Wardrobe Planning with Ann: I Need a Dress Next Week!

This was the text message I received from Ann 2 weeks ago:

Ann:  I just got an invite to a fundraiser for Dress for Sucess at Tootsies. What do I wear?
Me:  When is it?
Ann:  In one week….

Background: Ann is doing a great job networking and promoting her lux bridal veil kit.  Through one of her networking contacts, Ann was invited to an event at Tootsies a high-end women’s clothing store here in Houston.  The fundraiser was for Dress for Sucess a non-profit organization that empowers women to achieve economic independence by providing a network of support, professional attire and tools to help women thrive in work and life.  It’s one of my favorite organizations!  This is an annual event so it was easy to research how the guest would dress.

Because time was short, an easy-to-fit pattern (no time to muslin) and easy to work with fabric (Ponte Knit) was the best (only) choice.  Ann stopped by the warehouse so I could drape her in 3 different colors of Ponte Knit to decide which one we liked best.  The Royal Blue was perfect and we selected the Black Tricot Knit for the lining.
Wardrobe Planning Tip:  When a sewing deadline is short, chose a stable knit like Ponte Knit.  It works for any occasion from casual to cocktail!

Royal Blue Ponte Knit

I selected a one-shouldered dress.
It worked because:
1. The style was fashionable and chic for the occasion.
2. A one-shoulder dress is easy to fit in a knit.
3. The sleeve on this pattern, Burda Style Asymmetric Designer Dress #163,
would keep the dress elegant as this was an early evening event.
4. It had side seam pleats that would create a waistline for Ann.
Wardrobe Planning Tip:  Diagonal lines are flattering on most figure types.

The Burda pattern was download only.
This saved time not having to trace the pattern.

Ann needed more pleats at the waist.  She had this old Vogue pattern in her stash and used it as a guide.

I did have Ann to eliminate the diagonal seam in the middle of the dress.
It wasn’t necessary and it saved sewing time.

The dress did need a few adjustments.  The stretch in the ponte knit was a lifesaver!
The side seam pleats were too low so they were raised 1″.
2. Took in the side seams.
3. Pegged the hem
4.  Reduced the hip curve
5. We eliminated the zipper-the stretch was enough for Ann to get in-and-out with ease.

After the Alterations:

 Ann finished the dress on time and had a blast at the event!!  She made new contacts and was invited to another fashion event coming up in October.

It was fun putting this together for Ann and I think she looked amazing!!  Ann sent a text the next morning and said: “I felt very comfortable and confident in my dress.  You really came through for this quick and easy sew and it was elegant!  It was fitting for a Tootsies event!”

I’m already working on the next event …. 🙂



  1. August 30, 2019 / 5:36 am

    Anne, Roz – Thanks for sharing this whole process on the blog, it’s very helpful to see the thinking behind the results!

    • Ann Ngo
      August 30, 2019 / 8:48 am

      I had to put complete trust in Roz for this one and she did amazing. It was so last minute! 😬😆 thanks for reading Kasey!

  2. August 30, 2019 / 6:24 am

    Ann looks fabulous. Great work, both of you!

    • Ann Ngo
      August 30, 2019 / 8:49 am

      Thank you Audrey!

  3. roz
    August 30, 2019 / 6:43 am

    Thanks for commenting Kasey! I enjoy sharing my process!

  4. roz
    August 30, 2019 / 6:43 am

    Thank you so much, Audrey!!

  5. Claudia
    August 30, 2019 / 7:40 am

    Such a good post to show the “before alterations/changes” and “after”. Those minor changes made a huge difference from the original pattern.

  6. roz
    August 30, 2019 / 8:02 am

    Hey Claudia! I think most of us sewists are very visual so it’s always helpful to see pictures along with the text.
    Thanks for commenting!

  7. Ann Ngo
    August 30, 2019 / 8:45 am

    Roz, you are amazing! You always come through, but for this project…wow! Thank God for you and thank God for the Ponte Knit!🤗😆

  8. August 30, 2019 / 9:35 am

    “Thank God for the Ponte Knit” Exactly Ann!!😂

  9. Dianne Frazier
    August 31, 2019 / 8:10 pm

    Just stunning! Great planning and execution Ann and Roz. That blue is definitely your color.

    • roz
      September 1, 2019 / 10:33 am

      Thank you Dianne!

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