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The Agnes Top & Joni Skirt Hack

Hi everyone, Becky here from Notes from the Sewing Room.

This month I was asked to review a navy blue Ponte Roma Fabric, perfect for the freezing weather we are experiencing at the moment.

I don’t know about you, but ponte roma is actually one of my favourite fabrics to sew as it’s warm, looks smart (depending what you make), its comfortable to wear and best of all it doesn’t need ironing!


The Fabric

The fabric has a white flower print on a navy background and is really soft to touch. I’m quite an experienced user of ponte fabric and I think this is one of the best quality ones I have used for a while, as it has a lovely drape to it and could be used to make tops, cardigans or in my case, a dress.

Ponte fabric can be sewn using a stretch stitch or zig zag stitch on your sewing machine, or on your overlocker – this is really down to personal choice – both would work fine.  

The fabric I used is made from a blend of polyester and rayon fibres. When I see the word ‘polyester’ I often think the fabric may be ‘sweaty’ to wear – but I’ve been pleasantly surprised with this one as that was not the case at all.  

What Did I Make

Although I was tempted to make another Tilly and the Buttons Coco Dress with this fabric (the fabric would be perfect for that), I decided to combine two other patterns I’m a big fan of instead.  

I’ve made the Tilly and the Buttons Agnes Top lots of times but decided to retrace the pattern to finish at the waist notch (plus 1.5cm for being tall), then join this on to the Joni Skirt (based on the Joni Dress pattern) from Tilly’s latest book called Stretch.

As the Agnes top is really designed for lighter weight fabrics, I traced it one size bigger than normal to allow a bit of extra wiggle room (I thought I would particularly need this for the arms and across the shoulders).

The Joni pattern appealed to me as I love a full skirt and thought this would look nice with a fitted top (I really want to make a complete Joni Dress at some point, but it’s just on my ‘to sew’ list at the minute).  

What Alterations Did I Make

I was a bit worried that the dress would be too short for me as this has been my experience with Tilly and the Buttons dresses / skirts before, so I actually cut the skirt section to the longest length (largest size) on the pattern piece then scaled in at the sides so it would actually fit me (I cut the size 3 – but then added length at the bottom).

As noted above, I also added 1.5cm to the bodice so it actually sat on my waist. I then used my overlocker to sew the bodice and skirt together at the waist, ensuring a matched the side seams.

If I was to make this dress again – I may reduce the skirt length a little, although its great to wear in winter I do feel like it’s a bit long for me so think I may have overdone my adding length a bit! Better to be too long though, as if it was too short I wouldn’t want to wear it at all.  


I’m really pleased with this project, I literally couldn’t wait to get it finished so I stayed up late on a Friday evening to finish the hem then wore it out on the Saturday with thick tights and a cardigan.

A lot of people have commented on how nice the fabric looks and the lovely drape of the skirt. There is no better feeling than someone saying, “where did you buy our dress from?” and being able to answer, “I made it!”.

I’d recommend this ponte roma fabric if you are looking to make a jersey dress like me, it has a nice stretch for a ponte (not too much, not too little) and feels beautiful to touch.  

To keep up-to-date with my latest projects follow me on Instagram or visit my blog.

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