Category Archives: Named patterns

Emoji Inari


To be honest, all I want to wear at the moment is black sacks, so here’s another one to throw into the mix. But it’s got kitties and cactuses and watermelons on it, so it ain’t all gloom.


It’s my third or fourth Named Inari dress, and the first time I’ve done it in a knit rather than a woven. Naturally that makes it even more comfy! I didn’t alter anything on the sizing, and just finished the neckline with a band instead of a facing. I also topstitched the entire sleeve cuff down so it wouldn’t flip around.


The fabric is jersey knit I had printed with my own design at the Contrado factory back in May. You can read more about it here! This is their 190gsm jersey substrate which is a fairly sturdy polyester-based knit with about 25% stretch, similar to a double-knit and ideal for a pattern where it’s subbing for a woven. It was very easy to work with: I used the overlocker for the shoulder and armsyce seams, and lightning stitch with a walking foot on my normal machine for topstitching, hemming, and the side seams.


Funny, looking at the drag lines on this one that aren’t so apparent in my woven Inaris (and not quite so apparent in real life as in these photos) it’s possible I should do an FBA to this pattern, adding a bust dart or rotating the excess down into the skirt portion. When I hike up the front under the underarms the drag lines smooth out. Perhaps it’s the heavier drape of this fabric making it more obvious here.

I’ve been meaning to dedicate some time to doing some new designs to get printed, as it feels extra special wearing a fabric I designed as well as sewing the garment itself and Contrado have so many interesting and apparel-appropriate substrates to print on.

Starry silky Helmi


This project skipped to the top of my queue, and I’m so happy with how it turned out! It’s the Helmi dress from Named’s latest collection, in some star-printed silk crepe that I bought at Mood Fabrics in New York City last week while there on holiday. I had to make this dress happen pretty soon after I got home because I thought it’d be a fun sew and real autumn wardrobe winner.


After the big win that was the Inari, I was willing to pay £15 for another Named pattern, and I immediately fell in love with Helmi when their AW16 collection launched. I bought it in printed format from Backstitch. It’s got a gorgeous blouse variation with trench flap detailing that I am definitely going to make sometime soon as well.


I cut a size above my measurements (42/UK 14) and the fit is just how I’d like it. The collar, installed with The Andrea Method, slotted together perfectly and I like how it looks both fully buttoned and at half-mast. I even maintained the set-in sleeves for once because they fit so comfortably and I love the elbow-grazing length (rolled up in these pics).


Being me, there is a small list of other deviations from the pattern: a normal button band instead of concealed placket; used the full collar from View A instead of the Mandarin one; extended the button band all the way down the skirt instead of just the bodice; and took 2″ off the skirt length. Fun fact: the pattern’s name Helmi means Pearl in Finnish, so it seemed fitting to use little pearly buttons.


This fabric is sooo delicious. I always like to stock up on silk prints at Mood because they have much better range than I’ve found anywhere in the UK. Sadly the GBP > USD exchange rate is pretty dire right now so I only bought three pieces of fabric on this trip, but I’d been looking for a cool star print for ages so was very happy to bring this home for $16/yd. I can’t see it on Mood’s site to link to I’m afraid.


Guts! Despite being entirely French-seamed inside and made in slippery silk, this was still quite a fast sew; a part-time weekend sort of jobby. It’s deeply pleasing to be developing a sort of muscle-memory precision when it comes to things like collars, curved hems and challenging fabrics. Things that used to give me hell are now meditatively satisfying to work through.


I get the sense that this dress will become a firm favourite. It’s casual enough for work and weekends but the silk means it could work for an evening event too. The looseness makes it really comfy and it looks good both with tights and without so will be a year-round wear. I think I might make one in the lightweight denim I picked up from Purl in NYC next.

Kniti Midi Inari

Inari hack1

Sewing time is short right now and I need guaranteed results, so I’ve been doing quite a few repeat makes of TNT patterns lately. This dress merges the best bits of two of my wardrobe essentials to get another dreamily simple easy-to-wear everyday dress. Guess the two references from my recent makes…?

Inari hack2

Answer: the base pattern is the Named Inari dress, and the fabric choice and mods were inspired by my Style Arc Celine. I wear one or the other of those weekly (and have made a second stripy Inari already) and now this one’s gone straight into rotation too.

Inari dress hack

The pattern ‘hack’ was really easy:
– Freehand convert the round neckline to a V. Tip: cut the V shape in a slightly concave (curving outwards) line rather than straight diagonal: it sits nicer on the upper chest.
– Cut the front as a pair rather on the fold, adding seam allowance, as it’s easier to make a nice V-neck if you sew the shoulder seams, then sew the neckband on, then seam the CF
– Add six inches to the length
– The tie is a separate skinny piece, sewn RS together as a tube then turned RS out, the ends tucked in and sewn closed.

Inari hack3

The fabric’s the same as my Celine, cheapo poly-blend rib knit from MyFabrics, but in navy instead of green. The fabric’s held up really well on my Celine, no bobbling/pilling yet despite many washes. I’m going to buy yet more for future variations on this theme.

Inari hack4

The Inari is designed for either woven or knits, so I didn’t alter the sizing. I think the pattern even includes instructions and a pattern piece to do a neckband for knits instead of the facings. I added about 1.5″ onto the sleeve length and left off the bands.

Inari hack5

One final detail was to leave a small slit at the centre front – easy because of the new CF seam. I was going to level off the hem but decided I quite liked the small extra detail of the stepped hem. I forgot to take a photo without the belt, but it looks pleasingly sack-like and cocoon-y, so it’s really two looks in one. All in all, it’s cycle-friendly, comfy and took like an hour to sew. I need more makes like this in my life right now!


Inari dress

The pattern that really needs no introduction! Yup, I finally fell prey to the charms of Named’s Inari dress, and je ne regret rien.

Inari dress

It was touch and go though, because halfway through making this I was convinced I hated it and it looked awful on me. Somehow releasing the side seams through the hip a little bit and taking 2 inches off the hem sorted it all out though.

Inari dress
Inari dress

I made size 38 graded to 40 at the hip. The fit is pretty good overall given that I didn’t toile first, but next time I’ll fiddle with the shoulder – it pulls to the back a bit when I wear it so I think a forward-shoulder adjustment may be in order. As others have pointed out, the armsyce is quite low which leads to reduced range of motion, but I like how the sleeves look and they aren’t uncomfortable so I think I’ll leave them be.

Inari dress

I used a lovely lightweight wool-mix suiting from one of my favourite local fabric stores Woolcrest in London Fields. It was a perfect match and doesn’t crease at all – these pics were taken on day two of wear! It’s got a nice linen-y look to the weave and I love the colour.

Inari dress

Overall, quite the win for a very quick midweek evening sew. It got both colleague and boyfriend approval (+ thanks to Josh for these pics as I couldn’t find my remote!) and saved my life this week in a very hot and humid office. Once I’ve tweaked the shoulders I’ll probably make a tee version too, so I’m glad I caved and made the purchase.

M-m-m-my sha-Yona

Yona coat

Oh hay! I’ve been struck down with a vile flu-type thing for over a week, but finally felt well enough to get out today and grab some photos. This is mah new Named Patterns Yona coat, a big tick off my winter plans list.

Yona coat

I’ve been wanting to make this up for a while to replace a similar old RTW coat, and when I saw the paper version of the pattern half price on sale I pounced. To be honest I was a bit trepidatious about using a Named pattern: I’m clearly not the tall willowy shape they draft for and I’ve heard rumours of patchy instructions and painful tracing processes. In the end, I dived into this coat sans toile, followed the instructions with no issues, and had the coat finished in a weekend. And I rather love it.

Yona coat
Yona coat

I was feeling impatient, so riskily cut a straight size 38 right into my good fabric. It’s too tight around the hips, as I suspected it would be and as indeed my old RTW one is, but I like how it looks both done up and loose so it’s not a problem. I’m happy with the fit around the raglan sleeves and back too: I like that the two-piece sleeves give my puny shoulders a bit of extra structure, even though there’s no real tailoring going on – just interfacing added strategically as directed.

Yona coat

I just made some small design alterations before cutting: adding two inches to the length to match my RTW inspiration, and shaving about half an inch of width off the lapels. It’s surprising how different it looks from Named’s sample just with a few small tweaks, as also evidenced by all the other lovely and varied Yonas in blogland: Ping, Sunni, Rachael, Julie, Lucinda, Morgan.

Yona coat

The construction was pretty fun and personally I found the instructions really good. I did just mess up the lapels first time round by not anchoring the collar ends onto the diagonal of the lapel – a symptom of rushing a bit and not double-checking the design sketch – but I fixed it with some crafty hand-stitching. You can see a pic of the incorrect ‘before’ here.

Yona coat
Yona coat

I especially like the jump hem method – it’s by far my best-looking yet, though it’s buckling just a touch as I think I forgot to add seam allowance to the lower edge of the lining, oops. I supplemented the instructions with a bit of extra machine bagging to cut down on the handsewing. You do have to add seam and hem allowances and trace off some overlapping pieces on Named’s paper patterns but I’m now prepared to forgive that, as long as you remember where to add them all.

Yona coat
Yona coat

The fabric is a very lovely darkest forest green wool melton from Miss Matatabi with a subtle diamond pattern. I cut the collar in a scrap of black ponte, inspired by Sunni’s three (!) versions of this pattern. Next time I’d do the collar stand and back facing in a softer fabric too as the wool is a bit scratchy at the neck.

Yona coat
I finished this a week or so ago and it’s gone right into rotation – it’s just right for the current weather and should see me through til spring. I suppose it’s not really a garment I need more than one of, which is a shame as it was so fun to make and I love the shape. Perhaps a shorter one in a lighter fabric for the warmer months might be on the cards.