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Office Appropriate Sheaths + Tips for Caring for Ponte

My fellow office dwellers all know that the holy grail of office attire is a combination of comfort and professionalism.  I think a great ponte dress is the perfect fit!

For this dress I chose Cali Fabric’s Seafoam Green Ponte de Roma and paired it with Pauline Alice’s Aldaia Dress.

This fabric has a beautiful rich color, which I love for spring and summer.  The seafoam green is new for me, but is a color family that I’ve been wanting to incorporate more often into my wardrobe.  And if green isn’t your thing, Cali Fabrics has a huge variety of other colors as well.

This dress sewed up really nicely, as I knew it would with a friendly fabric like ponte.  The construction requires at least certain parts of this dress to be sewn on a sewing machine.  That can be a headache with a flimsy knit, but with ponte it’s a breeze!

I think that a sheath dress like this one is ideal for ponte, whether in a beautiful bold color like this seafoam or basic black for an LBD.  If you’re looking for a pattern to pair with your ponte, here are a few ideas for you:

I love ponte de roma because it is so easy to work with and so easy to wear to the office or church or anyplace where you need to look nice but not fancy.  I do take slightly more care with my ponte garments because ponte can pill like the dickens if you’re not careful with it.  So here are a few tips for your ponte projects:

Tip #1: Choose the right pattern

I think sheath dresses are ideal for ponte because the design needs the structure of the heavier knit, but the fabric isn’t really rubbing against itself.  I know a lot of people like to use ponte for pants, but personally I don’t care for ponte pants.  That’s because ponte pills, and it can pill a lot.  The more polyester in the fabric, the more it pills.  And the best way to get a really pilly garment is to make something where the fabric is constantly rubbing against itself.  So if you like having pants that are all pilled on the inner thigh, go ahead and make them out of ponte.  But if you’re like me and would rather avoid that, choose something else for your ponte.  And if you do want to make pants from Ponte, I would recommend using something like Cali’s heavyweight Ponte, which is mostly rayon.

Tip #2: Launder as little as possible

The next best way to get your ponte to pill is to wash it after every wear.  Let’s face it, most adult clothing doesn’t need to be laundered every time you wear it.  Unless it’s dirty or smelly, my clothes don’t go in the wash.  Washing breaks down the fibers in the fabric, causing it to wear out faster.  With ponte, that means washing a lot will accelerate ponte’s natural tendencies to pill.  You can extend the life of your ponte garments by only washing them when necessary.

Tip #3: Keep your ponte out of the dryer

Eventually you will have to wash your ponte garment, but when you do, don’t put it in the dryer!  Ponte garments should be hung to dry to minimize the amount of fabric rubbing on fabric that will accelerate pilling.  I don’t even put my ponte fabric yardage in the dryer when it arrives by mail. I wash it as usual, but then hang to dry so that my ponte never sees the inside of a dryer.  It takes a little extra effort and time, but is worth it to keep my hard work looking nice.

With some thought and just a little bit of effort, I know I can keep this ponte dress looking nice for a long time!


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