What also helped my ponte conversion was stumbling across a few lovely retro inspired styles on the net. The Joan dress by Outerlimitz and the Joanie dress by pinupgirl clothing to point out a few. Oh if only we could all be Joan for a couple of days. I'd give my eye teeth to always have a witty bon mot ready to put people back in their places. Alas this is not my lot, instead I'll be over in the corner giggling about some weird crap I just made up in my head. Frog tutus, Bam!
Anyway, let's just talk about the dress, shall we? I really liked the pleat detail on the Outerlimitz dress and decided to drop that into a Nettie dress with a few style mods. To make the dress a little more retro looking I gave it a boat neck and lengthen the skirt 5".
Rago girdle in these pics to suck everything in a bit. This ponte is 100% polyester and had a much firmer recovery than the rayon based pontes I've worked with in the past. Does anyone find judging knit ease needed more tricky in pontes than say regular jerseys? Is it just me?
I need to size this dress up a bit to be comfortable wearing it, but that doesn't mean I can't give you some hacking instructions in the meantime. Oh yeah, hacky, hack, hack.
1 - For the front trace the skirt portion of Nettie and mirror it so that you have the whole front. Add seam allowance to the waist since it will now have a seam. If you want to lengthen the skirt do it at this time. I've added 5" of length here. When all your changes are done, cut out the pattern piece.
2. Chose which side of the skirt will have the pleats. Measure down 2.5 inches from the waist and mark the location of the first pleat.
3. Mark 3 more pleat locations 2" apart from each other.
4. Using the pleat location marks, draw 4 lines across the whole pattern. Keep the lines parallel to each other, but they do not need to be completely horizontal across the pattern.
5. Cut the lines from one side seam almost all the way to the other. Leave a small paper hinge.
6. Place paper behind the cuts and open up the slashes to the width you want your pleat. On this dress I've spread them apart 1". Tape down the pleats at your chosen depth.
7. Cut off all the excess paper to complete the front skirt pattern.
8. For the back trace the pattern on the half. Add seam allowance to the CB and draw in a vent intake. I made mine 5" high and 1.5" wide.
9. I used the same technique for converting the neckline to a boat neck as outline in this renfrew tutorial. The shoulder seam doesn't need to be narrowed on Nettie. Place the french curve on the edge of the existing shoulder seam and redraw the neckline higher. Here's a quick look at my back bodice.
10. On the front add two pleats in the same manner as you did on the skirt. The lower pleat is 2.5" from the waist and the second is 2" away from the first pleat.
1. When sewing the dress, fold the pleats up towards the waist. Secure them with some basting before sewing the side seam. Once the side seam has been sewn the basting can be removed.
2. The neckline is finished in the same manner as the previously mentioned boatneck tutorial.
3. The back vent is top-stitched just like you would on a woven garment.