The Autumn season is definitely upon us over in this part of the world, and is when I start to think of berry colours,long sleeves, layering up and soft comfortable fabrics. I also remember that my winter wardrobe is sadly lacking in the work appropriate area, since I did a massive clear out of items which no longer fit me, due to weight loss last year.
So, when the Named Helmi dress started popping up around the internet I thought I’d dive straight in! I liked the loose fit, the simple design, the on-trend hem and, as Mr SM pointed out, the fact that it could almost be your nightshirt. So, pj’s basically.
Even the model looks like she’s just got out of bed!
The dress comes with a shirt version too, which is equally delicious. I got my pattern from Raystitch online and it was delivered really quickly. I do avoid pdf’s if I can.
Apologies for the quality of the photos , they’re definitely not my best. It’s rained here on and off all week and we’re in the middle of decorating at home, so it’s been difficult to get decent shots.
For my version I used the collar from the shirt version and changed the concealed placket to a normal placket, to add interest to the very plain fabric, which was an eBay purchase and was described as a viscose blend. It feels like a chambray and is lovely and soft, and was easy to work with, although it shows every mark when ironing. The 2 metres I had purchased was plenty.
I did my usual size UK 12/40 at the shoulders grading out to a UK 14/42 below the armhole, which in hindsight was a slight mistake. That’s happened to me on a couple of patterns recently, so maybe I’ve been getting away with some mis-sizing. I definitely should have done a 14 at the shoulders as it’s a bit snug there. I can rectify that easily if I make another.
The instructions were great but I didn’t really follow them. I’ve made a few shirts recently, so had some practice. It’s all finished on my overlocker and came together very easily, once I fixed the swayback problem and adjusted for my forward shoulders. The waist seam really helps with fitting my figure and it’s a very loose shape so almost beginner friendly, (apart from the collar and placket, ahem)
I’m not sure it’s that flattering a shape on me, partly because I’m a slight pear, so I would recommend it for apple or inverted triangle shapes, or anyone with hips less wide than their shoulders. I also think it would be improved for me if the button placket went all the way down to give an illusion of length to my figure.
I’ll definitely be wearing it to work though with woolly tights and, when I get round to finishing it, a long cardigan that’s been missing it’s fronts, from my neglected knitting machine. It’s also VERY comfortable.
In other news, I’ve been busy sewing for Christmas, for family, but I do have a couple of other items I might share, that I’ve made recently. This time of year is really hard for getting photos so I don’t want to promise anything. If you follow me on Instagram you’ve seen some of them already.
I get a proper buzz out of having lots of projects on the go and challenging myself, however I’ve realised that I can’t do it all, so I’ve decided to curtail my handknitting, as I think of all my hobbies, it’s the one that exacerbates my RSI most. I guess something had to give, working at a desk most days, then going home and hunching over my various sewing and knitting machines, for years on end, and hand knitting has been the one. So many of the things I love doing involve sitting down and using my hands and arms. Sitting down is bad for you, if you do too much, so outside of work I do have to be fully active. Thankfully, I love to play tennis, which is ARMS and SHOULDERS, again. Also cooking, and yoga. I really do love hand knitting, so it makes me sad, but I already have lots of gorgeous hand knits in my wardrobe and I will still knit, just not nearly as much, for now. My shoulders and arms ache most of the time and I need to take better care of myself.
So, I hope you’re all taking good care of yourselves whilst you’re doing what you love and that you’re enjoying what the new season brings to your sewing. Can’t wait to see what you’ve all been up to.