Skip to main content

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

Comments

  1. Oh Elizabeth, I love this *so* much. Gorgeous job, per usual!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Love your color combo, and I love the color blocking. So right to apply it to a simple shape. Kudos on getting those extreme curves to lay down and behave. Before I head to my dungeon sewing room, I always scour high end shops online for ideas. Thanks for the lead.

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Thanks for leaving a comment! All comments are reviewed before posting to help us eliminate spam. Your comment will be posted within 24 hours.

Popular Posts You Might Like

Made by a Fabricista: Summer Dreaming

 Summer Dreaming | A Tropical Faux Jumpsuit and Sheer Ruffled Duster I am eagerly awaiting the arrival of spring with its promise of warmer temps and lots of sunshine.  Anyone else? With that in mind, I choose to showcase two of the fabulous shirting fabrics offered by Fabric Mart Fabrics. The combination of the semi-sheer shirting with the tropical print shirting has me dreaming of walking along a beach with the waves gently lapping against the shoreline and the sun shining brightly down on me. The coral shirting is a beautiful piece of fabric with its hint of shimmer and tiny stripes alternating between opaque and sheer.  I choose to sew a tiered maxi-length button front dress using Simplicity 9114.  Because of the semi-sheer nature of the fabric, I will wear this as a duster. If you’ve shied away from sewing sheers for fear of the difficulties you may face, this type of fabric is the perfect way to start!  Because it is a cotton/nylon blend it was easier to sew than a silky chiffon

Made by a Fabricista: Coming Up Roses

 From vision to reality. As we are headed into April, I can feel the spring breeze on the horizon and with that means fun time outside, be it eating brunch with friends on a terrace or going to the park on a beautiful Sunday afternoon.  I knew that I wanted to add some bright fun color into my spring wardrobe that I really haven't used and over a year.  I had been eyeing this beautiful red stripe shirting with blue roses fabric for a while not knowing exactly what I wanted to do with it but knew that I was super drawn to it.   Once I picked it up, I decided to sketch out my ideas and went through my pattern stash to see what I could come up with. For this project I used a vintage pattern See & Sew 5549.  It’s actually for a long sleep shirt that I then made some alterations to.  I lengthened the sleeves by an inch and extended the side slits up to the waistline because I knew that I would mostly be wearing this shirt open.  Also since I planned to wear it mostly open I only did

Made by a Fabricista: Use Those Views! Sewing the Grainline Studio Willow Tank

Spring is here! Honestly, I'm still bundled up in sweatshirts most of the time, but the afternoons are getting glorious and warm and just a t-shirt will suffice for a couple of hours in the warmth on some days so I know the overwhelming heat is not far off. I love planning and organizing in all facets of my life, and spring garments for my wardrobe are on my mind. Naturally tanks are at the forefront of my strategizing for comfort in hot weather and I wanted to branch out with a little something new.  Anyone else have patterns that they've been eyeing for ages but haven't pulled the trigger? Who knows why I've kept putting off sewing the Grainline Studio Willow Tank . I've long admired the simple lines and I'm absolutely sure it would fit into my overall style. I've even tried drafting something similar myself with varying degrees of success, but never quite on the nose. A simple tank can go with just about everything from jeans to skirts to a high-waisted a