Plaid Ponte Shift

It’s a bird! It’s a plane! No, it’s a plaid ponte Plantain shift dress!

Plaid Ponte Tunic

This dress started as an afterwork, TGIF purchase. In other words, I bought myself some happiness for the low price of $11/m! That’s more than I usually pay for fabric (in fact, the contrast fabric was $23/m, so thank goodness I didn’t need much) but when you are desperate, any price is a bargain! I sewed it up that very weekend, and felt pretty pleased with myself.

Plaid Ponte Tunic
The truth is though, I don’t love how it looks on me, and that makes me a little sad. Why you gotta be like that, dress? It’s basically an extended Plaintain tee, which I’ve sewn and liked in jersey… but in ponte, it’s less great. The sleeves need more vertical stretch at the shoulder so they pull the bodice off the shoulder, the armscye is a bit low, the neckline gapes, and I need a swayback like woah. I always tell myself that I’m a process-oriented sewist, and the process was pure fun, so I can’t begrudge the dress a less than perfect outcome! Accept it, Whitcombe, and move on. (Giving myself a stern talking to here!) 

Plaid Ponte Tunic

 So here’s the good stuff! I love a printed ponte, and my local chain store has some great ones this year. I’ve also been eyeing their selection of quilted knits, and I finally came up with a good excuse to use one! I love this cobalt/royal blue shade, and i always feel good in it. (The other great thing is that this fabric is similar to the awesome fabric that Kirsty, aka. Top Notch, aka. KB Field used for a recent dress, and any kind of international sewing connection always makes me happy, no matter how tenuous!)

Plaid Ponte Tunic

The contrast yokes were super easy to add, and I think they add a lot to the dress. To finish the neckline I sewed a strip of jersey, and folded it to the inside before topstitching. I think it’s the top stitching that made it stretch out slightly. Any ideas how I could go back in an tighten up the back neckline without redoing it all?

Plaid Ponte Tunic

These are probably my last outdoor pics of the season, so I’ll have to get used to shooting indoors again… but in the mean time, it was fun to play in the leaves. Much harder to get a “falling leaves” shot that I thought!

Plaid Ponte Tunic

 

In all honesty, I finished this 2 weeks ago and haven’t worn it one. I will though… some day!?

All is not lost though! I had just enough leftover to mix with a lovely rayon French Terry scrap to make a cosy top! It has been worn, and I like it a lot. It’s got slightly angled side seams (pointing to centre front), inspired by a million RTW tops and Sally from the Quirky Peach! The misaligned hem was purely accident, but I kept it and I’m pretending it’s purposeful!

Untitled

 

Thinking back, I probably make something that doesn’t get worn every few months… maybe 1 in 10 or 15 projects? How about you? And what do you do with those makes that just don’t find a place in your wardrobe?


39 thoughts on “Plaid Ponte Shift

  1. I really like it! I do love that color, and it looks great on you. You could easily take some fisheye darts in the back to add a little shaping. it’s always surprisingly flattering to tighten up loose fabric in the back. I don’t know about the neckline, if it was me, I’d probably try taking back off the jersey and use a little elastic slightly stretched instead. It might tighten it up. If it hasn’t been through the wash, I’d try washing it first, just to see if it springs back.

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    1. That is excellent advice all around. I always forget about darts when I sew knits, but I bet they would really help with this dress. Thanks!!

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  2. Hi Gillian, I figure you are doing really well if it is only 1 in 10! I try not to keep track. When I started sewing it was probably 1 in 3. All I care about is that the numbers are quite a bit better now. Sometimes I offer the makes to others – daughter, friend, yoga teacher….if they complimented me on the makes and I know they don’t work for me. I love that blue on you! It is a favourite of mine too. I think it is energizing. I like what you did with the quilted knit. I have had my eyes on that fabric at our fabric chain store too! It’s fun to see fabric I recognize!

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    1. Thanks Janet! I have to say, I don’t wear anything I made when I started sewing anymore… kinda sad how that happens. Some combo of changing size and suddenly have (slightly) higher standards… now that almost everything I make is a repeat of some pattern or another, it’s easier to have more wins than fails!😉
      What are you dreaming of making with quilted knits? It was fun to sew with – I say go buy some!

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  3. How fun! I love the dark blue textured fabric up close! So cool! And maybe the shift shape of dress isn’t the most flattering, but it looks comfortable and very stylish! I can see it being a decent dress, maybe a wide belt? That would shape it and hide the “sway back Ike woah!”😉

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    1. Thanks, Malora! I’ll wear it to school sometime and see how it feels. Right now the most annoying thing is that when I raise my arms the whole dress hikes way up and my slip shows! I think it’s a result of the low armscye?

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  4. Like I told you before, I think you look great is this! Just remember that non-sewists don’t even see the mistakes. Hey, I even have trouble spotting mistakes in other people’s garments, but when we make them ourselves, we know they are there and it feels like it’s all we can see. I wouldn’t do anything to change it and I’ve tried belting a dress that needed a swayback, not a good idea, the fabric starts pooling above or below the belt anyway. I don’t think your swayback is super noticable compared to others I’ve seen. Worst case scenario people will think you bought a dress, with a slightly off fit, but in a great fabric and matching accessories!

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    1. Thanks, Stephanie! I think you are right – I’m being tough on myself about the fit! I think belting would make it too short, so you are right, probably not the best option for me… I’m half-wondering about making it shorter into a top, or adding a hemband to make it longer? Than again, maybe I should just move on!😉

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      1. I know exactly what you mean! recutting down from one garment to the next, until it’s an accent on some other project or just scraps on the floor! I do that too. I have a small closet in my sewing room where I put out of season clothes or clothes that aren’t getting worn, and it’s fun to look through and wonder what I could recut into something better!

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  5. I love those shoulder and back details on this dress and the blue is such a great colour on you (I can’t remember – is it part of your colour palette? If not, it should be). 1 out of 10 outfits is a pretty good strike and you’ve still got that top at the bottom of the post which looks fab. I wonder with different coloured leggins would you like it more?

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    1. Thank you! It is part of my palette.. though oddly, before this colour became popular a few years back, royal blue was not a colour I would have gone for! But call it cobalt, and put it everywhere in stores, and I’m a convert!😉

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      1. Oh, and I think you are right about the leggings! Black made sense when i was getting dressed, but it does look quite harsh. I wonder what colour would work better?

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  6. Maybe you need to let this one marinate a bit to see if you like wearing it later. If you don’t than hack that into a T-shirt or something.🙂 The thing I haven’t worn once is the white Vogue blouse I did all that work on. I think present us sometimes doesn’t know what future us wants to wear.

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    1. You haven’t worn the blouse? I hope you find a time! A time when you don’t need to be warm and no kiddo is going to muck it up. A time of dreams, perhaps. Or just wear it today!

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  7. usually when someone is just not feeling their latest project i agree–but this dress is so cute!! i concur that back darts should fix that issue. and the neckline, often a trip through the wash fixes things. if not, remove the binding and add a facing instead. should be able to ease in the stretched out part and still have a nice clean finish.

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    1. That is sound advice. I avoid unpicking like the plague, but I think you are right that a few darts and a better neckline could make a big difference! Thanks, Lisa!

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    1. Thank you! (And I haven’t commented yet on your daughter’s Hallowe’en costume, and I might not get around to it, so let me say here: It’s AMAZING!!!!! So so good.

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  8. Gillian, I absolutely LOVE this dress on you! Maybe it’s not perfect, but the print and contrast look fantastic together, and the shift silhouette is really chic on you. Really!

    I agree with other commenters that some fisheye darts in the back might make a big difference in getting a fit that you feel more comfortable with. You could always just pin some out and see how it looks! I hope you figure out a way to feel more comfortable in this dress… and wear it all the time! Seriously, it looks great on you. 🙂

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    1. Thanks Carolyn! I’m feeling much more inspired to rework it after everyones comments. It seems a shame to let it sit unworn!

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  9. Print and color are fantastic—and very complimentary for your skin tone. How about shortening to hip height (maybe with a hem band like Sewaholic Renfrew) and then pairing it with a Colette Mable skirt made out of the blue contrast fabric with matching tights or leggings (or simply pair with jeans)?

    It is definitely wearable as is but I would match the tights or leggings to the blue contrast fabric as you already noted. I think a simpler necklace, like a long silver chain (the really long ones) would be great to keep the blue focus on the dress.

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  10. This is such a cute outfit! I love the colors, and the fabrics are just awesome! And I love your top as well – after going back and reading my own post, I really want to make this pattern again! Lol – so thanks!😉

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  11. You are so clever in your fabric matching! The combination is such a win! And I think the dress is beautiful🙂

    Also, your photos look really great!

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  12. Both of these makes are fantastic! The fabric combos are gorgeous. I REALLY like the contrast yoke on your dress. The dress looks fantastic. Perhaps wearing the dress with a belt to cinch in the waist?
    My unloved me-mades become around the house/loungewear/pjs. It’s a big part of my wardrobe🙂

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  13. Both pieces are so cute! I love the fabric combos! I hope you end up wearing this, although if you don’t, that’s OK, too. When I end up not loving something I’ve made, I give it away. I send it to my mom and sister and if neither of them like it, they donate it to their local thrift store (they’re out in the sticks with bad shopping options now, so I figure someone will like it, hopefully!). I hate looking at things in my closet that I won’t wear, and like you, they’re a low percentage of my makes, so I feel good giving them a new home.

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  14. Oh, it’s too bad you don’t wear this dress more — it’s soo good! Love the contrast shoulder yokes and the giant plaid print. I have a dress with a similar fit and drape that I don’t wear a ton, but every time I do pull it out I remember how cozy it it–the upside of a thickish ponte.

    Your top is also a gem, and the assymetrical hem works really well.🙂

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