named patterns

Gemma Sweatshirt

I feel so lucky that I’ve gotten to be a pattern tester for Named for the past few years, and this is one of my favorite patterns yet. The Gemma Sweater has really interesting details, including the geometric cut of the front (great for color-blocking!), elastic cuffs, and a drawstring waist.

I’d been saving some old cashmere sweaters for years with the idea of refashioning them one day, and this was the absolute perfect project to use them for. Even though I had three sweaters, they were pretty small and they all had multiple moth holes that needed to be cut around, so I actually didn’t have that much fabric to work with. Luckily in May I’d bought some pink velvet fabric at Stoff & Stil in Copenhagen to use as an impromptu scarf (I’d forgotten mine, it was a cold day, and for some reason my husband really liked this fabric haha) and it went perfectly with the cashmere scraps!

This pattern is so fun to make! It’s like putting a puzzle together. And it was surprisingly easy to get all the points and angles lined up correctly. What took me the longest was definitely deciding on my color-blocking scheme. I actually printed out multiple copies of the line drawing and colored them in to try to decide what would look best.

The only change I made was to swap the funnel neck for binding. I did in fact make the funnel neck first for testing purposes, but with this fabric I prefer the look of the binding. The cashmere was too floppy to hold the funnel properly.

I’m also wearing my favorite Ginger Jeans that I made a year and a half ago. I used Cone Mills denim and they’ve broken in sooo nicely. I don’t have a good before picture, but the color has faded a couple shades and they’ve gotten nicely worn in in all the right places.

In case it wasn’t already obvious, I love the way this sweatshirt turned out! It’s super comfy, but still really fun and unique. Plus the sewing experience itself was one of the most enjoyable and interesting I’ve had in a while.

You can always count on Named for well-drafted patterns with unique details. If you haven’t seen the rest of the collection yet, go have a look!

<3 Lindsay

Ansa Butterfly Sleeve Dress

Ansa Butterfly Sleeve Dress - Named Patterns

This winter I had the opportunity to test a design from the new Named collection, and I chose the Ansa Dress, a modern and feminine cocktail dress!

I think the style lines for this pattern are so interesting! The raglan butterfly sleeves, the waist pleats, and the curved bust panel are all really fun elements that I’d never sewn before. It’s an untraditional take on a cocktail dress and I love that about it. The waist pleats are my favorite element – they provide the perfect amount of shaping and visual interest. And the lack of a waist seam means this dress is seriously comfortable!

Ansa Butterfly Sleeve Dress - Named Patterns

Ansa Butterfly Sleeve Dress - Named Patterns

Ansa Butterfly Sleeve Dress - Named Patterns

As usual with Named patterns, everything came together really smoothly. I had a few suggestions for the instructions and they were all incorporated in the final pattern – it’s nice to see that Named really cares about the feedback process! The only pattern alteration I made was to shorten the dress by 2″. I probably should have shortened the bodice above the bust as well, as there’s some extra fabric there. I’ve come to realize lately that I often need that adjustment, but I haven’t gotten in the habit of doing it yet.

The fabric is a stretch silk satin that I picked up at Les Coupons de Saint Pierre a couple years ago. It was a three meter cut, so I still have enough left over to make a blouse – I’m thinking another Melilot! It’s really nice to wear and wasn’t too difficult to sew. It does show creases and puckers pretty badly though, which is especially evident around the zipper at the back. Ah well, I’m not too worried by it!

One thing I am really pleased about is how neat my neckline binding turned out. That’s a skill I’ve definitely improved on lately!

Ansa Butterfly Sleeve Dress - Named Patterns

Ansa Butterfly Sleeve Dress - Named Patterns

Ansa Butterfly Sleeve Dress - Named Patterns

Ansa Butterfly Sleeve Dress - Named Patterns

Have you added any of the new Named patterns to your queue? I have the Reeta midi shirt dress on my list, and I also love the look of the Ronja dungarees!

<3 Lindsay

Retro Floral Leini Dress

Floral Leini Dress

My love affair with Named Patterns continues… This time I made the Leini Dress from their Summer 2014 collection.

The fabric is a cotton jersey from Mood (sold out, but there’s another colorway available here). It’s not my usual style, but for some reason I was really drawn to this bold floral print. I think it has to do with the colors – navy, mustard, and olive green are some of my favorites to wear, so I think they made the print seem more approachable. And I’m really glad I decided to buy it, because I’ve grown to love this fabric (and dress) a lot!

I thought the print would work best with a fairly simple design, so I decided on the Leini Dress from Named. The elastic waist makes it easy to wear, but the bodice pleats and clean finish around the neckline and armholes make it a bit more interesting and polished.

Floral Leini Dress

Floral Leini Dress

Floral Leini Dress

Floral Leini Dress

This fabric is just a touch see-through, so I had trouble deciding on how to line the bodice. I was going to use self fabric, but the outlines of the flowers were visible from the right side. I also didn’t have any white jersey in my stash, and any other color would have cast a tint. Finally I hit upon using some light beige mesh I have in my stash for bra-making. It’s nice and lightweight, and it allowed me to get the clean finish I wanted.

The pattern says it works with either knits or wovens, although all the other Leinis I’ve seen seem to be wovens. I think it worked really well in jersey, although I’d also like to make one in something like rayon challis. I used a combination of serging, zig-zag stitching, and straight stitching, based on whatever seemed appropriate at each step.

Floral Leini Dress

Floral Leini Dress

Floral Leini Dress

Floral Leini Dress

I made my usual size 34 and the only adjustment I made was to shorten the skirt by a few inches. I think the fit is meant to be a bit loose through the bodice, so you could probably size down if you wanted to, especially if you’re using knit fabric. The only change I’d make next time is to raise the armhole just a bit – maybe 3/8″. Overall, I think this is a great basic pattern and would work well for anything from a casual day dress to a fancier silk number.

What’s your favorite summer dress pattern?

<3 Lindsay

Lauha Vent Skirt

Parrot Lauha Maxi SkirtMeet my new favorite skirt! Ever since I made this dress last year (and realized I both could wear and enjoyed wearing maxi-length clothing) I’ve been wanting to try out a maxi skirt. It’s a silhouette I’ve never worn before, but I definitely love it.

I found the perfect skirt pattern, the Lauha Vent Skirt, in one of Named’s older collections. It has a gorgeous deep vent at the front and multiple small pleats at the front and back waistlines.

The fabric is a really fun parrot print rayon from Blackbird Fabrics (sadly sold out). It’s perfectly swishy for this pattern!

Parrot Lauha Maxi Skirt

Parrot Lauha Maxi Skirt

Parrot Lauha Maxi SkirtDemonstrating the width… they kind of look like palazzo pants in this pic!

Parrot Lauha Maxi Skirt

Parrot Lauha Maxi Skirt

I made my usual Named pattern size of 34 and the fit is perfect! I shortened the skirt by a few inches (I forgot to write down the exact amount – oops!) before I cut it out which allowed me to just barely squeeze it out of 1.5 meters of fabric.

Construction is super straight-forward. The most challenging bit was probably cutting out those long pattern pieces while making sure the fabric stayed on grain. After that it came together really quickly!

Parrot Lauha Maxi Skirt

Parrot Lauha Maxi Skirt

Parrot Lauha Maxi Skirt

Parrot Lauha Maxi Skirt

Parrot Lauha Maxi Skirt

I’m totally in love with this skirt! It was one of those cases where the stars aligned and the fabric and pattern were just perfect for each other.

Do you have a favorite maxi skirt or dress pattern? I’d definitely like to explore this silhouette some more!

<3 Lindsay

Olivia Wrap Dress

Olivia Wrap Dress

I started this dress back in November intending to wear it to Thanksgiving. With the amount of time I left myself that wasn’t going to happen, so I didn’t stress it and instead gave myself the new deadline of Dec. 23 so I could wear it out to Christmas tea with my family.

This is the Olivia Wrap Dress from Named – “a classic wrap dress with a slightly tulip-shaped skirt”.

I’m sure you all know by now that I’m a big fan of Named and this pattern is no exception. November was a while ago so the construction details are kind of fuzzy, but I remember everything being pretty straightforward. The pattern is well designed and I love that there’s no neckline gaping or skirt flashing in the wind!

This dress was kind of a wearable muslin and there are a couple things I’d change next time. The bodice is a bit roomy all over, so I think I need to both shorten it and do an SBA. I’d also probably eliminate the in-seam pockets. They’re nice to have, but I don’t like the way they tend to flop around and mess with the silhouette of the skirt.

Olivia Wrap Dress

Olivia Wrap Dress

Olivia Wrap Dress

I shortened the skirt by a whopping 5″ before I cut it out because I know Named patterns run long on me (I’m 5’4″), and I thought I would probably want it to end above the knee. Actually I ended up deciding to leave the length just below the knee as the pattern intended – I think it looks a bit dressier that way. There wasn’t enough length left to do a hem (and I’m lazy) so I just left it raw!

The fabric is “Silky Stretch ITY Jersey Knit Asian Scallop” from fabric.com (no longer on their site). It’s a polyester fabric, which I don’t normally go for, but I’d read that it works well for wrap dresses (more fluid, less robe-like). I may have to reconsider polyester because I do really like this fabric. It’s silky smooth, has a great drape, and doesn’t wrinkle at all – great for traveling!

Olivia Wrap Dress

Olivia Wrap Dress

Olivia Wrap Dress

Olivia Wrap Dress

And with that I’m caught up with last year’s blogging – at least of the more interesting things! In January I made my dad a shirt and I’m almost done with a pair of high-waisted Ginger jeans for myself. It never really got cold here this winter (it was in the 80s last weekend!) so I’m already planning my spring wardrobe. Anyone else dreaming of sundresses already?

<3 Lindsay