Another month, another Minerva project. It only seems 5 minutes since I told you about the last one, where does the time go?
This month’s project is a cosy ponte knit dress. I ordered the fabric with full intentions of it being a dress, I just wasn’t 100% which pattern I would use. I had a couple in mind, then when I had my hair cut a few weeks ago neither of them seemed right any more.
After a bit of browsing around the internet and through my Pinterest boards I settled on the Ludivine dress by Republique du Chiffon. It’s a free downloadable pdf, but unfortunately the instructions are only in French. Luckily it’s simple enough and the pictures that go along with the instructions are good enough that I was able to make it without any difficulty.
The hardest part was the mitred corners joining the centre front and back to the side panels, but the pattern shows you pictures of exactly what you need to do here and they went together pretty smoothly.
I debated topstitching these seams, then decided against it in case the fabric decided to wrinkle as I sewed.
I picked two fabrics, and had a metre of each. The patterned fabric is this Purple Embossed Floral Ponte Roma
and the plain purple is a morgan crepe.
I ended up using the wrong side of the morgan crepe as colour wise it was a slightly better match to the ponte fabric. With hindsight, I would have got 2 metres of the ponte and used the reverse side of that (which has a tweedy appearance) as the contrast side panels.
The pattern is designed for woven fabrics and comes up quite loose. I added a little shaping to the back panels and ended up taking the side seams in about 5/8” each side once I’d tried it on. The other change I made was to omit the pockets, as they would have been exactly on my widest point.
One change that I wish I’d made but didn’t was to the neckline. It is very wide, the back in particular. I solved this once I realised by adding small darts into the back neckline. The patterned fabric hides these really well!
Neckline, sleeves and hem were just turned under and stitched down using a 3-step zigzag stitch. I used nice deep 2” hems on the bottom of the dress and the sleeves.
I only made this dress a week ago and already I’ve worn it 3 times – I call that a win!