Ponte Dresses

Two years ago when I was visiting Southern California, I was able to have a sewing weekend with my youngest daughter and we made this dress with Very Easy Vogue 8630.

At the time, we bought ponte knit from JoAnn’s in a deep teal. It made up well and as usual I did not follow the sewing sequence especially when they had you put the zipper in last.

This Christmas, a second lined purple version was made up with ponte from The Smuggler’s Daughter  online fabric store. I bought enough to make cropped leggings for myself as well. Unfortunately, these photos were taken without the mannequin expanded to her correct measurements so it looks sloppy and baggy and needs a belt. I was in a hurry to mail this off and I have learned my lesson to make the mannequin fit the dress…ha ha.


I like to put in the zipper once the waist seam is sewn and the back is flat. The zipper area is fused with black tricot interfacing


Then for fitting, the final seams are the side seams in both the knit and the lining. It is easy to adjust with one long seam no matter who has to do the altering now that my daughter has moved back East to Washington, DC.


This Spring, I bought more ponte knit from the Smuggler’s Daughter which was lighter weight and made this dress with Butterick 6332.

Even though the pattern called for woven fabric, it worked up fine in ponte using the smaller size with very little ease.


The mannequin has been extended to the proper measurements and the zipper installed and the final seams just pinned.


It is lined and the shoulder yokes have been topstitched as well as the neck and armholes edge stitched. The pattern was easy to put together and the instructions very clear. Again the side seams were the final seams so that if any altering is needed, they can be done in knit and lining easily. Pulling this dress over the fuzzy fabric of the mannequin caused the wrinkles on the lower half of the skirt.


For those of you who need a bridal fix this week and wonder: Do you ever get easy alterations? Yes, early in the season I have Hawaii bound brides who want dresses that pack easily. This one is a bridesmaid dress but for the bride by Adrianna Papell. I love the matte finish sequins. All I had to do was insert bust cups, lengthen the straps and hem satin and chiffon layers and she is ready to go.


For those of you who are thinking of getting fit before the summer season…this woman named Ernestine is incredible!

Happy sewing everyone!

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23 Responses to Ponte Dresses

  1. LJ says:

    Always love seeing what you do. Pretty cool that your daughter can get such gorgeous dresses made by you!

  2. Selina says:

    Fab purple ponte. I have that pattern. For years. Must make it now I’ve seen your purple dress.

    • mrsmole says:

      If you put the zipper in first while it is a flat piece you may have good luck. The first version we made was sleeveless and it looked great!

  3. Karla says:

    Just curious…what kind of fabric do you use as a lining? I’ve been looking for a good source for knit lining fabric. The dresses you made look great!

    • mrsmole says:

      I used polyester woven lining for all three. I only use a knit lining if I make a wrap blouse and it needs more stretch. Normally I just type “knit lining fabric” into Google and find loads of colors and prices. By using a woven lining it restricts the stretch of the ponte and it acts like a woven too and hopefully will keep the butt from bagging out because no one wants a baggy butt, Karla…ha ha.

  4. fivecats says:

    Love that portrait collar

  5. mrsmole says:

    It is so lovely on and would look nice with a brooch or fancy pin or, hey, go crazy and make it a contrast color! The 3/4 sleeves are just right and adding a belt is cool too.

  6. Tee says:

    I love ponte. Your dresses are pretty! Yes Ms. Geraldine is a local
    Baltimore girl like me! She’s amazing!!!!

  7. Lucky daughter to not only have a mum able to sew her dresses but in a way that means the alterations are a breeze.

  8. barbara says:

    Wonderful pattern alteration tutorials. it’s like taking private lessons from an extremely knowledgeable teacher. i was interested in the way you slashed the back of the muslin to release the horizontal line and make it level with the floor but i never saw the front being slashed like that before. do you usually have to do that or only for Nancy? also, where do you slash when you have a very narrow back yoke combined with a gathered back bodice? i find i still have to keep jerking the shirt down in the front even though i thought the gathers would compensate for the slashes. my shirt collar just won’t lay flat against my neck. i have a large bust if that matters. any thoughts?

  9. mrsmole says:

    The back slash gives more length to the back from neck to waist, having gathers adds width and not enough to make it fit better. The front slash allows the bust point to drop to accommodate a full bust or dropped bust point in older ladies. A back slash allows the neckline to rise so the collar will sit high enough and/or allows the waistline to drop to sit properly. If you look at lots of photos on blogs with blouses/tops, you will see that most of them have drag lines pointing from the side seams to the bust point so you know that they need more length in the front from neckline to hem and probably side bust darts. Who wants to wear a blouse that screams “help, my bust is too big”? While many just add to the side seams, the length is what is really needed and that is when the front slash really works great. Like with the back, it allows the waist line to sit correctly and the bust points to align well.

  10. sewruth says:

    Now there’s the best idea I’ve ever come across – make a dress and change the mannequin (body) to fit the dress! If only…….

  11. erniek3 says:

    Well, of course you put the zipper in like that!
    I work as flat as possible for as long as possible, and have to be cajoled into setting sleeves into a finished armsceye instead of working that flat too. Making the seams that might be altered with wider seam allowances is my life’s goal. Well, that and I’d like to visit Disneyland HongKong.

  12. Miss Celie says:

    Miss Ernestine is amazing! She’s here in Baltimore and I’ve met her a few times. No photos though. Because it would just make me hate myself, LOL!

  13. Love the dresses! Thanks for blogging about what you made with fabric from http://www.smugglersdaughter.com !

  14. I love that collar. A very pretty dress. Nice to know not all your alterations are killers!

  15. Pingback: True Blue | fit for a queen

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