Saturday, 11 April 2015

Ponti Casual Lady Dress (and no whinge)

It seems like the massive whinge-fest in my last post was quite cathartic as I whipped up this dress the very next day! Take that missing sewjo!  Everything went pretty well with the construction of this garment - yes, unbelievable I know! Ponti is (mostly) very easy to sew with and I particularly like sewing with this soft, cotton-like ponti as it's very stable.

I've made two Casual Lady Dresses before (here and here) in a thinnish polyester elastaine (neither were overly successful).  This ponti one has been directly inspired by Emma from the blog Ernest Flagg who has made more than one Casual Lady Dress from ponti fabric.  I like the shape the firmer fabric gave to the pattern and wanted to try one for myself.  The fabric was bought from about a year ago when I thought I'd be pumping out 100s of pairs of Anita Ponti Pants, but alas that never happened as the pattern didn't fit me (until recently when I went to Tessuti for a pants pattern alternation class).

I forwent the recommended facings again in favour for a self-fabric neckband and sleeve band finish - just like Emma has done on hers.  To make both bands I cut a 4cm strip of fabric, ironed it in half (wrong sides together) and attached to the right side of the dress with the overlocker; and top stitched it down using a narrow zigzag stitch. I'd received some advice to attach the neckband "in the flat"... only join one shoulder seam, attach the band and THEN sew the other shoulder seam. Much easier than attaching things in the round. I followed the same process for the sleeves too.

I think the bands are (mostly) OK and they went on with no trouble at all (though I notice now that the neckband didn't quite catch properly in a few places).  Sadly, I didn't pull them tighter when attaching as I didn't want to make the neck and arms too small and the result is a neck and sleeve that is a bit big and gapping.  Next time I'll put them a little in order to reduce some of the gaping.  There is also a bit of excess fabric at the front neck that I could pinch out (if I knew how) but I'm hoping pulling the neckband when attaching might fix this.

Overall I think this dress fits really well. It does bunch up a bit above my toush, but nearly everything does so I'm mostly blind to that. Plus I can't see my butt so it's like I don't even have one.

This dress was a test run for perhaps making this dress for the Canberra and Melbourne Frocktails dinners. I think it's a winner...but now I just need to find two really nice pieces of ponti...which is actually harder than the sewing part!

I actually decided to wear this dress out to dinner at Mr Wong (oooh, fancy) on Easter Sunday...I finished about an hour before I was to leave the house and as I quite like it so I figured I may as well wear it. It was mostly quite comfortable though the excess around the neck was a bit annoying...something to fix next time. My friend thought it looked nice and not handmade at all (I think she left her glasses at

Pattern: Casual Lady Dress by Go To Patterns
Size: XXL (I'm think that's equivalent to an Aussie Size 16 - 18).
Modifications: left off facing and finished neck/arms with self fabric bands. Reduced the sleeves and front neck from an XXL to an XL.
Fabric: Ponti from


  1. Yay! I'm so happy to see you jumped right back on the sewing horse. This dress looks awesome! I'm so glad you are happy and the sewjo has returned.

  2. It looks fantastic! I have no idea what to make for Frocktails. Probably will leave it until the last minute as who knows what size I will be by then?

  3. SO glad this one worked out for you! The neckline looks pretty profesh too. Ponte is seriously the best and has always got great prints. Why does nowhere else in the world have good ponte though??

  4. This is fantastic- and that fabric is awesome!

  5. This definitely does not look homemade, it looks gorgeous! Ponte is a funny fabric, so hit and miss, I got a couple of real duds from so well done in scoring a good one!

  6. Love the dress, and it looks fantastic on you! Great fabric choice