A ponte Washington in maroon

Hi Everyone

Just a short post this time as I have made this dress many times before so there isn’t a huge amount to say.  I just wanted to show  you my latest version of the Cashmerette Washington dress.


As many of  you know, I do love the versatility of the Washington dress and I’ve already made six previous versions:

teal version

pink and black version

four other versions

My absolute favourite of the dresses is the first one I made where I sort of broke the rules and made a ponte knit rather than a woven skirt.  I also really like the one with the red top and multicoloured skirt, the one with the grey top and black/grey skirt and the one with the black top / multicoloured black floral skirt.  I’m pretty sure the reason I like those is because I used a lovely jersey for the top and a good quality stretch cotton for the skirt which means they fit and hang really nicely.

However, the other two versions, the pink/black one and the all blue one I just don’t like and can’t ever see me wearing.  Don’t get me wrong, it is nothing to do with the pattern (which is brilliant) it is 100% to do with my poor choice of fabric.  For the pink/black version I used some very thin slipperty ITY fabric for the top and seersucker for the skirt – what was I thinking? I didn’t like either fabric to start with so what possessed me to put them together into a dress?  Did I think that they were magically going to perform alchemy and transform themselves into something nice?  Doh!

The other version I don’t care for is the all blue one.  Again, not the pattern’s fault.  For some reason I decided to use cheap cotton poplin for the skirt, all I can think of is that at the time I made the decision the colour matched the blue ponte top, it wasn’t my brightest idea.  The cotton poplin wasn’t particularly good quality, I bought it because it was cheap and I had a thing about polka dots.  Now it might work for a skirt with gathers and more fabric but it definitely wasn’t the best choice for the Washington skirt.  It doesn’t hang nicely and it doesn’t feel good to wear.  To be honest, I can’t ever see me ever wearing either of these two versions.

But, in many ways, going through this process has been a good learning experience and has shown me that it is important firstly to use fabrics you love, not just because you have them in your stash and secondly, to use good quality fabrics, it really does make all the difference in the world.


Anyway, I didn’t mean to get so side tracked so back to today’s dress.  As I mentioned, my favourite version to date is the teal ponte Washington (the first one I made).  It feels so much more comfortable and definitely warmer than my other ones and as spring hasn’t reliably arrived here in the UK, warmth is still my top priority when I’m making decisions about clothes.  So when I came across this gorgeous wine / berry / maroon coloured ponte at Dragonfly Fabrics I bought it specifically with the intention of making a second all ponte Washington.

The fabric has a composition of 70% viscose, 25% polyester and 5% elastane.  It is beautifully soft to the touch and has a great amount of four way stretch.


The Washington pattern is available both in paper format and as a downloadable pdf

What I love about Jenny’s patterns is that they are designed specifically for curvy gals and there is no need to do a FBA and also no sway back adjustment – just look at that back view – no wrinkles and the skirt hangs straight!  After all of the recent fitting issues I’ve had with my two previous tops this was a delight to make, pretty much straight out of the packet.  I shortened the sleeves by a couple of inches but other than that, nada, zilch, zip – I just cut it out and made it up, bliss!

For sizing I used the C/D bodice and started with an 18 around the shoulders, graded to a 20 at the waist and out to a 22 at the hips.  The construction and pretty much everything else was exactly the same as per my teal Washington so I won’t repeat it again here.


My overall view – I love it.  It is comfortable, warm, fits well, looks good and is easy to dress up or down – what more can you ask for from a pattern?

Going forward with this pattern, whilst I love the flexibility of the woven skirt and the options to mix and match different fabrics and patterns, I really, really love my two ponte versions the best and I think that I’m going to stick with what works for me.

Cost to make

2.3 m of fabric at 12.00 per meter

1 reel of gutterman thread at £1.70

1/4m of clear elastic – 25p

Total cost – £29.55





16 thoughts on “A ponte Washington in maroon

    • Thank you so much. I do agree with you, this is a very clever design from Jenny at Cashmerette, the black section does wonders for slimming down the waist area. I really love this dress.


  1. This is totally a winner! Looks terrific on you. I prefer your version. I couldn’t agree more about fabrics – the best fabric you can afford that is appropriate for the project.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much Janet. Yes, it is easy to get wooed by cheap, pretty fabrics but it is incredible the difference that a good quality fabric can make to a the overall feel and look of a garment.

      Debbie x


    • Thanks Sheila 🙂 It is one of those dream patterns, it goes together really easily with practically no adjustments needed and in the full ponte is just so comfortable to wear. I’d love to see your version if you decide to make one.
      Debbie x

      Liked by 1 person

    • That is the thing that I love about Cashmerette patterns. It is so great to be able to take a new pattern and not have to worry about a FBA or sway back. I’m pretty much always going to have to shorten sleeves or narrow shoulders but they are simple adjustments to make.

      I would definitely recommend putting this on your ‘to make’ list although I would suggest thinking a lot about fabric choices, look at plenty of examples on pintrest and the web. They all look lovely but I think that with this pattern it is important to match your fabric to your own particular lifestyle. I now know that the full ponte versions work particularly well for me and I think I’ll probably always stick to them for any future Washingtons.

      Debbie x

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks for the advice Debbie :~)
        I’m always on the lookout for patterns that look good when sat down
        one of the downsides of being wheelchair bound is that the swirly skirts
        I used to love just don’t work any more.
        The other issue is looking like a sack of potatoes but this pattern doesn’t
        look as though it would do that.
        Just discovered the joy of making my own culottes including a dungaree style
        I adapted myself. Delighted with them in different fabric weights.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Hi Lucy
        Culottes are a great idea, you can make them in so many fabulous prints and colours and they are extremely practical. I’m sure this Washington pattern would also work for you but perhaps think of going the full ponte route as I have done rather that the woven skirt – I find the ponte versions are the bees knees in being comfortable but looking smart. I think the black section across the waistline is a great design feature, it breaks up the colour and gives a slimming effect. Let me know how you get on if you do decide to try it.

        Debbie x


  2. Hi Debbie, I am def going to follow your advice as I like your style and the way you carry it off.
    The black detail is terrific as it can be hard wearing a belt, too narrow & I look trussed but to wide
    and it interferes with my seat belt grrr but this style allows for detailing without these issues.
    I’ve just heard one of my favourite fabric stockists is getting a lot of new fabric in 2 weeks so
    hoping to find something in that to try this dress.
    Hope you’ve been giving some of your lovely clothes made by you a chance to be seen and worn with pride.
    Pats for Molly 🙂 btw the whole independant cat thing is largely a myth, my current 4 need people or they sulk 🙂
    My friend in NY has cats and one of them Mischa insists on having his time on the phone with me. He’s a Maine Coon
    so enormous and as soon as he hears my voice he starts purring down the phone. When I say “Hi Mischa” he meows
    his day to me, even pausing for my response 🙂 thankfully I’ve a phone deal where it’s £5 a month unlimited calls to the States so we can allow for Mischa’s call time too, he always says bye at the end of our call too.
    Keep being creative this week, take care Lucy


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