Named Clothing: Bly Overalls & Leotie Skirt

Words by Steph...

We have been steadily making up samples for the shop and in the process testing out patterns we haven't previously had the chance to make. We received our first batch of Named Clothing patterns a while ago so it's really about time that we got on with it!

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The pattern packs are beautiful - clean, white, crisp box envelopes with nicely styled photographs on the front. (We would say however, that minimalism is all very well, though it's a little bit frustrating when browsing that you can't see from the outer pack what the necessary fabric requirements are for each style, an important factor when selecting.)


The patterns are printed on both sides of a sheet of heavy white paper so tracing off is essential. This takes a bit of extra time and effort but, try to think optimistically: if you change shape, or lose the main copy, or decide to share the cost with a friend, then you have options with a trace-off pattern. Our Danish Minikrea childrenswear patterns are the same, and tracing off is a rather good thing when the little ones grow to big ones so quickly! We should say that you  will also learn how to mark patterns in the process of tracing off, though if the pattern blocks don't have sufficient markings to begin with, then you will probably have to learn by trial and error rather than copying straight off.

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Becki, one of our Sewing School teachers, had a go at making up the Bly Overalls in one of our Marcia Derse Botanical prints.

After a few little issues with notches (not matching up or altogether missing) and buttonholes (the instructions indicated vertical button holes, but the technical drawing suggests horizontal button holes) Becki was very satisfied with her finished garment and we've heard from Instagrammers (@marillawalker who made an exceptional hand-printed linen version) that they completely enjoyed the make. Named Clothing styles the overalls in their lookbook in classic white denim for the retro 90s look, but we chose Marcia Derse's Kelp Daylily cotton print from her Botanicals collection, with rimmed wooden buttons for a different sort of playful look.

Next up was the Leotie. We had in mind to create a window of mannequins in our Temple Outline Japanese lawn collection, and so decided to go with a black Leotie skirt, and white Colette Sencha top. The Leotie comes in a pack that includes a rather unusually shaped dress and the straightforward gathered-with-waistband skirt, so if you're after just the skirt then it's a little pricey, but work your pattern adjusting magic and perhaps create a top from the dress too...?

However, sticking with the simple skirt, a first little nitpick was that the dress has a contrasting block option, but when you trace off, there isn't a separate block for just a full skirt panel and so consequently you have to slightly awkwardly (especially if you don't have much space) piece the skirt together with the shorter skirt and contrast panel blocks.

The tracing was quick overall though as it was just a few panels, and so the cutting out was also quick, and then in turn so was the making. My biggest tip is always to read the instructions thrice over so that you understand the upcoming construction method - that way you can always be thinking a step ahead and see if anything vital is missing. I decided to line the skirt with a plain black lawn to give it some weight - if you want to do this, sew the lining to the inside top edge before you attach the waistband so that you make a sandwich.

leotie skirt

As all pattern designers have their quirks, we imagine that the more Named patterns we make up, the better we'll become at understanding how their particular construction works. We've already traced off the Keana piped blouse ready to make up in UrbanChiks' Plume Onyx cotton print, and despite the high amount of component pieces, it was a straightforward trace and we look forward to making it. That reminds me, don't forget to add your seam allowance when tracing Named patterns!

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