pleated all the way down the back length of the zipper you may have to make prick stitches along the zipper edge on the right side to keep them from folding back unto the teeth. In fact some dresses have a row of machine stitches to start with which have to be removed and then restitched. We are always trying to outsmart the fabric aren’t we? Next time I have samples of this.

  3. accordion3 says:

    Most excellent save on the pants. And a nice dress too. Pardon my cynicism, but, the wedding dresses I’ve seen of late have been, um, fugly.

  4. mrsmole says:

    We are entering a very romantic, Great Gatsby era with more flowing fabrics and less ballgown stiff satin styles so please be patient and you will see what is being bought and altered this season. The prices also vary from $30 to $3000…yes and you will be amazed and shocked!

  5. fabrickated says:

    That is a handy hint with the pants – it’s probably hidden under a top anyway. I would be glad to see an end to those puffy wedding dresses with all the cleavage on show.

  6. Janee says:

    Glad the pants worked out for you – comfort during those gown fittings is so important. On the alterations through the back zipper ( I wanted to ask this question, so I’m glad someones else did!) I wouldn’t have thought of the armhole being reduced too much, thanks for that tip. Most gowns I’m altering these days are still the strapless variety, so I end up dealing with adjusting the curve at the upper edge, which lowers the neckline as it goes under the arm. When taking in that much, do the side seams move noticeably toward the back? I’d worry that would throw off the way the bodice fits around the lower torso.

    • mrsmole says:

      If the dress is 2-4 inches too large in circumference and the side seams are very noticeable, it could be an issue, normally I have to take in 2 inches and mainly from the top edge to the waist so it makes little difference. So many dresses are embroidered and beaded and you cannot open up side seams or see them either so you are stuck with the zipper fix. I see brides every day grabbing their side seams and telling me to take it in there but with over beading and over applique and lace to obscure the side seams, it would make a mess of starting to slice through all that bulk and leave a lump later. You have to wish the sewing gods are looking down favorably to get you through a tough problem.

  7. jay says:

    Nice save for the ponte! Funnily enough I’m wrestling with getting a pattern out of too little ponte right now. This is not the fault of the supplier though – just me being over hopeful. I too will be glad to see an end to wedding dresses with a corset style top, cleavage and underarm bulging. Not pretty.

  8. Great save on the leggings! I have squeezed a stripe of contrasting fabric in here and there sometimes too, when I didn’t have enough fabric. I think that’s why I like colour blocking tops, dresses, etc… uses up all those scraps!

  9. prttynpnk says:

    Got to remember that leggings alteration. Also, if I send you a childrens flower girl dress, can you fix it to my size in a few days? Easy, right?

  10. sewruth says:

    YOU are the queen! We all bow low to you….

  11. mrsmole says:

    Stop it, Ruth! You can turn a sow’s ear into a silk purse any day! Your latest pants posting is a wonder to behold!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s