I finally sewed my first Named pattern! I’ve been admiring the aesthetic and apparent quality of this Finnish brand’s patterns for years, but I’ve always had trouble picturing myself in their garments – too edgy for me. But then the Playground collection was released and I instantly fell in love with the Reeta shirtdress and the Helga playsuit. I managed to talk myself out of the playsuit, since I couldn’t figure out where to wear it, but the dress went straight to my pattern library.
This dress was the perfect opportunity to give in to the Tropicool trend that was everywhere this summer. Unfortunately despite hours of research, I couldn’t find my dream fabric: rayon challis with bright colored tropical flowers on a black background. I gave up and ordered this rayon fabric from Jo-Ann instead. But once the fabric arrived it was all kinds of wrong: the colors were much warmer than they were on the website and made me look super sick. The miracle solution: using the wrong side of the fabric! The colors worked much better and it also gave the dress a little second-hand/vintage flair that was perfect.
The end result is sooo kitsch, with the faded print, the safari-jacket details, and the almost-ankle-length, but I love it. And I think it shows when I wear it, as even my husband who hated this dress at first said it’s growing on him.
It’s really the type of garment that comes to life with movement. The very drapey fabric, the buttoned front and the side slits create a beautiful effect when I’m walking. When I’m not moving, mmh, let’s be honest, it’s not the most flattering dress… But it’s so comfy!
I liked sewing this pattern a lot, and the instructions were clear for the most part, though I had some issues understanding them for the collar and the front facing. That’s not something I say often, but they could have used a few more illustrations… You can tell by the concave corners of the collar on the pictures, looking closely you can see the parts I had to hand-stitch after they fell apart after one wash, which makes me think I messed up somewhere with the seam allowances while assembling the collar…
Another point that bugged me with this pattern are the pockets. They’re very pretty, but the way they are constructed makes it so that the top unfolds in the wash, and it’s a complete hassle to iron them back in place correctly…
However I love the sleeves, they’re my favorite part of this pattern. The proportions are perfect, especially the cuffs. Love love love.
According to the Named sizing chart I am a 38 at the bust, 34 1/2 at the waist, and 40 at the hips. Since the dress is very loose and the waist has a drawstring, I made the whole thing directly in a size 38 without adjustments. I didn’t lengthen the skirt as I usually do, because, I don’t know, YOLO or something.
Despite being starched like crazy, the rayon fabric was very uncooperative, and I had to re-cut the edges of the pieces several times. I had some trouble marking the fabric precisely too, and I wonder if that might have resulted in the waist drawstring being placed too low in the back, but it’s hard to see on the pattern pictures where it is supposed to hit exactly.
I think this dress might have a short lifespan, given how fragile the fabric is. I wore it three times and I already had one seam break in the wash and I had to fix it by hand. It might also be super dated already comes next summer, but I don’t care about that because I love the pattern. I highly recommend it: my passion for shirtdresses is well-known, but this one is one-of-a-kind, with its unusual silhouette and smart details. I don’t think I’ll sew another one right now, but once this one falls apart I’ll gladly make a replacement, in printed rayon as well.
I’m already thinking about which Named patterns I’ll sew next! I cut out the fabric for an Asaka kimono, and there are a lot of other ones that I like. Which of their patterns have you tried, and how did you like them?