Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Vogue 8946 - Fuschsia wool ponte dress

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.


The body of this dress is fully lined in black tricot from my stash. Vogue included a separate front pattern piece for the lining, which I always appreciate. Apologies for the dark pictures. We haven't had much sun around these parts lately.


I finished all the wool seams with the overlocking stitch on my machine. I don't think the edges would have unraveled much, but they did change in appearance when they came in contact with my iron. Better safe than sorry.


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.


Hurray! Another long sleeve dress to add to my wardrobe! That brings my total up to 5, not including my funeral dress or sweater dresses. I have other dresses I consider winter appropriate, but most are 3/4 sleeves or shorter - not sure why. Anyway, I do 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.

Photo bombed again!
Note: This fabric was purchased with my Mood Fabrics monthly allowance, as part of my participation in the Mood Sewing Network

51 comments:

  1. Beautiful dress - but that gorgeous daughter of yours with her curls..LOVE IT!

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  2. Lovely! Seems quite perfect for winter - warm and a cheery colour.

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    1. If ever there was a time for bright colors, winter is definitely it. Thanks Irene!

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  3. Each year I say I'm going to add warm, long sleeve dresses to combat our cold winters for both work and church. Still haven't reached that goal though. The dress with the color is a great pairing and you keep inspiring me.

    I also love that your daughter has the shoes one the wrong feet! My youngest did this for years and seemed to enjoy it - wouldn't change the shoes if we pointed it out. He still wears shirts backwards at times. She's getting big. Love to see the kids grow up too.

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    1. I think long sleeve dresses are hard to come by in stores, and there was a time when there weren't many sewing patterns for them either. Most of my designer Vogue patterns aren't long sleeve. So I can see how it's an easy hole to get in one's wardrobe.

      And yeah, I had to laugh at her shoes. Normally I check that when we're going anywhere as she always gets it wrong, but we were running out in the cold to snap these pictures and she really wanted to come.

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    2. I get so frustrated with the 3/4 length dresses especially for little girls. Saw a cute dress for the 10 y.o. at the store and would have bought it except for the fact that is had the blessed 3/4 sleeves. Not interested in having her to wear a dress and then having to add a sweater to cover it up. Takes away from the dress which was a great design. I suppose this is why we sew ;-)

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  4. Love this dress! I have made it & had same zipper trouble - I shortened the zip & it laid perfectly. Midway between waist & butt & the fitting in the dress will help lay the zip in rather than let it stick out. You've inspired me to make it again. Thank you!

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    1. Ah, good to know. Usually I can get it to lay flat if I take my time and don't get frustrated, but this one was just not going to behave. I will keep that in mind if I get around to the summer version. Thanks Eleanor!

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  5. I love the style and the colour here. Perfect for dreary winter days.

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  6. Oh this is gorgeous and wool ponte sounds absolutely divine!!!

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    1. It was fun to work with - kind of like a thin double knit. Thanks SewCraftyChemist!

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  7. Beautiful dress - and your daughter has such lovely eyes. (Had to sigh at the idea of a "Funeral Dress" because I know too well what you mean.) Keep up the gorgeous work!

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    1. Well hey, part of being well dressed is being prepared for what happens in life. Death is inevitable. Might as well always have a black dress in one's possession.

      Thanks June!

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  8. LOVE this dress Amanda. The colour and fit. Your daughter is adorable too.

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  9. Your dress is stunning and that color is gorgeous on you (and your little beauty). It fits you beautifully as well.

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    1. Thank you Tomasa! It was the day of hot pink!

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  10. It looks good, too. You sew so many nice dresses.
    Susan

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    1. I'm actually done with dresses for awhile. Although I do really like that they are mindless. Throw on a dress and tights/boots and walk out the door! Thanks Susan!

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  11. Amanda, yet again, you sewed the perfect winter dress. So lovely on you! Love the pink on you, and on your little cutie!

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  12. Oh so lovely - what a great dress! and your daughter is so precious - so adorable! Do you sew for her too?

    Thanks, again, for sharing with us.

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    1. Thank you Barb! I do sew for her on occasion. She grows so fast and I sew so slow that I don't get as much of it done as I'd like. She's really petite so I'm sure I'll be making her formal stuff in high school.

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  13. Hey Amanda, I just wanted to say I'm in love with how cleanly your hem came out! This dress looks great!

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    1. Thanks Amy! Originally I had slip-stitched the hem directly to the dress but it showed too much on the outside. After thinking about it for a couple days I came up with this solution. Sewing is so good for problem solving skills!

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  14. Gorgeous frock, perfect winter dress.

    I was nodding in agreement when you said your wardrobe had a Funeral Dress. I too have a dress in my wardrobe that I only ever wear to funerals. I attach memories to my clothes (as do most sewists I expect) and often a funeral is quite sad, so I never would feel like wearing the dress anywhere else.

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    1. It's just a very boring black dress that I bought years ago when I didn't know much about fashion or how I wanted to dress. I would never buy it these days but it's well made and conservative so I keep it around for funerals.

      I actually do not attach memories to clothing but my sister does so I know how you feel. It's probably hard for you to clean out your closet, right? ;)

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  15. LOVE IT! send it to me please, as I have this exact pattern and similar fabric sitting in my stash for ages :) and so far have not sewn it up. You pick so many patterns I love - always happy to see a new post from you. gorgeous dress and perfect for the holidays.

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    1. Thanks so much Beth! It would be a lovely dress on you. Make yours up and we can be twins. :)

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  16. I really like this dress! Perfect for the cooler weather! And I'm sorry but I seriously can't cope with how cute your daughter is!!

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    1. Thanks Emmie! She's such a blessing for our family. I'm always thankful God gave me at least one girl!

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  17. Love the color and the dress! And of course your adorable daughter! I appreciate Eleanor's tip on the zipper; I'm about to make my 1st ever dress - using McCall' 7240 - and I am doing it long sleeve as well. After 3 years in Hawai'i, preceded by 3 years in Tampa, I find myself in the Panhande of Florida with a closet full of sleeveless dresses and blouses! I definitely need some sleeves!!

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  18. this dress is so nice!! The color is so warm and wintery.
    Your big girl is a sweetie!! And her shoes! We have such a one too....

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  19. You're getting a great collection of long sleeved dresses. This is lovely, great colour and perfect fit. I often skip linings on a ponte dress but I might try it next time. Your photobomber is very cute - her hair is amazing!

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    1. A lining really works well with this type of material in the winter. Without it the dress would be sticking to my tights and not hanging right. Plus I just love to line stuff lol. Thanks Allison!

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  20. Living in TX like you I rarely make long sleeved dresses (usually 3/4 length) but your dress looks perfect with the long length. The fushia color is lovely on you! Karen

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    1. Well, I'm always cold, despite living in south Texas. I started wondering what was the point of wearing a nice dress just to have it covered up by my coat the whole day. Of course there are plenty of days when the winter weather is perfectly faced without the long sleeves - one of the many reasons I LOVE Texas, but some days they're needed. Might as well be prepared! Thanks Sewingkm!

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  21. Great dress! Perfect color on you. I have to follow your lead on the long sleeve dresses...I need some in my wardrobe too.

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  22. This is so beautiful! Aren't wool knits the best?

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    1. Nothing tops them in the winter, that is for sure! I may change my mind of we ever get swarmed by moths. ;) Thanks Sonja! I miss you being on MSN.

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  23. I love wool ponte and I love long sleeved dresses, so you know what I think of this one!

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  24. What a simple and elegant dress. Ponte is my favourite material, easy to sew and even easier to wear. Your little girl has such a cheeky grin.

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  25. Both of your latest knit dresses are so nice. Great colors and stylish! Rachel is adorable. Fun to see her again!

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