Monday, February 7, 2011

Pleat Front Dress - Christine Jonson

I have not sewn with knits very often but I am going to be stocking more knits as they are comfortable and stylish. I decided to contact Christine Jonson of Michigan about carrying her patterns because they are drafted for knits. Christine has been perfecting her patterns for over 20 years and I have heard many good things about her patterns and designs.

I decided to try the Pleat Front Dress in a Ponte de Roma designer knit print. I read the instructions thoroughly and I also read Christine's book, Life in the Little Black Dress, which is full of wonderful information.

I traced my pattern onto medical examiners tissue pattern.  I used the size 16 for the bust, shoulder and sleeves and gradually scaled out to the size 20 to cover the waist and hip area. I was worried about the fit because it seemed rather small to me. However, I decided to go with the measurements provided on the pattern and see how it went.

The bodice is self-lined, but I used a solid black Ponte de Roma instead of the print. I also sewed it on my straight stitch machine rather than using the serger.  I did not serge finish any seams. Because it is a knit I know it won't ravel and I find that serging adds bulk and sometimes creates marks when pressing.

The pleating at the bodice and the centre front skirt are a little finicky so I waited until I was feeling alert and unrushed. Other than that the whole thing was easy and quick to sew.
The moment of truth came when it was time to try it on. It has no zippers and slips over your head. The fit is snug at the bodice so Lycra or spandex knits are a must. I tried it on and it fit very very well. The bodice with the lining is form fitting but comfortable. The V neck is flattering and lies perfectly flat against the chest. It's also not too low.  All I need to do now is hem the sleeves and bottom and it's ready. A simple yet very flattering dress. I am so pleased.

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