Mono Ansa dress

I sometimes have a strange ‘gotta-have-it’ urge for a pattern that at first glance doesn’t really seem to be my usual thing. That was definitely the case with Named’s new Ansa dress, and I’m happy to report that my inkling was true and I lurrrrve this dress.

I bought the pattern at the same time as the Ronja dungarees, and sewed them one after the other. Named patterns are just such sewing joy, and I need those sorts of projects when sewing time is scarce. I really agonised about whether to sew to the top or dress first, but haven’t sewn a fun dress in a while and I have an event next weekend that it may get cracked out for.


Based on the finished measurements I cut a size 40/12. The waist has a couple of inches of ease and the bust and hips are even looser, so I figured I could fit as I sewed. I found the waistline tucks a tiny bit lower than my natural waist, so took a cheeky dart out of the shoulder line to hike the whole thing up a bit. I also took two inches off the length and sewed the side seams at a slightly larger seam allowance, and the fit’s pretty perfect!

Sewing it up was quick and fun, even all the tucks and darts (eight in all) which I used to avoid like the plague. If a pattern has a lot of dart/tuck markings on multiple pieces, personally I find it much more manageable to deal with preparing each piece in turn, i.e. I cut the back, marked the darts and immediately sewed those before moving on to cutting out the front. Unfortunately most of the design details get totally buried in this print, but the silhouette and the drama from the butterfly sleeves (easy-to-set raglans) make up for it.

The fabric is a lovely viscose challis from Minerva. It’s now sold out; I bought the last of the reverse colourway, probably to make the top version of this pattern! Challis has a natural springy stretch which makes it very comfy to wear, but you just have to be extra careful about not distorting it at the cutting stage. I lay the folded fabric out on my cutting mat then give it a quick press with a warm iron to get it flat and on-grain.


Nothing too fancy going on in the construction or finishing: I overlocked most of the seams, French seamed the side seams, and the neckline is finished with bias facing which I handstitched down.

I feel like this dress is made for dancing, so hopefully she’ll get a spin soon!

16 thoughts on “Mono Ansa dress

  1. PsychicSewerKathleen

    I loved your dress so much I promptly jogged over to Named to purchase it! I hadn’t before because for some crazy reason I thought this dress had a waist band which is a no-no for me but those shaping darts and sweetheart seam at the yoke on the front is just gorgeous! I love your dress and you’re absolutely right that rayon challis is perfect for the job – I’m dreaming about some silk I have tucked away for a special occasion :)

  2. Hélène Martin

    Gorgeous, you picked the perfect fabric for it! The darts may not be visible but I think that makes the shape look even more magical. I never get excited about Named’s line drawings or styling but I often love blogger versions. Seems the patterns have really good bones and I need to look beyond whatever isn’t working for me in their presentation.

  3. Jennifer

    I had the same favorites from the Named collection. Your fabric is just perfect, no matter if the details are swallowed, the shape is beautiful. I’m not usually drawn to butterfly sleeves, but I’ve decided sleeve fullness actually defines the waist, which I find counterintuitive, but maybe it shouldn’t be. Very pretty!

  4. Kelly

    So lovely! I have a 70s Jean Muir pattern with similar lines I’ve been meaning to sew up. Hopefully a few more of these dresses will show up online to give me that last little envy-fueled push!

  5. Kirsten

    I love it! I kinda like that the tucks get lost in the print, it just looks like a really well shaped and fitted dress. I have some deep red rayon to make mine out of, but it’s going to have to wait until I have some more of my basic winter kit organised!

  6. Heather

    Ahhh…your inkling was definitely right – this dress is perfect on you! It hope you go dancing in it – I think it would be so fun to swing around in. ;)

  7. Svenja

    This dress is awesome!
    I couldn’t stop looking at yours so I am finally sewing my own now (it took me quite a while, don’t know why…). I’m really excited and hope it will turn out as great as yours!!

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