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Hey June Handmade Charleston Dress

Hello! I’m Lilly Everett of the blog Rake and Make and I want to thank Minerva for the opportunity to join their Maker team. This piece of Fabric represents a lot of firsts for me: first time sewing with a ponte knit, first Lady McElroy fabric, and first fabric from Minerva. I have to say, I am impressed on all fronts.

Are all ponte knits this delicious? If so, I have been missing out. It’s such a nice weight—heavier than a jersey knit but lighter than a sweatshirt knit—which made it a joy to sew with. I expected it to be on the warmer side to wear as a result of its weight, but it’s totally not. It’s also very soft and when it stretches you don’t lose the pattern. When I saw this fabric I immediately fell in love with the dot pattern. I loved the color palette and the dot clusters looked kind of scientific to me, like protons, neutrons, and electrons. 

I had been on a knit kick already and had the perfect knit dress in my head, but couldn’t find a pattern that was close to what I was thinking until I found the Hey June Handmade Charleston Dress. The ruffled sleeves are a big part of what sold me on this dress pattern in the first place. Aren’t they adorable?

The Charleston Dress is constructed with princess seams in the bodice, so a muslin of at least the bodice is recommended. I’m 5’ 10” and pear shaped, so I usually grade between sizes and add length to patterns. For this pattern, I graded from a L-XL.

I’m also a tracer of patterns and had already fit the pattern with my Swedish tracing paper enough to know that I wanted to add 2” of length to the bodice, so I decided to skip a muslin and hope for the best. Due to the stretchy nature of this knit fabric, I can pull the bodice into the correct position so that the princess seams are in the right place, so it all worked out!


The back zipper is optional depending on the stretch of your fabric. I wasn’t sure if I would be able to get the dress on without the zipper, so I added it. Turns out I didn’t need it and can slip the dress on without unzipping it, which is fine, but just something to note. I also added 3” to the length of the dress, but then ended up taking 2” back off before I hemmed it.

Between the lusciously soft fabric, the adorable silhouette of the ruffled sleeves, and the fun deep pockets, I want to wear this dress all the time! I will probably wear this to a friend’s wedding that is coming up.

I now understand what all the hype is about Lady McElroy and ponte knits, so this fabric was a delightful match. Big thanks to Minerva again for the opportunity to try out this fabric!

Lilly @rakeandmake

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Johanne Decary said:

You look amazing and the length of the dress is perfect! I have never sewed with ponte but now I want to try it! · 22nd Dec 2019 12:28pm