Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Don't Overlook Ponte

MICHAEL Michael Kors Straight Leg Ponte Knit Pants (Regular & Petite)
Michael Kors, 2014
Some of us are old enough to remember the infamous "Leisure Suit" for the well dressed 70's man. We rocked out with John Travolta and the Bee Gees, all decked out in their white double knit suits. And for some us, those images have influenced our fabric buying habits today and not necessarily in a good way.  Today, our manufacturers have revamped these old double knits into some very striking Ponte knit fabrics, using a variety of man-made and natural fibers.

Ponte knit fabric is amazingly versatile. The beauty of this cloth for the sewist is that it's the same on both sides - there is no right or wrong side when you are working in solid colors. And bonus! You don't have to finish the seams!! A lot of ready-to-wear designers such as Michael Kors and Vince Camuto (both are Nordstrom designers) will add a pair of ponte knit pants to their collections, knowing the comfort and ease of care of this fabric appeals to women of all ages.

When Laurel visited the store for one of our regular "Fit and Fun" days, she picked up some Ponte knits from our huge knit collection. She had the idea that a crop pant in this particular knit would be a great traveler on her drive trip through France.  She chose a couple of our beautiful colors...

Okay, I was officially jealous and wanted a pair of "ponte pants" for myself.  I chose a lucious Rayon and Poly blend fabric in...hello...BLACK!  And since we were going for comfort, we will use (yet again) our Ikina pant from Sewing workshop. The elastic waist make this an easy pant to sew.

Laurel suggested that we perhaps taper the legs somewhat and add a little length to the muslin that we have used over and over again. We were going for a more Audrey Hepburn capris look:) Just make a long "dart" starting at the hemline of the pattern leg by folding it over itself allowing the dart to "disappear/end" somewhere up the pant leg...the longer the tapering, the smoother the pant leg on your body.

Ponte knits can be a little heavier than a single knit and for that reason, we trimmed the seams at the waistline to remove some of the bulk.  This also makes it easier to fish the elastic through the narrow casing.

To complete our look, we added a little notch at the hemline.

If you've been following our sewing adventures here on Fabriclady, you know that we've made these Ikina pants in linen and silk several times.  I love them all, but it drives me to distraction just figuring out which way to slip them on - which side is the front?? The only way to differentiate is by looking at the crotch seams - the seam in back of a pair of pants is always longer than the front. So why not put a label in the back and save yourself some grief? You can have labels custom made, but so many of the machines today have an alphabet stitch, try making your own.

Such a clever little girl that Laurel, with a "unique" sense of humor...
but I guess I'll be able to figure out which side is the back now.

I am officially in love with these knit pants!

Ponte knits come in several weights. I have chosen another length of fabric in a much lighter weight to make another pair - this time I think we will flair the legs a little more just for fun.

Creatively Yours,

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