|Bleary eyed photos -I have to grab a photographer when I can and in this case it was quite early in the morning .|
I love experimenting with different fabrics and patterns . I have seen so many ponte dresses and skirts which looked fabulous so I wanted to try sew with this new to me fabric too. I also have read that ponte can pill with only a few wearings/ washings . When I sew I want my clothes to last many many years not just one or two seasons . I have had good luck with fabrics bought from Knitwit in Western Australia so when I received an email about their pontes and saw a patterned one that really appealed to me I bought it ( late last year with my footy tips competition money !) It is the Daniela print and is a rayon blend ponte ( which I read tends to be better quality ) . It is plain black on the inside and a purple /bronze abstract print on the right side ( and still available last time I checked ).
I have never sewed with ponte before so I did some research on what I should be doing . I find Emma one Sock ( link here - http://www.emmaonesock.com/guides/kbponte.asp ) has excellent advice on sewing with fabrics . Ponte is like double knit but with stretch so apart from using a pattern designed for wovens in all other respects I treated the fabric as a stretch fabric.
I used a ballpoint needle and sewed with a slight zigzag stitch .The website also suggested stabilising the neckline with some light weight stay tape and the shoulder seams with bias knit interfacing . I used the selvedge edge from silk for the stay tape as suggested .
The pattern I used is McCalls 2401- a slim fitting sheath dress . This is a very popular pattern which has been around for a long time and still also currently available in the pattern catalogues . I eliminated the back zip and used a button/ loop closure . I also made 3/4 sleeves which was easy to adapt from the provided long sleeve pattern . I hand sewed all the hems.
Normally I steer away from form fitting clothes but with the ponte I think it was easier to get a good fit . There is some excess fabric above the bust near the armscye and it feels / looks a little thick with the neckline facing but overall I am pretty happy with the result and will be willing to try more slim fitting clothes if I find more ponte that I like.