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Made by a Fabricista: Puzzle Dress with Ponte




It's this time of year that I start dreaming of Spring in winter fabrics.  My husband often accuses me of being obsessed with colorblocking, and he would totally be right.  So as I was thinking about what I wanted to make for this month's project, I knew it would be all about ponte and some colorblock fun.

Finding the perfect fabrics


To start out, I searched through Fabric Mart's great selection of ponte knits.  I added several colors to my cart.  Do you do this?  One of the things about shopping for fabric online that can be intimidating is not knowing how colors are going to look with one another.

Ah, but if you just add the fabrics to your cart, you can move them around and get a little bit of an idea of how they'll look together.  It's a sneaky pro tip I use all the time.   It's one of my favorite tips for better online fabric shopping.

I eventually settled on this spearmint ponte, sea green ponte, and a light blue scuba.  This Carolina blue ponte is similar to mine.  I picked the scuba because it was the color combo I was looking for, and I knew that it would likely have a similar weight and stretch as the ponte.

The ponte is a little more stretchy than the scuba, but the weight is almost exactly the same.  With this in my mind, I knew they'd play nice together.

Searching for colorblock inspiration


Before I start a lot of my projects, I do some snoop shopping on Shopstyle.  I love being able to pull up tons of high end garments with a couple strokes on my keyboard!  If you've never looked for ideas there, I would totally recommend it.  If you get lost for a couple hours, I'll know where you went!

There I found this dress from Victor Glemaud:
 
I love the sweeping curves and the asymmetry of it all!  But inspiration is, after all, just inspiration.  I knew I would have two sleeves because *snow* and that I would end it at my knees because *boots*.

Sketching it out


I think the most important thing that you'll ever do if you're planning a colorblocked project is to sketch it.  It'll help you organize where you want the colors to be and test out different shapes.

You can see from my sketch I had some ideas before I ultimately went with the bottom sketch.

For my base pattern, I traced off Ottobre 5-2017-18.  I liked the basic shape with the A-line skirt and that the pattern is drafted for more stable knits like ponte.


After tracing, I drew my design lines onto the pattern based on my sketch.  The back is a mirror image of the front.

I made sure to add notches along the curves and that the side seams and shoulder points all matched perfectly.  Colorblocking is a lot of careful puzzle work, and speeding through the cutting and pattern work is no good.


From there, I traced off the individual sections, adding seam allowances and marking each section with A, B, and C for the different colors.

Putting the puzzle together


From there, the dress almost sewed itself.  I say almost because I do wish that I had made my curves a little more gentle on the skirt.  It took a couple times and a little patience to get those right.  In the end, they're not nearly as smooth as I would like them to be.  A curve that wasn't so tight definitely would have been easier to sew.  This proved to be the case on the bodice which went together without a hitch.


I'll put it out there that I used the wrong side of the scuba as the right side.  I noticed that the wrong side has a pretty crepe texture to it, and I liked it better than the smoother right side.  Plus the smooth side is nicer on the skin from the wrong side!


I did in the end have to do a little fitting too as the side seams were hanging on me.  So all those seam intersections on the side seams--yeah, I did those twice.  Ah, the perils of colorblocking!


My personal favorite part is how the blue carries through to the right sleeve as if you were continuing the line from the bodice through that space.

Styling it


These colors are totally my jam as can be evidenced in my closet.  I paired the dress with my favorite wool scarf and also my boiled wool colorblocked coat I made last year for this blog.



Is double colorblocking like double denim?  If it is, I reckon I'll still do it!

Overall, this is exactly the dress I wanted to make.  The ponte makes it comfortable, and the wide skirt makes it perfect for me to play violin in and still look like a lady.

How about you?  Do you colorblock?

Until April then, 
Elizabeth from Elizabeth Made This

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