Making friends with Elley
I’ve uncovered another new ‘waisted’ style dress that I feel great in. This is StyleArc’s Elley Designer Knit Dress sewn in ponte. You can see the style lines in the drawings below.
I’ve had this project cut out for a few months, and after not finding the time to turn my sewing machine on for a over a month (life got in the way) it was the perfect project to re-ignite my sewjo.
For those nervous about sewing knits, ponte is a great fabric to start with, as it’s what’s known as a stable knit. Stable knits have a stretch factor of around 15%-20% selvedge-to-selvedge, and very little vertical stretch. Due to the low stretch, stable knits can often be treated like a woven fabric when being sewn. That being said, I still use a jersey needle and a stretch stitch (lightning bolt stitch) when sewing ponte.
Following on from the statement ‘stable knits can often be treated like a woven fabric when being sewn’, the neckline and armholes of this dress are finished with a woven binding. I selected a navy linen with a light-coloured spot from my scrap tub for my binding. You’ll have seen this fabric before in these two garments. In the photo below, you can see a hint of the binding fabric. If I made this dress again, I’d definitely use a plain coloured binding that matched my fashion fabric.
The ponte often looks navy in these photos, but it’s actually is a marle with a bright blue fleck. I’ve always loved a fleck. I remember when I was at university I bought, and wore on high rotation, a green, flecked, rolled neck Esprit woollen jumper. I loved that jumper… but I digress…
This ponte was purchased at The Cloth Shop a few winters ago. I actually gifted it to my friend S, who recently returned it to me as her interest in sewing has subsided as her passion for bush walking and the forest has increased. I highly recommend S’s instagram account @lessonsoftheforrest for some calming visuals and thoughtful words.
My Elley Designer Knit Dress came together without incident. Although, my ‘v’ intersection at the waist isn’t as sharp as I might like, but it’s totally fine.
I found the skirt of the dress to be quite long. After the dress was constructed, I removed 1 1/2″ (4cm) from the hem before hemming.
The asymmetrical hem gives the dress a lovely bit of movement. And yes, it’s great for twirling.
I found the the bodice fit to be very good.. the bust darts are even in the right place (a rarity for me!). I just have a little bit of gaping at the back neckline, which is hard to see in these photos. Nothing that will stop me wearing this dress, but I’ll look at finding the right pattern adjustment to eliminate this next time.
This dress was sewn while holidaying at the beach and although I remembered my camera for blog photos, I didn’t bring suitable accessories or shoes. Hence, I’m barefoot on the beach wearing a gorgeous scarf that Sharon lent me. That being said, I think this dress would look great with either a heel, a pair of boots or even a colourful sneaker.
Pattern: StyleArcs’ Elley Designer Knit Dress
Fabric: Ponte from The Cloth Shop [long sold out]
Alterations: 3/8″ (1cm) forward shoulder adjustment and the dress was shortened at the hem by 1 1/2″ (4cm).
Outfit: Scarf borrowed from Sharon
Photo Location: Flinders