The last minute Dakota!

After months of lurking and having great intentions to make something for the Monthly Stitch themes I finally signed up! The Named Dakota dress was the deciding factor – and the discount of course.. When I started planning I had plenty of time but life got in the way and here I am posting with barely hours to spare.

I first noticed the pattern last year when Named Patterns launched but I didn’t love the styling of it over a blouse – I haven’t worn anything like that since wearing a pinafore dress at primary school and I felt as if a blouse would get bunched up and make the bodice too bulky. It was only when Rachel made her version out of ponte with the neckline closed that I saw the potential in this pattern.

Ponte is my new favourite thing this autumn so I was excited to try another project using it. I found some beautiful black ponte from Clothspot which is really lovely and soft to the touch and has lots of drape.
Dakota Notsewsimple
I downloaded the pattern in sizes 38-40 and traced a 38 top and waist, grading out to a 40 at the hip. This design is intended to be quite loose at the waist so that you can pull it on even using woven fabrics so I went by the finished measurement to get a more fitted bodice as the ponte has some stretch – this meant the sizes I used were a size down from those suggested by the body measurements.. The pattern is nested so you have to trace it and it is slightly annoying that each size is offset so you can’t easily grade between each size – you need to work out the difference between each size and then add it. I did make a muslin for the bodice first but then decided to take a risk on the skirt and sleeves fitting (living on the edge!)

The pattern instructions are very brief and I relied heavily on Rachel and Marie’s sewalong which is very detailed and has lots of pictures of tricky bits such as getting the collar right! My collar facing wouldn’t lie flat and wanted to pop out so I stitched it down through the seam along the back of the neck to hold it in place. It could probably still do with being catch stitched in place along the front neckline.

I am particularly proud of the way all the skirt seams matched up with the darts and bodice seams – I usually find that I end up with one or two completely not matching! I machine-basted each one in place before finally stitching the bodice and skirt together to make sure that they all stayed in place. I skipped the sleeve plackets and also the pockets (I don;t need anything drawing attention to my hips thank-you!) but otherwise I didn’t make any changes.

Overall I am really pleased with how this turned out – thanks to the Monthly Stitch for finally giving me the push I needed to make this dress!

You can see more at my blog notsewsimple


10 thoughts on “The last minute Dakota!

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  3. Welcome! Lovely post and gorgeous dress! May I ask what you like about ponte? I’ve spotted a bit of it over here across the pond, but don’t have any. Any descriptive adjectives much appreciated!


    • Thank you! I only started using ponte this year – it’s as easy to sew as a woven (I don’t need to use my walking foot) but it’s stretchy, cosy and doesn’t fray so you don’t need to worry about buttons or zips or seam finishes!



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