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An ochre Named Saraste Top

For once I’ve actually coordinated my sewing with the weather! Though, like most of my makes, this had a rather long lead time… I actually bought this 1.5m of Atelier Brunette “Shade Ochre” viscose fabric from Lamazi Fabrics last summer but didn’t quite work out which pattern to pair with it until recently, when I decided I wanted to try another variation of the Saraste shirt/dress/top from the first Named book, “Breaking the Pattern”.

A chambray Luova tunic dress

I will readily admit that I don’t pre-order many books. But I absolutely pre-ordered the Named Patterns new “Building the Pattern” book as soon as I could! I mean, why wouldn’t I after making so many patterns from their first book (and a few more planned, too!)?! The focus on this book is fitting alterations so there are TONS of diagrams and instructions and advice on getting a great fit even before you get to the patterns in the book (which can either be traced from the sheets in the book, or downloaded in A4/AO formats from their website).

The Luova pattern comes in three styles: a blouse, tunic, or dress, with two different collars and three different sleeves to choose from. The tunic (a short dress, really) stood out to me and I thought that perhaps I’d be able to make it from a 1.5m remnant of stonewashed denim from Fabrics Galore I’d recently bought. I got it thinking I’d use it to make another pair of jeans but it’s in no way what I’d consider a “denim”, btw – it’s far lighter than jeans and what I’d call a chambray, suitable for shirts or dresses. So it seemed perfect for this tunic!

Ramie shorts and a mint ribbed top

I’m sorry guys, it’s my fault! I turned the weather to freezing, non-stop rain by sewing a pair of shorts. 😭 (insert jokes about English “summers” here)

But I was inspired by some recent fabric shopping at both Textile Express and Lamazi Fabrics and I really wanted to make this set as soon as possible – and hoped the weather would rise to the challenge, but it did not. In any case, the garments have thankfully turned out better than I’d hoped, and I know I’ll get a lot of wear out of both as soon as it warms up and dried out.

A monochrome striped rib knit top

Back in May I bought some irregular striped rib knit jersey from Like Sew Amazing (now sold out) at the same time as I bought the fabric for my Burda jumpsuit. I didn’t really have a plan for it, but I could tell it was high quality and a steal at £15 for 1.5m, so I kept hold of it in my stash until a plan presented itself back in early November when I thought to myself – I should definitely make a long sleeved top with it.

I’d been meaning to sew more from the excellent Named Patterns “Breaking the Pattern” book (since everything I’ve made so far has been incredible!), and having most recently made the Ruska knot dress back in March for my birthday, the other Ruska variations were already printed and cut to size. Even though it’s all one pattern, you actually get two fit choices – a looser cut through the body (used by the teeshirt, tunic, and outer layer of the knot dress) or a more slim-fit version (used by the dress and inner layer of the knot dress). Since I already liked the fit of the knot dress, I opted for the slim-fit with long sleeves and a taller collar similar to the dress in the book (I’ll get to that in a second though).

Striped wrap shorts and a white Raglan Tee

“More shorts?!” I hear you say! (Especially if you’ve also been experiencing our English summer) As I said in my posts on the mustard wool shorts and the linen denim Pietra shorts, my work at home lifestyle change is demanding more warm weather clothing since the boat is not climate controlled like my office. So I’ve been having fun trying out different shorts patterns that I may have overlooked the first time around!

This time I wanted to try out the Named Patterns Astrid Wrap Shorts (which also comes with an option for wide-legged trousers, which I can guarantee you I will never make!). But shortly after I purchased it, Named announced that they were retiring a bunch of their older patterns, including this one and the Harriet jacket I adore and wear ALL the time every winter. I managed to finish sewing these shorts the day before they removed this pattern from sale (yes, even the pdf, which makes no sense to me whatsoever as it literally costs them nothing to retain it!) and shared it on my socials, but it wasn’t enough time for me to do the photoshoot and get this post together, sorry!

A mustard Saraste shirtdress

I’ve been wanting to make the Saraste shirtdress from the Named book, “Breaking the Pattern” ever since I first saw it at their UK launch party. It comes in three different views in the book: as a princess-seam blouse with ruffles, a button-down shirt with shoulder cutouts, and as a shirtdress with ruffled collar. I ended up making the shirtdress, but added in the shoulder cutouts for some extra interest, too.

Two winter trousers

I made two pairs of trousers last winter and never quite got around to taking proper photos of them, let alone blogging about them, what with the frenzy of book launch posts, then getting sick. So for completeness’ sake, and because they’re both great makes, I wanted to be sure I documented them properly.

A bow & arrow Talvikki sweatshirt

I like to think I’m a savvy shopper. Last year I bought the Named Patterns Harriet lumberjacket during their advent calendar sale and it ended up being one of my favourite makes of the whole year. So when the same advent calendar sale came round again this year, I kept my eyes peeled and pounced when their Talvikki sweater came up with a one-day discount code. I loved the design of the darted, funnel neckline from the first moment it was released, but my To Do list was full at that point so I kept it in the back of my mind instead – and it paid off!

The fabric is a slate blue French terry with drawings of bows & arrows all over it that’s been in my stash for over a year. Regular readers will know that I don’t normally go for prints, but this one was sparse enough to tickle my fancy! I bought it at Ditto Fabric‘s Brighton store when I visited with Claire in December 2015 and I was really just waiting for the perfect pattern to come along.

Named Harriet lumberjacket in wool & vintage silk

I am both back from our trip to the States and feeling back on form now, so I’ve started to tackle documenting the absolute mountain of finished makes from the last four months. I have some garments from early January, some made more recently and well, I’m just going to share them with you in no particular order! The photos are a bit more slapdash than usual, but I know that if I waited to do proper photoshoots of all of these then it’d be another 6 months before you’d get to see them!

So I’m going to start with a garment that was the longest in the planning, and also quite possibly my favourite of the early 2016 makes. It all started back in summer 2014, when I bought some fabulous navy wool coating & vintage silk twill from Ditto when I was down in Brighton. I knew I wanted to use them together for a transitional, short coat, but then I had quite a journey in finding the right pattern!


The psychedelic 1960s vintage silk twill lining that was originally made for neckties!

Over the course of 18 months, I ended up making five different muslins before I was happy enough to cut into the wool and silk:

  1. StyleArc Audrey (the silhouette and proportions were just so bad on me. So bad.)
  2. Burda Jan 2015 jacket in size 42 (way too small for non-stretch outerwear, oddly, though Burda’s fit is usually very standard)
  3. Burda Jan 2015 jacket in size 44 (traced ALL the pieces again and it still fit very weirdly)
  4. Patrones 342 No23 dolman sleeve coat (ridiculously tiny sleeves and zero arm mobility even with the underarm gusset)

And then finally I muslined Named’s Harriet lumberjacket pattern, bought during a flash sale during their advent calendar promotion. And I was like Goldilocks, it was juuuuuuust riiiiiight.